COTE DE TEXAS: A Hard Days Night in the Country

A Hard Days Night in the Country

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I spent Tuesday night at Ben’s brother’s ranch, the KW, deep in the country at Chappell Hill, Texas – a quaint, tiny town just one hour from Houston.   The distance in miles is short, but the terrain changes dramatically as you encounter the rolling hills of Washington County, one of the prettiest and most historical parts of Texas.   I am here to visit Shannon and Kirk and their kids, to be sure, but mainly I am here to rest up for Wednesday – the day the official Round Top Antiques Fair begins.   I know what I am in for and I know I will need a good night’s sleep before a full day of shopping.  For some reason, I sleep really soundly at Shannon’s and sure enough, they have to wake me up at 9:00 a.m. out of a deep slumber.   Of course Shannon and her other antiquing house guest, Carol, have been up for hours, already exercised and showered – all while I dozed blissfully unaware.  They left for Round Top while I drove with half opened eyes to Brenham, the bordering town, in a desperate search for Starbucks. 


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Tent cities of antiques spring up magically in every town and field surrounding Round Top.  Some are small venues and some are huge, like Marburger Farm.


The antique fair has already been in full swing for the past week.   In the fields and towns surrounding Round Top, tents are pitched here and there and each has its own opening and closing dates – but the main event at Round Top is always Wednesday through Sunday on the first weekend in April and October.   Over the years the fair has grown to enormous proportions.  We used to be able to see it all in one day – even leaving at 3:00 p.m. feeling that we had left no antiques unseen.  Those easy days are long gone.  Now it could take a week to hit every tent city in search of antiques and still, you wouldn’t see it all.   Originally, Round Top was in the Rifle Hall, a nice air conditioned building, and then you would head out to Carmine – another air conditioned building in the next town.   But ever since Emma Lee Turney sold the Fair, old traditions have changed.   Round Top has moved to the new, Big Red Barn with two huge additional tents.   Where once the fair was mostly Americana and Texan antiques, now Swedish and French have overtaken the newer areas like The Arbor and Marburger Farm.  The most popular venue today is Marburger Farms with its numerous and endlessly long tents that stretch so far out,  manned golf carts are there to cart you to and from your car.   The air inside Marburger’s tents is stifling hot and oppressive, it’s actually cooler to stand outside under the blazing sun than inside.    Obama should bring the prisoners from Gitmo here – they would be tortured enough inside the hot tents to confess to any war crime. 



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Two tin men and a horse, but where are the usual  throngs of people?


The biggest surprise this year was the lack of crowds.  Round Top is usually crowded with throngs of shoppers, but this time, the aisles looked so empty!   I’ve never seen it so quiet – it was an unsettling statement on our economy, but less people meant more breathable air for us.  It’s hard to imagine how much hotter it would have been had it been crowded!   As always, the most fun of the antique extravaganza is seeing old friends and meeting up with people.   I spent the day shopping with Brooke Giannetti from Velvet and Linen who flew in from L.A. for the event to buy for her decor shop.  Also shopping with us was Angela who flew in from Washington and had met up with Brooke in Austin Tuesday night.   As the day wore on,  I had finally had enough of the stifling heat and headed up to Brenham to see my friend Maryanne at Beadboard Upcountry.  Then, it was back to Chappell Hill to pack up and drive home to Houston.  Thursday, I spent the day nursing my sore legs.   If you’ve never been to Round Top, you should come see it at least once.   Yes, it can be overwhelming, hot, crazy,  and nerve wracking, but mostly it’s great antiques and great people!


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On Tuesday when I pulled up to KW Ranch, my niece and nephew greeted me on their horses, only in Texas, folks!




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 And Bella, a baby longhorn and the newest member of the KW Ranch family, came up to greet me too.  She’s sooo darling – look at the grass caught in her mouth!  Her longhorns are finally just sprouting out.



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Two of the three donkeys came up to see the visiting city-girl.  The donkeys just crack me up – they are so funny looking with their long floppy ears!  They work hard though- their very serious job is to protect the chickens, dogs, and cats by scaring off the coyotes. 



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I could only get a picture of two of the FIVE English Springer Spaniels – one of them is my Georgie’s litter mate!   Hi Sarita and Quatro!  There are also three cats hanging out, lots of rabbits, and tons of chickens which lay the most gorgeous pastel hued eggs.




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The front yard at KW Ranch.  During the spring the entire yard is covered with bluebonnets.



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My favorite place to blog while I’m here is under this huge Live Oak tree.



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The barn and stables where all the animals live.




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The swimming pool – you have to have one here in the summer!



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There is a charming guest house at KW Ranch, with two bedrooms.   Casita Dos’ bedroom is so beautiful with all its antique French furniture.



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The window coverings are so pretty!  



RoundTop2009 088 I love the chandelier mixed with the beadboard ceiling and walls and concrete floors.  Who wouldn’t sleep soundly in a bedroom this pretty?




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In the main house, Shannon has already decorated for fall and Halloween, of course!  She also bought out the entire supply of gourds in Washington County.    I’m sure she is counting down the days until she can put out her Christmas decorations.  I was under strict instructions not to take anymore pictures inside the  house until Shannon could style it all up, but antiques were calling us!   Next time I’ll show pictures inside – especially of her new turquoise colored office.




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The next morning, I’m off to Round Top, a short 20 minute drive from  Chappell Hill.   There were even some wildflowers along the way.   During the spring Round Top Antique Fair, the fields are a sea of blue from the bluebonnets which is a huge draw for Texans. 



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First stop is Marburger Farms– a tent city larger than Chappell Hill.   Notice something missing?  The people!    In past years the aisles would be filled with people.  Whenever I go to Round Top, I usually spend the first few hours overwhelmed by all the antiques.  It’s hard to stay focused on a mission when you are hyperventilating from all the beauty.  Then there is buyers remorse.  As soon as I made my first purchase, I walked around to the next aisle and found the same items at a better price!  Should I go back and return it or just forget it?  In the end, you just have to realize that no matter what you buy, you’ll probably see it again at a better price – you just have to keep moving. 



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Here’s someone I know:  Olga Granda-Scott from Dancing Through Paris!!!   Olga and her husband own the beautiful antique store Alhambra Antiques in Florida and they were showing at Marburger.  I was shocked at young Olga was!  She looked like she was 15, but I’m sure she is just a little bit older since she has three children.    That ridiculous looking person on the left is moi – the scarf lasted about 10 minutes in the heat.   See how empty the aisles were?   Unreal!



RoundTop2009 124 I’m in love with chandeliers that look like this – with a gilded wooden column and glorious crystals.  I could swear I saw this exact chandelier two years ago?!!   And at the price they were asking for it, it probably never has sold.



RoundTop2009 126 There was plenty of gray painted furniture everywhere, especially in Marburger Farm and The Arbor.   Brooke is more picky about her finishes than I am.   I just can’t afford the finest finishes, though I wish I could, but I CAN tell the difference though!



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This booth had great trendy things, especially for Marburger  Farm.  Look at the basket light fixture.



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Swedish in Texas from Atlanta. 



RoundTop2009 136 Pretty Swedish sofa and  Mora clock.



RoundTop2009 137 Grain sacks and burlap were everywhere.   Loving the lanterns, of course.  



RoundTop2009 138 I came to Round Top with one real mission which was to buy a zebra rug.   But everyone told me the “zebra” lady wasn’t here this year.  Well, they were all wrong.  She was there, but her trademark foot-high stack of rugs is now down to just two remaining ones.  And she said, this is it – she doesn’t think she will ever get any more!  At least I got one for my client – she was thrilled and so was I.  I was just glad I didn’t miss her otherwise I’m not sure my client would have wanted to pay what everyone else charges for them. 



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We left Marburger Farm to check out Round Top’s Big Red Barn where Bobo’s is.  Mark Sage had rented 20 spaces for all his things.  Of course it was located in the one unairconditioned tent at Round Top. 



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More Bobo.   Most disappointing was Mark wasn’t there,  I really wanted to meet the genius behind the wine barrel chandelier, etc.  But his assistant was extra cute and sexy, so that made up for it!   OK OK OK, I KNOW he wasn’t actually interested in the sweating, bloated elephant that I had become that day, but I can pretend!!!!



RoundTop2009 147The Garten:    The Garten had two booths – one in Marburger Farm and one in Round  Top.  Owned by Julie Greenwood (whose house I feature on my blog ad nauseum) who has the best taste, her booths certainly reflected this fact.  Both Brooke and I were foaming at the mouth over her things.   I wish I had more pictures of the merchandise, but at this point I was DONE with the camera.  Taking it out expended too much energy.  Energy generates heat.  But of course, Brooke, being so skinny and lithe wasn’t sweating like a pig like I was so she took more pictures.   After we left Round Top, Brooke wanted to go back to the heat of Marburger Farm.  So, we returned and found some great things we missed the first go round which was a real lesson to me.  I usually don’t go back for a second look – but it’s worth it when the merchandise is so beautiful.  Marburger Farm is definitely THE best of Round Top, in my opinion.  The dealers are, for the most part, top quality, with more Swedish and French inventory than elsewhere.  And it’s so large – its amazing how much wonderful inventory there is at Marburger.  Thursday night, a cool front blew in and the temperature dropped significantly.  I’m almost tempted to go back this weekend – it’s going to be so much cooler in Round Top, which is great for the dealers who have to sit there all day and even better for the shoppers. 



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At this point, the sweating Elephant had had enough and headed out, bidding goodbye to sweet Brooke and Angela.  Sshhh:  don’t tell the fat one, but hiding behind your purse does NOT make you look skinnier especially when you stand between two people who put together weigh less  than you do!  Shame!



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Off to a quick Starbucks pit stop and into Brenham to visit Maryanne at Beadboard Upcountry – the best store in Washington County.



RoundTop2009 185 Looking chic and cool as ever, Maryanne is going into the grocery business.



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My kind of place:  air conditioned!  And so cute too!   I bought one of her shawls in gray and black.



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Such a cute display!  A table set for one, with two chairs.   Someone just won’t eat.   I love her pillows – they are so darling and trendy and they match my necklace. 



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The best part?  There’s no place like home!   Contemplating my collection of blue and white transferware which is soon going on an extended vacation, thanks to my purchases at Round Top.  Stay tuned to see the changes I made to my Carol Glasser-inspired collection.   Living with something for over 15 years gets rather boring, don’t you think?




AND – To read all about A Day in the Life of Cote de Texas, go read it HERE on the blog, In Her Shoes.   I spill all my secrets, that’s for sure!!




AND BE SURE to listen to the new Skirted Roundtable where we talk about high and low decorating and that FAMOUS $349 Ikea slipcovered sofa (yes again!).    Tune in HERE for another fun filled adventure with the Two Grinches and the Jew aka The Skirted Roundtable.


  1. Joni,

    You had me laughing so hard with your self-descriptions! You are too funny, girl. And believe me, you do look marvelous.

    Funny how empty the aisles were- a scary comment on the economy.

  2. Joni, loved your post. Is this Roundtop market open to the public. Also, please don't put yourself down. You are adorable and oh so stylish.

  3. Hi Joni, Loved this post and being able to see round top through your eyes.By the way, you look amazing and when I think how hot it was for you, you look even more amazing.You are a beautiful woman with a beautiful spirit and it shows through. I read the post on you over at in her shoes. I so enjoyed it, You have the best sense of humor and you always keep it real,never change. Kathysue

  4. * What a wonderful experience and as always, great pics n' superb writing!!! (It really DID make me feel like I was almost THERE, and the ADDED BONUS was that I got to see it from a very COOOOL room here at my house... as in "nice temps", of course...!!!!)~

    At the risk of sounding like I'm writing in your 6th grade "Autograph Book", may I say you are uber talented, a FAB D/D n' writer, lots of FUN & a DARLING n' ENTERTAINING SPIRIT~~~~ annnnnd, as THIN as YOU are, I STILL love you ANYway!!!! You're beautiful, kiddo~~~ truly!!!

    Hugs & thanks for a superb blog today!
    Linda in AZ *

  5. Oh Joni, you are too funny!! You do not look like an elephant in the pictures - shut up! You may have been sweaty, but you looked great. And I loved the scarves - very sophisticated.

    When is the spring fair?? I am dying to go now that I've seen your post!

    Oh, and the KW Ranch?? Looks absolutely picturesque. Just beautiful. As opposed to my husband's family's farm outside of Lubbock (which is the opposite of pretty), this is what I think about when I think about having "land" down there.

    Hope you have a great weekend!!

  6. Dearest Joni, Thank you for knowing to include Bella. And your pic is a calendar shot. When all is said/done it's animals for me. (Living not stuffed!)

    Tell me, what did Bella smell like?

    And the meadow under her feet?

    Garden & Be Well, XO Tara

  7. You're too hard on yourself - you looked great! As always - witty and funny writing. Round Top looks awesome - hope to go some year.

  8. You must have had a fabolous, antiques ( even some Swedish ), all the animals.
    Life couldn't be more sweet.

    By the look great!

  9. Oh. My. Goodness. Like I said, next year, maybe even in the spring, that will be me sweating in the tents trying to look stylish (which you do, by the way). Does your family take in random boarders at their farm? What a beautiful place they have. Thanks for the tour, Joni!
    PS: What did you buy besides a zebra rug?

  10. Stop calling yourself fat! You're not - you have great individual style Mrs Turquoise.

  11. What a fun, fun post! I just loved it! And you do not look like an elephant, you always look stylish, beautiful and fun loving. Just the kind of person I adore. Even in casual clothes, you look better than Erica in 'Something's Gotta Give'- my favorite all time look and movie. Now, where did you get the tre-chic blue footwear you wore to Round Top? Are they boots, booties or shoes? They are fabulous!

    As for Round Top, thanks so much for wandering through the tents in the heat. I've never been, but I so appreciated all the photos of the wares available. The Swedish sofa and Mora clock were my favorites. Although, I'd love to buy and upholster the sofa under the basket light fixture. It had good lines.

    And I can't leave out the ranch. Such cute kids, such a beautiful house and adorable animals. I'm so jealous you have a ranch connection.

    Thanks for being our design road warrior Joni!


  12. Now that was a fabulous read!

    I will always remember the pink granite story. I had never heard that one.

    Terrific photo of you! I don't care what you say.


  13. Joni, I have been reading your blog for a long time and it's a must read. I've learned so much and found so many new resources. Thank you. Now, Round Top - oh my gosh!! I'm a native Houstonian and I've gone to Round Top a few times. But because of my new found blog friends, I saw Round Top in another light. I was there Wed. and hit Marburger at 9:30am ready to battle the crowds, but where were the people!! I was blown away with all the pretties. I bought some tiny little French leather books just because they were so sweet. Anyway,later I hit a junk place in Warrenton, bought a French wine jug in a basket - is there an official name for one of those, ha ha!! And then I discovered Chelsea Meadows, Blue HIlls and then finally Big Red Barn. I couldn't buy anything else, I was in sensory overload. And it was hot. Thank you for your pictures, I loved seeing it all again.

  14. Joni, you are so cute! I love your boots!

    Thanks so much for the great trip report. This has been a dream of mine for many many years!

    I listened to the latest Skirted Round Table. Loved it, as usual.

  15. Thanks for the mention! I take lousy pictures!!!!!!! The others you got on Round Top and Shannon and Kirk's place were great!It cooled down a bit here and was breezy. I feel bad you were here on the "muggy" day..... And you looked great! I want those sunglasses....But your feet had to hurt in those suede DP's.Thanks again...... Looking forward the the decorating for the holidays......

  16. Round Top! What FUN! I am so glad I got to go last year. My sister is moving from Dallas to Houston so I am looking forward to more visits. It makes me sad about the crowds. Sometimes I feel like an idiot saying that I am developing on my interior design business in this economy. I might as well say I am managing Hedge Funds!

  17. Joni,
    Can I take you home with me? You are hilarious and I still SO enjoy your blog. My favorite. Nulli secundus.
    BIG hugs,
    Two grinches and the Jew. Who coined that? Genius.

  18. I've been to Beadboard! It really is like this chic little oasis within Brenham. I stopped by when I went to Chappell Hill for the lavender festival. I really must go back some time!

  19. Oh, fun, Joni! I would love to go to Round top. You make it look so inviting. One of my blog friends went last week too & loved it. Wow, at all the great things that are featured. Your pics are great & so are you!

  20. Loved this post, Joni!

    We went to Marburger on the opening morning of "Early Buying" and there was a mob. We wasted so much time waiting in line to eat at the new cafe (disappointing, the bags of chips we bought to go with our Marburbers were stale and had an expiration date of June 15.)

    It was cool in the morning, but we left around 2:00 as it began to warm up.

    Hope the crowds improved and are not disappointing the dealers. All my money is going to architects and builders now, so I didn't do my usual part at the antiques show.

  21. Have you ever been on an elephant???? I have ridden a few elephants and my dear you have A LONG WAY TO GO........ You look great but we can be so tough on ourselves... would have loved to go to the fair as i desperately need some antiques for my showroom. I could not got to the summer fairs her on the North East nor to france. The empty aisles...just like my and other New York showrooms...really sad indeed and really tough... let's see how long we can endure
    Thank you for the great post, so informative

  22. I so enjoy your posts and must say you are a fabulously beautiful woman blessed with a huge talent.

    Stop putting yourself down, the two girls you were with are too skinny!!

    Sandra Jonas

  23. JONI~

    You MUST go to "Comfort and Luxury"'s blog~~~ She starts off w/ a joke that was probably BASED on you and your darling Mr. Sock-Man!!!! Love it!


  24. How great is THAT to have all this only an hour away!?!?. And seeing your bloggy friends to boot! What a fun time. :)

  25. Joni - first of all, honey, I'm a size 14 on a **good** day and my Sam just likes to call the extra curves "boom" :) We're not overweight, sweetie, we just have a little boom. When I was a skinny little newlywed I didn't have a single drip of boom anywhere. There are perks to a few extra pounds :)

    Secondly, I think you're very pretty.

    Thirdly, I loved your scarf. We have similar coloring and the bright blue is great on you!

    Fourthly, wow - awesome photos in this post.

    And, lastly, HOLY SMOKES, CHARLOTTE MOSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Can you believe it! Wow, wow, wow :) I'm soexcited for you!


  26. OMG! what a great antique show! friends having been trying to get me to go for years and i thought, "no, way too crowded" kind of sad.....saw a million things i could fill my shop with

    if anyone is going this weekend here is what my friends say;

    one of the best fields;
    -mark dooley's, great bargains
    -visit my charming artist friend in dooley's field, richard.....scottish bloke selling amazing concrete ornamentation
    -eddie and jaithan are there
    -mark sage is a really nice and low key guy
    next year......*sigh* joni, thanks for the peek and humor. can i take you to my favorite antique show? in air conditioning!

  27. OMG! what a great antique show! friends having been trying to get me to go for years and i thought, "no, way too crowded" kind of sad.....saw a million things i could fill my shop with

    if anyone is going this weekend here is what my friends say;

    one of the best fields;
    -mark dooley's, great bargains
    -visit my charming artist friend in dooley's field, richard.....scottish bloke selling amazing concrete ornamentation
    -eddie and jaithan are there
    -mark sage is a really nice and low key guy
    next year......*sigh* joni, thanks for the peek and humor. can i take you to my favorite antique show? in air conditioning!

  28. Joni, I agree with the others. You are adorable & look fabulous. I love how you are so brilliant with your blog & decorating, yet so humble!
    Too bad about the small crowds at Round Top. I am actually one of those who did not go this year because of the economy.

  29. Listen to me!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I am fat!!!!! A big piece of lard ass! I KNOW it!!!!!!!! You don't have to say I'm not because I know you are all lying!!!! I am not blind. Look how SWOLLEN I look - my hands look like a MANs!!!! And my poor head - it's huge, like a big old jack o lantern! ok???? Let's be honest here. Thanks for trying to make me feel better, but I am not blind. OY!

    Does anyone have the number for Weight Watchers? Or should I do the diet that Marie Osmond did? What is that - NutriSystem? Wait - is Wendy's caesar salad on Nutrisystem???????????????? Do you think I could get corporate sponsorship on Nutrisystem? LIke Cote de Texas joins the team? sure. Maybe I'll just join Curves.

  30. Joni,
    I want to go to Round Top next year! I would like to ask how easy or difficult it is to make arrangements to have your purchases there shipped to you if need be. What arrangements does Brooke from Velvet & Linen make to get her goods from TX to CA? Thanks!

  31. Kara: I think it was a combination of Linda and me? not sure - it might have been all Linda!!!!

  32. Joni,
    You just CRACK me up! First off, I am drooling over your in-laws property...and the decor...yummy. I love how she did the gourds, I can do that! Second, I have drool on my keypad from Roundtop...holy cow, so many lovlies. Thirdly, you look great in white, I am not that brave, and I love love love your scarves. I see though that they got too hot. Now on the fat thing,..I was always told I was "sturdy"!! You look fab, you have legs that work, arms and hands that work and a fun head on your shoulders! You are Blessed.

  33. Love this tour of Round Top. I have to say I admire your pluck. I have such a difficult time enjoying myself, not to mention working, when I'm hot and sweaty. Or glowing. You know,we Southern girls don't sweat.

    And I don't know....somehow I might have been tempted to remain in that incredibly charming guest room!!

  34. Sharon - I don't think it was too hard to have things shipped, but email Brooke at Velvet and Linen and talk with her about it. She had EVERYTHING shipped!!!!! hope this helps!

  35. Joni, you, and your blog, just keep getting better, if that's possible!

  36. Jacci - yep Charlotte Moss - we are thrilled!!!!!!!!!!!!!! and very humbled to tell you the truth.

  37. you are gorgeous and a brilliant woman. just remember that... great post... so glad i missed the heat i think i would have melted. x pam

  38. OK Joni, I know how you feel. My friend Dinah and I were parked behind Brooke early Weds. morning as we waited for the gates at Marburger Farm to open. Dinah has e-mailed back and forth with Brooke several times to ask about some products for our store and we both love and follow her blog. When Brooke stuck her head out of her car to ask someone when the gates opened Dinah recognized her, called her on her cell and a minute later Washington Angela was taking our picture with TEENY, TINY, adorable Brooke! The morning was still cool and we had not begun to melt, but when I saw the pic posted on her blog, I felt as you did! Elephant!!

    However,we passed you and Brooke later that day in the Big Red Barn. Dinah and I passed ya'll in a heat induced daze, but when Brooke said 'Hey!" (how sweet is she?) I turned back to say hi and noticed you down the aisle--looking absolutely adorable and put together. My point being that any normal sized girl that stands next to Brooke probably won't take her best picture! If I hadn't been so completely hot & overloaded I would have introduced myself. Also Angela had informed us (the 2nd time we ran into her-such a doll too!) that earlier that day your fans had made quite a fuss over you and I thought that you had possibly had enough of that for the day! Anyway I can attest as an eye witness that you looked great and are no where close to looking elephant like!

    Dinah and I had plans to return to Marburger later that day but just ran out of time. Reading that you saw different things the second time around made me wish we had gone back Thursday morning! But we so enjoyed our trip and found some great new accessories for the store!

    Thank you for the wonderful story and pictures of your time in Round Top. I know the picture taking was an extra effort!

    Love, love, love your blog!
    Kim G.

  39. Fabulous tour Joni. Maybe next year Mr. Slipper Socks could be 'persuaded' to tag along & do the camera work to give you a well-derserved break, but then again, maybe hell might freeze over first!

    Your comments about the diminished crowd numbers is a worry, things seem to be on the up here in Australia, with Retailers reporting good figures for the last Qrt. And wine & make-up sales are at an all-time high. I guess when the going gets tough, the tough just touch up the lipstick & pour themselves another glass.
    Millie ^_^

  40. Joni, where do I begin with this post? First, I love the ranch and need a reservation for April. ha ha I must, must see the turquoise room. Being from Texas myself, I'm crazy about turquoise! All of the pictures from Round Top convince me that I have to make it their soon. You look completely, adorable and skinny in the pictures. You're way too hard on yourself!

  41. Hi Joni - I don't know if this is proper blog etiquette, but what a thrill to have you visit my little blog. And OMG, I can't believe your sensational blue mules are Donald Pliner! Those are practically the only shoes I ever wear.



  42. I LOVED this post! I really felt like I was right there with you! I am DEFINITELY going to make the trip to Round Top next year. I just HAVE to experience it. My pulse quickened just LOOKING at the photos of it. Thanks so much for sharing them! :-)


  43. Kara and Joni - I think I started it with "Two curmudgeons and a Jew walk in the Christmas Tree Shops" and it morphed to Scrooges and then to Grinches. Joni - fabulous post as always.

  44. Fabulous photos ja everything !!!!!

    All its antique French furniture -I'm speechless!
    they are lovely !

  45. Your sister-in-law's ranch looks like heaven!
    I am drooling over your Round Top pictures- one day, I'd love to go.It's freezing up here in NY!(okay, well 50's)
    You all look great!

  46. Hi Joni,

    I am always hiding behind a handbag or something too, but really, I think you look great and I love your spunk!! Don't worry about Brooke, we all know she's thin and gorgeous and talented and she a very special person.

    This is my first time comment on your blog, sorry, not sure why, I think I have just been travelling through other bloggers sites and just too busy with all my work. However I have recently stopped working and I am having a ball visiting more bloggers around the world.

    Great blog, great reading and I absolutely love listening to your interviews at S.K.T. Just also letting you know, when ever I mention that I have a blog here in Australia, most Aussie girls say, oh, I know a blog "Cote de Texas" your very well known here down under.

    Coty Farquhar

  47. Oh my ga. I am cracking up. I think everyone has that same reaction when they look at pictures of least I do. You are not an elephant, but you know saying stuff like that makes people laugh because all women relate. Have you ever read "Bitter is the New Black?" Now she IS large, but dang funny!

    Oh, and love the Texas pics too! I think my dad's cousin bought Marburger Farms this past year and now that is his full time job. I hope they did ok in this recession!

    Thanks for the gorgey pics as always!

  48. wow such great photos, great furniture and decor - love it! I don't know how you keep up with it all...

  49. Dear Joni,

    Oh I have so enjoyed this post!! You can't imagine!
    And yes I would love to be a guest in this beautiful ranch! With all these wonderful animals! I adore animals!
    And visiting the Round Top! It is unbelievable! I never seen that before! I would love to do some shopping with a lot of bloggerfriends at the Round Top...You made a lot of wonderful pictures Joni ! Thank you so much for sharing this!


  50. Hey all!

    As the third wheel and to set the record straight, Joni is NOT an elephant! Apparently those French mirrors she has are fun house mirrors! Now I will say, Brooke is very tiny, but not in a freakishly small way or anything, she's just really petite. Joni has a signature style. Own it girl! Your style is what makes you, well, you! If there is one thing all you bloggers have taught me (and now lead to my own business doing this design thing), is figuring out what you do and don't like and making it yours. For all you who have never seen Joni in person, she really does have a signature style. She's explained it all here, white on white with a pop of color (jewlery, scarves, and her draling boots which everyone commented on at the show)! To see Joni shopping first hand was an education. She really has an amazing well-trained eye to discern the good from the garbage. And then there are her fans which find her around every bend and turn. It cracks me up (I use to be a television anchor so shoping with her and Brooke is comedy for me as I get to witness these two deal with their 'public'!).

    Anyway, it was a joy to meet you! As I've said before, you are so generous to share your knowledge and love of design with all of us. Joni you are just as generous in person as on the blog and beautiful inside and out!

    Oh, and to address the shipping questions some had, shipping is available right there at the show. The easiest shipping arrangement I have ever experienced! Easier than Scott's! I had to ship to Washington state, so it was more $ for me (and I also purchased less than Brooke), but it is always very pricy to ship items to where we are!


  51. Thanks Joni;
    I would love to see roundtop & do this next year. We ( a couple of gals & moi) are heading to Kansas City in a couple of weeks! Looking forward to the trip!
    Thanks for sharing, love the ranch photos..... there is nothing like being in the country! I love to live in the city & have access to the range!
    Have a great weekend....

  52. Joni,

    I am sitting over here drooling! You're so right about Washington County. It was beautiful driving through. My husband and I decided to go and check out the Lavender Farm out there. We passed by Lillian Farms....WOW! Might have to stay there next time. I thought the same thing about the crowds, too. It didn't seem as busy as I thought it would be.

    Thanks for all the fabulous pictures and sweating in the hot Texas sun for all of us to get a glimpse..looking very stylish I might add, no matter what you say!!!


  53. First of all, you are not an elephant! It is scary how similar our humor and looks are. Our taste is different but very compatible. Seeing Kirk's kids and home made me all weepy again - think I have some unfinished business or what? Your post on RT is fabulous!! The details and photos are wonderful!You are obviously respected and loved in the blogging community and beyond - try not to be so hard on yourself. You are a beautiful women and I love following along on this season of your life. xo

  54. My first impression of Joni:
    Beautiful and stylish.
    Thank you for a wonderful day. I don't think I could have made it through all of those hot tents without the distraction of your humor. Thank you also for spotting my future powder room mirror!
    You are the best Joni. Looking forward to visiting you in Houston.


  55. first of all, love love the farm and all of the animals!! What a beautiful place. Also, Round Top looks like so much fun! Was probably easier to shop around with less folks. Your friend's shop is also great!

  56. I LOVED this post. So happy you included the animals & pics of your family's place. Wonderful. The empty aisles speak volumes don't they. Your sense of humor, talent & styling-while-at-the country-market & being "real" is what makes all of us love you!!

  57. Love your take on Round Top....glad you are rested and that you found a STARBUCKS!!!!! :)

  58. Joni, I love this excursion of the great outdoors surrounding the ranch. The image of the table overflowing with gourds is amazing. Wow. Sounds like you had a terrific time.

  59. No crowds? I would have loved that. The crowds, traffic, parking, heat, and abundance of stuff, have always been overwhelming in the past. No wonder your dogs were barking in those pretty cages.
    Don't put yourself down. Let others do that dirty work. You looked great!

  60. Looking incredibly stylish for a day stomping around in dust and heat - look at those cool boots!! I definately will never take a picture of myself shopping up at Brimfield sweating to death because I certainly don't look like you. Is April any cooler? Fabulous photos of great looking things. Sooooo tempted to come down!!! Thanks Joni for a peak and your really funny post - had me laughing this morning!


  61. WOW! you must have been tired and sore after all that shopping! I wish we had some antiquing like that where I live...such fabulous finds!! And...I am truly amazed at the lack of people...... Why didn't you buy yourself the zebra rug??? just curious...and even more curious to see the turquoise office!!!

  62. I'm so glad that you shared photos of the antique show. I have never been to one (can you believe that?), but I'm dying to go to one in the San Francisco Bay area. I'm sure there are many around here. I love that the fair was held at a barn and the tent floors were all covered with straw. How fun! No wonder you wore your boots... but I'm sure that didn't help with the heat! O.K... next time you go to this, can I come along? I'd love to fly in and join you guys...heat and all!

  63. Would so love to go next year!!! Why don't you send some info when it starts and where to go, you know I am so not in the loop when it comes to all those lovely events around the country....
    And stop beating youself up, you are gorgeous and smart as a whip, what else do you want, anyway, if you'd really suffer, you would take some action, otherwise, love who you are!

    You are adored all over the place! Take it!

    Love - Victoria

  64. You are so funny! Thanks for sharing all the photos - next best thing for those of us who couldn't be there this year. Interesting on the zebra rugs. You're looking good in classic white! Also, loved your day-in-the-life photo diary!

  65. Wow, looks like you had a fabulous time! I think I need to go to one of these fairs some day, and just ship it all back to Norway in a container!

  66. I love you Joni...but dang. If YOu arefat and bloated, then what am I?? Wait! Please do NOT answer that.
    I want to live in denial for a little while longer. Personally, I would kill to look like you and you always look chic. Hot or not.
    I hve always wanted to go to this show. Always. So I am vicariously visiting through you...and your relatives home! I have drooled over it before but it has commenced again.
    So ow I am depressed over not having a home like theirs, yours or having any of the gorgeous treasures you saw that day...and now I am depressed that I will never look as beautiful and chic as you do sweaty and hot, when I am cool and not.
    So now I will go crawl under a rock and drink a Starbucks in your honor. (The one down the street knows my son too! He just brought me one of the seasonal delights last night! Oh my!)
    Oh, and I would love to hit a Whataburger with you any day...

  67. Hello,

    What nice pictures of Texas, is a bit far from my place, but its really nice, and the shopping, mamamia i would buy a truck full of things, but luckely i am far away :-) so no damage to my bank account.

    Thanks for sharing :-)


  68. Hello,

    What nice pictures of Texas, is a bit far from my place, but its really nice, and the shopping, mamamia i would buy a truck full of things, but luckely i am far away :-) so no damage to my bank account.

    Thanks for sharing :-)


  69. This market looks better than Brimfield! I'll have to make the journey some day.

  70. Great, great tour...thank you. Love the horses, and donkeys, also. Did your daughter bug you for a pony when she was little? (My daughter is 20 and still wants one). Beautiful selection...gorgeous grays. Love the hay fields? Would love to come next year. Trish

  71. loved your post!!
    I must head over to see more on your links!

  72. Joanie-
    It looks like you were at Marburger on Wednesday. Is that right? The show started on Tuesday and that is when the crowds are there. 90% of the business is done on the opening day. It would pretty much be empty the second day no matter what the economy was like. I was there Tuesday and the crowds were off but there was a nice group of folks.
    Love the blog so much - my little group talks about what you say all the time. PLEASE keep it up. You are wonderful.

  73. ohhhh this makes me miss texas....i have yet to make it to roundtop or marburger but my mom goes twice a year. i'm DYING to get down there. the downside of living in new york...

  74. how I wish I could have gone - I love the pictures of the guesthouse - what a palace for guests!

  75. I just had to tell you how much I enjoyed your feature on Camila's blog. It gave me a good giggle-especially the bit about the sausage mcmuffin and your rabbi. :D

  76. Where do you talk about Julie Greenwood and The Garten on your blog ad nauseum? I met John at Round Top some time ago but have never seen them mentioned here, nor are they listed in your Labels. I'd love to see what you've posted about her so please if you could add her to your Labels or let me know where I can find her.

    The store is gorgeous. I'd love to see her house!


  77. Hi sweetie!

    sorry I missed ya'll at marburger! Getting ready for the yaya back porch party next week...hope you can be there!


    ( LOOKED GREAT!!! Very stylish)

  78. colleen martin for SOctober 4, 2009 at 12:16 AM

    Hi, could you possibly tell me the contact information for the booth from Atlanta with the photo caption "Pretty Swedish sofa and Mora Clock" so I can contact them about an item that is in that picture. Hopefully I can go to Marburger in the spring. Did the attendance pick up over the weekend?
    For the dealers who count on Roundtop for the majority of their annual sales, that must be devastating. Thanks for sharing the Roundtop show with us.

  79. I was seriously going to comment on how skinny you look in these pictures!

    I have never been to Roundtop - never even had a vision of exactly what it was, though certainly lots of people in Dallas attend and talk about it. So I loved seeing your pictures and getting an idea of what it's all about. You should offer a guided *Field Trip* for your faithful readers next time. You could charge to take people around to your favorite vendors. I suspect for first time visitors, the whole experience is a bit overwhelming.

  80. Oh I am so envious! I was thinking how chic you looked at Marburger. I would have white pants dirty in a minute! :)

    There is a gentleman in Scottsdale, Jeff Curie, who offers zebra rugs. His email is

    In response to your comments I too had an aunt Janice and my grandfathers birthday was on 9-11. Interesting enough my grandmothers birthday is the same date as the OK city bombings. We just try to focus on the postive. :)

  81. Well, I adore looking at furniture and knick knacks and stuff, but by far the most wonderful pics are of Bella (oh my goodness, how SWEET she is) and that gorgeous spreading oak tree.

  82. Joni- That looks like it was a fun trip. You look absolutely gorgeous on those pics and I love the scarf.

  83. Joni-
    I discovered your blog a few years ago when you were comparing West U. and Bellaire. I was so offended because I live in Bellaire but I soon got over it! Now I love all things CotedeTexas! I just got back from Round Top on the hunt for a zebra rug. Tell me what you think is a good price for a zebra? I saw a few but could not commit because of sticker shock. Keep up the good work.

  84. Karen Junking in GeorgiaOctober 4, 2009 at 3:29 PM

    God, my feet hurt and I didn't even get to go. Enjoyed the post very much... I went to the April show years ago ... dear in the headlights! it was huge then and sounds even bigger now.. as for the lack of crowds we've seen that here in Atlanta at Scott's but the prices do not seem to respond to the lack of buyers.. I would want to sell it if I had hauled it all out to one of those hot tents not pack it back up and take it home .....

  85. Joni, what a hoot! I read the article at the other blog and got so tickled.

    I enjoyed antiquing with you, but I got hot with no AC. Girl, I would have been in deep trouble. I only do air conditioning these days. You are far more intrepid than I.

    Glad you found your client a zebra. I still love mine after 20 years...


    Sheila :-)

  86. Oh, what fun. I'm not sure which I would enjoy the most...time in the country or shopping at Round Top. It was all too perfect.

  87. Joni,
    I absolutely love reading your blog! You are the very best.


  88. You make me wish I could travel to these shows! I'll settle for living vicariously through you.

  89. A silly confession to make first! I was sooo excited when you left a comment on my blog. You have such a big blog and such talent, your blog is incredible THAT is felt like a famous person was on my blog, hehe!! :D

    Anyways, I really love the horse photos, very romantic country. And I especially love the big oak tree. What a beautiful and peaceful place.

  90. I have friends that live in Commerce, South Lake and Austin - the drive me to Round Top and we enjoy every bit and piece of it - crawling back to Julia's home to peruse our treasures and figure out how to pack our bounty for our flight back to Maryland - it is glorious!!! Jennifer

  91. Oh Great Fat One (sounds like the Dali Lama himself..) - you are the answer to TLC. Oh Great Fat One, You are the one to fix it all. The mystery completed on LP. (excellent post on your trip...and you look so fab and sexy and enough already would ya!!!)

  92. You are hardly Buddah my dear, frankly you look lovely and I like your blue-toned scarf.

    Your portrait of Maryanne is charming as is her shop.

    Beyond the lovely antiques, I adore the ranch, gorgeous horses, sigh, so sweetly decorated and don't think I didn't notice the National Geographic at the base of the bed - they have taste, x.

  93. Godmorning Joni, Sweden calling...

    Just two word about your blog;
    A M A Z I N G & A M A Z I N G

    I did want to let you know that I added your blog to the links section of my blog Wabi & Sabi.

    I found your blog when i read another 'darlingblog of mine'. the Liberty Post.

    I hope it's will be ok if I borrow some pic's from this amazing-blog and put them on Wabi & Sabi!!

    I send you a warm regards & hope you have a great week. Cheers from Agneta

  94. wow i LOVE youre blogg, so nice....happy to pop in here...//E

  95. Joni

    Lately I have found myself drawn to antiques and I am now planning a trip in April to Round Top/Marburger Farm!

    I was wondering if you could tell me what the differences are in the gray painted furniture finishes you saw at Marburger Farm?

    I truly enjoy your blog...thank you!

  96. Love love love all the chandeliers!

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