08/21/09 12:17pm

Antiques fan Spencer Howard takes readers on a tour of a Hyde Park house full of them: the home of his former boss, architect John Zemanek.

The home’s design “falls somewhere between a Texas farm house and Japanese Tea House,” writes Howard:

However, the landscape, structure and furniture are accented with mysterious objects. Some are recognizable and easily comprehended, but most are not — engaging the viewer to imagine the story behind the piece.

What mysterious objects? A few choice rusting relics of Zemanek’s Fort Bend County childhood: a hunk of the engine from the family’s 1923 Buick; parts of old farming implements; the family typewriter, on a pedestal by the front door.

Wanna quick tour of the place?


06/26/09 12:09pm

Vacant home for sale, in need of staging. Antique dealer from out of town, needs showroom space. Idea?

Joni Webb reports on Cote de Texas that New Orleans antique dealer Mignon Favrot Topping has gone into the business of staging for-sale homes. But: She leaves the price tags on.

What better way to show off the brand-new 4-bedroom, 5,822-s.-ft. fantasy home designed by Robert Dame at 3015 Virginia, which has been listed for almost 3 months. The price was cut $100K in April, leaving an asking price of $1.875 million.

If that’s still too much, now you can walk away with a piece of it for maybe a little less.

The listing photos still show an empty house:


04/28/09 10:32am

Jerry and Wynonne Hart are scheduled to be sentenced today for “misapplication of fiduciary property” in the operation of their auction business at the Hart Galleries. In return for the couple’s guilty plea, prosecutors dropped charges of theft and money laundering.

11 News reporter Dave Fehling spoke to several former Hart Galleries customers:

The auction house thrived for years. The Harts enjoyed a sterling reputation among the rich and not so rich who all trusted the Harts to sell their valuables. But around 2003, something strange began happening . . .

. . . the Harts auctioned furniture and antiques for John Zielinski and his wife.

They were expecting to get $20,000.

“And I said, ‘where’s our money?’ And they said, ‘we’re having difficulty collecting some of the checks,’” said Zielinski.

The next thing Harts’ customers learned was that the couple was bankrupt.


04/10/09 1:26pm

With her just-introduced line of home furnishings called Maison, New Orleans-to-Houston commuter Tara Shaw has apparently found relief from that bane of all highly successful antiques dealers: the little problem of supply.

Tara Shaw Antiques fanatic Joni Webb ended up seeing a cardiologist after a heart-racing episode at Shaw’s first Houston to-the-trade sale a few years ago — after she thought she might lose out on a set of antique chairs. So she’s uniquely qualified to explain:

Recently there’s been some rumblings that Tara was off on a new adventure, manufacturing her own line of furniture, inspired by original pieces she owns in her private collection. . . . The debut was worth the wait. The new MAISON pieces are gorgeous, their authenticity is unrivaled by anything available on the market today. Besides wonderful tables, chairs, and bookcases, there is a great array of smalls – candlesticks and mirrors, crowns and jardineres. One could certainly furnish a house with the MAISON line, that’s how extensive it is. The craftsmanship is superb, each piece was created under Shaw’s knowledgeable and watchful eyes.

A bit more hyperventilating after the jump:


04/01/08 1:18pm

Dunlavy at W. Alabama, Houston

Design blogger Joni Webb identifies Houston’s latest “hot pocket of stores selling reasonably priced, yet very chic antiques.”

Where is it? At the Fiesta Mart!

Or more accurately, in and around the shopping strip that includes the Fiesta — on the southeast corner of Dunlavy and West Alabama. Webb’s Cote de Texas blog runs through items available at Antiques and Interiors on Dunlavy, the Country Gentleman, plus the latest shop to open: Boxwood Interiors, a second store by the same people who run Foxglove Interiors on Alabama, a few blocks to the east. Boxwood

. . . immediately called to me when, through the window, I glimpsed freshly laid seagrass matting stretching from the front door to the back. It’s amazing what spending a few extra dollars on seagrass will do to an old and ugly mall space.

After the jump: seagrass magic! Plus a few of Webb’s Fiesta-area finds.


10/11/07 10:57am

Swedish Antiques at the Lone Ranger in Warrenton, Texas

Couldn’t get out of town last weekend? Francophile designer Joni Webb features a photo tour of Round Top’s semiannual antiques extravaganza on her Cote de Texas blog:

Once, the Round Top Antique Festival meant Americana and Texana antiques. Today, French, Swedish, and English antiques have overtaken the prominence that Americana and Texana once enjoyed. Now highbrow antiques share space with the very lowbrow: vintage, bric a brac, and just plain junk are plentiful in areas where the rent for stalls is cheap.

After the jump, more photos of vintage junk!