This year I went to Round Top, Texas to find the best vintage and antique items to use in our projects! We got so many questions, so I thought it was time to put together a little guide!
How to Get There:
- Fly into Austin or Houston. I have always flown into Austin, rented a car and driven from there.
When to go + how long to stay:
I like to go sometime during the week before the official antiques week. Look at when Marburger is open and schedule around that. I am a person that does everything fast, so I can see what I need in 2 days (not including travel). That said, you could easily stay for a week wandering through it all.
Where to stay:
This place is really cool but I have never planned ahead of time enough to stay there. I would start by looking here!
How to ship:
There are several companies that can pick up your stuff from all the vendors, pack and ship it to you. This ain't cheap, but it sure is convenient. Try Distinguished Transport or Uship!
It would be a good idea to fly down and drive a U-Haul home if that was an option. If you do that, be prepared to be lifting and loading stuff in yourself (so bring some muscle)! If you want to go, experience it all, and just take home smaller pieces, I would put it into your rental car and take it to FedEx.
- To Negotiate. Nothing is labeled. Be prepared to ask, chat, and then discuss price. I'm terrible at negotiating price, but this is part of the experience!
- With cash and checks. Yes, it might be 2018 but very few vendors take cards!
- Wear comfortable shoes, lightweight/comfy clothing, bring sunscreen, and a light rain jacket and rain boots. If it rains on you (it happened just last month for me), you'll be slogging through fields of mud. Bring water and snacks!
- Bring a tape measure.
- I find that we have success when we have a list of potential places for vintage pieces and come prepared with measurements.
- Royers is the iconic Round Top restaurant famous for their pies. It's teeny, always packed, and they are only open for dinner. Go in and get a reservation before you do any shopping.
- Lulu’s is a new upscale restaurant in town that’s set in an old building with the most beautiful chipping plaster walls.
- I've always been in such a hurry to pack in the shopping that I bring snacks and water with me some places (like The Compound) have food trucks!
Take a break (and go to the restroom):
I'm crazy and refuse to go in port-a-potties. When you're in fields, this can be an issue. If you're like me, plan accordingly:
This is the the kind of place that you're guaranteed to find something beautiful and get a few really great Instagram photos while you're at it. There are several buildings on the property each with different vendors.
The Neal Barn is occupied by Old World Antieks and has a very beautiful European aesthetic. They have a mix of large furniture pieces and some small decor accents as well. This is not a place you really have to sift through and the prices reflect that of a well-curated antique shop. I've purchased and seen work tables, doors, armoires, mirrors, and baskets here.
Eneby Home is in The Carriage House and it is just so cool inside and out. This is a must stop for me. It's filled with killer modern pieces like safari chairs, mid-century credenzas, old maps, and leather sofas. It smells like incense and they're always playing good music.
The other buildings on the property house multiple vendors in each which of course means they are hit and miss, but still worth a walk through.
This is a good spot if you need a break from the heat as this is a large indoor venue with multiple vendors and a/c. You'll find a well-curated selection of furniture, art, rugs, and indoor/outdoor decor. If you're there to find higher-end pieces and don't want to do as much digging, this is a great place to spend some serious time. Bobo Intriguing Objects has a spot here and they're one of my favorites to visit because they merchandise everything in a really cool way. They also have a little restaurant here.
Marburger is an EXPERIENCE. You will be hot and may suffer from visual overload, but you should definitely do it. This is one of the few places that has an entrance fee. You'll also have to pay for parking if you don't want to walk very far. Basically, it's a big field filled with row after row of tents with different vendors. Some are good and some aren't.
There is just so much there that you are bound to find something. We have purchased everything from antique fireplace mantels, artwork, little stools, mirrors, bowls, rolling pins, and a lot more here. Be prepared to spend a large part of your day here.
A lot of vendors with a wide range of styles and there is a lot to dig through here. I found the experience to be somewhat similar to Marburger but on a smaller (and more manageable) scale without the entrance fee. The eclectic nature of the venue means a real mix of good and not so good!
Excess 1 & 2:
I love this place. It gives you a real Round Top experience with the tin roofs and vendors overflowing with stuff. There is a lot of junk and a lot of amazing to be found here. You'll go to one space that has pretty styling and stacks of beautiful bread bowls next to someone who is selling a Santa sleigh and 30 boxes filled with old buttons and keys. It's a little more work to dig through, but I found the prices to be better here than many of the more curated places. My advice: just wander through it all and you'll score big!
Rows of pretty white tents with curated and styled booths. Everything here leans more pretty than modern or industrial. They have everything from furniture to piles of textiles - some old and some new.
The Big Red Barn:
They open for a really specific amount of time, so check first. They also require an entrance fee. It is row after row of small booths. There is good stuff here - we've purchased everything from benches, botanical prints, crocks, signs, and even turquoise jewelry.
This is a town, not a vendor. The road is lined with tent after tent after tent of lawn ornaments and junk, but it's usually where the lowest prices are. I would only go here if you have the time and are on a really tight budget. Otherwise, I would drive really slowly and look to see if there are any vendors carrying lots of what you are looking for specifically (like old doors or planters).
You can find them here! Another designer favorite.