A covered porch took shape this week on a big tin building under construction on Texas 237, just southwest of Round Top.
Huge corbels were hung on posts near the door, and an elaborate, 8 foot tall sconce sat on the ground. Large Marge, a pink '78 Chevy Suburban parked in front, also hinted at the outsized attitude of the place.
Sisters Amie and , the Thelma and Louise of home dcor, are putting down roots just in time for their leap to bigger celebrity. Their new design show, "Junk Gypsies," debuts today on HGTV.
Amie's the curly haired blonde; Jolie's the tall brunette, quick with snappy one liners. They could soon be America's new sweethearts genuine, sassy and handy with saws, hammers and paint brushes as they transform rooms in their trademark "chippy peely" style.
They filmed 13 episodes back to back last fall, mostly around Washington and Fayette counties.
"It's the hardest thing we've ever done," Amie said recently. the next morning looking good."
One recent morning, the sisters settled into some plump but not too precious Victorian furniture to talk shop, surrounded by wares most people would have no clue how to utilize: a red truck door, a trio of drugstore Indians, a tabletop sailing ship, a decrepit pinball machine.
"Our parents instilled a love of junk in us," Jolie said. "Everything we owned was from a thrift store or garage sale."
Janie and owned a small chain of pizza parlors around Overton, the North Texas town where they lived, when the girls were young. Amie and Jolie dutifully earned degrees from Texas A but shunned corporate careers. Janie suggested they set up shop at the Canton flea market until her daughters figured out what they wanted to do.
They started with $2,000 and a piece of junk truck. And when they went to Warrenton, the scruffy edge of the spring and fall antiques bonanza near Round Top, they were smitten.
"You'd walk around at night, and there's campfires, and they're playing guitars and telling stories. I felt like I was in a movie, it was just so beautiful to me," Amie said.
Junkers are like the carnies of retail, and the Junk Gypsies smartly branded themselves as the rowdiest gals in the field.
"We learned quickly that we could buy something that was trash but display it really beautifully or make it a lamp shade, or use something totally unpredictable as a coffee table," Jolie said. "That's what's so funny about this TV series. We'd never decorated anybody's house before."
They had, however, Authentic Pandora Charms Sale Clearance decorated 's tour bus which got the attention of the media. They also got calls from about 20 TV producers and networks, most of whom wanted a reality show with cat fight drama and haggling.
"Those are two things we don't do," Jolie said.
"Lord, I have a flip phone," Amie said. "I have holes in my jeans. I've been wearing the same pair of boots for six years. It's not like we spend a lot of money, so it was like, who cares? We told some people where to get off with their high falutin' ideas."
"Put that in your pipe and smoke it," Jolie chimed in.
You begin to understand why they were worth pursuing.
But they wanted to do it their way, true to their brand. They clicked about five years ago with freelance producer , who eventually sold the show to HGTV.
"She got the love behind it," Amie said. "It was grass roots just like our business has been. And good things came out of it."
HGTV chose the projects from a list of candidates the Junk Gypsies supplied then gave them free rein. In each episode, they meet with the homeowners then head to a roadside dive to Pandora Charms Clearance map Pandora Charms Clearance a design plan before indulging in three days of furious junking and decorating. (Ever thought about using a gun to poke holes in a lamp shade?)
Among the projects: a living room for a naval officer who'd just come home from Iraq, a "mama cave" for the country home of a well to do "Houstonite" with four kids, an Airstream for and a few rooms of their own.
"I felt like such a sellout putting a denim slipcover on my couch," Amie admitted. "But I have a 3 year old daughter, and if she wants to draw with crayons or glitter there, I Authentic Pandora Charms Sale Clearance just throw it in the washer."
Comfort and fun are Junk Gypsy decorating mantras.
"Each one, we'd go in thinking, 'There's no inspiration. How are we going to do this space?' It's such a different thing from anything we've ever done," Jolie said. "And then we would end up loving it."
And yes, the reveals get emotional.
"Every time we were like, high five! We did it! We'd bawl and cry and boo hoo like babies," Jolie said. "We put a whole lot of passion and thought into it. You get to know the family. You wanted to give them something that was special. So everything in the whole entire space would have some kind of sentimental meaning."
Now that they're celebrities, their biggest challenge could be holding on to the lifestyle that started it all.