While taking my summer vacation in the Amalfi Coast this summer one of my favorite things I did – besides merely lounge poolside in my BoxerinBlue swimwear under the wafting smell of the lemon trees – was visit the Ruins of Pompeii, which I talked about in a recent blog post when I announced my furniture collection – The Antiques Diva Collection by Aidan Gray.
Pompeii continues to fascinate – Mount Vesuvius had erupted in a phenomenal fashion straight off a Hollywood movie script – perfectly preserving the ancient town of Pompeii and the surrounding countryside in ash. The result – while devastating at the time, burying the people alive – did preserve the works of arts for centuries allowing us to see frescoes from the time of Jesus. (Segway from religion to sex… ) While the frescoes in the brothels were… uhm… especially interesting… what continues to fascinate me is the lush decadent lifestyles they lived in ancient Roman times. When I think of 2000 years ago, I imagine people walking around barefoot and yet in Pompeii the rich were living in villas I’d be happy to call home today.
Pompeii was to Rome like the Hamptons are to New York. And these villas surely must have been where the profession of interior designer came about. The wealthy employed sculptors and painters and other artisans to create an atmosphere that reinforced their position in society. In addition to proper sewage, they had gyms and swimming pools, libraries and courtyards with gorgeous mosaics… but for me… it’s all about the frescoes. The villas were painted ceiling to floor with motifs that were anything from actual images of other villas to architectural elements such as porticos or even cards, rivers and coastlines as well trees, fruits, flowers, birds… But my favorite room, a kitchen in one of the villas, reminded me of my own home. The walls of the kitchen were painted with swimming fish found in the sea nearby.
At my home in Venice, I live in a small apartment a stone’s throw from the Peggy Guggenheim Museum, on a side canal just off the Grand Canal. Soon after I got an apartment here I found myself dreaming of water – which apparently is a trait of Venetians. Water is as much a part of daily life in Venice as is air and breathing. Meanwhile fish swim in the canals outside my kitchen window, they are served in every restaurant and I even have pet goldfish (Frank Sinatra Jr and Frank Jr Jr – fans of the TV series Friends will catch the joke in the name of the later). Wanting to connect the interior of my apartment to my surroundings, I decided to commission the artisans from Porte Italia to come and paint fish swimming down my entry hall. I chose to do the entire entrance in a dramatic high gloss black paint – painting the ceiling as well as walls which makes the space feel infinitely larger.
A fan of Fornasetti, I had the artisans nod towards Piero’s style. The fish swim towards a reflection pool in the middle – aka, an 18th C Gilded Mirror with the original mottled and melting mercury glass. The mirrors frame design is straight out of a fresco design in Pompeii, a basket overflowing with pomegranates and roses. This mirror created most likely between Louis 15 and Louis 16 reign reflects the notion we discussed in a recent blog – where does design inspiration come from? Everything we see and feel and do, influence who we are and our design aesthetic. Louis 16th furniture makers were heavily influenced by Pompeii, just as I was heavily influenced by Louis 15 and 16th when designing my furniture collection – The Antiques Diva Collection for Aidan Gray, which debuts this week at High Point Market.
Fall 2018 High Point Market I’m speaking on 2 panels that broach the subject of Design Inspiration. I’ll be Facebook Living both events – so don’t worry if you’re not able to be there in person, know you can always catch it online on my personal page Toma Clark Haines.
Inspiration Behind the Designs – Saturday October 13 2-3pm
Surya Showplace 4100
Join interior and product designers Mary Douglas Drysdale, Michel Smith Boyd, Toma Clark Haines (“The Antiques Diva”), Xander Noori, and Keon Khajavi-Noori as they discuss where they seek inspiration, how they overcome the dreaded creative block, and give tips and tools for recharging your creative batteries.
Designing Women of the World – Sunday October 14 1.30 to 2.30pm
Suites at Market Square Seminar Room SAMS T 1014
How do you prioritize travel as a busy designer and business owner? How do you prepare for design inspiration at a particular destination? How does getting outside of your local marketplace help your business? Join our traveled designers as they discuss these questions and many more, while giving tips and inspiration on how to incorporate travel into your design process. Panelists include Adriana Hoyos, Tina Nicole, Toma Clark Haines, Sandra Espinet, and Aviva Stanoff with Deb Barrett as moderator. Reception and book signings to follow.
Until then, Be Inspired.
Toma Clark Haines – The Antiques Diva®
Buying and selling antiques has changed dramatically since I launched The Antiques Diva® & Co ten years ago – and no one knows that more than antique dealers. Like all changes, there is both good and bad about selling and buying antiques online. For antique dealers, selling antiques online opens them to potential buyers who may never visit their shop – or even their country! – in person, but can easily view their inventory, ask questions, negotiate prices and arrange to pay for and ship their new antique online, any day of the week, 24 hours a day.
For antique buyers, the ability to buy antiques online allows them to discover antique treasures they may never have come across at home or on their travels and compare pieces and prices. It provides competitive information. Buyers get peace of mind and gain confidence when online antique dealers are screened and vetted by an online marketplace.
I love the thrill of the hunt. Personally, I love shopping for antiques in person, touching the piece, inspecting it, talking to the dealer. I love the challenge of negotiating the best possible price for an item. Practically, when I need a special antique for my home I may not have the time or money to travel until I find the perfect piece, at the right price. Being able to shop 24/7/365 from dealers around the globe has enabled me to score some antiques that I realistically would never have bought if I hadn’t sourced it online. Professionally, many antique dealers, interior designers and homeowners simply do not have the time or budget to travel to Europe or Asia to buy the best pieces at the best prices. At AD&CO technology – the internet – allows us to offer our antiques buying services, where we combine the magic of technology with our Diva Guides’ 1st hand antique expertise and personal relationships with antique dealers to buy some amazing inventory for our clients and ship it to their business or home. Online antiques marketplaces are important sources for both our trade and private clients.
The best online antique warehouses carefully choose their dealers and vet the inventory on their site. They understand that value, honesty and quality are key to making their antique marketplace a success. I’m delighted to introduce you today to LoveAntiques.com, an online antique warehouse run by IACF, International Antiques & Collectors Fairs. I spoke to Will Thomas, Managing Director at IACF, about what’s hot and selling in this uber-competitive industry.
LoveAntiques.com Online Antiques Marketplace
Tell us about LoveAntique.com: what is it, who runs it and who are your dealers?
LoveAntique.com is an online antiques marketplace located in LoveAntiques.com is owned and operated by International Antiques & Collectors Fairs, organizers of Europe’s largest antiques fairs. For over 25 years, IACF has been trusted by dealers to deliver thousands of buying customers to our fairs. Our venture into online sales in 2013 is no different with dedicated marketing and PR teams, and the largest advertising budget in the online antiques sales market, you can trust IACF to deliver buyers both on and offline.
Antiques are listed by certified dealers, their items are then approved by the LoveAntiques.com team. Only antique dealers who can prove an honest history of dealing are able to upload pieces onto our website, so you can shop with confidence on LoveAntiques.
Many of our dealers also have a brick-and-mortar antique shop and list some or all of their inventory on LoveAntiques.com.
Why did you launch an online antiques site?
With online shopping becoming the main way consumers buy products, it was inevitable that the antiques trade will be doing more and more business this way, leading to increased expansion of the online marketplace and the continued growth of the website. I have a firm belief that if you do something well, there is always a place for you in the market. Our visitor traffic is up 75% in the last year and we expect similar growth in the coming year. We’ve doubled our dealer numbers, and more than trebled the number of inquiries coming through to dealers.
Who are your customers? Who buys antiques on LoveAntiques.com?
LoveAntiques wants to help the growth of the antiques industry online. We want to bring the world of antiques online for the good of the industry, and we work with numerous publications to promote our antique dealers and their inventory, and to encourage new audiences to shop for antiques online.
The International press is a big PR target for LoveAntiques.com, with our experience of working and encouraging international buyers to attend our IACF fairs. 2 of the USA’s biggest publications, the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, have promoted our online antique marketplace, which has increased traffic on our site from across the Atlantic, which benefits the antique dealers on our site. We promote LoveAntiques.com to all relevant international publications across the globe.
What are your top sellers – what’s trending?
What’s most popular on LoveAntiques.com with American buyers?
The US is about 25% of our market now. The top item going to the US at the moment are the vintage wrist watches!
How do buyers pay for their antiques at LoveAntiques.com?
Many dealers accept online payments where buyers can purchase the item instantly via PayPal with the necessary delivery costs (if applicable). If however the dealer does not accept online payment the Buy This Item button will take you to a contact form, and you can email the dealer and arrange payment by other means and ask any questions you might have about the item.
English Antiques Diva Buying Agent Gail McLeod is a regular visitor at LoveAntiques.com, as a customer as well as a dealer:
I’ve known Will for years through IACF events, they are long-standing advertisers with us at Antiques News & Fairs. We often take Antiques Diva clients to their prominent shows around the UK, Ardingly, Newark and Shepton where we are able to meet a large collection of dealers in one place with plenty of fresh inventory ideal for the export market. The main shippers are also on site so we can get our purchases picked up on the same day.
I know many of the dealers personally on Love Antiques, such as Fontaine Decorative, and can source special pieces for our clients and alert them to be on the hunt for antiques that are particularly difficult to find when a client is searching for something very specific. As a lover of English garden antiques, my own shop @JardiniereAntiques will be joining LoveAntiques.com later this year because I have great feedback from dealers on the site – so I personally can vouch for the quality and diversity of their antiques! Will is an expert in SEO and the site is becoming one of the most hi-viz in the sector.
LoveAntiques.com: The Details
For more information on Antiques Diva antique sourcing trips or buying services contact us.
Toma Clark Haines – The Antiques Diva
As I transform my Venice apartment into a home, I take pleasure in the process of unpacking the pieces I’ve collected and arranging (and re-arranging!) them into tableaus that please my eye. The French art of mise en scène – putting things in place – to give my home the ambiance and personality that I want to project. For guests of course, but I honestly arrange my collections for myself.
What is your definition of home? I’ve been thinking a lot about what makes a house a home… for me it’s a space filled with people and laughter in the air. Fabulous smells coming from the kitchen, open bottles of wine and champagne always on tap. It’s antiques and family heirlooms, next to flea market finds and objet d’art, and the odd pieces of Ikea. It’s window boxes and shutters and flowers in every room and candles alongside cozy places to read. A real home is a mix of high and low… beautifully choreographed moments for a life well lived. I’m a natural collector. But how does one start a collection? Today my favorite dandy (j’adore being called The Dandy and The Diva!), Gary Inman is sharing with us his expert advice on the art of collecting. Don’t miss Gary’s favorite books on the art of collecting!
Featured image: William Morris textiles and wallpaper set the tone for this Virginia mudroom. The table is an antique Chippendale inspired fretwork design. English tole, majolica, and French garden finials provide character to the space. The bespoke herringbone floor is by Waterworks.
All images provided by Gary Inman
The Art of Collecting
Everyone is a collector, some just don’t know it yet. After twenty-five years of designing and decorating luxury homes, I have had many clients insist that they’re not collectors, only to become impassioned collectors once they discover their genre. Helping them find their passion has been one of the most rewarding parts of my practice. If you think back to your childhood, you’ll surely recall something you collected with unbridled enthusiasm. It can be as simple as sea shells or baseball cards, but regardless of value, nothing surpasses the thrill of the chase! The objects amassed can be costly or free, academic or whimsical, and the collection can be as small as three objects or as massive as a museum.
As an art historian, I have always admired the erudite collections amassed by legendary collectors such as Henry Francis Dupont, Isabella Stewart Gardner, Sir Richard Wallace, Albert Barnes, Richard Jenrette or Henry Clay Frick. Their mammoth collections are now available to the world at museums and historic buildings devoted to the conservation of their achievements. Some collectors become as famous at their curations which are significantly autobiographical. Gertrude Stein, Carolyne Roehm, Coco Chanel and my personal favorite, Sir John Soane are examples of this phenomenon. I encourage you to visit all the museums associated with these collectors.
So how do you become a collector? I suggest you begin by doing your homework. Read the books I’ve listed below, visit antique shops and shows, research various categories such as ceramics, silver, textiles, art, antiques, illustrations, the list is endless. Also, survey auction houses and online dealers and wait for the magic to happen. You will discover a passion that will bring you joy for a lifetime! Once you buy that first piece you’ll be hooked.
There are many books on collecting, but here are three that I found to be great references:
- Barbara Milo Ohrbach, A Passion for Antiques. Clarkson Potter/Publishers, New York, 2004.
- Charlotte Gere and Marina Vaizey, Great Women Collectors. Philip Wilson Publishers in association with Harry N. Abrams, Inc., Publishers, New York, 1999.
- Caroline Clifton-Mogg, A Passion for Collecting. Bulfinch Press, Boston, 2002.
Gary M. Inman
Vice President, Hospitality at Baskerville
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
Chattic & The Antiques Diva Make Collecting Cool with Real-Time Appraisals from the Miami Beach Antique Show #chatticlive
I recently attended The Original Miami Beach Antique Show for the first time and was gobsmacked by the size of the show and the sheer number of antique dealers onsite! Diva heaven! In addition to leading a tour of the show, I teamed up with Nicole Sawyer and Dan Thieleman, the founders at Chattic, a new way to ‘value your old stuff,’ to lead a series of Facebook Lives for Chattic! I’m on a mission to make antiques modern and relevant to younger people: and I believe technology is key! I was super-excited to introduce this new technology at the show with some real-life appraisals of people’s collectibles – right in their own home! Just as Chattic believes The Antiques Diva® & Co is the new Antiques Roadshow, I’m convinced Chattic is the new way to value your old stuff. The IOS App is coming soon – Chattic invites you to be the first to beta test the app. Go to www.askchattic.com and enter your email address – tell them The Antiques Diva® sent you!
New App Teaches You How to Value Vintage & Antique Treasures
Chattic, The Antiques Diva and The Original Miami Beach Antique show announced are all on a mission to make collecting cool and bring the antiques and vintage industry into the 21st century.
Chattic teamed up with legendary appraisers Stuart Slavid from Skinner Auctioneers who is also a regular expert on the PBS series The Antiques Roadshow, and Paul Haig founder of Haig’s of Rochester – Fine Jewelry & Objects of Art, to bring #ChatticLive; a digital TV show streamed on Facebook Live to provide viewers’ answers from experts on demand by simply sending in digital photos of their unique vintage and antique finds.
Nicole and Toma explained,
This is the first time users have had the opportunity to interact in real time, for free, with world-renowned experts in the antiques industry without leaving the comfort of their homes.
On Chattic, users can snap photos of their items and post them on the app for crowd-sourced feedback.
WATCH The Antiques Diva challenge Stuart Slavid to a Burlesque dance-off and Chattic users get answers simply by snapping photos of their unique items.
During #ChatticLive Stuart gave users actionable tips on posting photos for online appraisals.
Stuart Slavid’s Online Appraisal Tips:
- TAKE A CLEAR PICTURE:
Look at the picture yourself make sure you can see whatever information you want to portray.
- SEND SEVERAL PICTURES:
Don’t just send one picture, take several from every angle. Snap photos of the top, bottom, sides, front, back. Vague photos mean a much longer conversation than need be.
- SEND AS MANY DETAILS AS POSSIBLE:
Elaborate on the condition, dimensions, and take close-up photos of signatures or any distinguishing marks.
- TAKE SIZE COMPARISON PHOTOS:
Take a photograph of your piece next to something standard like a soda can or cell phone to give the appraiser an idea of relative size.
Chattic user Amy from Indiana learned her two vases were actually Chinese Republic porcelain, roughly 100 years old with a value of $800-$1200! Congrats to Amy!
Chattic user Halina from Florida sent photos of a unique piece of jewelry that her father-in-law found in a New York City cab in the 1950’s. For the first time in nearly 70 years, she finally got answers on this mysterious treasure.
How do you think technology can be used to keep antiques relevant to younger buyers – I’d love to hear your ideas!
Toma – The Antiques Diva
January 21, 2018, The Antiques Diva & Co celebrated our 10 year anniversary at our annual Paris Flea Market Champagne Brunch. Attended by hundreds of design professionals during Paris Design Week, we started the New Year with a fabulous 10th anniversary event organized by my publicist Andrew Joseph PR, the Paul Bert Serpette Marché and our dynamic team of Antiques Diva Guides who welcomed our guests and provided mini-tours of les Marchės Aux Puces after and during the fête. Professional photography by Joachim Frydman.
Here is a peek at the festivities – try and join us in person next year! We always hold our fête on the last Sunday of Déco Off, first Sunday of Maison & Objet at the Paris Flea Market!
The brunch was held at Antiquitiés Rodriguez Décoration, a stunning antiques store filled with of antique furniture, decorative objects, art, architectural salvage and curiosities at 15 rue Jules Vallès. One of the largest – if not the largest – shops, it was an ideal setting for a party with our VIP interior designer guests; Deborah Lalaudiere and her team welcomed us to their store and so we could browse and shop while we sipped cocktails and coffee. Visit their shop at the Paris Flea Market or on 1st Dibs – you won’t be disappointed!
Our 10th Anniversary Champagne Brunch was co-hosted by Traditional Home Magazine, and our panel discussion was led by Krissa Rossbund, Senior Style Editor at Traditional Home.
Un gros merci to our sponsor CITADELLE GIN for whipping up French 75s using our Antiques Diva champagne, Citadelle Gin and a splash of lemon and simple syrup! Alex Gabriel and Paris Antiques Diva Guide Debbie Gabriel (below) are the owners of Maison Ferrand, makers of Citadelle Gin. Watch me learning how to make a French 75 cocktail here with bartender Cedric.
Guests at the party were able to get a sneak peek of a few of my furniture designs for the upcoming Antiques Diva Collection by Aidan Gray.
As the fête was held during cocktail week in Paris, it was only appropriate that we had author Doni Belau of Girl’s Guide to Paris in the house signing her book Cocktails in Paris! Doni is also one of our US Antiques Diva Guides.
Keeping up the cocktail theme, we were delighted that root cellar designs was one of our 10th Anniversary Paris Flea Market Champagne Brunch sponsors, contributing cocktail napkins from their fabric collection to our Gift Bag. Merci, Tamara Matthews Stephenson!
More behind the scenes photos are in our photo album.
We’ll be celebrating The Antiques Diva’s 10th anniversary at events throughout the year – and setting the date for next year’s Paris Flea Market Champagne Brunch soon #WatchThisSpace!
Toma – The Antiques Diva
At our 5th Annual Paris Flea Market Champagne Brunch I’m serving cocktails #DivaStyle:
Coco Chanel With a Dagger by Maison Ferrand
Artisanal Gin de France producer Citadelle Gin, by Maison Ferrand, will make French 75s – my signature cocktail that I like to call Coco Chanel with a Dagger – with The Antiques Diva signature champagne. Not only is Citadelle my favorite gin, Maison Ferrand happens to be owned by Alexandre and Debbie Gabriel, one of our Paris Antiques Diva Guides. Citadelle Gin is made following a centuries-old method, using an open flame pot still distillation, and a traditional Charentaise pot still used in Cognac, France. Distillation over an open flame allows the complementary aromas to come together when the wine comes into contact with the bottom of the boiler. The name Citadelle honors where this gin was first authorized to be made in 1775 by Louis XVI, at the Citadelle in Dunkirk.
WATCH: Citadelle bartender Cedric taught me to make a Coco Chanel with a Dagger
Coco Chanel with a Dagger by Maison Ferrand Recipe
- 1 1/2 oz Citadelle Gin
- 1/2 oz freshly squeezed lime juice
- 1 1/2 oz rich simple syrup
- Fill shaker with ice, gin, lime juice and simple syrup
- Shake like mad until well-chilled, then strain into chilled champagne flute
- Top with champagne (I prefer The Antiques Diva signature champagne)
- Garnish with lime spiral
Toma – The Antiques Diva
I’m delighted to introduce our new Amsterdam Antiques Diva Guide, Mariska Meijers. Mariska is not just a Diva Guide but a Dutch icon in her own right. She’s a fellow #GirlBoss and when I’m having a bad day she’s the one I call to say “Shoot Me Now”. Then – of course – she convinces me not to jump from that ledge! For those of you who are following me on my journey as I launch a new brand – the TCH Collection – Lush Decadence Couture Jewelry line – Mariska will also be our Amsterdam distributor for the collection. And will be participating in our TCH Collection pop-up shop in Paris this Jan 17 – March 18, 2018, at Galerie Vauclair. She’ll not only provide one of her signature custom-made kimonos for me to wear to the Vernissage January 19, but she’ll also have a special edition Diva Line of pillows for sale! What makes them Diva? Accessories of course? Anyone who knows me, knows I have a penchant for feathers, furs, glitter and more… and Mariska captures that personality in pillow form!
Mariska Meijers is a Dutch artist and designer, renowned for her signature vibrant colors and bold patterns. Based in Amsterdam, Mariska moved back home to Holland 15 years ago, after having lived and worked across Europe and Asia. She is an avid traveler and collector – and both inform her eye. She loves to share her hometown with visitors and introduce them to her local sources and contacts. She has grown her art and design studio into a global lifestyle brand sold through luxury department stores and small boutiques in over 30 countries. Her store/design studio in the historic city centre of Amsterdam is a hidden gem, located in the basement of a 17th century canal house on Keizersgracht 158 is filled with her own collections and art combined with original finds from all over the world, including art, antiques, vintage, lighting, jewelry and much more.
Mariska’s work has been featured in traditional and online media, including VOGUE.COM, The World of Interiors, Architectural Digest, Homes & Gardens, House & Garden, Marie Claire Maison, Domino, ELLE Decoration, ELLE DECOR, Living and others.
- Antiekcentrum Amsterdam: a real treasure trove with over 55 dealers.
- Noordermarkt: an outdoor market only on Saturday and Monday.
- Gezusters Stoop Lampshade Workshop: I have a strong love for vintage and antique lighting. This tiny store and shade atelier has a great selection and if they don’t have it, the owner Carin will source it for you. They can also build a lamp from any object you bring in and custom make a shade for it.
In summer, picnic on a boat touring the canals – but not on one of the large touristy ones. Rent a small one with a skipper. https://www.rentaboatamsterdam.com
I personally invite you to book an Antiques Diva Amsterdam tour with Mariska and discover her Amsterdam for yourself!
Toma Clark Haines – The Antiques Diva
Last year I took a solo trip to Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara in the Liwa Desert for much needed R&R and design inspiration. Little did I know then that today I’d be designing my new life in a new country, in one of the most beautiful cities in the world, Venice, Italy. The configurations of my new Venezia apartment are dramatically different than my Berlin loft, just as the configurations of my life are so very different. My design philosophy has always been, “It’s all about the mix.” As this Oklahoma girl has strives to continue to become more global, I want my home to reflect my global influences. I’m blending my antique European treasures with thoroughly modern artwork with a good helping of Asian pieces… and some magical Liwa Desert memories. Here are a few of my desert #DesignInspirations …
My good friend Gary Inman (we’re known as The Diva and The Dandy!) is one of the most renowned hospitality designers in the industry – He is an award-winning designer, author, and professional speaker whose work has been published in Veranda, House Beautiful, Elle Decor, The Washington Post, Southern Accents, Traditional Home, Hotel Design, Home & Design and many others. I asked for his expert advice on creating a sense of place!
Gary Inman’s 5 Tips for Creating a Sense of Place
This is the way great designers think about crafting the local and authentic experience.
1. Great Design Begins with a Great Story!
Every unique place on the globe has a unique story that only they can tell. Hotels and Resorts are our homes in those locations and they can, and must, enrich the sense of place. As designers we weave a narrative of tangible and intangible references to the history of place. A great story tantalizes all the senses. Research is the foundation……designers must do their homework!
2. Fragrance is the most powerful force in evoking memories and forging new memories.
The spice markets of Istanbul, the flower markets of Amsterdam, the scent of fresh pines at Pinehurst, or the intoxicating aroma of the sea and agave in San Juan Capistrano. Remember the smells from your grandmother’s kitchen… fragrance transports us back to places that have touched us.
3. Art can convey the story of place in the most obvious and powerful ways.
We use local artists and craftspeople to create artwork, lighting, unique case goods, textiles, gardens. “Local and authentic”, a phrase coined for Hilton’s Curio brand, is the mantra of all sophisticated travelers today.
One of the most provocative ways to celebrate place is to set up views from rooftops, elevated rooms, spas, and restaurants. Engaging visitors with a spectacular view will connect them emotionally to place. Dining with a view of the Acropolis in Athens, or atop a skyscraper in New York or with views of the bay in San Francisco. Many of the places we visit have singularly unique views in the hands of a skilled architect and designer.
Luxury travel is impossible without impeccable, non-obtrusive service. Many of the best stories for the local culture come to us from the staff at hotels and resorts. Many have spent their lives immersed in the culture and history of the location. I never fail to ask for advice from the hotel team, they can be a great treasure trove of stories.
Brilliant, n’est-ce pas? For more design inspiration, follow Gary online. I’ve asked Gary to become a regular contributor to The Antiques Diva blog – I’m looking forward to his next post!
Gary M. Inman
Vice President, Hospitality at Baskerville
Toma – The Antiques Diva
Diane Keaton is coming to Dallas sponsored by Aidan Gray Home
As you know at my Paris Flea Market Champagne Brunch on January 21 we will unveil part of the Antiques Diva Collection for Aidan Gray Home. But before Paris, Dallas will be getting a sneak peek at my new furniture collection when it is shown in public for the first time ever, appearing on stage with Oscar-winning actress, director and author Diane Keaton as she discusses home and design at the Dallas Market Center.
“The House That Pinterest Built:
A Conversation with Diane Keaton”
Dallas Market Center, in partnership with Aidan Gray, proudly announces a personal appearance and book signing with Oscar-winning actress, director and author Diane Keaton during its upcoming January Total Home & Gift Market (January 17-23, 2018). On Thursday, January 18, Keaton will discuss home and design in association with her new book, The House That Pinterest Built (Rizzoli, 2017). The presentation will take place at 1 p.m. in the atrium of the World Trade Center, followed by a book signing in the Aidan Gray Showroom. Read more…
Ready to MEET DIANE KEATON in DALLAS? Here’s how!
- Pick your favorite Diane Keaton image, house, movie, likeness, Aidan Gray product, or ALL the above!
- Blend them all together using your favorite app!
- Create an INSTAGRAM POST and TAG #DKatAG
- You must FOLLOW @aidangrayhome
- It’s really that simple…
- Grand Prize Winner will be notified via a special event on January 3, 2018. It’s up to your imagination; we want to see your creativity & favorite Diane Keaton Moment. Here are some of the ideas we have created to inspire you!
It’s really that simple….
All rules and details can be found online at www.aidangrayhome.com. This contest is not organized or sponsored by Toma Clark Haines or The Antiques Diva & Co, please contact Aidan Gray Home for all questions.
Toma – The Antiques Diva