Doing Blog Tour Milan with Antiques Diva Style

Doing Blog Tour Milan with Antiques Diva Style

No Comments

Dear Diva Readers,

When Veronika Miller, proprietress of Modenus, asked me if we’d put together an Antiques Diva VIP experience for Blog Tour Milan I said “Si! Si! Si!  Absolutely YES!”  I’ve been fortunate enough to go on 2 blog tours in the past as a participant (in both NOLA and NYC) and so getting the opportunity to be a sponsor of the event gave me the chance to sit on the other side of the table to benefit from meeting a slew of fabulous bloggers and taking them on an Antiques Diva “experience”!

The Antiques Diva & Co

I’ve called their “tour” an “experience” as it wasn’t a typical tour.  We typically offer 1 on 1 private customized tours that last anywhere from a full day to a full week – but this group only had an afternoon to spare in their tightly packed scheduled and we wanted to make sure they saw some sites so we combined antiques with some diva lifestyle.  In order to maximize their time we offered the lovely group of top design bloggers a bite sized taste of what The Antiques Diva® & Co does. We put together an afternoon walking tour of some of our favorite antiques and vintage vendors in the Brera district of Milan, once home to artists and bohemians and still full of color, character, and life.  This is one of the most important arteries of the design district in the city, oozing style and creativity with beautiful stores and galleries that makes one feel like a child in a candy store.  The narrow streets twist and turn, holding a surprise at every corner.  We shared the creme de la creme of Milan’s antique and culture. One of our 1st stops was actually Cavalli and Nastri where vintage clothing reigns supreme, a tiny store bursting at the seams (excuse the pun) with stylish clothing and jewelry, a couple of seamstresses’ nimble fingers work diligently to hem and tuck.  L’Oro dei Farlocchi just around the corner had a fascinating and eclectic collection of furniture and decorative arts.  And Il Cirmolo tucked in Via Fiori Chiari was a labyrinth of repurposed, salvage and collections.

The Antiques Diva & Co

Susan Pennington, Andrew Skipper

The Antiques Diva, Pamela Copeman

Kelly Kole

Antiques Diva & Co

Italian Vintage

A tour of the Brera wouldn’t be complete without paying a visit to Roberta Tagliavini and at least one of her famed stores (she has three…at last count) at Robertaebasta one really need look no further for mid-century, she is the queen!

Toma Clark Haines, Modenus

Toma Clark Haines, Modenus

After a whirlwind antiques tour we took a sneak peek inside the world famous Scala Opera House.  After all, we couldn’t let these design bloggers come to Milan and not see any of the traditional sites.  Popping in to La Scala theatre is the perfect way to really get a feel for the fabulous culture in Milan.  Being able to peek in and catch a few moments of ballet rehearsal on the main stage is a once in a lifetime bonus!  A tour through the reception rooms with the plethora of gorgeous portraits makes one feel as though Maria Callas herself may step into the room at any moment.

All this was followed by an aperitivo we hosted in a private floor room in the original Campari Bar just a stone’s throw away from the renowned Duomo in Milan.

The Antiques Diva & Co, Modenus

With a view of the Duomo, a selection of drinks including prosecco, martinis, and campari spritzers of course, and an appetizing spread of Italian treats, the aperitivo is anything but average.  Of course every diva needs an opera mask while in Milan, so our guests are all sporting them at our cocktail hour!

Blog Tour Milan

Aperitivo, Italy, Antiques Diva

We were so pleased to host the Blog Tour Milan group for an afternoon and evening of antiques, culture, and cocktails Diva style!

If you’d like to book a custom Antiques Diva & Co tour in Italy or anyone of our 8 tour countries – France, England, Sweden, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Denmark and Italy, contact us at [email protected] to inquire about your custom made private antiques buying tour.

Ciao for now!
The Antiques Diva®

Designer Spotlight: Jeffrey Alan Marks

No Comments

Dear Diva Readers,

One of the perks of my job is that I get to travel frequently and meet wonderful people from all over the world.  Being in the antiques industry often connects me with interior designers and taste makers, whether they be clients or industry leaders that I meet while speaking at different conferences. Last month I spoke at the Design Bloggers Conference and had the opportunity to meet many well-known interior designers, but perhaps one of the most interesting (and cutest!) was Jeffrey Alan Marks.

Jeffrey is an internationally known designer who infuses his projects with antiques from around the globe.  Being one of Bravo’s Million Dollar Decorators, Jeffrey has graced television screens in over twenty-five countries, showcasing his relaxed yet tailored esthetic.

The Meaning of Home

His “sophisticate informal” look can also be seen in his first coffee table book, The Meaning of Home, published by Rizzoli  – which currently graces my coffee table.

In the book (which one can’t help but drool over), Jeffrey’s  relaxed California style mixes with old world European antiques which lend just the right amount of polish and glamour without getting fussy.

Jeffrey Alan Marks

The juxtaposition continues with interiors that blend weathered wood surfaces with sleek modern finishes.  The book is real life proof that decorating with antiques can be stylish, fresh, and very “now.”  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – Antiques are Modern!

Jeffrey Alan Marks

Jeffrey Alan Marks

The icing on the cake?  Jeffrey includes his favorite shopping addresses and sources in the book, giving you access to the perfect pieces to complete your own home!

Jeffrey’s designs are constantly featured in top shelter publications such as Architectural Digest, Elle Décor, House Beautiful, and Town & Country. Be on the look-out for what this style setter does next.  I have a feeling we will see great things from Jeffrey that will change the design industry as we know it!

Toma Clark Haines, Design Bloggers Conference

Happy Reading!
The Antiques Diva®
(seen above with Jeffrey Alan Marks)

Tip Thursday-Rimowa Luggage

No Comments

Dear Diva Readers,

Being Chief Executive Diva of Europe’s largest Antiques Touring Company involves a lot of travel.  In fact, I often find myself living out of a suitcase 2 to 3 weeks a month.  If there’s one thing every traveling Diva needs, it’s reliable luggage that is fabulous and functional. What’s my top pick, you ask? Hands down, Rimowa Luggage!

Rimowa Luggage has accompanied travelers around the world for over 100 years, but the products they offer today resemble anything but the past. The company uses lightweight aluminum and polycarbonate to construct their cases, which certainly helps with today’s airline weight restrictions placed on luggage.  Adhering to their motto, “‘Handwerk meets Hightech’ (Handcraft Meets High Tech), Rimowa combines modern technology with old-world craftsmanship.

What I love about Rimowa luggage is that it’s designed well–sleek and modern–but also offers value in the fact that the products last a lifetime. Due to my extensive travel schedule, my luggage gets a lot of miles put on it in a short amount of time.  The last thing I want to be doing is going to the store to buy luggage every other month.  With Rimowa, I know that I have a trusty travel companion that can withstand the Diva lifestyle and still keep me traveling in style no matter where I might be in the world.  (And below…a little “vintage” Rimowa for a bit more character!).

Ciao!
The Antiques Diva ®

Meet the Bloggers of Blog Tour Milan

1 Comment

Dear Diva Readers,

One thing I love most about my job is getting to meet industry leaders and experts.  That’s why I’m so excited to be leading a tour in Italy this week for Blog Tour Milan.  The tour will coincide with Salone del Mobile, Milan’s annual design week.  So before I jet off to Italy, I wanted to introduce you to the bloggers I’ll be with there…Meet the bloggers who will be blogging!

PamelaCopeman

Award winning interior designer Pamela Copeman is noted for her posh panache and timeless designs that unite classic style with a modern, often colorful twist.  With over 20 years of experience in the design world, her Posh Palettes Blog is definitely a valuable resource for information on the latest and greatest products and trends in interior design.

kandrac and kole

The nationally recognized interior design firm Kandrac Kole will be represented by none other than founding principal designers Joann Kandrac and Kelly Kole!  Voted one of Atlanta’s Top 20 Residential Interior Designers in 2013 by the Atlanta Business Chronicle, their work has been featured on HGTV, The New York Times, House Beautiful.com, Southern Lady Magazine, Atlanta Home Improvement and Houzz.com.  These ladies’ love and commitment to the power of interior design is exhibited in their charity work throughout the U.S. and Guatemala and through their blog which was established in 2009.

Carmen Natschke

Carmen Maria Natschke is a new media entrepreneur, freelance writer, social media diva, speaker and the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of the internationally acclaimed design blog, The Decorating Diva. Carmen travels the world over as a lifestyle and design expert sharing her love of art, architecture, design, and trends with thousands of Decorating Diva fans from around the globe.

eric-headshot-2

As the Founder of SketchThis.Net, Eric Schimelpfenig has taken pencil and paper operations and converted them to 3D, worked with Google on Sketchup’s development, created 3D content for companies large and small, and taught Sketchup to countless students all over the country.  He is also an active columnist in Kitchen & Bath Design News, and often speaks on emerging technologies for the design field.

Holly Hollingsworth Phillips

Holly Hollingsworth Phillips is a residential interior designer and owner of The English Room in Charlotte, North Carolina.  With an elegant, eclectic and colorful style, she has completed homes all over the East coast that have ranged in style.  Her love of color, pattern and layering of old and new can be seen in all her work, which has been published in many print and digital publications.

Tamara Matthews Stephenson

Tamara Matthews Stephenson was inspired to start her lifestyle blog, Nest by Tamara, by her busy life as a NYC interior designer.  Tamara has written for Traditional Home Magazine, Venu Magazine, Today’s Equestrian and New York Spaces Magazine.  She hopes to help her clients and readers create a stylish yet well-lived in home while putting it all into perspective.

Krista Nye Schwartz and Tami Ramsay

Krista Nye Schwartz and Tami Ramsay are the duo behind the boutique interior design firm, Cloth & Kind with offices in Ann Arbor, MI and Athens, GA.  They have a passion for textiles and cultured spaces, and like to tell a story through their interiors.

Robin Plaskoff Horton

Robin Plaskoff Horton’s award-winning and Webby-nominated blog, Urban Gardens, is a lifestyle story told from the ground up.  Encompassing urban style, design, and nature, Urban Gardens focusses on the whole picture.  Robin has been a featured speaker at the Garden Bloggers Conference, Woman at Woodstock, and the Garden Writers Association Annual Meeting.  She is a contributor to Houzz.com and has been a featured curator for social commerce sites Pickie and Luvocracy.  Mashable named Urban Gardens “One of the Top 10 Must-Follow Home and Garden Twitter Accounts.”

Lisa Smith

Interior designer Lisa Smith is also author and publisher of DecorGirl.net.  As owner and visionary behind Interior Design Factory, Ltd. , a boutique design firm where they devise everything from furniture to light fixtures, Lisa lives by her words, “do it once, do it right.”

Looking forward to taking all of these wonderful design enthusiasts on an abbreviated Antiques Diva tour in Milan!  Until then…

Ciao Bella!
The Antiques Diva®

Designer Spotlight: Tobi Fairley

No Comments

Dear Diva Readers,

While the world of antiques, decorating, and interior design can seem all fun and no work, the reality is that in order to be successful in any of these fields, one must have good business sense and operate from a professional mindset; one that allows your inspirations to actually materialize rather than live forever in your head.  If there is one designer who knows this and lives it out fully, it’s Tobi Fairley.

Toma Clark Haines

As the master mind behind her aptly named company, Tobi Fairley & Associates, Tobi is far more than a peddler of pillows. Top shelter magazine Traditional Home predicts, “Tobi will be like Cher or Oprah, one of those women for whom one name says it all.” On top of being a successful designer, Tobi offers a comprehensive consulting service providing custom-tailored education, mentoring, and common sense tools to help companies and design firms improve their business.

The Antiques Diva Parma

Toma Clark Haines Parma

I had the pleasure of taking Tobi on an antiques buying tour in Italy last month and was impressed by her desire to help other designers succeed and reach their maximum potential.  With her award-winning interior design projects being featured on television, blogs, and in several high profile shelter magazines, Tobi now shares her savvy for the business side of her life with clients who want to increase profits and achieve better results in their companies.

Traditional Home Cover

I was so thrilled to see Tobi’s designs featured on the April cover of Traditional Home Magazine, along with an extensive spread inside.  Her work is also featured in the April issue of Better Homes & Gardens.  One thing is for sure, this woman is going places!  Be sure to follow Tobi’s blog for design, business, and life inspiration.  And stay tuned because The Antiques Diva & Co did a fabulous photo shoot with Tobi while we were in Italy together…you never know what major publication these photos might show up in!

Ciao!
The Antiques Diva®

Antiquing in Stockholm

No Comments

Dear Diva Readers,

Today we’re joined by Sara Söderberg Svantesson, owner of Amazing Interiors in Stockholm. She has a showroom with antiques including pieces from the late Barouque, the Rococo, and Gustavian period until the Empire. She works as an interior designer and stylist as well as Chief Executive “Diva” of  her company, Amazing Interiors.

Our Southern Sweden Antiques Diva Tours have been so popular that we’re now exploring offering antique buying tours in Stockholm.  Today we’re sitting down with Sarah to discuss shopping in Stockholm Antiques Diva Style!

Swedish Antiques Antiques Diva

Swedish Clock

Antiques Diva:
 As a designer how do you see Swedish antiques fitting into the modern day home both locally in Stockholm as well as abroad. How are clients living with antiques?

Sarah: During the last couple of years the trend has been mixing modern furniture with antiques. For example my clients might buy a modern sofa and pair it with old armchairs or a modern dining table mixed with Gustavian chairs. Often I suggest to the clients that they choose a colorful modern fabric to use on an armchair or on dining chairs with the results that the old antique fits perfectly into to a modern home. I also think that the trend in recycling is contributing to peoples’ increasing interest in buying, restoring and keeping antiques.  Remember antiques are green!

Antiques Diva:
For a visitor to Stockholm if they only had 1 day to antique in the city where would you suggest they go and what would you say they should do?

Sarah:  If you as a visitor have one day to spend in Stockholm I would suggest you try to make the most of the day by mixing high end boutiques together with ”vintage” stores. At Östermalm in Stockholm you can find the boutiques that have the most exclusive antiques in the capital. Many of them are working with antique furniture from the Baroque, Rococo, the Gustavian periods until the Empire. Here you´ll find both rare and unique Swedish antiques. After spending the morning at Östermalm I would recommend you have a short distance walk to Vasastan with all the small interesting vintage boutiques. Here you´ll find anything from old glass and candlesticks to vintage mirrors and carpets. If you are not too tired after that I would suggest you also visit the Old town, where you can combine looking at all the beautiful houses and monuments with shopping in the vintage stores that you´ll find here.

Sweden

Antiques Diva:
Stockholm is famous for its auctions, can you tell our readers about the auctions? Explain the Quality Auctions and when are they?

Sarah:  Stockholm has two leading auction houses, Bukowskis and Stockholm’s auktionsverk. They have auctions on a weekly basis and two times a year they have their Quality Auctions. Theses auctions are often held late autumn and late spring. Characteristic for the quality auctions are that, unlike from the weekly auctions, they only sell high end antiques from the Baroque, Rococo, and Gustavian periods and the Empire.

Sweden

sweden

Antiques Diva:
Are there are a variety of price points from high end to lower  prices available in Stockholm? My perspective was that everything was high end, but after our conversation last week I realized this was a myth about antiquing in Stockholm.

Sarah: As mentioned above and below the high end boutiques are located at Östermalm. At Vasastan and Gamla Stan you find the boutiques that have lower prices. You really can still find a bargain in Stockholm.

Antiques Diva: Describe your perfect day in Stockholm. Where would you go? What would you do?

Sarah:  Your perfect day in Stockholm should start with waking up at a beautiful hotel – I’d choose the Diplomat located at Strandvägen, one of the most exclusive streets in Stockholm. The hotel, that is overlooking the sea, was built in 1904 and it has a beautiful and luxurious interior.

Sweden

After enjoying a long breakfast at the hotel you start with a short walk down to Arsenalgatan where you find the Auctionhouse Bukowskis and also a couple of high end antique shops. After spending the morning here you cross the street and walk into Östermalm. At Nybrogatan you visit antique shops and the Auction house Stockholms auktionsverk and when reaching Östermalmstorg you stop at Östermalmshallen for lunch. Östermalmshallen is a market hall from 1888 and today it is a market place with local food vendors. Lunch at Melanders fisk in Östermalmshallen will prepare you for a nice afternoon at Vasastan with all its vintage shops. Don´t forget to visit Upplandsgatan where many of the cosy vintage shops are located.

Swedish Antiques

The evening you spend at Berns Asian restaurant. It´s an oldbuilding from 1863, located next door to Bukowskis. The building hosts both a hotel and a really good Asian restaurant. The old, well kept interior with all the fantastic decor in the ceilings and  walls are defentively worth a visit. This will make a ideal end on a perfect day in Stockholm.

Thanks Sarah for your Antiques Diva interview!
The Antiques Diva®

P.S. If this blog has whet your appetite for a Stockholm Antiques Buying Tour email me – [email protected] to schedule your shopping extravagnza!

Tip Thursday- How I Built The Antiques Diva & Co

4 Comments

Dear Diva Readers,

I am often asked how The Antiques Diva & Co came to be.  The short answer is that serendipity played (and continues to play) a huge role, not only in my business, but also in my life in general.  But there are many things, including my blog and social media, that have helped develop and maintain my brand and business.  Last month I was asked to speak at the Design Bloggers Conference about the role of social media and content building a luxury brand.  For me these were huge aspects in creating and developing my company. Let me share a few tips with you from my journey that will hopefully inspire you as you live out your passions.

Before my blog was born, I lived a life that led me to discovering my niche.  After I gave up an advertising career to move to Europe, I was looking for a career in a suitcase.  A friend recommended I read Julia Cameron’s book, The Artist’s Way.  This book helped to narrow my focus and discover my passions.  It helped me discover the red thread that had run throughout my life.

I decided to write a book and promote it on The Antiques Diva blog.  Then the financial crisis of 2008 happened.  My book didn’t get published and I felt like a failure.  But blog readers began to email me, asking if I could take them on a tour.  I said YES and it changed my life.  It wasn’t what I planned…it was even bigger.  Five years later, I own Europe’s largest antique touring company.

Toma Clark Haines

A major lesson here is be open to opportunity.  You may plan one thing, but life may hand you a different plan.  Don’t get so focussed on what you’re doing that you miss an opportunity.  Say yes.  Take a chance.  Do something unexpected.  Be willing to fail.  It’s not how you fall but how you get back up that counts.  Create a niche and then diversify.  Find what makes you unique and explore that opportunity.

My business would not exist today were it not for my blog.  I did not set out to build an antiques touring company.  I recognized a need and I filled it. Once I started a company, I intentionally set about using social media and content building to market my business and connect with potential customers.

By being the expert in the field of antique tours and sourcing, my company has a reliable base to build relationships with customers.  I believe this has been key to building and maintaining a successful business.  At The Antiques Diva & Co we know where to go, how to get there, what to buy, and most importantly, how to get it home.

In sum, The Antiques Diva & Co has been a fun, interesting, and rewarding journey that is constantly evolving to fit the needs of our customers and the ever-changing world.  Many readers have commented that our focus has shifted more towards the trade – and again that was answering the need.  At one point about 2 years ago I looked at my tour bookings and realized 75% of my clients were antique dealers or interior designers… that said, we still service tourists and love nothing more than helping all clients find that special thing they’re looking for.  It’s been a wonderful journey leading antique buying tours and owning a company that has grown by leaps and bounds since it’s inception.  And I hope that you all will continue with me on this journey as you also explore your own paths!

The Antiques Diva®

The Antiques Diva

Peak of Chic Book Review

1 Comment

Dear Diva Readers,

Jennifer Boles is constantly bringing us inspiration through her blog, The Peak of Chic, but she’s now made it possible for us to own a tangible piece of her perspective on design with her book, In With The Old: Classic Décor from A to Z.

Jennifer-Boles-Author-Photo_PHOTO-CREDIT-TO-ERICA-GEORGE-DINES

in-with-the-old-book-cover

The book is set up almost like a chic decorating encyclopedia, detailing 100 entries focused on Jennifer’s favorite decorating elements – like coquillage, leopard prints, and tented rooms – all laid out in alphabetical order.  Accompanying each entry are gorgeous photographs and original illustrations that surely inspire any design enthusiast.

Jennifer Boles

Jennifer Boles

This book can be thought of as a collection of the important elements in 20th Century design.  Taking cues from major taste-makers of the era, Jennifer has corralled a plethora of styles, products, and ideas into one place, offering up not only interesting information on the history of certain trends, but also giving useful decorating advice and helpful tips on how to implement them into modern living.

In With The Old is sure to be an essential reference for anyone wanting to learn about the elements of chic interiors and stylish living.  You may even come across an idea that sparks an entirely new scheme for your home or next decorating project.

Jennifer Boles and Toma Clark Haines

I was delighted to meet Jennifer in real life recently at the Design Bloggers Conference and she enchanted me with her wit and charm!  Consider her book a Must Read Diva Resource!

The Antiques Diva®

High Point Market

No Comments

Dear Diva Readers,

I‘m thrilled to be speaking at The Antique and Design Center of High Point in North Carolina at the furniture market on Tuesday, April 8th from 4:00-5:00pm.  I’ll be taking the audience on a virtual tour of the major antique periods and styles to identify their key characteristics utilizing modern day metaphors and featuring inventory found at the Antique and Design Center in High Point.  The best part?  No passport required!

Toma Clark Haines High Point

I’ll be dishing about all the antique trends in Europe and showing how antiques aren’t just a thing of the past, but a huge part of the future in interior design!  Following the talk, I’ll be leading a champagne tour (of course!) of the Antique and Design Center of High Point, highlighting topics covered in the talk.  If you’ll be in High Point, I’d love to see you at the Spring Lecture Series!  Drop me a note and let me know if you’re coming – I’d love to meet up!

High Point 2

High Point 3

High Point

See you at market!

The Antiques Diva®

Designer Spotlight: Timothy Corrigan

1 Comment

Dear Diva Readers,

Everyone knows that I love antiques, but even I’ll admit that it can sometimes be difficult to decorate in a functional way using ONLY antiques.  That’s why I’m constantly perusing the latest shelter magazines and decorating books, collecting ideas and inspiration from today’s top interior designers.  One of my favorite books is An Invitation to Chateau du Grand-Luce by Timothy Corrigan.

chateau-du-grand-luce-french-royalty-1

TC-COVER-10-web

Timothy Corrigan certainly has mastered the art of creating an elegant atmosphere that is also fully functional and most importantly, comfortable.  The story of how Timothy acquired and subsequently breathed new life into Chateau du Grand-Luce is not only inspiring (who wouldn’t want to buy a great chateau and turn it back into a private residence?!), but also a lesson in decorating for real life, proving that form and function are not mutually exclusive.  I love pouring over the gorgeous images  in his book, noting his use of color, scale, and style that ultimately create a warm feel that envelops you even from the pages.

Timothy Corrigan

This project was more than just renovating a shell.  Many of the original fixtures are still in tact and Timothy took great care to preserve these relics from an age gone by.  However, he wasn’t limited by the chateau’s history.  He even says in the book, “This can be especially challenging in historically significant residences, as so often people believe they must be unreasonably faithful to the past and live in their homes the way the original residents did.” 

The ultimate purpose of the house, however, is to be a home, a place to entertain friends and the furniture arrangements needed to be accommodating for conversations and actual everyday living.

chateau-du-grand-luce-interiors2

image5

I can just imagine attending a country weekend in this beautiful home.  Arriving in the early evening on a Friday, just in time to change and enjoy a cocktail on the gravel allee in the formal garden, followed by a casual dinner in the orangery.  Perhaps after dinner retiring with a book in one of the many well-appointed guest rooms only to awake the following morning to a gorgeous view of the gardens.  A leisurely Saturday spent admiring the many works of art in the home would turn into an evening to remember with dinner served in the formal dining room.  And who wouldn’t want to stay up to the wee hours of the morning, enjoying lively conversations in the Salon Chinois?

In my mind, what Timothy Corrigan has done with Chateau du Grand Luce is create a world within a world.  A place that doesn’t shut out the modern era, but embraces the way we live today, while still remaining true to the roots of our past.  I was fortunate enough to meet Timothy recently in Atlanta at the Design Bloggers Conference and now I am not only smitten with Chateau du Grand Luce, but also with the man of the manor himself.  When I met him, I told him I was his doppelganger–he was an English major, I was an English major.  He worked in advertising, I worked in advertising.  He moved to Paris which changed his career to design, I moved to Paris which changed my career to antiques!  He bought a chateau….I….well, still waiting on that one!

Timothy Corrigan and The Antiques Diva

Regardless of whether I’ll ever own a grand chateau, I am inspired to take lessons from what Timothy’s done in his home and apply them to any space I find myself inhabiting.  Honor the past, but live fully in your home now.  After all, there is no greater luxury than comfort, and I’d prefer to have my comfort in a gorgeous room filled with antiques and pieces that mean something to me.

Au Revoir,
The Antiques Diva®

Giveaway! Kitchen Design Network Workshop

No Comments

Dear Diva Readers,

People “in the know” are talking about the Kitchen Design Network and their new informative workshops for designers and decorators, beginning with the High Point Market inaugural full day workshop coming up on Friday, April 4th at the O’Henry Hotel in High Point, North Carolina.  And guess what?  The Antiques Diva has 2 free tickets to give away to a lucky reader! 

Kitchen Design Network

The workshop is set to be completely niche to the kitchen business.  Everyone wants a new kitchen and recent surveys show that it’s the most sought after remodeling project in home design today. The workshop is totally knowledge and experienced based and will deliver tangible skills designers can apply to their businesses and begin to broaden their services immediately.  It will be a “hands on” experiential day of learning for designers and decorators looking to learn from “real life, in the daily design trenches.”

The workshop is sponsored by the Miele Showroom and seating is limited to just 30 people.  SO…how do you enter to win 2 tickets from The Antiques Diva & Co?  To enter, simply “share” this blog post on your social media page and tell us why you want to attend this workshop!  Don’t forget to tag “The Antiques Diva & Co” on Facebook or on Twitter to be sure we see your answers!  The winner will be notified via social media and will be able to enjoy this fun and informative workshop all about the heart of the home, the kitchen!

Looking forward to hearing your answers!

Ciao,

The Antiques Diva  ®

Meet Alys Dobbie, Our New Diva Guide

1 Comment

Dear Diva Readers,

Meet our newest Antiques Diva Guide, Alys Dobbie – she’s an antique and vintage dealer, wearer and endorser as well as being the newest Diva on our team, leading tours in London at the Portobello Flea Market! She has been in the antiques trade for the last 11 years, getting her start selling in the markets of London and working her way up to owning 2 shops and becoming owner of “Vintage Shop of the Year 2012” and “A Judges Choice Young Gun 2013.”  She’s 30 years old and has a wide spectrum of knowledge with a specialty in Mid-Century Modern design.  In addition to being a dealer and antiques tour guide Alys also restores furniture and we will be featuring Alys’ restoration tips on our blog in the coming months.

Alys Dobbie - Antiques Diva

Meet Your London Portobello Guide – Alys Dobbie

Antiques Diva: Which Tours do you lead?

Alys: I currently run one-day tours in Portobello and Notting Hill but will be working on the East Sussex and Brighton tours too alongside our Antiques Diva UK agent, Gail McLeod.

Alys Dobbie - Antiques Diva

Antiques Diva: What do you like about your job?

Alys: I love meeting new people and finding out their individual tastes and requests. Having a good relationship with dealers is essential in being a Diva and I love having a rapport with the characters of the industry!

Antiques Diva:  What do you consider your specialty in helping clients?

Alys: I have a good knowledge of Mid-Century design and artefacts so I’ll be able to help anyone seeking the vintage look. I also have a degree in furniture restoration so I know to look for repairs or damage and can give advice on polishing and restorations.  I love helping clients find what they want – the cherry on the cake is always when you find the speciality item they’ve been looking for.

Alys Dobbie - Antiques Diva

Alys Dobbie - Antiques Diva

Alys Dobbie - Antiques Diva

Alys Dobbie - Antiques Diva

Antiques Diva:  Where did you grow up?

Alys: I grew up in Tunbridge Wells in Kent – my dad and I used to hit the boot fairs every sunday when I was a kid to seek out bargains. I used to buy clothes and sell them to the designer boutiques in town for pocket money.

Antiques Diva:  What do you do when you’re not working? Hobbies? Interests?

Alys:  When I’m not working I’m usually still working. I love buying items for my shop so will drag my boyfriend (er Fiance! Ms Dobbie is getting married!!) around antique centres (he secretly loves it too). I also make my own wine and sloe gin. My favourite part of the day is taking my Border Terrier dog Fred for a walk on Brighton beach, where I live now.

Antiques Diva: Favorite spot to vacation?

Alys: I went to the States last year and absolutely loved it. My dream holiday would to be to drive around the Deep South, checking out thrift and antique stores whilst eating some good BBQ. I have a soft spot for Granada in Spain. The tapas are to die for.

Antiques Diva: Do you have a favorite museum of work of art that inspires you?

Alys: The Tate Gallery in St Ives, Cornwall is my favourite gallery in England. The building itself is spectacular and conjures up memories of long summer holidays with my dad. The whole village is full of artists – both up and coming and established. The Barbara Hepworth gardens are also fantastic.

Antiques Diva: Give me 5 words that describe your personality?

Alys: Quirky, Dry, Organised, Confident, Thoughtful

To follow Alys’ Adventures check out her store as well as Facebook site and Twitter.

To book a Portobello Flea Market Tour in London email [email protected].

Cheers!
The Antiques Diva ®

Upcoming Travel Schedule

No Comments

Dear Diva Readers,

IIt’s been an incredibly hectic week and a half at home in Berlin: not only did we launch our new Antiques Diva London Portobello Road antiques shopping tour, I’m also prepping and packing for a 2 week mega tour of the US:

My poor husband has the patience of a saint (and happens to be meeting me in Milan to whisk me away for a week in Tuscany after this grueling schedule)!  So to show him my appreciation for his patience with my crazy travel schedule, I spent an afternoon in the kitchen and put together a meal he’ll remember while I’m away – our goose is cooked!:

Goose Dinner - The Antiques Diva

Served with a selection of champagne and wines, including a gorgeous Chateauneuf du Pape, bien sur!

I hope to see you soon at one of my US stops or on an Antiques Diva® Buying Tour.  Remember our Spring Fling with DEEP DISCOUNTS off our Paris Flea Market Tours is on through April 1, 2014.  Book your tour now to save $$$ of any Paris Flea Market booking in 2014.

Bon appetit, et Bon Weekend!
The Antiques Diva®, seen below with my beloved during our summer vacation last year in NOLA

Toma Clark Haines

 

Speaking on The Art of Antiquing at ADAC

Speaking on The Art of Antiquing at ADAC

No Comments

Dear Diva Readers,

Sometimes when people hear the word “antiques” they picture stuffy interiors filled with heavy furniture covered in doilies.  But the reality is that antiques encompass so many styles, time periods, and price points!  Ask any tastemaker and they will tell you that antiques are a major part of the design scene right now.

Toma Clark Haines ADAC

In fact, I’ll be discussing this very topic with a lovely group of experts on Thursday April 3 at 10:00 A.M., at the Atlanta Decorative Arts Center. Atlanta based interior designers Carole Weaks of C. Weaks Interiors and Clary Bosbyshell Froeba of Margaux Interiors Ltd., will join me in a “round table” setting to talk about collecting and sourcing antiques, the importance of antiques in an interior, and how to layer them into our modern lives.  Atlanta antique dealer Spalding Nix of Spalding Nix Fine Art will be our guest panelist and moderator.

This promises to be a fun and informative morning with a reception to follow at Travis & Company, Suite 128.  I look forward to seeing you at ADAC!

Read more about the event and register!

Until then,

The Antiques Diva ®

In the Press Spring 2014

In the Press Spring 2014

8 Comments

Dear Diva Readers,

Extra Extra Read All About It…. The Antiques Diva & Co has been in the press all over the place! From Atlanta to London, Amsterdam, Houston to Dallas, Parma, Italy and everywhere in between…..   First off we showed up in the press at the Homes & Antiques blog while touring the Bath Decorative Fair with Judith Miller.

Antiques Diva , Toma Clark Haines

It was a double whammy with Homes & Antiques magazine as my article “Vintiquing in New Orleans” appeared in their February issue!  If you’re not already familiar with this British publication Homes & Antiques magazine mixes the best of the old with the best of the new – this much loved homes magazine is for people who adore great design and beautiful objects from every era.

Antiques Diva 2

I guess I should make this a grand slam home run…  Imagine my surprise when my copy of the 2014 – 2015 Collectables Handbook and Price Guide by Judith Miller and Mark Hill showed up in the mail with a quote on the back cover by YOURS TRULY!

Antiques Diva 3

Antiques Diva, Toma Clark Haines

This book is an indispensable guide to antiques, providing the most in-depth and up-to-date information to the collectables market.

Speaking of great publications – if you haven’t seen the recent issue Antique Shops & Designers magazine – I had 2 articles inside – one about my favorite Tuscan villa agriturism estate Montestigliano and another sharing secrets to antiquing in Sweden.

Antiques Diva 4

Antique Shops & Designers is a magazine of home interiors, home decorating, and Interior Design. The magazine combines antique objects of art with contemporary home decorating. A designer’s reference book loaded with imported antique accent pieces, modern designer kitchen appliances, antiques and the latest in today’s lighting and accessories design.  I really appreciated the shout out Joni of Cote de Texas gave The Antiques Diva & Co as well in her post about this fabulous magazine.

Meanwhile we were delighted to make the Mothers Day Gift Supplement in  The Times (that would be London’s Times not New York’s) and then imagine my delight when California Homes magazine hit the newsstands yesterday and yours truly was pictured on the “Party” page for the Americans in Paris Party! You’ll recall I wrote about this sensational fete in January.

The Antiques Diva London Times

americans in paris party california home magazine

Sometimes our media coverage is a bit more incognito… we appeared lurking “behind the scenes” in an article about one of our favorite Dutch dealers – Benko – in a Dutch newspaper.  We’re incognito in this article as we were shopping for a top secret VIP client! Oh the intrigue!  Sorry… I’ll never tell who we were shopping for… one of our services at AD&CO is complete confidentiality for our clients.   My new in house creative consultant Andrew Skipper is also seen here noting the plethora of purchases our client was making.

Antiques Diva 5

Meanwhile The Antiques Diva & Co was mentioned in a slew of blogs after I spoke at the Design Bloggers Conference!

Antiques Diva 6

The Design Bloggers Conference is the only conference specifically focused on the interests of bloggers on interior design teaching attendees how to build a stellar personal brand for their design career.  Special thanks to Pamela Copeman for mentioning The Antiques Diva & Co in her Posh Palette Blog on 30 Quick Takeaways from DBC 2014.   Pamela Copeman is an award winning interior designer noted for her posh panache and timeless designs that unite classic style with a modern, often colorful twist.

Antiques Diva 7

Photo of Pamela Copeman with Kandrac & Kole

Kelly Kole and Joann Kandrac of Kandrac & Kole blog also gave The Antiques Diva & Co a shout out! in their colorful blog.  Kandrac Kole is a nationally recognized interior design firm well known for their approachable, dynamic personalities, signature use of color, and one of a kind, custom designs.  Voted one of Atlanta’s Top 20 Residential Interior Designers in 2013 by the Atlanta Business Chronicle, their work has been featured on HGTV as well as The New York Times, House Beautiful, Southern Lady Magazine.

Inspirational lifestyle design writer Mitzi Beach was also so kind to include a mention of my speech in her blog as well.  Mitzi is an award winning interior designer who not only is an author but is an esteemed speaker as well!  On top of this she’s a Baby Boomer Marketing & Lifestyle Specialist  armed with 30+ years’ experience and a masters degree in interior design. Mitzi firmly believes the Boomers can and must be the generation that changes the way we age in this country and her unique combination of education, expertise and experience—even the Aging in Place principles evidenced throughout her own “Living Lab” home, called Cypress—make her the ideal candidate to lead that charge.

Antiques Diva

(I’m seen here with Mitzi Beach and Lisa Mende Designs)

I was also particularly honored that Steve McKenzie’s blog mentioned me in their DBC2014 highlights.  Steve and Jill McKenzie own Steve McKenzie’s Interiors and Lifestyle store.  The brand offers a design sensibility that converges two fundamental influences – the southern hospitality and graciousness mixed with their love for the mid-century modern aesthetic. Steve’s fabric designs are beyond divine.

index

Jill McKenzie & Toma Clark Haines at DBC2014

Last but not least with respect to the Design Bloggers Conference, I want to thank Cromatti for not only including me as one of their 4 Inspirational Bloggers but also for sharing their $5000 1st dibs prize with me, giving me a $1000 Gift Certificate.  I met Alan Rauta, their Chief Operating Officer, at the conference on the first day and for the next several days we traded banter.  When Michael Bruno announced that the 1st dibs competition winner of the $5000 Gift Certificate was Alan Rauta of Cromatti I was smiling from ear to ear – it couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy!  But I had no idea how nice he was – imagine my surprise when I received an email from Alan saying “The thing I learned at the Design Bloggers Conference was that blogging is all about sharing and I want to share my prize with you.”  His generosity left me speechless.  This unexpected act perhaps sums up Cromatti as a brand – they offer the unexpected in their collection of ultramodern and colorful metal furniture.  Perhaps what intrigued me most after learning about their company is that they’ve found a new meaning in modern furniture that begs the question: Does minimal have to be understated?  If you’re a designer or collector add Cromatti to your “Brands To Watch” as they’re changing the future of design.

I was beyond honored my home state of Oklahoma included an interview with me in the design ezine Sooner Spaces.  Sooner Spaces is a new media site devoted to sharing compelling stories about Oklahoma spaces and the people behind them.

Antiques Diva 10

(Journalist Malena Lott and me in OKC last November)

Just south of my home state of Oklahoma you’ll find Texas – and honey, everything is big in Texas including the heart on Dallas blogger and top interior designer Denise McGaha.  I simply adore Denise and am delighted to have met her!  Denise McGaha delivers fashionable, diverse, and adventurous designs for clients who live on the fast track; specializing in turn-key, concierge-level service delivered in 90 days or less. With a roster of clients from professional sports figures to busy executives, Denise offers her discriminating clientele a true luxury experience with a timeline.  By offering Deadline Driven Design solutions, her clients receive exhilarating interior design coupled with prompt and nimble completion of their project.  It has been said that Denise McGaha Interiors, is consistently ahead of the curve not just influencing interior fashion, but often dictating it.  With a seamless blending of multiple interests Denise is able to offer her affluent clients access to Dallas’ best-kept secret: her black book of high-end concierge services.   And speaking of that little black book I’m delighted Denise counts The Antiques Diva & Co among those resources!  She’s written about her recent Italian antiques buying tour in a series on her blog.

Antiques Diva, Toma Clark Haines

Denise is seen here on our Antiques Diva VIP TOUR with Mark Cutler (far left), Denise McGaha, Tobi Fairley, me, and Andrew Skipper

Fans of the popular company Girl’s Guide to Paris will be delighted to note the company has expanded and is now producing an online magazine – The Girls’ Guide To Europe.   The Antiques Diva Guide to Berlin is featured in their premier issue!

Antiques Diva, Berlin

All these press or blog mentions and I’ve forgotten to mention two exciting new developments at  The Antiques Diva & Co – one geared towards our tourist clients another specifically geared towards our trade clients.    We’re delighted American Express has chosen us yet again for their Personal Shopper program for Paris and London…. #WatchThisSpace for more details on this exciting new program.

Antiques Diva 13

Meanwhile…  a sexy new interior design site named PORTE-COCHÈRE has included The Antiques Diva & Co as one of their preferred business resources.

Antiques Diva 14

PORTE-COCHÈRE is a new sales channel and national membership network exclusively for full-service interior design firms and their suppliers in the high end residential market.  Their mission is to increase efficiency and profits for all members through direct designer-supplier relationships, and to promote the stature of professional full-service interior design.

Until next time,
The Antiques Diva®

Speaking at IFDA in NYC Tuesday, March 25

Speaking at IFDA in NYC Tuesday, March 25

1 Comment

Dear Diva Readers,

I have a confession…I’ve been having a love affair for quite some time…with Paris!  If there is any place on earth that captures my heart and makes me swoon, it’s the City of Light, which is why I’m thrilled to be speaking about how to shop abroad at the Paris Flea Market and further afield for the International Furnishings and Design Association in New York on Tuesday March 25 at 6:00 PM.

I’ll be taking the audience on a virtual tour of the Paris Flea Market and other global markets giving my tips on where to go, what to buy, and most importantly, answering that question everyone wants to know the answer to – how to get it all home! 

If you’ll be in the New York area on March 25, I’d love to see you at The New York Design Center.  Seating is limited so reserve your space now.  Buy tickets through the IFDA Events.

Antiques Diva - IFDA in NYC

Until Then, can’t wait to see you in New York!!

The Antiques Diva

Announcing our new Antiques Diva Portobello Market Tours!

No Comments

Dear Diva Readers,

Portobello Market London Vintage

I‘m so excited to announce that The Antiques Diva & Co will now be offering tours of the Portobello Flea Market in London!  We’ve just finished mapping out our tour with new Diva Guide Alys Dobbie (watch this space for an upcoming blog all about Alys).  Alys has been in the antique industry for over 11 years and brings her knowledge of the London markets to lucky Antiques Diva & Co clients, taking them hand in white glove hand through London’s most popular flea market.

Portobello Market London

The Portobello Road Market calls itself “the world’s largest antiques market” with over 1,000 dealers selling every kind of vintage and collectible item imaginable.   It’s a bustling street in Notting Hill full of shoppers hunting for the perfect treasure.  Composed of street vendors and shops, there is a wide variety of items available.

Portobello Market London

At The AD&Co we love the market for the vintage clothing options as well as purses and shoes.  From Versace to lesser known designers, there are many pieces to choose from.  And speaking of fashion, the jewelry options are amazing at Portobello!  If I’ve found one piece of jewelry I’ve wanted I’ve found a thousand!

Portobello Market London Vintage clothes

Portobello Market London

On Portobello Road there is definitely a “thrill of the hunt” feel when scouring through cabinet after cabinet, looking for just the right piece.  You’ll find a wide range of silver, silver plate, pewter, and brass merchandise available.  Antique china and tea cups are in abundance and the prices are phenomenal!

Portobello is the place to find a deal on vintage finds.  While the occasional high brow antiques mix in with the bric-a-brac this is a market to come to if you’re looking for unique small pieces for your home.  Here you’ll find those perfectly packables that fit in your suitcase, commemorating your trip abroad.

Portobello Market London

We believe antiques and vintage finds should be used in every room in your house and when you buy antiques while traveling abroad these pieces replace the proverbial t-shirt as your travel souvenirs.  One of our recent Portobello finds is this onyx lidded jar.   It’s going home with our client to hold cotton balls in the powder room or to be used as a stamp container on their desk.  Priced at 18GBP it’s a great example of these perfectly packable travel souvenirs found at Portobello that allow you to take a piece of London home.  Each time you see it you’ll remember that day you spent shopping with The Antiques Diva & Co in London’s most beloved market.

Portobello Market London

Our Diva Guide Alys knows what different vendors specialize in, so before arriving the market you tell her what makes you tick and she’ll custom plan a route that guides you through the hoards of people (the crowds are unbelievable) to find just what you’re looking for! Having someone who knows the lay of the land really does help it seem not so overwhelming when navigating these crowds!  Moreover – because Alys is a member of the antiques trade – she’ll ask for a trade discount to help you score better prices than you could on your own.

Portobello Market London

While Portobello Road is known as a tourist’s haven there are some true gems to be found hidden in the halls if you know where to go to avoid the reproductions and tourist tack.  Not only does Alys know these secret sources she also knows where to get away from the crowds to shop nearby areas off the tourist path.  And when your bellies start rumbling she can whiz you away from the crowds to get a quintessentially English meal at a nearby pub.  Steak and ale pie?  It’s just what this diva needed to refuel after my last Portobello Road shopping trip!

Portobello Market London Pub food

To book a Portobello Flea Market Tour in London, email [email protected]

Best day to book a Portobello Road tour is Saturday!  Though we also offer special vintage fashion tours in London Wednesday through Friday!

Let the shopping commence!

Cheers,

The Antiques Diva ®

PS:  To book an Antiques Diva Tour or inquire about our Buying Services so you can source antiques abroad virtually, email [email protected]

Spring Sale!

6 Comments

Dear Diva Readers,

I love Paris in the spring time!

It’s a Spring Fling here at The Antiques Diva® & Co.   There’s no place like Paris in the Spring Time and as such we’re giving you a special offer you can’t refuse.  Book your 1 day Antiques Diva® Paris Flea Market Tour by April 1, 2014 and cash in on these savings!

Offer valid on any Paris Flea Market tour taken through the end of 2014.

200 Euro off a 3 person booking

100 Euro off a 2 person booking

75 Euro off a 1 person booking

Mention SPRING FLING as your discount code when booking.

Simply email [email protected] to book your tour or use the online Tour Request form.

Paris Flea Market Tours

Paris Flea Market Tour

Paris Flea Market Tours

Bonne Shopping!
The Antiques Diva®

Stage Design at Design Bloggers Conference

No Comments

Dear Diva Readers,

While speaking at the Design Bloggers Conference last week in Atlanta I had the pleasure of sitting on this gorgeous stage set designed by Currey & Co.  I participated in a panel with 1stdibs founder Michael Bruno and Kyle Hoepner, Editor of New England Home, speaking on the topic of Content Building for Luxury Brands.

Design Bloggers Conference 2014

Design Bloggers Conference 2014

Currey & Co is well known in the design industry for their lighting, but they also offer a wide variety of products like garden accessories, furniture, rugs, and upholstery.  Curry & Co takes pride in their original design work, meticulous craftsmanship, and careful attention to detail.  You can see the touch of the human hand in their products as a result of their multi step hand-finishing process. For Design Bloggers Conference 2014, Curry & Co provided beautiful furniture, textiles, and flowers in bright vibrant hues for the main stage of the three day conference.  They really set the stage for chic design!

Picture13

Even more an honor than sharing the stage with Currey and Co’s gorgeous designs was the opportunity to meet Bethanne Matari and Cecil Adams – two of the most connected innovators  in the design scene. I am very much looking forward to visiting their showroom in person this April when I speak at the Antiques Center at Highpoint on Tuesday 8 April at 5pm.  Hint hint – rumor has it they have the best wine of all the showrooms at Highpoint.  Can’t wait to spend time with this crew!

Until next time,
The Antiques Diva®

Design Bloggers Conference 2014 Toma Clark Haines

PS:  To book an Antiques Diva Tour or inquire about our Buying Services so you can source antiques abroad virtually, email [email protected]

Dealers at Bath Decorative Antiques Fair

1 Comment

Dear Diva Readers,

While recently leading an antiques buying tour of the 25th Bath Decorative & Antiques Fair 2014 I was able to reconnect with some favorite dealers as well as see some new faces and shop their stalls for all sorts of treasures!  Let me give you a recap of my top picks from the fair.

George Johnson Lady Kentmores

George Johnson of Lady Kentmores Antiques is a vivacious force in the antiques world.  His fresh ideas and unique inventory keep his stall interesting and a fun place to search for pieces you won’t find at just any antique shop.  George is a founding member of the Antiques Young Guns and has a vast knowledge not only of Scotland (where he is based), but also of the antiques industry in general.  Watch this space.  George might just be our newest Divo as we’re discussing starting Antique Diva Buying Tours in Scotland!

Bath Decorative Antiques Fair

Bath Decorative Antiques Fair

I’m smitten with another Antiques Young Gun member, James Gooch of Doe & Hope.  He had an amazing stall at the fair.  He paired unusual pieces like natural coral under glass domes and animal skulls with traditional antique furniture all set against a moody backdrop. Shopping his booth was almost like stepping into a cabinet of curiosities; the type of place that Alice might have encountered on the other side of the looking glass.  Distressed leather chairs commingled with inlaid tables while stately portraits of forgotten gentlemen gazed on the scene from the deep blue walls.

Bath Decorative Antiques Fair Swedish Antiques Diva Guide

Bath Decorative Antiques Fair 4

Of course we saw our wonderful Swedish Diva (ahem, DivO) Guide Daniel Larsson of D Larsson Interior and Antikhandle.  Daniel deals in fine Swedish antiques ranging from 18th to late 19th century.  What I love about his pieces are their wonderful patina- think pale painted Gustavian and Swedish country furniture with just the right amount of wear.  If Swedish furniture is what you’re after, Daniel is the guy you want to talk to – either to shop his own inventory or to have him to take you on tour to our secret sources in Sweden.

Bath Decorative Antiques Fair

Bath Decorative Antiques Fair

Josephine Ryan Antiques was there as well with a beautifully displayed stall, bringing her signature style to the fair.  Natural fibers on settees paired with painted furniture in soft hues made for a pleasing look.  Combine that with a few quirky accessories such as a mounted animal skull and a taxidermied hare and you are left with the calming feeling that you’ve entered a European farmhouse where the owner has amassed everything through inheritance, and life hasn’t changed much for a century or two.

Bath Decorative Antiques Fair Antiques Diva

If glam was what you were looking for, Ancient And Period LTD had it in spades.  A zebra rug, black leather and chrome mid century chairs, and the perfectly proportioned mirrored (stainless steel) cocktail table set the scene for the ultimate in modern glam.  I could picture the entire set up in a chic apartment in New York. 

Bath Decorative Antiques Fair

Casa Nova specializes in original painted Swedish and Scandinavian antique furniture and decorative pieces.  Their stall was curated so nicely that I could have moved right in!  They had cabinets and tables in the traditional pale colors typical of Scandinavian furniture as well as a few beautifully painted item like the blue Swedish clock.  Confession – I’m partial to Swedish antiques – and these fabulous dealers who have to be the most hospitable at the fair.

Overall the Bath Decorative Antiques Fair offered a wide variety of dealers and merchandise to choose from.  It’s always fun to catch up with dealers and find out what new pieces they’ve acquired!

As soon as we’ve got the date for next year… we’ll let you know so you can mark your calendar. It’s a small fair… but one of the best in England.  Perfectly choreographed!

Until next time,
The Antiques Diva®

PS:  To book an Antiques Diva Tour or inquire about our Buying Services so you can source antiques abroad virtually, email [email protected]

25th Anniversary of the Bath Decorative Antiques Fair

No Comments

Dear Diva Readers,

This week marked the 25th anniversary of the Bath Decorative Antiques Fair in England and I just so happened to be taking a group of ladies on a tour in Bath at the same time!

Antiques Diva Tour  Bath Decorative Antiques Fair

Although these particular clients were tourists and not trade clients, we opened the doors to give these “mere shopping mortals” access to wholesale shopping – diva style.  We went to the fair on trade day (using our own trade credentials to get our clients in the door).  It’s always great to get first choice of everything!  There was definitely excitement in the air as vendors brought in a vast array of pieces from Georgian and early Victorian to mid-century Danish and 18th C Gustavian…and everything in between!  Variety is the spice of life.

Bath Decorative Antiques Fair

Bath Decorative Antiques Fair

Bath Decorative Antiques Fair

Bath Decorative Antiques Fair

Bath Decorative Antiques Fair

Bath Decorative Antiques Fair

The day was filled with plenty of shopping and special VIP rendez vous with honorary diva’s – such as renowned antique expert Judith Miller! She took our ladies out for an hour at the fair to give her opinions on their purchases and to walk through the stalls pointing out what she noticed with each vendor.  But more on that later…  Toward the end of the day, the party celebrating the fair’s 25th anniversary kicked off.  Shoppers at the fair were ushered out but our locally based Diva Agent Gail McLeod managed to secure us invites for the fete.  Champagne and hors d’oeuvres were passed and there was a lovely cake cutting to celebrate the silver anniversary.

Bath Decorative Antiques Fair

Bath Decorative Antiques Fair 7

Bath Decorative Antiques Fair

Bath Decorative Antiques Fair, Toma Clark Haines

Bath Decorative Antiques Fair, Toma Haines

Bath Decorative Antiques Fair

We were so pleased to mix and mingle with industry colleagues and leaders such as the Editor of Home and Antiques Angela Linforth and Assistant Editor Dominique Corlette.  We also clinked glasses with Marc Allum and Lisa Lloyd from the Antiques Roadshow.  George Johnson of Lady Kentmore Antiques gave us news about the Antiques Young Guns alongside fair organizer and founding member of Antiques Young Guns, Gail McLeod.

All in all it was a fantastic opening to a fun filled fair and I look forward to sharing some of my favorite items from the fair with you in the coming days!

Stay tuned for more from the Bath Decorative Fair.

Cheers!
The Antiques Diva®

PS:  To book an Antiques Diva Tour or inquire about our Buying Services so you can source antiques abroad virtually, email [email protected]

Facciamoci un aperitivo

No Comments

Dear Diva Readers,

Buongiorno…. No, make that Buona Sera!  When the day is done – to close out the work day and start the evening – the Italians like to indulge in an aperitivo before dinner.  While technically the purpose of the aperitivo is to stimulate the appetite, (how else would a European’s stomach know it’s time to eat dinner?) it’s really just a wonderful excuse for friends to gather from between 6:00 to 9:00pm to socialize whilst partaking in a few savory snacks before commencing with a 3 course dinner. I still wonder how they stay so thin!

422-L

Antiques Diva Italy

Aperitivo’s are simple – you’ll find a variety of olives, cheeses, and breads being served alongside a dry cocktail or prosecco, which is a favorite pre-dinner sparkler in Italy.  In some cases, meats and cheeses paired with puff pastries and other finger foods are set out as tempting treats that could very well spoil dinner if you’re not too careful!

 Mercanteinfiera in Parma

Mercanteinfiera in Parma

Mercanteinfiera in Parma

Mercanteinfiera in Parma

In the spirit of opening our three day VIP tour in Italy, The Antiques Diva & Co embraced the Italian phrase, “Facciamoci un aperitivo” (Let’s have an aperitif!).  Each night on our recent VIP TOUR in Parma, Italy we hosted a Prosecco Aperitivo at the Grande Hotel de la Ville for our guests before dinner!  Plenty of Prosecco and savory snacks were served while lively conversation ensued as we we discussed the days purchases and plunderings.  Some of our VIP designers on this special VIP tour included Tobi Fairley, Mark Cutler, Jon Call, and Denise McGaha.What a fun group we had!

When we bring clients on an Antiques Diva Tour, it’s not just about the shopping, it’s about the entire European experience!

Antiques Diva Italy

Evviva! (Cheers!)

The Antiques Diva®

PS:  To book an Antiques Diva Tour or inquire about our Buying Services so you can source antiques abroad virtually, email [email protected]

Shipping Antiques from Italy

No Comments

Dear Diva Readers,

While it’s fun and exciting to shop for antiques in Europe, once you make your purchases you have to be able to get them home!  This can sometimes prove to be a tricky feat, but as long as you’re prepared and versed in the import regulations (or have someone who is), your treasures should arrive safe and sound in your home country.  While we do not do shipping ourselves at The Antiques Diva & Co we are always happy to introduce you to some of our favorite shippers who can help get your goods home sweet home across the pond.  On tour we help fill out paperwork and liaise you with your chosen shipper.

Shipping Containers

Before taking a group of VIP Buyers on tour in Italy last week we provided them with a list of preferred shippers and gave them information on export laws before they even started shopping.  Let me share an example with you.  Did you know that according to Italian law on Heritage, all artistic items more than 50 years old can be exported abroad only following a special export procedure, to get official authorization to cross Italian boundaries?  There are forms involved and authorities request photos of the items that are to be exported.  It sounds much more complicated than it is – as long as you have the appropriate contacts in place the process can be quite simple.

Coral

Also, items made of or containing parts made of materials coming from endangered species (ivory, coral, tortoise shells etc) require a special CITES certificate for export. They can be exported without provenance certification only if they can be declared “made” before 1947.  New regulations recently implemented in the United States have made this a hot topic so before buying abroad these items you will want to contact an expert to help with the process to guarantee your purchases will make it into your home country.

Toma Clark Haines

If this all sounds intimidating, have no fear because The Antiques Diva & Co is here and we can help you navigate the process of buying abroad and connect you with the right experts who will assist you with any questions!

Can’t wait to take you on an Antiques Diva Tour!

The Antiques Diva®

Top 5 Finds at Mercanteinfiera

No Comments

Dear Diva Readers,

While shopping Italy’s largest antiques fair, Mercanteinfiera in Parma last week, I was thrilled with the wide variety of items available.  I decided to put together a list of my top 5 finds at the fair and tell you a little about why I love these pieces!

1.  Pairs of chairs:

From clean lined wood to upholstered rococo, pairs of chairs were everywhere.  I always advise that you buy things in pairs if you can because you never know when two of a thing might come in handy!

Mercanteinfiera 2014

Mercanteinfiera 2014

Mercanteinfiera 2014

2.  Mid-century lighting:

Unique sconces, chandeliers, and flush mount fixtures were all the rage. Pick up any design or shelter magazine and you will see funky fixtures in all types of homes, be they modest or grand, traditional or modern.  Brass and glass are still huge right now, and that was evident in the wide selection of gorgeous mid century light fixtures.

Mercanteinfiera 2014 Parma

Mercanteinfiera 2014 5

3.  Vintage coats:

The variety of styles were amazing.  Classic black to statement colors like red and yellow , vintage coats were available in all sizes and all colors.  I should have bought that zebra patterned floor length coat!!!

Mercanteinfiera 2014 Parma

4.  Statuary:

The statuary was absolutely phenomenal.  Whether you were looking for large pieces or small, you could definitely find options at Mercante in Fiara.  I loved a pair of Sphinxes that would be perfect in a grand entry or even in a garden!

Mercanteinfiera 2014 Parma

Mercanteinfiera 2014 Parma

5.  Gilded mirrors:

What I love about gilded mirrors is that they are at home in a grand interior but can also live happily in a more sparse environment.  Cluster a group of mirrors on a white wall for a trendy look or simply hang one statement mirror for a timeless feel.

Mercanteinfiera 2014

I love shopping large antique fairs like Mercanteinfiera because I know that all of these disparate items will be gathered in one place and make my shopping experience that much more enjoyable!

Ciao!  Ciao!

The Antiques Diva

Editor At Large TV Paris Flea Market Tour

2 Comments

Dear Diva Readers,

Here lately it feels I’ve been living an “Oh la la” Life…  a life where everything is seen through rose colored glasses.  Of course that could be because I’m sleep deprived from an incredibly busy schedule and my eyes are just a bit blurry – but life has been lived with a gorgeous glow these days!

I was delighted when Editor at Large TV chose to cover my Paris Flea Market Fete If you’re not already familiar with this essential design industry website the best way to describe it is as “the CNN of the design world”.  With Editor TV they take their design industry news coverage a bit further by offering a sneak peek into the lives of the people at the heart of the interior design and home furnishings industry.

After filming our Paris Flea Market Party, I took Editor at Large TV on an Antiques Diva Paris Flea Market Tour with two of my favorite international interior designers – David Dalton and Jennifer Mehditash.

editor at large tour.  Paris Flea Market

Caption:  Caught in a candid moment!

These jet-set designers do properties around the globe and their client lists read like a who’s who list.  They were the perfect people to plunder the Marché aux Puces de Paris with for our Editor at Large TV Tour.  But don’t take my word for it – you can watch the tour unfold, diva style.

Apologies should email subscribers have a problem watching this video – embeddable video can malfunction for email blog subscribers – if you’re unable to watch the videos here on my own blog – go to Editor at Large TV to watch our Antiques Diva Paris Flea Market tour Part II and Part III.

So pop some popcorn and enjoy the show!
The Antiques Diva®

 

The Antiques Diva to Speak at Design Bloggers Conference 2014

The Antiques Diva to Speak at Design Bloggers Conference 2014

No Comments

Dear Diva Readers,

I am so excited to be speaking at the 2014 Design Bloggers Conference in Atlanta on Tuesday, March 4th!  The event – held March 2- 4, 2014 is the event of the year for interior design bloggers, new media innovators, and interior design industry leaders from all over the world.  Other speakers include Jeffrey Alan Marks, Candice Olson, Timothy Corrigan, and Suzanne Kasler among others!  To say that I’m honored to be in such esteemed company would be an understatement.

design bloggers conference AtlantaIn this time of computers and smart phones, I have found social media to be the best way to connect with our wonderful clients, friends and potential customers.  Offering helpful insights and unique content is what we do at The Antiques Diva® & Co – not only on our tours – but on our website, blog, and social media pages (be sure to like us on Facebook @The Antiques Diva & Co  and follow us on Instagram @theantiquesdiva).  We love seeing what our customers and colleagues are looking for and social media allows us to communicate with them in a fast, up-to-the-minute manner.

michael bruno  Design bloggers ConferenceCaption:  Michael Bruno, Founder and Chairman of 1stdibs

That being said, I will be speaking alongside Michael Bruno about The Role of Social Media and Content Building a Luxury Brand.  Michael is a true visionary and the founder and chairman of 1stdibs, the world’s largest online luxury marketplace for antiques and vintage design.  I am thrilled to be sharing the stage with Michael!  

It’s always a fun time when I cross the pond and visit the USA to meet top bloggers and design geniuses.  Stay tuned to The Antiques Diva & Co social media pages because we’ll be bringing you the inside scoop from our fabulous 3 days at this year’s Design Bloggers Conference in Atlanta!

Until next time,
The Antiques Diva®

Toma Clark Haines  Design Bloggers ConferenceCaption:  Toma Clark Haines, The Antiques Diva – photo by Laila McCubbin Jones

Antiques Diva Paris Flea Market Fete

Antiques Diva Paris Flea Market Fete

3 Comments

Dear Diva Readers,

Antiques Diva and Andrew Joseph

Last week I wrote to you telling you about the Americans In Paris Party held during Design Week – this week I have to tell you about my own Antiques Diva Party held at our favorite French antique vendors shop – Un Singe en Hiver!!!

Antiques Diva Paris Flea Market Party Invite

When the invitation reads “Join me at the Paris Flea Market…” you know the party is going to be good.  Throw in a guest list that includes 200 of the top American interior designers, a brunch buffet that reads as “France on a Plate” and copious quantities of champagne – all before noon – and the party is a sure-fire recipe for glamour. To close out the last day of Design Week in Paris, I  invited my clients and blog readers to join me for a Party at the Puce de Paris on the last day of Design Week during Maison Objet and Deco Off.  Following the fete  my guides and I  took clients on complimentary afternoon antique buying tours.

Antiques Diva Toma Clark Haines

When asked the ingredient for the perfect party, my answer is simple.  Champagne!  For this special occasion I had my own Antiques Diva label created specifically for the fete!  When hosting a brunch party in Paris you don’t have to look far for the perfect ingredients – croissants, pain au chocolat and pain aux raisins.

Paris Party

To prepare for the fete I pillaged the markets for fromage and charcuterie and served it on 18th C ironstone platters and cutting boards – all for sale at our hosts shop Un Singe Un Hiver – and picked up some flowers and put them in 19th C urns.  Et Voila you’ve got a party – diva style!

Antiques Diva Flea Market Party

Of course in Paris every day feels like a fete!  What I loved about planning this particular party – is that it was  easy yet elegant entertaining.  The French make everything seem effortless.  Living in Europe for 13  years has taught me that elegance boils down to simplicity.

Antiques Diva Maison Objet

If you missed the party – have no fear – we’ll be hosting it again next year during Deco Off and Maison Objet.  This is sure to become an annual Parisian tradition during Design Week!

Editor at Large

Of course you don’t have to wait until next year to SEE FOOTAGE FROM THE FETE – Editor at Large TV was there to cover the event!

For More Photos of this Fete – Visit The Antiques Diva® & Co Facebook Page

Au Revoir!
The Antiques Diva®
(seen below with part of our my Antiques Diva Team)

Antiques Diva and Co Team

Diva Guide Danielle, my publicist Andrew Joseph, Diva Guide Katie, Diva Guide Jennifer, Diva Guide Debbi, and Diva Guide Susan (our Tuscan Diva)

All Photos are by Spanish Architecture/Interior Photographer José Manuel Alorda – WATCH this SPACE for exciting news on an upcoming project The Antiques Diva & Co is doing with this leading European photographer.

Americans In Paris Party

No Comments

Dear Diva Readers,

“I could have danced all day… I could have danced all night….” You can’t hear me singing, but when I think of this fete, I think of this song as it was simply a glorious night to remember.  The night I’m talking about is The Americans in Paris Party at La Salon des Arcades at the Hotel de Ville to celebrate Deco Off when the most famous showrooms in Paris open their doors for a full on inspiration tour.

Deco Off Americans in Paris Party

The Party was hosted by some of the top show rooms in the USA –  Ainsworth-Noah, De Sousa-Hughes, George Cameron Nash, Hines & Co, Holly Hunt, Jerry Pair & Associates, Jim Thompson USA, John Brooks inc, Kelly Forslund Inc, Kneedler Fauchère, Thomas Lavin and Webster & Company.

Deco Off Americans in Paris Party 3

While I’m sharing pictures here on my blog you will definitely want to check out some of the footage shared on Editor at Large TV (part one and part two of last year’s event).  These videos will give you a feel for the both the annual event and what Paris Deco Off means to the design community.  At the event – hosted in conjunction with the mayor of Paris – some of the top names in design were in attendance.

Deco Off Americans in Paris Party 2

Deco Off Americans in Paris Party 6

This party is an annual event which means, darling, I’d love to see you next year at both The Americans in Paris Party and Paris Deco Off – not to mention my own Antiques Diva Party I’ll be hosting again next year.  What party was that you asked? Well stay tuned later this week to see the Editor at Large TV coverage on my Antiques Diva Paris Flea Market Fete! If you can’t wait for the blog … then follow this link for a sneak peek!

Until next time,
The Antiques Diva® 

Deco Off Americans in Paris Party

PS:  To book an Antiques Diva Tour or inquire about our Buying Services so you can source antiques abroad virtually, email [email protected]

A Holiday Romance

2 Comments

Dear Diva Readers,

Imagine my surprise last night…. I’m reading a book before bed, snuggled down under the covers… and I read the following excerpt:

Did your apartment come furnished this way?” Sloan ran to a pair of matching Napoleon III canapé sofas.
“Nope.”  He watched as she bounced from one piece to the next around his immaculately furnished apartment…..
He almost mentioned that she must not have seen it in Architectural Digest…
“A decorator?” she asked?
“Nope I go to Europe once a year, and…”

Sloan picked up a framed photo off the bookshelf of a group of smiling antiquers in front of an antique shop in France. “You do European Antique Buying Tours with The Antiques Diva?!”

Reading my name – and my company – mentioned by my favorite chick lit author, Malena Lott, was simply surreal! It turns out both main characters of this romance book are my clients!  I’d say that is a match made in diva-heaven! Throughout the next chapter references are made to antiques bought on Antiques Diva Tours that happen to be used in decorating the apartment.   In the back of the book there is this brilliant excerpt that says something along the lines of… You know how usually characters mentioned in a book aren’t real? Well in this case The Antiques Diva is a real life character!”

with author malena lott

I was very fortunate last fall to meet Malena Lott IRL (in real life) to chat about the book she was writing and to share with her some of my favorite antique pieces for her to include in the story.  If you haven’t yet read one of Malena’s books, add her to your Must Buy list! I love Dating Da Vinci and Fixer Upper.

I thought since today was Valentine’s Day what better day to tell you about this romance book – Sterling & Sloan: A Holiday Romance by Malena Lott.

Happy Reading… And Happy Valentines!

The Antiques Diva® (seen here with my valentine whispering sweet nothings in my ear!)

BJ Haines Antiques Diva

A Destination Jeweler: Joden

No Comments

Dear Diva Readers,

Joden Jewelers

When clients ask me where they should go to shop for antique jewels, they always expect the first answer out of my mouth to be Antwerp’s diamond district.  After all, everyone knows I love little Belgie.  And while I think Antwerp is the best kept secret in the whole of Europe, when a client inquires on where to go antique jewelry shopping I don’t send them to Belgium.   I send them to Grove City, Pennsylvania – population 8,232 – home of Joden Jewelers the world’s leading resource for antique, estate and modern jewelry.

Joden Jewelers 2

Joden Jewelers 3

Joden Jewelers 4

Set in the bucolic countryside 60 miles north of Pittsburgh, the village is surrounded by rolling green hills where the cows pose as if waiting for Rembrandt to pop by with his paint brush.  The village has a main street complete with the proverbial butcher, baker and candlestick maker.  It’s quintessential Americana.  Tucked discretely into the center of town is Joe Murawski’s tiny and impressive shop, Joden Jewelers.

Don’t let the size – or location- fool you.  This shop could easily take center stage at TEFAF – The European Fine Arts Fair – if Joe, a humble man with big smile and an even bigger heart, were to decide to cut loose on the international scene.  Instead he prefers to sit back quietly and let his clients come to him… and come they do. With clients jetting in from around the world Joden Jewelers makes this town in Pennsylvania – best known for the local liberal arts college (Grove City College) and home to the last remaining forge in the state (Wendell August Forge) – a destination for the glitterati seeking the best in antique and estate jewels.

I was fortunate enough in November to visit Joden Jewelers to speak to a group of his select clients on antiquing in Europe – but must confess I was positively distracted by the bright, shiny objects while speaking.  Eventually I gave into my baser instincts and draped myself in jewels – even putting on jewelry formerly owned by princesses and princely people, playing with glittering bits and bobs until I had a ring on every finger, multiple tiara’s gracing my head and layers of necklaces. I was shameless and speechless.

Joden Jewelers 5

Joden Jewelers 6

Joden Jewelers 7

Joden Jewelers 8

Joden Jewelers 9

It takes a lot to make me speechless – but when Joe Murawski pulled out trays of Giuliano Jewelry, I gasp out loud and not one word came to my mouthAll I could do was squeak a simple sigh.  Carlo Giuliano (1831-1895) was an Italian goldsmith who moved to London and captured the heart of Queen Victoria, becoming her favorite jeweler.  To see Giuliano’s work in real life was simply awe-inspiring – to hold it, touch it and even wear it was even more so.  The shop also houses a small museum in addition to selling Giuliano’s work and Joe’s down-to-earth nature encourages his clients to inquire as he tells stories and points out the intricate details I didn’t notice on my own accord.  Between you and me I’m a novice when it comes to jewels, but after spending a day by Joe’s side, I felt I’d learned to see with new eyes.  He’s at heart an educator and he wants his clients to understand how the jewelry was made, the arts and craftsmanship that went into each and every piece as well as the history that surrounds these significant purchases.

While I couldn’t get Joe to divulge the name of even one of his clients, he did confess that not only are Hollywood starlets among his client list but also some of the top jewelry stores in the world.  Joden Jewelry doesn’t only sell to the public – they also sell wholesale.  Joe has six dealer accounts alone within a mile of the Beverly Wilshire Hotel.

Happy early Valentine’s Day from The Antiques Diva®

PS:  To book an Antiques Diva England Tour or inquire about our Buying Services so you can source antiques abroad virtually, email [email protected]

Mirror Mirror On the Wall

No Comments

Dear Diva Readers,

Mirror Mirror on the Wall… who’s the fairest of them all?  London’s Decorative Fair of course! Continuing our look at the Design Trends for 2014 – todays topic is antique mirrors.

Decorative Fair 2

If one mirror is good, 9 or 12 is even better!  Our favorite vendors across the board at Battersea Park where the Decorative Fair is held were clustering groups of antique and vintage mirrors for maximum effect.  The result is more that of a work of art when positioned this way than as just a tool to see yourself.

Keep the tones of the frame similar – gold with gold, silver with silver, but be bold in mixing shapes.  While all star bursts look great, don’t be afraid to shake it up a bit by adding an oblong mirror to a wall of circular mirrors.  And remember, sometimes it’s hip to be square.

Decorative Fair 3

Decorative Fair 4

Decorative Fair 5

Decorative Fair

Bonne Shopping,

The Antiques Diva®

PS:  To book an Antiques Diva England Tour or inquire about our Buying Services so you can source antiques abroad virtually, email [email protected]

What’s Trending in Antiques?

No Comments

Dear Diva Readers,

You’ll recall last week I posted about the Design Trends at Maison Objet in Paris.  This week I want to show you how those same trends are showing up in antique trends as seen at  The Decorative Fair in London. At Maison Objet, gone were the cream tones and pale shades of yesterday and in its place were picturesque pops of color.  This clear move away from the use of neutrals revived itself with vibrant bottled greens, ocean inspired blues, fat fuschias, over the top oranges, yummy yellows as well as navy, blacks and browns. At Battersea Park where The Decorative Fair is held these same colors were trending.

Decorative Fair

Decorative Fair

Decorative Fair

Decorative Fair

Decorative Fair

Decorative Fair

Decorative Fair

Color me tickled pink… Color is Back!

The Antiques Diva®

PS:  To book an Antiques Diva England Tour or inquire about our Buying Services so you can source antiques abroad virtually, email [email protected]

White Ceramics at The Decorative Fair

No Comments

Dear Diva Readers,

Last week I wrote a blog sharing the trends in design at Maison Objet – the largest furniture fair in the world.  This week I want to highlight some of the trends in the antiques world as seen last week at the top source for decorative antiques in the world.  If you haven’t been to The Decorative Fair in London then you’re quite simply missing out – it’s the best choreographed collection of decorative antiques in the world!

Battersea Antiques Diva

If you missed it this January, have no fear  – The Decorative Fair is held 3 times a year.  The next dates are:
Spring Fair 2014: 29 April – 4 May 2014
Autumn Fair 2014: 30 September – 5 October 2014

Decorative Fair

One of the top deco trends in antiques we noticed at the January fair was the use of white ceramics in display.  With both translucent white porcelain and ironstone represented – this look is here to stay.

ANTIQUE TIP:  How Do You Tell The Difference Between Porcelain & Ironstone?
Ironstone is made from fired clay which contains china stone. It has a similar appearance and hardness to porcelain however unlike porcelain it is opaque not translucent.  Ironstone, named so because it contains the mineral feldspar, was first patented in 1813 by Charles James Mason of Staffordshire, England.

Decorative Fair Battersea

Battersea  - Antiques Diva

Battersea - Antiques Diva

Stay tuned for more Top Trends in Antiques as seen at our favorite fair in Britain.

The Antiques Diva®

PS:  To book an Antiques Diva England Tour or inquire about our Buying Services so you can source antiques abroad virtually, email [email protected]

Maison Objet January 2014 Trend Report

Maison Objet January 2014 Trend Report

2 Comments

Dear Diva Readers,

Maison Objet Paris Antiques Diva 3

As The Antiques Diva®, owner of Europe’s largest antiques touring and buying services company, my job is to help clients – antique dealers, interior designers and mere shopping mortals - source antiques abroad.  Last week we attended Maison Objet – the most important international industry event for interior design, held in Paris – to spot the design trends for 2014, helping keep us – and you – au courant in the world of interiors.

Maison Objet Paris Antiques Diva 8

BOLD POPS of COLOR reigned at Maison Objet with a clear move away from the use of neutrals.  We were seeing Greens, Fushias, Oranges, Yellows, Chartruses, but also Navy and Earthy Browns or Ocean-inspired Blues.  Pantones color of the year, Radiant Orchid, was also well-represented.

Accents were embellished with Gold and, again this year as with last year, all-Black rooms with Gold embellishments  stole the show, being the most dramatic and eye catching décor on display.  But everything that glitters is not gold.  If Gold was King, Copper was Queen and being used in abundance on all surfaces.  Bling was big overall!  Oversized or beautifully sculpted hardware on case goods shone bright like a diamond, reminding me that drawer pulls and hinges really are jewelry for the home.  Speaking of bright shiny objects – mirrors and glass (especially black glass) that reflected the rooms in which they were placed were de rigeur.  Crystal graced both the chandeliers and the table tops.  Lighting fixtures were oversized and extravagant.  If bigger is better, HUGE was HOT!

Maison Objet Paris Antiques Diva 5

We saw a lot of use of mixed medias whether in lighting fixtures or home furnishings.  Fabric wasn’t just showing up in the linens, walls and on traditionally upholstered goods but also in unexpected places, embellishing chest of drawers exterior and interiors or wrapped around the arms of chandeliers. The mixed medias verged near the theatrical with sequins and hand-embroidered embellishments showing up in unexpected places.

Maison Objet Paris Antiques Diva 2

Maison Objet Paris Antiques Diva

Overall and across the board, the look was eclectic and lent itself towards opulence.  We are still seeing lots of mid-century modern inspired interiors but more and more it was being mixed with Napoleon III.  There also was a flash back to the future with traditional craftsmanship and decorative items showing up in vendors all across the fair.  Hand-painted porcelain has gained a new appreciation and blue and white is back – though in my mind it never went out.

Maison Objet Paris Antiques Diva 9

Maison Objet Paris Antiques Diva 10

Maison Objet January 2014 had a dialogue with the 18th Century – with traditional Louis’ pieces in warm woods and sexy lines reinvented, utilizing modern fabrics. The Grand Tour was also reflected in the way interiors were styled – curiosity cabinets were everywhere as were taxidermy and objects from nature.  And I hate to say it but the Laura Ashley look with florals circa 1980 was making its way back into home décor but this time the florals were more embellished, more modern, with larger, cleaner patterns.

Maison Objet Paris Antiques Diva 7

Perhaps the biggest surprise of the show to me was the emphasis on Surrealism  - an entire section of the show was a voyage through space style, circa 1960.  Irregular shapes or geometric shapes repeated themselves throughout the show.  And while resin furniture has made definite inroads in this millennium, there is definitely an emphasis on natural fibers – rattan, leathers, silks.

The Antiques Diva

Antiques Diva & Co

See you at the next show!

The Antiques Diva
(Seen below with part of the Antiques Diva team from Paris and Italy
)

Maison Objet Paris Antiques Diva Team

Welcome to Paris Brunch

Welcome to Paris Brunch

No Comments

Dear Diva Readers,

Design Week Antiques Diva

Yesterday I kicked off Design Week in Paris by attending the annual “Welcome to Paris Brunch” with Kneedler Fauchère at their St Germain des Pres apartment in the 6eme Arrondisement.  The brunch was a virtual “who’s who” in design and I had the opportunity to meet some of my favorite designers from NYC to LA!

Antiques Diva Paris Design Week

Caption:  With Andrew Joseph, Rocky La Fleur and Penelope

What I loved about the event was the casual chic with which it was put together – a gorgeous buffet styled by design great Rocky La Fleur graced the table.

Kneedler Fauchere Antiques Diva

Effortless chic perhaps is what Kneedler Fauchère does best.  As a company they set the standard for luxury service and inspirational aesthetics. Ultimately their mission is to create an unsurpassed resource for design professionals in which they extend a partnership to support their talents in creating meaningful and enduring lifestyles for clients anywhere in the world. With show rooms in Southern California, San Francisco and Denver and carrying lines such as Dedar, Clarence House, Hermes, Jim Thomson and, bien sur, their own line of Kneedler Fauchère wall covering they are the top “go to” resource for designers.

Their “Welcome to Paris Brunch” is only one of the events they host during Maison Objet and Deco Off.   For the full schedule of Kneedler Fauchère events going on in Paris this week see Editor at Large guide to Maison Objet and Deco Off.

I was delighted Editor at Large included my own Antiques Diva party at the Paris Flea Market in the their line up of events. If you haven’t RSVP’d – do so now! We’d love to include you in our fete!

Maison Objet Andrew Joseph

If you’re not in Paris this week for M&O, Have No Fear!  You can attend the party virtually!  I’m thrilled to announce Editor at Large TV will be filming  the party to cover in one of their episodes and then following along on a Paris Flea Market tour!

I will close with one last announcement:  at Wednesday morning’s party I received my first Emmy! I’m serious! My publicist Andrew Joseph saw one sitting on the shelf in the library and did an entire ceremony, handing me the award.  Alas I fear when I sent this picture to my brother he informed me that a borrowed Emmy – even if formally presented to me in a friend’s party – did not count as my own!  ;)   I like to think this Emmy will be my first of many!

Until next time,

The Antiques Diva

Toma Haines Emmy Award

 

Andrew Skipper

No Comments

Dear Diva Readers,

Last week I wrote about the sensational speaking engagement I spoke at in Chicago at the Merchandise Mart on The Art of Antiquing with some great local talent including interior design principals Tom Konopiots and Michael Stornello of Vincere, LTD., interior designer Brion R. Judge of B.R Judge Design and Betsy Nathan, owner of Pagoda Red.   After the event I had the opportunity to go for cocktails at Ralph’s with interior decorator Andrew Skipper and loved his feedback on the event so much that I asked if he’d write to share his experience attending our talk.

Antiques Diva

Caption:  Cocktails with Andrew Skipper and his friend, Robyn

Andrew Skipper writes:

“I’ve always been what you might call a “hunter and gatherer.”  As a small child I would collect beautiful rocks and feathers that I’d find in the woods and place them in a wooden box on my dresser.  In junior high school I convinced my parents to take me to tag sales where I would use my lawn mowing money to buy Duncan Phyfe chairs and milk glass.  

Lucky for me, I’ve been able to carry on this hobby of treasure hunting in my career as an interior decorator.  I still use natural elements in my design work and I frequent tag sales while shopping for myself and clients.  One of my favorite things to do is to peruse through antique stores and flea markets, searching for one of a kind items.  

In the past few years I’ve been able to help clients establish fine art collections including museum-quality antique pieces from all over the world.  The internet is a convenient tool for doing this, but I’ve always longed to travel to Europe and experience the flea markets of France or the antique shops of Belgium. 

This desire led me to Chicago to hear a panel discussion on collecting and sourcing antiques in Europe and Asia.  Because I’ve never been on an international shopping spree, I was interested to hear what is involved in finding antiques and getting them back to the USA.  

I’ve been following Toma Clark Haines – The Antiques Diva –  on social media for some time and was quite interested in what she had to say on the subject.  If I went to Europe right now, I wouldn’t know how to barter (or even if Ishould try) or how to get the pieces shipped out of the country.  

After hearing the panel talk, I am encouraged that even a young designer like me could utilize resources like The Antiques Diva tours to make connections with dealers and source antiques for clients.  There is just something about having someone by your side who knows the lay of the land that takes the intimidation out of a new experience and transforms it into a fun, exciting process.  

In a world of mass production and “made to throw away” furniture, it is lovely to know that there are people out there who want to help educate designers and clients alike on the value of living with finely crafted antiques.  Long live the heirloom!”

Antiques Diva

Caption:  Andrew Skipper – Interior Decorator

I was beyond smitten with Andrew’s feedback and with Andrew in general. In addition to doing interior decorating for residential and commercial clients, he is the lifestyle expert for NBC affiliate WNDU TV, giving decorating and entertaining tips. You have to check out some of his past segments.   He also writes a travel blog for the Elkhart County Convention and Visitor’s Bureau.  If you’re not already following him on Facebook – then you must add him to your Must Follow List!

Cheers!
The Antiques Diva®

In Bed with Eddie Ross

1 Comment

Dear Diva Readers,

Antique Bed Shopping

Caption:  Eddie Ross Seen Here Bed Shopping

I spent the morning in bed with Eddie Ross.   Perhaps I should rephrase that lest Mr. Antiques Diva (not to mention Jathan) be not too impressed with my comment!   One of my New Year’s Resolutions was to start taking more time to get inspired.  While doing my job leading European Antique Buying tours a key element involves inspiring my clients with our flea market and antique warehouse finds, helping them stock their stores or purchase pieces with a past for theirs or their client’s homes.  In order to do my job better, I realized I really should top the tea kettle with a continual stream of inspiration myself.  So when writing my New Year’s Resolutions this year, my # 3 was to Get Regularly Inspired.

Design Inspiration

This fell behind #1 –  the annual resolution to lose weight and #2 – to make more organized office systems and procedures.   Neither #1 nor #2 are that interesting and are probably destined for failure.  But #3…. now THAT resolution has legs I can run with. (Hmm, if only flipping through my favorite magazines burnt more calories…).

But I digress.  This morning my husband’s alarm went off at 4am and I kissed him good bye as he headed to the airport en route to Amsterdam (note, I love that guy, but it’s January and I didn’t offer to put on clothes and drive him to the airport).  And while I regularly start my work day at dawn – finding it the best time to get caught up on office work (see I’m already implementing ways to conquer the work place clutter, who needs resolution #2?) – this morning it was raining.  Rain is my kryptonite.  I also had my regular feature article deadline for Antiques Shops and Designers magazine and a looming deadline is a guaranteed way to give me writer’s block and a desire to procrastinate.  And the cat was in bed.  And he was purring.  He even rolled over and showed me his white belly, flopping one paw over his eyes.  (The cat, not my husband.  The husband had already left by this point).  And it was still dark outside.  And cold.  Then I remembered Resolution # 3.  Get Regularly Inspired.  No time like the present.

Puccino the Cat

So I turned on my Fortuny-styled bedside lamp (note to self – REALLY MUST find the real thing on one of our Italian buying tours someday) and crawled deeper under the covers, propping my iPad up on my lap.  A tweet from Stacey Bewkes of Quintessence lifestyle blog  flittered across the top of the screen about meeting up in Paris during Maison Objet.  And I thought bingo.  What better place to start my inspiration prowl.  Stacey is a blogging genius and hers is one of my all time favorites.  As I began reading her latest posts, I noticed something on the side bar.  What’s this? Video Series – Stylish Shopping with Susanna Salk .  The next thing I knew I was watching flea market maestro Eddie Ross shop the Elephant Trunk.

Eddie-Ross-and-Susanna-Salk

Caption: Eddie and Susanna Shopping Elephant Trunk

Which reminded me…  I LOVE EDDIE ROSS… so I flicked over to his site – where I soaked up divine design inspiration and spent the next hour in bed with Eddie, reading a backlog of posts I’d missed in my absence away from his site during these days when work had overtaken my life.   I use to read his posts all the time.  I love finding images styled by him.

table top orchids eddie ross

Caption: Classic Eddie Ross

He’s a genius.  And  budget conscious.  I had hit the gold mind of inspiration.  The mecca.   The motherlode.

Which reminded me, whomever your design hero -  I want to encourage you to spend a morning in bed with them.  Go get inspired.

And Eddie – thank you for inspiring me.  Though I should warn you… next time we meet up it might be in the bath.

The Antiques Diva®

Toma Clark Haines

Chicago!  Chicago!  What a Wonderful Town!

Chicago! Chicago! What a Wonderful Town!

2 Comments

Dear Diva Readers,

Chicago

Ever since I visited The Windy City in November to speak at the Merchandise Mart – the worlds largest wholesale design center – I’ve been toe tapping and singing Frank Sinatra’s Chicago, Chicago, What a Wonderful Town!

Chicago-Antiques-Diva-Invitation

I presented along with interior design principals Tom Konopiots and Michael Stornello of Vincere, LTD., interior designer Brion R. Judge of B.R Judge Design and Betsy Nathan owner of Pagoda Red on The Art of Antiquing – The Accessibility and Secrets of Sourcing Antiques Abroad.  Interior designer maven Justin Shaulis was our guest moderator flown in from NYC to moderate the event!

Art of Antiquing Panel

Caption: The Chicago Art of Antiquing Panelists

In case you’re not already familiar with my panel cohorts I want to take a moment to tell you about this gorgeous crew!

betsy nathan pagoda red

Caption:  Betsy Nathan Pagoda Red

Earlier this week on Wednesday I posted about Pagoda Red’s sensational store owned by Betsy Nathan.  After years living in Beijing developing important relationships with Chinese collectors and artists from every corner of the mainland, Betsy Nathan opened the doors of Pagoda Red in 1997 eager to share her unique connections and viewpoint.  Over the course of 16 years, Pagoda Red has established two galleries and an online marketplace that have become the premier sources for exemplary Chinese antiques and art.  Pagoda Red partners closely with a highly selective worldwide clientele of interior designers, collectors and others with a taste for incredibly unusual and beautiful things.

tom and mike vincere chicago

Caption:  Representing Vincere Ltd. – a Chicago based Design Firm – both Michael Stornello and Tom Konopiots joined the panel

With nearly seven years of experience on a significant collection of interior design projects at Vincere, Michael Stornello brings his passion and his perseverance to every client assignment. Each finished design reveals this enthusiasm. He is committed to making sure that every project retains its own essence, with an ongoing dedication to sourcing new products, as well as distinctive antiques and vintage pieces. While each project may reflect its own sensibility, a firm grounding in the fundamentals of design, including proportion, space, texture and light, is a unifying feature and a hallmark of Vincere’s designs. Prior to founding Vincere, Michael served as Executive Vice President, Development, for King World Productions (now CBS Television Distribution).

Tom Konopiots is a principal at Vincere, Ltd., a Chicago-based interior design firm. True to Vincere’s mission, he focuses on client individuality, and translating this individuality into a residence that fits the client perfectly. With great attention to detail, Tom employs a creative approach to all design requirements and challenges. With experience developing luxury single-family homes in Chicago, he has a deep understanding of how floor plans, furniture layouts, and finish choices interact, and he uses this knowledge to compose a cohesive, collected, and handsome home. Tom holds an undergraduate degree from Northwestern University and an MBA from the University of Chicago.

brion r judge

Brion R. Judge grew up in Rhode Island in a home filled with American and English antiques, Persian rugs and miles of Chinese porcelain. Through his extensive travels in Europe and the Far East Brion has cultivated a signature style that is classic and clean while maintaining a sense of timeless elegance and sophistication. His travels have also enhanced his appreciation and understanding of a wide array of decorative styles. Brion makes sure that every antique he procures for his clients is a perfect match to their tastes, style and environment.”

justin shaulis

Our moderator, Justin Shaulis, is an interior designer who develops projects by balancing classic and modern forms that are inspiring through their architecture and refreshing in their layered design. His influence and aesthetic varies depending on the collaboration with the clients and the context of the project. His diverse background includes a rural Pennsylvanian upbringing, an Architectural Degree and his extensive travels usually centered around antiques. Justin was the design host for HGTV’s Home Rules.

andrew joseph

Last but not least I need to thank the man behind the scenes – Andrew Joseph, of Andrew Joseph PR – a full service communications firm specializing in shelter, design and lifestyle brands. Andrew worked with the George Smith Showroom to host this sensational event!  I fell in love with several pieces in their collection – where very sofa, chair, chaise and stool is lovingly made in their workshops in the North of England.

Chicago

Special thanks to Betsey Grenzebach, the showroom manager for hosting the event and making it such a fabulous time!  While it was a morning event – Betsey’s hospitality was such that guests stayed til nearly 3pm!

Chicago, Chicago, What a wonderful town!!

The Antiques Diva®
(seen here goofing around with Andrew Joseph and Justin Shaulis after the panel discussion)

Toma Clark Haines

Pagoda Red

No Comments

Dear Diva Readers,

At the end of 2013 I had an incredible opportunity to speak in Chicago on an interior design panel at the Merchandise Mart.   Antiques dealer Betsy Nathan was one of the local Chicago design tour-de-forces who joined me on the panel and I have to confess… she utterly enchanted me with her Audrey Hepburn demeanor and brilliant eye for style.  On top of that, she was just plain fun.

Needless to say I knew I needed to make sure to tell you about this brilliant resource for buying Asian antiques in the USA.  She’s become so popular as a dealer that in fact a large number of her sales are now being made back to China as Chinese clients have recognized she is the leading resource in her field and know hers is a name they can trust.

Antiques Diva 1st Dibs

As owner of Pagoda Red, Betsy choreographs a collection of 18th and 19th century Chinese furniture and decorative arts for the home and garden in her Chicago shop.  Not only does she sell online at her own website and on 1st Dibs but she also has opened a showroom on the 1st Dibs floor of the New York Design Center, adding Asian flair to the predominantly mid-century modernist mix.

Her shop is a perfect mix of antique and modern.  She contrasts ancient Asian antiques with contemporary pieces by emerging and contemporary Chinese artists and designers.

On my recent visit here were a few of my favorite Pagoda Red pieces!  Though I fear if I’m honest – I wanted it all.  Every last piece in the store was down right divine! How does one limit their choices?

Antiques Diva

A gorgeous art work in that is hanging in their loo! (proof positive that what I always say is true – each room should have something special)

Antiques Diva

A clever Set of Six Blue and White Cola Bottles by the artist Taikkun Li. His work crosses the boundaries of design, sculpture, ceramics, film, and photography

Antiques Diva 1st Dibs

These wonderful antique-inspired Lucite chairs by July Zhou

This gorgeous screen behind the bed

Antiques Diva

All the Blue & White pieces

Happy Shopping!
The Antiques Diva®

Gala Magazine

1 Comment

Dear Diva Readers,

The Antiques Diva

When Gala Magazine  – the French equivalent of People magazine – wanted to take a Shopping Tour of the Paris Flea Market –  who did they call?   That’s right! The Antiques Diva® & Co.

Diva Guide Extraordinaire Danielle Pelletier took their journalists and photographers by the hand and led them on our insider’s tour of the famous Paris flea market, showing them 7 miles of antique-filled alleyways, 13 flea market districts and telling them how on our antiques buying tours we help clients by translating, negotiating and liaising clients with shippers for international shipping.

We were thrilled when the issue came out this November 2013 – and we were  listed as the best tour company at the Paris Flea Market! 

While we’ve been really fortunate to get some brilliant press over the years, I’ve got to say… this press simply tickled me pink!

Paris Flea Market Antiques Diva

Paris Antiques Flea Market Tour
Bonne Shopping!
The Antiques Diva®

P.S.  To book your Paris Flea Market Tour contact [email protected]

You’re Invited to a Party at the Paris Flea Market!

2 Comments

Dear Diva Readers,

I’m throwing a party in Paris – and you’re invited! 

Join me for champagne and croissants at the Paris Flea Market on Sunday, January 26  from 10.30am to 12.30 noon at:

Paris Flea Market
Un Singe en hiver
6 Rue Paul Bert
93400 Saint Ouen

RSVP required! [email protected]

Maison Objet Paris

Can’t wait to see you there!! A bientôt!
The Antiques Diva®

NYC Design Event The Art of Collecting

NYC Design Event The Art of Collecting

2 Comments

Dear Diva Readers,

Antiques Diva at DDB in New York City

Last week I was delighted to speak in NYC on a panel on The Accessibility of Sourcing Antiques in Europe at the Decoration and Design Building. In this discussion intended for an interior designer audience we answered a slew of questions from where to go, to what to buy, to how much it actually costs and – most importantly – how to get it home once you buy it, sharing insider knowledge and secret hints and tips.   Held in the D&D Building’s newest and hottest showroom, our host was the Bespoke by Luigi Gentile Showroom which specializes in custom, fine, hand-crafted furniture exclusively for the interior design community.  During our Panel Discussion my cohorts and I were able to linger on perhaps the most comfortably chic, custom-made sofa I’ve ever sat on… and whilst discussing European antiques at one point I found my mind pondering Bespoke’s sectionals.  What I love about this showroom is they make custom as easy as buying one off the showroom floor.  They assist in all phases of the specifying process, from the initial conceptual selection of the basic style to the direction of the fabric application.

D&D Building NYC Antiques Diva 3 - use

The event was moderated by the effervescent Tamara Matthews Stephenson, the blogess behind  “Nest by Tamara” blog.  I first met Tamara when on #BlogTourNYC several  years ago and was immediately charmed by her wit, her savvy style and chic design sense combined with fabulous personality.  Needless to say I’m not the only one who has been charmed by here – her blog has been voted #1 out of the Top 100 Design Blogs by ModenusShe is a mover and shaker in the design world – Dot & Bo listed Tamara as one of the TOP 50 Home Influencers inspiring us in how we live today.  She started the event by sharing how her own father worked in antiques and telling stories of growing up going to auctions… should I ever decide to start Antiques Diva New York, Tamara would be the first person I’d call to help me leap the Atlantic.

DDB NYC Antiques Diva 6 - use

In addition to me participating on the panel several famed interior designers  also shared their stories of buying abroad. I was joined by  interior design maven Justin Shaulis, Jon Call of Mr Call Designs and Philip Gorrivan who divides his time between NYC and London and whose work has graced some of the top shelter publications from Elle Décor to House Beautiful.  Philip Gorrivan owns the eponymously named multi-disciplinary design firm incorporating interior design, architecture and product design. The firm brings its wide expertise and tailored modern taste to high-end private residences, commercial properties, yachts and hospitality projects in the United States and abroad; creating spaces, furniture and fabrics that are at once fresh and new, yet elegant and classic. His carefully edited aesthetic stems from his passion and study of the decorative arts and the history of architecture juxtaposed with contemporary art and new techniques and finishes.

Toma Haines New York

Both Justin Shaulis and Jon Call of Mr Call Designs have been on recent Antiques Diva tours and both say the accessibility of sourcing in Europe has changed the way they as designers will do their business in the future.   Justin Shaulis, who is quite possibly the most charming lad in Manhattan, has over 15 years of experience in architecture and interior design, working with some notable names in the industry.   If his name sounds familiar it might be because you’ve seen him on HGTVJustin starred as the Design Host for a philanthropic-based series called “Home Rules” where he and Lifecoach, Fran Harris, worked on changing the life of a family inside and out in one week.   Additionally he has worked with leading furniture manufacturers to create industry showcases, provided architectural and design services for financial firms and large-scale offices in major corporate spaces while maintaining a boutique-styled approach. His experience with special projects, including development of houses, homes, estates, museums, showrooms and offices, has allowed Shaulis to make major contributions to a variety of different design outcomes. Shaulis’ perspective on design is drawn from diversity: a blue-collar upbringing, a Big 10 University education and his home in New York City. In 2002, Shaulis founded Justin Shaulis, Inc. creating a studio environment and utilizing holistic design methodologies based on context and quality of life in realizing Emotive Design.

DDB NYC Antiques Diva

Meanwhile designer Jon Call is simply dashing and adoreable and everytime I turn around I keep seeing his name popping up in the press.   He studied architecture in Seattle before moving to New York to work for Diamond Baratta, where he was immersed in their world of vivid color, custom furniture, and storied tradition. After that, he worked for Shawn Henderson, another young designer, before striking out on his own in 2010. The name of the firm, a somewhat cheeky reference to the days when designers were known by Mr. or Mrs., embodies Call’s spirit: he winks, rather than nods, at the past. Clients say he is smart, professional, energetic and that he listens well but will be firm in “preventing you from making a bad choice.”  Those looking for a rubber stamper with access to the D&D or a dusty Park Avenue institution are advised to keep looking. Those in search of a fun, fresh designer with classic taste would do well to pay a visit to Mr. Call.

Mr Call is both the past and the future of interior design; he is equally comfortable sketching plans for custom casegoods as he is posting fabric options for clients on Pinterest. A young designer with a savvy clientele, Call is embraced by the downtown (and Brooklyn) crowd, but his is not a sleek loft look. Rather, Call achieves a tailored take on classic style that is American in the broad, free-spirited sense of the word. It’s a palette that includes everything from Federal pieces to Mad Men Midcentury to clever details that conjure a wry smile. Above all, Call aims to give his clients spaces that balance comfort with “the luxury of a room with personality.” 

Design Champions

It was such an absolute pleasure to be able share insight with the NYC Design Community into the Accessibility of Sourcing in Europe.  Having panel members with profiles such as these greats of design made the event even more special.

If you’re bummed to have missed the event in NYC – don’t worry – we’re taking this gig on the road.  Stay tuned for this Panel Series to come to a city near you.  Next up: Chicago on Tuesday!

The Antiques Diva®

The Canny Collector and a shaken Martini…life is good!

The Canny Collector and a shaken Martini…life is good!

3 Comments

Dear Diva Readers,

Here lately my husband – aka The Wine Guy – has been on the quest for making the ideal martini (note:  he wanted to say “perfect” martini but feared the backlash from any ardent mixologists in the audience).  He’s spent long hours researching gin – Plymouth seems to be his favorite for martinis – and considering the attributes of vermouth.  While I like to merely wave my glass in the direction of Italy my mister is a sucker for Dolin.

Martini Antiques Diva

After the martini is made we turn on some Verdi (Rigoletto is my favorite) and curl up in the living room with a good book to sip our martinis.

My favorite book this fall is Mark Hill’s latest tomeThe Canny Collector.

It’s the perfect read for every collector, and covers a vast range of topics from what really drives the market today to how to spot the ‘next big thing’ to how to display your collection.  You’re sure to find plenty that’s fascinating and helpful, as well as learn something new, regardless of what you love to collect or whether you are, or someone you know is, a new or an experienced collector.  Crammed with practical and useful help and advice, it’s divided up into thoughtful yet easy to read chunks, a little like today’s social media. You’ll find plenty of opinions, hints and tricks of the trade drawn from Mark’s personal experience that can’t be found elsewhere.  Chapters including ‘Buying’, ‘Selling’ and ‘Fakes, Copies & Reproductions’ are joined by charming illustrations by artist Simon Watson, quotes about collecting from the rich and famous, and special features on key topics such as nostalgia, identification, specialist terms, and historic and celebrity collectors.    But act quickly – The Canny Collector is a special, individually numbered hardback limited edition of only 1,500 copies.  Price is  £18 + postage & packing. 

If antiques celeb Mark Hill isn’t yet on your radar you’re missing out. In addition to simply being an all around good guy and one of the nicest members of the trade, he is also positively brilliant.  Mark Hill was a specialist in the collectors departments at Bonhams and Sotheby’s in London before joining an internet company where he became a director, forming and running its ground-breaking alliance with eBay Live Auctions. He is now an author, publisher, TV presenter, and dealer in postwar Czech glass.  His publishing company, Mark Hill Publishing Ltd, specializes in producing ground-breaking and innovative books on new areas in 20thC design and decorative arts. He is the co-author of the bi-annual international Miller’s Collectables Price Guides, and also writes regular columns for The Daily Mail and BBC Homes & Antiques magazine.

Mark is an expert on the BBC Antiques Roadshow, and has appeared on the BBC 20th Century Roadshow and Priceless Antiques Roadshow. He was also co-presenter of BBC Two’s landmark primetime antiques and interior design shows Cracking Antiques and Antiques Uncovered.

He is also a member of the vetting committee for major international fairs including the Olympia Fine Art & Antiques Fair, the BADA Fair, and Antiques For Everyone.

Whether you take your martini with extra olives or prefer a classic twist of lemon after the shaking – or stirring – is done, do what we do Chez Diva and curl up this winter with The Canny Collector and Mark Hill’s riveting tales on collecting – diva style!

Happy Reading and Cheers,

The Antiques Diva®

You’re Invited!  Join me in Chicago on Nov 19th!

You’re Invited! Join me in Chicago on Nov 19th!

No Comments

Dear Diva Readers,

Save the Date!  Come join me in Chicago on Nov 19th at The Merchandise Mart!

I’ll be on a panel along with Chicago-based interior design principals Tom Konopiots and Michael Stornello of Vincere, LTD., interior designer Brion R. Judge of B.R Judge Design and antique authority and Pagoda Red owner Betsy Nathan.

And we have the great fortune of having Interior designer maven Justin Shaulis (of HGTV fame) as guest panelist and moderator!

The topic du jour?  A group discussion about collecting antiques and incorporating them into our modern lives and homes!

Come!  Listen!  Learn!  ENJOY!!

Chicago Antiques Diva Invitation

See you soon in Chicago!
The Antiques Diva®

Europe is a Girl’s Best Friend

No Comments

Dear Diva Readers,

Live in the Pittsburgh area?  Join me Nov 16 11am at Joden Jewelers for intimate, small-group travel discussions on “Europe is a Girl’s Best Friend”.  We’ll discuss where to go, what antiques to buy and where to stay, plus tips on the best places to wine and dine along the way. From Amsterdam to Berlin, London to Paris, Stockholm and beyond… The Antiques Diva has antique shopping and travel tips to guarantee your European Travels are downright diva delicious!

Antiques Diva

Joden Jewelers sells antique, estate and modern jewelry – and is both a wholesale and resale jewelry store.  Whether you’re a jeweler, a seasoned connoisseur or simply a person with an eye for beautiful things you will love Joden’s collection of fine antique, estate and modern jewelry.  Their carefully curated collection of estate jewelry is runway worthy for the diva in all of you!

During the discussion we’ll pair the travel talk with an opportunity to try on European vintage and antique jewels from each of the countries under discussion.  To whet your appetite and get this party started I had to share a few of my favorite things…

Antiques Diva

England
This suite of fine antique enamel jewelry was made by world renowned jeweler, Carlo Giuliano in London (1835-1895).  He was a favored jeweler to queen Victoria.  To this day his unique enamel work remains unmatched.

Joden Antiques DivaItaly
An incredible set of micro mosaic work made by the Petochi brothers, who began their trade in Rome in 1884.  This set is in mint condition.  There are no missing stones, and the surface of the stones have experienced no wear making the colors bright and bold.

Joden Jewelers Pittsburgh Antiques Diva

France
A piece of beautiful French Art Nouveau made by jeweler, Leo Garrod.  Each link hand made in 18 karat yellow gold and embellished with blue and white enamel, diamonds, and blue sapphires.

Joden Pittsburgh Antiques Diva

Germany
This stunning high relief, hard stone cameo was made by German jeweler, W. Lauermein in Mainz.  The delicate frame of the pin has lovely flower motif metal work with tiny seed pearls.  Circa 1890.

Joden Jewelers PIttsburgh Antiques Diva

Russia
Wrapped in blue guilloche enamel, this antique cigar case has Russian hallmarks from the late 1800s.  The end of the case is decorated with rose cut diamonds and a cabochon ruby.

Bonne shopping,
The Antiques Diva®

PAN Amsterdam

No Comments

Dear Diva Readers,

PAN Amsterdam Logo

You’ve heard me wax poetically about PAN AMSTERDAM  -  Holland’s most important national art and antiques fair and a must for every art lover.

This years event is just around the corner…

When:
Nov 24 to Dec 1, 2013

Where:
Amsterdam RAI

What Time:
Daily from 11 am-7 pm

Bonne Shopping!
The Antiques Diva®

P.S.  Make sure to stop by and visit Jacob Roosjen’s silver stall at PAN Amsterdam at Stand #50  to see this gorgeous silver tea urn, made in 1777 by Johannes Schiotling, in real life!

PAN Amsterdam

Fur For When it’s Brrrr!

1 Comment

Dear Diva Readers,

Antiques Diva Client Stacey T is guest blogging today, telling about her favorite purchase on an Antiques Diva Tour!

Stacey writes:

“I love to wrap myself in the most luxurious vintage fur coat The Antiques Diva  helped me buy during a recent shopping expedition to Berlin, Germany.  I  had so much enjoyed shopping with The Antiques Diva previously in Paris, The Netherlands and  Belgium that I quickly booked an outing with her when a girlfriend and I had a recent trip to Europe.

Fur Coat Berlin 6

Fur Coat Berlin

The Antiques Diva recommended that I come to Berlin since I was in the market for a full length mink coat, so we arranged transportation and headed there.  Talk about being worth the trip!  The Antiques Diva took me and my friend shopping at an outdoor flea market Saturday morning.  After she gave us a quick market once-over (amazing variety of antiques!), she suggested that we take a sausage and sauerkraut snack break (delicious sustenance) before diving into the fur.  And dive we did!  There must have been over a thousand different vintage coats available – full length mink, short wraps, Russian hats, fluffy jackets.  The abundance was amazing (and overwhelming!)

 Fur Coat Berlin 3

Fur Coat Berlin 4

Fur Coat Berlin 5

Fur Coat Berlin 7

The Antiques Diva helped me focus and pick out coats, held my things while I tried them on, offered comments on style, use and price, and was a goddess of patience since I wanted to try on everything I touched.  Fifty coats later, I emerged with a gorgeous full length dark brown mink and a mink wrap.  Due to her mad negotiation skills and connection with the shopkeeper, The Antiques Diva worked the price down to a stunningly low 500 euros for both pieces.  I had planned to spend double that on one, so it was like I got a discount AND a gift with purchase!”

Stay warm this winter!
The Antiques Diva®

You’re Invited!  Join me in New York City on Nov 5th

You’re Invited! Join me in New York City on Nov 5th

No Comments

Dear Diva Readers,

Save the Date!  Come join me in NYC on Nov 5th at the beautiful Decoration & Design Building!

I’ll be on a panel along with interior design maven Justin Shaulis (of HGTV fame) and famed designers Philip Gorrivan and Jon Call of Mr. Call Designs.  Plus, we have the good fortune of having esteemed blogger and interior designer Tamara Matthews-Stephenson of Nest By Tamara as our guest panelist and moderator!

The topic du jour will be the Art of Collecting and the Accessibility of Sourcing Antiques in Europe.

Come!  Listen!  Learn!  ENJOY!!

Antiques Diva at DDB in New York City

See you soon in The Big Apple,
The Antiques Diva®

 

Wrap Yourself in Velvet with Nella Vetrina

No Comments

Dear Diva Readers,

As the leaves fall from the trees and autumn breezes whoosh in I’m in the mood to nest, nest, nest, diva style.  I want nothing more than to snuggle up inside with a roaring fire and a good book.    The perfect place to sit would be a chair from Nella Netrina’s newest collection – the Lusso CollectionIt’s got velvet, velvet and more velvet!

YCNRalbion-sofa

95G4nottingham.bed

Z4Y1ginevra-modular_2

In case you’re not familiar with the brand, Nella Vetrina is an Italian powerhouse in the interior design world, showcasing products from the best of the best in classic and modern Italian furniture and Italian lighting.  Created by world-renowned Italian designers and local craftsmen their Lusso Collection is super chic line with a sexy, understated regal vibe!  Their new line ensconced in velvet has  just the perfect dash of over-the-topness for the diva (or George Costanza) in all of us!

So grab a book – I recommend Mark Hill’s newest, The Canny Collector – and curl up in diva style with Nella Vetrina and their Lusso Collection this fall!

The Antiques Diva®

Los Angeles Antiques Art + Design Show

No Comments

Dear Diva Readers,

LA Art ShowOpening Night Party at Los Angeles Antiques Art + Design Show

Oh la la… if you’re looking for diva-worthy antiques events then look no further than the Opening Night Party at the 18th Annual Los Angeles Antiques, Art + Design Show!  Attendees at Octobers event included Barbra Streisand and Bravo’s Million Dollar Decorators Martyn Lawrence Bullard, Kathryn M. Ireland, and Jeffrey Alan Marks, among many other VIPs and influencers from the worlds of design, fashion, art, entertainment and culture.

la antiques show

This fair – the Los Angeles Antiques, Art + Design Show – happens to be among the crème de la crème of events stateside.  This year they have a new location at the 3 Labs Studio locatted in the Hayden Tract arts district in Culver City on LA’s west side.  The Hayden Tract, a former warehouse district, is now home to cutting edge architecture, film and design studios, private schools and art galleries. “The new location will be a huge asset to the show,” explains LA co-chair Bianca Chen. “Not only is it conveniently located for our patrons, but it is a great architectural backdrop for the dealers who showcase some of the finest antiques, design objects and fine art from around the world.”  Some of the top English dealers were holding court in LA during the show including Sue BrownWilliam Cook Antiques and Kalms Antiques.

Tim street-porter annie kelly

As part of the opening celebration, the Decorative Arts and Design Council honored famed husband and wife team Annie Kelly and Tim Street-Porter as the recipients of LACMA’s prestigious Design Leadership Award. The pair have long been recognized as innovators in the industry, Street-Porter for his iconic architectural and design photography and Kelly as a celebrated interior decorator, design author and critic. Beyond their individual portfolios, which for Tim include Doris Duke’s Shangri La: A House in Paradise and L.A. Modern, the famed couple has collaborated on numerous published titles including Casa Mexicana Style, Casa San Miguel, and their acclaimed Rooms to Inspire series for Rizzoli. Past recipients of the Design Leadership Award have been world-renowned antiquarian Joel Chen and legendary designer and entrepreneur Rose Tarlow.

“The importance of the design and art being created in and around Los Angeles cannot be overstated.  Elle Decor, House Beautiful and Veranda find inspiration and new talent here every month,” explains Newell Turner, Editor-in-Chief of the Hearst Design Group.

“Southern California has always inspired dreams of the good life, but its thriving home furnishings industry may be America’s best kept secret” explains the Hearst Design Group SVP and publishing director, Kate Kelly Smith.

A FEW Images from the show:

LA Art and Antiques

los angels art and antiques

los angeles show

Watch this space for dates and details on next year’s event!
The Antiques Diva®