Every spring and fall, my design team and I make a routine pilgrimage to Round Top, a small art town in the heart of Southeast Texas that just so happens to host the largest antiques fair in the country twice a year. Round Top Antiques Fair is the place to go for great vintage finds. It’s fun, sprawling, sometimes overwhelming – but always rewarding. Much of the vintage furniture and decor that I use to furnish my projects around the country, from proper hotels to my home in Malibu, is found at Round Top. They bring soul and history to each project in a way that new furnishings never could, and that’s what makes them special. This is the core of what I do.
Round Top exists as a place for us to find the beauty in all things vintage, used, and beloved. If you’re planning a trip to the Lone Star State to discover your very own antique treasures this year, keep reading for my recommendations on where to stay, eat, and play in Austin.And A creative cultural center just 1 hour 30 minutes northwest of Round Top.
where to stay
In town, the Austin Proper Hotel is of course my go-to. Many of the old furnishings that you see throughout the hotel, were actually found on the Round Top, so it will get you in the mood for a treasure hunt and maybe spark some ideas. It is perfect for those who want more of a luxury experience. You can use Proper as a home base from which to explore the city, or pop into Verbena Spa for some much needed R&R after Round Top. Saint Cecelia is another great option to stay in Austin if you’re looking for more of a boutique experience.
If you manage to book a room in time, staying at Round Top is really fun because you’re completely immersed in the culture of Southeast Texas, surrounded by beautiful farms and ranches. Rancho Pad is my favorite place to stay in town. It’s warm, whimsical, and full of soul. Sheila Youngblood, owner and designer, is a personal friend of mine. She has created an experience unlike anything else you will find in the area. Staying here feels like an extension of Round Top, as it’s full of eclectic finds and treasures.
Where to eat
For an experience with great design and delicious Mexican cuisine, go to Coming in downtown Austin. Tom Kundig designed the sleek and modern space, with an indoor outdoor patio that takes you outside of the busy urban environment. Suerte is another great restaurant located in the creative district of East Austin. The seasonal menu is inspired by the time, an essential ingredient in Mexican cooking. It is one of my favorite places to eat in town. Aesthetically, it is also perfect. For dessert, I always head to Amy’s Ice Cream or Lammes Candies after dinner. Both are staples in Austin.
Where to explore
There is a wealth of creativity in Austin, so it’s easy to get your cultural fix. I love visiting Ellsworth Kelly’s Austin The installation is at the Blanton Museum of Art. The stone building features many beautiful stained glass window arrangements, which create this wonderful, luminous screen in the all-white interiors. I am really obsessed with this spot.
Finally, you can’t visit Austin without trying on some cowboy hats! Head to Allens Boots—a historic store in Austin—for a custom hat. They will fit and bend it for you instantly. My favorite is the Dallas Fort Worth style!
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