Heirloom Linen Trousseau: A Treasured Tradition
One of the reasons I love antiques is because they give a window into the soul of a country – it’s like anthropology or sociology! We can study how people lived in the past through their furniture, jewelry and textiles. Many customs have evolved over the centuries – as technology advances, we no longer need certain items which once were of great importance. However, some things in life remain constant—the need for sleep being one of them.
In the past, brides-to-be would build a linen collection for their future homes, an ongoing task that involved much care and excitement as they dreamed of the big day. Building a trousseau could be likened to registering for china and silver today. The goal was to amass a collection of bedding, table linens, and other household textiles by the wedding day to last for many years of happy marriage. Though some modern brides-to-be still practice the custom of building a trousseau, the tradition rarely involves the attention to detail it once did. Is this any wonder with the mass-produced bedding available in big box stores? While it may seem easier to simply purchase off-the-rack linens, I’ve got a special source that can change the way you think—or dream—about bedding. As Brand Ambassador for Pandora de Balthazár, I want to share some insider tips with you on the importance of building your own trousseau and just how to go about doing it – and best of all, this is something you can do for yourself. It doesn’t require a groom or bride. We spend 1/3 of our life in bed… should that time be spent with the most luxurious linens we can afford?
Collecting Beautiful Linens
Collecting beautiful linens in a meaningful way starts with knowing what your personal style is and what your needs are. Do you prefer sheets with delicate lace trim or are you a fan of a more minimal look? Are monograms your thing? While collectors can certainly value heirloom linens, anyone with a discerning eye and good taste can appreciate and use them. Many antique linens have been passed down for generations and can still be enjoyed today. Pandora de Balthazár happens to have one of the most notable collections of antique linens in the world, and is a wealth of knowledge when it comes to building your own trousseau.
“In most European countries, and with a few American families, the preparation for a young bride’s trousseau once began at birth and often before,” she says. “Years before her betrothal, the future bride amassed enough linens for her bedding and tables to sustain her family throughout their lifetime.”
One thing to look for when considering longevity is a blue tint in antique linens.The bluing is usually in the thread and rarely fades, making these particular pieces highly sought after, as they are often ready to use. Trousseau Blue linens were especially a favorite for bridal bedding as only the best would do for the place where the bride and groom would consummate their marriage.
Determine A Budget
When building your own trousseau, it’s important to determine a budget first. This budget should include professional cleaning as well, since you want to maintain your antique linens. Next you want to decide what style fits your personality and home. From Victorian and Edwardian to Early American or even Asian linens, figuring out which style you love will help guide your future purchases. Speaking of future investments, it’s a good idea to come up with an initial plan for how you plan to use your trousseau. What sizes of linens do you need? How many sets of sheets would you like? Write all of this information down and keep it with you when you shop. And remember: Pandora advises you change your linens frequently – up to several times a week – not just once a week or every other week!
It’s also wise to consider repurposing linens. Since sizes of antique linens are so varied, pieces that were once tablecloths may make ideal bedcovers with a bit of alteration. The key is to choose pieces you connect to. Touch the embroidery, lace, and appliqués. This will aid you in understanding your tactile personality. Remember it’s not only about how pieces look, but also how they feel.
Regardless of the size or style of your trousseau, building it should be fun. It’s a great way to carry on a treasured tradition which will keep you in comfort for many years to come. Looking for an ideal place to start building your trousseau? Contact us at The Antiques Diva & Co and begin by perusing the inventory of Pandora de Balthazár.
Toma Clark Haines, The Antiques Diva®
How to Care for Vintage and Antique Linens
As we began 2017, I mentioned that one of my New Years resolutions was to get better quality sleep – and more of it! I’ve always been a Princess and the Pea kind of girl – meaning that a variety of things could interrupt my nights zzzz’s however until I became Brand Ambassador for Pandora de Balthazár I didn’t understand how much the quality of linens can enhance – or detract from – one’s sleep. Pandora has one of the largest and most respected collections of antique linens on the market, many of which are museum-quality textiles. That’s what makes this partnership between Pandora de Balthazár and The Antiques Diva so perfect – we’re both big believers in using beautiful antiques that are also functional for everyday life.
As with any antique, maintenance is an important part of keeping antique linens in top condition. I’ve picked up some fantastic tips from Pandora on how to care for vintage and antique linens. By following the expert advice of Pandora, you can extend the life of your pillows, duvets, sheets, and shams, allowing you to enjoy them for many years to come.
Goose Down Pillows
Everyone cleans their sheets and mattress pads, but did you know that pillows need maintenance too? Each morning it’s important to fluff goose down pillows to allow air to circulate between the feathers, helping the pillows keep their shape. It’s also necessary to take pillows outdoors on a sunny day at least once every two-to-three months to let the sun’s ultraviolet rays kill dust mites and keep pillows fresh between laundering. Making sure down pillows are fluffed and exposed to sunlight ensures that feathers in the pillows are freed from moisture that penetrates them while you sleep.
Add another layer of protection by using pillow protectors under your pillow cases. Pillow protectors from Pandora de Balthazár are hypoallergenic and keep dust mites and allergens from building up as quickly.
When it comes to killing allergens, down pillows need to be washed. Some people perspire more than others, but it’s recommended to wash pillows at least once or twice a year! Do you wash your pillows! As I’ve begun discussing this with friends, clients and colleagues I was shocked by how many people didn’t know to do this!!! If your pillows aren’t fluffing as fully as they used to, that’s probably due to dust mites and allergens which add weight to the feathers, making them less fleecy. That means it’s time to wash them! Splish splash give them a bath!
Goose Down Duvets
As with down pillows, duvets and blankets filled with down benefit from daily fluffing and frequent exposure to sunlight. It’s also important to change linens often – about every three days or so, especially if you use body lotion, perfume, and hair products. All of these products transfer from your body to your linens (which can lead to discoloration) and finally into the down itself. Frequent fluffing and washing can increase the longevity of your bedding. The more you wash the better they will be!
Steps for Laundering Down Bedding
• Use a large washing machine, front loader or top loader without center agitator
• Use warm water, set to delicate cycle and soak thoroughly, rinsing at least twice
• Use mild detergent and be sure it is properly diluted
• Air dry outside if possible or use low to medium heat in a large dryer
• Use dryer ball or clean tennis ball to help fluff the down, or it is ideal to remove and shake every 60 minutes
• Be sure it is completely dry inside and out—especially important for pillows
• Be prepared for an estimated drying time of 2 to 6 hours, depending upon the capacity of the dryer
Most sheet sets and shams are easy to care for. Simply machine wash them on a delicate cycle in warm water. If you dry them in the dryer, be sure to use low heat, but the best option is to line-dry them. Diva Confession? I have my housekeeper iron ALL my linens!!! I thought this was normal… but am learning that not everyone irons their sheets!! For extra luxury, you want to smooth them out and iron them for a crisp hotel-like feeling!
And here’s a hint? In the morning when you wake and the sheets look a little wrinkled, spritz them with linen spray so they are slightly damp and smooth them with your hands… et voila, linens will pop back like they are freshly ironed. And smell fabulous too!
Antique Linens and Lace
As with most antiques, linens and lace are meant to be used. Simply storing them away is not good for them, as dry rot could set in. Linens like to be handled regularly, as natural oils from your hands keep them flexible. It’s the same with silver – the more you use your silver the less you have to polish them! Window treatments, antique shams, tablecloths with lace, and other delicate pieces should be washed at least once a year – even if they’ve only been in storage. This keeps them pliable!
If you notice any damage on your linens, repair them immediately to avoid the damage becoming worse. If you’re not sure how to repair your linens, Pandora de Balthazár offers hand-wash laundering services and repair/restoration services for all linens purchased through them. They can also examine linens that were not purchased through them, in order to advise you as to whether they can be repaired, or how they should be laundered.
If you are planning to store your antique linens, do not iron them beforehand. Simply be sure they are thoroughly dry. never store linens in plastic bags or on wooden shelves. Store linens on hangers or roll them in old linen if storing in a chest or cedar cabinet to keep oil from penetrating them. Rolling them helps prevent them from becoming brittle. To maintain a crisp white color, soak linens every couple of months in Pandora de Balthazar’s linen soak – a conditioning treatment that prevents yellowing.
As with any investment, proper care and maintenance can help linens last for generations. The bed is a place we spend a significant amount of our lives in, so why not dress is with the best linens possible? With Pandora de Balthazár’s products, sleep is more than just a necessity, it’s luxury married with gorgeous design and the highest quality Hungarian goose down and Italian linen – the perfect ingredients for any Diva’s bed!
Stay tuned for more fun as we discuss all things bedding, decorative textiles and restorative sleep here on the blog. We will be doing a series of blog posts about antique linens, teaching you all you need to know and sharing our insider tips on restoring your inner diva.
Toma Clark Haines, The Antiques Diva®
Remember that line in You’ve Got Mail about the start of a new school year and the desire to buy school supplies? If a man wants to romance me all he has to do is send me bouquets of freshly sharpened pencils! For me, it’s New Years that gets my heart skipping a beat. Every year I excitedly buy a fresh, unmarked calendar months in advance – painstakingly picking out the best agenda to match the mood of the year. This year my friend Derrick with the Dallas Market Center gave me a PASSION PLANNER which is not just a calendar but a journal, a keepsake, a place to declutter one’s mind, to get organized, and to pursue your passions. In the back of the calendar in the doodle section I sat down with my pack of magic markers (I think in color) and began writing my New Year’s Resolutions – both personal and professional. I kept some of the oldies, but goodies… classic New Year’s Resolutions i.e., Lose Weight, Exercise More, Drink more – I mean Less, champagne. But I added in some new ones – very specific to this year.
My first resolution? Sleep More!! Luckily I happen to the brand ambassador for Pandora de Balthazár – so sleeping on the job is part of my job as I promote this European Sleep System! The first thing anyone comments upon meeting me is my boundless energy. With the right sleep accessories from Pandora de Balthazár I’m able to transform my life. Sleep is not a guilty pleasure – but good sleep is essential for me to do my job, to be and become all that I can be. With Pandora de Balthazár’s products it’s more than just therapy, it’s luxury married with gorgeous design and the highest quality Hungarian goose down and Italian linen. I’m successful… because I’ve come to understand that it’s essential I restore myself.
With that resolution comes a whole host of secondary resolutions. Do Less. Travel Less. Say No More Often. When you travel for a living it’s easy to find yourself constantly on the go. This year I want to nest and be a home body. It’s easy to go through life saying yes to fabulous opportunities that come our way. But not every opportunity is the right opportunity and as I get busier and busier as I grow my company I need to Prioritize More – both in my personal life and professional.
Personally – I want to make friendships count – taking time to deepen those core relationships. Professionally – we have had some phenomenal growth in 2016.
- We expanded into Asia offering Asian Antique Buying Tours in addition to our roster of European Antique Buying Tours.
- We laid the groundwork for launching our own Antiques Diva Antique Care and Restoration Products – the first product has hit the market, but a slew of others will launch this Spring 2017 #WatchThisSpace.
- While we’ve always helped clients with shipping through 3rd parties – this year we launched our own in-house art & antiques shipping division.
As the company expands we have to Re-evaluate Old Processes – and Implement New Ones which work for a larger company. Our team is now 24 people. We are no longer the one-woman-show I started out as. It’s no secret: I want an empire. I am building a Diva Empire. But part of building one’s business is evaluating it. Where are we strong and where are we weak? My main resolution professionally this year is to Grow Deeper Roots – Build better infrastructure to support our team and our clients’ needs. That means – this year in 2017 – I’ll find myself in the office behind the desk a bit more often. In essence, I need to Be More Organized.
I want to Live More Intentionally. Part of doing so means focusing on those things that make me happy. In 2017 I’m asking myself What are my Passions and Goals? I’ve always wanted to design both jewelry and furniture. These are dreams since my teenage years. And drumroll please… On Jan 2nd, 2017 a contract for a licensed furniture line showed up in my inbox. #WatchThisSpace as I unveil the first ever Antiques Diva Collection of furniture – where classic meets modern – to launch at Fall High Point 2017. But it doesn’t stop there. Those of you who follow me on Facebook and Instagram have seen some sneak peeks as I start a new venture outside of The Antiques Diva brand. While in Asia last summer setting up our tours I designed the first ever Toma Clark Haines TCH Collection of jewelry. Working with acclaimed photographer Jose Manuel Alorda we’re shooting the photography for our Lookbook now and will be looking for retailers in 2017.
All said… 2017 is going to be busy. But I’m doing it – as Frank Sinatra said – My Way
Toma Clark Haines – The Antiques Diva
Please mark your calendar
and join us on Sunday, January 22nd!
Toma Clark Haines will be moderating an all-star panel about Global Design with Brittany Chevalier, Design and Market Editor of Luxe Interiors + Design, Alexis Audette, Design Director of Beacon Hill Design and Thomas Hamel of Thomas Hamel and Associates. Please join fellow designers and influencers for yet another fabulous Diva brunch following Maison & Objet & the Paris Déco Off 2017!
Please RSVP by emailing parischampagnebreakfast@gm
Meet My Colleague Andrew Skipper
My colleague Andrew Skipper & I have spent countless dinners discussing Diva Business and just simply drinking too much wine over long lingering meals. Our friendship has been formed around the table… and one of the things I love most is when he is visiting me at my house in Berlin. I make dinner and he whisks open my cupboards and takes it upon himself to set my table. He always pulls dishes I’ve forgotten I had out of the back corners and sets a stunning table. As we embark upon the holiday season I asked Andrew to share with you a few of his tips for setting a table for the holiday season.
Toma Clark Haines, The Antiques Diva™
Growing up, we always sat down for family dinners together. Even with conflicting schedules, dinner time was an important part of the day to reconnect with each other. As the oldest child, it was my responsibility to set the table each evening. Perhaps it is because of this that I still set a table every day, even if I’m dining alone. There is something dignified about laying out the place setting, folding the napkins, arranging the stemware just so. Partaking in this tradition grounds me. It also challenges me, in an enjoyable way, as I come up with fresh ways to mix china patterns and create beautiful, although often simple, centerpieces. With Thanksgiving, the most anticipated meal of the year for most Americans, just days away, allow me to share my table which incorporates European antiques (some sourced on Antiques Diva Tours), and a sense of holiday festivity. After all, it’s not just about the food, as presentation plays a very important factor in creating a warm atmosphere for loved ones.
I took inspiration from a vintage black and gold tole French cachepot I recently purchased. I decided that the entire scheme would be gold, black, silver, and red. This time of year especially, I love lots of red roses in the house, so a simple mound of them fills the cachepot. I chose vibrant red napkins to complement the flowers along with black faux bois patterned placemats to ground each place setting. For place card holders, I used little brass swans that I picked up at a flea market in Belgium with The Antiques Diva. i also used antique silver fox knife rests that I purchased in Berlin. Adding to the menagerie of animal figures, a pair of vintage silver peacocks, found at Portobello Market in London, survey the table from either side of the centerpiece. Since no dinner table is complete without candlelight, I opted for a pair of English antique brass candlesticks with paw feet.
Simple white dinner plates with a basket weave patterned rim rest on gold chargers and are topped by black and white toile patterned salad plates. The flatware is Ralph Lauren and the stemware is a mixture of antique and new. I always keep a bottle of bubbly on hand, so for this table, I decided to bring out my vintage champagne bucket I bought in Belgium. After all, the holidays are the perfect time to raise up a glass and toast the many blessings we have. Wishing you all a very happy holiday season!
I Give You My Antiques Diva Office!
My life has been a whirlwind these last few months at The Antiques Diva & Co. While traveling on an around the world ticket from Europe to Asia to the USA and finally back home to Berlin I’ve literally circled the globe building new relationships and strengthening connections as we launched brand new Antiques Diva Asia Tours, started development at the factory of the first product in our Antiques Care and Restoration product line, and premiered at High Point Market as the Brand Ambassador for Pandora de Balthazar among other things! I was on the road 3 months and traveled to 3 continents and in 9 countries.
From speaking engagements to private dinner parties to taking clients on antiques buying tours to dealing with day-to-day details running our own in-house shipping company – my life is made up of many aspects. I’m a business woman but my business either operates on the road in whatever hotel I’m staying in, whichever country I happen to be in, or it operates out of my home office.
I am a firm believer that one’s home – or home office – should reflect themselves, and after contemplating the experiences I have throughout the world, I looked at my home office in Berlin, and was not surprised to see the international mix of pieces from different time periods and styles. I thought it would be fun to share a bit of this eclectic mix here on the blog, so without further ado, I give you my Antiques Diva Office!
My French Louis XV desk with doré bronze mounts is a piece I purchased from the Paris Flea Market. I love the Diva-esque female figures that grace each corner. This is a POWER Desk – What makes this piece even more special is that it is signed and has the original makers mark. The 18th century Rococo desk chair is also a French piece, fit for a Commander in Chic! To hide files and clutter, I use an 18th-century Bavarian cupboard with a beautiful painted Romanesque scene on the front.
When it comes time to catch up on industry reading, I relax on the Rococo Style Napoleon III chaise lounge which I purchased in Bath, England. I had this piece recovered in a gorgeous fabric which I sourced through Linda Merrill. For artwork, I have a pair of 1960’s gold ceiling tiles which were salvaged from the ballroom of the Russian Embassy in Berlin, Germany. Accessories in my Diva Office change frequently, depending on where I’ve been and what little treasures I’ve picked up! As soon as my shipment from my recent buying tour in Asia comes in you’ll see some Asian Chic adding to the ambiance.
My Diva Office is a reminder that what makes a room—and a life— interesting is the mix. Old and new, refined and rustic, extravagant and simple, mastering the art of the mix adds depth and character—two qualities I hope I have both as a person as well as in my own home.
Toma Clark Haines, The Antiques Diva®
Antiques Meet Modern
When asked what I personally collect – my answer is always first and foremost “People.” In my line of work, I am constantly meeting fascinating people from all over the world. While in Venice last year at Saloniste’s , I fell in love with both the artwork and personality of Michaela Zimmer! She is a remarkable artist who lives and works in Berlin, Germany, and whose work is exhibited around the world. People are often shocked to discover that as The Antiques Diva I’m obsessed with contemporary art. But as in love as well as decorating… opposites attract. My personal decorating style is a juxtaposition of antiques meet modern.
I am over the moon to have contemporary paintings by artist Michaela Zimmer in our Antiques Diva headquarters (which happens to be in my personal home).
A friend of mine refers to me as “his whirlwind.” Anyone who knows me, knows I am always on the move. And perhaps that’s what attracted me to Michaela’s work. It moves. It flows. It dances with light and motion. Michaela Zimmer rethinks the idea of the abstract painting. She filters the fundaments of abstraction through the syntax of performance. With a background in dance and photography, it’s no wonder movement is such an important part of her process— incorporating the idea of physical movement (dance) and the concept of a still moment frozen in time (photography). When she paints, she surrounds herself with canvases and literally dances as she creates her art. Looking at a series of her work, you can see the movement as it dances from canvas to canvas.
Relationship Between Antiques and Contemporary Art
When discussing the relationship between antiques and contemporary art, Michaela sees it as revolving around time and space. One look at her canvases shows that she places a focus on movement. She explains, “What is specific about these canvases, characterized by a virtually incorporeal, floating chromatic space, is the fourth dimension inscribed within them; time manifested as traces of the performative between the multi-stratified, fragmented layers.” It’s this movement that enters into a dialogue with antiques.
Interior Photography: Susanne Ollmann http://www.ollmannfoto.com
all artwork courtesy of the artist and FOLD, London http://www.foldgallery.com/
Relative to movement, Michaela says, “It is interesting that the word ‘speed’ always evokes the notion of ‘fast speed’ first. Focusing on both, fast and slow motion, and situations where they blend into each other, has always been an aspect of my work. Mind you, even when a line appears to be ‘fast’, this might have resulted from a slow movement which accelerated from a certain intensity that wasn’t fast at all.”
Antiques often reveal traces of the human hand which played a part in creating them, and the sculptural element of Michaela Zimmer’s paintings reflect that as well. Details get blurred and stay hidden behind semi-transparent PE film. The dichotomy of abstraction and corporeality disappears in the merging of image and object – illusionary space and material. Combining contemporary paintings with an antique environment is combining both visual experiences.
Combining Contemporary Paintings with an Antique Environment
There are different approaches in Michaela Zimmer’s paintings. The lines that originate from a concentrated single movement are mostly applied to white canvas that is only primed. They take a long time in their (mainly physical) preparation, but are then executed quickly. Even with the best preparation, a lot of them end up unresolved and get destroyed, since they can’t be corrected.” The process of creating a work can take quite some time. The paintings are based on numerous layers of paint, which are applied and then often taken away, again and again. This process is time-consuming and very difficult to control since the aim is not a spectacular composition, but a rather quiet one that unfolds only slowly. As Michaela explains, “A similar ‘gradualness in the investigation process’ is also required from the viewer, if he or she is to be rewarded.”
In my own home, it’s time that forms the interaction with other objects around the paintings in the room. The present meets the past in my home in Berlin – the historic building is a brewery dating from the early 1800’s – that has been converted into modern loft space for working and living. Michaela’s contemporary art visually bring the space to the 21st century but the 19th C building is grounded with 18th Century antiques.
While I was delighted to share with you a glimpse into my own home office so you could see how art interacts in private spaces – I want also to tell you about an opportunity to visit a gallery in England for a special Exhibition of Michaela’s work.
exhibition 29 October 2016 till 26 February 2017
Curated by The Lowry in collaboration with Rambert, the exhibition will feature work by four international artists and explore the synergies between contemporary visual art and dance. Artists featuring in Perpetual Movement include Turner Prize nominee, Goshka Macuga, Leila Johnston and Michaela Zimmer, and the exhibition will feature specially commissioned works alongside key pieces from Rambert’s archive that inspired them.
Toma Clark Haines, The Antiques Diva®
I’m the original Princess and The Pea girl. One of the first things anyone who meets me comments upon is my energy… boundless energy… and thus, in order to keep my pace it’s imperative I take good care of myself. Jet-setting around the globe is hard on one’s body. Restoring the body with sleep is vital. As a busy entrepreneur my greatest luxury in life—whether I’m waking up in Bangkok, at home in Berlin or on business travel in Boston, Brussels or beyond—is a good night’s sleep. But here’s the truth – sleep should not be a luxury. It shouldn’t be a guilty pleasure. It’s a necessity. The most important things in life are champagne, sleep, food, shelter and love. Whoops, I meant to say water not champagne. 🙂 The bedroom – and thus the bed – is the most important place in the home – it’s the center of life.
Surrounding myself with the right sleep accessories is essential in order to combat jet lag and get my hours of ZZZZs! Diva Confession? I’ve been known to bring my own bedding—from Pandora de Balthazár’s European Sleep System—with me on the road. Being asked to be her Brand Ambassador is a dream come true, as Pandora has the largest and most respected collection of linens for today’s market, many of which are fine antiques and museum-quality textiles. The partnership is so spot-on because she intermingles antiques, vintage and new linens just as our AD&CO clients mix pieces from the past with the present.
Pandora began collecting textile treasures during her travels as a financial planner, many of the fine specimens she found were created on dates followed by BC! The fabrics and embroideries she found sprung from as early as the 12th century. Every exquisite museum-quality textile she came across was in remarkably great shape for its age, and, though she didn’t intuit it at the time, they inspired her future collecting, the things she brought home becoming some of the best investments of her life.
Everyone knows that The Antiques Diva & Co is inclusive, so in that spirit, I’m inviting you to get in bed with me. You heard me right! You’re invited to have Breakfast in Bed with Me! The Antiques Diva!
Breakfast in Bed with The Diva: You’re Invited!
On Saturday, October 22 at 10:30 a.m., Pandora de Balthazár will host “Breakfast in Bed with The Diva,” at High Point Market. Champagne and light bites will be served as I unveil The Diva Bed which I will create from Pandora’s vast store of antique linens underpinned by the company’s ergonomic European Sleep System.
- The Suites at Market Square, High Point Market
- Saturday, October 22
Pandora de Balthazár will have exceptional Hungarian down bedding, antique and vintage textiles and spa products for sale. If you’re not at market, have no fear – you can buy Pandora’s European Sleep System pillows and linens any time of year at the Pandora de Balthazár Experience.
“We are thrilled to welcome Toma Haines as our Brand Ambassador,” says Pandora de Balthazár. “Of all of the design sophisticates we know who are on the go—around the clock, as it turns out—Toma embodies our message of the value of sleep. It not only brings a wealth of energy, it heightens determination, creativity, and personality—all attributes the Diva personifies.”
Introducing Toma, Ambassador du Pandora de Balthazár
In addition to the Diva Bed, I was stunned to learn that Pandora had also created a fragrance in my name – “Toma” – an exclusive fragrance designed to be used on body, home and on your linens. With notes of mandarin and vanilla, bergamot, black current and amber, the fragrance is sexy, spicy, modernly feminine and runs wild with streaks of passion and independence. Literally speechless I asked Pandora de Balthazar why she designed this fragrance. “With my line of fragrances – yours being the first after my own signature eponymously-named scent, I want to honor those whose lives have honored our product and whose lives are changed by our product”.
For those of you who’ve watched my career here at AD&CO grow you know I’m at a point in my career where I’m honestly working on building an empire – I’m simultaneously exuberant and exhausted and the only way I will achieve my dreams is if I take time to restore myself. With Pandora’s pillows and linens I’m able to take that step.
Stay tuned for a year’s worth of great fun as we discuss all things bedding, decorative textiles and restorative sleep. We will be doing a series of blog posts about antique linens teaching you all you need to know and sharing our insider tips on restoring your inner diva. You’re just as likely to find us touring antiques venues in Hungary in search of the prized Austrio-Hungarian textiles Pandora has collected for decades as well as her atelier filled with some of the finest linens you’ll see anywhere outside of museums (and often within those walls!).
Toma Clark Haines, The Antiques Diva®
Brand Ambassador for Pandora de Balthazár
Dear Diva Readers,
Les Merveilles de Babellou. And if you should happen to feel generous, you can send any of these lovely pieces to my flat! And by the way, Les Merveilles de Babellou has so much more than just Chanel pieces—peruse their website for some seriously drool-worthy vintage goodies!ome people may think that I’m difficult to buy for, but the truth is, all I want for Christmas (or any time of year!) is vintage Chanel! Check out some fabulous pieces offered by one of our favorite vintage fashion source in Paris,
Now let’s talk prices! What’s it cost to buy vintage Chanel?
A timeless Chanel bright red quilted patent leather bag decorated with a CC clasp and a silver metal shoulder strap chain interlaced with red leather. Simply perfect! 3800 Euro
These Chanel clip earrings made of gilt metal and adorned with blue, red, and green glass paste cabochons would be perfect for the holiday season! 530 Euro
Chanel by Gripoix atelier, a necklace made of several rows of faux pearls with an arabesque element in blackened gold metal with multicolored cabochons and four chains of red glass beads. A true stunner! 3800 Euro
Chanel by Gripoix atelier, a demi-parure consisting of a pearl necklace with a centered brooch and a pair of clip earrings both in golden metal and blue and green glass paste. 3500 Euro
A Chanel transparent resin bracelet encrusted with black and green tweed, small CC logo and a silver metal chain interlaced with black tweed. 850 Euro
Merry Christmas, and as Coco might have said “May All Your Christmases be Stylish and Chic!”
The Antiques Diva®
Dear Diva Readers,
Megan’s Cafe. It’s an institution in Fulham (their other cafe is in St. John’s Wood High Street in Chelsea). Coming here guarantees I get a healthy incredibly delicious lunch while out antiquing – and better yet – almost guarantees I’ll run into some of my antiques industry friends! Given it’s location opposite Guinevere’s this cafe frequented by some of the antiques industry’s most well known dealers and shoppers alike. Whether you’re there for brunch—try their freshly squeezed juices paired with a free-range eggs Benedict— lunch, afternoon tea— the fresh baked cakes are to die for— , or dinner, you’re sure to enjoy a gorgeous meal prepared with fresh and often organic ingredients.hen it comes to antiquing in London Kings Road is a guaranteed to result in a successful afternoon shopping. Whenever I ‘m in the area I have one place I have to go – and that’s
I’ve spent many afternoons at Megan’s with clients and colleagues, discussing our recent finds and upcoming projects over a bottle— or two— of champagne. A favorite place to sit is the beautiful courtyard, with quaint tables pulled together – you’re in the heart of London, but somehow the ambiance feels quintessentially French country to me. There’s nothing like savoring excellent food while being surrounded by flowers. I often wish I could take a piece of Megan’s home with me!
That’s why I’m so excited that the cafe has come out with a book called, “Friends Around the Table,” chock full of mouth watering recipes.
Whether you’re entertaining a group of friends or simply cooking for two, this cook book has something for everyone. Eating should be a communal activity, and as someone who loves to cook and entertain, I can’t wait to try some of these recipes, such as the grilled squid, chorizo and asparagus salad! Doesn’t that sound like the perfect lunch for me to make friends for lunching on terrace? (winters only just beginning but I’m already fantasizing about summer again). And as I have to accept that the weather is going to get cold… perhaps I should look for a heartier winter dish to fix friends and family? What about the pot-cooked beef fillet with pea puree and hasselback potatoes…yummy! Delicious. I”m an arm-chair recipe reader and Meghans cookbook has already transported me to a dozen tables in my mind!
I’d love to hear what some of your favorite restaurants are in London – or elsewhere – and if you have any preferred recipes from them! Head over to The Antiques Diva & Co Facebook page and share them with me on the wall.
Until next time, bon appetit!
The Antiques Diva®