I am a book collector. I don’t use books as decor, I love to read books – not on my iPad – I like bound books made with real paper. One of the tragedies of my life was when we lost all our belongings in a Thanksgiving night fire in Berlin… years of cherished and collected books gone in the flash of a candle’s wick. Out of that loss came a whole new library of books given to us by dear friends and Antiques Diva readers – books that have now made the journey with me to Venice and line the shelves of my office, are stacked on the floor of my living room and cover every inch of surface on my bedside tables. J’adore Rome Antiques Diva Guide Désirée’s new ideas on how to use books – even antique books – as decor. I’ll be incorporating a couple of these ideas ca Toma.
3 Smart Methods For Using Books as Decor
I’m of the same mind as Cicero on this one… I think that having books in your home is essential. I have a habit of picking up books while traveling. My favorite souvenirs are antique, hardbound novels by an author who had written in the particular city I am visiting. I bought Jack Kerouac in Oregon, Hemingway in Paris, and Robert Louis Stevenson in Scotland. Rekindling beautiful memories while going about your daily rituals, is a classic DIVA move!
Unlike other holiday purchases, like a ridiculous T-shirt or another coffee mug, a well-cultivated library can be used in multiple ways around your home.
#1 Books as a Knife Holder
Some of the most practical pieces in our home can be an eyesore, so I love this charming solution to an annoying issue.
I keep my knives separated by size and shape, making the division provided by the book covers ideal. Depending on your needs, the covers can be glued together for additional stability, however, it isn’t necessary.
- Books – You could use vintage cookbooks, but I like to have my cookbooks easily accessible. Instead, I used 3 books I have thoroughly read that were not completely precious to me. The books should have a hardcover and I recommend something quite long- the thicker the book, the more stable the base.
- Rope – I used a piece of old rope (this, in particular, was a Ralph Lauren rope-belt with leather tipped ends that I picked up at a thrift store for one dollar).
Note: Make sure you dry your knives properly before putting them away, as the water easily damages the books.
#2 Books as Floating Shelves
- I bought these floating book mounts on Amazon:
- The mounts are easily attached to the wall and create a whimsical ledge on which the most beautiful pieces of your library become additional space for lamps, eyeglasses by your bedside, or even a fabulous hat.
- Choose within a theme: books you intend to read, your favorite books, books which evoke strong memories, or even books that provide a pop of a complementary color to the space.
#3 Books as Pedestals for Antiques
I am a Stylist, not a Librarian, so I have no problem organizing my library by color. If your brain works differently than mine, you may stack books by author or subject.
- Simply stack a group of books from large to small.
- Place the books absolutely anywhere! I like to use them as a solution for hiding cords or unsightly details at home. I stack them to cover an unruly lamp cord, or in empty spaces that are easily accessible to a potential reader. Truly, ANYWHERE!
- Place some of your favorite objects on top, to highlight your treasures and collections and help elevate them into art.
Since I first began exploring Asia nearly a decade ago, I’ve been in love with Asian antiques. When I launched Antiques Diva® Asia Antiques Tours two years ago, I knew we were ahead of the curve helping interior designers and antique dealers (as well as hoteliers and restauranteurs) source antiques in Asia. Even 2 years ago you didn’t often see Southeast Asian antiques in interior design magazines but today I’m seeing a change. When you flip open a magazine today you quickly see it’s all about the mix – globally chic interiors are mixing not just periods and echelons but geographic origins – European goes next to American next to Asian for a well-traveled interior. Globally chic interiors are on the cutting edge of design and some of the best antique dealers around the globe have started mixing Asian antiques into their traditional European inventory.
On a personal level – I want my home to be as individual as I am. I don’t want a cookie-cutter style looking like I chose my furniture from a catalog. I want my home to reflect my travels and interests. I like to mix it up: a high-end piece with a provenance next to a modern trendy piece, an Asian antique juxtaposed against a modern abstract painting, a 17th-century Venetian apartment with a global sensibility.
Each time I visit Thailand my first stop once in Bangkok is Paul’s Antiques, the headquarters for our Thailand Antiques Diva Tours and the shop owned and operated by Asian antiques expert – and Antiques Diva Asia Guide – Angela Somwaiya, one of the leading experts in Southeast Asian antiques. Angela is a long-time expat living in Thailand, and she’s who I turn to advise on all things Thai. When Angela introduced me to The Siam Hotel in Bangkok it was love at first sight! The Siam combines all my favorite things – Asian antiques with an uber-luxury hotel and exclusive service alongside some of the best food in Bangkok. It’s also a hotel interior whose vignettes could grace the pages of Elle Décor or Architectural Digest. And it’s the place I go in Bangkok for #globaldesigninspiration.
Art and Antiques at The Siam Hotel
I won’t blame you if when someone says “Thai antiques” nothing comes to mind.
However, if you ever wanted to take a crash course on Thai antiques, and learn first hand how to decorate your house beautifully using Thai antiques, a visit to The Siam Hotel, located on the banks of the majestic Chao Phraya River in Bangkok, would be a superb idea indeed.
As a long-term expat living in Bangkok, I’m always looking for unique outings that will give visiting friends a taste of Thailand. Designed by globally acclaimed architect and interior/landscape designer Bill Bensley in collaboration with its owner Krissada Sukosol Clapp, The Siam Hotel does not disappoint. So when my colleague and friend, Toma Clark Haines, The Antiques Diva, visited Thailand recently, The Siam was at the top of my list of places to take her. Antiques, award-winning architecture, delicious food, authentic experiences – I knew were all right up her alley.
The Antiques Diva Asia Team visits The Hotel Siam, Bangkok
Our day read like a page out of the most perfect travelogue. Like most savvy visitors to The Siam, we skipped Bangkok’s infamous traffic jams and took advantage of the hotel’s complimentary private riverboat taxi. The journey filled us with a rush as we got to experience quintessential traditional Thai living along the river, reminding me all that I love about Thailand. Cruising past golden temples, rice barges, and children swimming along the banks, we soaked up the exhilarating feel of the rich, lush and exotic life in the tropics that still is accessible despite the urbanization of Bangkok.
Once we arrived at the private pier of the hotel and were greeted by staff with a refreshing tropical herbal drink, the sense that we were about to experience something special was palpable. Owner Krissada Sukosol Clapp is a prime example of how a collector can often be a conservator, and how following one’s passion is always a sure way to success. Coming from a musical family, Krissada is not only famous as an antique collector but as an actor and musician. In the case of antiques, he has made a mark for himself as having one of the most unique and aesthetically stunning collections of antiques in Thailand.
Being the owner of an antique shop, it is hard for me to put into words how truly special what Krissada (who is an occasional visitor to Paul’s Antiques) has accomplished. He has taken the best of what Thai antiques has to offer – shop house display furniture, finely carved statues and architectural salvage, Thai traditional theater masks, ceramics and a cache of interesting curios and historical documents related to the Thai royal family – to design the interior of his hotel in a way that is stunning and unique. However, you don’t have to be the owner of an antique shop to appreciate the beauty and other-timeliness the collection evokes and to be whisked away by the ambiance. From the perfectly-patinated teak and leather art-deco club chairs to the super-rare solid teak traditional medicine shop cabinets in pairs, exquisitely carved statues, to the quirky tiger settee, old photographs and books, vintage gold shop display counters – even an antique billiards table – the collection is truly amazing.
Perhaps the pinnacle of the collection is three antique Thai teak houses on stilts (now serving as private villas for The Siam’s guests) that have a fascinating history. They originally were acquired by legendary silk icon Jim Thompson in Ayutthaya for his friend Connie Mangskau – a famous socialite and antiques connoisseur. It was in these houses that she entertained the worlds’ glitterati who visited Bangkok during the 60s, 70s and 80s, people like heiress Doris Duke, who amassed one of the largest collections of Thai and Burmese antiques which are now displayed in museums, and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, who visited Connie’s antique shop, The Monogram, on her visit to Bangkok in 1967.
In this YouTube video, we get to see Jackie Kennedy touring Bangkok by riverboat and shopping for traditional Thai hand-woven baskets.
If you are ever lucky enough to make this magical trip, do stay long enough to enjoy cocktail hour at sundown – one of the most enchanting times of the day when the golden rays of the sun dance upon the Chao Phraya as it sets behind the Krung Thon Bridge. It’s the perfect way to relax and take in some of the best sights and sounds that Bangkok has to offer.
2018 is the year of chinoiserie – and where better to stock your antiques store, source architectural salvage or discover one-of-a-kind pieces than on a private, customized, 1:1 antiques buying tour to Bangkok, Chiang Mai or Ayutthaya, Thailand. We will custom plan a Thailand 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.
Toma – The Antiques Diva
One of the curses of loving your work is that in your downtime, you find yourself working! That is always true for me. Even when my brain and body are exhausted from The Antiques Diva® tours and strategy calls, emails and meetings, my mind craves… Design Inspiration! Since launching our Antiques Diva Asia Buying Tours, I can’t get enough of Asia. I’m planning a trip to Asia this summer to work on both our Antiques Diva tours and my TCH Collection jewelry line, and absorb some southeast Asia design inspiration.
When I can’t travel to Asia, I immerse myself in books and magazines featuring Asian design. One of the things I love about working with Angela, our Asia Antiques Diva Guide, is that she is an intellectual – and her tips on reading books about Asia reflect that. Me? I tend to like something that spoon feeds me #DesignInspiration and have four great books about Asia on my shelf, and I’ve ordered Angela’s recommendation Four Reigns for summer reading on the beach.
Southeast Asia Design Inspiration On Toma Clark Haines’ Bookshelf
Burmese Design & Architecture
by John Falconer and Elizabeth Moore
It is the first book to showcase the amazing diversity of architecture, design and art found in Burma (Myanmar). Ranging from the monumental pagodas of Pagan (Bagan) to the architectural heritage of Rangoon (Yangon), religious as well as contemporary secular buildings are presented in rich detail. A series of authoritative essays by archaeological experts highlight the major influences and styles found throughout the country, while chapters on Myanmar’s rich art and craft traditions provide a wealth of information on Buddha images, lacquerware, painting, ceramics, woodcarving, bronzes, textiles, costumes and much more.
Tropical Asian Style
The first book to showcase contemporary residences throughout Southeast Asia from Chiang Mai to Bali, Kuala Lumpur to Java highlighting tropical dream houses in their breathtaking natural environments.
What’s On Asia Diva Guide Angela’s Bookshelf?
Angela Somwaiya has lived in Bangkok for 24 years. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Japanese Studies and master’s in Thai Studies. In 2008 she took over Paul’s Antiques which has built its reputation as having one of the leading collections of colonial-era Burmese teak furniture. Since acquiring the business the collection has come to reflect her tastes and love of unique market finds throughout Asia. Innovative and entrepreneurial by nature, Angela developed a bespoke furniture service using reclaimed teak and enjoys up-cycling and repurposing found items. Angela is considered one of the leading experts in Southeast Asian antiques.
Sacred Skin: Thailand’s Spirit Tattoos: A book about sacred tattoos in Thailand that reflects animistic beliefs prevalent in Thailand. You can see many Thai symbols, designs and motifs in traditional tattoos.
by Sacred tattoos, called ‘sak yant’ in Thailand, have been around Southeast Asia for centuries and afford protection from accident, misfortune, and crime. Young women get tattooed with love charms in order to attract partners, while adolescent men use the protective power of their yants in fights with rival youth gangs. For most though, the tattoos serve as reminders to follow a moral code that endorses positive behavior.
The Buddha in Lanna: Art, Lineage, Power, and Place in Northern Thailand: Having a basic knowledge about Buddhism is helpful. Any books about Buddhist art or symbols would be useful.
by For centuries, wherever Thai Buddhists have made their homes, statues of the Buddha have provided striking testament to the role of Buddhism in the lives of the people. The Buddha in Lanna offers the first in-depth historical study of the Thai tradition of donation of Buddha statues. Drawing on palm-leaf manuscripts and inscriptions, many never previously translated into English, the book reveals the key roles that Thai Buddha images have played in the social and economic worlds of their makers and devotees from the fifteenth to twentieth centuries.
Are you craving Asian design? Armchair travel is nice, but there’s nothing like experiencing southeast Asia first-hand. Book an antique buying tour or design inspiration tour with The Antiques Diva.
Chan khoy tii jah daii jerr khun
Toma – The Antiques Diva
Summer is simply the best time to visit Sweden – the daylight never seems to end, stunningly beautiful hills and orchards and shimmering lakes, enjoying a crayfish boil and icy vodka at an outdoor café… and antiquing! Sweden is HOT for sourcing antiques this summer… and Sweden is on sale at The Antiques Diva® & Co!
The summer season is the low season for Swedish antique dealers – and those crafty Swedes use this season to stock up on new inventory. Which means for foreign buyers coming abroad to source antiques in Sweden they get 1st dibs on seeing new inventory their competitors (who are also shopping in Sweden) have not yet seen! Swedish Antiques Diva Guide Daniel can’t wait to introduce you antiquing in Sweden!
BUY 1 / GET 1 SWEDEN SUMMER ANTIQUE BUYING TOUR
• Book a 1 Day Sweden Antiques Buying Tour, Get a 2nd day FREE
• Tour Dates: June – July 2018
Get a two-day custom, private antique buying tour in Sweden for the price of one day! Learn more here.
(The event was streamed on Facebook LIVE by Aspire magazine, watch here.)
When I spoke to a room of design professionals on How to Source Antiques like the Pros with interior designers Robert Passal and Garrow Kedigian at an event at the D&D Building hosted by The Robert Allen Duralee Group, the audience asked the panel, What are the most popular European antique sourcing destinations? My answer:
Why Sweden is HOT for Sourcing Antiques
Today in interior design, its all about the mix: what I call global chic. People don’t want one specific style in their home, they want their home to reflect their travels and their interests. They like to mix it up: a high-end piece with a provenance next to a modern trendy piece, an Asian antique juxtaposed against a modern abstract painting, a mid-century home with a European sensibility. Swedish antiques marry perfectly with pieces in different styles, and different price points. With their clean lines and typically soft, muted paint colors, Swedish antiques blend beautifully with pieces in many other styles.
Compared to other French or English antiques, Sweden antiques are rare because they did not make as many. And because provenance plays a big part when it comes to pricing – it’s a tricky field to enter. There is – or rather SHOULD BE – a significant price difference between 18th C and 19th C pieces of the same style. And as it’s a case of “Buyer Beware” it’s important to educate yourself so you know what you’re buying to guarantee you’re paying the right price.
International buyers sourcing in Sweden aren’t just competing with an international market when it comes to sourcing – Swedish antiques are popular in Sweden with the Swedes too: and because Swedes appreciate quality, they are willing to pay the price for authentic Swedish antiques. When sourcing Swedish antiques, knowledge is power!
Shopping at the antique warehouses in Sweden is an education. From painted Gustavian pieces to Rococo, Baroque, or Empire pieces we’ll educate you on what differentiates these periods. Opening the by-appointment-only-door is like treasure hunting: Everywhere you turn you will see something unexpected.
When you’re antiquing in Sweden, walking in with AD&CO is instant validation. Not only do we have access to private antique warehouses that aren’t online, dealers know The Antiques Diva means business. When our clients come in the door they are typically there to buy. And not just buy one piece – but container loads. This means that when you come with us sourcing antiques in Europe, you as our Antiques Diva client you have NOT ONLY your own buying power – but the reputation and the buying power of all our clients behind us! That power and those relationships help us negotiate on your behalf.
The key thing is this – our Antiques Diva Guides are local experts and personally know most of the dealers. We have the dealers’ private phone numbers and when our clients have questions or needs we can call up the dealer direct and talk to them on your behalf.
Daniel Larsson is our native-born Swedish Divo Guide. Daniel takes pride in helping clients find the right piece at their desired price point. Daniel has an international mindset and has traveled to the US, England, India, Norway, Spain and Holland; and runs D.LARSSON Interiör & Antikhandel which deals in fine Swedish antiques ranging from 18th to late 19th century, specializing in high-quality Rococo and Gustavian painted furniture, Swedish country and decorative items.
One of things Daniel warns clients is, “When walking into a Swedish antique warehouse you can have no expectations – you must be open to what’s in stock at that time.”
When Daniel takes clients antiquing in Sweden he provides an education in antiques:
• You need to understand the story behind the pieces, the romance, and connect each piece to its period.
• More than that you need to understand what lies underneath the pieces – understand restoration, what creates value in the pieces and what doesn’t.
• He teaches you about famous artisans in Stockholm and the countryside, explaining about various furniture makers, mirror makers and clockmakers.
• He teaches the differences between Swedish and other pieces – Sweden had periods that ended and unlike France where the periods often overlap in Sweden they never continued making them, so more limited editions because periods were finite.
I always say that taking an Antiques Diva Sweden Tour is like taking a Master Class on Swedish Antiques! Last summer at the Dallas Market Center Daniel and I presented a Swedish Antiques Master– see our slideshow below to learn about the three important Swedish furniture periods.
- At first look, the presentation can seem unorganized and random: then our Diva Guide helps you zoom in, find what you’re attracted to and you understand the differences in an antiques warehouse and an antique store.
- Inventory isn’t random. Antique dealers often specialize in a particular style – one of our vendors happens to be a museum curator who also sells antiques.
- Dealers enjoy talking about their pieces and sharing their knowledge. But its also important to understand the difference between style and period, and original and rebuilt, because there are disreputable dealers in all fields.
Antiques Dealer (and US Antique Diva Guide) Margaret Schwartz of Modern Antiquarian took a recent antique buying trip to Sweden with Daniel:
Swedish antiques are very much in demand. We had someone come in recently and practically buy out the Swedish inventory we had at The Antique & Artisan Gallery in Stamford, CT. Swedish furniture is timeless elegance at it’s best. Swedish looks good in every style interior and as a major benefit, they tend to hold their value in the marketplace if you ever tire of them and decide to sell. Not that you would tire of them! If you are looking to buy Swedish antiques I wouldn’t wait too long because we the price is very much on the rise, as is the demand. More buyers mean higher prices and less availability of period and quality pieces. There is a lot of reproduction and component pieces our there so do your reading, know what you’re looking for, and ask the questions. We dealers love to talk about all our inventory so don’t be shy in asking (appropriate) questions.
Act Fast: our Sweden 2-for-1 tour promotion is only available until July! We’d love to take you on an antique buying tour to Sweden, and introduce you to our expert dealers and secret sources!
Toma – The Antiques Diva
I just attended High Point Spring Market, a must-do on the interior design circuit, held twice yearly in High Point, NC. In addition to leading 4 events, I was an Instagram trend-spotter for High Point Market @HPMKT and a style spotter for The Chaise Lounge@thechaiselounge taking over their Instagram pages to share what I thought was Hot this Spring!
Before you read which vendors and products were the best of #HPMKT – Mark your calendars for this Fall 2018 when my furniture collection launches at High Point Market at Aidan Gray Home!
Delighted to Be an #HPMKT Trendspotter
Here are my #designinspirations from Spring High Point Market on Instagram to help you discover what’s hot, inspiring and trending:
From #TomaClarkHaines – aka – @TheAntiquesDiva: I’m channeling #CocoChanel today at the @antiquedesignct at #HPMKT with vendor #MichaelDeLoach and @CandaceDeloach. This delicious 9 foot by 19 feet long chocolate brown intricately carved coromandel screen reminds me of the one in Madamoiselle’s apartment in Paris on the Rue Cambon. The technique of craftsmanship involves layering and carving various layers of different colored clay – moss, teal and tomato – to create a #chinosierie screen. #ParisApartment #Chanel #ParisInteriors #AntiqueDealersofInstagram #AntiquesDiva #Antiques
From #TomaClarkHaines – aka – @TheAntiquesDiva: When it comes to #Antiques Pedigree talks (or in this case Barks!) #WoofWoof #DogsofInstagramWhile I love the Miid century harlequin Great Dane and early 20th C #chinosierie chest of drawers in this vignette being sold by the @firestationguy at the @antiquedesignct of #HPMKT. It’s the 19th C Mirror which has the most stories to tell…. It belonged to Marlon Brando. Oh the #StoriesItCouldTell. #Antiques #AntiquesDiva#AntiqueDealersofInstagram
From #TomaClarkHaines aka @TheAntiquesDiva: A trip to #HPMKT is not complete without visiting @nancypriceinteriordesign located in @Codarus at IHFC H220. #MixedMedia#Artist #AbbyPrice reconfigures geodes and selenite to create #oneofakind #art And while the #pretaporter pieces are divine#nancyprice also takes custom orders for personalized installations. Now that’s #divastyle #antiquesdiva
From #TomaClarkHaines aka @TheAntiquesDiva: Am I allowed to shop for my apartment in #Venice #Italywhile doing my #Hpmkt #instagramtakeover? If so – I must confess that for my apartment near the #GrandCanal I’m considering a two-tone silver rug from @_robinbaron aka #thebaroness for my bedroom. Located at #MarketSquare #SweetDreams #LaDolceVita #AntiquesDiva#VenetianInteriors #toneontone
From #TomaClarkHaines aka @TheAntiquesDiva: Mirror Mirror on the Wall… Who’s the fairest of them all? Stacey Kunstal of @DunesandDuchess is the #belleoftheball sporting @TCHCollection serpentine earrings and posing in her booth 7010 in #marketsquare where the #laquered colors on her custom made furniture and lighting are as bright as her personality! #divastyle #simplebutchic #chicinteriors #lifeofastylist
From #TomaClarkHaines aka @TheAntiquesDiva: If you’ve been following along as I do an #InstagramTakeover of #Hpmkt you’ve already seen one of the top #interiordesigntrends for 2018…. #Chinoiserie. Want to know another #mustbuy #designtrend? Faux Bois! Check out the #enchantedforest at @curreyco
Excited to Be an #TCLPStyleSpotter
The Chaise Lounge is sharing some of my favorite #designinspirations, finds and brands from Spring High Point Market on Instagram to help you discover what’s hot, inspiring and trending:
My first stop when heading to #hpmkt is always @AidanGrayHome at 201 North Main for #designinspiration and gorgeous upholstery, lighting and case goods. Utterly obsessed with their Goliath Star Chandelier! I’m considering it for my living room in my apartment in #Venice #Italy to add that #modernluxury touch and some #divastyle#tclpstylespot
One of my favorite product launches this #HPMKT is the mantel collection from @denisemcgaha with @materialsmarketing at @highlandhousefurniture showroom on 200 Steele #designingwithadeadline #antiquesdiva #dallasdesigner#highlandhouse #dmdesigns Super Chic!
Have you made your way over to @Theodore_Alexander_Official to Check out the @XanderNoori Collection? It’s being called the best new collection showing at #HPMKT spring 2018!!! Love the pod shaped forms, integrated leather banding and Zaha Hadid-esque shape shifting forms. Congrats Xander! #divastyle #modernluxe
From #TomaClarkHaines @TheAntiquesDiva for #TCLPStyleSpotter at #HPMKT
These #blueandwhitesoap bubble glaze ceramic #decorativeaccents from @howard.elliott would give a #globalchic vibe to any #interior. Special thanks to #BrandAmbassador @justinshaulis for giving me a tour of the #HowardElliott showroom #divastyle #globalsourcing #tclpstylespot
High Point Spring Market
Fall Market: October 13 – 17, 2018
Don’t miss The Antiques Diva Early Bird Tour of The Antique & Design Center High Point Fall Market!
Toma – The Antiques Diva
Last Spring I took journalist Alison Engstrom of Rose & Ivy Journal on an antique tour of Paris and Provence. I was beyond thrilled with her October 3- part series, The Thrill of the Hunt, A Provençal Dream and We Run for Antiques.
Last week I went through the painful process of updating my iPhone – it wasn’t as seamless as I’d hoped! But during the process I discovered these gorgeous photos I took while we were shopping the antiques market – these l’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue produce market photos are simply too stunning not to share!
Antiques Diva® tours provide design inspiration: of course we track down the best antiques and negotiate the best prices – but on our custom, 1:1 antique shopping tours our expert, local Diva Guides introduce to all that is special about the region – art, culture, terroir, and bien sur, foods! Design inspiration is all around you. Join me on my culinary souvenirs of a weekend antiquing in Provence…
L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue is one of 12 antiques shopping tours The Antiques Diva offers in the north and south of France. Our Antiques Diva Guide picks you up at your hotel and takes you to the second largest antiques flea market in France (after the Paris Flea Market) where essentially the entire town center is filled with antiques! We custom plan a route based on your style and budget, maximizing your time and money. Our Guides translate and negotiate on your behalf, and help you ship your purchases home using Antiques Diva fine arts and antiques shipping partner or we will liaise you with a preferred shipper to get your items home. Additional visits outside of town in the neighboring countryside are also added in based upon your wish list. Ideal for both the trade and tourist.
Here are my photos from the l’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue market that have been waiting to be rediscovered on my iPhone…
Toma, The Antiques Diva
Ciao, Bella! Today Antiques Diva Guide Désirée is taking us antiques shopping in Rome! Whether you’re shopping for vintage fashion, antiques or seeking design inspiration, Italian design is guaranteed to deliver! From dodging Vespa’s in the hustle and bustle of Roman and Renaissance cities to cruising the softly undulating hills of the Tuscan countryside, Italy is brimming treasures just waiting to be uncovered. This is the perfect country to plan a multi-day, bespoke Italy antique tour, going from Rome to Milan to Florence to Venice to Siena or a hilltop village in between; finding the best prices on mid-century pieces, contemporary ceramics and glass and a gorgeous selection of rustic farmhouse and more traditional antiques. Our Italy Antiques Diva Guide will take the guesswork out of where to go, creating well-researched itineraries for you, as she picks you up from your hotel and escorts you through this enchanting nation, translating and negotiating on your behalf the entire time. Because our guides are locals, they have relationships with vendors and know exactly where to take you based on your style and budget, maximizing your time and money while on tour. Today, Rome Antiques Diva Guide Désirée is taking us behind-the-scenes on a recent tour.
Toma, The Antiques Diva
My design crush Robert Passal opened a new design destination in Greenwich with business partner Kim Alessi. I visited the shop just before it opened, and I was delighted to discover inventory Robert had purchased with The Antiques Diva® at the Paris Flea Market and in Italy. Join Robert and me on Tuesday, Feb 6 with Garrow Kedigian at the D&D Designer Forum Series, as we discuss how to source antiques like the experts, with sponsor Duralee. I was in Connecticut with Diva Guide Doni Belau as we planned our New York area US antiques buying tours – #NoPassportRequired, so of course we had to stop for a preview of the P&M collection!
New York interior designers Robert Passal and Kim Alessi opened Putnam & Mason in Greenwich, CT, in May 2017. Called the D&D of Greenwich by Architectural Digest, the atelier promises to make NYC design to Connecticut. The workman were putting finishing touches on the showroom as Robert and Kim welcomed us despite the flurry of last-minute activities and gave us a personal tour of the showroom.
Taking center stage both in the Putnam & Mason showroom and on the website is this 17th-century hand-painted Italian chest that Robert discovered on-tour with The Antiques Diva. Discovered in a convent in Italy, the colors and craftsmanship on this chest literally took my breath away!
Putnam & Mason has a multi-tier design approach:
The shop offers a collection of antique and contemporary furniture, art and accessories, with custom options available, home delivery and design services.
The 2nd tier offers trade services for local designers from the Sample Bar select range of brands that P&M represents.
The 3rd tier is one-stop-shopping to assist clients with home renovation projections including kitchens and baths, landscaping and media rooms, partnering with local vendors.
Interior designers, furniture manufacturers and showrooms, architects, landscapers, shelter magazines and design industry professionals stay ahead of trends in design, decor, art, cuisine and fashion by traveling to locations that inspire and nurture their creativity and are an opportunity to see first-hand emerging trends in the design world.
- Putnam & Mason
- 34 East Putnam Avenue
Do You Want to Shop for Antiques in Italy?
BOOK AN ANTIQUES AND DESIGN TRIP WITH THE ANTIQUES DIVA
I hope you join Robert and me on February 6 at the D&D!
Toma – The Antiques Diva
When I speak at design industry events or with The Antiques Diva® clients, one of my core messages is, “The most important tool in your design kit is your passport.” My personal travels are what inspired me to launch The Antiques Diva, and my later travels to Asia and South America to source antiques for clients provided design inspiration for my upcoming couture jewelry line, TCH Collection. So I knew I had found a kindred spirit when I met Julianne Taylor, the Founder and Creative Director at Taylor Burke Home. I learned more of Julianne’s design inspirations when she interviewed me for a chapter in her brilliant book DesignHER, a celebration of female entrepreneurs shaping today’s home décor industry. Living and working abroad is, to paraphrase Hemingway, a movable feast: it stays with you, and forever influences your ideas and choices.
Julianne Taylor’s design aesthetic was influenced by her many years living abroad. As an expat, she provided interior design services for clients in Australia, Spain, China and South Korea; and when her family returned home to South Carolina, Julianne launched Taylor Burke Home, providing design services and decor to clients who appreciate her bold, unexpected and sophisticated designs.
Juliane Taylor Style Shanghai Collection
Julianne’s time living in Asia influenced her recent collaboration, Shanghai Wallpaper Collection by Julianne Taylor Style for Mitchell Black. The Shanghai Collection features six designs, and each design is offered in five to seven different colors. True to Julianne’s signature style, the collection offers sophisticated designs bursting with vibrant color.
No doubt influenced by her frequent moves while living abroad, the wallpaper collection is removable and wipeable: just peel and stick, reposition, and clean with a sponge! Beauty and practicality.
In addition to wallpaper, the Shanghai Collection offers Asian-themed framed prints, including ginger jars, kimonos and drawings. Julianne’s Asian influences in the collection include:
- every-day objects such as fans and vintage brass hardware
- cultural symbols like the Chinese Foo Dog and koi fish
- nature and botanicals including water lilies
It’s All In The Mix
My design philosophy is: it’s all in the mix! Our Antiques Diva Asia Tours are a moveable feast: all your senses are engaged by the sights, sounds, smells and tastes of Asia! And when you travel and bring a bit of Asia home with you – vintage textiles, antique furniture, artisanal crafts, bits of architectural salvage (or even an entire Bali bridal house!) these pieces blend beautifully with your European and American furnishings; modern, contemporary, traditional, rustic or antique!
A global design mix in your home reflects who you are, your experiences and your evolution – and who you want to be. Finding decorative accessories that bring cohesion to your home can be a challenge: that’s why I’m crushing on Julianne’s Asian wallpaper collection! It’s both traditional and modern, both Asian and continental, and totally chic – just like Julianne! If you dream of traveling to and experiencing Asia one day, Shanghai Wallpaper can bring Asian design flair to your home today.
Leaving you to dream of Asia…
Toma – The Antiques Diva
Delighted to be an HPMKT Trendspotter: I’m sharing my design inspirations at High Point Market on Instagram to help you discover new, unique products: follow @highpointmarket! #designonhpmkt #hpmkt #interiordesign #interiorinspo #interiordesigners
Pop into Market Square to meet Richard Auber – who is truly a visionary in Design and a trendsetter in the Antiques world.