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Exploring Texas AntiqueWeekend 2014

Texas AntiqueWeekend. The name of this biannual antique, craft, art and collectible gathering is a bit misleading, because it lasts much longer than one weekend. In fact, when you take into consideration the more than 60 shows that happen in and near Round Top, Texas each spring and fall, the festivities span a total of 16 days! That’s more than two weeks of fun in the rolling hills of rural Texas. And yes, it’s as amazing as it sounds! Kate here, and yesterday I spent the day in Warrenton, Texas enjoying the thrill of the hunt. I wanted to share some photos and details from my day at the festival, in hopes of giving you a glimpse of the fun…

The drive to Round Top, Texas

For my day of antique bliss, I hit the open road with my best gal–Mom! Because you’re never too old to enjoy a road trip with your mother. As you can see from the image above, the closer you get to Round Top, the more beautiful the scenery becomes. Lush green hills and white fences are in abundance. We hit some traffic on our way to Warrenton, as it was the opening day of the Marburger Farm Show, shown below. White tents fill the grounds, and if you’re ready to shop, this is a dream come true.

The white tents of Marburger Farm

Excess Field

With that said, my favorite show of AntiqueWeekend is located in Warrenton. It’s Excess Field (also known as EX-CESS), to be exact. Here you will find sculptural pieces, mineral samples, stunning antique finds, and retro-modern decor that will blow your mind. It’s like stumbling into the warehouse of your dreams and finding everything casually yet artfully arranged.

Sculptural finds at Excess Field in Warrenton

Above and below, we see snapshots of Excess Field, complete with brightly painted furnishings, metal drawers and more. This is where creativity reigns, and even if you don’t purchase anything major, at the very least you’ll get some unique design ideas for your own interior.

Painted chairs and other treasures at Excess Field

Browsing Excess Field is always a highlight of my day in Warrenton, and this is typically where my festival adventure starts and ends (especially since I park nearby). And yes, the parking in this section of the event is free. It’s a win-win!

Unique finds at Excess Field

The Concrete Wonders of Richard Taylor

But for me, the true highlight of AntiqueWeekend is visiting the space of artisan Richard Taylor. His concrete works have redefined eclectic outdoor style. Plus, he’s one of the kindest, most engaging people you will ever meet. Below we see Richard next to his famous concrete chair. Yes, it’s really concrete! But you have to touch it to believe it, as the leather likeness is incredibly detailed, down to the creases and the stitching.

Artistan Richard Taylor and his concrete chair

Over the years, I’ve purchased many a Richard Taylor piece, from concrete planters with a timeless feel to decorative items such as mushrooms, succulents and lotus flower dishes. The table of creations below reflects the range of this artist, both in scale and style.

Richard Taylor’s garden decor on display at Excess Field in Warrenton

Painted succulent decor adorns the table in the next featured image. Regal hues take center stage, yet the overall vibe is more relaxed than formal. It’s precisely this combination of the whimsical and the classic that makes Richard Taylor’s designs so intriguing. He’s in it for the love of his craft, and this creative drive has led to collaborations with brands such as Pottery Barn and Terrain.

Succulents by Richard Taylor

Taylor is an expert at wholesale (learn more about his company at Flat Earth Designs), yet his favorite thing about Texas AntiqueWeekend is getting to see people connect with his pieces. Rather than focusing on retailers, here he enjoys selling to individuals who look forward to displaying his creations in their most sacred spaces. As Taylor says, “It goes in your home.”

Fall-themed pieces by Richard Taylor

A special thanks to Richard Taylor for allowing me to photograph his space, and for being a constant source of inspiration to me in my garden design endeavors!

The artistry of Richard Taylor

Treasures and Finds

After Mom and I chatted with Richard and purchased one of his pots, we continued to explore Warrenton and its many offerings. The view below is one of my favorites, thanks to chandeliers hanging from the branches of a tall tree. Did I mention that it was over 90 degrees as we walked from tent to tent?! Yes, it’s fall, but fall in Texas is a strange beast. Any bit of shade was appreciated!

Shopping in Warrenton at AntiqueWeekend

Another fun fact: more than 100,000 people visit Texas AntiqueWeekend each fall and spring! Sounds like a crowded nightmare, right?! Yet the shows are so spread out geographically that it rarely feels crowded, especially if you visit on a weekday like we did.

An assortment of antique and vintage finds at AntiqueWeekend

Want to know what I bought?! This year I wasn’t looking to purchase anything big. But I was definitely on the hunt for interesting decorative items. I’m a bit obsessed with rock and mineral samples, so I was thrilled to find the iron pyrite piece below at Recycling the Past in Excess Field.

A pyrite specimen from Recycling the Past

Can you see the way it casts a a sunny glow on my happy face in the image below? Can you tell I’m pretty excited about my purchase?! In the montage that follows, we also see Mom on the bridge, and at the very bottom of the photo cluster is Richard Taylor’s concrete version of the Barcelona Chair–a design enthusiast’s dream!

Snapshots from Texas AntiqueWeekend

In addition to my mineral sample, I picked up a collection of neon fruit from the 1960s, three pieces of which are on display in the next image. I’m looking for ways to add a touch of tropical style at home, and these should do the trick! I also purchased a wooden fish figurine that I’ll be fixing up and blogging about later this week. Stay tuned!

Neon fruit from the 1960s

Navigating an Antique Show

Here are a few tips for thriving at an antique festival, especially one that involves hot weather:

  • The earlier you start your day, the better. In addition to being able to enjoy cooler morning temps, you’ll have more time to shop!
  • Bring plenty of bottled water, as well as snacks. I always enjoy the food at Texas AntiqueWeekend, but it’s nice to be able to munch on the go if I don’t want to stop shopping.
  • Wear comfy clothes and shoes. Seriously. You will be doing a lot of walking.
  • Wear sunscreen. And bring a hat and sunglasses. I forgot my sunglasses and was not a happy camper!
  • Make a list of items you’re looking for, but be open to spontaneous purchases. Like neon fruit!
  • Don’t be afraid to dig a little. Some of my favorite bargain buys occurred at booths that weren’t necessarily beautifully arranged. It’s fun to shop at the cleverly curated spaces, but it can also be fun to discover a treasure in a tent that seems to sell nothing but clutter. There are treasures to be found, folks!
The rolling hills near Round Top, Texas

For more tips, visit my post from last year’s festival! I’ll end today’s post with one more shot of those rolling Texas hills. This was taken on the way home as Mom and I listened to music and dreamed of how our latest purchases would transform our interiors. A good day indeed!

AntiqueWeekend 2014 runs through Sunday, October 5th.

Kate Simmons

Kate Simmons is a freelance writer and design blogger with a love of all things decor. She spent her childhood writing stories and working on interior design-themed DIY projects. Kate’s published writing reflects her special interest in how design has changed through the decades. Her blog Mirror80 ( http://mirror80.com/) explores the fashion and [...]

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