Not Your Grandmother’s Antiques

Dear Diva Readers,

top: 5px; float: left; color: white; background: #781300; border: 1px solid darkkhaki; font-size: 50px; line-height: 40px; padding-top: 1px; padding-right: 5px; font-family: times;”>While on tour recently in Milan, clients spotted this lovely vignette at one of our favorite sources. One thing is for sure: There’s nothing stuffy or old-fashioned about these antique and vintage pieces! I love when we find examples of antiques that read young, hip, and oh so fabulous!


Happy hunting,

The Antiques Diva®

Antiques in 21st Century Interiors

Dear Diva Readers,

top: 5px; float: left; color: white; background: #781300; border: 1px solid darkkhaki; font-size: 40px; line-height: 30px; padding-top: 1px; padding-right: 5px; font-family: times;”>I believe that antiques play a vital role in any interior, no matter what the style.  From rococo to midcentury modern, there are vintage and antique pieces that can enhance the look and feel of any space.  That’s why I’m so excited to be speaking as part of the Spring Market Series at the Decoration & Design Building in New York City next week about this very topic!

Join me, along with an esteemed panel including Olga Granda-Scott, cofounder of The HighBoy, and interior designers Jennifer Mehditash and David Scott, as we discuss the role of antiques in 21st century interiors.  The conversation will be moderated by Louis Navarrete of Louis Navarrete Decoration.

to DDB” alt=”Invitation May 2014, antiques diva, antiques, modern” src=”” width=”445″ height=”512″ />

This panel discussion will be going on as part of the Spring Market speaker series at the D&D featuring trendsetting innovators at the helms of the strongest brands in design.  You can check out the D&D Spring Market schedule here.

Earlier this same day as part of the series I’m excited to hear Timothy Corrigan and Newell Turner speak on other panels!

I would love to see you there!

When: Thursday May 15 at 12pm

Where: The Decoration & Design Building in NYC in the de le Cuona showroom Suite 914.

Last but not least, for today’s blog given the topic I will be speaking on of using antiques in modern interiors I wanted to share some photos of my own home to show how I personally mix antiques with a modern vibe!  In my living room period Rococo Stockholm Chairs juxtapose with a modern leather sectional (note cute husband has just been judiciously added to the pic to add a lifestyle element).  Meanwhile I pair a vintage 1980’s Lucite German desk with a 1930’s Italian Chair and an 18th C Barometer – and the effect, though totally vintage, is completely modern. In my dining room – literally every single piece in the room is antique or vintage – from the Gustavian consoles (hidden behind the pair of French Napoleon III upholstered armchairs) to the antique Delft collection from Holland – but this room feels utterly modern.  I love using antiques in fresh ways – so they don’t feel stuffy or old fashion but au courant!

swedish chairs, Antiques diva, decorating

antiques modern, antiques diva, home, decorating

antiques modern2, antiques diva, decorating

Happy decorating!

The Antiques Diva®

Client Feedback French Garden House

Dear Diva Readers,

top: 5px; float: left; color: white; background: #781300; border: 1px solid darkkhaki; font-size: 60px; line-height: 50px; padding-top: 1px; padding-right: 5px; font-family: times;”>God has been smiling on me a lot here lately and His most recent smile came in the form of Lidy Baars, proprietress of French Garden House, a blooming business selling European vintage and antique pieces.  After discovering her shop in 2008 and reading about her in a zillion magazine articles featuring her business, over time we formed an online friendship as I followed her blog, Facebook and Twitter feeds.  Lidy is European by birth but lives in America  – she has the reverse experience to me as an American by birth who lives in Europe. Our lives seemed opposite sides of the same coin.

French Garden House logo

When she emailed recently to  inquire about taking a tour I jumped on the opportunity to take her to my secret sources in Belgium, helping her stock her gorgeous online store.    We shopped until Lidy’s poor husband dropped.  He’d come along for the ride and meeting him was as much a pleasure as meeting her…   This man adores this woman.  He spoke with such pride about the amazing business she’d created and it was brilliant to watch Lidy’s process as a buyer.  She knew exactly what she wanted, exactly what worked for her clients and she was always aware of choosing budget-sensible pieces so she could pass her savings along to her clients. She shopped well so her clients could shop well as well!  But it wasn’t just the shopping that was good – Lidy was good.  I adored her.  We laughed until tears ran down our faces, bonded over shared beliefs and views and in general had such a good time I forgot I was working.   I love it when that happens with a client and doing what I do I am so fortunate to meet people like Lidy!

French Antiques

I asked Lidy after her tour if she’d be willing to share her experiences on tour with our Antiques Diva  readers…. And here’s what she had to say about Antiquing in Europe with The Antiques Diva & Co:

The Antiques Diva: 
What did you like about your Antiques Diva Trade Tour?

Lidy @ French Garden House:
Being able to shop Europe’s secret sources with an expert who has finessed the art of finding all the best dealers and places. You truly selected places for me to shop with my business in mind, brought me to see unusual, hard-to-find treasures that it would have taken me years to seek out.  In three days you packed our schedule full ofto the trade only” resources, dealers that are seen “by appointment only” whom I would have never have found myself , and special shopping experiences it would take me years and years of “on the ground” research to ferret out.  Not to mention that you are beyond organized, treated me like royalty and took care of all the details, allowing me to focus on what mattered most: selecting antiques that are perfect for my clients.

Aside from shopping for antique treasures in Belgium, my Diva Guide was the true GEM. Irreplaceable, worth more than anything else on the tour.  Personal, professional, kind and caring, a true treat.  Like shopping Europe with your best friend, but a best friend who knows everything and everyone in the antiques business.

Buing Antiques in Europe

Buying French Antiques

The Antiques Diva:
In addition to taking our European Tour you have some European Sources of your own!  Would you be willing to share a Secret Source in Europe?

Lidy @ French Garden House:
That would be CAATJE ANTIEK& BROCANTE DE VERANDA.  My husband John and I loved doing this tour of dealers in Limburg, close to the Belgian border, and the most charming shops and little towns!

Buying Antiques in Europe

Buying antiques in Europe

The Antiques Diva:
If you were to plan on attending another Antiques Diva Tour where would you go next after Belgium or what would you do?

Lidy @ French Garden House:
I want to go to each country you have a tour in.  My next tour might be England.  There is just no way to shop in Europe without you and the tour, you have all the best sources and contacts and take such good care of your clients, it’s like having a personal concierge every step of the way.

Antiques Diva

French Garden House

To book your Antiques Diva Tour email”>

The Antiques Diva®

Antiques Diva Virtual Buying Tours

Dear Diva Readers,

top: 5px; float: left; color: white; background: #781300; border: 1px solid darkkhaki; font-size: 80px; line-height: 70px; padding-top: 1px; padding-right: 5px; font-family: times;”>Recently tours” target=”_blank”>Modenus – the best design resource on the net – posted an article regarding ourto-the-trade/buying-services” target=”_blank”> buying services  and it occurred to me I was positively negligent in not sharing those details with you here on my own blog!!!  You know us as an European Antique Shopping Tour company… and when you’re in Europe and you want to go antiquing, we’re you’re first stop for taking an tours” target=”_blank”>antiques shopping tour.  But what IF you can’t come abroad!??  We know you WANT to travel overseas, but sometimes LIFE gets in the way….  you have work and family commitments or sometimes the cost of the trip + the cost of the purchases is simply too much on the budget.  But that doesn’t mean you don’t still want to go do shopping in Europe.  That’s where we come in…  we can buy on your behalf, giving you access to our sources in Europe and letting you shop from across the pond!!  While we offer antique buying tours, we also offer shopping services for our clients – both Trade & Private individuals.

How It Works?
When we buy for a client, we ask a lot of questions about what you’re looking for..  We want to know you and your style inside out.   Clients email us photos from pinterest or scanned from magazines, books, etc saying “I want everything in this picture” – sometimes antiques dealers even send us emails saying “see my competitors website… I want what she’s got!” as well as links to their own site to help us get a feel for their shop.  Some clients are decorating their own home and are looking for a key piece so they email pics of their living room telling us what they’re looking for and the space they are working with.

Once we get those pictures and links to websites our job is to do that little thing we do.  When you tell us what you’re looking for we go to our best contacts and get you photographs of the inventory we recommend for you.   Some of the things we suggest will be in response to what you’ve told us you want… but other things we suggest are things we think you might like.  You’ll get a lot of pre-choreographed photos sent to you.  We understand you need to kiss a lot of frogs to find your perfect piece… so we’ll give you variety in colors, in scale, in quality,  in age and in price.

After we’ve sent  you photos you’ll come back to us and say “ugh hate photos #17, 22 and 36” giving us feedback on what you don’t like so we refine our search… but here’s where it gets good, you’ll say “OMG where have #12, # 16, # 33 and #42 been all my life. BUY THEM”.   A lot of the vendors we go to are wholesale dealers only – and they don’t negotiate.  On those vendors we’ll say – the price is X and X is what you’ll pay.  BUT – then we’ll tell you but photo # 16 and 42 are vendors who will negotiate and we’ll go to town on your behalf.

How Do You Get It Across the Pond?
At The Antiques Diva & Co we not only help you source, but we then also liaise you with international shippers.  When it comes to international shipping there are always problems (things break, shipments are delayed, etc. etc.).  The shippers we work with are not perfect, but either they work with us to fix and resolve the problems that invariably occur when international shipping is in place or we stop working with them, so we have a refined tried and tested network of international shippers we rely upon.

We’ll take your purchases from maybe 5 or 10 different sources – often in different countries – and help you coordinate  ONE shipping.  This one shipment saves you money off if you were buying direct from each of these vendors – and each vendor was shipping separately.

We’ll sticker your purchases, fill out your shipping purchase orders, even take Tylenol on your behalf as we handle headaches and liaise with an international shipper to get everything across the pond to you.

Why Shouldn’t You Just Shop Online for European Antiques?
You and I both know that the fact is you can scout webpages and search out European antiques all by yourself all over the web… the internet has made the world really small that way.  So why would you hire The Antiques Diva & Co to scout in Europe to source goods for your store when you could skip the middle man and shop yourself online?  The problem with buying online is that you don’t always know what you’re buying or if it looks as good in person as it does in the photos.  You don’t have relationships with the dealers nor someone to vet the inventory on your behalf before you pay a bundle to get it carted halfway around the world.  You don’t know who you should trust or shouldn’t.  When buying online you just click “add to cart”, no negotiating takes place, so you never really know if you’re getting the best price or if you could have gotten a better price.  And if you want to buy from multiple stores, shipping becomes a disaster because you’re paying more to ship a few things individually than to bulk everything from various sources when shipping them in one lot would have cost a whole lot less.  And MOST importantly… and here’s the kicker… the best sources in Europe aren’t online.

Most wholesale warehouses in Europe and the UK don’t sell on line, they provide an exclusive service to their trade clients by keeping their prices & inventory off the web for the discrete few who are lucky enough to gain entry into their world.    That’s where we come in.  The difference between Old World Culture and New World Culture is the secret handshake.  In Europe having an introduction gives you entry into an inner circle you can’t gain access to on your own.  Our job – whether you’re on a To The Trade Antiques Buying Tour or using our buying service – is to show you the secret handshake and introduce you to the people in Europe you need to know.

For More Information?
Contact me”> – I’d love to chat to discuss how we  could give you access to Buying Abroad!!

Warm Regards,
The Antiques Diva®