Uniquities Architectural Antiques, Inc.

Rare 19th-century French elm and pine farmhouse table flanked with a set of 10 antique bleached oak and leather dining chairs.

Rare 19th-century French elm and pine farmhouse table flanked with a set of 10 antique bleached oak and leather dining chairs.

For Julia Shantz, founder of Uniquities Architectural Antiques, “the perfection is in the imperfection.”    

Based in Calgary, Uniquities sources architectural antiques and salvage from the U.K., France and Belgium.

“The joy for us is in the hunt, finding those pieces that speak and resonate both historically and aesthetically,” Julia says.

“We acquire salvage from many types of buildings, including mills, schools, hospitals, factories, farm buildings, churches and homes. The U.K. salvages three million tons of building materials a year; consequently, we have the sources and experience to provide quality salvaged building materials.”

“Repurposing is really the most environmentally friendly way to build and furnish,” she says. “Reusing original building elements and antique furniture diverts waste from landfills, saves energy and manufacturing costs, and preserves valuable mineral and forestry resources.”

“It also preserves architectural history,” she adds. “When a carved panel door or an old gate is thrown into the landfill, it is gone forever. The superior craftsmanship, authentic period detail and beautiful patina of old materials simply cannot be reproduced.

Returning to Round Top this fall, Julia has found a home away from home at Market Hill.

Rare 19th-century French elm and pine farmhouse table flanked with a set of 10 antique bleached oak and leather dining chairs.

Rare 19th-century French elm and pine farmhouse table flanked with a set of 10 antique bleached oak and leather dining chairs.

“Market Hill is a special place. It has given us the opportunity to personally meet American clients who have quickly become supporters and friends.”

Julia and her team are looking forward to sharing their best finds with them.

“I am very inspired when our clients see the benefits of using antiques and salvaged materials. We want to inspire others to see the beauty and the benefits of preserving these wonderful snippets of history.”  

For more information, visit uniquities.ca.







Gallery Auctions

Vikki Vines has been the owner and auctioneer at Gallery Auctions for more than 30 years. Located in Houston, it is the largest trade source in the Southwest, and an invaluable source for dealers, decorators and personal shoppers. Auctions are held every Monday at 9 a.m., during which Vikki, her son Jon Goodling, and staff work from check-in to load-out to provide a wonderful buying experience. Incredible prices on a huge variety of antiques and accessories from traditional British and French antiques to mid-century modern furniture add to the experience.  

Photo by Natalie Lacy Lang and courtesy of Gallery Auctions

Photo by Natalie Lacy Lang and courtesy of Gallery Auctions

Vikki Vines and Gallery Auctions are proud to be returning to Market Hill for the fall show.

“Market Hill continues to evolve into the most exciting venue,” Vikki says. “The unwavering commitment of the Paul Michael Company is obvious as they provide what best suits buyers and vendors.”

Photo by Natalie Lacy Lang and courtesy of Gallery Auctions

Photo by Natalie Lacy Lang and courtesy of Gallery Auctions

“One of the things that makes Gallery Auctions feel great about being at Market Hill is that there is truly something for every buyer – from small trinkets that you don’t see everywhere to large items for your home and garden. From the price point to the many styles offered, the variety is incredible to see.”

At the Gallery Auctions space at Market Hill this fall, they will continue to offer a large variety of must-have items, including an amazing collection of copper items, leather books, original art and hard-to-find designer items like bamboo pieces as well as Mid-Century Modern furniture, jewelry, oddities and curiosities, and a spectacular selection of bronze items from small sizes to monumental pieces.

“We will have the most impressive collection of monumental bronzes ever shown at Round Top,” Vikki says.

“We will have new couture designs coming to the fall market. Kay Gilbreath will also be joining us again with her collection of items. She loves working at Gallery Auctions and Market Hill.”

To learn more, visit galleryauctions.com.




Vincent Peach

Photo courtesy of Vincent Peach

Photo courtesy of Vincent Peach

Tennessee native Vincent Peach is a jewelry designer and maker who works from his studio in historic Marathon Village, adjacent to his Vincent Peach boutique in downtown Nashville.

What results from his creative process is a unique brand of signature pieces containing a mix of Tahitian pearls, brilliant diamonds, precious metals, exotic leathers, antlers, tusks and other natural elements expertly combined in a wearable way. The interplay of vintage and modern, masculine and feminine, bohemian and baroque all works beautifully.  

1.65ct Churchill Downs Half Coverage Diamond Earrings With Freshwater Pearls and Sterling Silver

1.65ct Churchill Downs Half Coverage Diamond Earrings With Freshwater Pearls and Sterling Silver

While each piece can be considered an heirloom to be passed down to future generations, these aren’t your grandmother’s pearls. They are wildly expressive conversation starters. Each piece is original and a bit out-there, intended for people who have something to say through their personal style. His cult following includes an outspoken lot, like Carrie Underwood, Reba McEntire, Alice Cooper, Steven Tyler, Taylor Swift and Miranda Lambert, to name a few.     

Currently, the brand is expanding. Maris Collective and Four Seasons Resorts continue to be among the most faithful relationships, but Vincent Peach is building its cache of fine jewelry retailers and specialty stores worldwide.

Vincent always brings new pieces to Round Top. Come see what he’s got at Market Hill. It’s also a rare chance to meet the designer himself.  

To view his collections, visit vincentpeach.com.   







Janet Wiebe

A direct importer, Janet Wiebe Antiques specializes in Italian lighting and European decorative antiques and furnishings for the home and garden.

“We regularly travel throughout Europe to handpick interesting and unusual items for our container unloading sales in Houston,” Janet says.

“Our inventory is always changing, so please check our website for all upcoming events and information.”

Another place to see it first is her Instagram account, @janetweibeantiques, where you can search her stories for Italian-style designs, things that sparkle (like her chandeliers!) and interesting garden pieces. We also can’t help but love the photos from her European buying trips. Her warehouse is located at 1001 West 34th Street, Suite C, in Houston Texas. She can be reached at 512.773.4499, or by email at janetwiebe@sbcglobal.net.



BOBO Intriguing Objects

Founder and creative director Mark Sage started BOBO Intriguing Objects in 2005, after being an antiques dealer for 14 years. BOBO is unique in its design direction in that all of the products come directly from antique pieces, meticulously reworked to complement a modern design aesthetic. Working with factories in Belgium, Vietnam, China, India, Brazil and Nicaragua, BOBO creates unique pieces that are both beautiful and well-made.

bobo-3.jpg

“Vintage is really where my heart beats,” Mark says. “When I go to a new barn and someone opens those doors, my heart jumps. I am an antiques dealer. I love the hunt, the stories and the people. I hold a particular fondness for circus paraphernalia, motorcycles and my collection of religious Santos.”

Photo by Natalie Lacy Lange

Photo by Natalie Lacy Lange

BOBO has been at Market Hill for three shows now.

“For me, what sets Round Top apart from other shows is the energy, the diversity of the people who attend the show. BOBO is primarily a wholesaler; we sell most of our antiques to businesses who resell the product. At Round Top, you’re dealing with a much more diverse crowd. It’s a party. It’s a pilgrimage,” he says.

“It really does have a unique vibe unlike any other antique show in the world. Plus, the area is simply beautiful.”

Mark has spent a lot of time over the years doing just about every show, and he says Market Hill is the easiest for him as a vendor. “Level floors, wide doors, A/C, being out of the elements. It’s all been well thought-out and planned. The assortment of dealers at Market Hill is also very well curated. Paul has really chosen very nice dealers with great antiques.”

As for special finds Mark is bringing to Market Hill, he says, “I really don’t ‘edit’ the pieces I bring to Round Top. Cool, beautiful finds at a great price will sell any market.”

Like the name suggests, you can expect intriguing objects. Come meet Mark, and see what unusual finds he’s brought to us this time.

Photo by Natalie Lacy Lange

Photo by Natalie Lacy Lange

Photo by Natalie Lacy Lange

Photo by Natalie Lacy Lange

Hastening Design Studio

Photo courtesy of Hastening Design Studio

Photo courtesy of Hastening Design Studio

Louis Shields has been an antiques dealer for 35 years. He’s also an interior designer, furniture maker and painter with his own gallery, Hastening Design Studio, in Middleburg, Virginia. There his paintings hang in harmony with his carefully chosen antiques and unique designs. When it comes to picking pieces for Market Hill, Louis says, “I am always drawn to furniture that has a historical architectural inspiration, balanced structural elements; and, if it is wood, then the surface, color and patina are extremely important.”  

Louis shares with us a couple of special pieces he’s bringing to the fall show.

“A Tyrolean tall cabinet, made in the Italian Alps, circa 1790. It was made in two parts with an arched cornice above four paneled and decorated doors concealing shaped shelves, the lower section with four further paneled doors all retaining the original painted decoration. Tyrol is a region of the eastern Alps in northern Italy and western Austria. Inhabited in ancient times by Celtic people, the Tyrol constantly passed back and forth in whole or part between Austria and Italy, thus having a unique influence on the local furniture. It measures 108” high, 89” wide and 26” deep.”

Late 18th Century Tyrolean Tall Cabinet. Photo courtesy of Hastenings Design Studio

Late 18th Century Tyrolean Tall Cabinet. Photo courtesy of Hastenings Design Studio

“Also, I’m offering a late 18th century fine-quality French Provincial directoire enfilade made in the Loire Valley circa 1790 as well. Some of the things that make it special: pearwood with an exceptional patina mellowed to a golden honey color and the paneled top over four molded doors framed by half-round columns, divided with a flat fluted pilaster and surmounted with a delicately carved floral garland, all retaining the original brass fittings. It stands 40” high, 105” long and 22” deep.”

To learn more, visit hasteningantiques.com and hasteningdesigns.com.




The Elephant Walk

Photo by Natalie Lacy Lange

Photo by Natalie Lacy Lange

Originally from Istanbul, Turkey, Ender Tasci came to America 30 years ago to get his Ph.D. in international business. He also has degrees in economics, finance, human resources – and restoration, which relates to materials, textiles, woodworking, metal work and construction.

When he was asked to furnish an employer’s home, he went to Europe to bring back antiques and special pieces. Within eight months after his work for them, he had four new clients, and this was the beginning of his business.  

After many years in central Florida, he moved to Round Top where he has 20 years of experience with loyal clients who come back year after year.  

Ender believed in Paul Michael’s vision for Market Hill, in bringing together the most reputable dealers, and he brought his business to Market Hill.

“You have to love what you do, and it has to be within your capabilities,” he says. “Being an antiques dealer isn't for everyone; it requires massive amounts of knowledge and conviction to relay that message to someone else to create a demand for an item that is not a necessity.”

Photo by Natalie Lacy Lange

Photo by Natalie Lacy Lange

Photo by Natalie Lacy Lange

Photo by Natalie Lacy Lange

“My passion comes from within,” Ender says. “There is a difference between looking and seeing. l follow trends and news very closely. Antiques and home decor are just like fashion, they change constantly. Being able to see which way the trends are going is a secret to success in any business.”

As for his personal style, he says, “For the last couple of years, I have been looking for pieces with very clean lines, simple shapes with great color and texture in the right scale is the magical combo.”

He adds: “l love scale, texture, color and most of all drama. If the item you are selling is not serving those four purposes, it certainly isn't worth selling.”

You will want to meet Ender and see his latest finds at Market Hill this fall. For more, visit elephantwalkantiques.com.  




Don & Marta Orwig Antiques

When asked what Don's favorite things that he and his wife, Marta, are bringing to the fall show, he replied, “I love everything we are bringing, all 3,000 or so pieces.”

Photos courtesy of Don & Marta Orwig

Photos courtesy of Don & Marta Orwig

“We have just recently bought several large collections of old advertising signs, and a great collection of country store fixtures and cabinets. We are also bringing some amazing American folk art to Market Hill this fall,” he says. "I just bought an early painted wood New England fireboard with a lighthouse on it and a zinc life-size Native American with a tomahawk.”

Known for bringing a massive amount of Americana art and antiques to Market Hill, Don and Marta promise the semi-trucks will be full again this fall. Get there early to take your pick. A few of those pieces are shown here. 




Antica Collection

Photo courtesy of Antica Collection

Photo courtesy of Antica Collection

Based in Houston, Lisa Strait Vanpoucke has been coming to Round Top for more than 15 years.

A vendor at Market Hill, Lisa says, “I like the fact that we are able to reach so many people in a short period of time and bring them home a little piece of history,” she says.

About the Market Hill experience, she says, “Paul and his family treat us like one of their own. They have what it takes to make everyone feel at home, including good food, wine and a relaxed atmosphere.”

Lisa Strait Vanpoucke

Lisa Strait Vanpoucke

What Lisa will bring to the fall show are her latest finds from her trips abroad.

“I find inspiration in faraway lands, culture, architecture and great design from all periods. My frequent travels allow me to continuously hunt for special pieces,” she says.

Having been a collector myself for over 20 years, the longer I’m in the business, the more simplified I’m becoming.”

“My creative process is simple. I buy what I love. For me, quality is a must, along with great design. If I wouldn’t put it in my own home, I usually skip it, which means each item has special meaning to me personally.” She adds, “Wait until you see what I’m bringing back from Italy and all over Europe.”

antica-1.jpg

Lisa credits her late husband Eric for turning her passion for collecting antiques into a way of life. “We found that the relationships we developed both at home and abroad were enriching our lives and allowing us to live our dream. I am eternally grateful to him for this shared love to give something old new life; and to bring the stories of our travels back home to our friends and clients.”

“My purpose is to extend that passion into my clients’ home decor and encourage a life well lived.”

For more information, visit anticacollection.com.   




Scoville Brown Cooperative

From the 1800s until the 1940s, the Scoville Brown Warehouse in Wellsville, New York, hummed with the sounds of a bustling grocery wholesaler. Though much has changed, the sounds of a busy facility remain. Also evident is the “Hearts Delight” slogan, still visible on the north side of the brick interior. This is the home of Scoville Brown Cooperative where owner and craftsman Jim Braunscheide conducts his business of taking the old and turning it into something new, which is his heart’s delight.

“Just to walk in, to get your hands on something original, something that untouched, that’s what inspires me.”  

“Like anyone in their craft, my work has evolved over time. I began to see new, repurposed objects in the items I collected or salvaged. I combined what I learned as a young man building with what I learned through the antique business and started designing and building furniture, lighting and accessories.”

What Jim brings to Market Hill is a variety of antiques and architectural finds.

“These works are my artistic expression and interpretation of where history, creativity and functionality meet,” he says.  

“Market Hill is amazing. As a contractor, I can say, structurally, it’s impressive, and as a vendor, it simplifies all of the little things that make it difficult to sell on your own. From the building to the breezeway to the air-conditioning – everything.”

Come find Scoville Brown Cooperative at Market Hill. Meet Jim, and find something with an interesting story that’s been given a new chapter.

For more information, visit, scovillebrown.com.





Provenance Antiques

Louis Philippe-period Draper’s table; French 18th century petit Marriage Coffre; later-19th century oil on canvas; French 17th century angel; 17th century altar stick; 18th century Italian vellum books. Photo courtesy of Provenance Antiques

Louis Philippe-period Draper’s table; French 18th century petit Marriage Coffre; later-19th century oil on canvas; French 17th century angel; 17th century altar stick; 18th century Italian vellum books. Photo courtesy of Provenance Antiques

Whether you are a first timer to Market Hill or a seasoned shopper back for more, Provenance Antiques welcomes you to the 2018 fall show.

“This is our home away from home,” owners Artur Tybuszewski and Yarek Filipczak say of Market Hill.

Provenance Antiques has been established in the South of France since 1997 and in Atlanta since 2001 where they have a 10,000-SF showroom. Their primary focus is Mediterranean-based, cultivating their relationships and resources in France, Italy, Spain and Portugal while procuring the finest antique furniture, accessories, architecturals and decorative arts available.

17th century tapestry in silk and wool from Flanders. Photo courtesy of Provenance Antiques

17th century tapestry in silk and wool from Flanders. Photo courtesy of Provenance Antiques

“We are so happy to be back at Market Hill to present the fruits of our efforts.” About some of the special pieces they have in store:

“Our wonderful Louis Philippe period Draper’s table from the South of France (circa 1840) features a stunning French 18th-century petit Marriage Coffre in leather with exceptional bronze nailhead detail; a charming later 19th-century oil on canvas from Northern Spain; a magnificent French 17th-century angel – or Putti in carved wood with its original polychrome finish; a very handsome 17th century altar stick from Northern Italy and a terrific set of 18th-century Italian vellum books,” to name a few.   

French art deco bistro mirror. Photo courtesy of Provenance Antiques

French art deco bistro mirror. Photo courtesy of Provenance Antiques

“We are thrilled to have found this absolutely sensational grand scale French art deco bistro mirror. What a statement.”

“Another wonderful vignette from our Atlanta showroom is an incredible French mid-19th-century jeweler’s work table from the Provence region of France (terrific as a bar table) surrounded by a fabulous pair of bibliotheques and enfilade from the same house; a great pair of French patinated iron horseheads; a stunning pair of mid-18th century hand-carved stone pineapples; finials also from Provence; and a grand scale iron 19th-century butcher’s scale now as a light fixture from Barcelona.”

“An absolutely exquisite and very rare 17th-century tapestry in silk and wool from Flanders. signed BB (Brabant - Belge) and LeClerc entitled “La Marée” – The Tide, 86 1/2" H X 98 1/2" L. Very unusual for its subject matter and coloration. Such magnificent hues of blue and silvery gray. Such an art piece that will be the statement of its new home.”

French mid-century jeweler’s work table; bibliotheques and enfilade; French patined iron horseheads; mid-18th century hand carved stone pineapples; finials'; 19th century butcher’s scale now as a light fixture. Photo courtesy of Provenance Antiques

French mid-century jeweler’s work table; bibliotheques and enfilade; French patined iron horseheads; mid-18th century hand carved stone pineapples; finials'; 19th century butcher’s scale now as a light fixture. Photo courtesy of Provenance Antiques

“Lastly, another wonderful vignette from our Atlanta showroom featuring a wonderful mid-19th century Spanish banquette in painted wood; a tremendous 15th-century Corpus in carved wood and original polychrome finish; and a very handsome collection of 18th- and 19th-century anvils – perfect man cave cocktail tables.”

Artur and Yarek extend their hospitality to all. “Please come on in for a visit. We are here to serve and will love the opportunity to share our world with you.”






Lanny’s Antiques

Surrounded by idyllic views of acres upon acres of farmland with cows in the pasture, Round Top is the perfect place to be inspired by Lanny’s Antiques. Based in Red Oak, Texas, Lanny and Lonnie Lenzen are known for their affinity for farmhouse relics. Some of these items are literal barn finds with great hardware and patina that, in a former life, were hardworking, industrial, architectural pieces you’d see in a stable or carriage house.

Custom metal top tables with industrial bases are our primary future. Photo by Natalie Lacy Lange

Custom metal top tables with industrial bases are our primary future. Photo by Natalie Lacy Lange

The good news is you don’t have to traipse through the fields to find them. Lanny’s will be at Market Hill for the duration of the fall show.

“We enjoy traveling the Midwest acquiring unique primitive pieces found throughout small towns and private farms,” Lanny says.

“We always strive to have a variety of farmhouse primitives,” Lanny says. “We also have a collection of great old cabinets accented with a mix of old and new décor.”

We always strive to have a variety of farmhouse primitives that include windmill weights and butcher racks. Photo by Natalie Lacy Lange

We always strive to have a variety of farmhouse primitives that include windmill weights and butcher racks. Photo by Natalie Lacy Lange

“We have built a strong client base over the past 20 years specializing in finding those oversized, one-of-a-kind pieces which include cabinets, counters and tables. Our clients include a variety of retailers, decorators and private individuals,” he says. “We are always on the hunt to find large and small pieces for merchandise in the store, to outfit restaurants and to decorate beautiful homes.”

Among the most unique pieces you will only find at Lanny’s: custom metal top tables with industrial bases. “This is our primary feature for the fall show. Lonnie is known for these custom metal top tables. Each one is truly unique. There’s not another one like it. These tables complement a variety of styles and décor.”

Come meet Lanny and Lonnie, and admire their original work and farmhouse finds.  





Rooted in Round Top

Shane brown is the owner of Big Daddy’s Antiques located in Los Angeles, San Francisco and a smaller boutique, Georgia Brown, in Aspen. He is constantly on buying adventures which take him all over the world and always back to Round Top again. To learn more, visit bdantiques.com. Photo courtesy of Shane Brown.

Shane brown is the owner of Big Daddy’s Antiques located in Los Angeles, San Francisco and a smaller boutique, Georgia Brown, in Aspen. He is constantly on buying adventures which take him all over the world and always back to Round Top again. To learn more, visit bdantiques.com. Photo courtesy of Shane Brown.

My first trip to Round Top was on the invitation of a fellow antiques dealer, Donna Cedergreen. We drove from Los Angeles to Round Top in a 12-foot rental truck. We pulled in about 10 p.m., to the spring show of 1995. People were still setting up. I remember being so excited to see how people set up their spaces. We jumped out of the truck and immediately started shopping, until what time I have no idea. We stayed at a little house very close to the Square. The town of Round Top is so quaint. We soon met Bud. For those of you who don’t know who Bud is, you need to meet him and his family. I am, of course, talking about Bud “the Pie Man” Royer, founder of Royers Round Top Café. Everyone we met on that first trip was so friendly, interesting, creative and fun. Third-base was fun in 1995. Pie in the Sky was fun. This was before Excess or Excess II, before Marburger, before Junk Gypsy. We shopped for several more days until I was out of money. I thought if I just had a few more thousand dollars that would be perfect – I was hooked!

Photos courtesy of Shane Brown

Photos courtesy of Shane Brown

 Since Spring 1995, I’ve been to Round Top 45 times, only missing one show, because my daughter, Georgia Brown, was born (I tell her she saved me a lot of money that day). I cannot tell you how many containers I’ve pulled out of Round Top with the most unique items from all over the world. I shop all over the globe, and I have to say Round Top is right up there. The scope of things and the random stuff that I buy from ironstone platters to an airplane to a roller coaster, cars and motorcycles. Some people say I only buy stuff as long as it’s big and heavy. 

I have seen and experienced so much growth in Warrenton and Round Top in the last 23 years. My wife, Kristine, and I finally bought our first house in Round Top about 10 years ago. We named it the Dragonfly. Then, we got a call from Beulah, the housekeeper, that Joyce Pratt wanted to sell her house, so we flew to Texas and bought our second property, Bo Buff Bradley. Our neighbor, Donna Parker, had a beautiful compound across the street from our original property. We solved all the world’s problems over tea and coffee many mornings at her home, so when she put it up for sale, we couldn’t let it go to anyone else.

Photos courtesy of Shane Brown

Photos courtesy of Shane Brown

We believe in Round Top. We’ve invested in it, because we love it so much. My wife runs all of our VRBOs and short-term rentals. My kids have traveled with us extensively, and their favorite place to go is Round Top.

To me, this is what Round Top is all about – the uniqueness of this town, its people, the things you’ll find and the memories you’ll make. Come on down. You can stay with us.  





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.






The Romance of Round Top 

The core of Ashwell’s offerings has always been her design of slipcovered furniture and bed linens, layering in the one-of-a-kind vintage treasures. Photos by Amy Neunsinger and Sarah Pankow

The core of Ashwell’s offerings has always been her design of slipcovered furniture and bed linens, layering in the one-of-a-kind vintage treasures. Photos by Amy Neunsinger and Sarah Pankow

Even though I grew up in London with classical music, Victorian brick houses and raincoats, I have always loved cowboy boots, country music and weathered barns. Both of my parents were in the antiques business, my dad in first edition illustrated books and my mum in antique dolls. My upbringing allowed me to navigate London flea markets at a very young age. I learned to be quick on my feet and decisive about when to snap up a treasure and, most importantly, when to build relationships with vendors. This was the beginning of a love affair with vintage that would continue for years to come.  

Photos by Amy Neunsinger and Sarah Pankow

Photos by Amy Neunsinger and Sarah Pankow

When I first visited Round Top, Texas, over 10 years ago, it was different from any antiques venue I had ever been to and yet there was something familiar to me. When I first began Rachel Ashwell Shabby Chic in 1989, vintage treasures were always a very important part of my stores, and later, of my online business. While the core of my offerings has always been my designs of slipcovered furniture and bed linens, layering in the one-of-a-kind vintage treasures gave a romantic and magical quality. The evidence of life that is revealed in vintage finds, whether through layers of paint and patina or threadbare fabrics, are priceless and unique.

 The search is part of the magic. Over the years, I had heard about the enormity of the twice-yearly Round Top antique shows. A decade ago, I visited, hopeful and prepared to fill a container for my multiple stores. On arrival, my love of cowboy boots and cowboy hats finally made sense. Sad country songs on the side of the road brought the lyrics I had loved to life, and the sun-bleached barns were just as I had dreamed.

 I have always loved the opening days of Warrenton. I love searching for funky and fancy treasures, rifling through stacks of cardboard boxes filled with “junk” and piles of fabrics. I search the packed aisles for furniture, chairs, faded rugs, timeworn fabrics, art and wonky lighting. La Bahia, Blue Hills, The Chicken Ranch, The Big Red Barn, Marburger and Zapp Hall have been longtime favorite stops of mine. However, as the years have gone by some venues have opened that bring a whole new experience to this small country town. Some quite sophisticated, while still maintaining the mystique and culture of country shopping. Paul Michael’s Market Hill is one of the new shows in town. It is a sanctuary of a shopping experience. Practically speaking, air conditioning, nice bathrooms, credit card terminals, good lighting and healthy food make for a pleasurable experience, while a carefully selected, eclectic group of vendors with beautifully curated booths makes for easy shopping.

 I am always looking for a specific palette and list of items. My palette has expanded from pale pink to raspberry and pale blue to teal. When once I would have only purchased distressed white authentically painted wood, I now have a great appreciation of raw wood, both bleached and darker tones. 

Vintage furniture and prom dresses Ashwell has collected. Photos by Amy Neunsinger and Sarah Pankow

Vintage furniture and prom dresses Ashwell has collected. Photos by Amy Neunsinger and Sarah Pankow

#22 Whispering Trail at the prairie at Round Top. One of the oldest structures on the property, it is a restored old barn. Photos by Amy Neunsinger and Sarah Pankow

#22 Whispering Trail at the prairie at Round Top. One of the oldest structures on the property, it is a restored old barn. Photos by Amy Neunsinger and Sarah Pankow

 With the world becoming so homogenized, it takes both vision and the ability to find unique items to bring beautiful and functional stories to the world. One-of-a-kind vintage beauties are that special “something” that pulls my story together. As a designer, searching for vintage is also my time to find pieces for inspiration whether for color, function or just a starting point for my design work. In the early day of vintage shopping, finding bargains was one of my priorities. But over the years, as it has become harder and more expensive for vendors to find things, today I am mostly appreciative to just find something special. And I can be sure I always will at the antique shows of Round Top, Texas.

Ashwell’s palette has expanded from pale pink to raspberry and pale blue teal. Photos by Amy Neunsinger and Sarah Pankow

Ashwell’s palette has expanded from pale pink to raspberry and pale blue teal. Photos by Amy Neunsinger and Sarah Pankow

 The Outpost at Cedar Creek owned by the artist Lenore Prudhome, was where I stayed 10 years ago on my first visit to Round Top. A labor of love created by Lenore together with Danny Reibeling, it’s nestled in the countryside about six miles from the center of Round Top. It’s a magical property on 50 acres, with several vintage structures, from log cabins to barns and little cottages. Years later, I would buy this wonderful property which then became The Prairie by Rachel Ashwell. The soul of this property is the land. The charm is the buildings. Its transformation was Lenore’s aesthetic to my world of Shabby Chic. I was careful to embrace the Texas culture while the reds became pinks and some the primitive furniture was replaced with worn-down, hand-painted floral tables and cabinets and faded Florentine accents along with twinkly crystal chandeliers complementing rustic light fixtures.  

 This year it was time for this property to start its next chapter with new owner Holly Kuhn of Old Glory. While maintaining the magic and romance of the legacy, The Prairie at Round Top will now be her vision. It will continue to run as a B&B that will host weddings, events and workshops. I am grateful to have passed on this treasure into her hands with Danny still on board. I will continue to stay there when I come to shop the antique shows twice a year, as it would be hard to find anywhere else that offers a more peaceful and inspiring home to return to after a day of shopping in the fields. 

The Urban Cowboy Comes to Town - How Lyon Porter Does Round Top

Photo by Ben Fitchett of the Midnight Rider Suit at Urban Cowboy in Nashville, TN.

Photo by Ben Fitchett of the Midnight Rider Suit at Urban Cowboy in Nashville, TN.

A big red truck pulls into the gravel parking lot. Through a cloud of dust, three doors spring open and out pop three beautiful women in cowboy boots. There is purpose in each step; these girls are on a mission. With them is a man – young, tall, handsome. He points to this chair, that table, those sofas, and the women pick up each item, carry them out and throw it in the back of the truck. When the truck bed is full, they pile in and peel out, leaving just as quickly and deliberately as they had arrived. These people know what they are doing. These people get things done. Come to find out, these people are Lyon Porter, Jersey Banks, Shawna Watterson, and Bobbi Rich a.k.a. Mama Hot Dog. This clearly isn’t their first rodeo, but it was their first trip to Round Top. 

Jersey banks (left) Lyon Porter. Photo courtesy of Lyon Porter

Jersey banks (left) Lyon Porter. Photo courtesy of Lyon Porter

Lyon Porter is a designer, real estate broker and hotelier best known for Urban Cowboy in Brooklyn and Nashville. Urban Cowboy is more than a place to hang your hat. It’s a home-away-from-home for nomadic creatives, an intimate bungalow where artists, thinkers, dreamers and doers arrive with curiosity and leave with inspiration – and new friends. The Brooklyn concept came first in 2014; then followed, in 2016, the eight-room Victorian mansion-turned-B&B in Nashville with a come-as-you-are bar and restaurant called Public House. Entirely self-designed by Lyon, these spaces are thoughtful, intentional and incredibly beautiful. The guest rooms feature intricate woodwork and tilework, rich textiles and striking accents such as clawfoot tubs. There’s a sense of whimsy and play, like the swing on the tree outside of the Victorian mansion. Starting at $350/night, you stay here for the experience – for its magic, in hope a tiny bit rubs off on you.  

The Parlor at Urban Cowboy in Nashville, TN. Photo by Ben Fitchett

The Parlor at Urban Cowboy in Nashville, TN. Photo by Ben Fitchett

What’s next for Lyon is his biggest project to date: a 23-room motel in East Nashville, formerly the 1956 Key Motel. This is what brought him (and his lady gang/design team) to Round Top: a buying trip for the motel. He also had an invitation from his friend Sheila Youngblood to stay at her place, Rancho Pillow, a 20-acre compound with a barn and teepee that’s more fantasy land than boutique hotel. Much like Lyon’s Cowboys, Sheila’s Rancho captures your imagination; it’s a cosmic community where you feel right at home. 

Arriving in Round Top, Lyon describes it as having: “No direction. We were just walking the fields.” Until they found Market Hill.

Jersey Banks, Lyon Porter, Shawna Watterson, and Bobbi Rich on the porch at the Rancho Pillow in Round Top, Tx.

Jersey Banks, Lyon Porter, Shawna Watterson, and Bobbi Rich on the porch at the Rancho Pillow in Round Top, Tx.

 "Market Hill became a home base for us. It was such a warm welcome. Jake [Michael, Paul Michael’s son] took me under his wing and helped me navigate the whole experience. I was immediately in the inner circle. It showed me what kind of community this is.” 

“There was an instant feeling of kindred spirits,” he says. “A sense of friendship with other people who have decided to join the circus.”

“There’s a common bond between people who have eyes for found objects. And who share an affliction for loving these things and giving them up.”

            When asked about his process and decision-making, Lyon says, “I go completely on inspiration. I don’t create a moodboard, because you don’t know what you’ll find. If you go in with a preconceived notion, you may miss something.” 

“I pick by feel,” he adds. “Jersey is good at seeing things that I don’t. I love surrounding myself with strong women. Jersey, Bobbi and Shawna are very unique individuals.” 

 Instead of recalling the 50s-style of the original motel, Lyon is going for a funky, down-and-dirty, 70s vibe complete with a dive bar and a 60-foot swimming pool. Each room will have something he calls a “party on a switch” with music, a disco ball and lava wall. 

In Round Top, Lyon was looking for pieces that were “very specific,” “not so precious” and “a bit beaten up or look like they could stand a beating.”  

Public House, a restaurant inside Urban Cowboy in Nashville, TN. Photo by Dave Krugman

Public House, a restaurant inside Urban Cowboy in Nashville, TN. Photo by Dave Krugman

“I’ve been on a lot of picking trips — Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York — I was not prepared for this. I was like a kid in a candy store. We found so many gems. We filled a 30-foot truck. It’s all sitting in Waylon Jennings’ old staging warehouse, waiting to go into the motel.”   

Among the many gems: an amazing group of couches and a piece of wood art in the likeness of Elvis Presley.

            “It was a wild and fun trip. Exciting, exhilarating and exhausting. We learned some stuff about making this big of a trip. Jake helped me so much, repacking our truck in the back of Market Hill in the middle of a torrential Texas thunderstorm.”

            “It’s a magical town, an amazing experience. We made real friends. We’ll be back in the fall.”  

In the meantime, check out Lyon Porter’s work at lyonporter.com, and the door’s always open at urbancowboy.com. Take a peek inside @urbancowboybnb on Instagram, and Lyon shares personal projects and motel updates in his stories @lyonporter. Hopefully, he'll let us know when the pool is open.  

Around Round Top: Where to Eat, Drink, Shop and Sleep  

With a population of 90, Round Top is one of the smallest Texas towns. Twice a year, in spring and fall, more than 100,000 people descend on this place for the Antiques Fair. In its 50th year, what started as a weekend of antiquing has expanded into two weeks’ worth of shows with vendors lining Highway 237 for 30 miles and into surrounding towns of Warrenton, Rutersville, Fayetteville, Carmine, Brenham and La Grange. Here’s a round-up of what you’ll find in and around Round Top. 

Segar Factory building with loft room at Round Top Inn. Photo courtesy of Round Top Inn

Segar Factory building with loft room at Round Top Inn. Photo courtesy of Round Top Inn


WHERE TO STAY 


Armando Round Top Houses

For more than 35 years, Armando has been a name in fine dining, renowned for the Houston-based Armando’s Restaurant. Armando and Cinda Palacios now invite patrons to travel from River Oaks to Round Top where they have a trio of beautifully restored vacation homes. Dating back to the 1830s, the Winn is the oldest of the three and was the first property Armando purchased on a whim back in 1979. The circa 1880s Bybee Cottage was then acquired from the Bybee Foundation, an organization that preserves German immigrant heritage in Round Top. The Palacios kept the original patina of the place while lovingly adorning the old farmhouse with new amenities and luxe accessories. The Nest was once a 1930s home set in Houston’s West End and is now a Mid-Century Modern, featuring a light-filled space with pop art dotting the walls. Choose from the three homes based on your style at RoundTopHouses.com. 


Black Bird Farm 

A series of historic properties in nearby Fayetteville comprises the Black Bird Farm lodging experience. Here, you’ll find romantic, well-appointed interiors in an early Americana style. Choose from accommodations at the Grand Fayette Hotel, Market Street Inn, Red & White Inn, Bird House, 1850 House, Sealy House or Blackbird Cabins. Herring Hall, the event space, hosts live performances. Take a tour online at BlackBirdTexas.com. 


The Prairie at Round Top 

Formerly the Prairie by Rachel Ashwell, founder of Shabby Chic, the Prairie at Round Top is a new chapter for this 46-acre property dating back to the 1880s. There are five houses on the property. Holly has added her own signature style to the Prairie while keeping design elements added by previous owners, all with the help of dedicated property manager Danny Riebeling. Danny was one of the original contractors who renovated it. His love of this place is evident in every nail and board. He is fun-loving, enjoys hosting guests and cooks a tasty breakfast. Book your stay at ThePrairieatRoundTop.com. 


Rancho Pillow 

This 20-acre compound features multiple overnight options on the property, including four main lodges and a well-appointed, air-conditioned teepee. Each dwelling showcases  hand-picked furnishings, paintings, books of poetry and other thoughtful touches. Outside, there’s plenty of room to roam and make new discoveries, like neon signs, a playground with zip-line, hammocks, bathhouse, swimming pool and a fire pit. Formerly available by invite-only for friends-of-friends, it’s now a more inclusive space where all are welcome to tap into the spirit found here. It’s heartfelt, soulful, mystical and intentional where cool people go and good vibes flow. Feast in the Field is hosted on October 1 and 2. Fantastic chefs prepare the family-style meal served outdoors on the ranch. Purchase your ticket, or book your stay online at RanchoPillow.com. 


The Raleigh 

Shane Brown of Big Daddy’s Antiques offers this 2,650-SF 1890s Victorian farmhouse with a new 30-foot pool and huge deck. It comes equipped with a full kitchen, four bedrooms, including a master suite, and two bathrooms. It sleeps nine people. The interior design is exceptional throughout with a beautiful mix of modern and antiques, and a Paul Michael Company piece or two. Book your stay at Vrbo.com/931462. 


Round Top Inn 

The history of this place is evident in its many existing structures, including the only remaining building from the state’s once thriving cigar industry. Three of the guest cottages are 1880s originals built by prominent Round Top resident Charles Henry Schiege of Schiege Cigar Factory. The property includes the gate house, a collection of farm houses, the little cottage, the loft and other rooms for rent. Explore it for yourself at RoundTopInn.com.  


The Vintage Round Top 

Paige and Smoot Hull developed The Vintage Round Top in 2012 when they opened their first renovated cottage, No. 1450. The 2,400-SF home was designed with sustainability in mind and is comprised of reclaimed materials and vintage finds, creatively repurposed into light fixtures, furniture and decor. In 2016, the second cottage named Boho was built in the style of an industrial farmhouse. Both properties are available for rent. The Hulls also host private parties, weddings, special events and workshops year-round. Be inspired by their modern vintage aesthetic at TheVintageRoundTop.com. 


WHAT’S NEW 


Flophouze – COME ON IN, THE WATER’S FINE 

Flophouze opened its newest addition - the modpool container swimming pool. Photo by Maria Aguirre

Flophouze opened its newest addition - the modpool container swimming pool. Photo by Maria Aguirre

Our favorite “funky little outpost,” Flophouze, opened its newest addition – the modpool container swimming pool. Beat the Texas heat with a dip in the coolest above-ground pool you ever did see. Stay in style in one of the old shipping containers-turned-overnight accommodations. Matt White and his team, Recycling the Past, offer six flophouzes, all accented with salvaged materials, like old bowling alley countertops and original art. Each unit also comes equipped with Chemex coffeemakers, Mexican Cokes and Topo Chico. There are no TVs, instead handpicked vinyl records and books keep you occupied, plus hammocks for kicking back and watching a Texas sunset. If you like your flophouze so much you want to keep it, the company can custom-build one to your specifications and ship it to you anywhere in the world. Also on the property is the Round Top Ballroom. Outfitted with antiques, artifacts and odds and ends from Recycling the Past, it’s a casual space that has hosted farm-to-table dinners, weddings, big parties and intimate gatherings. The Flophouze motto is “Stay Awesome,” and every guest gets a discount to their store to take home a little piece of awesome. Learn more at Flophouze.com. 


Wander Inn – ALL WANDERERS WELCOME 

Wander Inn is designed with comfort in mind. Photo by April Pizana

Wander Inn is designed with comfort in mind. Photo by April Pizana

Previously available only to friends like country singer Miranda Lambert, Junk Gypsies Amie Sikes and Jolie Sikes-Smith have opened their guesthouse to the public. Wander Inn is luxurious but not about luxury. It’s about the land, the road, the magic of Round Top and the feeling of arriving at a place, taking your boots off and staying awhile. Designed with comfort in mind, sink into a velvet sofa or slide into a rocking chair on the porch for views of Longhorns in the pasture and the sun hanging low in the sky. Choose from eight beautifully appointed rooms at Gypsyville.com/wander-inn. 


WHERE TO EAT & DRINK 


The Garden Co.’s Feed and Firewater

An outpost of the original Garden Co. Marketplace & Cafe in Schulenburg, Texas, Feed and Firewater brings fresh ingredients to the table for fun appetizers, bright salads, yummy soups and a variety of creative lunch and dinner options, all in a beautiful bistro-style setting. For a look at the menu, visit thegardencoandcafe.com


Market Hill Restaurant

More than a shopping destination, Market Hill is a fun place to eat, drink and hang out. Open daily during the show, choose from a variety of lunch and dinner specials, including Paul’s famous homemade red sauce and pasta. Market Hill also has live music nightly. Grab a cold beer or glass of wine, and enjoy great music and good times after a day in the fields. 


Mandito’s 

Armando Palacios is a known figure in town with many concepts that contribute to the culture. This is one of them. On any given night, Armando is typically at the classic Tex-Mex restaurant, making the rounds around the room to check on each guest. This place is popular. If you can’t snag a table, it’s just as fun to sidle up to the bar and meet new friends over margaritas. Mandito’s is closed Mondays. Armando’s newest concept is Lulu’s, homestyle Italian cooking in Bybee Square, open for dinner service Thursday, Friday and Saturday. 


Prost on Block 29

An intimate wine bar and shop housed in a stone cottage that happens to be the oldest building in Round Top. Order by the glass, bottle or case (to take home with you), and choose from handmade cheeses, farm-to-table vegetables, tapenades and charcuterie. Sit inside at the bar or at a small bistro table, or hang out on the outdoor patio around the fire pit. Open Thursday, Friday and Saturday. 


Royer’s Round Top Café and Pie Shop 

Burgers, sandwiches and fresh-cut fries are some of the favorites here, but the real star of the show is the pie. Choose from apple, buttermilk, chocolate chip, pecan, cherry, strawberry rhubarb and more. Royer’s famous chicken dinner is served on Sunday from noon until they run out – the chicken is marinated for 24-hours in buttermilk and garlic then hand-battered. It’s served family-style with mashed potato casserole and creamed corn. 


The Stone Cellar & Round Top Dance Hall 

An authentic 1907 Texas dance hall has been relocated to this site. The sign on the door reads, “Must wear boots inside the hall at all times.” Our kind of place, it’s a relaxing wood-fired pizzeria with a variety of craft beer and wine, with  live music every Friday and Saturday. 


WHERE TO SHOP 


Market Hill curates the world’s be antiques, furniture, home decor and decorative arts. Photo courtesy of Market Hill

Market Hill curates the world’s be antiques, furniture, home decor and decorative arts. Photo courtesy of Market Hill

Market Hill 

Open twice a year in the spring and the fall, Market Hill curates the world’s best antiques, furniture, home decor and decorative arts sold by the world’s most interesting cast of vendors. Set in an atmosphere of genuine hospitality and hassle-free shopping, we have 18 vendors showing with a variety of fabulous finds for you to pick through, all housed in a beautiful, air-conditioned facility with lots of free parking, clean restrooms, free Wi-Fi and easy loading areas. The Restaurant at Market Hill serves home-cooked meals, a great selection of beer, wine and other refreshments. We’re open daily from September 19 through October 8. Music was a big hit in the spring, and the fall show will include live music nightly.

Townsend provisions owners have a passion for old relics and handmade goods. Photo courtesy of Townsend Provisions

Townsend provisions owners have a passion for old relics and handmade goods. Photo courtesy of Townsend Provisions

Townsend Provisions 

The large collection of vintage boots is the biggest attraction to this small, well curated shop in Rummel Square. A permanent fixture in town, the store is open year-round, Thursday and Friday from 10 a.m.-6 p.m., and on Sundays from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Owners Nick and Ryann have a passion for old relics and handmade goods – something that runs in the family. Ryann’s mom, Sharon, helps the young couple hunt for vintage treasures for the shop. Nick’s mom, Linda, is the “boot queen” and is often found fitting folks in the famous boot room. Stop by, and make their acquaintance during the fall show. You might just find your new favorite pair of boots while you’re at it. 

Curate by Stash

Another spot open year-round on Rummel Square is Curate by Stash. For more than a decade, Texas brand Stash has been making small, luxe leatherworks in a century-old mattress factory. Founder/designer Cheryl Schulke creates with the intention of mindful production over mass production. Walking into her first retail space in Round Top, it smells of leather and Texas lavender, and feels like a place you never want to leave. As the name suggests, it is artfully curated with a select few pieces from independent designers. 


WHAT TO DO  


The Bugle Boy

Housed in WWII army barracks in La Grange, the Bugle Boy is an intimate concert hall that brings Americana, country, folk, blues and jazz to the stage on Friday and Saturday nights. Coffee, wine and beer are served. Thebugleboy.org. 

Festive Hill concert Hall is a 210-acre campus containing multiple performance facilities. Photo courtesy of Festive Hill Concert Hall

Festive Hill concert Hall is a 210-acre campus containing multiple performance facilities. Photo courtesy of Festive Hill Concert Hall


Festival Hill Concert Hall

Founded in 1971 by world renowned concert pianist James Dick, Festival Hill is a 210-acre campus containing multiple performance facilities, historic houses, gardens, parks and nature preserves. Festivalhill.org. 

Rohan Meadery is Texas’ oldest meadery. Photo by Nathan Lindstrom

Rohan Meadery is Texas’ oldest meadery. Photo by Nathan Lindstrom


Rohan Meadery

Blissful Folly Farm is situated between La Grange, Round Top and Fayetteville in some of the most beautiful countryside in south central Texas. Located here, Rohan Meadery is Texas' oldest meadery, producing one of mankind's oldest fermented libations – mead.  All products that come from here are small batched and homemade onsite. The tasting room is open Thursday through Sunday, noon-6 p.m. Rohanmeadery.com. 


Round Top Family Library

Round Top is the smallest incorporated Texas town to have a public library. It consists of two buildings, the main library in the former Hope Lutheran Church, a 1925 Gothic-style building, and the Rummel Haus, which serves as an activity center. It’s a great local resource, preserving history and offering community programs for kids and adults. Ilovetoread.org. 

The Art of the Paul Michael Company

Driving down from Little Rock to Lake Village, the sky is gray. Clouds droop heavily over the fields like water balloons about to burst. Rain is a welcomed occurrence in late summer in south Arkansas, and the crops all look like they could use it. But we can’t be delayed by this pop-up shower. We are determined to get to our destination: Paul Michael has something to show us: he has started painting.

Paul works on an abstract piece of a tweed style pattern. Photography by Ashlee Nobel and Courtesy of Paul Michael Company

Paul works on an abstract piece of a tweed style pattern. Photography by Ashlee Nobel and Courtesy of Paul Michael Company

We arrive at his office on Main Street a little late, but it doesn’t faze him. He is happy to see us and ready to show us what he’s been up to. As you might expect, his office is unconventional. Vintage circus posters, petrol signs and a collection of antlers hang on the walls. There’s a fireplace and a brick oven, designed by Paul himself, for another one of his passions: baking bread, which is quite the process: The night before, Paul prepares a half-dozen starters. He wakes up at dawn to begin baking. By 2 p.m., there are 140 loaves, still warm from the oven, for the biggest charcuterie board you’ve ever seen with lots of butter, olive oil, meats, cheeses, fruit and wine, to be shared with 30 of his closest friends and family. To be around this table, breaking bread, is one of the more special experiences to be had (and one worth mentioning here), because the man builds, bakes and now he paints.

A truly unique and one-of-a-kind table, this piece features a wood stump recovered from the Mississippi River paired with the sheet steel made in India that has an antique pantina. Photography by Ashlee Nobel and courtesy of Paul Michael Company

A truly unique and one-of-a-kind table, this piece features a wood stump recovered from the Mississippi River paired with the sheet steel made in India that has an antique pantina. Photography by Ashlee Nobel and courtesy of Paul Michael Company

Paul leads us through his office and into an adjacent warehouse space. Previously designated for online order fulfillment, it is apparent that art has taken over. Drop-cloths line the floor. Canvases in various sizes and stages of completion lean against every table.   

Picasso famously said, “Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working.” How inspiration found Paul: he and his wife Debbie (and partner in the Paul Michael Company), were on a work trip in New York in April. They went to all the major art museums and galleries and bought a few paintings. Gaining influence from this trip, Paul says he began thinking of art in his subconscious – something he’d never thought of or dabbled in before.

Celebrating 25 years of business, Paul, Debbie and their staff have continued to do things that separate the Paul Michael Company from others in the industry, including their line of Paul Michael Exclusives, 100% American-made pieces constructed from architectural salvage and reclaimed wood. Works of art in their own ways, these pieces are made by a team of designers and craftsmen at a woodshop in Dermott, Arkansas, open six days a week for designing, developing and manufacturing these original pieces of furniture.

“Being surrounded by all sorts of art has a profound influence on everyone in the shop,” Paul says.

Paloma, the shop cat, hides beneath paul’s agate side tables. Photography by Ashlee Nobel and courtesy of Paul Michael Company

Paloma, the shop cat, hides beneath paul’s agate side tables. Photography by Ashlee Nobel and courtesy of Paul Michael Company

An example of this is a console piece standing against the back wall of his office. Its doors have been replaced with canvases painted by artist Kellee Mayfield.

“There is no limit to creativity. Sometimes you mess up, but you can’t be afraid of it,” Paul says. “In this day and time, art is the source of original creativity. There’s so much knowledge available about the products we sell. It’s difficult to define original art. You can’t Google art. You can Google an artist, but you can’t Google what he’s going to do next,” he says.

“This is the world in which I want to exist. I aspire to be an artist. It allows me to think in a third dimension. ”

Among Paul’s original pieces is an abstract piece in a tweed style pattern. On the canvas are pins strung with twine (“to keep my lines straight”). The lines overlap one another, creating a woven effect.

“What you do is pick a color,” Paul says, reaching for a paintbrush. “It’s soothing, but I only have the attention span for three lines.”

When Paul’s attention turns back to furniture making, he mentions a few new pieces he’d like to show us. Soon, we are on our way to the woodshop in Dermott, about 20 miles away. We make one stop to eat lunch at Paul’s favorite sandwich stand, an Amish store stocked with jams and jellies, fresh baked bread, Georgia peaches and Arkansas tomatoes. After a quick bite, we’re back on the road to Dermott. The clouds have lifted; the sun has come out.

Pulling up to the shop, it’s a very large, impressive operation. There are stacks and stacks of lumber piled high, an entire wall of nails and screws, various tables, chairs, cabinets, lighting fixtures and collections of found objects.

Among these items are several never-before-seen Paul Michael Exclusives coming to Market Hill. These pieces are also works of art. The way he and his team incorporate natural elements into furniture design is part of the creative process.

Paul leads us over to a long, low-slung object with a white drop-cloth over it. He lifts the cloth to reveal a beautiful table made from a slab of centuries-old cypress recovered from the bottom of Bayou Bartholomew in south Arkansas that now sits atop two pieces of Lucite. Paul describes the technology required in order to make such precise and technical cuts in the wood.

A Paul Michael exclusive: a reclaimed piece of cypress from south Arkansas is given a new life atop Lucite. Photography by Ashlee Nobel and courtesy of Paul Michael Company

A Paul Michael exclusive: a reclaimed piece of cypress from south Arkansas is given a new life atop Lucite. Photography by Ashlee Nobel and courtesy of Paul Michael Company

It’s all part of the art of the Paul Michael Company, seeing potential that others cannot and crafting it into a unique vision. Another example of this is a 19th-century floor-length window cornice from France that has been turned into a bookcase, maintaining its original features and flourishes.

These are just a few of the many new designs at the shop being prepared to be shipped to Market Hill.

In addition to the new products arriving this fall, Paul says he’s most excited about what the vendors are bringing.

“I feel fortunate to be a part of this group of people. We will have the best offering of merchandise ever, because of them. We will always strive for the best.”

As for what the future holds and where he sees Market Hill down the road, he says, “We are in the business of something that’s not so easy to understand. We have to foster creativity. We have to create products you can’t get from Amazon, not just unique … original.”

The Restaurant at Market Hill

Chef Preston Higgins. Photo by Lacy Lange and courtesy of Market Hill

Chef Preston Higgins. Photo by Lacy Lange and courtesy of Market Hill

Even the most casual shopper will work up an appetite in Round Top. The Restaurant at Market Hill is open daily for lunch and dinner service, and provides an atmosphere of comfortable dining where you’ll want to sit around the table, share stories from the day, and make new friends. 

When you get to know Paul Michael, you will learn he has a passion for bringing people together. He has a brick oven that he built himself in his office in Lake Village, Arkansas, for baking and breaking bread with family and friends. It’s in this spirit that he wants to host annual pig roasts at Market Hill. Hearing him talk about it, he enjoys the seven-to-eight-hour process and the way people gather around to watch. There’s real curiosity, camaraderie and community around the fire pit. This fall, the restaurant will add a state-of-the-art, stainless steel rotisserie hog roaster.

What you can expect each day at the Restaurant is a similar passion for people and for food. Preston Higgins, chef and owner of Baxter Catering Company in Bastrop, Texas, has 20 years of experience in the industry and takes great pride in his work. Everything prepared in his kitchen at Market Hill is grilled, roasted or smoked (there is no fryer) with the intention of preparing fresh, healthy, delicious meals for Market Hill customers and vendors. 

The special meals to be had here include Paul Michael’s signature whole roasted hog. Photo by Lacy Lange and courtesy of Market Hill

The special meals to be had here include Paul Michael’s signature whole roasted hog. Photo by Lacy Lange and courtesy of Market Hill

Daily lunch specials and dinner offerings include lamb, beef, chicken, fish and vegetables like Brussels sprouts, spinach, broccoli, asparagus and potatoes. 

When you walk up to the counter, go down the line and pick out which items you’d like, you’ll see Chef in the kitchen, working hard with a smile on his face. 

After your plate is made, you move down to the cashier where you can choose from a large selection of beer and wine or sparkling water and other beverages – anything cold sounds good after a day in Round Top – and homemade desserts. Then you find a table – the long tables in the restaurant are set up to be experienced family-style – and enjoy good food and conversation. Meet again at dinner. There’s also live music most nights during the show. Market Hill is more than a shopping destination; it’s a gathering place.

The Market Hill Experience

Driving in from Austin and entering Round Top (population: 90) for the first time, the view from the car window gives you a good idea of the traditional experience that is the Antiques Fair. For 30 miles along Highway 237, the landscape is dotted with Texas bluebonnets, Indian paintbrush, and rows upon rows of big white tents with all kinds of antiques, accents and accessories inside. There’s not a cloud in the sky, as we watch people traipsing through the fields up and down each row while we drive through town making our way to Market Hill. 

Market_hill_ex_sunset.jpg

Upon arriving, the parking lot is packed with cars coming in and out, but there are still spaces available, which shows us just how big and accommodating Market Hill is. Free parking (and plenty of it) is one of many amenities available to shoppers. 

Walking from the car, stepping out of the hot sun and into the air-conditioned space feels like the ultimate luxury, and that’s just the beginning.  

It’s beautiful inside. Entering through the Paul Michael Company, which takes up 11,000-SF of the space, it makes a wonderful first impression with original art on the walls, agate-topped tables, large cow hides, brightly colored sofas and plush pillows. The remainder of the 130,000-SF is mostly dedicated to the 18 vendors inside. Each room is well appointed and staged with the best lighting, antiques, accessories, rugs and art we’ve ever seen in one place. Each vendor is present and patient, eager to talk to you about any of their pieces and answer any questions you may have. 

Walking through the main breezeway, there is a sitting area with red velvet sofas called Pinky’s Bubble Lounge where you can sit and sip Champagne, which, of course, we did. The Restaurant at Market Hill is serving a variety of lunch options and a large selection of beer and wine. Chef Preston is in the kitchen, pulling a tray of potatoes from the oven. People are sitting around long tables, sharing stories, enjoying their meal and the comforts of this place. We grab a plate lunch, a couple of glasses of rosé and join them. 

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The word that comes up most often when vendors describe Market Hill is the experience.

“I believed in Paul’s concept of bringing comfort to the Round Top experience,” Ender Tasci of The Elephant Walk says of his friend Paul Michael. “Our venue provides an incredible amount of the most reputable dealers with their exceptional selection of merchandise. Our climate-controlled showrooms, food and all the other amenities make it a refuge for so many people visiting Round Top,” he says. 

Susan Horne agrees and describes how much easier it is on vendors, “As a vendor at Market Hill, the experience that Paul Michael has created for us is amazing in so many ways. Our containers arrive right to our space and Market Hill provides help with the unloading, the installation of lighting, the placement of heavy items and so much more. The support I receive during and after the set-up takes the stress out of doing a show. It really is enjoyable! I am thrilled to be able to have a presence at a unique, friendly and beautiful destination such as Market Hill.”

  “I never dreamed that a venue like this could exist here in Round Top,” says Stephanie Wheeler, fine art painter and Market Hill vendor. “But Paul Michael did! And thank goodness for that! My customers have really appreciated all of the creature comforts that our venue has to offer. From wonderful food options to easy parking and of course A/C, Paul Michael and his team help in every way possible to deliver a fantastic experience for the shopper as well as the vendors.”  

Vikki Vines of Gallery Auctions adds, “This is the most well-planned building! It is perfectly suitable to buyers and vendors. The management has a special vision. They are

leaders in creating an environment that is appealing, provides all amenities from the food, the lighting, the parking, the late shopping – the complete experience.”

Market Hill is open daily and offers lunch and dinner service at the restaurant. There is live music nightly. Paul is also doing a pig roast during the show; he is even building his own equipment for it. For Paul, it’s about bringing people together, feeding them, entertaining them and showing them genuine hospitality. This is the Market Hill experience. 


Hours 

Open daily 

9 a.m.-9 p.m.

September 19-October 8

Location and contact info:

1542 Highway 237

Round Top, TX 78954

customerservice@paulmichaelhome.com

800-732-3722