**Friends, my home is filled with fabulous flea market finds, and somebody is noticing: my SECOND feature in Better Homes and Gardens’ Best of Flea Market Style is coming out April 12! Look for your copy and see how I’ve used vintage treasures throughout my own home!**
While you’re waiting, here’s my insider’s guide to Round Top flea market shopping:
As an interior designer, one of the most common questions I get asked is, “How do you stay looking so young?”
Oh. Wait. That’s not right.
It is actually, “Where are your favorite places to shop?”
While I love frequenting local merchants like Dove’s Nest and Velvet Angel in our adorable downtown Waxahachie, Texas, I venture out twice each year to hit the mecca of flea markets called “Texas Antique Week” located in Round Top, Texas.
There is a bit of mystery surrounding this week and rightly so, because to the uninitiated, it can a bit confusing:
-it stretches over an official span of a week (this year it’s April 1-6), but includes weeks before and after.
-it is not actually in a specific location, but includes numerous towns in the area of Round Top.
-it is difficult to find a place to stay in Round Top proper, since the town’s population is about 90.
-also you must know that cell service is just a tad better than being buried underground.
-and…it can be hard to find any bathroom that, um, cannot be carried away on a truck.
However, friends, do not let these small oddities deter you! If you can soldier through the little inconveniences, it will be absolutely the BEST, MOST UNIQUE SHOPPING EXPERIENCE you will ever find ANYWHERE!
I kid you not, Round Top is GREAT! So here’s the skinny on the ultimate fleamarketpalooza:
Generally, (and only generally), the spring show is the first weekend of April and the fall show is the first weekend of October. The bigger sales within the show have different start and end times, so almost no matter when you go, different sellers will be open.
But it doesn’t really matter, because unless you stay the entire two weeks of the show, you cannot POSSIBLY see it all! Think Canton’s First Monday on steroids X 100 X the number of Friends reruns on TBS.
Now, for your visit, I recommend starting by finding a hotel room in an area in the surrounding 20-30 miles of Round Top (like Brenham or La Grange). Most people stay this far out since the towns are larger and have numerous hotels, and it’s just a quick jaunt to the shopping area in Round Top. If you would like to stay closer to the show, there are B&B’s in town but you will pay a premium during the weeks of the show. (However, for the rabid shopper, what you lose in higher hotel charges, you gain in shopping time! Score!)
As for the actual shopping, I’m telling you, no matter where you stop, you will hit gold. It truly depends on your style and price point. The sellers range from high-end European antiques to rusty vintage items in the fields. So here is the Supreme Shopping Tip that needs to guide you: No matter what you find, you have to get it home! Every time I drive off with Round Top in the rear view mirror, I am squashed up tightly to the driver-side door because my car is jam-packed with every imaginable item that I COULD NOT LEAVE BEHIND. But as long as I don’t have to roll down my window to fit into the the driver’s seat, I’m down for just ONE MORE PURCHASE!
Some personal favorites and must-see stops (other than vintage Christmas anything, HOW CAN I POSSIBLY CHOOSE?!)
Old Glory Antiques– beautiful new huge showroom, very cool finds
Royers Round Top Cafe – OMP (Oh My Pie!), people, you must sample these homemade wonders. I keep trying new flavors and love them all, especially when sweet meets salty with chocolatey deliciousness!
Townsend Provisions– adorable gift shop and the biggest collection of vintage cowboy boots
Blue Hills– a collection of cute booths and a nice restroom (that was extremely important when I was 9 months pregnant, got home from Roundtop and had a baby! Yes, Round Top is that good–I wouldn’t miss it even for advanced almost-babyness!)
Need more info?
No matter what plans you make, remember there is no wrong way to shop this week! Drive until you see something that looks interesting, park and shop! (Warning: it will ALL look interesting!)
Now, as promised, my tips for the savvy flea market shopper:
1. Do an initial “fly-over” at the site. Quickly survey what the seller offers and what catches your eye.
2. Ask nicely. It’s amazing what just being kind will get you.
3. If the seller won’t budge off the price, circle back around at the end of the day. They may be ready to make you a deal.
4. When someone does negotiate with you, say thank you. Make it easier for the next person by appreciating the way the seller worked with you.
5. If I’m having trouble deciding on an item, I’ll take a photo with my phone and look at it that way. Sometimes that gives me the distance I need to decide whether to buy. I might walk around, get some time away, and look at the photo again. If I can’t stop thinking about it, I know I need to get it.
Do you already know how you’re going to incorporate those amazing Round Top finds in your home decor? I’d love to help you! Let’s talk!
Have some questions? No problem! I offer a complimentary, no-strings-attached phone call consultation.
Email me to book a call time–and let’s start making design fun!