In our last few blog posts, we’ve detailed the fabulously fun media dinner that kicked off the Women of Today x The Vintage Round Top Social Media Marketing Workshop weekend we hosted last month. If you haven’t seen the rundown yet, check out our blog post recap—or read about the event in People magazine!
Guests of our media dinner were treated to an incredible meal of salmon crudo, spring salad with beets and haricots verts, fresh pasta, and airy strawberry meringue, all prepared by Kristen and her team.
How has Texas influenced your work for Arlo Grey and beyond?
Never in a million years would I have thought I’d end up in Texas. I completely changed and had to learn what seasonal cooking was again; Texas has different produce seasons I wasn’t used to. I love exploring the new farms, cattle, gulf seafood, and generally learning about how things grow from coast to coast. It’s been a lot of fun!
How have you sought to differentiate yourself within Austin’s rich culinary culture?
It shouldn’t take much thought [to be different]. When you give an authentic, true, honest view of yourself, regardless of subject, you will differentiate yourself. It’s when people begin to think about how to be different or haven’t quite figured out a point of view, that’s when ideas become disjointed. I am giving my story through food--my lens and interpretation of detail. I hope that is seen, felt, and tasted.
Where do you turn for culinary inspiration?
Wow, where do I begin!? Everywhere and everyone. From classics to the nostalgia of my childhood. I love a great story in food--show me a great meal through the history of the person cooking it.
What are your go-to dishes for hosting an impromptu gathering?
Whole-herb-and-olive-oil roasted chicken, crunchy bread to soak up all the chicken fat, and homemade fettuccine with a simple butter sauce and beautiful Parmesan cheese.
What’s your all-time fave meal you’ve ever eaten?
It is super hard to pick just one. I’ll say my grandmothers stuffed cabbage rolls and creamy cucumbers with dill. Probably my first-ever favorite homemade meal.
1 or 2 large green cabbages, enough for 12 to 15 large leaves
4 cups of your favorite sauerkraut
2 cups tomato juice
5 smoked bacon slices (optional)
1 pound ground pork shoulder (Boston butt)
1 pound ground beef
1 tablespoon sweet, smoked, or hot paprika (I like a mix)
2 teaspoons ground fennel seeds
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
½ teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 garlic cloves, finely grated
¹⁄₄ cup grated white onion
1¹⁄₄ cups uncooked white rice
Grapeseed or other neutral oil
1 English cucumber
¹⁄₄ cup red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
3 teaspoons kosher salt
1 (8-ounce) container sour cream
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh dill
Freshly ground black pepper
If you don’t love sauerkraut, no worries: a beautiful rich tomato sauce is a great alternative. Also, I encourage you to serve the cabbage rolls directly from your baking vessel. So if you’re aesthetically inclined, choose your wares accordingly!
Start the cabbage rolls: You’ll need 12 to 15 nice large leaves to make these rolls. Gently peel off the outer leaves of the cabbage, then steam these over a pot of boiling water until pliable, roughly 15 minutes. Lay them out on a kitchen towel to cool and dry. Chop up the remaining cabbage (up to ½ head) into medium chunks.
Make the stuffing: In a large bowl, mix together with your hands the pork, beef, paprika, fennel seeds, red pepper flakes, coriander, black pepper, garlic, onion, and rice, adding a generous sprinkling of salt. Shape a very small patty of the mixture and, in a hot small frying pan lightly coated with oil, cook it for 2 minutes on each side. Taste for salt and adjust your overall mixture accordingly.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Roll up ¼ cup of the stuffing into each steamed cabbage leaf, like you would roll a burrito, and tuck each roll into a deep baking dish, seam-side down. Pour a light layer of the sauerkraut juice and all of the tomato juice over the rolls. Insert small pieces of the cabbage heart(s) in between each roll, then top with the sauerkraut and more of its juices: the overall amount of liquid should come three fourths of the way up the cabbage rolls. I like to add some slices of smoked bacon over the top to add flavor while the dish cooks, but it’s your choice. Cover tightly with a lid or buttered foil, and bake for 2½ to 3 hours, until tender.
In the meantime, make the creamy cucumbers: Slice the cucumber into rounds about the thickness of a nickel. Combine in a nonreactive bowl with the vinegar, sugar, and 1 teaspoon of the salt. Allow to sit for 20 to 30 minutes at room temperature. Drain off the cucumber liquid. Mix the cucumbers with the sour cream, dill, remaining 2 teaspoons salt, and the pepper. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
To serve: Serve family-style right from your cooking vessel, with the creamy cucumbers on the side
If you’re ever in Austin, do yourself a favor and visit Arlo Grey, Kristen’s amazing restaurant in the new Line Hotel. 111 E Cesar Chaves St., Austin, Texas, 78701.
This time, we’d like to showcase the talents of Valerie Wolf, the creative mind behind Austin-based floral design company Davy Gray. Read on to learn how Valerie created the gorgeous floralscapes for our event—and how you can apply her creative approach to your next dinner party.
When approaching a floral design project, Valerie prefers to take a holistic view of the event’s location that goes beyond the flowers themselves. “For me, it's about creating experiences through the use of natural materials in an artistic and innovative way,” she says. In the early design stages, Valerie listens to clients’ “big-picture” vision for the whole event, drawing inspiration from key descriptors that capture the look and feel they hope to achieve.
For the Women of Today x The Vintage Round Top media dinner, the Davy Gray team began with a richly detailed original concept from our co-host Camila Alves McConaughey–"a luxurious and intimate gathering that had the power to transport guests to a European style alfresco dining experience.” Designing tablescape florals for an ultra-long banquet table presented a challenge, however: making sure every guest can enjoy an equally rich and engaging vantage point.
Using Camila’s concept of lush moss as a foundation, “I ran with the idea of creating what felt like intricate fairy gardens, with lots of playful moments to discover from every angle,” says Valerie. Guided by the fresh, delicate florals of the season, Valerie incorporated on “elegant springtime accents” like sweet pea, orchids, fringed tulips, and blooming branches alongside dramatic, feminine delphinium and several varieties of ferns and moss to create a series of whimsical centerpieces that ran the entire length of the table.
The light, airy vibe of the tabletop floralscape was then juxtaposed with “a massive canopy of overgrown forest suspended high above the dinner below.” The resulting look created the feeling of a dinner party in a lush woodland clearing, with understated details in every direction. The vignette-style centerpieces also allowed for easy reuse after the table was broken down. We decked out the Boho cottage’s windowsills with them for the following day’s Social Media Marketing Workshop!
If you’re planning an event in the greater Austin, TX area and looking for some show-stopping florals, check out Davy Gray’s portfolio to see how their creative team has executed past clients’ visions.
Looking to create your own version of Davy Gray’s lush aesthetic for your next dinner party? According to Valerie, you often don’t need to look further than your own backyard or neighborhood for ideas. “Let the natural environment guide the overall aesthetic of each unique design,” she says. “Nature is a constant source of inspiration. I stay curious and remain aware of the surroundings where any given piece will exist.”
Davy Gray’s Valerie Wolf (foreground), pictured with (clockwise from left) Alyssa Hart and Anna Crelia of Loot, Katie Nopola of Davy Gray, Camila Alves McConaughey of Women of Today, and me.
Mother’s Day is right around the corner! We’re sharing a few of our favorite vintage finds and modern goods that Mom is sure to love. To purchase or learn more about an item, just click on its photo!
Let Mom carry a reminder of a past trip to Round Top wherever she goes with this sweet tote from our friends at Townsend Provisions. It’s the perfect size for shopping the fields—or just running an errand to the grocery store! If the mom in your life is an avid antiques shopper, she’ll need some hip sun protection for those hot Texas afternoons. This classically cool straw hat, also from Townsend Provisions, or this bandana-and-leather-slider set from Brenham, TX shop Ballad of the Bird Dog will keep her outfitted for a long day of picking and salvaging.
Looking to make new memories together? Consider a gift certificate for a stay at The Vintage Round Top! Nothing shows Mom your appreciation better than the gift of quality time, and our chic, comfortable cottages are the perfect setting for a special getaway.
A heartfelt card is a simple, sincere way to show Mom you care. We love this pretty floral design and fun illustrated card—both from Small Adventure Shop. If you’re shopping for a mom who loves unique, one-of-a-kind pieces, consider this sweet vintage mother-of-pearl rosary from France or this ultra-cool vintage tabletop mirror (it’s perfect for applying makeup!).
For Francophile mommas, go for this fun vintage Parisian souvenir photoset. We love the look of these photos displayed loosely shuffled in a bowl!
We can’t get enough of these heirloom-quality garden tools from Fisher Blacksmithing—they’re a perfect gift for moms with green thumbs! Moms who garden will also love these vintage-inspired numbered garden stakes. They even look great in a windowsill planter!
Shopping for someone who loves to cook? These vintage copper measuring spoons we brought back from Provence are so pretty that Mom won’t care if you leave them out on the kitchen counter!
Speaking of Provence, lavender is one of our all-time favorite scents and reminds us of both the rolling French countryside and Texas Hill Country. That’s why offer it as a scent in our RVT personal care products line! Gift Mom a bar of our deliciously scented lavender bar soap, or make a coordinated gift box with this luscious lip balm from Los Poblanos organic farm and this fresh, inviting eau de parfum from Boyd’s of Texas.
Born and raised in L.A., Andy was discovered by a talent manager while busking and selling demo CDs on the Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica. He went on to release multi-platinum feel-good pop hits like “Keep Your Head Up, “ “Fresh Eyes,” and “Honey, I’m Good.” Andy treated our guests with these songs and some new material, playing an intimate, personal acoustic set right in the Boho cottage great room!
The Boho great room—before and after.
Although we’d initially planned for Andy to perform on our outdoor patio, unseasonably cold weather forced us to move things indoors. Luckily, the ultra-talented team at Loot Rentals was able to pull off a complete breakdown and set-up in under thirty minutes, transforming Boho’s great room from a banquet-style dining room setup to a luxe lounge. While guests enjoyed Rob’s after-dinner dessert cocktails and Brazilian brigadeiros from Rio Bites, the Loot staff sprang into action to create this tranquil, candle-lit indoor lounge.
To complement the relaxed nature of the performance and encourage guests to feel a personal connection to Andy’s performance, Loot styled a low-lying sectional, poufs, and floor pillows over a collection of textured area rugs. They also created a secondary seating area with high-top bar tables and chairs to ensure that everyone had a clear view of the performance.
The result was a cozy, stylish space where guests could relax and connect to the music. Andy put everyone at ease with jokes and the personal stories that inspired his songs. He brought tears to many eyes (especially mine) with his stories about his mom and the lessons she passed down to him about women’s empowerment—which fit right into the Women of Today’s mission. The performance quickly turned into a sing-along—which everyone joined in!
Want to see more behind-the-scenes details from our media dinner? Check back later this week; we’ll be detailing the incredible meal provided by Top Chef winner and Arlo Grey owner Kristen Kish!
During an evening full of exciting moments, liquid chef and Bar Rescue mixologist Rob Floyd was undoubtedly a highlight. Rob stepped behind the bar during our recent Women of Today x The Vintage Round Top media dinner to create a sampling of his fresh, innovative cocktails for our guests.
Rob’s novel approach to mixology views a cocktail as an “edible sensory adventure” and relies on taste, technique, and tale to create a fully realized experience around each drink. That means relying on fresh, simple ingredients in lieu of added sugars, focusing on molecular techniques, and providing historical and narrative contexts for his creations. Accessibility is also important to Rob, and he encourages guests to join him behind the bar for a hands-on experience.
Left: Rob Floyd mixes a drink behind the bar in the No. 1450 kitchen. Right: Rob creates a layered cocktail by floating C.L. Butaud Tempranillo atop a 16th-century-inspired verjus.
At the Women of Today x The Vintage Round Top media dinner, guests were treated to a variety of cocktails, including a minty, gin-based twist on a Moscow Mule, a smoky take on a classic Old Fashioned made with burning rosemary (dubbed “The Smoking Gun”), and a spicy-sweet margarita called the Piña en Fuego.
Read on to learn how to make Rob’s Piña en Fuego at home, and visit his website for more cocktail recipes and inspiration.
For more on the food, drink, and special guests at the dinner and workshop, stay tuned. We’ll be revealing more behind-the-scenes details in upcoming blog posts!
And if you haven’t read our overview of the dinner, check out our last blog post!
Clockwise from top left: Rob demonstrates how to prepare a “Smoking Gun” using a burnt rosemary sprig and Wild Turkey Longbranch Bourbon; a lineup of drinks prepared by Rob for the WOTxRVT media dinner; Rob Floyd and Camila Alves McConaughey watch Fixer Upper’s Clint Harp mix a drink; Camila muddles herbs behind the bar while Rob and Clint look on.
1 slice of jalapeño (or to taste)
2 chunks fresh pineapple
3/4 oz. lime juice
1/2 oz. agave nectar
2 oz. tequila or mezcal (Rob used Espolòn Blanco)
Hawaiian black lava sea salt (optional)
1. In a shaker, gently press jalapeño to express oil.
2. Add pineapple and muddle.
3. Add remaining ingredients except black pepper and shake with ice.
4. Strain into a rocks glass (salt the rim according to your preference)
with 3 ice cubes and garnish with a sprinkling of fresh ground black pepper.
Bartending Tip: Over muddling the jalapeño releases its tannins and turns the drink bitter and
unbalanced. Simply press it gently until you hear it crunch. The finish of black pepper
acts as an irritant, opening all your taste buds and making room for the full experience of
both sweet and savory at the same time.
Our Business Branding & Social Media Workshop Series is one of the coolest things we get to do at The Vintage Round Top. These events have allowed us to meet other entrepreneurs, connect small-business owners with one another, and share our knowledge and expertise as well as that of our incredible panelists.
The Social Media Marketing & Content Creation Workshop, which we hosted last week in partnership with Women of Today by Camila Alves McConaughey, exceeded our expectations in every way. We want to thank all our amazing attendees, our brilliant panelists, and our generous sponsors for contributing food and beverages for the event and goodies for our guests to take home.
We’ll be talking about some of the details in upcoming posts, but we thought we’d share a brief recap of this inspiring two-day event. The media dinner we held the night before the workshop received a write-up on People.com, so be sure to check out that article for a rundown of all the famous faces in attendance—including singer-songwriter Andy Grammer, Fixer Upper craftsman Clint Harp and his wife Kelly, television host Rocsi Diaz, Houston-based design and lifestyle bloggers Ashley Rose and Jared Smith of Sugar & Cloth, model Nicole Trunfio, and Queen Sugar actress Marycarmen Lopez.
The evening began with cocktails created by liquid chef Rob Floyd of Bar Rescue. Rob takes holistic approach to cocktails, viewing a beverage as an experience and focusing on fresh, natural, and health-forward ingredients. Rob wants his recipes to be accessible and engaging, so he didn’t hesitate to bring our guests behind the bar for a little hands-on training. He showed us how to create a Smoking Gun, a unique take on an Old Fashioned that involves lighting a sprig of rosemary on fire! Guests who chose not to drink alcohol sipped on sparkling water from Dripping Springs, TX bottler Richards Rainwater.
While Rob entertained guests in the No. 1450 kitchen, our Boho cottage was abuzz with activity. The team at Loot Rentals was hard at work setting up a 28-foot-long banquet table for 30 guests, and created a place setting that beautifully complemented the botanicals that we collaborated on with Camila and floral design studio Davy Gray. In the kitchen, Arlo Grey owner and Top Chef winner Kristen Kish and her team prepared a meal of salmon crudo, spring salad with beets and haricots verts, and fresh pasta.
Once the sun went down, guests dined by candlelight, passing along family-style dishes and sipping rosé, Chenin blanc, and Tempranillo from local Texas wineries C.L. Butaud and Infinite Monkey Theorem. Chef Kish served a sublimely light and fresh strawberry meringue for dessert, which was followed by another round of sweet treats in the No. 1450 cottage—Brazilian brigadeiros from Austin-based Rio Bites and chocolaty dessert cocktails created by Rob Floyd.
To conclude the evening, guests were treated to an acoustic performance from Andy Grammer, who played a few of his hit songs, including “Fine by Me” and “Keep Your Head Up.” With guests sitting on Loot’s floor poufs and low-slung lounge seating, Andy shared some of the personal stories behind his music, making this a truly special and intimate live -music experience.
Want to learn more behind-the-scenes details from the Women of Today x The Vintage Round Top media dinner and workshop? We’ll be spotlighting a few of our amazing collaborators in the next few blog posts—and sharing some of their recipes and entertaining tips!—so make sure to check back for more!
Special thanks to sponsors Campari, C.L. Butaud, Infinite Monkey Theorem, Loot Rentals, and Loot Finer Goods, Richards Rainwater, Rio Bites, Sugar & Cloth; and guest contributors Rob Floyd, Andy Grammer, Kristen Kish, and Valerie Wolf.
We’ve been so proud to have been featured on the cover of ORIGIN magazine’s food and design issue! Although we’ve been fortunate enough to have been included in many publications in the past, our ORIGIN feature was our first cover story—truly a pinch-me moment!
As a new issue of ORIGIN makes its way to newsstands, we want to thank the Maranda, Ana, and their entire staff for working with us and their interest in our design aesthetic. We also thought we’d celebrate this feature by including a few of the behind-the-scenes photos from the shoot along with some of our design tips!
If you didn’t get a chance to pick up a print copy of the magazine, you can purchase a digital download of the issue that features The Vintage Round Top—along with other past issues of ORIGIN!—here.
Our number-one design rule is…not to follow rules! Smoot and I have never been very good at following rules. Honestly, the best design rule is to simply follow your heart. Mixing vintage pieces in a very layered and super-clean aesthetic is what feels right in my heart, and that is what has defined our approach to design.
While we don’t really design according to set rules, we can definitely distill our aesthetic into a few key elements.
Open floor plans with lots of windows provide plenty of natural light and invite the outdoors in. We try to create those conditions as much as possible.
We also rely heavily on clean, modern lines and a neutral color palette that provide a sleek contrast with textural elements and vintage pieces. When styling with vintage items, our goal is to lend depth, soul, and feeling to a space. We also try to incorporate pieces acquired during our travels as a visual reminder of a meaningful family trip.
Lastly, don’t forget comfort! We want every space we design to be functional and feel lived-in. That means comfortable seating, soft throws, and cushy pillows that invite guests to relax.
Don’t rush the process of picking a paint color. A tiny variation in hue can really make or break an entire room, so it’s important to get it right! I always buy samples and paint as many swatches as possible on several different walls. Then I live with them for a few days and compare how they look in different lighting conditions—a sunny day, a cloudy day, nighttime, with bright indoor lighting, etc. before deciding which one works the best.
Our go-to shade? White. There are so many different shades of it! White paint allows for a little more freedom when it comes to texture and style—plus, we love how light bounces off white and makes a room feel open and fresh.
We happen to love the unique character that vintage pieces bring to interior design, but they can also serve as a way to reduce costs. And if environmental sustainability is important to you, then using repurposed materials is a great way to cut down on waste. We’ve created most of our lighting fixtures out of found or reclaimed materials, and we’ve sourced many of our construction materials from Habitat Humanity ReStore. It feels amazing to give an antique vanity or reclaimed lumber a new life and purpose.
Many thanks to our amazing team of collaborators! Each one really helped this shoot become something special.
In our last post, we talked about the amazingly talented creative minds behind Loot Rentals—Rhoda Brimberry and Anna Crelia—who styled a gorgeous post-shopping dinner party at The Vintage Round Top for a group of creatives visiting the fall Antique Week shows.
Since dinner guests would be convening after a long day of shopping the fields under the hot Texas sun, the Loot team wanted to provide a laid-back experience that emphasized relaxation, reflection, and connection.
With Loot’s low-key approach to hosting in mind, we thought we’d share a few behind-the-scenes secrets that you can use to create your own intimate dinner party!
Low lighting is a no-brainer for an evening event, but Rhoda and Anna decided to opt for low seating to create a unique, memorable experience. Moving the party to the floor creates a casual vibe and a closer seating arrangement, encouraging guests to engage with their tablemates.
The Loot team overlapped vintage rugs to create a comfortable footprint on our wood flooring and used two reclaimed-wood coffee tables in lieu of a dining table. An eclectic collection of poufs and floor cushions made for comfy seating that was just the right height.
For our fall Antique Week event, our friends Nick Moseley and Ryann Ford (Townsend Provisions) and Gloria Vaught BursonAntiques & Vintage Texas) joined us and our creative collaborators Foster ATX and Austin band The Canvas People around the table for a restorative evening of great food and excellent conversation. The low table was perfect for enjoying some live acoustic tunes from The Canvas People during dessert!
Outsource What You Can
Rather than worrying about whipping something up after a long day of trekking from show to show, Rhoda and Anna opted to have dinner prepared by the catering team at La Pera. Beth and Rafael created a beautiful, delicious meal featuring their signature fusion of pan-Latin and interior Mexican flavors.
If catering is beyond your party budget, consider ordering takeout and serving family-style plates that allow guests to serve themselves.
Use What’s Already Around You
Simplify your party prep by sourcing florals and greenery from your own yard. For our autumn event, Anna and Rhoda foraged evergreen branches and goldenrod from our property. The local flora was then mixed with Loot’s collection; grapewood branches, ceramic bud vases, hurricane lanterns, and yards of cheesecloth were all used to create this simple yet beautiful tablescape.
To create a sense of drama and add some overhead lighting, the Loot team mounted single-light-bulb fixtures inside vintage bamboo chicken cages and lashed evergreen branches to vintage ladders suspended horizontally from the ceiling. For a similar effect, use greenery to spruce up your existing overhead light source.
When it comes to setting the table, Rhoda and Anna caution against overthinking it. The Loot team loves the look of slightly mismatched tableware, and recommend mixing different pieces rather than worrying about assembling a perfectly matched set. For this table setting, Loot used handmade stoneware dishes, vintage-inspired glassware, and mismatched vintage silver flatware from their rental collection. Mudcloth napkins from their retail collection, Loot Finer Goods, were tied with twine and greenery sprigs from their foraged finds.
Want more entertaining tips and tablescape inspiration from the Loot team? Snag a copy of the latest issue of Mingle—on stands now!
We are so pleased to share that The Vintage Round Top is appearing on newsstands again! Our collaboration with our friends Loot Rentals is featured in the current issue of Mingle, a magazine published by Stampington & Co. and dedicated to inspiring gatherings, parties, and get-togethers. Together, we hosted an intimate dinner party for a group of fellow creatives visiting the fall Antiques Show from Austin. The editors at Mingle loved the effortless style of the event, which was designed to compliment a tiring day of shopping the fields with a relaxing, restorative gathering.
As a husband-and-wife design team, we clicked instantly with sisters-in-law Rhoda Brimberry and Anna Crelia, the creative minds behind Loot. Like us, the idea for their business began while they were working on a family project. When we purchased the home that would become The Vintage Round Top, we were looking for a country getaway that would give our children a taste of the slower pace and unstructured, freewheeling playtime that we enjoyed in our own childhoods. We quickly realized that other people were visiting Round Top for the same reasons—to experience the simpler pleasures of small-town life—and decided to offer our home as a lodging option.
Rhoda and Anna’s story follows a similar trajectory. They were working together on sourcing authentic vintage furnishings and décor for Anna’s 1920s-themed wedding (to Rhoda’s brother!) and wanted to find a way for their finds to be used beyond a single event. They decided to offer their collection as a rental package for other events, and Loot Rentals was born!
If you are looking for some one-of-a-kind pieces to pull your event together, we highly recommend browsing Loot’s rental offerings. Their inventory contains beautifully curated collections of furniture, rugs, lighting, tableware, and décor from a wide range of eras and styles—from sleek Scandinavian modern to rustic farmhouse to ornate rococo revival. They also make things even easier on you by providing pre-designed lounge setups in a variety of styles, allowing you to instantly stage a beautifully designed seating area (including our personal favorite, The Round Top Lounge!). We’re big fans of Anna and Rhoda’s design aesthetic, so we also recommend booking their styling services for large-scale events; they’ll make sure everything is comfortable enough for guests but with enough editorial style to make your event photos pop. Loot also offers interior styling services for Austin-area real estate marketing—perfect for property photos and open houses!
Not in the Austin area? You can still incorporate Loot’s style into an event setup—or your living room!—with their online web shop offerings. After receiving many requests from clients to purchase pieces that had been rented, Rhoda and Anna decided to offer vintage and handmade pieces for sale through their home goods shop, Loot Finer Goods. They have a fabulous selection of furniture, linens, décor, and even clothing! We’re a little obsessed with the vintage French workman’s jackets they have in the shop right now!
Are you curious to know Anna and Rhoda’s tips for styling an unforgettable dinner party? Stay tuned for our next blog post to learn more about how we planned and executed the dinner party featured in our Mingle spread.
Eight years ago, we decided to fully commit to Living with Intention and purchase the property that would become The Vintage Round Top. At the time, our priorities were twofold. We wanted to give our family a weekend retreat to enjoy the slower pace and simpler pleasures of country living, and we wanted to embark on a project that would allow us to fully stretch our creative muscles.
As The Vintage Round Top grew, we found ourselves with more and more opportunities to explore our creativity. While we feel tremendously blessed to be able to do what we love, oftentimes the creative life can feel like a solitary one. We personally feel most inspired when we’re in conversation with the ideas of other creative folks, and that is why we strive to collaborate with artists, designers, stylists, and makers as much as possible.
We have been so fortunate to have connected with creatives who share our visual vocabulary and modern-vintage design sensibility, yet can bring their own unique talents to the table. With many different minds contributing to a project, the result is often greater than the sum of its parts. The photos used in our recentOriginfeature are a perfect example of this ethos, and we’d like to share the work of the fabulously talented partners who collaborated with us on the shoot.
Our good friend Becki Griffin of Curious Detailsis a prop stylist (decorator and photographer) with an exceptional eye. We love the effortless way in which she translates our creative vision into a richly detailed mise en place. In fact, we include Becki in as many projects as possible—as she truly is one of the most talented people we know. And, one of the funniest as well! Her attention to detail and ability to bring together elements that fit perfectly together is second to none. She and I will work tirelessly on our vision for each project, incessantly share inspiration, then pull up our sleeves and get to work on shoot day. I wouldn’t want to do it without her!
Achieving The Vintage Round Top’s signature balance of well-worn vintage patina and clean modern elements can be tricky. Fortunately, Ashley Smith of Pure Vintage Rentalsshares our aesthetic—and our love of repurposing vintage objects. Like us, Ashley understands the emotional resonance of items with history and the visual appeal of pairing the richness of vintage furnishings and tableware with the simple elegance of modern pieces.
Handcrafted construction is one of our favorite features of vintage and antique pieces. We love the uniqueness of handmade objects, and we feel they carry a richness of emotion and connection that contemporary mass-produced products lack. Collaborating with artists and makers like illustrator Katie Linck of Upstairs Paper Studiofeels so special to us. Doesn’t the hand-lettered card she made for us lend a wistful sense of nostalgia to these photos?
Our favorite shoot-day perks are the floral arrangements that stay behind--and the baked goodies that we get to eat! Melissa Steele of HeySugar Cookies whipped up this luscious "naked" layer cake and some rustic lemon-rosemary cookies for us (see how gorgeous they are below!) Yes, everything tasted as amazing as it looks! Melissa is also our Hospitality Manager and we’re so thrilled to have such a talented baker on our team!
Lastly (and far from least-ly!), we want to highlight the beautiful work of photographer Haylei Smith. We have had the chance to work with many brilliantly talented photographers, but we feel a special bond with Haylei since we connected with her early in her career. We are in awe of her ability to listen to the input of others and deliver images that make each collaborator’s creative work look its best. Haylei also has a unique talent for photographing interiors in a way that conveys a realistic sense of space.
To learn more about the work of each of these talented creatives, visit them on Instagram and their personal sites. And stay tuned for our next blog post, in which we’ll share our creative process for styling the photoset for Origin.