Step inside the Wander Inn, located in Round Top, Texas and you’ll be in instant awe of the rustic, quirky, and eclectic space. Created up by Jolie, Amie, and Janie Sikes utilizing vintage and up-cycled finds, the two sisters and mom (who collectively call themselves the Junk Gypsies) have built a comforting and design-savvy hotel that doesn’t welcome so much as it wraps you in a big, hulking bear hug. “The Wander Inn is not about luxury,” says Amie, “It’s about the land, and the road, and the experience. It’s about the simple things—decked out with a few velvet sofas and some glittery wall decor, of course!” For those who love refurbishing, refinishing, and rehab-ing, we asked the Junk Gypsies to share their best up-cycled style tricks so you can get the whimsical-cool Wander Inn look at home.
Tip No. 1 : Use Found Objects for Furniture
The Junk Gypsies have a gift for turning just about anything into appealing decor. “We are the Junk Gypsies for a reason,” says Amie. “We love using found objects as often as we can.” Case in point: the inn’s main living space where a bongo drum serves as a side table between two wrought iron chairs, while a giant glitter thunderbird that once adorned a 1970s parade float is displayed as art above. “Our style is anything but pretentious,” says Amie. “We like things that make you smile and that tell a story.”
Tip No. 2 : Use Color to Create a “Look”
Knowing that they wanted to highlight a huge American flag that once flew over the 1972 Texas State Fair, The Junk Gypsies opted to paint the wall it would occupy a bold, “rock n’ roll shade of blue” that “conjures up Don McLean’s ‘American Pie,'” as Amie so pitch-perfectly puts it. To keep the supersaturated color from overpowering the room, the Gypsies elected to used it on only one wall, thereby calling even more attention to their fabulous flag.
Tip No. 3 : Elevate Posters En Masse
As any hotelier will vouch, art can be among the trickiest items to source. It’s no surprise then that the Junk Gypsies cooked up an enticing, up-cycled alternative: vintage concert posters. To elevate the posters’ thumbtacked hanging treatment, the Gypsies display them in layered, hodgepodge vignettes, which according to Amie, “emulate what you’d find backstage in old bars or music venues.” To get the look, Amie recommends selecting a singe poster as your centerpiece and overlapping on top of it for an organic, collected feel.
Tip No. 4 : Hold It Together With Hue
With its country western vibes, French wingback chairs might seem like an unlikely candidate for the Wander Inn, but the Gypsies managed to make them work by re-upholstering them in simple white fabric that perfectly contrasts their bright gold woodwork. “We felt like the combo of the chairs with the cow skull and the farm-style barn wood side table made for the perfect yin and yang,” says Amie, adding merit to the notion that sometimes all that’s needed to make dissimilar items work is a unified color scheme.
Tip No. 5 : Repurpose Broken Goods
Rather than pass on a 1960s metal ship lamp that was missing its wiring at a local flea, the Junk Gypsies opted to repurpose it as a whimsical fireplace screen. Now holding court in one of the guest bedrooms, the simple repurpose serves as a Junk Gypsy-style reminder that even damaged items are worth a second look.
Tip No. 6 : Give a Sign a Second Life
Of the “Country Delight’ headboard that adorns one of the guest suites, Amie says, “We bought this sign during Texas Antiques week and have been hoarding it for a few years.” Since signs can be tricky to work into a room—they have a tendency to steal the show—The Gypsies ultimately decided to build an entire room around it. “It was the centerpiece and we just matched the room to it,” says Amie.
Tip No. 7 : Embrace Utilitarian Materials
“Simple, quirky, and old-fashioned,” is how Amie describes the inn’s galvanized metal showers, which she and her mom and sister installed in an effort to pay homage to the rural cow pasture in which the Wander Inn is located. Exposed copper piping, old fashioned valve wheels, and hard-wearing slate floors are the perfect counterbalance to the manufactured metal, lending just the right mix of polish and industrialism.
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