Today I’m updating one of my very first and very favorite crushes, the beloved Antique Show venue commonly referred to as “Arbor” or “Arbors” or “The Arbors” or “Arbor Field” or “The Pretty Field with the White Tents and Pandora, You Know The One”. The official name is really best though. It’s at the top of this post and rightly includes the words International and Interior Design.
I’ve taken so many photos at Arbor over the years. The ones I’ve posted here are not necessarily of current or even recent items available. I chose them because together I think they express Arbor’s unique vibe of softness|sophistication|luxuriousness|authenticity. Walking through the tents here never fails to calm me down – and not just because I often start my visit with a complimentary hand massage at Pandora’s sweet-smelling, air-conditioned space!
There’s a bit of everything here – it’s a big venue – but Arbor is where I’m sure to send people who’ve asked me where to find a few specific things: bedding, fine art, rugs, garden/outdoor and furniture for real life.
The people behind Arbor have also been real pioneers in the development of the experiential side of the Show. So if you’re smart enough to be in Round Top for shopping and the special events like live music and food trucks and jewelry pop-ups and after hours nights and celebrity shoppers and book signings, I’d send you here for all that too. Have fun y’all!
It’s showtime and on cue my The Crush List mailbox has been filling up with reader questions asking all kinds of things about how and where and when to shop. I’m sharing a few Q’s and their A’s below and throwing in an assortment of photos from my files for visual flair. If I’m lucky, a bunch of you will be inspired by this post to click CONTACT ME with questions of your own.
“My Question: Where can I find vintage fabric esp. chenille and flour sacks.”
Nice and to the point. Here’s my (just as nice I think but) definitely more meandering reply.
Hi! I think your best bet for fabrics is Warrenton.You can find sources all over, but I’d start there. Ask around for where the grain sack booth is. There are also few spots I can think of with huge tables piled with vintage linens/quilts/etc. One is at Vintage Laundry at Texas Rose field, one is at the back of Bar W Field and one is in the old Sterling McCall building in Warrenton, next to the Chicken Ranch. Also, LaBahia has a nice high end vintage fabric dealer inside. Hope those help! Good luck!
I appreciated all of the info you shared on your blog about coming to Round Top! So for a first timer, coming the week of March 21st-25th, would that be a good idea? I have had a hard time finding a place to stay the week of the 28th and thought if we came the week before it may be a better idea and less crowds. Do you think there will still be plenty set out for us to see the earlier week?
I have a real soft spot for the first timer. That’s my excuse for this overanswer. It came from my soft spot.
As you can see, you’ll have plenty to see. I’d do one day Mon or Tues at Blue Hills/Chelsea’s Meadow/McLaren/Texas Rose and then the other at Clutter/Excess/The Fields(meaning Bar W, North Gate/Tin Star). But feel free to write your own script :).
Pretty much everything will open up Wednesday. Heads up though, you may find some of the venues that say they’ll open Wednesday will have dealers up and selling before that (Arbors for example). You won’t be around for Marburger, but that’s OK. It’s like the biggest best antique mall you ever went to, and you can plan to see it next time.
Food-wise, be sure to hunt down the Texas Pizza Wagon, especially if you’re feeling overwhelmed and need a quiet time out. It’s just down 954 behind Excess a bit.
I’m doing marketing for Prost wine bar in downtown Round Top so I’ll say stop in there for sure, although I’d say it anyway because it’s truly very nice and a hub of the action. Los Patrones in downtown RT is a great spot to see Rachel Ashwell eating enchiladas or just to feel in the middle of things. The raspberry iced tea at Pie Haven in Henkel Square can be a lifesaver, as can a frozen lemonade from the various Warrenton fields. And if you pick up food to go, pull into the grounds of Festival Hill and have a picnic. It’s open to the public 24/7 and such a magical place.
I think I’m starting to sound like a crazy cat lady, so I’ll stop with the random tips! Hope you have a fantastic visit and I’m always thrilled to get updates on how your trip is going and questions as you go.
My Question: What is the best route from Houston? We are going March 24-27 and want to know the best shows since we are building a reclaimed wood and stone farmhouse with industrial elements to it. Is Marburger farms open at that time? Can you suggest where we look for some rather large pieces?
This reader included a photos of great pieces she already has, plus a couple of things she’s hoping to find. Here’s my answer, followed by the pics of what she’s looking for, in case you see them. Email me and I’ll email her.
Hi! Thanks for writing — I’ll do my best to answer your questions. First the easy one. The Marburger Farm venue doesn’t open until Tuesday, March 29. But no worries, there will be more than you ever dreamed of seeing open for business on the 24-27 dates.
I think most people take 290 from Houston and then turn south on 237. If you’re starting from the south or west ends of town you may prefer I-10 to 71 to 153. Someone from Houston mentioned just the other day how much time they saved using the Grand Parkway toll road, so if that seems useful it sounded like a smart route.
Where to shop for light industrial! I’d suggest you stop at Blue Hills, especially ReCoop Designs and Loblolly next to the BBQ deck for pulley lights. ExCess and ExcCess Two across the street will have amazing things – Ken Bizzell and Demir at Nomadic Trading are favorites, but it’s all good. Try The Compound venue, especially for Old World Antieks, Eneby, ReWorks and Pascal. The Arbor venue has some vendors you may like – a Restoration Hardware lookalike vendor, good rugs, good fine art. McLarens has soooo much inventory, so if you see the Red British Phone Booth pull in!
All of the above are great for quality and lots of selection. If you want bargains, North Gate and Bar W fields may have better prices. I think the vendors at the southernmost end of Warrenton in theTreeHouse Park area have good deals too.
You’ll no doubt discover your own favorites and others I’m forgetting. Please write again if I can help in any way. Enjoy — and let me know how it goes if you get a chance!
Hello, I just joined your blog I Love Roundtop the town and the surrounding area I visit as often as I can. Of course I am going to go to the Antiques market as I always do but I really want to try new places I am so glad I found your crush list. I would really appreciate a map or directions so that I may find them easier. Thanks so much.
I loved all the love for the blog, but this question stings a bit since it points out that my posts aren’t always that good at offering useful information. You know what I mean. I get sidetracked way out of the way and as I’ve confessed before, I sometimes even make things up.
Thanks so much for reading The Crush List!
I try to give a general sense of where my crushes are, and there is usually a link at the top of each post to their website/FB page, etc., but I will definitely take your suggestion and try to give better directions or mark them on a map somehow.
There are two publications putting out maps for every show. Round Top Register’s is more general and Show Daily’s is super comprehensive. The Show Daily will be available all over the RT area, especially at places like restaurants and major venues. There’s a link to the new Show Daily issue via online reader, and the maps are there, but I find the actual printed magazine much easier to use.
Round Top shoppers have to be careful. We see it all. Every single decor trend imaginable, past, present and future, over and over through the creative eyes and outrageous imaginations and merchandising skills of multiple dealers. It’ll warp you. And make you a little meh about what at the moment the rest of the world is quite thrilled by. Wasps nests? So three shows ago. Macrame? Really, you’re still there?
No one wants to be that guy.
So let’s cast aside our inner know-it-alls and celebrate with clear eyes and full hearts a bunch of the trends that popped up all over the show this fall by looking around the artful Marburger Farm booth of Two Vagabond Vintage. They’re a great example of the ‘next generation’ dealer, offering a perfectly perfect mix of goods in a fun, sophisticated space full of unexpected moments. I’ll call out a few trendy bits as we go, and you can hunt down a few more on your own.
First up, numbered items and repurposed industrial mirrors and wood discs and bedspring art and architectural pipe-type-things and tarnished silver and scales and feathers.
Next up? Funky old phones, well traveled luggage, cowry shell art, seed bags, cots, dress forms, floral frogs, rope, vintage 40’s florals and coconut husk thingies.
But before we go on, let’s take a moment to learn that Ford Motors’ Focus Electric car is made out of all kinds of recycled materials, and in fact, “Wheat straw, coconut husk, and other plant fiber-reinforced plastic are used for vehicle storage bins and interior door panels.” Who knew?
Cubbies, especially hand-labeled cubbies were so big this show. I could do a whole post with the photos I got from various booths. OK, maybe I will.
Ditto cotton stalks, which are apparently the latest in rustic country wedding bouquets. Nice! One of my classic favorites, chippy peely turquoise anything, is back in a big way (if it ever left), and one of my new favorites has got to be the well-worn dinged-up and doodle-etched school desk/work table.
Plaid!!! Sailboats. Not-your-everyday taxidermy. Burlap. Old books with good personality. And lots of fun ephemera. Which, as we knew it would cause that’s who we are, brings us right back around to cubbies and numbered things and feathers.
Randy gets around. And back around. And around again. New Jersey to Texas to California to Alabama to New Jersey and then up and down and around again from there. He’s a true backroads traveler and one of the most enjoyable Instagramsters I follow. During the Antique Show he somehow manages to come to a complete stop for a few weeks to set up shop at the Texas Rose Field. His funky little building is a curiosity cabinet of of carefully picked and plucked travel souvenirs that reflect his idiosyncratic take on the world. What a Wunderkammer!
Have you ever heard of a Flux Kit? Maybe you call it a Fluxus Box. Maybe? I got all worked up a few years ago when I stumbled upon the mazy details of the 1960’s NYC art world’s Fluxus Movement. As you might expect of a 1960’s NYC art movement, it encompassed life’s entire enchilada: art, music, film, architecture, culture, commerce, performance art, publishing, Yoko Ono, John Cage, Marcel Duchamp, clear plastic suitcases, and a ‘let’s switch our clothes during the ceremony’ wedding.
If The Jersey Picker’s slightly subversive, terrifically exuberant art-is-what-is assemblages tickle your fancy you might want to take a little Google Voyage yourself through the absolutely fascinating and inspirational Fluxus landscape. It’s a long and deep road that’ll take some time to travel and I know you may be kind of busy right now, so just so I don’t leave you hanging, distracted all day wondering what the heck a Flux Kit is, here’s just a snippet of the Wikipedia description:
The second flux-anthology, the Fluxkit (late 1964), collected together early 3D work made by the collective in a businessman’s case, an idea borrowed directly from Duchamp’s Boite en Valise. Within a year, plans for a new anthology, Fluxus 2, were in full swing to contain Flux films (with hand held projectors provided), disrupted matchboxes and postcards by Ben Vautier, plastic food by Claes Oldenburg, FluxMedicine by Shigeko Kubota, and artworks made of rocks, ink stamps, outdated travel tickets, undoable puzzles and a machine to facilitate humming.
To complete my run of posts on the topic of ‘Which Field/Venue/Show is Best?’ I thought I’d try something new. We’re in the middle of the Fall 2015 Show (the Thursday before Marburger) and since I took the day just poking around wherever the minivan seemed to want to go, I thought a recap of my day would be a good way for me to share a bunch of fields with you. Some of these vendors and spaces will become official crushes later on, but for now I’m going to fly through a timeline with nothing more than tiny photo captions. Grab a bottle of water and hop in the passenger seat. We’re going to the Show, The Crush List style.
Antiques on the Square in Fayetteville: The Approach
Antiques on the Square in Fayetteville: I wish someone would hire me to name colors.
Antiques on the Square in Fayetteville: Or to name forest animals.
Antiques on the Square in Fayetteville: Camelpalooza
Antiques on the Square in Fayetteville: The card reads, “Have you seen my Honey Bear?”
Out the window: Right down the road from Haw Creek Cemetery
Next stop, Burton, TX: The Secret Town
Burton, TX: No it’s not too early for lunch.
Burton, TX: Meal deal!
Burton, TX: First in line.
Burton. TX: Map on the wall.
Burton, TX: What to do with the $2 change.
Burton, TX: Ta dah!
Downtown Burton: Get sidetracked by the thrift store in the old grain mill.
Burton: Can’t get enough of the story or the stuff.
Burton: Bought the brass sailboat ashtray but not the smirky man cup.
Fly across the street to Flown the Coop. Note that this is my third canoe today.
Flown the Coop: Chat with Tiffany and Carolyn while drinking in the space.
Flown the Coop: Day’s getting away from me!
Flown the Coop: So many moments here. I promise I’ll do a full crush post soon.
Yippy Skippy it’s La Bahia set up day and some of the booths are up already!
La Bahia Set Up: Could spend all day imagining cushion fabric for these.
La Bahia Set Up Day: And isn’t this lil pumpkin right on color trend?
La Bahia Set Up Day: Coming back on Opening Day tomorrow for the full effect.
One last quick stop! The Show in downtown Round Top. A truly fantastic field.
The Show: Love these Richard Rockford collage pieces.
The Show: And I’ll put a pair of lovebirds on it every time.
The Show: Whew! I think we’ve earned our afternoon nap. Going to rest a bit before meeting friends for wine at Prost! Thanks for coming with!
This is the second post of my Field Showcase Series in which I attempt to help you decide where when and how to shop the Show. Last week we were earlybirds in The Fields. Now it’s time to get started for real, and since we have to start somewhere we’ll start where my minivan seems to take me more often than not. Blue Hills.
We should try to arrive around 9:30am. Morning is golden time! There’s a damp chill in the air that will be long hot gone by noon. We’re dewy golden too; showered and bright-eyed (thanks to our travel mug of Folgers Half Caf and that cream cheese kolache) and ready to see every single thing there is to see!
Welcome to pretty Blue Hills Field. There’s so much to like about this spot. It’s beautifully designed and tidy and a nice manageable size. It’s the perfect place meet up with a shopping buddy. And the parking’s free. There’s a nice clean potty paddock with plywood stalls back there. And look how many Crush List crushes are here! The Fall 2015 Show should be especially exciting at Blue Hills because some of the long time regulars have moved on to other fields so it’ll be fresh and full of new things to discover.
Quick aside while we’re on that subject: Hey, you old time hugely famous and popular and super loved fields. You know who you are. Here’s an idea of mine that may cause dealer riots, or a shoppers revolt, or at the very least a whole tornado of angst and drama but I’m going to suggest it anyway.
Move everyone around!
Yes, move ’em around! Put all your dealers’ names in a box and draw them out randomly and assign everyone a new spot. Yes, really. The pot could stand a little stirring. A little zest. A little creative zhuzh. Don’t worry, we’ll figure out where our favorites are and along the way we’ll give a new look to those booths we’ve learned to skip past/look over/pass by. Isn’t this an industry based on a love for redecorating? Redecorate!
OK, here we are. Back to what makes Blue Hills the center of my Show and why it might should be the center or at least the start of yours.
Looking for lighting? It’s one of the things Blue Hills does best. There are booths with industrial blown glass fixtures or custom pulley lights or one of a kind perfect-for-your-sunroom lamps or delicately reworked iron fixtures or a whole ceiling’s worth of vintage chandeliers. Buy your lighting at Blue Hills.
Are you at the Show because you’re right now at this minute furnishing with a purpose and need to find well-priced up to date pieces of both the old and new variety? Blue Hills is your place. There’s a booth just for painted furniture. A real good rug spot. Pascal’s super chic Four Hands style furniture. The maps and paper ephemera place. The booth with endless options for country chic duvets and pillows. That whole run of dealers along the back of the original field with country armoires and cabinets and dining tables. Adele’s fine art. The deckhouse full of Asian bits. All the good Euro in the new part. The dealer at the very end with fun classics like old wooden sleds…
You get the idea. This is high end merch that you want in your home, all pleasantly pulled together by professional real deal dealers. And while it may not sound right first thing in the morning, the Methodist Men’s chopped BBQ beef sandwich with chips and an iced tea is the iconic Antiques Show meal!
In this random list of my very favorite things about my very favorite place I’ve tried to capture the area’s special pieces and parts. Some are big deal, some are small gestures, some are legendary and some are just tiny pip and squeak.
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