A Visit to Bambu Indah in Bali with John Hardy
Photo credits Alessandro Luppi
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. Whether you’re seeking a source for manufacturing your furniture line, wood and stone carvers, weavers, painters or gold and silversmiths Bali alone has the world’s greatest repository of high-level artisans in the world and at The Antiques Diva® & Co we give you access to the best of them.
Furniture – whether new or old – ranges from rustic and folk art to refined or cutting edge and contemporary in design. Textiles reign with batiks and ikats in heartbreakingly beautiful patterns. Fashion, jewelry and art de la table give island chic a new audience making the tribal mainstream.
On a recent visit to Bali I had lunch at John Hardy’s Bandu Indah and took a private tour of the property with its owner.
Bali has its fair share of expats – one of the most well-known is John Hardy. Canadian-born jewelry designer John Hardy moved to Bali 40 years ago and launched his Asian-inspired designs using traditional handmade jewelry techniques. Having recently sold his eponymously named jewelry line, Hardy now devotes his life to educating others about sustainable living with his Green School. A great place to begin one’s education – while experiencing luxury Balinese style – is at Bambu Indah, Hardy’s radically distinctive eco-lifestyle boutique hotel in Ubud where guests commune with nature in their open format huts.
Hardy – a huge proponent of using architectural salvage in his designs – transplanted a series of 19th C teak Javanese bridal homes to Bali and then restored and decorated them offering his guests a once in a lifetime experience.
“Our charming Javanese teak wood houses are historic traditional homes built by native Indonesians over 100 years ago. Each served as bridal houses to a Javanese nobleman whose duty it was to provide a home for his new bride. These antique homes were hand picked by John Hardy before being carefully dismantled, relocated to Bambu Indah, lovingly restored and made available to you.”
The interior design ranges from rustic to chic, featuring décor from Hardy’s personal travels such as Moroccan rugs, Burmese lacquerware and Ethiopian woodwork.
If you’re visiting Bali, I strongly recommend you include Bambu Indah on your itinerary. My lunch with John Hardy was definitely a highlight of my last trip to Bali!
Indonesia Antiques Tours
After assessing your antique, design or fashion sourcing needs, The Antiques Diva & Co will custom plan your private Indonesia antiques tours and buying trip. We can combine your Indonesia antiques tour with other Asian country itineraries to create antiques buying and design inspiration tours to meet our all your sourcing needs. Our local expert Indonesia Diva Guide negotiates on your behalf as we have relationships with vendors, getting you the best deals possible. We also liaise you with a preferred shipper to get your purchases home.
Toma Clark Haines, The Antiques Diva
The Golden Triangle: Thailand, Myanmar and Laos
Photos by Marisa Marchitelli
Let me let you in on an Antiques Diva® secret… Chiang Mai is the ideal place to antiques shop for trade clients – antique dealers, interior designers, hoteliers, developers etc – because it is home to the most number of wholesale antiques sources, and antiques warehouses in South East Asia. Here you’ll find the most variety of inventory from Thailand as well as from neighboring countries. In part this is because of the historical traditions and geographical positioning in what has traditionally been called the Golden Triangle where the borders of 3 countries meet – Myanmar, Laos and Thailand. Lanna culture has distinctiveness from the rest of Thailand. It was an independent kingdom for years, and you can see Indian and Chinese influences.
The distinctive local architecture incorporates hand carved woods and stylistic motifs – and with architectural salvage one of the top items found in the regions antique warehouses you have the opportunity to literally take a piece of Chiang Mai home with you! One of my favorite antique warehouses actually sells ENTIRE rice barns which can be dismantled and sent across the pond and rebuilt in your hometown!
While Chiang Mai is Thailand’s second largest city and has all the modern amenities of a modern city, the culture of the people is still reminiscent of the countryside where you find a slower pace of life, more personal interaction, and people are more patient and kind. There is also an influence of the hill-tribe culture in the region, which creates product variety because the hill-tribe handicrafts are different than the city and royal cultures. From antique furniture and decorative accessories to architectural salvage and beyond, Lanna culture has distinctiveness from the rest of Thailand.
It was an independent kingdom for years, and you can see Indian and Chinese influences. It has distinctive architecture that incorporates hand carved woods and stylistic motifs. Chiang Mai is a magical place to source a variety of Asian antiques.
Shopping in Chiang Mai
My friend Carla Stolper, founder of CFMichaels, lives in Bangkok and travels regularly to Chiang Mai. She explains, “Local artisans circle the city while vintage and antique shops dot the landscape. Side-of-the-road vendors are overflowing in architectural remnants and furniture. Day and night bazaars sell it all alongside live music and endless food venues.”
Whether you’re looking to source small amulets or entire rice barns for architectural salvage, our Chiang Mai Antiques Buying Tour has a lot to offer. As always, on tour our Thailand Antiques Tours Guide will translate, negotiate, and liaise you with an international shipper.
The Antiques Diva & Co offers 4 private Thailand antique tours, each one customized for you, and we can combine with other Asian country itineraries – ideal when booked in conjunction with our Bangkok tour – and create private antiques buying and design inspiration tours to meet our all your sourcing needs.
Our Online Asia Antiques Course
Do you want to learn more about how to buy Asian antiques? I have collaborated with Antiques Diva Asia Guide Angela and MyAntiqueSchool to create the first online Asia antiques course! During the unique and collaborative online course we take you on a journey through South East Asian antiques using on-location video lectures filmed at Paul’s Antiques and other exclusive locations in Bangkok. The subjects are then discussed and debated in the online classroom, with weekly assignments evaluated by Angela. Course subjects covered include colonial era furniture, Burmese teak, lacquerware, hill tribe furniture, hill-tribe baskets, temple relics, architectural items and Buddha statues.
For more information about our Asian antiques course, visit http://www.my-antique-school.com.
Toma – 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.
Chatuchak Market Bangkok Antiques Tour
Whenever I’m traveling in the world I love shopping the flea markets – exploring the world through retail. When in Bangkok, Chatuchak Market (aka the JJ Market) is the place to go. It’s massive and sprawling… and the best bits are hidden. Most tourists arrive amidst the tourist tack or get lost in the maze that sells literally everything from pets to candles to t-shirts. The lucky ones find their way to the housewares and decorative accessories – even the reproduction antiques – but to get to the true antiques, off the main soi’s, tucked away in alleyways you need an expert’s hand and that’s where we come in. Our Thailand Antiques Tours Diva Guides not only know the vendors, but they know the hidden antique warehouses, they know the fakes from the genuine pieces and they know how to avoid the heat – escaping occasionally from the brutal heat into AC and when and where to rehydrate with a fresh coconut. They even know the best loos.
Shopping the JJ Market without The Antiques Diva & Co simply put is a waste of your time. We save you money by bargaining on your behalf – remember in Thailand negotiation is an art. And as we know the market like the back of our hand, we save you energy by helping you avoid both sensory overload and frustrating dead ends. What To Buy? Everything, but our favorites include Thai Wooden Carvings, Burmese Antique Teak Furniture, Buddhist Manuscript boxes, Handwoven Hill Tribe Baskets, Theater Chairs, Shophouse Display Furniture, Antique Textiles and Art Prints, Architectural Remnants, Vintage Garden Furniture, Khmer Stone Carving, Retro Accessories and billions of Buddha heads (both tourist market reproductions as well as original period pieces). And while these aren’t antique we love them – Thai and Chinese silk and silk lanterns and lighting galore. Not to mention jewelry – both new and old – as well as fusion fashion. And let’s not forget fabulous lunch. In Thailand it’s all about the food – the Thai eat ALL DAY LONG, so you won’t turn a corner without another opportunity to feed your mouth. And of course, we know where the best bites are. Our guide meets you at your hotel and whisks you away to the market so you avoid getting lost in the crowds – taking you directly to the area of the market you’re most interested in seeing.
Antiques Sourcing at Bangkok Chatuchak Market with Toma Clark Haines The Antiques Diva® – Watch
photo credits: Thaung Sint
Welcome to Bangkok! and welcome to Chatuchak Market, also known as Jatujak Market, or, simply JJ Market.
Join your host Toma Clark Haines, CEO, The Antiques Diva & Co; and Angela Somwaiya, our Head Antiques Diva Asia Guide; and Melanie Aus, locally-based Antiques Diva Guide. The tour begins with us meeting you at your hotel. Then we hit the market. Most tourists get lost in the maze. There are 8,000 stalls over 35 acres. You’ll find a lot of tourist tack, housewares, decorative accessories, fabrics, and handicrafts.
But The Antiques Diva & Co know where to find the TRUE ANTIQUES, and the BEST VINTAGE and DECORATIVE ACCESSORIES.
Shopping builds up an appetite. We have a quick coffee… then we’re off again! Immerse yourself in the local culture. Time for coconut juice!
Leaving JJ Market to visit a nearby secret source.
Book a Thailand antiques buying or design inspiration tour: www.antiquesdiva.com.
Immerse yourself in the local culture and shop all of Asia in one destination!
Our Chatuchak Market Bangkok Antiques Buying Tours Feature:
- Unique Asian brass fittings and hardware
- Vintage mechanical
- Asian lighting decor
- Hindu and Buddhist statues
- Wood carvings
- Lacquerware and prints
- Architectural salvage
Let your senses be thrilled – your Chatuchak Market antiques tour is guaranteed to offer surprising finds! And we will make sure you stay fresh and refueled, and ready to experience everything Thailand has to offer!
Toma Clark Haines 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 email@example.com. 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,
e’re all familiar with the saying, “They just don’t make things like they used to,” and I know this to be a true statement! That’s one of the reasons many people come on tour to search for architectural salvage. Whether clients are building their dream home, adding a special addition, or purchasing inventory to stock their store, architectural salvage tours seem to be one of our most popular request. It makes sense to me—when you spend your money on something, you want to know that it is made of quality materials that will stand the test of time. What better way to ensure that they’ll last than to buy something that’s been around for over one hundred years?! Speaking of quality materials, antique architectural salvage can often by purchased at a fraction of the price it would cost to reproduce them.
Price and endurance aside, architectural salvage pieces allow you to add something unique to your home. In a cookie cutter world, it’s becoming more and more important to incorporate unique pieces into your life, better reflecting your style. Whether you’re incorporating antique mantels or lighting fixtures into your home or reinventing salvage by creating furniture from recycled items, antique pieces add character to any space.
We’ve seen architects use old French doors in new construction, interior designers source vintage sinks in multiple colors to complement a scheme, and private 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’s going to add that warmth and patina that only antiques can add. Loft dwellers love finding burnished pieces and industrial salvage, perhaps from an old warehouse or factory.
In fact, we’ve 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 guides know where to go, who to talk to about restoration, and what a fair price is. Here are a few tips to keep in mind if you’re on the hunt for architectural salvage:
If you wait until the last minute to try and find a mantel or door that will fit the exact spot that’s already carved out, chances are it’s going to be difficult to source. Instead, find special pieces you love and ask your contractor to create a space for it.
The last thing you want to happen is that you buy a beautiful piece only to find out that it won’t fit through your door or up the stairs! Take measurements of the space you want to fit it in as well as all doorways and hallways it will need to pass through.
Rely on Restoration
Many times you’ll come upon an item that could use some TLC. That’s ok! It’s normal to purchase something in its “original state,” often meaning that it hasn’t been restored or changed at all because the seller wants to let the buyer choose how much to restore it, what finish to use, and to advise if size adjustments need to be made. A lot of antique dealers do their own restoring or have workshops they trust to carry these wishes out. Don’t be afraid to ask about a piece just because it isn’t in pristine condition.
Get the Right Team
Make sure the contractor you are working with understands architectural salvage. Often times if someone isn’t used to working with reclaimed materials, they’ll say that something isn’t possible, when in fact, it is. Interview your contractor and trades men to make sure they appreciate repurposing.
Not only is architectural salvage a green choice for the environment, it also can save you money. For instance, you can find antique cast-iron tubs for about a tenth of the price of new ones. Of course, you may need to refinish the tub, but you’ll still be ahead of the game financially. Installation of these antique tubs requires common plumbing techniques and they can be outfitted with reproduction faucets. Solid wood doors are another place to save by using salvage. Just be sure they have no rot on the bottom and that they aren’t warped. Compared to modern doors that are often made of lightweight pine, old doors offer much more value.
If you are interested in one of our Architectural Salvage Tours, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to help you source the perfect piece!
The Antiques Diva®
Dear Diva Readers,
henever a potential client inquires about taking an Antiques Diva Buying Tour, one of the first things I do is ask them what they are looking for. One of the most common responses I get is, “Architectural salvage.” Whether people want to resell it, use it in their own home or source it for client projects, architectural salvage remains one of the hottest categories on people’s lists.
After taking an Antiques Diva Tour in Italy, a design client wanted more information on Italian roof tiles she’d seen while shopping under the Tuscan sun. Our Diva Guide in Tuscany, Susan, definitely knows her stuff when it comes to reclaimed rural Italian architecture. Susan’s experience with antiques as well as rehabbing Italian homes and buildings makes her our go-to gal when clients have questions about architectural salvage. This particular client wanted to use antique Italian roof tiles for a building project in America. Her main concern was whether they would be able to withstand the freezing colder climates. She also wanted to know if there was only one style of tile or if she had options from which to choose.
Susan explained that the antique tiles our client had seen on tour were the curved terra-cotta ROOF tiles, which are referred to as “coppi”. However tiles can be found in various sizes. The traditional Tuscan ones are smaller, made of a more compact clay and are paired with a wider lipped flat tile known as “Tegole” to cover the roof.
The larger curved tiles which cup each other are MORE COMMONLY used in warmer areas of Italy and are made of more porous clay, which means they probably won’t stand up to extremely cold temperatures. In some regions of Italy smaller curved tiles are laid on flat tiles. There is also another tile similar in appearance… but a litter wider which means here are two different sizes of the curved tiles which are used in different parts of the roof. The larger tiles go on the ridges of the roof – though sometimes the flat tegole are used.
Each region, just as in its cuisine, has a slightly different method of laying tiles and therefore uses slightly different sizes of tile as well. It all depends upon the style of architecture in that region and the gradient of the roof changes, which is often dictated by the climate of that particular area. Another thing to take into account is the color of the tiles which varies depending on the earth elements in the region in which they were made.
Who knew there were so many elements to Italian roof tiles?! While style and color are important factors, it’s even more crucial to know whether they will hold up in certain climates. It’s also just as important to hire the right contractors who will use the proper materials and installation methods to ensure a satisfactory outcome.
If you’d like information on taking an Antiques Diva Buying Tour, email us at email@example.com. We’d love to help you source antiques for your projects large and small!
The Antiques Diva® & Co – Thanks La Dolce Diva Susan for sharing your knowledge!
Dear Diva Readers,
Antiques Young Guns and founder of Antiques News & Fairs. But if you were to visit her charming house in the village of Colerne, one peek behind the gate would reveal that she is an avid gardener who is passionate about her quintessential English garden on the hill of this dreamy village in Wiltshire.’ve said it time and time again— a big part of my company’s success is due to finding the right people to work with – serendipitously those people have always appeared into my life. Each of my Antique Guides not only love antiques but also have their own unique niche in the world. Some are into fashion, others manage properties and renovations while others run their own global stores. Our Diva Agent in the UK, Gail McCleod, wears many hats including being one of the founders of
After staying with Gail on a recent Antiques Diva buying tour in the UK and seeing her garden in all its summer glory, I’ve asked her to share a bit about gardening and using garden antiques in particular on the blog.
The Antiques Diva:
What got you started in gardening? Have you always loved it?
Antiques Diva English Agent – Gail:
It has always been in my DNA – I cannot remember a time when I was not aware of what was going on in the garden. I have bought 4 houses in my life and each time have asked to see the garden before the house! In the summer I can usually be found at 6 am in my dressing gown tying in sweet peas, watering tomatoes, and cutting flowers for the house in the cutting garden.
The Antiques Diva:
If someone’s not a seasoned gardener but wants to create a beautiful garden, what’s the first step? How do you get started?
Antiques Diva English Agent – Gail:
It really helps to follow a good garden blog or magazine for a full year. I read every day when I got my first proper garden. In England the seasons dictate everything – people often say England has 4 seasons in one day with the unpredictable weather but in truth we have clearly defined seasons and the gardens reflect those seasons. Good advice to any would-be gardener coming to a new garden – watch carefully for a full year if possible! See which way the wind blows, where the sun falls or does not fall, see what comes up in the Spring – there may be 100s of bulbs under the ground to delight you so wait to see what happens!
A brown field site is a whole different story! Aspect, soil, exposure to wind and sun are all vital but inspiration is all around us with wonderful garden shows, online blogs and luscious magazine articles. Time is important, do not invest in a hugely complex scheme if you have a busy career (note to self here!). Be prepared to spend some time on the planning and make sure you attend to the details of soil preparation and planting schemes – and some fun embellishments to anchor the scheme and say something about you! Above all, enjoy!
The Antiques Diva:
How do garden antiques help enhance and anchor a garden? How do you use them?
Antiques Diva English Agent – Gail:
Texture and colour is key in a garden and to have stone and terracotta to offset the luxuriant colours of the plants is a real must. Antiques in the garden can also give form and structure which is particularly useful in a rampant cottage garden like mine – adding a touch of formality. Planters, jardinières, troughs and urns of all styles – antique, industrial, vintage, all lend character to both traditional and contemporary schemes and fulfil the essential role of planting opportunities. Not everyone is lucky enough to have a large outdoor space, many people lead crazy busy lives in cities and have a balcony or veranda – wonderful planting vessels offer a chance to be creative in a small space.
The Antiques Diva:
How have you achieved “garden rooms” in your own garden?
Antiques Diva English Agent – Gail:
Fifteen years ago when I first saw my current garden it was a 1/3 acre of tussocks of grass on a hillside site with no features and a few scruffy and determined plants. However, it had a spectacular view of the valley below and I immediately knew what I would do with it. I was influenced by Sissinghurst, the great Vita Sackville West garden which is divided into rooms by permanent planting with the famous “white garden” which I wanted to replicate to make the most of the outstanding moonlight in my open hillside site. I was lucky to have a source for rustic timber poles and a talented local craftsman who went off to the woods to source the cross timbers for my rustic trellising which is a feature of the garden and was used to form the “rooms”. A very large proportion of my income then went on plants and irresistible pieces I just had to have— cast iron benches, stone pots by the dozen, wrought iron fretwork tables and pretty chairs to dot around in spots to sit and enjoy the view – the list goes on! Working in the antiques trade is a constant battle with temptation. The Antiques Diva & Co Ltd has so many wonderful vendors on our books who inspire us on a daily basis with their fabulous finds, it can be very hard to resist sometimes!
The Antiques Diva:
What are clients most looking for when it comes to garden antiques?
Antiques Diva English Agent – Gail:
Currently there is one word on everyone’s lips: architectural reclamation! 75% of our tours in the past 12 months have been architectural salvage tours, private and professional clients looking for architectural fragments for the house and garden – decorative iron work to convert to table tops or wall art inside and out, gates, fencing, doors, shutters, arbours, arches, planters, trellising, summerhouses, chimney pots, all sourced from fabulous old European houses, industrial buildings, schools, churches and glorious gardens.
Thanks so much Gail for taking some time to share a bit about your passion for gardening with us! One thing is for sure—you’ve inspired us! For more information on taking an Antiques Diva Buying Tour, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Antiques Diva®
Dear Diva Readers,
Treillage & Darcy Fulton of John Rosselli on a special VIP tour in Italy earlier this year. It is always so inspiring to take any tastemaker on a buying tour because I get a chance to see what pieces excite them – what turns them on – but it was even more fascinating than normal to see what these managers from these two iconic companies would buy. When it comes to decorating our homes, Bunny Williams (and her husband John) has been a huge influence in the way we live and she continues to push the bar of style.was so fortunate to take Jackson McCard of
But what I love about Bunny is that she takes those interior design principles and applies them to what she calls “outdoor rooms.” Her sadly now closed shop, Treillage, had one of the most charming inner courtyards I’ve ever seen in the Big Apple. One of our top requests for tours at The Antiques Diva & Co is architectural salvage and garden antique tours. Clients are constantly looking for antique garden statues, urns & planters, gates from old estates, and even paving stones to use in modern gardens. Bunny’s new book, “Bunny Williams On Garden Style,” has so many wonderful tips for anyone who is looking to enhance their outdoor space. In fact, what caught my eye immediately was her extensive use of antique garden pieces. If you’re interested in garden antiques like the majority of our clients, I consider this book an Antiques Diva Essential Read!
While I am not a gardener myself—after all I do only have a rooftop terrace in Berlin, not a sprawling estate in New England— I can certainly appreciate beautifully laid out gardens, be they formal or more relaxed. Sourcing antique garden pieces all over Europe means that I am exposed to the creme de la creme of antique garden inventory on the market. In fact, Bunny refers to a few of the same sources we use on our AD&CO Tours! Bunny’s book is a great way to teach the eye to spot quality and provenance.
Perhaps the reason I enjoy this book more than other garden-focussed books is because it doesn’t deal so much with actual horticulture—after all, I kill any plant I come in contact with! This book talks more of the structure of a garden—likening it to a room. The focus is on the floor, overhead elements, creating walls, and utilizing ornaments (often antique garden elements) and structural pieces to form the bones of an outdoor room. The actual flowers and plants that grow within these outdoor spaces are not as touched upon, as these can change from region to region based upon climate. Rather, the mood and atmosphere of a garden are defined by the elements that remain in all seasons—the pergolas, columns, gazebos, urns, statues, and layout of the garden.
From interior design to gardening, Bunny has a way of dissecting the elements which make any space comfortable, impressive, and simply dreamy. While her shop Treillage is closing at the end of this month, rumor has it her online store is going to be BETTER THAN EVER! As for me today, I think I’m going to skip antiquing and take a day to lounge on my terrace reading On Garden Style and dreaming of someday possessing a green thumb. Hmmm… Chanel has started doing nail polish in modern colors, haven’t they?
The Antiques Diva®