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Round Top’s Stylish Hospitality: Flophouze

Come for Relaxation, Stay for Inspiration

Flophouze, Texas’ first container hotel, opened in 2016 with three units built using repurposed cargo containers. Three more units were added a year later. While the layouts and capacity are slightly different, each unit contains a kitchenette, a living room, one bedroom and a Hollywood bath. They were styled to showcase architectural salvage finds in their original and reimagined states. Flophouze is edgy with luxe touches such as superlative linens and in-unit Chemex® coffee makers, grinders and top-notch whole beans, record players with ever-rotating vinyl from owner Matt White’s 600+ album collection and WiFi.

Insider’s Info:
The BeachHouze—formerly White’s personal residence—located near Ex-Cess in Warrenton is now available as a rental. The house, which is on stilts and features “a badass wraparound deck up in the trees,” sleeps eight and gives guests access to 10 acres of privacy that include a stocked pond and nature trails.

More Inside Info:
Flophouze will soon be home to a Modpool, an 8’ x 12’ Jacuzzi pool housed in a converted cargo container outfitted with a window, so “you can see the mermaids swim by.” Want one? As a representative of Canadian-based Modpools, the team behind Flophouze can hook you up.

One Last Scoop
As a guest you can “test drive” a Flophouze—and, then, thanks to the newly launched BYOF (Build Your Own Flophouze) program buy your own customized version. BYOF offers turn-key construction, delivery and setup.

Road to Round Top:
In 1998, White, who specializes in architectural salvage, took the advice of his friend Mark Dooley, owner of Ex-Cess in Warrenton, and came to Round Top.

“I brought a half-box truck and set up in the mud,” White said.

photo courtesy of Flophouze

After that first trip he was hooked. For 16 years White made the trek between the headquarters of Recycling the Past in Barnegat, New Jersey and Round Top. In 2014, he opened Recycling the Past’s second location, which does double-duty as an event center dubbed The Round Top Ballroom.

The 12,000 –square-foot facility and adjoining grounds are chockfull of architectural salvage items ranging from doors, windows and reclaimed wood to gems, kiln glass and petrified wood to airplane parts, industrial fixtures, furniture and architectural antiques.

“They don’t make stuff like this anymore, so people who choose salvaged items enjoy quality—and are able to make a strong, personal style statement,” White said.

Rolling out the Welcome Mat:

Flophouze existed in White’s imagination—and on airline napkins—for decades.

“Flophouze is a completely pre-meditated result of dreams I’ve had for a long-time,” said White, who has a collection of sketches that date back for years. “Texas allowed me to do what I’ve always wanted to do.”

The container hotel showcases White’s ever-growing, ever-changing inventory of architectural salvage materials.

“My goal was creating a unique, habitable space that inspires people,” White said. “Plus, I wanted folks to have a chance to stay in a badass joint.”

The joint is one of the world-traveler’s favorite places.

“This is my personal spot to unwind,” White, who hasn’t had a TV in seven years, said. “I wanted people to have the same chance . . . to talk to the person next to them, to drink really good coffee and watch the sunrise or sip wine and watch it set, to draw a deep, deep breath, exhale and just be.”

photo courtesy of Flophouze

The “Antique” Aesthetic:
“In the early years of Recycling the Past, my team and I turned everything we found into something else, but over time our finds started outpacing our production. We had a surplus of really cool stuff, so we started selling salvage pieces as well as repurposed pieces. Our clients are designers, hoteliers, restaurateurs, retailers such as Nordstrom’s, Urban Outfitters and Double RL, boutiques as well as private clients.

My guys and I use salvage materials in a way most people haven’t seen before. These days I provide eyes and ideas, and my team provides craftsmanship. There’s no formula to what we do, just the goal of making people stop and say, ‘Damn, that’s cool!’

We use kind of a ’52 card pick up approach’. We throw a lot of stuff up in the air, pick out the things we like best and put them where they  work. Flophouze is a place where high design meets rustic—and Mid-Century modern, nautical, industrial—and it’s all salvaged, repurposed and eco chic. . . . ”

In a Word:
“Only cookie cutter places can be described in one word. This ain’t no cookie cutter.”

Unique-ness:
Flophouze completes White’s architectural salvage trifecta that includes Recycling the Past and the Round Top Ballroom. The three businesses are located on the same property by design.

“I wanted to let people experience it all in one spot. Recycling the Past is a collection of architectural finds from across the country and around the world. We feature them on the grounds and in the building that is home to the Round Top Ballroom, so it’s a funky eclectic space set up to host everything from wedding receptions to photo shoots. We can supply all your prop needs. Flophouze lets you stay in the middle of it all. You can get up in the morning, grab a cup of coffee, wander through the stuff—and watch the neighbors’ cows. For some people it’s sensory overload. For us it’s the good life—and what sets us apart.”

Know This:
“Stay tuned. We’re always on the move. You don’t ever know what will pop up next or where it’s going to be. . . . ”

The Roundtopolis™ “Don’t Miss”:
“Festival Hill. It’s a world-class concert hall surrounded by this insane collection of architecture and horticulture—and it’s in a town of 90 people. It’s freakin’ amazing—and not to be missed.”

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by Lorie A. Woodward
photo courtesy of Flophouze