BLOG

All About Round Top

Thanks to The Vintage Round Top  and Katie at RoundTop.com for great guides to my very happy place - Round Top Antiques Week!  I've added a few insights of my own to help Houston folks planning day trips!

roundtop.jpg

Preparing for the Show.

WHERE IS IT?

Round Top is about 90 miles and about a two-hour drive from Houston (quicker if you have a heavy foot... see note about speed traps!). The town has a population of around 90 and is on Texas 237 between Brenham and LaGrange.  Watch for speed traps on 290. Once you're on Highway 237, expect traffic to slow to a crawl as you get near the shopping sites.

DATES & TIMES

-The shows are held twice a year in the Spring (end of March/beginning of April) and the Fall (end of Sept/ beginning of October).

-They span over a fifteen-day period with approx. 60 shows on an eleven-mile stretch of Hwy 237 in Round Top with smaller shows in neighboring towns. 

-Every show is different, most open by 9:00am (however some open even earlier) and close around 6:00pm (or stay open until the last shopper leaves)  

-Some shows have specific hours, primarily the shows with paid entry fees.

REFER TO THESE LINKS FOR SHOW DATES:

http://www.antiqueweekend.com

http://roundtop.org/antique_show_info.php

BEST TIME TO COME?

This all depends on what your goals are at Round Top Antiques week.

Looking for the Best Deals: Come towards the end of the third week of the show. There will be less selection, however vendors will be more inclined to strike a deal or negotiate with you to get rid of their inventory. (Although, this is not always the case. Many dealers pack up from one show to go to the next, so are not in a position to give major discounts.)

Looking for Smaller, Less Chaotic Crowds: Visit the shows Monday-Thursday. During the week, parking is much easier and the crowd is smaller, making it easier to get from one show to another.

Looking for the Best Selection: Plan to be there the very first week. It will not only be less crowded, but you will have the widest selection to choose from before it gets picked through in the following, most popular week. Downside: the prices will be less negotiable and not all vendors are open.

WANT TO BE HERE WHEN ALL OF THE SHOWS ARE OPEN?

Marburger Farm (opens the Tusday of the last week) and Big Red Barn (opens the Monday of the last week) are the only two shows that have an entry fee, however the fee covers parking and the entire length of the show. Both have a variety of dealers, however most of them are higher- end and many are European. The booths are styled and easy to navigate. The Vintage Round Top is a Marburger Farm vendor. 

WHERE TO STAY

Book lodging early! Many B&B/home rentals require a  2-3 night minimum stay.

Regardless if you plan to come once or twice a year, lock the reservation in with your favorite B&B or Home Rental. The Vintage Round Top is, of course, RVT's first pick, but if the home is booked already, go through Round Top Chamber of Commerce or VRBO Vacation Rental to find available lodging.  My girlfriends and I stay at The Main Street House in Brenham.  The owner is super friendly and makes a mean cup of french pressed coffee.

WHAT TO WEAR

Dress comfortably and stylish! Texas weather can be extreme and change overnight, but many days are picture perfect. Shoe choice is key as you will be doing a lot of walking... and walking over rocks, grass, caliche and sometimes through mud.  Sun coverage is also important in regards to staying comfortable while navigating the shows. Wear layers and a light jacket or top to cover your shoulders to avoid sunburn, even if it’s cold. Wear comfortable shoes or if the forecast calls for rain, wear rain boots. Bring a hat, sunscreen, and sunglasses.  I tend to have allergy attacks in Round Top, so I always pack Allegra-D.

roundtop2.jpg

WHAT TO BRING

Carry a large tote bag to carry water, snacks, sunscreen, a hat and sunglasses.  I tend to have allergy attacks in Round Top, so I always pack some antihistamine.  Use your tote to carry a notebook and pen or use your cellphone, for writing down your purchases including the location, name and number of the vendor you need to pick up your items from.  You can also use your tote to carry smaller items you have purchased.

If you're on a day trip, you may be looking to save precious shopping time.  I suggest loading a cooler full of cheese, crackers, chicken salad, water, etc.  You can grab a quick bite in your car (with A/C blowing) and avoid the long restaurant lines.

Use your cellphone to take pictures of the items you bought and left behind to pick up later. (Trust me - always ask permission before you take photos of a booth and get the name and contact info to tag the vendor in social media outlets.)

Bring cash from home! Although some dealers accept credit cards and checks, cash is always welcomed. There are banks located in Round Top and the surrounding areas of Carmine, La Grange and Brenham and some show sites do have ATMS.

During the Show.

PARKING

Many parking areas are located between and behind the shows along SH 237. Most parking is free, but there are places that offer paid parking for a small fee, typically $5.

NAVIGATING THE SHOWS

If you come for a day trip, get started as early as possible. Since the shows span over an 11 mile stretch, traffic can slow down the process of getting from one to another. Drive to the furthest show and work your way backwards so you are only dealing with traffic on the way back. However, if you have favorite shows, start there first to get the best selection.

roundtopmap2017.jpg

The Round Top Register has created a Back Roads Guide with information about show locations, times and dates. You can pick up one in Round Top or click here to view and download the PDF.

NEGOTIATING WITH VENDORS

Most vendors will negotiate, but some are firm on prices. You won’t know until you ask and most dealers expect to be asked. You will have better luck negotiating if you are looking to purchase a large ticket item or a large amount of small items. Remember that these vendors have a tough job so be fair in what you offer.

FINDING YOUR HIDDEN TREASURE

As the saying goes, “One’s man’s junk is another man’s treasure.” We love the hunt, but one issue you have to face when looking for your perfect piece is the decision of when to buy. If you decide to wait and go back later to purchase a piece, it may be gone. The other aspect is that you may buy something in the beginning and then find something even better later so, there is no easy answer. Bottom line: If you LOVE it, BUY it!

TRANSPORTING YOUR PURCHASES

There are several businesses that offer shipping of large purchases but in our experience, the two most reputable are Roll’en Hills and Distinguished Transport. If you aren’t buying large items, simply transport your purchases in the back of your vehicle, in your trunk or even pull a small trailer. If you choose to take your items home with you, bring plastic tarps or blankets to cover the interior of your car in case of rain or if items are dirty, etc.

ROLL'EN HILLS CONTACT INFO
Cindy's Cell : 281 726 2631 or Kevin's Cell:  281 204 7434
2121 South State Hwy 237
Round Top, TX 78954

DISTINGUISHED TRANSPORT CONTACT INFO
Phone: 979 249 3473  or 678 910 1668
2377 South State Hwy 237
Round Top, TX 78954         

After Hours.

Several shows offer late night shopping along with live music.

The most well-known and rockin’ is the “Junk Gypsy Prom” held on a Thursday at the Junk Gypsy tent in Zapp Hall. They have live music, vendors and Zapp Hall has a bubble bar with libations.

Prost Wine Bar offers live music and a world class selection of wines by glass or bottle.
112 Bauer Rummel, Round Top, Texas 78954

The Stone Cellar has moved to the Old Depot and is known for great music, dancing, and pizza. 550 N Washington St, Round Top, TX 78954

Teague's Tavern offers Texas style comfort food and live music every weekend.
105 N. Live Oak Street, Round Top, Texas 78954

roundtopnight.jpg

 

 

Round Top Vendor Schedule 2018

roundtopcitylimits.jpg

The light, for less.

Recently I've been on the hunt for new lighting to update our breakfast room.  I have had the same matching light fixtures hanging over the table and sink since we reno'd the house in 2006.  In my search, I've found some great "get the look for less" items .  Check out the lighting below that is currently offered at World Market and Anthropologie... you may be surprised to find which is the better deal!

Where didya get that?!

I have a problem with just saying "thank you" instead of shouting out the discounted price of a seemingly pricey item.  

Girlfriend: OMG.  That rug is amazing!  Is it new? Where didya get that?
Me: YES!! Isnt' it great!?  You won't believe - I got it at XYZ for less than $300!! 

Who doesn't love the look of a highly styled room!?  It's the designer price tag that gets us all choked up.  My friends and clients are amazed at the great interior accessories, art, carpets, lighting and furniture I find.

My husband loves the rock-bottom prices.  

I've decided to offer Personal Buying to my services.  Let me do the digging for you! I will scour antique stores, thrift shops, local HomeGoods (Oh, how I love HomeGoods!), and Round Top Antique Fair so you don't have to!  Give me a call, send me your Pinterest board, and let me start hunting for some treasures to get your home on-trend and in style! 

What's Thanksgiving Without Wine?

I could still enjoy Thanksgiving or any other holiday without wine, but honestly, I don't want to.  I enjoy a beautiful glass of wine with dinner.  I like one with dessert, too, and while preparing the meal, and... - well, you get my point!

Most of my friends would agree their current go-to wines for Thanksgiving dinner are Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Pinot is a choice is solid (my personal fav) and possibly brilliant: A high-acid, low-tannin Pinot, can do right by almost all the side dishes a big bird requires. Chardonnay, for me, is a puzzler, at least if it's a buttery and oaky (at the bottom of my choices, for sure).  I'd suggest trying a Rose', which has become one of my favorites over the past few years. Rose's are dry, crisp and bursting with flavor.  I think they will be among the most versatile wines on your table.

The trouble with applying the "I'll drink whatever" principle to Thanksgiving is that there's just so much going on ― herby gravy, tangy cranberry sauce, savory dressing.... And sweet potatoes are, well, sweet, even without marshmallows. 

It seems natural that wine for Thanksgiving should come from American makers.  Above all, for your family at Thanksgiving, the wines shouldn't be intimidating. This isn't the time to show off or get overly complex.  Bring out something familiar and yummy.

Dale Robertson at The Houston Chronicle suggests these wines that can be found locally:

2012 Golden Eye Gowan Creek Pinot Noir

Overall score: 17 (9 for quality, 8 for value)

Our tasters: Gave it a unanimous recommendation with four scores of 9 or higher. "A big, round and concentrated wine but one that's well-balanced."

Critical acclaim: Earned a score of 92 from Wine Spectator: "Generous, offering ripe plum, black cherry and wild berry flavors, with touches of anise and black licorice. Ends with hints of dusty dried herb and cedar that fold into the finish."

Buy it: $73.99

2012 Frei Brothers Reserve Pinot Noir

Overall score: 18.9 (8.9 for quality, 10 for value)

Our tasters: Gave it a unanimous recommendation with a high score of 9.2 and two scores of 9. "Cherry and tobacco notes. Well-structured but also yummy."

Critical acclaim: Earned a 90 from Wine Enthusiast: "Beguiling streaks of red cherry surround a light, spicy, food-friendly core that's well balanced and integrated, the oak and tannin elegantly respectful of the red fruit. It offers medium weight amid the smoothness."

Buy it: $21.84

2013 J Vineyards Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

Overall score: 17.9 (8.9 for quality, 9 for value)

Our tasters: It didn't work for one, but another awarded a 9.3, and two others scored it 9 or higher. "Pronounced dried red fruit. Finishes long."

Critical acclaim: Earned a score of 90 from the Wine Enthusiast: "Made in a full-bodied style, this estate wine is generous in blackberry, black licorice and dark cherry, with classic cola spice dancing around its edges. Smooth and memorable, it is made from a handful of vineyards, including Nicole's, Bow Tie and Robert Thomas, all vineyard-designates of their own for the producer."

Buy it: $32.89

 

Black Friday

I'm getting in the holiday spirit and offering my own Black Friday special!!  I'm giving two hours of design consulting with every local in-home design consultation (a $200 value) OR I will refund 100% of your in-home consultation fee when you purchase cabinetry (a $300 value).  You pick.  Message me before Nov 28!!

black_friday.jpg

Round Top Antiques Festival

If you know me, you know I love beautiful things, the thrill of the negotiation, and the hunt for treasure.  All these come together in a perfect trifecta twice a year in Round Top, Texas.  My sweet husband graciously takes over packing lunches and reading good-night stories to our children so I can drive 90 miles to the best antiques festival in the state!  This year I joined some girls from Dallas and stayed at the sweet Ant Street Inn.  This adorable Inn is located in downtown Brenham and sounds like a sorority house once all the ladies return to kick up their feet, sip wine, chatter about their purchases and strategize about the next day's itinerary.  Relishing cheese, wine and a dinner of twice-baked potatoes from Lisa's Aunt Nancy was my favorite time of the day.  I loved catching up and laughing with these ladies!

We kicked off the day at Blue Hills where I met Michael Lawlis and purchased a great looking side table for the beach house.  I can always use more surface area to rest a wine glass or two!

My favorite stop is Arbor Antiques where I always find gorgeous goodies.  I was sad to learn that the Mexican Shirt lady is going out of business.  She had all her inventory 20% off!   I fell in love with a sold item from Susan Horne Antiques, but am crossing fingers that she can source another.   My friend bought a stunning pair of French needlepoint arm chairs from Maison Pernoud that will look amazing in her new home's foyer.  

On my final morning, we hit one more road-side tent and Nancy found a lovely pair of vintage sconces from Galveston!!  My heart sank as I did not see them first...  That sweet woman let me purchase them for Bowen (thank you, Nancy!)!!  I also found two wooden tennis racquets for less than half the price where I saw them at Arbors, so I picked those up as well!  I plan to send them on to House of Lamps so Nancy can work her magic! 

Tapestry Beige

"Tapestry Beige?  Yes or No?!  Should it take three days to respond to this question?" ranted a friend, completely frustrated with the responsiveness of the designer she hired to help with her soon-to-be-stunning Tanglewood renovation.    

I have two girlfriends suffering from designer issues.  Julia's large Memorial renovation began over a year ago and I'm not certain it's actually completed to her satisfaction.  [Sigh.] Elizabeth has a more manageable scope of work, but a tight deadline to get moved in.

Both girls hired professional interior designers and both girls called me with the same flustered conversation and asking for confirmation that terminating services was the right move.  My heart sinks as I empathize with their frustration and disappointment over color choices, material pricing, and general lack of professionalism.  After listening, I have to agree it's time to move on.

I have a very short soap box to shout from because I am not a full-service designer.  I specialize in floor plans, cabinetry and kitchens because those are what I'm really good at!   I do not accept jobs that I do not have time for or that I do not have the capability to execute with excellence. Ladies and Gents, please be mindful and realistic when you hire any professional to assist with your home projects.  Ask for references.  Ask for pictures of their work.  Ask what you get as a client.  Make sure your expectations clear so everyone is on the same page!  

I hope these tips help you in deciding on which designer to hire!  In the end, listen to your instincts, they're usually right.

How to Organize the Linen Closet

I mentioned last week that I'm ready to pack away the heavy blankets and slide into summer. When you open the linen closet to swap those flannel sheets for crisp cotton, are you threatened by a mound of linens ready to topple out? Is it a struggle to find a matching set of sheets?  If so, then it’s time to reorganize your linen closet!

PURGE: Take inventory of what's in there and toss incomplete or mismatched sets, worn-out or stained linens and anything you no longer use. I like to have two sets of sheets per bed – one for the bed, one for the laundry.  After purchasing this amazing flannel set for our bed, I'd love to splurge on a extra set for every bed!   Three sets of bath sheets (towels, hand towels and washcloths) for each person in your house and a couple extra sets for guests is adequate. As for blankets or duvets, one for summer and a couple for winter is plenty. 

SORT: Next, divide linens you regularly use by room: sheets for bedrooms and towels for bathrooms. Set aside extra pillows, out-of-season bedding and any bulkier, less frequently used items for separate storage. You won’t be reaching for these on a regular basis.

DESIGNATE STORAGE SPACE: Where you keep your everyday linens really depends on the closet space in your home. If you don’t have a central linen closet, then you may store linens right where you use them in each room. For bedrooms, consider storing linens in a closet or a storage bench (I do this in the beach bedrooms, so it's easy for guests to strip and remake beds before leaving). An open shelf vanity or an attractive woven basket can provide towel storage in bathrooms.

ORGANIZE: Plan to store your everyday linens front and center. How you fold and organize them is equally important for convenient putting away and taking out.  If you have anyone in your house that claims they can't fold sheets:

Adios, Zombie Mommy.

I'm 40.5 years old and my twins turning three this week (Hooray!), I'm crossing the finish line of "new mommy syndrome".  I'm excited to refocus on myself, my design business, and my relationships (thanks to those that stuck with me through babies & construction).  I can proudly say (most days) I no longer look a zombie in yoga pants and can manage to have adult conversations without interruption at least twice a day! 

As I think about what "focusing on myself" means, I realize I'm a very different person than I was three years ago.  I'm not as selfish.  I'm not as carefree.  I'm not the same size or shape. '

It's going to take some time to learn about this "new me" and I look forward to seeing how 2015 rounds out.  

Kim @ 40

Kim @ 40