02 December 2008

Antique Shopping in Austin: A Recent Visit!!

 

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Whenever I go to Austin, Texas, the first store I hit is Shabby Slips on 6th Street.  A branch of the store in Houston owned by Renea Abbott, it is much smaller and more intimate than the original.   But – that’s alright.  This store is every bit as beautiful and full of wonderful eye candy as the Houston one.   Look how charming the outside is – with its antique “OPEN” sign and white curtains blowing in the breeze. 

 

 

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OK, let’s go in – I already see a few things that have caught my eye from the window.  I’m really on a mission this day.  We’re staying at the Four Seasons and it’s a UT football game weekend, which means the city is full to capacity.  Add to that it’s ACL weekend, Austin City Limits, a huge 3 day music extravaganza which is why we are here to begin with.  Our daughter has invited two girlfriends to go to ACL.  So, rooms with views of Lady Bird Lake are completely sold out, except for one smoking room, which the hotel promised they would refresh.  Except when we check in, it still stinks like someone has just smoked a pack of unfiltered Camels in there.   Ben has sent me out to find a scented candle to burn.   Wow – that’s a first!  Ben telling me to buy a scented candle!   Oh-K, no problem,  I aim to please.

 

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How gorgeous is this sofa?  OK – I’ll take it, wrap it up.  Tufted in the most extremely luscious way – this is one sofa here that won’t be slipcovered.  And that cute white Jeep Commander outside the window?  ha!  That’s the Cote de Texas blogmobile.  White, of course – with caramel colored interior.  True love.

 

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This is a standard chair for Shabby Slips with the English saddle arm, down back and bottom cushions.  This is not slipcovered yet – but it still is beautiful in its bare state.  Love the Kelly Wearstler pillow.   Will we ever tire of that fabric?

 

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I love this Spanish influenced desk – it’s so versatile – it could be a bedside table, or a sofa table, a buffet in a dining room, or a coffee table in front of a large sofa.   The faux bois vase is from Oly Studios.   But, check out the chair – with its beautiful linen, waterfall slipcover.  And look at the crown on that down cushion!  That’s pretty high!   I love the decor here – the white, white walls with the seagrass matting – so fresh and clean looking.  It really makes the merchandise look great.

 

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Glamour comes to Shabby Slips – the mushroom velvet sofa has one back and one bottom cushion – my favorite combination.  The chairs with the t-cushion arms are a perfect pair for the sofa.  I love how they put the two empty frames flanking the antique mirror.   The poor orchid needs to be retired though.  I mean, really.  Toss it already.

 

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Love this vignette with the oversized mirror and the matching floor lamps – which I adore.  Also, on the table are faux rosemary plants, which are just about the only fake plant I ever use.   These look great in a kitchen if you can’t grow the real thing.

 

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I love this antiqued-mirrored coffee table, it’s diminutive size is great for an accent piece.  The sofa, again, waits to be sold before the slip is sewn.    Silk velvet tiger pillows are a hot alternative to zebra skins.   

 

 

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Another dining table, this time large glass apothecary jars as centerpieces.  Barry Dixon, the interior designer, uses these bottles filled with vividly colored water to great effect.  Mercury glass cylinder lamps are topped with square shades.   

 

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Great mirror, sconces and antique buffet.  The chaise is a great size – contemporary lines, not too big. 

 

 

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A romantic wood framed love seat, with ice blue pillows.  I love the pair of sconces, but the real stars  here are the antique Venetian mirrors!  These are great looking ones that would work in a classic or contemporary interior.

 

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Rarely is there ever not a Princess and the Pea bed on display in Shabby Slips.  Here, twins with upholstered headboards and lots of linen fabric.   I love the entire vignette – from the small crystal chandelier – what a great idea instead of a lamp – to the small sunburst gilt mirror.   A pair of framed intaglios hang above the beds.

 

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I mean – just look at the gorgeous dust ruffle!!!!  Shabby Slips always elevates their beds to create this long drop.  Also, they are sewn with a double ruffle – twice the amount of gathers that a normal workroom does.  This double ruffle is great to use on chair skirts too.  Alright, candles bought – had to get a few since I had an open order to buy. 

 

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Next stop is always Whit Hanks Antiques, an upscale mall further down on 6th Street. 

 

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.Just look for the famous Treaty Oak – right  in front of Whit Hanks.

There’s a fence around it now after a crazy person poisoned the tree in 1989.  They weren’t sure it would survive, but it did.    This oak is the last surviving one from a group of 14 that served as a tribal meeting place for Comanche and Tonkawa Indians over 500 years ago.  Before the poisoning, the tree’s spread was over 127 ft.  Now only 1/3 of the tree remains, though it finally started producing acorns again in 1997 – for the first time since the poisoning. 

 

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My favorite place in Whit Hanks is The Antique Swan which is probably the best place to buy English smalls any where except Portobello Street in London.

 

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Shelves and shelves of transferware.  I once bought a set of 20 brown and white transferware plates here – they were such a bargain I couldn’t resist.    Most of them are now hanging in my dining room.  I spy two Masonware vases on the top shelf of this dessert cart that I really could use for my collection!  Oh well, I’m sure they are out of my price range.

 

 

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Someone needs to call Charles Faudree quick – this is such a great selection of English Staffordshire figures.  He loves to make lamps out of these pieces. 

 

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Aw, cute authentic  Toby Jugs!!

 

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 There is lots and lots of Majolica for those who collect it!  Alyse!!!! 

 

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Next, at a French antique booth, Fray has recently invested heavily in painted pieces.  This was a pair of consoles which they allowed to be broken up.  A shame – though I can’t even afford the one!   But isn’t this a beauty?

 

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I like this chest with the gilded candlesticks on top.   The newest thing in display in antique stores is placing mirrors and sconces on top of antique doors – just like they have done here.

 

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These are functional pieces – a pair of demi lunes used as consoles or together as a small table. 

 

 

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Moving through Whit Hanks’  other booths, I find this piece that is hard to resist – a gray painted French settee in pink silk – charming!

 

 

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And a great Duchesse de Brise – perfect for a bedroom with a fireplace.

 

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I loved this – Princess Eugenie, Napoleon III’s wife.  The original by Winterhalter is in Rome.  This large canvas measures 10 x 7.  I would love to design a room around this painting!   I just need the client.   Anyone interested?

 

OK, I’m done shopping for the day.   More on my tour of Austin’s great places to shop another day!!   To visit Whit Hanks online, please go here.   And Shabby Slips, Houston has a gorgeous web site here.