The hobby of collecting unique, sentimental objects became a prospective business when Rachel Miller lived abroad. Always one to pick up items that caught her eye, Miller began to zone in on a very specific taste for European home design and decor while living in London. Hoping that others in land-locked Austin might have the same predilection, she opened RedRover Alley, Austin’s European Decor Store when she and her family relocated here.
RedRover Alley is a dream for those who fantasize about lush, rolling estates along the English countryside or the small, sophisticated flats in Paris. To find the furniture and decorative accessories that populate the RedRover Alley warehouse, Miller travels to various countries in Europe several times a year. From France to Hungary, there’s always a treasure waiting to be unearthed and brought home.
"It's so great to have a reason to revisit all the special people and favorite places I love across the pond," Miller says. "And even when I'm home in Austin, they know when to call with finds that they know are RedRover Alley. When the crates arrive at the warehouse, it's like Christmas."
The warehouse located off Burnet Road is a delight for the senses. Beyond its garage doors are mountains of antique silver, wooden Hungarian cutting boards and pot stirrers from Spain. Rod iron doors from Parisian storefronts lean against the walls, and small curiosities like glass French mosquito catchers populate every nook in the space.
Miller says that her goal is to create a sense of whimsy with the furniture and decor she buys. In the context of RedRover Alley, design is intended to be lighthearted and even have a sense of humor, making it a popular place to buy one-of-a-kind gifts. Above a French oyster shucking table from the 1800s, for example, hang colorful, comical framed caricatures from late-19th century Vanity Fairs.
And to take the complexity out of interior design for the Average Joe, Miller has playfully developed a specially curated section in the warehouse called “Mantiques,” where “gentlemanly appointed and universally enjoyed art, furnishings and accouterments" can be found.
Regardless of what one buys at RedRover Alley, it’s sure to be a distinctive conversation piece wherever it's displayed. It’s not every day that an authentic Italian olive oil jug or a Longchamp racecourse “jump lamp” is found in Austin — and this is exactly the type of excitement and wonder Miller hopes to inject in your home by sharing her worldly, inquisitive eye.
"We're having fun daily mashing up 'European eclectic' with 'Texas hospitality.' The RedRover Alley regulars know there's always something chilling in the fridge, from Champagne to a long neck, to enjoy while you shop. We'd like all of Austin to feel that they have a standing invitation."