Ike Isenhour and I played a protracted game of text and phone tag, but I won. Our window of opportunity was the 48 hours he was in Dallas between trips to NYC and India. I interrupted Isenhour’s conversation with his Uber driver as he was en route to DFW to catch the evening flight to Jaipur to check on the furniture factory that he designed and where he collaborates on production with his brother.
Isenhour was born in Navasota, Texas but was reared in the United Kingdom and Delaware. These days, he runs his full-service boutique design firm from Dallas, but jets across the country and around the globe to manage projects that range from private residences, restaurants, and boutique hotels to private aircraft and custom furniture.
“Reductionism—the Art of the Essential. I have a contemporary aesthetic built around clean lines and edited backgrounds where art and antiques flourish.”
Road to Round Top:
“This spring my friend and colleague Julie Dodson dragged me despite my kicking and screaming. Frankly, I was a snob about the whole thing. I travel all over the world and just assumed there would be nothing here that appealed to me. Now, I have to admit to being wrong—and being hooked on Round Top. I was astonished by both the quantity and quality. There is plenty for me—and everyone, regardless of your style. After the show, I went home and immediately redid the interior of my parents’ motor coach because I’m certain we’ll be making the trek to Round Top from here on out.”
Favorite Round Top Recollection:
“As a child, I used to spend the s
ummers with my grandparents in Navasota. I remember driving through Round Top in the early 80s, and there were no permanent venues there. It was a just a small town. It’s incredible for me to see how much it has changed.”
“Round Top is authentic—and incredibly fun. The show combines good stuff, good people and a good time.”
“The one that got away. In fact, it got away, and I’m still obsessively thinking about it. We
were at Marburger Farm for the ringing of the bell, and I spotted this table soon after. It was from an estate in Manhattan and was perfect. I need another table like I need a hole in the head, so I left it mistakenly thinking I could come back later and get it if it continued to speak to me.
“As a newbie, I had no earthly idea how serious these Round Top shoppers are. Somebody bought it right out from under me before I could get back. It was exquisite and haunts me. Six months later I still have its picture on my phone, but I’ll be a much savvier shopper in the fall.”
Favorite After Hours Haunt:
“Every night we unwound with a glass of wine at Prost! We had a good time connecting the dots between vendors and design professionals. The atmosphere is conducive to collaboration. And I went to my first-ever Junk Gypsy Prom. It was so much fun. I saw a designer I know from Boston who is a regular in Round Top. This is definitely a place to see the people you know—and the people you want to meet.”
Favorite Field Advice:
“If you see something that is one-of-a-kind and you love it, buy it, especially at the curated shows. The crowd at Round Top includes a lot of design professionals and other serious shoppers, so things can get snatched up quickly.”
Favorite Round Top Scoop:
“Be friendly. You can make new friends so easily because everyone is serious about the finds—and even more serious about making new friends.”
Ike Isenhour Inc. • Dallas
Round Top Regular: since spring 2016
Regardless of their individual aesthetic, designers succeed because they know a good thing when they see it. The consensus among our panel of professionals is that the Round Top Antiques Show is a good thing—a very good thing—for trendsetters, taste makers, collectors and “civilians” who yearn to add pops of personality to their homes with one-of-a-kind finds.
In a move that’s akin to asking a mother to choose her favorite child, we boldly asked the experts to identify their favorite finds, foods, shopping strategies, stories and more.
by Lorie Woodward Cantu
photos courtesy of Ike Isenhour