Designer Shopping Spree – Deep in Heart of Texas

Round Top, Texas, town square

Round Top, Texas. Population 90. Photo courtesy of Austin Monthly

Come to the Fair!

Have you ever experienced the Round Top Antiques Fair in Texas? I highly recommend it! Every year I make the trek down to this quaint town 72 miles from Austin and spend three days shopping with my best Texas friend, Melanie. We camp out in her Airstream and devote our days to exploring 30,000-square-feet of exhibit space. Yes, they have antiques, but this show encompasses much more. We always find one-of-a-kind art, architectural remnants, furniture and rugs, lighting, yard décor and more.

Here’s a little secret you might not know: though I was born and raised in Michigan, I lived in Texas for five years and fell in love with it before heading north to Chicago. I look forward to going back for my annual shopping spree, but it’s always great to come home with a long list of new furnishings that caught my eye. Check out nine of my favorite finds below from the Lone Star State.


vintage chest, tabel lamp, mirror, artwork, accessories

If I could have, I would have taken this entire vignette home with me on the plane! All photos from the Red Top fair by IEG


How to Mix Styles

These chest vignettes (photos above and below), were super inspiring to me. I realized that this artisanal look can definitely work with many home styles. We just have to find the right spot and the perfect accessories.  I love the way they layered art in front of large mirrors in these displays. And notice the use of contemporary art with heavier, more ornate frames. What a surprise – and it works!


wood chest, framed mirror, rustic planter

This handsome fellow is looking for a good home.

Throw Out the Rule Book

Here again, they threw out the rule book and pulled together a vintage, ornate mirror with a very rustic planter and a sturdy wood chest. Why does it work? For one, all of the pieces have a common ancestry that we can trace to trees!


blue chest, vintage chest, framed mirror, silver mirror, accessories, shells

People will think this chest was handed down in your family generation after generation.

Get Instant Character and Authenticity

This piece has a laid-back lake home vibe that is fresh and appealing, especially with those intriguing shells to pull out the white accents on the chest. It makes me feel as if generations of family have stored jigsaw puzzles and games behind those doors for lazy days at the shore. A piece like this adds instant character and authenticity to a home.


white vessels, white urns, wall art

Loving those curves!

Where Would You Put These?

Think high or low for this pair of shapely vessels. They would be great on a console table or as “floor art” in a cozy corner next to a chair and lamp. Sleek yet textured, they supply contrast for all the other elements in a room, such as rugs, wood flooring and upholstered chairs. Accessories are a vital part of the services we offer to our clients. They give your home that custom, finished look.


succulents, succulent arrangements

Succulents are hip again!

Why Are Succulents So Popular?

Forever Green Art in Arkansas is one of my go-to vendors for clients who prefer real flowers and plants. We use their preserved moss in our accessorizing because it is simple, beautiful and perfect for an area that needs a little something that isn’t too tall. We’re crazy about their succulent arrangements, too. You might remember those thick-stemmed plants from the 70s! But we Americans have had an on-and-off love affair with succulents dating back to the 18th century. Today, the Millennials have spurred a big comeback, for many reasons. Succulents are hardy plants that don’t need a lot of care. They can tolerate small amounts of water, in case you occasionally forget to hydrate them. Most of them don’t grow quickly, so they don’t require much space and you won’t have to transplant them often. Succulents don’t need much pruning, if any, and of course, they are so pretty and unusual looking!


Round Top, succulents, antlers, planters

These planters can be customized for any décor.

Give Your Succulents Personal Flair

Because the Round Top show is in Texas, the items on display often reflect Texan life, such as the antler tips planted  in the box above. But succulents can be displayed in dressier pots with a variety of accents – whatever works with your décor. We sometimes mix succulents with accessories in a variety of materials, assembled on a decorative tray, as in this client photo below. The blend of greenery, metal, stone, wood and beads is a feast for the eyes, and begs to be touched!


accessories, tray, succulents, beads, stone

Mix textures and materials to achieve a designer look for your accessories



rug, weathered rug, rug runner

This is designer heaven – browsing through stacks of vintage or “washed” new rugs.

How to Add Lived-In Feeling

My team and I are always looking for vintage or “washed” new rugs like these, above. They are another way to bring a lived-in feeling to a home, even a newly constructed one. It’s as if they have stories to tell of the families who once owned them. Though there are a number of rug vendors at Round Top, we have a trusted supplier who will send us images of rugs they have in stock in the sizes and colors we need. Our “little black book” of vendors is one of our most valuable tools of the trade!


pendant lights, world globe lights, vintage globes

Have you ever wanted the world on a string?

Not for Children Only

Note to self: these globe pendants would be really awesome for a child’s playroom or even a study! They are created by a California artisan from actual globes that have been repurposed as light fixtures. The continents are outlined with 1/8-inch holes that allow the light to diffuse through the space and directly down. They would be great as singles, but a cluster of three hanging at different heights would be even better.


airstream camper, steer skull planter

What every Airstream needs: an arrangement of succulents on a steer skull. That’s Texas style.

So Long Until Next Time!

It’s always hard to say farewell to the fair, but there is always another one down the road. If you want to see more of my Red Top finds, check out this earlier blog:  Discovering New Artisans. In the meantime, we would love to work with you on your next project!