Round Top

Round Top!

Confession...I love scouring flea markets. I hope to visit all of the biggies much like my husband wants to pilgrimage to baseball stadiums. So far the highlights have been Brimfield in Massachusetts, the Rose Bowl in Pasadena and now Round Top in, well, Round Top, Texas. I love the characters who traipse from show to show and I love the chance to find truly special pieces (and a great deal!).

That said, and as you might have gathered, I love a clean and edited space. Only things that I love and use...the essentials. This can put me in a funny spot on my flea expeditions since the whole point is to gather ALL THE THINGS. I've developed a plan over the years that I put into action just this past week when I hopped in the car (about an hour and a half drive from Austin) with my sister and friends to scour Round Top - Texas's twice a year flea market mecca. A brief round up of our day and evening below plus tips for how to find unique gems without turning into a crazy flea market lady...

Round Top is huge and I certainly don't claim to be an expert but our itinerary worked great for us. We hit the fields at Marburger (beautifully sourced and organized tents and higher prices to match) at 10:30 am and had mostly wound through every tent and outbuilding by 1. Before moving on we had a perfect BBQ sandwich at Marburger's open air food court. Marburger is a fun place to grab a bite + beer while inevitably running into lots of other fun ladies you know who have made the same Round Top trek for the day. In our case we got to catch up with the gals that had arrived on Texas Monthly's Round Top bus trip (!!!). After lunch we left for the Excess (sprawling and a bit more random with the potential for lower prices to match) fields which are located a few minutes away in Warrenton where we were on the hunt until 4. By that time we were all feeling a bit worn out (let me tell you, taking the day off from work and antiquing is hard work) so we drove to The Compound to check out the beautiful midcentury pieces Eneby Home always brings plus shake the dust off (literally). Normally we would have been getting in the car to head home but this year we were lucky enough to snag tickets to Texas Monthly and Rancho Pillow's completely dreamy Feast in the Field dinner. One long table under the Texas stars with delicious food by Rene Ortiz and his Launderette team. Yes please!

Such a fun day...can't wait for next fall's Round Top...keep these guidelines in mind if you're planning your own trip.

1. Bring a list, with measurements, of any art, furniture or textiles you actually need. Keep an eye out throughout the day but don't get frustrated when nothing on your "need" list gets crossed off. The flea market gods are weird like that.

2. Vintage glassware is the jam! This is a great chance to purchase something that can be used daily (and is maybe even needed) while also layering your home with great color and design. Same goes for functional pottery and Ironstone serving pieces.

3. Don't buy anything that won't have a home in your home. If you can't picture where a painting or side table will live then you need to pass.

4. Speaking of paintings and side tables...two of my favorite categories to focus on. Vintage oil paintings are EVERYWHERE and can be found for such a steal. Remember to focus on the painting itself and don't get distracted by the frame which can sometimes feel dated and be easily removed. And when I say side tables I mean side tables + stools + tiny benches. Smallish pieces that are perfect for propping plants, holding a stack of books or resting a glass of wine next to the couch.

5. Be on the lookout for outdoor furniture which is out in droves at big flea markets like Round Top and can be found for such great prices!

6. Comb through print stands for special and inexpensive touches to add to your walls or to give as gifts. Funky art prints or sweet botanical prints are perfect to give as housewarming or baby shower gifts. And don't stress too much about the framing - type the frame dimensions into amazon to see what your options are or find a simple one at IKEA.

Happy (edited) shopping!!!