Round Top Antiques Fair

The weekend before last Adam and I went to Round Top for their giant antiques fair, which is one of the biggest and best in the country.

round top map

 

Last year I went for the first time and was blown away by how insanely huge and amazing it is. It is miles and miles and MILES of fields and pastures, barns and tents bursting with unique old things. It’s kinda what I imagine heaven is like, if heaven was chock full of old rusty crap. Maybe it is, I don’t know. One can hope.

Round Top - antiques as far as the eye can see

Round Top antiques fair

Antique Fair Letters

Round Top antiques

Round Top antiques market

This year I insisted that Adam join me in Round Top (he didn’t go last year). So he took off work, we booked a hotel in a nearby town, ditched the older two boys with the grandparents, borrowed a truck for hauling all our goodies home, and set out with our baby, our orthopedic sandals, and the list of things we we’re looking for. On the list was..

  1. Old doors – we have six sliding barn doors in the new house and I want them to all be different.
  2. Mirrors – two for the kids bathroom and master
  3. Furniture – mostly looking for cool pieces to turn into vanities for the bathrooms, but we need most other furniture too
  4. Glass door knobs
  5. Lighting
  6. Anything we couldn’t live without

So, want to come shopping with me? Throughout the day I snapped pictures of some of my favorite things, here are a few of them.

This chippy blue set of doors was the first thing to catch my eye, aren’t they absolutely amazing? ($550 for the set)Antique blue double barn doors

I’m not exactly sure what these next things are, but I see them as perfect for holding ice and drinks at parties. Or planters…anything can be a planter.

raised enamel planters

Adam really wanted to take this rusty metal cart home and turn it into a coffee table (or something)… but they wanted almost $400 for it, so it stayed.

Rusty cart - could turn into a coffee table

These wooden pulleys kept calling my name…

pullys

This metal piece was the perfect size for the kids bathroom, but we weren’t sure how to make it work with two sinks. ($650)

bathroom vanity

Wire tables, $85 (these would be so easy to make!)

wire metal tables

Around every corner were amazing light fixtures….

industrial lighting

rustic wood and metal linear light

Also, lockers everywhere (these were $150)

large red lockers

Wood and glass doors, $900 for the set…perfect for double sliders over the office nook.

rustic wood and glass set of doors

I saw these little metal chairs and said to Adam “those are cute…I bet they’re comfy too” to which he replied “Those little torture devices? No way” and sat down…for a long time, because of how horribly uncomfortable they were, I’m sure.

comfy blue metal chairs

This was one of my favorite finds of the day, I’m pretty sure there isn’t a single thing I don’t love about it ($650)

industrial furniture

And if I had a daughter, this little mirror would be in her room ($70)

vintage mirror on a stand

This metal cart was my husbands favorite find of the day ($875)

antique metal cart

This vendor had a barn full of furniture that was all to die for, this piece was $2600.

metalwood furniture

These galvanized arched mirrors were perfect for the boys bathroom ($285 each)

galvanized arched mirrors

I wasn’t interested in buying this mirror, but I had to snap a pic because it’s such a great idea for a DIY project or gift. It’s made of scrabble tiles and is chock full of uplifting quotes and sayings. ($700? I can’t remember, but it was a lot).

scrabble tile mirror frame

This piece, ugh….so amazing. ($1,250)

green metal and wood furniture

Turkish pillow that would look right at home in the master bedroom ($165).

turkish pillows - round top

After searching for a while Adam and I finally found a bunch of glass knobs. As much as I wanted to take them home, we couldn’t figure out how we could make them actually function with the doors we bought. So sad.

antique glass door handles

I feel like I found the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow when I came across this door just before we left.  The color, the hardware, the design in the panel… yes to it all ($1,450).

amazing barn door

 

So, do you want to see all the goodies we ended up taking home with us?

 

What we came home with

That’s right, we didn’t end up buying a single thing. Not ONE thing. The only thing we went home with was lunch in our belly and a wicked bad sunburn.

Let me explain.

Everything was so expensive. Prices are obviously negotiable, but there really isn’t a point in negotiating down a door that is $1400 when you really aren’t wanting to pay more than $400 or $500 for it. Last year when I went I got some great deals, and this year I couldn’t find anything that was worth parting with our hard-earned money. I was complaining to Adam about the prices when he stopped, got real quiet and said “I think I know the problem…just listen. Everyone is talking about Fixer Upper.” So I stared listening. I’d hone in on strangers conversations while in tents and looking at awesome rusty junk…and dang if he wasn’t right. Every freaking one of them was talking about Fixer Upper. After a while it’s all I could hear…it was deafening. I’d like to slap Chip and Joanna Gaines for making the rustic/industrial farmhouse style so poplar. (Not that I don’t love me some Fixer Upper, I’m not a monster.)

And so, that was our trip to the Round Top Antiques Fair. We didn’t come home with anything, but we had a great time nonetheless. I mean, I was antique shopping with my husband and without 2/3 of my kids… and the 1/3 of our kids we brought with us was great the entire time.

Judge Judah

(He even furrows his brows in his sleep, a look that has earned him the nickname “Judge Judah”.)

In conclusion, I’ll be going back next year. Have any of y’all ever gone?

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Comments

  1. Barbara Moore says:

    I’ve wanted to attend Red Top for years, but too far away. Glad I didn’t go. Those prices are ridiculous. Well, to me anyway. Sad for us folks that liked fixer upper style way, way before fixer upper style was cool.

  2. Shelbie says:

    I live in Texas too and finally went a couple of years ago…my mother owns an antique mall in Granbury so needless to say I’ve grown up with antiques/junk/old houses/garage sales/thrift stores so I like to find the goods on the cheap. The prices are outrages there! My vehicle looked the same when we left! I may sound bias but I can find pretty much the same cool things at my mother’s place with much better prices. All these shows on TV have helped and hurt the business. Sales are great but trying to find the junk at good prices to resell is the hurdle. Good Luck! I can see some of these finds recreated in future blog posts!

    • Small world! I have family in Granbury as well and I agree that it’s a great little town for junking/antiquing. I hope it stays that way but I fear the fixer upper phenomenon is affecting the industry everywhere. :(

  3. Lauren A, says:

    I’ve never been and i was thinking how cool it would be to go sometime but those prices! I mean really!? I grew up in the antique business. My mother and grandmother both did antique shows and had booths in shops and owned a shop at one point. The would get all of their stuff to resell at lonely antique shops off of state highway roads on our way back from the beach traveling through the south. I love Fixer Upper too but I think I’ll have to wait until it goes off the air to go to Round Top.

  4. I live in Connecticut so I have never been to Texas but even I was shocked by the prices you quoted. I always thought you could get a bargain but I truthfully didn’t see too many bargains. I believe your husband was correct about the current trends. Hopefully you will be able to find what you are looking for at a lower cost.

  5. That must have been so disappointing! I have planned for several years to get to Roundtop but never seems to work out. I guess now I can take it off my list. At least until the fixer upper craze is over.
    Question: did you see a lot of other people buying or were they doing what you were? I just can’t imagine anyone buying at those prices. Unbelievable!

    • I really didn’t see that much buying going on. A good amount of people had little wire carts with them to hold their finds, and most were empty, and when we were leaving I saw lots of empty trucks and trailers leaving with us. I did see a fair amount of sold stickers on items in the tents though, so who knows.
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  6. I am so glad you ended with buying nothing and the high prices! As I was reading this I kept showing my husband the pictures and prices, I was both mad and amazed! I live in rural Arkansas where I can buy this stuff for junk prices. Of course it makes selling what I think are treasures for junk prices painful, but I like my situation better! And you are correct so much of that can be made at home for cheap. Thanks for the detailed review!

  7. I wonder if prices are cheaper at Canton Trade Days? It seems everyone “talks” about Round Top, but you hardly hear about Canton these days. And, I imagine the prices in Waco are going through the roof!

  8. Brandi in NB says:

    We went to Canton last year and just loved it. The prices were so much better than Round Top. I’m not sure why Round Top is so talked about. That’s just highway robbery!

  9. Allison says:

    Oh my gosh. My eyes were bulging thinking about how much money you spent on all of this beautiful, but holy cow expensive stuff. I breathed a sigh of realistic relief to see that not everyone has an extravagant budget. But I swooned over it all.

  10. I usually never comment, but I have to say, I love your candor (and your taste). Keep up the good work and continue telling us about us your hits and misses. I really enjoy your posts. This post made me laugh because I know exactly how must have felt after having to walk away from such glorious finds just because the vendor marked them up too high.

  11. There were a lot of cool items but I wouldn’t have paid those prices either. You can use those doorknobs by buying retrofit kits. I got some off of ebay when I was building my house. I can’t remember if they didn’t have locking ones but I only used antique knobs on closet doors. I bought new crystal doorknobs for my other doors. I got my antique knobs for free from an aunt.

  12. At those prices I bet there were a lot of disappointed vendors too. It’s the same with the mid-century modern craze — once retro style came back to being designated awesome, prices for all things kitschy skyrocketed. Ugh! Don’t fall for it! Less is more anyway! I’m in the process of downsizing my former life and I’ve marked all my stuff CHEAP as a vendor at a resale store — I have $100 days everyday until it runs out – at this rate, should be free of the excesses in a few weeks! 5 storage units down to NONE. Forget the decorating trends of the day — make your own or just let it go until the right thing comes along at the right price. It’s just stuff.

  13. Ellie a.k.a :) says:

    A friend’s daughter lives in Austin and they’ve gone to these sales. You’re right, those prices are right out there! Couldn’t afford any of it with the value of our Canadian $. You should be buying in Canada right now. Your little “Judge” is just the cutest! What a sweetheart and he’s grown so much! Hope you find some better deals!

  14. I wasn’t able to make it to Round Top this year (though we actually usually go to Warrenton), and it looks like I didn’t miss out on much. Sad to see how pricey things have become! However, if you have time and patience you can still find bargains out there – we’ve been buying stuff at auctions over the past few years, and the hill country has some awesome auctions! However, the best deal I ever got at an auction was in Austin in Feb, 2011 (right after we had the 4-5 days of below freezing weather). An elderly man had passed away and the family was auctioning off his estate. He had collected building salvage for years and years. I wanted a couple of solid wood doors – I went home with 80+ of them (plus about 25 old wooden window screens, and 6-8 old wooden screen doors) for ….. $5. Not $5 each, but $5 for the lot of them. That was a once in a lifetime deal, lol.

  15. If you’re ever in Fort Worth, you might like the Old Home Supply store. I bought a clawfoot tub there once and it was sort of reasonably priced. They have an entire giant room of old doors that have been reclaimed. I was never in the market for one though so I don’t know what the price ranges were.

  16. Jan Elizabeth says:

    As I was reading through I was wondering, did they buy that? Or that? But I actually wasn’t surprised by the empty truck. Those prices are insane. You might find some better deals at less popular shows, and check estates sales and even auctions. Or make your own – you know you can rock a chippy finish!

  17. I sure wish there was an antique sale like that somewhere near me!

  18. Those people must be smoking crack to ask those prices! Holy wowzers!!! Who can afford that?! Crazy crazy crazy! I kept wondering if y’all bought any of those pieces though. LOL! Some of them were beautiful and had great potential but even if I was super rich I wouldn’t spend that much money on some of that stuff!

  19. I wish you could’ve heard the soundtrack as I was reading this: Squeal! Yay! Oooh! Aaaah! (Repeated) Oh that’s gorgeous! Oh nice. Oh no you DIDN’T!
    My husband was quite concerned :)

  20. Enjoyed your story. I have always wanted to travel to round top. I live in Florida, love the fixer upper show and style it’s hard to find here in Fl. Loved all the photos and would have looked at all those pieces myself. But I agree the prices were outrageous. Would have left with just a sad face.Thank you for saving me from traveling all that way. Round top will have to remain in my dreams where I find great things at great prices.

  21. Letisha Allen says:

    Judge Judah!!!! Hahahahaha!

    I enjoyed shopping with you! But I kept thinking the whole time, “Oh goodness! It’s so expensive!”

Thank you for your comments!

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