Hermann Park pop-up sale to feature vintage and antique decor this wee

Lily Barfield’s estate sale shopping opened her to a world of treasures that she now uses to decorate her house — and it ignited a passion for her first business, Lily’s Vintage Finds.

After filling a shipping container during a whirlwind shopping trip through France, 27-year-old Barfield — who sells her goods online at lilysvintagefinds.com — will hold a pop-up sale 1-5 p.m. July 30 at Hermann Park’s Lott Hall, 6201 Hermann Park. (It’s the old golf clubhouse.)

She’ll have more than 40 pieces of antique furniture, plus small decor and vintage glassware and barware. Three artists — Gigi Davis, Johnston Burkhardt and Katherine Hunsacker — will also be there, selling their contemporary art. Davis is just returning from her own trip to France, where she created a number of paintings that are framed in vintage French frames.

Born and raised in New Orleans, Barfield moved to Baton Rouge after Hurricane Katrina, graduated from Louisiana State University and then came to Houston after college. She married Thomas Barfield — who works in finance in Houston — in 2020, just before the country shut down for the COVID-19 pandemic. She worked for artist Reagan Corbett and interior designer Paloma Contreras’s Paloma & Co. shop before launching her own business.

Barfield, 27, recently chatted with the Chronicle about Southern style, great barware and her recent trip to France. 

Q: You grew up going to estate sales and thrift stores with your mother. Tell me about your design inspiration.

A: I’m always flipping through cool vintage books and following people on Instagram. It’s easier to hone in on your style when you’re seeing a lot of pieces … so you can know what you like and don’t like.

What underpins my design choices, and what I gravitate to are New Orleans culture and Southern traditions. They’ve shaped what I love. Obviously, I want things that are beautiful. Right now I’m looking across my studio at a corner bar cabinet, and I think how you could set it up for a mimosa bar. At its heart, that’s very Southern, thinking about how people could gather and use these pieces … the Mardi Gras parties or Christmas dinners they’ll be a part of.

My mom always told me buy the piece that speaks to you, and you’ll know it when you see it. Today I walk through my house, and it tells a story. I have a really cool gallery wall of art in my kitchen and I can look at each piece and think ‘I remember when I was in that antiques market or my grandmother gave this to me.’

She also told me to make sure something’s not damaged before you buy it.

Q: What are some of your favorite pieces in your own home?

A: As someone still in my 20s, I know I will move a lot and go through different phases of life. I try to focus on investing in pieces that will travel with me, and I source and sell pieces similarly.

There’s a fabulous antique French commode with a beautiful marble top in my living room with swan-handled chairs and a nice mirror. Now,  it’s a focal point in my living room, but in the future I can use it in an entry or dining room or as a bar. I’ll have a couple of similar pieces at my pop-up.

Q: What are your favorite things you’re bringing to your sale?

A: I always look for pieces that stop me in my tracks and make me say ‘I have to have that.’ If I have to pick … I would say there’s a really fabulous 18th-century cubed-parquet commode. The detail on it is impeccable, and the craftsmanship and finish are absolutely beyond everything. 

I also have a really great bleached oak armoire from the south of France that is one of those pieces that take your breath away.

Q: You mentioned glassware and vintage barware, which are so hot right now. What will you have?

A: Vintage barware is how we got our start; it’s all the rage right now. We had the opportunity to acquire the entire inventory of Kusak crystal. They’re truly stunning pieces. 

Colored glassware also is really hot, and beautiful crystal is coming back. I see people clamoring over older sets of china and crystal because tablescapes are so popular.

Q: How does shopping all over France work? Did you just go city to city?

A: I had to let go of the notion that every place I went was going to be the best. You can find something beautiful and interesting anywhere. A lot of the markets we went to were to-the-trade markets. You just have to let go of expectations and enjoy the ride. We’d cruise through a small town and stop in an antique store that was not on Google, but find treasures everywhere.

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