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Round Top Antiques Shopping with Designer Kristen Nix: Make the Most of Your Visit

The designer and owner of Kristen Nix interiors shares her tips, tricks and favorite finds from the annual antiques extravaganza

Round Top Antiques Fair with Kristen Nix

Kristen Nix is on the hunt!

The designer and owner of Kristen Nix Interiors knows that the Original Round Top Antiques Fair in Round Top, Texas, is an essential stop for anyone looking for treasures that will stand out in a beautiful space.

Nix’s designs are defined by her mix of old and new, textures, color and affordable as well as upscale. And that’s why she headed to Round Top, the destination antique market now in its 51st year, where Nix documented a visit for TRIBEZA that centered around a field of amazing finds at Marburger Farms, which is open until Saturday, Oct. 5.

Kristen Nix

“There’s nothing like the morning of opening day at Marburger Farms.” Nix says. “Arrive early and be ready to move fast. The treasures get snatched up quickly.”

Here are Nix’s tips for tackling Round Top and her fondest memories from her adventure there this year.

TIP: The Early Bird Gets the Worm

“We left Austin at 7:45 a.m. and headed straight for Marburger Farms, arriving right when they opened at 10 a.m … “It was not long before coveted pieces wore ‘sold’ stickers. We did clean up on some special purple and orange sea urchins for our accessories inventory that were sold out by 10:25am.”

TIP: Dress for the Occasion

“Wear comfortable clothes and shoes and bring a hat. The fall show is still really hot. Clothing that breathes is best and pack your patience – it gets crowded quickly.” 

“We spent most of the day exploring the tents and found some pieces for clients, our inventory and a sculpture made in 1959 that I plan to put on a Lucite pedestal.”

TIP: Be Ready to Negotiate

“The real deals come on Saturday afternoon before the show closes at 4 p.m. … Some vendors prefer checks…all that we dealt with accepted Venmo or credit cards.”


H&W: “Their booth is an experience. It’s filled with woven lights, fall displays, succulents, interesting sculptures. The owners are Austin based Mike Clark and Nancy Govro.

Machtolff’s Mercantile: All the way from Anaheim, Calif., we found a Navajo blanket for a client’s west Texas ranch purchased from a Prince Charles look alike.”

Kemps Designs/3902 Warehouse: “We discovered amazing coral pieces and unique purple and orange sea urchins that we gathered on a table and had to stand over as people searched the booth for more. We were lucky to score six that we plan to use as a pop of color on coffee tables for two projects were installing this fall. The owner, kemp Hickey, has a great eye! These guys are from Chamblee, Ga.”

Huff Harrington Home: “We loved their super chic white plaster mirrors imported from Paris.”

dinner pARTy: “Not only were owners Shelli and Ralph Alter the most friendly booth, their art was totally amazing. We bought an abstract nude that was beautiful and spoke to us right when we approached the shop. We missed out on a neutral abstract that we message them about after we left, but had sold.”

Mode Moderne: “We found a 1959 bronze sculpture with a beautiful patina… I’m planning to put on a pedestal.”

Debonair Art and Décor: “Top of our list here was an old school mirror for a client’s traditional study bathroom. The South Carolina owner, Taillefer Long, was super knowledgeable and coordinates buying trips in Europe for clients and designers.”

Sonya Shinn Edwards: “Beautiful artwork with great colors and a serene touch from a Dallas artist.”

Lynette Harrison Fine Art: “We loved her Vladimir Tatlin (Russian) pieces from the 1960s and ‘70s that felt new again and reminded us of current day artists Catherine Booker Jones and William McLure.”

TIP: Work Up an Appetite

“Before leaving Marburger, we enjoyed lunch at the picnic tables. We had a chopped beef sandwich from Back Porch BBQ out of La Grange where they make all their rubs and sauces from scratch. Later, before skipping out of town, we swung by the famous Royer’s Round Top Cafe for a slice of Bud’s Chocolate Chip Omp! pie for the road.”

Next Stops:

The Arbors: Pandora de Balthazar: “This is an all-time favorite. They have the most incredible goose down feather pillows that are life changing. And their air conditioning is like stepping into an igloo.”

The Compound: “Look for antiques with a beautiful aesthetic. Tables, doors, baskets and lots of larger furniture.”

Market Hill: “Good spot to get away from the heat with multiple vendors. More high-end pieces, less digging.”

Excess 1 & 2: “This place has lots of junk – some is interesting. The prices are good and you can find things like buttons, keys, yard objects, etc.”

Furniture finds from The Compound.

TIP: Keep Your Eyes Open

“We ran into design superstar Kelly Wearstler, who’s in Texas to check on her downtown Austin project, The Proper. She couldn’t have been kinder and agreed to pose with us for a photo. Funny enough, when we got home, her latest that I had pre-ordered arrived in the mail. The buzz amongst the tents was that renowned designers Martin Lawrence Bullard and Mary McDonald were also there. For Texas designers, it’s really exciting to see national design leaders shopping Round Top.”

Nix with designer Kelly Wearstler.


“This was the best year I’ve ever had at Marburger Farms with lots of new vendors and fantastic artwork. Round Top is a cool experience and I always hold my finds a little tighter as they come with the memories from the thrill of the hunt.”