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Houston’s Instagram Antiques Queen — How Lily Barfield Turned Her Passion For Treasure Hunting Into an Unlikely Influencer Career

Her Biggest Event Yet Is Coming to Hermann Park

BY // 07.24.23

Houstonian Lily Barfield never dreamed that her passion for antiques and antique hunting would lead her into the realm of influencers with an Instagram following of more than 26,000 and growing. It was an unexpected trajectory.

As a newlywed, she was furnishing her home with antique finds, buying more than she could use and sharing them with friends. To make the process easier Barfield started an Instagram account in 2021 for her friends. Within two months of that start, she had so many followers and buyers that she was able to leave her post at Paloma & Co. and launch Lily’s Vintage Finds.

Though Barfield has held successful pop-ups since officially founding her business in early 2022, the end of this month finds this antiques maven hosting the biggest event of her newfound career. Right here in Houston.

This Sunday, July 30, Lily Barfield will take over Lott Hall in Hermann Park where she will present a shipping container’s worth of French antiques as well as supplemental finds. When the container arrived from France on a recent Friday, champagne corks popped at her Hempstead Road warehouse and Barfield said it was the happiest day of her life. More information on the sale can be found on her Instagram page here.

Finding Treasures
Lily Barfield of Lily Vintage Finds on the search for antiques in Paris in advance of her pop-up sale at Lott Hall in Hermann Park.

A native of Louisiana who lived in New Orleans up until Katrina and then moved to Baton Rouge where she graduated from Louisiana State University, Barfield explains that both her mother and grandmother had a penchant for hunting great finds. The three generations spent many a day exploring antique shopping possibilities across the South — everything from flea markets to antique malls and estate sales.

“Growing up going to estate sales, I’ve always had a love for antiques,” Barfield tells PaperCity. She describes her new vocation as both a passion project and a happy accident.


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Mid-1800s commode with cube parquetry
A mid-1800s commode with cube parquetry, one of Lily Barfield’s many finds.

“You can’t just click on the Internet and find something,” she says. “You have to go hunt for it and the hunt is the most fun part. It’s the journey.”

That journey took Barfield, her husband and her mother to France in March for 17 days of searching flea markets across the country. The result was the container of pieces dating from the 17th century to the 1920s including charming game tables, commodes, mirrors, tables, desks, side tables, slipper chairs and more.

These will be the highlight of the Houston pop-up that will feature a total of some 70 pieces, 40 of which come from France. Adding to that will be a selection of antique Victorian jewelry, silver pieces, crystal, porcelains and the work of three recognized artists.

Vintage French Tole Chandelier
Lily Barfield, founder of Lily’s Vintage Finds, with a vintage French tole chandelier discovered on a shopping trip in France.

Shoppers will be able to peruse the works of artists Gigi Davis of Denver, Johnston Burkhardt of New Orleans, and Katherine Hunsaker of Dallas and Austin while sipping libations from the open bar.

While quality and condition is primary in Barfield’s searches, the second consideration is style.

“I’m truly just looking for pieces that I fall head over heels in love with rather than pieces that will sell,” she says. “Every single piece that you see is something that I would put in my home today. I’m looking for pieces that will travel with people through different homes and different stages of their lives.

“Something that can be used for decades and then passed down to the next generation.”

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