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Overwhelmed by Furniture, Designer Opens Pop-up

What would you do if the furniture in your house suddenly tripled? That's what happened to Judy Shields when both her mother and mother-in-law both passed away last year.

Judy, an interior designer , came up with a plan to use the extra furniture to start a pop-up antiques store in her barn. She cleared out the cobwebs and set about arranging pairs of wing chairs, chests of drawers, sofas, outdoor wicker furniture and lighting. Accessories are scattered over the furniture and hang from the beams. The walls are covered with an eclectic assortment of art.

"We've had a wonderful reception," she says. Judy's friend, Debbie Capezzali, who used to own an antiques store, brings in new pieces, which she finds by combing local estate and tag sales. Her technique is simple. "I buy whatever catches my eye," she says.

Judy keeps her display of furnishings fresh by moving everything around, filling in the spaces where pieces have sold. It reminds her of when she was a kid. "I always used to rearrange the furniture in my home," she says. Her mom didn't mind, but when she rearranged her aunt's furniture, the aunt always put it right back the way it was, she says with a laugh.

The Design Barn, which opened at the end of July, is seeing steady traffic. Judy says several designers have asked her to look out for specific pieces of furniture for them. You'll find the barn by following the 11 signs Judy places along route 53 in Weston, Conn. every Saturday. Design Barn is at 12 Tobacco Road and is open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. every Saturday.

What have you done with extra furniture?

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