Founder, Chateau Domingue
Architectural antiques showroom Chateau Domingue has been a favorite among Houston’s design set since its opening in 2002. Specializing in grand-scale European finds, architectural elements and reclaimed building materials, the sprawling shop boasts hundreds of rescued treasures. “Everything we do is an expression of luxury that is warm, discreet and authentic,” says founder Ruth Gay. Recently, the proprietor expanded her brand to offer reproductions of her often one-of-a-kind pieces. This includes the launch of Atelier Domingue, which offers custom metal door and window frames; Maison Domingue, a line of bespoke doors fashioned from reclaimed oak and pine; and the Bastide Collection, stone and wood flooring informed by European estates. Here, the savvy shopkeeper shares what makes Houston a can’t-miss for antiques lovers.
9 a.m. Start at Common Bond Cafe & Bakery for coffee and a flaky croissant. If you’re feeling indulgent, go with a kouign-amann, a croissant with a crunchy, sugary top.
12 p.m. Head to W. Gardner, Ltd. William Gardner, the owner, is the best antiques dealer in town. There is never a time when I stop into his charming shop in a bungalow that I don’t find something remarkable.
2 p.m. Next, stop by the great Thompson+Hanson; it’s a refined nursery that has a bit of a hidden-treasure feel. At one end of the courtyard is the retail shop, and at the other end, grab a late lunch at the restaurant Tiny Boxwoods. I love the salmon Provencal.
3 p.m. Spend the remainder of the afternoon at Chateau Domingue. We have three acres and 15,000 square feet to explore: doors and windows, stone floors and sinks, fountains and mantels, columns, lanterns, gates, garden elements, paintings, tables and chairs as well as reclaimed elements and materials. We love introducing people to what we love.
5 p.m. End the day at Area, a good source for decorative objects and books. Owner Don Connelly styles his shop in a series of vignettes, so it’s easy to see how something will work in your own home.