McLaren’s Antiques & Interiors this week announced the passing of its owner and founder, Sean McLaren, on April 3, 2023 at the age of 59. McLaren’s has been a Round Top landmark for more than a decade, easily recognized by the bright red vintage British telephone booth posted at the venue’s entrance.

A press release from McLaren’s stated the following: Sean’s vast knowledge of furniture led him to design many ranges of his own furniture and achieve great success over four decades in both the United Kingdom and United States. His wife Helen and family will honor his legacy by continuing to run McLaren’s Antiques and Interiors into the future.

McLaren’s signature British phone booth

A trailblazer from an early age, Sean discovered his love of antique furniture when he was just eight years old. Antiquing was in his blood — his parents owned their own business in Shropshire, England and Sean began buying and selling himself at eight. By the time he was 15, his own inventory of antiques surpassed his parents, and he went into business. Later in life, Sean mixed his love of food with his love of antiques and opened a restaurant named LOCO’S above his Shropshire shop. The restaurant garnered regulars who came from miles away to dine and enjoy world-class cuisine in a “come as you are” atmosphere. 

Sean combined his passion for furniture with a love of travel, exploring the world and hand-picking unique and interesting interiors to offer an enormous variety of antique, industrial and architectural furnishings from around the world – all designed, sourced and hand-picked by Sean himself.

During his 40 plus years in business he owned and operated stores in England, Houston and Austin for decades before transitioning to selling at America’s two largest antique markets Round Top and Brimfield, Massachusetts. Over the past 10 years, Round Top became McLaren’s global headquarters and Sean and Helen’s second home. 

McLaren’s Round Top showroom with its artful interior passageways, has long been a favorite during the antiques shows

Walking into the 20,000 square foot building (once a laying barn for chickens, which Sean converted himself) each piece holds a story. His contagious passion for travel took him all around the world in the endless search for the unique and interesting. Sean spent a lot of his life traveling through Spain and discovered the wealth of antique furniture that is available from the 19th century: interior doors, exterior gates, Spanish wine pots – all seeped with character and warmth. 

Sean first discovered India more than 30 years ago and it never ceased to amaze him for the variety of stunning and unique architecture threaded with reflections of British influence (India was part of the British Empire for more than 200 hundred years). Sean brought palace doors, giant cooking pots, intricately carved 17th century architectural pieces and so much more to Round Top. 

McLaren’s large showroom, a former laying barn for chickens, is filled with treasures from Europe and India.

English born and bred, Sean utilized his vast wealth of residential and industrial buildings in the UK to save the precious timbers from 150-plus year old buildings that are currently being demolished. A visionary, Sean saw the potential of these beautiful reclaimed timbers and designed kitchen islands and tables (ranging in size from six feet to an awe-inspiring 22 feet) all handcrafted at the McLaren’s workshop in England to ensure no two pieces are ever the same and the beauty of the patina of the wood shines through. 

In 2012, Sean married his beautiful wife and best friend, Helen. Side by side the two traveled the globe, him teaching her all he knew. In 2016 they moved to a lovely 18th century chateau in the South of France, splitting their time between Texas and France. Renovating the chateau became Sean and Helen’s passion project between shows in Round Top and their adventures around the globe sourcing antiques. His vision was to make it not only their home, but a boutique inn and wedding venue so that other travelers could enjoy the beauty of the historic home, expertly decorated with global antiques, nestled in the rolling hills of southern France. 

McLaren’s London Bus Cafe

Sean’s endless determination, curiosity, and sense of humor will be remembered by all that knew him. His legacy of quality antiques and interiors will live on through Sean’s wife Helen, his Aunt Marjie and the rest of his family and friends. The McLaren family invites all to visit with them in Round Top to see and celebrate the magic that Sean created and will continue on.