Unique and sustainable materials are important trends in interior design. Architectural salvage and reclaimed materials allow the homeowner to curate a unique, personal aesthetic that represents who they are – and isn’t identical to their neighbor’s home. We’ve seen architects use old French doors in new construction, interior designers source vintage sinks in multiple colors to complement a scheme, and clients buy gorgeous chandeliers to hang over their dining tables. The options really are endless. Owners of older homes often look for period pieces for restoration projects while those building new houses want something that adds the warmth and patina that only antiques can provide. Loft dwellers love finding burnished pieces and industrial salvage, perhaps from an old warehouse or factory. Reclaimed and repurposed materials add character and are one-of-a-kind statement pieces.
Where to Buy Architectural Salvage in Europe and Asia
Most of our clients purchase architectural salvage and reclamation pieces for a specific project: whether that’s an interior designer sourcing pieces to be used in a client’s home design or a developer who contacts us to find materials to use in constructing homes or hotels.
And as always – we have a slew of antique dealer clients who source architectural salvage in Europe and Asia to stock their own stores for resale.
The Antiques Diva & Co has helped clients source entire frescoed ceilings, built-in libraries, Italian roof tiles, floor tiles, reclaimed wood floors, and even staircases. Whether found on tour or through our Buying Services, our Antiques Diva Guides know where to go, who to talk to about restoration, what a fair price is, and how to ship your purchases back home. Depending on the look and style you want to buy, the best countries to buy architectural salvage are England, Belgium, France, Italy, Thailand and Indonesia.
Our English Antiques Diva Buying Agent Gail McLeod believes England is ideal to buy architectural salvage reclaimed materials.
Sussex is a key county – we have key architectural suppliers in both West and East Sussex. Somerset, Warwickshire, Herefordshire and The Cotswolds including Oxfordshire are other key locations. London has some excellent sources for both decorative antiques and architectural materials. We have worked on many projects and are aware of the detailed requirements when sourcing architectural and reclaimed material and objects for a specific project rather than for resale in a showroom.
Recent projects we have sourced for include a multi £million theme park – the theme was Victorian gothic and we spent 2 weeks on the road discovering ecclesiastical and architectural salvage and garden antiques. This included ancient fragments, stone roof tiles, Gothic paneling, crown top chimney pots by the 100, original stained glass windows 30 feet high and accurate period furniture for the interior of the various buildings and chapels on the park – all this done to a flat plan with specifications. They needed a large number of aged gravestones from decommissioned churches so I made sure our sources had plenty for them to choose from when we arrived!
Another large project was the remodeling of the former LA home of a musical superstar, restoring the house to the original Spanish Colonial style for the new owner – quite a niche sector but we found the most fabulous pieces and he was thrilled. Another couple was building a wonderful estate on the Seattle shoreline and has very specific requirements – they are currently on their 2nd tour with us to finalize the artwork.
Marc Allum is one of the BBC Antiques Roadshow experts and is also a historical buildings expert. He lives in an Elizabethan house just outside Bath where they recently found Roman remains when excavating the garden. England is a treasure trove for sourcing architectural salvage and reclaimed materials!
Read more: Tips for Buying Architectural Salvage
If you need to shop for architectural salvage and reclaimed pieces but don’t have time to travel, our Antiques Diva Buying Services will work with you to source, purchase and ship pieces that meet your exact requirements.
Toma – The Antiques Diva
Flanders is the perfect tour for an antique dealer seeking to stock his store. Flanders offers many off the beaten path sources for antique shopping and a slew of trade-only warehouses and private sellers. Our local expert Antiques Diva Guide picks you up at your hotel and takes you antiquing in Flanders to our favorite vendors, exposing you to bargains on Napoleon III pieces as well as special finds from the 18th to 20th centuries. Flanders is one of our go-to destinations for antique dealers on the antiques trail. Booked in conjunction with several days on a South of France or England, this tour is ideal for antique dealers. One of my personal favorite antiquing destinations, Antiques Diva Flanders antique buying tours are sure to please!
Antiquing in Flanders
Flanders s the Dutch-speaking, northern portion of Belgium – where the local language is called Flemish. (The French-speaking part of Belgium is called Wallonia.) Antwerp, Bruges, Ghent and Tongeren are some of the best-known cities in Flanders. Today’s Flanders has been a part of Spain, France, Holland and Austria, and with its varied past was influenced by the whole of Europe in its furniture design. The region had a reputation for tolerance so refugees fleeing religious persecution settled here, bringing with them their own crafts and customs. For example, 17th C Flemish antiques have a Spanish influence as many of the craftsmen making furniture in Belgium at that time were Spanish refugees.
Flemish furniture was popular in and exported to England, where you still see it in many country homes – oak, heavy and with elaborate carving and the distinctive Flemish S scrolling. Over the centuries so many different people found refuge in Flanders, and today you can find many different styles including Louis XV, Louis XVI, Empire, Napoleon III, Spanish Colonial, Henri II, Willem III, Gustavian, Louis Philippe, Chippendale, Rustique, Baroque, Neo-Baroque, Lodewijk, Queen Anne, Bretonne… and more!
In Flanders you will find pieces from many periods and designs to meet any need – and our Diva Guides will who the best dealers, wholesalers and private sellers are:
- architectural salvage
- garden pieces and statuary
- art and objets d’art
- religious artifacts
- art deco
If you need to shop for antiques but don’t have time to travel to Europe, Antiques Diva Buying Services will work with you to source, purchase and ship pieces that meet your exact requirements.
Bruges Zandfeesten is one of the largest flea markets in Belgium, held three times per year: the 1st Sunday in July and August and the last Sunday in September – and its crowded with locals and tourists. Tongeren’s Sunday morning flea market has been booming for over 30 years, with bric-a-brac and curiosities as well as serious antiques. Many antique lovers are familiar with Brussel’s Sablon district with its amazing antique shops and galleries, but there is also a Brussel’s weekend antique market and a daily flea market on the Place de Jeu de Balle in the Marolles district. Your Antiques Diva Guide will create a custom itinerary based on your antique shopping requirements, budget and schedule that takes you to flea markets, small shops and dealers, antiques warehouses and private homes where the owner’s collection are available for sale.
Our Antiques Diva Guides are local experts – they know the dealers personally, have long-standing relationships with them and have sourced antiques at their shops for many years. Shopping with The Antiques Diva gives you insider access to the best antiques at the best prices. You have the shopping power of all our clients behind you – when antiques dealers see The Antiques Diva, they know we mean business! Our guides will translate, negotiate and help you find exactly what you are looking for, at a price you can afford. Then, we will help you ship it home either through our Antiques Diva shipping services partner or with your preferred shipper.
We’d love to see you in Flanders, where we’ll open our little black book full of restaurants, hotels, fashion, home decor and bien sur, antiques!
Flanders is a full day antiques tour and is available Tuesday – Sunday – and schedules perfectly with a France or Sweden tour!
Toma – The Antiques Diva
Brexit has had an impact on buying antiques in the UK. In short, England has gone on sale for American buyers! Now is the best time to buy antiques in England. If you’re only going to shop one place, I would say shop in England. England is one-stop shopping – the best of France is already there. For hundreds of years, the Brits have been scouring the world collecting antiques. Our English Antiques Diva® Buying Agent Gail McLeod just might be the most connected woman in the world of antiques. She is owner of Google’s top-ranked antiques fair website Antiques News & Fairs, Editor in Chief of the Antiques are Green website, vice-chair of the new Antiques are Green Trade Association and co-founder of Antiques Young Guns.Today Gail is sharing the top UK antique trends last year and the 1st two months of 2018. You can shop these trends at the 30th annual Bath Decorative Antiques Fair in March, as well as other UK antique fairs, on an Antiques Diva England antiques buying tour.
Antique Trends in UK 2017
Here in England, we are blessed with a complete melting pot of inventory which has arrived on our shores from the Colonies and there has never been an occasion when I have been stumped by a request from a Diva client! Spanish Colonial period pieces for a Hollywood mansion? Step this way! A collection of gravestones and a church spire for a luxury theme park? No problem!
2017 saw some new trends following a few years of nonstop ghostly Nordic furniture and large-scale reclamation quests, with a thirst for more grown-up pieces including oak and mahogany. At the recent Decorative Antiques & Textiles Fair at Battersea there was a complete stampede on the opening day on a stand selling what we call in England American export goods – writing boxes, tea caddies, oak framed mirrors, library accessories, oak framed botanical and sporting prints, barometers, brass and copper accessories.
The return to what was sold by the container load in the 80s and 90s is seen elsewhere in the decorative trade, French marble top confectioners’ tables, brass and iron bakers racks, faux bamboo armoires and chests of drawers, heavily carved fruitwood armoires, painted English chests of drawers and confit pots all selling like hot cakes.
Two recent Antiques Diva tours have been almost exclusively oak and mahogany small-scale furniture – joint stools, lamp tables, luggage stands, corner display cupboards, long sets of dining chairs, all available at such buyable prices – for now! When the market demands these piece will start to rise again.
Downton Abbey and The Crown tv shows have influenced overseas private buyers who want a piece of Merry Old England that looks like it is going to last for years – and it probably will! The shipwrecked look still has its appeal to Millennials but the solid pieces are appealing more to the Baby Boomers although a recent NY based Millennial furnishing a house here in Notting Hill chose almost exclusively William IV mahogany and C19th Chinoiserie pieces for their drawing room. Another client from CO chose an outstanding Italian bureau plat with brass ormolu, very formal and imposing and she had been looking online and in the US for 4 years but found the perfect piece on our first call!
Many of our clients are trade buyers who are servicing the buying requests for both Millennials and Baby Boomers so these private tours give us a bird’s eye view of what is hot – or not. We have very few inquiries in the UK for Mid Century and Industrial pieces but architectural reclamation is a staple here. The British architectural reclamation trade is a vibrant and successful part of the business and we have helped with some interesting projects in 2017 supplying beautiful linenfold paneling from the library of a known estate, wellheads, mill wheels, stone roof tiles, stone flooring, chimney stacks and gargoyles. This trend is a constant rather than fashion led.
The Bath Decorative Antiques Fair March 8-11 has many examples of what’s trending in the UK, Muddy Stillettos forecasts what will be available at the fair in Retro rehab: Mid-century Scandi, folk art, architectural reclamation, garden antiques – and the resurgence of our old friend ‘brown’ furniture (photos courtesy Muddy Stillettos).
DO YOU WANT TO SHOP FOR ANTIQUES IN ENGLAND?
BOOK AN ANTIQUES AND DESIGN TRIP WITH THE ANTIQUES DIVA
Toma, The Antiques Diva
With its gorgeous beaches, luxury resorts, rice paddies and ancient temples Indonesia has far more to offer than just a destination as a vacation hot spot. Bali is one of the world’s best resources for global sourcing. Their antiques scene – and the abundance of offerings – is reminiscent of the Paris Flea Market but Indonesia offers more than just antiques. After assessing your antiquing and design or fashion sourcing needs our local expert Antiques Diva® shopping guide will custom plan your Bali antiques buying tour – helping to maximize your time and money by translating and negotiating on your behalf, and finally liaising you with an international shipper.
Join Toma Clark Haines, CEO of The Antiques Diva® & Co, with Derrick Ricketts, VP, Dallas Market Center on a Bali Antiques Buying Tour with local expert Antiques Diva Guide Marilyn:
Bali is more than a vacation destination. Bali is one of the world’s best resources for global sourcing. Whether you are looking for rustic or folkart furniture… wood and stone carvings… textiles, batiks and ikats… tribal jewelry… architectural salvage… or actually seeking a source to manufacture your own furniture line… Bali has it all!
Our Bali tour crisscrosses Seminyak and Ubud. Bali has countless antiques warehouses where you can find both Balinese and Javanese furniture and architectural salvage. I simply love the colors and carvings of Indonesia!
We have a lot of places to go! Our job is to bring clients to exactly the right places for what they’re looking for! Marilyn knows all the right places, and gets the best prices.
Bali is famous for its textiles. You can even find newly made furniture in Bali. If you want to design your own furniture we can introduce you to artisans and manufacturers for handmade goods.
Bali is also an excellent place to source contemporary art.
After a full day of shopping, we take time to monkey around in Ubud Monkey Forest!
My favorite hotel in Bali is Bambu Indah, John Hardy’s famous eco-lifestyle boutique hotel. Hardy salvaged 11 antique Javanese bridal homes and reconstructed them in Bali. A reknown antiques collector, Hardy’s philosophy is Antiques Are Green. We explore with our client the use of architectural salvage in luxury and eco-design.
On Antiques Diva Tours we always take time to eat! And here eating is a culinary and visual feast.
After lunch we hit the road again. Bali boasts a district of antique shops that can only be compared to the Paris Flea Market! Mile after mile of treasures unfold.
The secret of our tours is we know where to go. We take a peek at one of Donna Karan’s secret sources.
To close the day we are invited for cocktails at the home of local antiques dealer Michael Nalder of LeMari.
Kop khun kha,
Toma Clark Haines – The Antiques Diva
Today’s post is by Sara Morel, who recently left her corporate fashion job to establish Reclaimed Woman. A blog and business, for those in search of a more conscious life. Fashion and home fashions that are equally style-savvy as they are ethical. Like a secret diary, she previously blogged under the name Style Salvo, recording her journey into antiques, salvage and a more sustainable existence (shoe collection excluded), as head of PR for a shoe brand at the time! She vowed to do-up her new home in London with as many old, reused and reclaimed things as possible. One bedroom, one bathroom, one garden, one kitchen… now her walk-in wardrobe.
SALVO Fair: Life is not a Rehearsal – Green Living Fest
A boulder engraved with the words of the estate owner, Sir William McAlpine reads ‘Life is not a Rehearsal.’ I love this phrase, and find it can be applied to all sorts of scenarios life throws at one. In light of the bright green antique theme, SALVO 2017 is not only about appreciating antiques for their connection with history, but for their relationship with the future and the environmental benefits of reuse. Shop vintage fashion and hats including unique designs by Dior from Mary Jones Vintage, whose rare finds for gents and ladies are stocked in Liberty of London as well as her shop in Liverpool.
Whatever your motivation, here are some shopping tips you can apply to architectural antiques and vintage fashion:
- Shopping in a meaningful way starts with knowing what your personal style is and what your needs are. Fashions move in cycles, so don’t let current trends dictate your taste. If you buy something you love, it will hold your interest.
- That’s all very well… but if you’re not yet sure what your style is, antique and vintage fairs are a great place to learn and discover what you like.
- Try to buy architectural antiques first, then make design decisions based on what is available – this will make your hunt much easier. The same goes for rare vintage fashion. It makes sense to start with your statement-makers, then you can build the rest of your look around them.
- Ask about provenance (the earliest known history about the piece). This not only adds value to the item, but to your dinner party conversation. For example, the extractor pipe on the cooker hood in my kitchen is a Victorian organ pipe reclaimed from a church in East London, the overhead cabinets were converted from a 1940s staff noticeboard reclaimed from London’s St Pancras Station. And you’ll have to come for dinner to hear the rest…
- Find designers, builders and tailors that are antique and vintage fashion friendly, as alterations and allowances may be required.
- You may be in a field (at Salvo Fair for example) but you are also surrounded by some rare and incredibly valuable period pieces. Dealers are rarely offended if you negotiate reasonably and there are definitely deals to be found at the fair.
- If you insist on wearing heels like Toma, take her Salvo Fair field lead and opt for a wedge.
- Any finally, it’s easy to get intimidated; whether you’re overwhelmed by the sheer size of an architectural antique or the price of a collectible vintage handbag, I recommend starting with an experienced Antiques Diva guide tailored to you and your budget.
Asia Antiques Buying & Sourcing in 6 countries:
Thailand, Myanmar, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia and Indonesia
At The Antiques Diva & Co, I always say our role is to be antiques matchmakers: and I’ve extended our matchmaking service to Asia! We take buyers and sellers and matchmake them so it’s love at first sight! As the largest company in Europe offering one-on-one customized antique buying tours in 8 countries, launching in Asia was the logical next step.
Our goal is to provide you with a turnkey solution for global sourcing. Whether you’re looking to buy one specific piece or wanting to fill an entire container, our Asia antique buying guides are prepared to share their vast knowledge of secret sources to take you to all the right places. Whether that means in the jungles of Burma, the busy streets of Bangkok, the back roads of Bali or beyond. I’m completely crushing on Hanoi, gobsmacked by the design inspiration there… and Chaing Mai? It’s hands-down the best wholesale antiquing in South East Asia. Laos is lovely for textiles and Phnom Penh feels like a new frontier… And you can do it all with The Antiques Diva & Co.
AD&CO is the only global antiques touring company offering one-stop, turnkey antiques shopping services: from personally choreographing your private buying tour to translating, negotiating and shipping antiques.
Modern interior design is all about the global mix.
The Antiques Diva offers a unique global perspective
to integrate Asian and European antiques for a fresh, modern look.
~ Bobby Berk, Celebrity Designer
AD&CO Asia Antiques Services
Asia Antiques Buying Tours: The Antiques Diva offers private, custom antiques buying tours to 6 countries in Asia under the leadership of our local, expert antique guides. I have found a team of local antiques experts. Our Chief Asia Diva Guide is Angela Somwaiya, a Chicago native who has lived in Bangkok more than 2 decades. She runs one of the most respected antiques shops in Thailand, Paul’s Antiques, and has over 20 years expertise sourcing Asian antiques.
Clients coming on buying tours get the unique advantage of sourcing in some of the same venues where she stocks her store. Angela is also an expert guide to sourcing Asian bespoke furniture makers. And she happens to have a gourmet tongue… she orders better in restaurants than anyone I know!!!
Custom Tours for Trade and Public
AD&CO trade tours are custom curated for interior designers, antiques dealers, furniture manufacturers, landscape designers and architects; customized design inspiration tours and shopping tours are also available to the public. Our Antiques Tours Guides will custom plan an Asian antiques buying tour for you whether you’re looking to purchase antique furniture, textiles, decorative accessories, handicrafts and artisanal creations or architectural salvage. We will also help maximize your time and money by translating and negotiating on your behalf, and finally liaising you with an international shipper.
The time for Asian antiques is now: they mix so well and lend a fresh, modern note to any decor. My designs are never defined by any one era, style or approach. I draw from my own experiences, travels and global insight.
~ Robert Passal, Award Winning Top 20 Interior Designer
Asia Antique Sourcing Services: When you’re too busy to travel, The Antiques Diva offers antiques sourcing and buying services in Asia. As you know, the best antiques sources simply are not online. You have to go out into the field to find them. Based on your requirements, AD&CO will assemble a lookbook of pieces that meet your specifications and budget. After your approval, we will purchase, complete all paperwork and coordinate your shipment.
I just returned from a 3 country Antiques Diva Design Inspiration Tour: Thailand, Indonesia and Cambodia. This is the new frontier for sourcing antiques. No one else is doing what The Antiques Diva & Co does; where you can source both Asian and European antiques to create a global chic lifestyle whether for your home, your store or your next interior design project.
~ Derrick Ricketts, Dallas Market Center
I’d love to chat with you about global sourcing and our Asian tours,
and help you design a custom Asia antiques shopping tour!
Email me at email@example.com.
Toma – The Antiques Diva
Thailand Antique Tours with The Antiques Diva
2016 was a whirlwind year as I immersed myself in Asian culture by moving to Asia for several months to research and finalize our Asia antique sourcing services. My home base was Thailand. Whether you’re spending one night in Bangkok or visiting its better-looking sister to the north Chiang Mai, exotic antiques tempt even the most well-traveled shopper. In the Bright Light Big City of Bangkok you find a wealth of inventory from various time periods the reflecting cultures of Thailand and its surrounding countries. In Chiang Mai you enter the ancient kingdom of Lanna – which traditionally is a crossroads for trade routes through the Golden Triangle into Laos, Burma, China and beyond. Our Thailand Antiques Tours Guides will custom plan an Asian antiques buying tour for you whether you’re looking to purchase antique furniture, textiles, decorative accessories, handicrafts and artisanal creations or architectural salvage. We will also help maximize your time and money by translating and negotiating on your behalf, and liaising you with an international shipper to get your purchases home.
The Antiques Diva™ & Co offers custom antiques buying tours for tourists and trade professionals to 14 countries in Europe and Asia. Whether you’re looking to buy one specific piece or fill an entire container, our personal shopping antique buying guides share their vast knowledge of secret sources to take you to all the right places. You can now book an Asian antique buying tour with The Antiques Diva to Thailand, Myanmar, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia and Indonesia – along with our repertoire in 8 European countries.
Chief Asian Diva Guide Angela Somwaiya has one of the most highly respected antiques shops in Bangkok, Paul’s Antiques, and over 20 years expertise sourcing Asian antiques. In fact, Angela is taking you to the many antique stores where she personally has been sourcing for her store. As one of the leading experts in Southeast Asian antiques, Angela’s design eye understands how to create a modern global mix with Asian and European antiques and art. Angela is an expert guide to sourcing Asian bespoke furniture makers using reclaimed teak, and how to up-cyle and repurpose found items.
Having lived in Thailand over 20 years, Angela delivers insider knowledge on buying and sourcing antiques in Asia. Angela collects antique textiles and jewelry, and has extensive knowledge on the subject as well as one of the best private textile collections in Thailand! Angela loves to share her passion and knowledge of Asia!
The Antiques Diva & Co offers 4 private Thailand antique tours, custom Thailand combined with other Asian country itineraries are designed to meet our client’s needs:
- Bangkok Antiques Tour
Available 7 days a week
One to Three Day Tour
Ornate architectural salvage from temples and Thai homes as well as garden antiques such as Spirit Houses, benches, lanterns and other pieces can be found in abundance. When it comes to furniture, our Guide will take you to hidden sources where you’ll see Rattanakosin Period antique furniture, scripture cabinets, traditional Thai beds and tables, cabinets, mirrors, and Chinese furniture. For those who love decorative accessories, shop for red lacquer containers, betel boxes, hill-tribe weathered baskets, sturdy pottery, brass and wood carvings, and opium weights and tools. You’ll also find textiles, costumes, amulets, gems, and Thai jewelry, as well as antique handicrafts from the many villages surrounding Bangkok.
- Chatuchak Market – Bangkok’s JJ Market Shopping Tour
Available Saturday & Sunday
Limited Availability Mid-Week Upon Request
Full Day Tour
Shopping the JJ Market without The Antiques Diva & Co simply put is a waste of your time. What To Buy? Everything, but our favorites include Thai Wooden Carvings, Burmese Antique Teak Furniture, Buddhist Manuscript boxes, Handwoven Hill Tribe Baskets, Theater Chairs, Shophouse Display Furniture, Antique Textiles and Art Prints, Architectural Remnants, Vintage Garden Furniture, Khmer Stone Carving, Retro Accessories and billions of Buddha heads (both tourist market reproductions as well as original period pieces). And while these aren’t antique we love them – Thai and Chinese silk and silk lanterns and lighting galore. Not to mention jewelry – both new and old – as well as fusion fashion.
- Ayutthaya Antiques Tour
Available Monday to Friday
The former capital of Siam, visit private houses and secret warehouses and hidden lanes in Ayutthaya stacked with architectural salvage. Go home inspired by an ancient culture long vanished. Similar to Louis 16th in France gaining his design inspiration from his visit to Pompeii, Ayuttaya allows you the opportunity to re-imagine the heritage left behind.
- Chiang Mai Antiques Tour
Available 7 days a week
One to Three Day Tour
From antique furniture and decorative accessories to architectural salvage and beyond, Chiang Mai is a magical place to source a variety of Asian antiques. Whether you’re looking to source small amulets or entire rice barns for architectural salvage, our Chiang Mai Antiques Buying Tour has a lot to offer.
In addition, The Antiques Diva & Co offers Asian antique sourcing services for when your schedule does not allow Asian antique buying trips.
tip: To learn more about how to buy Asian antiques
Angela and I have an online course at MyAntiqueSchool: the 1st global course on how to buy antiques in Asia
In my own home, I’m incorporating more Asian antiques with the European antiques I’ve long collected, and find they juxtapose beautifully with my distinctly modern home and art. I was beyond thrilled when my shipment from Asia arrived and I was able to mix in my new Asian antiques!
To book an Asia Antiques Buying Tour contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Toma – The Antiques Diva
Dear Diva Readers,
One of our most popular requests is for architectural salvage. Whether clients are coming on tour or utilizing our Buying Services, we are constantly scouring Europe for all types of salvage and reclaimed materials. One trend that is very popular in the USA right now is the barn door—a type of sliding door you would typically find in a barn. But now people are using them in homes, restaurants, and hotels to divide spaces and add instant character and diva charm!
As with any design trend, the specifics of each project vary, but the overall concept remains the same. All you need are door track hardware and wheels, which you can find at many big box or hardware stores (or even online), and a door of course! Here at The Antiques Diva & Co we recommend using a vintage or antique door to make your project that much more special and unique. You can make this a DIY project or entrust it to your contractor, but be sure to select a door and hardware that enhance your particular space. This look works great in a traditional setting as well as a contemporary room. It all depends on the door you choose—the age, patina, finish, color, and style will all play a part in how the overall project turns out. For a more modern look, why not choose an industrial door? For a casual feeling, opt for warm wood tones with just the right about of wear.
We love taking clients to warehouses that are literally filled to the brim with doors. Perusing row upon row of every type of door imaginable is always a thrill. We’ve seen some beautiful old church doors as well as tall imposing doors that once hung on hinges of great country houses and chateaus of Europe. Many of our sources have excellent workrooms where their craftsmen can help get your door (or any other architectural pieces you find) ready to your specifications before shipping it. This means they can adjust the height, width, drill necessary holes for hardware, stain, paint, sand, and distress to your liking. We’ve even had pieces lacquered in Europe before having them shipped to clients across the pond.
Depending on the size of your space, you may want to consider using a pair of doors for your barn door project. It’s not uncommon to come upon a pair of matching doors that may have once been used as pocket doors or as double doors. Mounting them in the barn door style gives them a fresh life and what’s old can become new again. Another bonus is that older doors are often solid and made of the upmost quality. Think about it—if a door has been around for 100 years, it has proven that it can stand the test of time.
If you would like more information on taking an Antiques Diva Buying Tour or if you’d like to learn more about our Buying Services, email us at email@example.com. We’d love to hear from you!
The Antiques Diva®
Dear Diva Readers,
n a world full of mass produced pieces, antiques offer uniqueness and character to interiors. Flip through any design magazine and you’ll see that almost every stylish room incorporates some sort of antique or vintage items. It’s no surprise then, that many large retailers offer reproductions of antiques, making certain styles available to the masses, including reinterpretations of furniture, accessories, rugs, and even lighting. Still, we are seeing an increase in demand for one-of-a-kind objects that people can use to imbue their homes with personality. One of our top requests is for architectural salvage, whether people are coming on tour or utilizing our buying services. However they aren’t always using the salvaged pieces in traditional ways. From private clients to shop owners to interior designers, many creative people are sourcing architectural fragments and turning them into very special lamps—and we LOVE that idea!
Of course you can find mass produced reproductions of these architectural fragment lamps from companies like Pottery Barn, Crate & Barrel, and West Elm, but there is something about having your own made from original antique architectural pieces that takes the lighting game to a whole other level. With it’s rich history of architecture, Europe is the perfect place to source unique fragments. Our Diva Guides often take clients to flea markets where they find one-off pieces such as finials, scrollwork from an old section of boiserie, or even corbels from grand houses which have been renovated. These pieces are just waiting for a creative genius to come along and give them new life. Mounted to a lucite base, a chippy gilt wood fragment topped by linen shade becomes a sculptural lamp with one foot in the past and the other in the present.
While flea markets and shops can be ideal for finding a few treasures, clients who are looking to buy in bulk need to go to the countryside. Several of our sources in Provence specialize in architectural salvage and reclaimed materials. These warehouses are the perfect places to find loads of hand carved architectural fragments that would not only look great as table lamps, but also as floor lamps! Imaging a set of columns from an old hotel transformed into a matching pair of lamps! Why not have beautifully carved corbels and brackets made into sconces? When you look at lamps as more than functions, they become sculpture and statuary as well. The possibilities are endless.
Once you get your architectural fragments home, it’s good to entrust a local lamp shop to help wire and transform your pieces into lamps. Remember there are countless options when it comes to bases including lucite, iron, brass, wood, or even marble. Select a lamp shade that works with your lamp-base and voila! You’ve got a very special one-of-a-kind lamp that has character and a story. In a cookie cutter world, having a custom piece really helps to make a space stand out from the rest. Since every home needs lighting, why not think outside the box and go with something that is sure to make your home stylish and chic?
If you would like information on our Antiques Diva Buying Tours which operate in 8 different countries—France, Italy, England, Sweden, Germany, Belgium, Holland & Denmark- email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to custom plan a private antiques buying tour for you. If you can’t come to Europe but still want us to source antiques on your behalf, our Buying Services are the ideal solution. You simply give us your personal shopping list, and we act as your man on the ground, sending you images and prices until you choose the perfect pieces. Send us an email to discuss your options! Your dream of sourcing antiques in Europe just might be easier than you think!
Until next time,
The Antiques Diva®
Dear Diva Readers,
hen I say, “Antiquing in France,” what images come into your mind? Waking in the wee hours of the morning and driving through the countryside to get first dibs on flea market finds? Perusing brocantes as far as the eye can see, bargaining in French with vendors who sip coffee as they arrange their wares? Popping into a boulangerie for a pick-me-up of croissant then dashing across the street to a warehouse filled with antiques of all ages and styles? What if I told you there is a place where you can do all these things and more… in the same day? The Mecca. The Mother Land. The village of L’Isle Sur la Sorgue in Provence – which happens to house the second largest permeant flea market in France (after the Paris Flea Market).
The town centers around the Sorgue River in Provence between Avignon and Apt. Cutting through the town the river has always been an important part of L’Isle Sur la Sorgue. In the 12th century, it provided the main product of the area— fish but by the 18th century, large water wheels were added to the canals, generating power for the silk and paper industries. Today, the town is knows for antiques shops and markets, with the river flowing down two main channels in the town, creating an enchanting atmosphere as many shops and cafes are perched directly on the water.
When we take clients to L’Isle Sur la Sorgue, we always go on market day. Arriving in the morning, you witness the flea market setting up along the river for several kilometers. Here is where you can find a wide variety of items all at different price points. If you’re looking for smaller antiques, this is where you should really hunt. The dealers comb the countryside in search of estate sales and house clearings, and often spend a lot of time restoring pieces they purchase. It is often worth the time to engage these dealers in conversation, as many of them have warehouses and workshops nearby and may invite you to come to their homes later. If you’re in the market for a specific piece, they may be able to source it for you.
After perusing the market, we head across the street and begin shopping the long line of antique stores. Many two-story buildings line both sides of the main street in town and house every type of style you could imagine. From Roman antiquities to 18th century furniture, to art deco and beyond—it’s all there! When it’s time to refuel, the bakeries are to die for, and you can even purchase some sweet treats specific to Provence like callison or glace fruit.
A favorite area of town is tucked behind a row of buildings, only accessible through a gate and a small passage—if you didn’t know it was there, you’d probably pass right by! These hidden corners are our specialty on tours. Once through the passage, you come upon several buildings and stalls that sell French garden antiques. Statues, zinc, watering cans, iron gates, and planters wait to be discovered and it always seems clients gasp when they come around the corner for the first time!
While this may sound like a nice relaxing day, don’t be fooled! There are over 300 antique outlets and flea markets in the old mills of this village, so be sure to rest up and wear comfortable walking shoes! If you’re looking for something specific or a certain style of antique, it’s important to tell your Diva Guide. She knows many of the vendors and can help navigate the weaving streets and buildings, getting you right where you need to be to find that perfect piece you’re looking for.
If you would like information on booking an Antiques Diva Provence Tour, email us at email@example.com. We’d love to take you to this special village and even to the countryside beyond!
The Antiques Diva®