OLD WORLD ANTIQUES PROLIFERATE

BY ALAENA HOSTETTER | PHOTOGRAPHY BY HOLGER OBENAUS

Carol Weller’s love affair with houses began as a child. Growing up in a small town in East Texas in old homes filled with antiques and history, she began storing away the knowledge she learned from her mom and friends. Many discussions were about various types of antiques, fine china, crystal and collectibles. After marrying in 1970 and purchasing her first home in Carrollton, Texas, Weller quickly began collecting items for her home, with many being vintage.

The successful sale and profit from her first home set in motion what would become a home-based career. “My husband enjoyed a successful career with Nestlé and gave me the opportunity to focus on our home and children,” Weller says. “I was either building or renovating or moving my whole life.” Weller and her husband, Joe, have lived in Miami; Beverly Hills and Newport Beach, California; Sydney, Australia; and Knoxville, Tennessee, and in 2012, they moved back to the Dallas area, settling in Highland Park. With each move the Wellers’ home furnishings moved with them, and they were constantly adding and deleting items along the journey.

Tasked with decorating each new home along the way, Weller accumulated beautiful antique furnishings and home goods that she began to sell when she ran out of space in her own home. It was 2010 when she opened her first shop in Knoxville, and when Weller and her husband moved back to DFW, the shop came with her to High Street Antiques & Design in Plano, where it is now located. The enormous 50,000-square-foot indoor antiques mall houses more than 250 independent dealers, who stock a wide array of antiques from every style and era imaginable.

“I’ve traveled all over the world and gained knowledge along the way. This has given me confidence in the items I purchase. High Street is the best kept secret in Dallas,” Weller says. “It’s the camaraderie of the dealers, the mix of goods sold there, and the reasonable price point as compared to other places.”

Weller prides herself on a selective inventory that includes vintage and antique finds dating back to the 1800s. Some examples are Old Sheffield Plate tea urns; Copeland Spode, Limoges, Rosenthal and Haviland china; silver-plated flatware; silver spoon warmers; soup tureens; cut to clear crystal wine glasses in every color; tea sets; OSP muffin warmers; roll top serving dishes; biscuit boxes; teapots; silver and crystal inkwells; perfume bottles with sterling; and much more.

Her furniture selection consists of sideboards; plate cabinets from Scotland, England and Ireland; chests; marble-top entry pieces from France; English and Scottish cabinets; side tables of walnut and mahogany; and German Biedermeier.

“Many of these items, like the muffin warmers, were used in an era before electricity,” Weller says. “Now they decorate the homes of our highly selective customers. If you have a little something in your home with a little sparkle and age, it gives a history to you and your home. I think it’s really important for people to realize you can’t buy everything at the trendy stores and get a décor with depth and lasting appeal.”

Weller also buys from individuals who come to her store with items that they wish to sell. She is highly selective in what she purchases. “I have a curated look. I only buy items I would put in my home. If I have sets of vintage or antique plates in excellent condition, it’s because I’ve put this set together and bought other items that go with it,” she says. “I buy everything to go with something that I have.”

Her lifelong love affair with home décor has resulted in a store with a lifetime of antiques and memories for the home. “The home has always been my love—space planning, decorating and color are all my forte,” Weller says. “The home is the stage our life is played out on, why not make it the best that it can be.”

Alaena Hostetter is a Dallas-based journalist who writes about all of her favorite things: art, design, culture, music, entertainment and food.