The Mixology of Design

 Vintage barware and bar cart mixed on modern day tray invites your guests to relaxin in your home. Photo by Michael Hunter

Vintage barware and bar cart mixed on modern day tray invites your guests to relaxin in your home. Photo by Michael Hunter

Just like a cocktail mixologist creating a signature drink with an interesting twist or garnish, the mixology of design is in combining different styles of interiors and architecture. Modern furnishings and art blended with architectural details and antiques is one of my favorite combinations. Oftentimes finding that unexpected piece can be the perfect ingredient for some of the best design elements in your home.

 An antique French enfilade paired with a vintage Hugh Acton chair in shearling, marble pedestal and a modern rug creates the perfect blend of new and old. Photo by Cristin Miller Photography

An antique French enfilade paired with a vintage Hugh Acton chair in shearling, marble pedestal and a modern rug creates the perfect blend of new and old. Photo by Cristin Miller Photography

Every fall and spring, visitors eagerly await the opening of the highly anticipated Round Top Antiques Fair to search for unusual finds and new trends in design. One of the crown jewels of the festival sits at Market Hill. This venue, created by Paul Michael, hosts dealers who bring in everything from European lighting, architectural antiques, modern furniture and accessories. It is here where you might find the perfect design trifecta by uncovering an Italian Murano glass hanging fixture from the 1970s and a modern glass coffee table that can add the perfect touch to a home hosting an 18th century European fire surround. Paul and his carefully curated collection of dealers will welcome you into their booths.

 The glistening of mirrored glass counters married with aged stone floors and an antique lantern creates unexpected details and makes the room feel like you are unwrapping a present as you enter it. Photo by Michael Hunter

The glistening of mirrored glass counters married with aged stone floors and an antique lantern creates unexpected details and makes the room feel like you are unwrapping a present as you enter it. Photo by Michael Hunter


I encounter clients and friends who like many different styles of architecture and interiors. Blending those can be a challenge. Throughout my 20 years of architectural consulting and interiors, I have watched these ever-changing design trends take a front seat in our world. I encourage you to let your mind wander as you meet the dealers in Round Top, and hear the stories behind their travels that bring both timeless and trendy treasures from every corner of the world.

My philosophy at Sarah West & Associates is based on the blending of historical and modernist details which creates a perfect springboard for creativity where rules of the past don’t always apply.

 The fusion of antique doors from Round Top, reclaimed floor tile and sink paired with a modern bench and clean lined vanity is a perfect recipe for the mixology of design. Photo by Michael Hunter

The fusion of antique doors from Round Top, reclaimed floor tile and sink paired with a modern bench and clean lined vanity is a perfect recipe for the mixology of design. Photo by Michael Hunter

Uncovering special pieces at Round Top can be the common thread that runs through the fabric of my design plan. Embracing the challenge of making each project different, whether it is a blend of contemporary, English, Spanish or Country French, can always be enhanced with special finds from these bluebonnet-blanketed fields of Round Top.

Whether you are a professional or simply a novice mixologist, I invite you to be daring, take chances, mix it up and enjoy the view.