Discover How Designers Shop (and Win!) at Round Top, Texas
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On a warm October morning deep in the heart of Texas, Team Chairish arrived at Round Top, home to one of the largest and most anticipated flea markets of the year. Our own fearless co-founder Anna Brockway was joined by designers Sarah Wittenbraker, Meredith Ellis, Amy Berry, and MA Allen, a team with an eye for fabulous finds. Their mission? Bring Chairish shoppers an amazing selection of vintage scores. The rules were simple: they had a couple of hours to scour the Marburger Farm Antique Show and return with their treasures. Discover how this all went down and see the full Round Top haul, now for sale on Chairish!


SHOP OUR ROUND TOP DESIGNER SCAVENGER HUNT >>

Shopper #1: Anna Brockway

As co-founder of Chairish and coiner of our de facto motto: ‘Viva la Vintage’, Anna Brockway knows her way around a vintage market. For this challenge, her self-professed shopping strategy was to “always to stay open, it’s really hard to have a shopping list at these things.” This open-minded approach allowed for some spectacular scores including a terracotta bust mounted on a Lucite stand. “Busts are on fire—they’ve been part of the Chairish trend report for quite a while now.” Another find was a coverlet in navy and white, “it’s sort of nubby and super textural and would be beautiful folded at the end of a bed.” Anna also revealed she’s “becoming a China lady—I don’t know what that means about me.” She couldn’t pass up a beautiful set of six dinner plates.

Anna’s open approach also left room for a couple items to take home for herself like, “an ultrasuede clutch with a bakelite handle and a brass clip. It’s very 70s. I also found a cute little woven clutch for evening that’s on a bracelet.” Of these impulse buys, Anna says, “when you see something you think is just really fantastic, you need to go for it. It’s not what I came for, but they are the kind of pieces worth pouncing on.”

Shopper #2: Sarah Wittenbraker

Sarah Wittenbraker, of Sarah Wittenbraker Designs in Austin, TX, cites Round Top as a source of “so many different styles and vendors you normally wouldn’t see.” At first, this wealth of inspiration complicated her shopping time. “I was running to too many different booths trying to see everything before I realized that as soon as I found a vendor who really spoke my language, I should have just dug in.” But Sarah certainly did dig in, purchasing three pieces from one vendor, including a vintage Turkish kilim rug. “It jumped out at me right away because it was very bright and colorful. I just love the mix of color and imperfection.” But her favorite find? “My bust of Robert Kennedy. I love busts; they’ve always been a go-to for me. I think it’s interesting because it has a little soul. It’s the same as if you’d hang a portrait of someone you really didn’t know, but the painting just speaks to you. I like the irreverence of it.”

As for purchases coming back to Austin with her, Sarah picked up “two little handmade tassels for my daughters’ bedrooms.”

Shopper #3: Meredith Ellis

Meredith Ellis of Meredith Ellis Design, another Austinite, is well-versed in shopping Round Top.  “I come to Round Top a lot, so I know my favorite spots,” she explained. But for our Chairish hunt, she took a pragmatic approach: “I wanted to cover a lot of ground today so I took a lot of photos. If I remembered it, and the photos got me excited about it, I went back for it.” Among those items worth a second look were an antique suzani, an 1880’s French painting, and a smaller seaside painting. “These are the kinds of items that I always snatch up when I find them,” Meredith explained. “If you can find a great deal on a suzani it’s worth buying it! They can be used on sofas, the end of beds, as tablecloths. As for the small paintings, I just always grab those because they’re good for bookcases, bedside tables, on a window sill—things like that.”

Meredith also snapped a few photos of pieces she was considering for her own home. “I found this old wallpaper screen that was framed that I had to have.”

Shopper #4: Amy Berry

Hailing from Dallas, Amy Berry, of Amy Berry Interior Design & Decoration, was on the lookout for a certain je ne sais quoi, “I love finding things that can bring some individuality to a project. The little, one-of-a-kind touches can really make a space feel special,” she explained.  First to capture her attention was a blue jar vase. “The color is just so good, and so my eye immediately went to it. I love it because it’s one of those vases that looks just as good holding flowers as it does not holding flowers. It’s pretty on a bookshelf, it’s pretty on a table—it’s good anywhere,” she explained.  She also scooped up an old wicker sifter, “it’ll make a great tray”, a bamboo tray, “I love anything woven”, and a big wooden bowl. Amy also picked up a second blue vase and two wicker trays to bring back to her Dallas home.

Shopper #5: MA Allen

Our final hunter was MA Allen, of MA Allen Interiors in Raleigh, NC. Her approach also invoked an impulsive spirit: “My strategy is always if I find something I love, just to go ahead and buy it. At least, that’s what has worked for me historically!” She also keeps a list of purchases as she goes, “so I actually make it back to pick them up. I’ve purchased items and left them before. You learn from your mistakes!” Thankfully none of her stellar finds were left behind this time. They included wall-mounted 1970’s Italian candlesticks, “they’re really pretty gilt with a rubbed down finish,” and a red wrought iron, adjustable height stool. “I think it would be adorable to use for a kid’s vanity.” Her most surprising find was a gorgeous, white-yellow opaline decanter with a set of four champagne glasses.  MA explained, “I’m obsessed with French opaline…I was traveling all over France to buy opaline recently and I really found very little, so this was a great find here in Texas!”

Her purchases for her own home also had a French flair this time around. “My big purchase was a pair of Maison Jansen bedside tables with marble tops. They are absolutely gorgeous—I have radar for Maison Jansen, whether I’m in France or in Texas!” And who can say no to opaline? “I had to get a set of opaline wine glasses for myself. They’re in a beautiful blue color.”

A big thank you to Sarah, Meredith, Amy and MA! Until next time, Round Top. Be sure to check out all the items sourced by this group of fabulous designers and a curation of Round Top inspired picks now available on Chairish.  

Shop the Round Top Collection >>

All photos by Sarah Moore

October 22, 2018