A Texas Antiques Shop and Visual Feast–Vignettes at Every Turn

Rarely do you visit a shop where everywhere you look is an artfully arranged tableau. Except maybe in Paris, where they invented it. But this is Texas, hun, in the charming Hill Country town of Fredericksburg, where I was last week. Carol Hicks Bolton antiques is an acre of heaven for the vintage/rustic/industrial-chic set, and oh, what fun.

Ladies and gentlemen, start your Pinterest boards…

Carol Hicks Bolton antiques in Fredericksburg, Texas

Who knew a bunch of weeds tacked to a wall could be so beautiful?

Carol Hicks Bolton antiques, Fredericksburg, Texas

Or watch faces in a muffin tin? If that’s what it is (?)

Or what-all in a what-not.

Carol Hicks Bolton antiques in Fredericksburg, Texas

At the risk of appearing lazy, which I am, I give you the description from owners Carol and Tim Bolton themselves, who say it as well as I could, if not better, from their website here:

“For individual decorators, collectors and resellers, … magnificent antiques sourced from Europe and beyond. 

Carol Hicks Bolton antiques in Fredericksburg, Texas

One-of-a-kind beds, french cabinets & curiosities, huge farm tables, fabulous upholstery, romantic bed linens, industrial objects, illuminations, and tons and tons more.

Carol Hicks Bolton antiques in Fredericksburg, Texas

 [They aren’t kidding. Am I nuts? Do y’all think this is as much fun as I do?]


[Every now and then my eyeballs would pop out of my head and I would have to walk across the store and fetch them.]

“There is nothing precious here. The furniture we exhibit is a reflection of who we are, what we love, and what we believe in.

[I 100% believe in starfish. ]

 [A few of these you may recognize from my Instagram…]

“It is old and new at the same time – deconstructed and stripped down to the bones to reveal the original story underneath all the layers. Every piece has been found, measured, curated, cultivated, sorted, sifted, adjusted, adapted and loved.

The first person who can tell us what this is wins a nickel. I have no idea, but I love the light on it.

[I soooooo wanted the table below to use as a desk…]

Carol Hicks Bolton antiques in Fredericksburg, Texas

 “Each item offers an unscripted authenticity, and becomes a continuing story of others’ histories that you can write into your own.” 

Preferably involving stuffed weasels…


 Love a little slipper chair by the bed…

 These two look smack in the middle of a conversation. “Does this mount make my beak look fat?”

So what did I buy? A wonderful extra-slim oak bench that came from an old railroad station, and a dozen botanicals which I do not need and am not sure where to put, but I just couldn’t help myself. Don’t be like me. Not these, btw. They are attached directly to the wall, with nails holding the glass covering. No frames. Genius.

FYI I was in Fredericksburg for a painting workshop with the talented Michael Workman. We talked more than painted, alas, but I learned a lot. Was insane for me going in middle of The Bee Cottage Story book deadlines but went anyway. 

(Managed to  resist this antique bee skep, but it wasn’t easy.)

Antique bee skep, Carol Hicks Bolton antiques in Fredericksburg, Texas

Hope my editor is not reading this. Heck it was so close to Hondo, Texas, where we were quail hunting the weekend before, it was practically obligatory, right? And besides, #playinghookyishealthy every now and then, right?

This sweet sign was behind the counter.

Carol Hicks Bolton antiques, Fredericksburg, Texas

I actually met “Daddy,” aka Tim Bolton, at least I reckon he is the daddy mentioned here. He was hospitable and lovely to everyone who came in. I bet lots of people love him. And I know they love his and Carol’s shop. I bet (again) that lots of people thought they were crazy with what they wanted to create here, and now look. Amazing what happens when you  follow your passion.

Carol Hicks Bolton antiques, Fredericksburg, Texas


  1. Oh,I LOVE her! Have been a fan ever since she was first featured in Victoria magazine years ago. Her style is so unique, elegance that encourages you to get comfy and put your feet up. I am SERIOUSLY eyeing that bee skep … isn’t playing house (or houses) fun?

  2. It is in a true Texan’s genes to express his or her self, the raw grit of this state/nation demands a declaration of one’s own. We give the best inspiration to people elsewhere, like those New Yorkers we love, but we keep it quiet, powerful, and worldly. Texans are the least provincial people and the world is starting to notice again. –From a sit-up Texan who loves history.

    1. Camille! Not surprised! I stumbled upon this workshop, and yes his work amazing and I learned a lot. So, let’s paint week of 16th, I’m in. x F

  3. DOVECOTE in Chapel Hill and NOFO in Raleigh are just a few of shops that add curiosity to their displays. I have only had one cup of coffee at this point as we are between snow storms here and can’t name any more at the moment..

    This shop cleverly sells what many would consider forlorn, too scraggly or unnecessary to catch anyone’s eye. I have trouble throwing generations of family lore away so it is a treat to see beauty in their items.
    Come to Raleigh and sample the new restaurants, shops and museums so you can brag about your home state sometime.

    1. Hi Anna Ball and thank you for this! Raleigh and Chapel Hill (and Durham, too!) have really blossomed in last few years and are a great source of creativity and cool. I am on my way to Raleigh this weekend and will work in as many of these as I can – though I never need a reason to brag about my home state – I do it about 20 times a day and it drives HG crazy. Love hearing from you, xo Frances

  4. Frances, Reminds me of a recently published cookbook A KITCHEN IN FRANCE. Want the bathtub and the typewriter! Dick refers to a coach of rival team to Chapel Hill as weasel, so how fun that would be on a game night to display next to television (naugh-ty)!
    Happy antiquing,

    1. Thanks, Lynn! I know I would like “A Kitchen in France” and will be on lookout for it. And you should call and get your selfone of those weasels. A lot of fun for $125 if I recall. Have to keep those rival ACC weasels in their places! xo F

  5. Lovely post Frances. Would love to see what Carol’s own home is looking like these days. I followed her design work well before I became one myself. I’m so glad you shared this with us because I’d been thinking about her recently and wondering if she’s still in the industry. I must make another trip to Fredericksburg. It’s been so long. Shiree, Joy of Nesting blog.

    1. Thank you, Shiree! I have loved hearing from so many readers about Carol and her work and how she inspired other talents like you! Frances

  6. You should also visit “Finds” in Burnet, Texas. Beautiful displays throughout the store. Truly lives up to its name!

  7. I am in Fredericksburg now! Knew Timmy and his family when he was a kid. This couple
    oozes talent and creativity! My farm was here on the Pedernales, and the old ways of this place stay close to my heart………Wish I’d known you were in town, and we could have met for a visit, are you still here?……..A charming place for artists and creative spirits!!!…….Your book will be the best!! 🙂

    1. Patricia! my gosh, what a coincidence and what fun it would have been to see you, and I love hearing your connections to Boltons and to the Hill Country! Hope you had a good time, and thank you for your kind words, Frances

    1. Thank you, Kristy, and readers, go to IndieBound.com, Barnes & Noble, or Amazon NOW to pre-order Kristy’s novel Dear Carolina. I am reading and advance copy and loving it!

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