The Herrings are well-known around these parts as gifted creators, collectors, promoters, and presenters of their own and others’ artistic endeavors. Their Red & White Gallery in Fayetteville is the headquarters for most of those activities, but that one fabulous vintage building isn’t nearly enough space for all they’ve got going on. Today I’m taking you around their Blackbird Farm which does multi-duty as the Herring’s home, a BnB property, a gallery/event space, a music venue and an incredible art and framing studio.
Let’s start with the cedar-iffic Blackbird Cabins, loaded with folk art and posh amenities.
Did you just say, “Wait a minute there, what the heck is that?” Well it’s just what it looks like, a huge fantastic photo of Nina Levy’s Big Baby sculpture made of resin, fiberglass and auto paint.
Next we walk past the pond to the Herring Hall Gallery and Event Center. Live music performances, exhibits, private parties, just squint a little and I’m sure you can see it all happening.
That last piece (and the blue shadow box house in the cabins) is by an outsider artist I also collect, Missionary Mary Proctor. We have one of her famous Doors like the one above and a Fat Lady Sings painting, both acquired decades ago at an art fest in South Florida. What a fun surprise to see her work way out in rural TX.
Finally, we’ll go to the Herring’s private studio/framing workshop/dreamiest creative space ever. Half of the wonder is in the incredible architecture and volume of the barn itself, the other half is in the incredible collection of things. Y’all can sleep in the cushy beds over in the cabins, I’ll just sleep on the floor here.
You may recognize the players in this story because they’re both crushes already; The Rendezvous and Old World Antieks. Whether you do or don’t, no matter, I think you’ll enjoy the tale and the photos. Here’s how it goes:
Once upon a time a few months ago, Gina put up three tiny cabins on her Rendezvous property and commenced to decorating them. But three cabins turned out to be a lot of cabins, so she got to thinking… and then invited Brian and Amy from Old World over for a friendly night of poker and strawberry shortcake. A good time was had by all, until finally Amy called ‘last hand.’ No one’s sharing the details from there, but in the end Brian and Amy were out by the pond decorating the heck out of one of Gina’s cabins with treasures from their warehouse and showroom in La Grange.
OK. All that is probably a big fat lie. I have absolutely no idea how this wonderful creative collaboration/debt payoff came to be. Again, no matter, the spaces are beyond fabulous and I’m already jealous of the lucky shoppers who’ll nab them for the next Show. (If you want that to be you, contact Gina through her website at the top of the post).
First up are photos of the cabin decorated by Brian and Amy at Old World. I’m going to start with a tour of the interior, but be prepared for the exterior shot. If all this goodness can fit in there, just imagine what we could get into your proper house or apartment!
Isn’t the outside shockingly modest? To be fair, we should remember that I was clomping around in sticky mud stealing a peek at the cabins in their unfinished state. I’m sure some darling soft and hardscaping will be coming along as a final touch. But even with the mental airbrushing of a big old horse statue and a bunny cart and an amazing concrete aviary and lots of happy roses, it’s still wild to see how much can be done inside the walls of a homely pre-fab shed.
If you can stand more amazingness, here’s one of Gina’s. So fine.
I could love this place because it’s steps away from so many of my other Round Top crushes. Or because the folks here are so special. But my favorite thing about the Round Top Inn is that it’s so darn stylish. If you ever wondered what the “Round Top Look” is, this is it. So while you scroll through the pics, I’m going to take a page from The Interior Style Hunter’s Instagram feed and just rattle off all the things I like and want to be sure you see. You in? OK, here we go:
Biggest tree ever. Perfect yellow exterior paint color. Perfect Texas sky color. Pathways. Split rail fencing. A squirrel catcher on the bird church.
French doors. Black on white. A crock on rock.
Shiplap ceiling. Pillows on a pew. An interior mailbox. Casual flowers. The big bay window with a view of the longhorns across the highway. A wishin’ well. Rows of white mugs.
A touch of France. Gray on white. Bavarian grain sacks on squiggles. Fresh lilies. Cable TV with a remote. Sunshine through the windows. Complimentary issues of Sweet Paul. Shiplap walls. A deep spool chair with a twisted barley floor lamp. The under the stairwell candelabra. (Did any of you see that episode of Amazing Race?)
The mod moment! A bedside hat beside a striped headboard with nailhead trim. Lots of linen. Lots of pillows. Lariat chairs with belt buckle lumbars. A huge mirror above the headboard. Those dear deer.
Lots of lavender! The kilim square pouf. An eyelet bedskirt. The framed scarf. A super tall headboard on a narrow bed.
And finally, the baths. The sad raincloud window. The linen tuffet chair. The vessel farm-style sink. The pocket door. The oystershell mirror. The marble backsplash. And most of all… the get-your-heart-racing-oh-my-gosh-you-scared-me Welcome Ram!
Way one: Anyone who’s anyone knows about the Antiques Show. And from what I’m hearing, pretty much every one of those anyones is going to be coming to the Spring Show this year. (I’m thinking of spearheading a fundraiser for the construction of a charming Segway/rollerblade/electric bike/rickshaw trail along Hwy 237; holler if you want to be on my committee).
Way two: The completely adorable Junk Gypsy TV stars really do live here all the time, not just when their camera crew is around. We all love y’all!
The Prairie’s country luxe vibe feels gracious and gentle and rather Englishy, but there’s also a low hum of California cool around the place, all topped off with the sweet twang of Texas. If you’re there during the show, sign the guest book in the Rangers Lounge, but then go peek in the Pearl Barn. That’s where Rachel and her team store their found treasures before they’re carted away to Tokyo and New York and beyond.
Have you seen The Trip and The Trip to Italy? I hope so, and if you have, I’m guessing you’re intrigued by the whole notion of hopping into a tiny convertible with a somewhat close friend to spend the weekend in a charming locale with luxurious accommodations and interesting food options. Steve and Rob traveled the Yorkshire Dales and the Amalfi Coast, supposedly to critique the local cuisine, but I don’t remember hearing them say anything more profound about their extravagant meals than “mmm quite good.” Since Eurotravel might be a bit of a stretch for most of us, I’m going to make the case for a weekend at the Market Street Inn in Fayetteville, TX. Charming town, check. Luxurious accommodations, check. Interesting food options, Czech. Haha! That kolache joke came out nowhere and surprised even me!
The Inn’s owners, Joan Herring and Mary Quiros, are artists and collectors. Creative furnishings and unexpected works of art are part of what make their rooms feel anything but stufty.
And on a final note: One of the true tests of any BnB is its baths and I’m going to give the Market Street Inn straight A’s. Here are a couple of photo details, but you’ll have to visit yourself to experience the huge walk-in pebble tile shower.
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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