They’re the Renaissance women of the wild, wild west, and today Amie and Jolie Sikes are giving Messy Nessy a taste of their little haven in Round Top, Texas: The Wander Inn. It’s the stuff of southern fairytales, a bed & breakfast where the longhorns graze and the fireflies glow, where folks “can see the stars at night and hear the crickets chirp” – the ultimate “southern symphony”. So let’s put our feet up for a breather down south, shall we?
No rusty door or musty fabric is too unloved for this interior design duo, whose hawk eye for thrifted treasures has earned them their own television show, and the opportunity to decorate for country music star Miranda Lambert. “Basically we can’t walk away from this, even if we wanted to,” Amie jokes about working with her sister, “It’s a place that just feels right”.
‘Formal’ is just not a word in her vocabulary, nor is there any button-upped talk of business when we ask about how they got the business off the ground. What is clear, however, is that the sisters have been authentic to their vision, and clients can smell that candour a mile away. “It’s not about the money,” Amie says when asked about the decision to work with family, “and every damn day we are on the same team”.
Every space is decorated with finds from the gals’ 20 years in “the junk business” as they say. The showers are made of corrugated barn tin, and hand-crafted exposed copper fixtures. “The inn sits in the middle of a few hundred acres so you can really kind of ‘get lost,’” Amie says, “and sit and look at the stars at night while the coyotes howl in the distance, while an oil well pumps in a nearby field. It truly feels like a Texas movie-set”. Guests can expect hot biscuits and coffee every morning, record players in every room, and the commitment to making, in Amie’s words, “absolutely no plans at all”.
How can one channel their inner southern junk queen? “Buy more glitter,” laughs Amie, “But no, really, we just say keep your eyes on the stars and your mind open, the rest will fall into place. And never say die! Junk never sleeps! We love the hunt, and even more, the people we’ve met along the way”.
The Sikes come from a working class stock, where hard work and hospitality was learned on the floor of the family restaurant. As for that whimsical decorating touch? They give credit their thrift savvy mother, who was digging out one-of-a-kinds from the charity shop bin long before it was trendy, and teaching the girls to get creative with what they had. These days, that means making a coffee table out of a derelict of a piano.
That being said, wrangling in a 62-acre property in an off-the-grid Texas town wasn’t always on the horizon for the ladies. “The Wander Inn found us, I guess you’d say,” says Amie, “We weren’t in the market to buy an inn, nor had the thought ever crossed our minds. But then when it happened, we realised it was the one thing we never knew we needed.” The sisters’ eclectic store, which predates the inn, is at the front of the sprawling property:
The structure that became the inn, situated in the back of the property, went up for sale later – and they jumped at the chance to make it a liveable temple for the treasures.
“[You] can just slow down for a moment,” Amie says about the appeal of the place, “The land inspires us every time we spend time around the campfire. We hope that everyone feels the inspiration as well”. What’s next for the ladies? “a million beautiful things,” she says, “we plan on adding more rooms, a junk-a-fied event barn, hiking trails through the woods, glamping sites, a ranch-style swimming pool and more.”