Wander Inn consists of two, two-story cedar houses completely renovated and redesigned by Amie and Jolie Sikes aka the Junk Gypsies. The houses sit side-by-side behind Junk Gypsy World Headquarters and feature expansive porches on both levels that are perfect for sitting in the rockers and taking in the country scenery and the black velvet, star-studded sky. Each room features an adjoining private bath. Common areas in both houses are designed as places where kindred spirits can gather. Guests can rent individual rooms, an entire house or the entire property. Reservations are being taken now.
Insider’s Info: Plans to double the Wander Inn’s capacity within the next year are off the sketchbook and on the move. An original Sears® kit house, Amie’s Airstream and her little pink house—providing at least 12 more beds in total—are being redesigned and outfitted to accommodate additional guests.
Road to Round Top:
The Sikes family stumbled on Round Top for the first time about 18 years ago. They came for the bi-annual Round Top Antiques Show and eventually stayed for the magic. According to family lore, the dust (and glitter) of the inspiration-inducing junking experience clung to their boots, and the little town of 90 claimed their hearts. Eventually and improbably, Round Top became home to their family and Junk Gypsy, a business that had grown to include television opportunities, celebrity clients, and creative corporate partnerships complete with branded product lines.
“We knew we didn’t just want to be in the country, we HAD to be in the country,” Amie said. “We wanted our family to be in the country—and we wanted Junk Gypsy to be in the country where she belonged.”
Rolling out the Welcome Mat:
The Junk Gypsies didn’t find the Wander Inn; it found them.
“We never had any intention of opening a hotel, but we have,” Amie said. “Wander Inn is the thing we never knew we needed because it allows us to tell the full story of Gypsyville the way it should be told.”
Gypsyville’s story begins when the junk-loving ramblers decided to put down roots. A close friend whose real estate specialty was locating and negotiating properties volunteered to help. Together, he and the family traveled all over Texas searching for the spot to no avail. Then one Saturday morning Amie got an unexpected phone call.
“Our friend said, ‘I’m standing on the property that you and your family are supposed to have. Can you get to Round Top today?” Amie said.
Amie and her parents loaded up her then-infant daughter and high-tailed it to Round Top. It was love at first sight, but the perfect property was being sold as a single tract—and it was a budget buster. The family took the practical view and declined. Their friend took a longer view.
He said, “God was property shopping for you today. It’s going to be yours someday, mark my words.”
Their friend turned out to be right.
Several years later the property reappeared on the market—one perfectly sized piece at a time. First came the 10 acres that became Junk Gypsy World Headquarters. Then, as the family wrapped up construction on the store, the remainder—and future home to Wander Inn—became available at a price that worked.
In 2013 on the Sunday concluding their first week of business at the store, which also coincided with the closing of the Round Top Antiques Show, the Junk Gypsy tribe gathered at the fence dividing the two properties. Together they cut the barbed wire, cried happy tears and consolidated their dream.
“This is much more than a place to make money,” Amie said. “It’s a place of our hearts that we’ve chosen to share.”
The “Antique” Aesthetic:
“Through the years we ended up with a collection of treasures from the road because we loved them so much we simply couldn’t turn them loose—and many of them ended up in Wander Inn. Wander Inn is a personal showcase of what we do and how we do it. It’s Junk Gypsy set in motion. It’s us and this special place that is our home. We drew from Round Top and how it makes us feel. It’s Americana with some rock n’ roll and cowboy mixed in with the nostalgic feel of a motor court.”
In a word:
“Wander Inn, in a word, really!?! Do you know us? We don’t do anything in a single word.” Amie Sikes
“If you love Junk Gypsy, then Wander Inn is the place for you. We tried to put something quirky, fun and unexpected in every room that will make you stop, look really hard and smile.” Amie Sikes
(For the record, Wander Inn features a decoupaged Donnie Osmond desk that stopped me, as a former Tiger Beat subscriber, in my tracks.)
Home Away from Home:
“We’re not experienced hoteliers, but Jolie and I have stayed in a lot of places through the years, so we know what we like and what we don’t. We like style and quality but not pretense. We like comfortable beds, but I personally don’t like having to make them. We like nice linens. We like music and books, so there’s a record player and albums in every room and books from our personal collection are scattered all over. Unlike very formal places, Wander Inn is attainable—put your feet up and stay awhile attainable. We want our guests to feel like they’re at home here, even if they wouldn’t have decorated their homes exactly this way.” Amie Sikes
The Roundtopolis™ “Don’t Miss”:
“Sitting on the porch and getting to know the people next to you. We purposely don’t have television—and fought getting WiFi—at the Wander Inn because we wanted your time in Round Top to be spent with ‘less signal and more connection.’” Amie Sikes
by Lorie A. Woodward
photos courtesy of Wander Inn and the Junk Gypsies