The Arbor International Antiques & Interior Design Show in Round Top, Texas, is one of the biggest antique shows in the South! Last year I attended The Arbors Show at Round Top for the first time and was simply gob-smacked by the quality of the antiques offered for sale; the warmth, friendliness and plain old southern hospitality of the vendors (from 13 countries!); and the scenic hills and beautiful countryside. My #NoPassportRequired Champagne Tours at Round Top were just plain fun, and I was simply blown away by the quality of antiques, vintage and accessories being offered!
#WatchThisSpace: The Antiques Diva® is launching special Round Top Antiques Show group tours in 2018!
Toma, The Antiques Diva® is leading our Round Top Antiques Show tour with local experts and Diva Guide Doni from Girls’ Guide to Paris (a French antique dealer who exhibits here) from April 2-7 2018: 4 days and 5 nights of finger-licking bbq, antiques and vintage as far as the eye can see and further; country music, Texas blue bells and seriously good wine. At the biggest antique show in the world you’ll discover gems from Belgium, France and Holland as well as mamma’s attic down the road. There is something for all price points plus we’ll help you negotiate and ship it all home. And the location in Texas Hill Country is gorgeous. Every dealer and shop owner who is serious shops here, Joanna Gaines from Fixer Upper shops here – so why haven’t you been yet? More details coming soon…
Round Top offers more than antiques – everything is bigger in Texas! In addition to the impressive display of European and American antiques – many museum-quality – The Arbors offers:
- custom furniture
- fine artworks
- handcrafted jewelry
- vintage fashion
- live music
- food trucks with everything from beer to champagne
- special events
Note: Be sure to scroll down for details on Round Top’s fundraiser Designer Dream Spree & Dwell with Dignity Event to benefit Hurricane Harvey Victims on Sept 28
Be sure to visit two of our favorite vendors at Round Top this week: Pandora de Balthazár, featuring fine linens and European textiles and Pandora’s fabulous European Sleep System (I confess: I’m working from bed right now!); Lolo French Antiques et More, direct importers of French antique furniture and accessories – plus their scene-stealing French bulldog, Louis (don’t miss Mimi’s monthly column on The Antiques Diva blog!).
Round Top Arbor Antique Show
Located in Texas Hill Country, historic Round Top is a town tiny in size, mighty in charm, and as peaceful in spirit as the gentle hills in which it nestles. Here, amidst looming oaks and verdant ranch land, picturesque vistas can be captured…land meets sky in soft, mist-laden light… a 12-acre antique festival!
- American Legion Post #338, 1503 N. State Hwy. 237, Round Top, Texas 78954. (One Mile North of Round Top Square and Six Miles South of Hwy 290.)
- September 20th opening at 9am through September 30th at 4pm
- Special Events:
Fri. 22nd – Karaoke
Sat, 23rd – Live Music
Mon. 25th – Live music in corridor for late night shopping
Tues. 26th – Live music in corridor for late night shopping
Thurs. 28th – Designer Dream Spree & Dwell with Dignity Event to benefit Hurricane Harvey Victims – Tickets $100
Fri. 29th – Karaoke
- Special Events:
- Website: www.arborantiques.com
Texas Champagne BBQ:
Live Music, BBQ and Drinks to Benefit Those Impacted by Hurrican Harvey – September 28, 2017
Trade in seeing fashion on the runway for showing up in your own fashion for a true Texas night.
Due to the devastation that Hurricane Harvey has caused, Round Top made the decision to cancel the Texas Boho Chic Fashion Show & Champagne BBQ. Curtis Ann and Julie Dodson of the Designer Dream Spree want this event to benefit those that have lost so much in the last few weeks! Both show promoters wanted the event to be one that is all about Texas! You can’t get any more Texan than listening to country music, drinking beer (& champagne) while eating BBQ from one of the top 50 best BBQ places in the state of Texas, Truth Barbeque out of Brenham, Texas. Carson Kressley will still be rockin’ it Texas Style with us too!
Julie Dodson has teamed up with Dwell with Dignity to help turn houses into homes again for people that have lost so much. All proceeds from the evening will go to helping those in need in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.
Purchase tickets and details -> http://bit.ly/2rYORGn
Come on down, y,all!
Toma – The Antiques Diva
I’ve lived in Berlin over 5 years, and as The Antiques Diva®, when I moved here I thought: brats and beer, yes. Antiques? no! But I’m here to tell you: When it comes to antiques, Berlin is probably Europe’s best-kept secret. Though one of the hottest spots on the map for tourists, antique sellers forget Berlin exists when it comes to stocking their stores, and prefer instead to shop with the masses in France, England and Sweden. I’ve built my Germany little black book of secret antiques sources, and I can’t wait to share a few of them with you!
With a fast-growing number of antique and modern furniture shops and more flea markets than any other city in Europe, it’s time to put the artsy German capital on the map for international buyers seeking antiques and vintage!
- If you’re looking for pieces not found in every shop and around every corner – Germany is for you.
- Want mid-century modern – but don’t want to pay Danish or Italian prices? Double Check. Again Berlin is the answer.
Our Berlin, Germany, antiques tours focus on the plethora of antique and modern furniture shops and markets. The fact that Berlin offers the lowest cost of living in Western Europe means that bargains abound. You’ll discover hidden warehouses in unique locations where you might end up with filling up a container of your purchases.
To help you discover the best antiques and vintage in Germany – and at the best prices – I’ve recruited two local antiques experts as Germany Antiques Diva Guides. While living in Berlin I lost my 1st apartment due to a fire from an unwatched candle in a neighbor’s apartment. I had to scour Berlin for the best pieces – at the best prices – to furnish my apartment, I met and worked with Felix and Philip. With their expertise and connections, The Antiques Diva is excited to present our newest Berlin, Germany antiques tour!
One of my favorite recent purchases is from Felix’s Berlin shop, Felix Bachmann Antiquitäten. Instead of artwork, in my home office I have a pair of 1960’s gold ceiling tiles which were salvaged from the ballroom of the Russian Embassy in Berlin, that Felix also installed for me!
Felix Bachman has been working in furniture restoration and trade for 15 years. In 2011 he founded his own company in Berlin, Felix Bachman, specializing in antiques and mid-century modern furnishings, as well as pieces of his own design. His experience in dealing with forms, colors and textures benefits his furniture restoration and creating his own works of art. He attended West Dean College/Sussex University in Chichester, England; studying Conservation – Restoration of Furniture.
Philip Seiler loves, collects and sells beautiful furniture, lamps and objects of the 20th century. The name is part of the program. Many pieces are unique, hand selected and refurbished with passion. In May 2016 owner Philip Seiler opened his showroom in Berlin, Monsieur Unique. The focus lies on furniture from the timeless mid-century era and the rustic industrial design era. Monsieur Uniques warehouse is located in a former factory building in Berlin, Prenzlauer Berg.
Introducing: Where The Wild Things Are – Berlin Modern Furniture Tour
Available Saturday and Sunday
Full Day Tour 10am to 6pm
Berlin is known as the wild party capital of Europe. But there are a lot more wild things to discover when it comes to modern furniture, lamps and objects from the 20th century and earlier. With more than 50 warehouses and boutiques, the fast-growing artsy capital of Germany offers a huge variety and one of the lowest price points in Europe, especially for mid-century and industrial furniture. A lot of these warehouses and boutiques are not easy to find, hidden in the backyard of Berlins typical old buildings or outside the city borders. Our Where The Wild Things Are – Berlin Modern Furniture Tour will take you there. Shop in the former locations of a huge futuristic rock club, an old mill and buy where others don’t buy. This Antiques Diva & Co Germany Antiques Tour will be personalized by our Guides, who will choose the shops which suit your shopping desires and negotiate and translate on your behalf. We also liaise you with a shipper to get your purchases home. After a long day, you can complete this unique shopping experience with a dinner and one or two drinks in one of Berlins many restaurants and bars if you wish.
Are you ready to discover Europe’s best-kept secret and visit our Germany sources for antique, vintage and mid-century modern furniture and accessories?
Toma – The Antiques Diva
Today’s guest post is by our Antiques Diva® English Antiques Buying Agent Gail McLeod, owner of the UK’s prestigious Antique News & Fairs, Google’s top-ranked antiques fair website. Gail might just be the most connected woman in the world of antiques – is Editor in Chief of the Antiques are Green website and vice chair of the new Antiques are Green Trade Association, and a co-founder of Antiques Young Guns.
The Bruton Decorative Antiques Fair returns to the luxury laden Haynes International Motor Museum from 13-15 October, 2017, following a smash hit debut in October 2016 when buyers flooded in from across the country and the rest of the world!
Organisers Cooper Events welcomes some brilliant new names on board: Kore Purchase, Tetbury, Bombe Interiors and Elham Antiques from Kent, Molly & Maud’s Place and Chris Holmes Decorative Antiques both Yorkshire, John Read Smith, Wales, The Archives from The Netherlands will join Bruton this year with their Folk Art, Country House furniture and collectible glass, and with a big sister like the Bath Decorative Antiques Fair just up the road in the Georgian City, running at an all time high in March 2017 after 28 years, the traction is red-hot and the Bruton Decorative Fair is getting ready to motor back to the Haynes International Museum for a spectacular return.
Decorative dealers pull out all stops at this show and there will be choreographed displays from some of the most exciting decorative dealers in the UK, Europe and the Channel Islands with C18th – C20th decorative trouve for the home and garden, architectural reclamation, humble English Folk Art – early pottery, samplers, walking canes, CMid furniture and accessories, lighting, textiles, grand painted furniture from local country houses, mirrors, dazzling jewels and even desirable vintage designer handbags.
Mark Hill Selects Tour
On Saturday 14 October, BBC Antiques Roadshow expert and author Mark Hill will add some celebrity sparkle to the fair with his “Mark Hill Selects” tour – using his expert knowledge to inspire visitors with tips on using traditional and decorative antiques in the modern interior for a cool century mash-up! Mark will also be selecting some collectors’ pieces – he has an eye for obscure objects and visitors can look forward to a fun and engrossing event.
Mark’s tour will be streamed LIVE: tune in to https://www.facebook.com/BrutonDecorativeAntiquesFair
Saturday 14 October at 1pm GMT
The transformation of the sleepy Somerset town of Bruton into the ‘Notting Hill of the South West’ with the arrival of the internationally renowned Hauser & Wirth Gallery, lighting a media fire under this untouched corner of leafy Somerset and drawing an influx of City money, second home owners and celebrities to the area, presented a light bulb moment for organisers Sue and Peter Hodder of Cooper Events who knew they had found the perfect site in the area for their new event – the £6 million extension to The Haynes International Motor Museum, with its luxury interior and extraordinary raspberry red futuristic facade, just outside Bruton and very highly visible from the adjacent A303.
A number of notable Somerset dealers will return in 2017 including The Factory in Castle Cary home to seven leading dealers from the decorative trade founded by David Tupman Antiques. Sharing the beautiful former dairy house factory in Castle Cary are Brighton based dealer Jill Palmer, Pimlico, London W1 dealer Christopher Butterworth, London based Derek Greengrass and Ashburton, Devon dealer Roger Organ. Expect to see a highly charged eclectic mix of decorative antiques for the home and garden.
Alchemy from Bruton will also be returning with French and English upholstery, dining tables and chairs, C20th century glass tables, beautiful English and European mirrors, textiles, and a selection of contemporary art and sculpture, Quillon House Antiques, also Bruton based, with fine English oak and country furniture and equestrian paintings, Elizabeth Lee Interiors from Frome with French, Swedish and English decorative antiques for the home and garden, Waterfall Antiques, Bath, with a wide selection of leather luggage, conservatory decoration and kitchenalia, Sherborne based Macintosh Antiques with painted country house furniture and upholstery from the leading furniture makes of the C18th – C19th and Somerton based specialist upholstery and CMid design dealers Life England will also return in 2017. Exquisite Swedish and French painted furniture and antiques for the garden and conservatory will be shown by La Place Antiques and No1 Lewes from Sussex. Folk Art will be shown by leading experts Erna Hiscock and John Shepherd, Devon based Appledore Antiques and venerable long term Bath exhibitors Terry & Marie Kelly and collectible walking canes will be shown by Winfield Canes.
Fine British, European and Modern & Contemporary Art will be well represented by local dealers White Space Gallery, Totnes, The Jerram Gallery, Sherborne and by Cambridge based Granta Fine Art. Period portraits will be displayed by Channel Islands exhibitor Mark Blower Antiques.
The organisers have also teamed up with celebrated local restaurant Roth Bar & Grill for a competition to win a culturally enriching lunch with wine for two people.
Situated at Hauser & Wirth Somerset, Roth Bar & Grill plays an integral part in the Hauser & Wirth Somerset experience combining gastronomy with contemporary art. Owners Steve & Jules Horrell regularly collaborate with artists exhibiting at the gallery to design unique dishes and cocktails, inspired by the exhibition. The restaurant works closely with local farmers, gamekeepers and gardeners, to use ethical British produce with a focus on sustainability.
Bruton Decorative Antiques Fair 13-15 October 2017
- Trade Preview Friday 13 October 11 am – 2 pm
- Public Friday 13 – 2 pm – 5 pm, Saturday 14 + Sunday 15 – 11 am – 5 pm
- Haynes International, Sparkford, Somerset BA22 7LH
- Complimentary Ticket
Schedule a private England antique buying tour in 2018 at the Bruton Fair, its sister antique fair The Bath Decorative Antiques Fair – plus our other London and English countryside custom antique buying tours!
Cheers! Hope to see you in England!
Toma Clark Haines – The Antiques Diva®
With its gorgeous beaches, luxury resorts, rice paddies and ancient temples Indonesia has far more to offer than just a destination as a vacation hot spot. Bali is one of the world’s best resources for global sourcing. Their antiques scene – and the abundance of offerings – is reminiscent of the Paris Flea Market but Indonesia offers more than just antiques. After assessing your antiquing and design or fashion sourcing needs our local expert Antiques Diva® shopping guide will custom plan your Bali antiques buying tour – helping to maximize your time and money by translating and negotiating on your behalf, and finally liaising you with an international shipper.
Join Toma Clark Haines, CEO of The Antiques Diva® & Co, with Derrick Ricketts, VP, Dallas Market Center on a Bali Antiques Buying Tour with local expert Antiques Diva Guide Marilyn:
Bali is more than a vacation destination. Bali is one of the world’s best resources for global sourcing. Whether you are looking for rustic or folkart furniture… wood and stone carvings… textiles, batiks and ikats… tribal jewelry… architectural salvage… or actually seeking a source to manufacture your own furniture line… Bali has it all!
Our Bali tour crisscrosses Seminyak and Ubud. Bali has countless antiques warehouses where you can find both Balinese and Javanese furniture and architectural salvage. I simply love the colors and carvings of Indonesia!
We have a lot of places to go! Our job is to bring clients to exactly the right places for what they’re looking for! Marilyn knows all the right places, and gets the best prices.
Bali is famous for its textiles. You can even find newly made furniture in Bali. If you want to design your own furniture we can introduce you to artisans and manufacturers for handmade goods.
Bali is also an excellent place to source contemporary art.
After a full day of shopping, we take time to monkey around in Ubud Monkey Forest!
My favorite hotel in Bali is Bambu Indah, John Hardy’s famous eco-lifestyle boutique hotel. Hardy salvaged 11 antique Javanese bridal homes and reconstructed them in Bali. A reknown antiques collector, Hardy’s philosophy is Antiques Are Green. We explore with our client the use of architectural salvage in luxury and eco-design.
On Antiques Diva Tours we always take time to eat! And here eating is a culinary and visual feast.
After lunch we hit the road again. Bali boasts a district of antique shops that can only be compared to the Paris Flea Market! Mile after mile of treasures unfold.
The secret of our tours is we know where to go. We take a peek at one of Donna Karan’s secret sources.
To close the day we are invited for cocktails at the home of local antiques dealer Michael Nalder of LeMari.
Kop khun kha,
Toma Clark Haines – The Antiques Diva
I’m delighted to share with you a guest post by JoAnn Locktov. JoAnn is sharing stunning photographs by talented architects in her new book, Dream of Venice Architecture. You know I’m smitten with Venice and welcome any opportunity to visit with clients, meet with our Antiques Diva® secret sources, or just stroll along the canale or savor a macchiato and work at a small café and relish my surroundings. Our Venice Diva Guides Orseola & Chiara have opened many Venetian doors for me, the architecture at the Fortuny Museo is a favorite of theirs. The lovely photos and charming commentary in Dream of Venice will transport you to this special city. If you haven’t been, you must schedule a trip to Venice very soon. And if you haven’t visited recently, you must return. Until then, I invite you to Dream of Venice Architecture.
Venice. Venezia. La Serenissima. The city has inspired artists, musicians, writers, lovers, and poets for over a millennium. The beauty of Venice is well documented. Originally through painting and verse, and now through photography, movies and if we’re lucky, our own eyes. But have you ever wondered what makes Venice so mesmerizing? Can we attribute her appeal to one element? Is it the Lagoon light, the dancing reflections, the patina of age, or the subtle hues of salt-washed color?
Venice is an urban oasis. The natural water that you find everywhere, is delineated by the construction of palaces, churches, boatyards, gardens, and bridges-some iconic and many that are humble. We wanted to know if this city that originated over 1,500 years ago could still be relevant to our contemporary lives. This is what we found out. Come take a passeggiata with us and wander through the memories of architects, architectural writers, and the evocative images of the award winning filmmaker and photographer Riccardo De Cal.
All photos and excerpts from Dream of Venice Architecture
Published by Bella Figura Publications
For so many people, cities are captured by the visual memory of an iconic panorama but for me Venice is a wholly visceral experience where what we see is so much less than what we perceive or feel. In Venice, there is all at once the sound and smell of the water, the chiaroscuro of confined passageways that give way to expansive campi, the constant rise and fall of crossing so many bridges and the twisting irregularities of its labyrinthine streets. A place of great intensity; I know no other city where one must navigate by way of intrinsic memory rather than conscious understanding.
Annabelle Selldorf, FAIA
Every entrance has a four-digit number, always applied onto the frame in a uniform stenciled typeface. A few years ago I happened to be passing by the house numbered 1937, which featured a particularly distressed and ominous-looking door. Suddenly I had a strange vision that the horrific memories of the year 1937—Guernica, Kristallnacht, Stalin’s Great Purge—are hidden behind that locked portal. It took a good half-a-bottle of wine before I could let this disquieting fantasy go. Yet ever since, I cannot rid myself of an impression that every Venetian door represents a particular year; that the city is, in fact, a museum that contains all human history and all our future as well. This would of course explain why the doors are so mysterious and forlorn: why they are always locked; why nobody seems to be ever entering or coming out.
Venice may be too hot, too cold, too humid, too crowded or too easy to get lost in, but “her streets, through which the fish swim, while the black gondola glides spectrally over the green water” — as Hans Christian Andersen eloquently stated — release us to imagine alternatives to the general standard of urban living. Venice is not on the sea but of the sea, eclipsing the tale of Atlantis with a modern mythology both repeated and rewritten with every tide.
Just inside the windows, several pet bird cages were hung above a grand piano, and these, plus the lure of crumbs from the damask-covered tables where guests were eating their morning brioche, attracted small flying birds from the square. As we sipped our coffee, birds darted through the windows, soared around the ceiling twenty feet overhead, then hopped and chirped about the rug at our feet. It was pure enchantment. Those first few days in Venice were one of the transformative experiences of my life.
Venice: the ageless city. How can we take measure of her to a finite time, she who is crystallized by the juxtaposition of styles, of forms, of places, of spaces…
When you walk through Venice at night, in the silence, in the darkness, the canale fills you with anguish, fear, anxiety, dissatisfaction, as if you’re seeing a sleepless dormitory town, full of ghosts and dark clouds…
Inside the places on the ground floors you imagine unmoving ghosts reclining on large tables surrounded by chairs with the light filtering through from the outside—thus faint, so very faint, in the depths. The gondolas are moving slowly as the water laps the shore; the silver blades almost black and you think they are open funeral carriages ready for the reclining ghosts in the rooms.
When I hear the voice of Venice, my mind wanders into that nebulous space where time momentarily stops and I am quietly propelled into an intimate dialogue with my own free floating thoughts. The voice of Venice thankfully reminds me that there is an arena in which fantasy and reality can collide, coexist, and comfortably accommodate contradictions. Venice, for me, is a metaphor for unexpected creative possibilities. This notion never fails to captivate me.
Louise Braverman, FAIA
For the architect, the recognizing of a city is nearly always expressed through emerging elements: a bridge, a monument, a tower, a neighborhood or a geometric structure. In the end, nearly all of us reason like collectors of snow globes, those that are found in all souvenir shops, and show the stereotypes of different cities.
It is rare that landscape is used as the substantial element of a city, its GEOGRAPHY. But Venice is the exception.
For all its floating qualities, Venice is heavily laden with history, stone, and gravity. Though its marble monuments aspire artfully upwards, they are ultimately more preoccupied with down than up. One counterpoint to all this weight is the prominent windvane poised lightly atop the Punta Della Dogana. This figure of Fortune, presiding over the Bacino’s daily ballet of watercraft, pirouettes between architecture and flight. It has for centuries signaled the comings and goings of Adriatic weather that tints this city’s beguiling atmosphere. For some, perhaps, it pivots to the ebb and flow of dreams as well.
Max Levy, FAIA
The main facade of the Fortuny palazzo faces the Campo San Benedetto. It is adorned with the characteristic ogee arches of Venetian Gothic, a classification of the Gothic architecture that originated as an ecclesiastical style in northern Europe where it can be dour and forbidding. Venetian Gothic is neither. Adapted to residential construction and suffused with Byzantine and Moorish influences, it is light, graceful, and whimsical—almost feminine. The right setting for the fashion maven who was known as the “Magician of Venice.”
Palazzo Fortuny, Orseola and Chiara’s favorite
Ciao, and pleasant dreams of Venice
Toma Clark Haines – The Antiques Diva®
Lolo’s Travel Tips
“A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving.”
– Lao Tzu
Hmmm… Lolo and I must be great travelers! We left Birmingham for our carefree summer getaway through France with way too much luggage (mostly mine), one carry-on going clickety-clack as we rolled it out the door (also mine), and no hotel reservations at all — anywhere (my responsibility). The reason for our trip was to shop three large antique fairs in the South of France and visit Lolo’s family afterwards. Since I had made no reservations other than our flight to Paris, things could have really gone awry, especially with all of France about to embark on les grandes vacances. Fortunately for us, they didn’t. We filled a 40-foot container full of beautiful French antiques and spent a lovely week with family.
Since returning home, I’ve had a little time to ponder some of our decisions. While I strongly suggest getting off the tourist track and experiencing the “real” France as we did, I have to admit we might have approached some things a little too carefree, resulting in foils and fumbles, smiles and tears. In the end, however, our work-cation was just as I’d hoped (minus the little red convertible) — one filled with family, food, fun, and romance. It wasn’t about the destination, it was all about the journey!
Imagine the art world if Monet had only painted water lilies in Giverny, without ever learning to paint en plein air? What if he never visited the Louvre or never traveled to Algeria or never lived in Argenteuil or Vétheuil? There are so many great destinations waiting to be seen. I hope these travel tips help you enjoy your next journey and that you will always take time to smell the roses!
What We Learned From Our Work-cation
The best way to battle the end of summer blues… is to book a Winter holiday tour with The Antiques Diva® & Co!
Buy 2/Get 1 Free Thailand Tour Special
- Book a 2 Day Chiang Mai Thailand Antiques Buying Tour, Get a 1 Day Bangkok Antiques Buying Tour FREE
- Travel: November 2017 – February 2018
Book a 2-day private, custom Chiang Mai Thailand tour with our expert Diva Guide, and we’ll provide you with a full 1-day Bangkok tour!
Bangkok and its better-looking sister to the north Chiang Mai, are treasure chests of exotic antiques that tempt even the most well-traveled shopper. In the Bright Light Big City of Bangkok, you find a wealth of inventory from various time periods the reflecting cultures of Thailand and its surrounding countries. In Chiang Mai, you enter the ancient kingdom of Lanna – which traditionally is a crossroads for trade routes through the Golden Triangle into Laos, Burma, China and beyond. Our Thailand Antiques Tour Guide will custom plan an Asian antiques buying tour for you whether you’re looking to purchase antique furniture, textiles, decorative accessories, handicrafts and artisanal creations or architectural salvage. We will also help maximize your time and money by translating and negotiating on your behalf, and finally, liaise you with an international shipper.
Mention THAILANDSPECIAL when booking your trip
Your Thailand Antiques Diva Guide, Chief Asian Diva Guide Angela Somwaiya, has lived in Thailand over 20 years and has one of the most highly respected antiques shops in Bangkok, Paul’s Antiques, and over 20 years expertise sourcing Asian antiques. In fact, Angela takes you to the many antique stores where she personally has been sourcing for her store. As one of the leading experts in Southeast Asian antiques, Angela’s design eye understands how to create a modern global mix with Asian and European antiques and art. Angela is an expert guide to sourcing Asian bespoke furniture makers using reclaimed teak, and how to up-cyle and repurpose found items.
Chiang Mai Antiques Tour
Available 7 days a week
One to Three Day Tour
The Chiang Mai region is ideal for trade clients because it is home to the best wholesale antiques sources in South East Asia with the most variety of inventory from Thailand as well as from neighboring countries. In part this is because of the historical traditions and geographical positioning in what has traditionally been called the Golden Triangle where the borders of 3 countries meet – Myanmar, Laos and Thailand. Lanna culture has distinctiveness from the rest of Thailand. It was an independent kingdom for years, and you can see Indian and Chinese influences. It has distinctive architecture that incorporates hand carved woods and stylistic motifs. While Chiang Mai is Thailand’s second largest city and has all the modern amenities of a modern city, the culture of the people is still reminiscent of the countryside where you find a slower pace of life, more personal interaction, and people are more patient and kind. There is also an influence of the hill-tribe culture in the region, which creates product variety because the hill-tribe handicrafts are different than the city and royal cultures. From antique furniture and decorative accessories to architectural salvage and beyond, Chiang Mai is a magical place to source a variety of Asian antiques. Whether you’re looking to source small amulets or entire rice barns for architectural salvage, our Chiang Mai Antiques Buying Tour has a lot to offer. As always, on tour our Thailand Antiques Tours Guide will translate, negotiate, and liaise you with an international shipper.
Bangkok Antiques Tour
Available 7 days a week
One to Three Day Tour
All roads lead to Bangkok. Being the major city of South East Asia, all antiques wind their way through this city – so you will find antiques from the rest of Thailand as well as Cambodia, Myanmar, Laos, Indonesia, India, and even China. While you will certainly have the opportunity to purchase classic Asian antiques such as Buddha statues, Bangkok offers so much more. Ornate architectural salvage from temples and Thai homes as well as garden antiques such as Spirit Houses, benches, lanterns, and other pieces can be found in abundance. When it comes to furniture, our Guide will take you to hidden sources where you’ll see Rattanakosin Period antique furniture, scripture cabinets, traditional Thai beds and tables, cabinets, mirrors, and Chinese furniture. For those who love decorative accessories, shop for red lacquer containers, betel boxes, hill-tribe weathered baskets, sturdy pottery, brass and wood carvings, and opium weights and tools. You’ll also find textiles, costumes, amulets, gems, and Thai jewelry, as well as antique handicrafts from the many villages surrounding Bangkok. On our Thailand antiques tours we will translate and negotiate on your behalf, maximizing your time and money. We also liaise you with a shipper to get your purchases home.
WATCH: Antiques Sourcing at Bangkok Chatuchak Market with Toma Clark Haines of The Antiques Diva & Co
Chatuchak Market – Bangkok’s JJ Market Shopping Tour
Available Saturday & Sunday
Limited Availability Mid-Week Upon Request
Full Day Tour
Everyone knows the Paris Flea Market is the place to shop for antiques in Europe… In Asia the equivalent is Bangkok’s Chatuchak Market (aka the JJ Market). It’s massive and sprawling… and the best bits are hidden. Most tourists arrive amidst the tourist tack or get lost in the maze that sells literally everything from pets to candles to t-shirts. The lucky ones find their way to the housewares and decorative accessories – even the reproduction antiques – but to get to the true antiques, off the main soi’s, tucked away in alleyways you need an expert’s hand and that’s where we come in. Our Thailand Antiques Tours Diva Guides not only know the vendors, but they know the hidden antique warehouses, they know the fakes from the genuine pieces and they know how to avoid the heat – escaping occasionally from the brutal heat into AC and when and where to rehydrate with a fresh coconut. They even know the best loos. Shopping the JJ Market without The Antiques Diva & Co simply put is a waste of your time. We save you money by bargaining on your behalf – remember in Thailand negotiation is an art. And as we know the market like the back of our hand, we save you energy by helping you avoid both sensory overload and frustrating dead ends. What To Buy? Everything, but our favorites include Thai Wooden Carvings, Burmese Antique Teak Furniture, Buddhist Manuscript boxes, Handwoven Hill Tribe Baskets, Theater Chairs, Shophouse Display Furniture, Antique Textiles and Art Prints, Architectural Remnants, Vintage Garden Furniture, Khmer Stone Carving, Retro Accessories and billions of Buddha heads (both tourist market reproductions as well as original period pieces). And while these aren’t antique we love them – Thai and Chinese silk and silk lanterns and lighting galore. Not to mention jewelry – both new and old – as well as fusion fashion. And let’s not forget fabulous lunch. In Thailand it’s all about the food – the Thai eat ALL DAY LONG, so you won’t turn a corner without another opportunity to feed your mouth. And of course we know where the best bites are. Our guide meets you at your hotel and whisks you away to the market so you avoid getting lost in the crowds – taking you directly to the area of the market you’re most interested in seeing.
For more information about our Thailand Tour Special
and to book your private, custom Thailand tour
Let your senses be thrilled – your Thailand antiques buying tour is guaranteed to offer surprising finds! And we will make sure you stay fresh and refueled, and ready to experience everything Chiang Mai and Bangkok have to offer!
Kop khun kha,
Toma Clark Haines – The Antiques Diva
Photo Credit Jared Siskin
As summer winds to a close and before the fall breezes get too cool I’m planning my final outdoor fête on my rooftop terrace at home in my converted brewery loft apartment in Berlin. Hosting parties chez moi is perhaps my favorite thing to do in my free time. I spend oodles of time reading cookbooks (Barefoot Contessa is still my favorite) and pinning recipes on Pinterest. As always when seeking Design Inspiration I look to both my travels and my designer friends to get chic tips for living stylishly and entertaining.
The most stylish outdoor party I attended recently in the Hamptons involved both of these two things: Travel and some of my favorite Interior Designers!
Originally from North Carolina, Lisa Mende was born to entertain. When I asked her to share with me her her tips on Entertaining with Diva Style she wrote:
“Entertaining Diva style is an experience not to take lightly! The key to Diva entertaining is to consider all the elements, plan well and be at complete ease when your guests arrive. So how do we do that, you ask? First of all, let’s talk the drinks and bar cart! Every Diva has the drinks flowing when her guest arrive. Nothing will put your guest more at ease than a nice glass of bubbly or a fun cocktail! There must be good champagne and lots of it! You must also have a signature drink as an option for those who don’t like champagne. Customize the signature cocktail to color coordinate with the linens so the drink looks good on the table. Also, make sure your bar cart is well stocked with pretty glasses, a martini shaker, fun mixers, swizzle sticks and a large ice bucket.”
Interior Designer Lisa Mende continues:
“I’m not sure who decided we had to dine on plastic and use paper outdoors, but I say throw caution to the wind and bring on the beautiful china and linens outdoors! Divas don’t do plastic or paper when entertaining! We only serve the best! We like to make our guests feel lavish and loved! We like to make meals that can be prepared ahead, so the day of the party we can enjoy adding the final details like the flowers and candles for our table. Vary the height of candlesticks to create drama and have plenty of them. We all look so much better in candlelight, right ladies? Last but certainly not least, the consummate hostess always remembers to provide a shawl or pashmina on the back of each chair so her guest can wrap up if they get cold. When you plan well dinner parties are a gift to your guest and also to yourself. Enjoy your night and so will your guests!”
Libby Langdon has a similar philosophy on entertaining to Lisa Mende: If the host is happy, everyone is happy! Libby loves large dinners for 60 people on her front porch. She recommends you add lots of silver and candles – and flowers – always flowers. When you can pick hydrangea from your own backyard even better!
Libby explains, “One of my favorite elements of living out in Sag Harbor is being able to entertain family and friends. Great food, delicious cocktails and lots of laughs, these are the important things in life!” Lizzy shared a few pics from a recent fête she hosted in her own Sag Harbor home. Libby advises Diva Readers when entertaining to create a signature dish – she is famous for her grilled pizza and fresh mango margaritas!
Sunday, July 23, 2017 to Monday, September 4, 2017
11AM to 5PM
TIckets Now On Sale
Toma Clark Haines – The Antiques Diva
Sponsors and Chairs for the 2017 Showhouse
National Magazine Sponsor: Traditional Home
Real Estate Sponsor: Saunders & Associates
Regional Magazine Sponsor: Hamptons Purist
Design Sponsor: Kohler Co
Honorary Showhouse Chairman: Mario Buatta
Honorary Design Co-chairmen: Jamie Drake & Alexa Hampton
Lolo French Antiques Guide to Experiencing the Real France
It’s August and back to school time. Those lazy, crazy days of summer are slipping away — in America, that is. But not in France. Vacation is sacred to the French. Five, seven, even nine weeks of vacation per year is not unusual for them. From the first week of July until early September, the French are “hard at vacation”… not, “hard at work!” Les grandes vacances (the summer holidays) are generally divided between the juillettists (Julyists), those who take the month, yes “month,” of July off, and the aoûtiens (Augustians), those who begin their month-long vacation in August.
Lolo and I experienced this sacred rite first hand during a recent buying trip/vacation in France that took us from the picturesque villages dotting Provence to the coastal scenery and seaside resorts of the Loire-Atlantique. I had dreams of driving through France in a little red convertible. But, that was not to be!
We were very “hard at work” buying in the South of France, traveling back-and-forth between three large fairs and two major marché aux puces. We were in France, however, and “when in France, do as the French do.”
Meaning we shopped the antique fairs and puces all morning, then lingered over delicious lunches, eating our fill of crusty baguettes, crevettes, huîtres, and ratatouille while sipping fabulous regional wines, and more often than not, chugging a Coke Zero avec de la glace (as one needs to stipulate, “with ice”). Afternoons and evenings included more shopping, more food, and a lot of driving, whether sightseeing or traveling to our next destination.
Driving in France… that’s a sore subject! Not because we were traveling in a big box truck instead of a shiny red sports car, not because the box truck we rented for the fairs and markets was too high for many of the bridges we needed to pass beneath or too wide for the narrow streets we had to maneuver, but because the air conditioning wasn’t working during the unexpected summer heatwave! Now, I’m a country girl at heart. I’ve ridden plenty of miles in a pickup truck with the windows down and a cooler of ice cold beverages in the back, but after two days in a big box truck with no a/c, no cooler (because you can’t buy bags of ice), temps over 100 degrees, and nights spent in hotels that were “climatized” (to nothing lower than 73 degrees), my split personality was beginning to rear its ugly head. Laurent realized it was in everyone’s best interest to repair the air — ASAP! After several desperate phone calls, he found a dealership that could fix it. In less than three hours, “we were on the road again, the best of friends, goin’ places that we’d never been.” Hallelujah!
We continued on our buying trip. The best moments were when we veered off the suggested GPS routes and stumbled upon hidden antique shops, quaint medieval villages, and a 12th-century Benedictine abbey that was converted into a wine cave in 1791.
We made new friends, took selfies in lavender fields, sunflower fields and random vineyards, and dined outdoors along various riverbanks and canals. We gaped in awe at the beautiful surroundings, living life comme il faut.
Once we were done being “hard at work,” it was time to claim our own les grandes vacance. We hopped a short flight to Nantes from Montpellier and spent a fun-filled week with Laurent’s wonderful family. It was magical.
There was tons of laughter, lots of story telling, despite my terrible French, and more delicious food! We shopped the local seafood and produce markets instead of antique markets. We ate langoustine straight out of the Atlantic and fresh vegetables right out of the garden.
We took a riverboat cruise down the Erdre with Laurent’s sister acting as our personal tour guide. She’s a remarkable local historian and was so generous sharing her knowledge with me. It made the days Lolo and I ventured off by ourselves much more fascinating and enjoyable.
We continued to linger over lunches, after all, we were still on French time — everything was closed from noon until 2:00 pm. We saw dungeons and jails, salt flats and saltwater marshes.
We walked (and walked and walked), and climbed all 350 steps of the Grand Degre that leads to the Abbey at Mont St. Michel. We piddled around his mom’s house, watched French TV, and slept with the windows open. I can’t wait to return in the fall!
For almost three weeks we wined and dined in sun-drenched towns and fog filled villages. From the Languedoc-Roussillon and Provence-Alpes-Cote-d’Azur regions in Southern France to Brittany, Normandy, and the Loire Atlantique in Northwestern France, we got a “taste” of the real France, with its gorgeous countryside, narrow, winding cobblestone streets, castles and cathedrals, bubbling fountains, outdoor cafés and of course, beautiful antiques.
While there’s nothing more quintessentially French than the Eiffel Tower (or the Louis XV bergère), every Francophile should get off the tourist track for a carefree getaway full of fun, romance, and incredible seafood (I’m talking every kind of little shelly creature you can imagine) paired with the best wines in the world. As the title of this summer’s dramedy starring Diane Lane, Alec Baldwin and French actor, Arnuad Viard suggests…. Paris Can Wait, there’s so much more to France.
Here’s a look at three of our favorite South of France side trips.
Have you experienced the real France? If so, tell us where your carefree getaway took you. And look for Lolo’s Travel Tips From Our Carefree Summer Getaway next. We had a few foils and fumbles along the way, but managed to go with the flow and have one of the best work-cations ever!
I’ve always had a love for old things, the passage of time, wear and tear, scars – all of this has been of interest since my earliest memory. We lived in a very old house in Cuba, a 17th-century building with old pasta floors and beamed ceilings. Most of it kindly neglected after the revolution but impeccably tidy. We moved to the US to a modern apartment not at all to my liking and so as a teenager I began buying old bits; Japanese Imari, an old French chair; my bedroom was a little museum in my mother’s Danish Modern home. I studied dance, but before becoming a professional working in Monaco I became friends with an antiques dealer who owned The Ballet Shop on the Upper West Side; I’d spend hours rummaging thru stacks of old Romantic prints and silver gelatin photos of famous dancers. Turns out that Norman Crider was a baton twirling ice skater, quite a character who was awarded the Order of National Merit and Philanthropy in France and founded the Antiques Center of America; as he had 3 shops he’d sometimes need a little help. Eventually I’d assist him setting up his booth at the Armory Show where he would display paste jewels once owned by Hollywood Royalty… I remember him saying after a little composition went up “oh dear, you have an eye” and so I cultivated that eye as I danced my way thru Europe and South America.
The best part of being an ornament is that you’re invited into people’s homes, houses decorated by Colefax and Fowler, Mongiardino, all the greats and so you see and you learn how to mix fearlessly. I remember Castaign’s shop in the 80’s, the last period of high style decorating. That’s why antiques are so important, they remind us of what visual quality should be. Luckily there are still many people who appreciate that quality. Speaking of older, when I hung up my ballet shoes I attended Parson’s and was fortunate to have worked with Bunny Williams and Thomas Jayne who use antiques in all of their projects, so it was another layer of training and when I went off on my in own in 1992 I knew what I was looking at. I opened a small shop along with artist Ric Best called from House to Home in Asbury Park and then Flourish in Philadelphia as well as a small booth at the now defunct Center 44; today I sell my finds to a few high profile designers and those who know where to find me. Luckily the Antiques Diva is a great resource for those in the know.
That’s why antiques are so important, they remind us of what visual quality should be.
My take on vintage and antiques is that if something has been around for a few decades or a few centuries, the chances are that with a little care they’ll outlive us all. And even the worst antique is probably better made than the best mass-produced repro. You also won’t see yourself coming and going in your friend’s houses. Stylistically I tend to gravitate to the neoclassical though that can span a very long period of time. Here are 5 items I’d be happy to use just about anywhere.
1. A pair of Regency marble-top consoles. I love Regency, it’s not as stiff as Empire and the scale can be a little more forgiving so these pieces are suited to city living. These particular tables could be used in an entry flanking a doorway or they could live on either side of a sofa with some mod little low tables in front of them or even as additional servers in a dining room. Add a modern painting or a simple mirror above and you’re pretty much set.
2. The now much-maligned cabinet once used to house our clunky TVs were once actually used as storage. Working with clients in NYC and environs not everyone is blessed with miles of closets. I tend to go for the very plain or the very interesting. Here’s a Biedermeier cabinet that’s not too deep, so while it makes a big statement with it’s architectural presence, all columns and rusticated detailing, you could center this on a wall opposite a seating area or perhaps in your bedroom or a study to hold papers and oversized books. At one time a cabinet like this would have cost a small fortune. Best time to buy this type of furniture is now.
3. A pair of faux painted classical planters. I have a thing for non-furniture items. I think the biggest rookie mistake is to buy upholstery and tables all from one source. The quickest way to look ‘done’ and be done in is to fill a room with store bought blandness. These planters could transform any space, they could flank a doorway or a window and as they’re large they could easily be placed on stone plinths in your double height living room with some palm trees. Why not be just a decadent, you know you want to. And it will give your room much-needed height. They could also go to the side of a fireplace to hold logs. So many uses!
4. I have a thing for the Grand Tour. My first time in Florence I visited a shop that was filled with 19th-century bronze casts and models of great sculpture and I was hooked. I buy them whenever I see them and they’re not that easy to find. Group them if you have a center table, use them singly on a modern cube or coffee table, you can’t go wrong. This Atlas was used by Kelly Wearstler in a recent project.
5. While I always mix modern and contemporary art with my antiques there’s no reason one couldn’t use an ancient textile here and there. Tapestries are not something the average person ever thinks about, but imagine this late 18th-century example in a very clean lined room, or in an entrance hall. The borders alone are enough to fill you with countless hours of joy. I also tend to like religious theme, not for everyone, but here is Moses finding water in the desert, talk about a refreshing subject.
And so those are the five items I’m thinking about right about now. Hope you’ve enjoyed them.
Featured image: Room by Louis Navarrete Decoration for Holiday House 2014
Louis Navarrete Decoration
834 Riverside Drive 5B
New York City, NY 10032
Born in Cuba, Louis was always interested in houses and their contents. After emigrating to the US, he studied ballet with renowned teacher David Howard and danced professionally across Europe with Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo, in the US with The Joffrey Ballet and in South America with Ballets del Zulia. A career ending injury afforded him the opportunity to attend Parson’s where he studied Environmental Design and Interior Decoration under the tutelage of ex Parish-Hadley alumni. He worked as design assistant to Thomas Jayne and Bunny Williams before embarking on his own in 1992. Louis is an expert on design with a keen eye for antiques and has developed a wide range of connections which allows him to source anything you might be in search of, at various price points.