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The Antiques Diva Does Round Top Texas

The Arbor International Antiques & Interior Design Show in Round Top

They say “Everything is Bigger in Texas”. Well… Hold onto your cowboy hat handsome because Big just Got Bigger! The Arbor International Antiques & Interior Design Show in Round Top, Texas has become one of the biggest nationally known antique shows in the USA. Three times a year Antique Dealers from more than 13 countries set up shop on the fields outside of a small dusty town in Texas called Round Top, Texas… Population 90. Forget all your images of Texas towns… Gone are the tumbleweeds replaced by gorgeous antique linens, pickup trucks are used for hauling 18th C French armoires instead of hay bales, and cowboy hats give way to some of the chicest-most-connected-in-the-know buyers in the USA coming to either stock their store or simply buy for their own personal pleasure!!! Of course, a Diva Never Reveals her client list, but I can tell you that a number of my clients are selling at Round Top Texas!!!

Of course just like shopping the Paris Flea Market can be overwhelming – which means you need an Antiques Diva Guide – the same is true with Round Top! And lucky for you, The Antiques Diva is Doing Round Top Texas, leading not one but three fabulous No Passport Required Antiques Diva PR Champagne Tours! And best of all baby, it’s free!

The Arbor International Antiques & Interior Design Show

Antiques Diva Champagne Tour – No Passport Required

Join me for a glass (or two) of champagne – and meet my favorite vendors at Round Top!

When

  • Friday, September 23, 2016 – 11 am
  • Saturday, September 24, 2016 – 1 pm & 4 pm
  • Sunday, September 25, 2016 – 11 am

Where:
Arbor Antiques Show Tents – Meet at the Stardust Martini Bar for check-in and champagne 15-30 minutes prior to the tour start time.

How to Reserve your Champagne Tour:
Email theantiquesdiva@arborantiques.com to reserve your spot in one of the three tours. Space is limited in each tour, and you won’t want to miss my insider tips on shopping Round Top Texas!!!

The Arbor International Antiques & Interior Design Show
On our tour we’ll not only point out antiques from around the world giving you Global Sourcing Tips – but we will give you inside information on the vendors, telling you:

  • who’s got the best loot
  • which vendors you must be following on Instagram
  • we’ll talk about how to use what you find
  • we’ll even give you a Diva-Education – telling you about the major antique periods and styles available for sale at the Arbor International Antiques & Interior Design Show!

You’ll learn how to identify key characteristics utilizing modern day metaphors (and I might even tell a dirty joke or two simply for the sake of helping you remember your Louis).

Design Trends
We are also going to focus on the antique trends in Europe and Asia… I’ll be arriving in Texas after two months on the road, shopping my way through Asia while setting up our Antiques Diva Asia Tours and the information I gather on the road is all part of our Design Trend Scouting. Learn how those trends will influence what’s happening in the designosphere in the USA. My goal is to take antiques out of the past and bring them into the future of design

Join me in Round Top Texas at Arbor Antiques Show for a Diva Styled Champagne Tour!

Bonne Shopping!

Toma Clark Haines, The Antiques Diva®

AD&CO Logistics Art and Antiques Shipping Services

The Antiques Diva Art and Antiques Shipping Services

At The Antiques Diva & Co our goal is to provide a turnkey solution and help our clients with the entire process of buying antiques overseas. From planning customized one-on-one antique buying tours to taking clients shopping by the hand whilst doing the translating and negotiating – our goal is for our clients to have “smooth sailing” antiquing abroad. We want our clients to have a seamless experience in their process of buying antiques overseas. For years we’ve worked with 3rd party shippers – but the fact is that when there were problems – and with shipping there are always problems – we didn’t have control over helping our clients SOLVE their problems.

The Process of Buying Antiques Abroad Just Got Simpler
By starting an in-house Art and Antiques Shipping Services called AD&CO LOGISTICS we are now able to offer our clients more solutions to their global sourcing needs. While we’re still happy to work with our preferred list of 3rd party international shipping companies who we trust and have worked with for years— we’re also giving clients a turnkey solution so that within one company they can shop in multiple countries and ship their purchases worldwide within the safe confines of The Antiques Diva & Co! For you, that means the process of buying antiques abroad just got simpler! And while this service is new at AD&CO, it’s old-hat for our shipping team. We’ve partnered with a premier international shipping company with 50 years expertise in international shipping as our in-house shipper.

“It’s not the ship so much as the skillful sailing that assures the prosperous voyage… “
George William CurtisThe Antiques Diva Art and Antiques Shipping Service

At The Antiques Diva & Co we’re all about customer service. Your AD&CO LOGISTICS shipping concierge will personally manage all facets of your shipment, including:

  • collecting your goods from the dealers
  • tracking your inventory and payments
  • cross-referencing your tags
  • packing
  • complete all export/import paperwork
  • monitor your shipment’s progress from the time we receive your goods until they are delivered to you
  • keep you advised of the status of your shipment

Our containers leave from the shipping port in Antwerp, Belgium.

Antiques Diva Art and Antiques Shipping Services Options:

∗ full 20 or 40ft containers or partial containers (LCL: Less Container Loads)
∗ door-to-door shipping
∗ port-only shipping
∗ independent or shared location shipping

We provide white glove art and antiques transport and shipping services to customers across Europe and around the globe, including antiques dealers, interior designers, builders and private clients. And while we love it when you book our Antiques Diva Tours – we’re even willing to offer our shipping service for those times when you’re shopping on your own independent of AD&CO!

Our bespoke shipping services will provide you with tags, labels and instructions to identify and inventory your purchases at the dealer or on your buying tour, and our shipping concierge is always available to respond to our customers before, during and after your shipment. In fact – if you’re just needing to get information – wondering if buying antiques overseas is feasible – why don’t you email me toma@antiquesdiva.com to set up a phone call to talk about your options!

The Antiques Diva Art and Antiques Shipping Service

Our Art and Antiques Shipping Services Include:

√ Organising the invoicing and payments of the goods purchased on an AD&CO Tour for our tour clients; or collecting the goods if you are not part of an Antiques Diva Buying Tour

√ Collecting all the goods from the different vendors and transporting to our warehouse in Antwerp

√ Our packing service including wrapping your goods in protective materials, crating, loading on pallets for transport, and using the most advanced art and antiques packaging and crating industry practices

√ Prior to shipping we store your goods in our secure cold storage warehouse in Antwerp

√ Shipments are organized in 20ft, 40ft or LCL (Less Container Loads)

√ We manage the loading of your container in our warehouse

√ We organise all customs and VAT paperwork concerning the export and import documentation necessary for your goods

√ If required, we provide fumigation of your container

√ We provide insurance for the shipped goods

THE ANTIQUES DIVA ART AND ANTIQUES SHIPPING SERVICES

And we’re doing it all at a bargain…
Our Goal at AD&CO is to save you time and money, whether that means by getting you better prices when we take you with us to source antiques overseas or in offering competitive rates on our art and antiques shipping services.

Bonne Shipping!

Toma Clark Haines, The Antiques Diva®

Garden Antiques in England

Dear Diva Readers,

It’s officially March, and while it still may feel like winter in some regions of the world, we’ve got garden antiques on the brain here at The Antiques Diva & Co headquarters! We get clients from all over asking to take Garden Antiques Buying Tours and now is the perfect time to book a tour for late spring. Whether you’re a tourist who simply loves gardening and want to add to your collection of garden antiques or an antique trade professional looking to stock your store with fabulous patinated finds, we recommend setting your sights on the UK!

Garden Antiques in England- English Country House

Garden Antiques in England- Ivy Hedge

Because our tours are custom planned and a-la-carte, clients often book tours —anything from one day to one week— in addition to other travel plans. For garden lovers, this is an ideal situation. England looks its best in late spring and early summer as the trees are filling out and flowers are bursting open. Planning a trip to tour several country estates and gardens while also stopping off at secret antiques sources is a dream come true for many clients! You can often gather inspiration while touring gardens of the great houses of England as well as strolling through cottage gardens. In fact, our Diva Agent in the UK recently put together a list of her favorite gardens and English country houses here.

Garden Antiques in England-Gate

Garden Antiques in England-Pathway

Once you’re inspired, it’s time to go shopping—our favorite part! From beautifully curated shops filled with special pieces to vast warehouses which stock rows and rows of garden antiques, our Diva Agent has all the contacts in her little black book. Finding weathered terra cotta and stone pots, planters, and urns is always a treat, as these can be used indoors to start seeds during late winter months, then moved out to the garden once the weather breaks.

Garden Antiques in England-Climbing Roses

Garden Antiques in England-Garden Hedges

But it’s important to think outside the box too. We’re seeing a lot of people looking to source architectural reclamation, as these elements can be transformed into one-of-a-kind statement pieces. Architectural fragments can act as decorative objects on their own, but they can also be made into functional items. Think beautifully scrolled iron work converted into table tops or reclaimed timbers made into an arbor. From gates, fencing, doors, shutters, and trellising, creative people are designing unique pieces for the garden.

Garden Antiques in England-Planter

Garden Antiques in England-birdhouse

There are plenty of classical garden antiques available as well. When designing a garden, scale and texture are key elements to consider. Even if you only have a balcony at home, a patinated watering can and a few zinc finials can really add character to your small space. If you have a large garden, antiques such as fountains, statues, and sundials can help add structure and formality.

Garden Antiques in England-trees

Since many of us love spending time outdoors, garden furniture is a necessity. Unique outdoor tables and chairs used to dine al fresco can often be snatched up for a song. Stone, metal, and wood benches can also be used in various parts of the garden, allowing you to perch and contemplate. One of my favorite pieces, which I have two of on my rooftop terrace in Berlin, is a chaise lounge! Who wouldn’t want to take in the view of the garden from a lovely lounge, perhaps while sipping on a glass of bubbly?

Regardless of what your style is, the UK has something to offer for every garden lover. From formal gardens and traditional garden antiques to rambling cottage gardens and rustic pieces, England is the place to be. If you would like information on booking an Antiques Diva Buying Tour, simply email us at info@antiquesdiva.com. We’d love to custom plan a tour for you!

Cheers,

The Antiques Diva®

Sourcing Tuscan Pots From Estates

Dear Diva Readers,

Sourcing Tuscan Pots From Estates, Italy ,Pots

For hundreds of years the best terracotta in the world has come out of Tuscany. From floor tiles and roof tiles to sculptures and decorative pieces, the Italians have used their natural resources along with an artistic perspective to craft exceptional products which are known worldwide. Perhaps the most popular terracotta items associated with Tuscany are the pots and jars which often grace Italian gardens. Originally, these were created from the rich clay of the surrounding hills for agricultural use. They were used for storing water and olive oil, and after being left exposed to the elements, these pots developed a rich patina which makes them perfect decorative items today whether you own a Tuscan villa or a ranch home in suburban USA.

Sourcing Tuscan Pots From Estates, different pots

Italian terracotta pieces from Impruneta and Siena are arguably the best, as the land in these areas is naturally rich in iron, copper, calcium, and aluminum. Clay from Impruneta is a rich red color blue to the concentration of iron in the earth, while the crete Sienese is a softer yellow color due to the gray clay in that area.

Sourcing Tuscan Pots From Estates, lided Pot

Terracotta has been made from the earth in these Tuscan hills since Etruscan times—before Christ—and the tradition continues today. The hard gray earth is mined, then ground into a powder which is mixed with water to make the coarse bodied clay. After it’s put through the firing process which helps it withstand extreme temperatures, the clay develops a pale terracotta color. Clay from Impruneta is higher in iron than clay from Siena, and the resulting terracotta from Siena is more refined which gives it a smoother texture. Although terracotta from both regions can withstand cold temperatures, it is wise to shelter them in extreme winter climates where temperatures drop below 10 degrees fahrenheit.

Sourcing Tuscan Pots From Estates, Italy ,Olive Jars

Traditionally, olive jars are glazed on the inside and have a very distinctive shape. The large oval bodies taper at the base, which allowed the jars to be stored upright in clay or metal rings and also in wood braces aboard ships when they were being transported. Many of these olive jars also have handles at the top. Olive oil must be stored in a cool dark place in order to preserve it, therefore the jars made perfect sense. Since they are fashioned from fired-earth, they make ideal planters today and that is what many people use them for. Due to their shapely bodies and lovely patina, they can also stand alone in a garden, grouped in threes or flanking a pathway.
When searching for antique terracotta pots it’s important to note any details or markings. Antique pots usually have the name of the kiln and the estate for which they were made, often with the family crest!

Sourcing Tuscan Pots From Estates, Italy ,Pots with family name

Sourcing Tuscan Pots From Estates, Italy ,Pots Impruneta

Decoration on large pots are rare as these were created as functional pieces, but the agrumi pots are often adorned with swags. These pots were traditionally placed on pedestals in formal gardens during the summer, then rolled into the “limonia” during the winter.

Sourcing Tuscan Pots From Estates, Italy ,Terracota pots for indoor

When clients come on an Antiques Diva Tour in Tuscany, they often find terracotta pots to use indoors as well. Large or small, simple or ornately sculpted, these pots make perfect decorative accents. Our Diva Guide can also take you to small potteries which dot the Tuscan countryside between Florence and Siena. These artisans often have original molds which they can make replicas from, giving you the option to purchase matching sets of pots which can be harder to find if you’re looking for antique pots. However, several of our antique sources have antique pots from Italian estates just waiting for a new home. Their crusty exterior, aged by years of use and exposure to the elements make these vintage and antique pots all the more desirable!

Sourcing Tuscan Pots From Estates, Italy  house clearing pot sale

When a Tuscan estate goes up for sale, there is often a house-clearing sale. This is the best time to find antique terracotta jars and pots! They are often tucked away in corners of the villas or stored in out buildings and haven’t seen the light of day in years. These forgotten treasures can be plucked from obscurity and given new life by the discerning customer with a keen eye. But how can you find these house-clearing sales and what do you do if you are only in Tuscany for a few days? And most importantly, how do you get these pieces home? That’s where we come in. Through our Buying Service, we can help you source these pieces and liaise you with a shipper to get them home sweet home. Our Diva Guides are constantly on the go, shopping in stores, warehouses, private estate sales, and flea markets, covering urban and rural areas, and can take your shopping list with them, being your eyes and ears on the ground. Whether you’re searching for a few pieces or want to fill an entire container, we’ve got you covered.

Ciao for now,

The Antiques Diva®

Making Lamps From Architectural Fragments

Dear Diva Readers,

In 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!

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Lamps from Alexandra available here: http://bit.ly/1RnbkAp

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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.

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Lamps from Alexandra available here: http://bit.ly/1WIJUpQ

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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.

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Lamp from Skelton St. John available here: http://bit.ly/1OuJfCC

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?

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Lamps from Alexandra available here: http://bit.ly/1mXAuL2

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 info@antiquesdiva.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!

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Lamp from Watkins Culver available here: http://bit.ly/1VEj6H9

Until next time,

The Antiques Diva®

Consignment Shops in Tuscany

Dear Diva Readers,

W ho doesn’t dream of antiquing in Tuscany? Between the landscape, the food, and quite simply the Italian style it’s no wonder why Italy is one of our top tour countries! From hidden specialty shops to warehouses in the countryside, our Diva Guide can map out a custom shopping route to suite your needs. One of the surprises clients experience on a Tuscan Antiques Diva Buying Tour is when stop off for a quick visit to an Italian consignment stores to hunt for vintage and antique treasures. The “Mercantini,” as they are known in Italian, are often ideal places to find unique antiques at unbeatable prices. Yep – we’re talking about SECOND HAND STORES! This is the equivalent of Charity Shops in the UK or Goodwill stores in the USA!

Hay fork

When we take clients to Mercantini, we never know what they’re going to find, as the inventory changes almost daily. You can either breeze through in a couple of minutes or you can find yourself sifting through treasures for hours. In the USA of course, there are certain second hand stores that are better than others—theres one a friend goes to in DC that is INCREDIBLE – and same holds true in Italy. The quality of inventory can depend on the location, the patrons, and the set up of each individual store, so one has to know which ones to go to and the way in which they work. That’s where our Diva Guide comes in.

Antique ebonized and gilded salon suite

Most of the pieces at mercantini are on consignment. However the owners of these shops also do house clearings, which means they have first access to estate sales. Like everything in Italy, these stores are local, and that’s why who and where you (or don’t as the case maybe) place your trust, relationships and reputations are all important.

price tag

old trunk

It’s also necessary to understand how the pricing structure works in these stores. Because they’re always getting new inventory in, it’s crucial that they keep items moving, which means they are motivated sellers! On each piece you will see a label with the date when it first hit the sales floor. After two months the price is discounted by 10%. If you have the patience or courage to wait three months then the discount can be up to 50%. But of course waiting means risking losing the piece. However our Buying Service allows you to think about items and purchase them at a later date…but as any antique lover knows, if you love it, buy it now!

19th century dinner service

antique linens

When it comes to the type of items you can find at the mercantini, the sky really is the limit. Shelves filled with wonderful old linens, old fashioned cotton woven towels with knotted fringes, heavy bed linens that probably were prepared for the wedding trousseau and were never used can be purchased for a steal! We’ve had clients purchase antique books from the 17th century and have also sourced antique china sets. Antique furniture, Italian ceramics, wonderful lighting (including mid-century) are constant finds. In fact, mid century pieces including furniture are undervalued in rural areas, so they can be purchased for a song.

18th century walnut chairs

19th century Italian carved wood and gilded mirrow

No matter what your taste or style, stopping off at an Italian consignment store can prove to be an exciting and fun adventure – the last time I went to I spent 15E and came home with 3 Venetian trays. a gorgeous vase, some early 19th C leather bond books in Italian! What loot! We often take clients to these stores in between appointments with antique warehouses in the surrounding areas. After all, sometimes the dealers from the more metropolitan areas in Italy shop these rural consignment shops to find their own inventory. Why not get to it first?

If you’re planning trip to Italy and would like to book an Antiques Diva Buying Tour, email us atinfo@antiquesdiva.com. We’d love to custom plan a shopping route that’s perfect for you!

Ciao,

The Antiques Diva®

Sweden- Antiques and More

Dear Diva Readers,

We get all types of inquiries here at The Antiques Diva & Co. Some clients are on a mission to fill a container full of antiques, as they want to stock their store while other clients are tourists who are planning trips to Europe and simply want to spend a day or two antiquing as they hunt for perfectly packable souvenirs. While all of our clients are interested in antiques most of them also want to take advantage of their time in Europe and explore the countries and cultures that are at their fingertips. Sweden is one of our most popular tour destinations, as it is home to some of the most incredible antiques. But it also has a lot to offer as a travel destination. The mere mention of Sweden conjures up images of snow capped mountains, reindeer wandering through green forests, and charming country cottages that seem to come straight out of fairytales. While Sweden is a large country, there’s something special to see and do no matter what part of Sweden you visit.

If you’re planning a trip to Sweden, one place you must go is Stockholm. Take our Antiques Diva Guide Daniel Larsson’s advice and visit the only town in the world where you can go swimming in fresh water! The City of Stockholm is situated on fourteen islands and on the banks to the archipelago where Lake Malaren meets the Baltic Sea. The city centre is virtually situated on the water. In the summertime you can go island-hopping by taking an archipelago boat from Strömkajen in front of the Grand Hotel, Nybrokajen or Stadshuskajenoutside the City Hall (Stadshuset).

In the South of Sweden, Stenshuvud (translated as “Sten’s Head”) National Park should definitely be on your list of must-see places. The park is named for the over 300 foot high hill on the coast which resembles a head. From the famous hill you get a fantastic view of the Baltic Sea, over to the Danish island Bornholm. If you’re a nature lover, this is the ideal place to take an adventurous walk and also a dip in the sea.

In the West, visit the Bohuslän coast and the province of Västra Götaland. This area of Sweden and its archipelago are known for their delicious oysters, lobster, and prawns. In the quaint fishing village of Grebbestad you can take an eco-friendly “seafood safari” and then enjoy you catch at Everts Sjobod, a restored 19th century boathouse. Continue the marine theme by going to Sweden’s first national marine park, Kosterhavet National Park in the Koster Islands. There you can enjoy the coastline of beaches and rocky islands along with Sweden’s only coral reef.

In the North, there are so many things to do! From November to April you can see the Northern Lights at Abisko National Park. The Sarek National Park is filled with high alpine peaks, valleys, and foaming rivers, perfect for the nature lover. In fact, anyone who loves the great outdoors should definitely aim to visit the north of Sweden. With plenty of opportunity to get off the beaten path, it’s a must see region!

If you’re planning a trip to Sweden, why not enjoy the nature as well as the antiques? We offer 1/2 day, 1 day, and 2 day tours to antique dealers that specialize in furniture and decorative items. We take our clients to various types of antique dealers, from smaller shops with beautiful settings to big trade dealers with large warehouses. We also have access to secret sources such as one dealer that has restored a beautiful mansion to it’s original glory and has filled it with the highest quality antiques—truly like shopping in a museum.
For more information on our Swedish Tours, email us at info@antiquesdiva.com.

Happy trails,

The Antiques Diva®

Mid Century in Florence

Dear Diva Readers,

In most people’s minds, the phrase “Antiquing in Tuscany,” conjures up images of rustic Italian furniture, perfectly patinated terra cotta pots, hand forged wrought iron, and some of the best architectural salvage on the planet. However savvy Mid Century Modern lovers know that mid 20th century pieces also abound in Italy if you know where to look. Just as Italy revived its position as a fashion mecca in the 20th century (think Florence and Milan), so too it produced some of the greatest mid century furniture that is still highly sought after today. Though of course there are the well known names; (Paolo Buffa, Ico Parisi, Osvaldo Borsani etc…), that are sought after , it’s not neccessarily the names that count. There are so many unknown or lesser known furniture designers that possess the same quality, design, style & panache that Italy is known for– but it’s all in the detail!

Mid Century in Florence Chair

If you’re looking for mid century pieces, Florence is the place to go. When we have clients who are mad about mid century, we recommend that they stay in Florence and spend at least one day exploring the shops in the city and another day or two with our Diva Guide in the countryside. There are some extraordinary stores in the city that offer the best of the best vintage inventory. Dashing from shop to shop through tight streets and alleyways is always a thrill, and learning about specific pieces from the very knowledgable dealers is a treat any enthusiast would love.

Mid Century in Florence mid century furniture

As with anything however, prices in the city are higher than in more rural areas. In fact, many high-quality dealers in Florence source their inventory in the countryside… and we know where their sources are! That’s why we always recommend taking at least one day with our Diva Guide to go to these sources, as she knows exactly where to go to find the best pieces at the best prices!

Mid Century in Florence lighting

After driving a short distance outside of Florence, there are several exits off the main highway that lead to different mid century shops and warehouses. Many of these places are by appointment only and have new inventory constantly coming in. These are the dealers who specialize in house-clearings and have first access to estate sales so their stock is often fresh and unique!

Mid Century in Florence dealers warehouses and haus clearings

If Cary Grant and Katherine Hepburn shared a house, this is where they would shop! Everything from vintage chairs upholstered in velvet with sexy silhouettes to ultra modern plastic furniture can be found in these off the beaten path warehouses. If you have a thing for buttery leather upholstery and brass feet, then this is where you want to be! Rows upon rows of sleek dining chairs from the 1950s-1970s fill attics and basements while chrome and brass light fixtures illuminate the space.

Mid Century in Florence 1950 and 1970 chairs

Mid century mirrors are quite popular right now and there is no shortage of them in Italy. Minimalist shapes with an organic feel, mid century mirrors blend well into most interiors. Brass frames in the style of Gio Ponti abound and polished wood or lacquered frames are all popular choices.

Mid Century in Florence different style chairs

It’s also good to note that if you’re looking for something specific, these dealers can most likely find it. Our Buying Service allows you to give us a list of what you’re after and we’ll canvas all our sources until we find the pieces you want, then send you photos, information, and prices. This is an excellent way of getting first dibs on unique pieces that otherwise would probably have ended up in the shops in Florence for a much higher price!

Mid Century in Florence unique chairs

If you would like more information on taking an Antiques Diva Buying Tour or on our Buying Services, email us at info@antiquesdiva.com.

The Antiques Diva®

Antiques Diva Styles a Diva Den for Chairish

Dear Diva Readers,

Last year I was asked by my friends at Chairish to create a style board for a room inspired by one of their vintage rugs. For those of you who don’t know, Chairish is a curator-approved online marketplace for vintage and used furniture. This year they’ve challenged me to design a “woman cave” inspired by a set of vintage bar stools from their site! As I believe that antiques and vintage pieces are completely relevant in today’s lifestyle, I’ve chosen to create a style board using only antique and vintage items available at Chairish.com— but rest assured the vibe is anything but old fashioned and stuffy! Without further ado, I give you my “Diva Den!”

Antiques Diva Styles a Diva Den for Chairish Mid-Century Hairpin Stools - Pair

Mid-Century Hairpin Barstools
I chose these barstools as my inspiration because I love the shape of them and brass is very “in.” I would recover these beauties in a gray velvet…yummy!

Antiques Diva Styles a Diva Den for Chairish Chaise Lounge

19th Century Style Giltwood Gondola Chaise Lounge
A beautiful 1890s French chaise lounge in the Louis XVI style would be the perfect foil to the midcentury barstools. The chaise has been newly upholstered in a Stark velvet, “Velours verdi Bois de Rose”with French multicolored gimp trim all along the frame. The single down cushion is also newly upholstered with a single piping along the edges, top and bottom. This chaise has nicely gilded wood, six legs and caster wheels—the perfect spot for a Diva to perch!

Antiques Diva Styles a Diva Den for Chairish Charcoal and white stripes chairs

Charcoal and Cream Chairs
I would use this pair of matching round back Louis style armchairs upholstered in a charcoal and white wide stripe in the same seating group as the chaise lounge. The wood has been refinished in a semi-gloss heirloom white bringing some lightness to my Diva Den!

Antiques Diva Styles a Diva Den for Chairish Dining table Barbara Barry

Baker Dining Table by Barbara Barry
As strange as it may seem, I would include this Baker dining table by Barbara Barry in Java colored finish in my Diva Den. I love to cook and even more, I love to host dinner parties! Setting a gorgeous table for my girlfriends would be a highlight to using my Diva Den!

Antiques Diva Styles a Diva Den for Chairish Dining chairs leopard

Swedish Flame Birch Dining Chairs-Set of 6
This set of six fun and elegant dark golden flame birch dining chairs would be perfect surrounding my dining table. Newly restored and newly rebuilt with new padding, covered in a durable woven black and ivory Cheetah stripe fabric, makes them Diva-approved!

Antiques Diva Styles a Diva Den for Chairish Gold Aluminium Lylie Dining Table l

Arthur Court Gold Aluminum Cast Lily Dining Table
This is an original gilt Arthur Court aluminum cast Lily table. The top of the base resembles a lily flower to support a glass top, while the bottom of the base swirls around to resemble an art nouveau inspired stem. It is an unusual piece and is oh-so-very glam! I wouldn’t use it as a dining table, but rather a side table between two chairs. This table comes with a 36″ round glass top, 3/8” thick, making it the perfect size to hold a stack of books and a couple martinis!

Antiques Diva Styles a Diva Den for Chairish Mid Century Black and white Striped Chair

Mid Century Black & White Striped Chair
On one side of my lily table, I’d use this Mid-century tufted black and ivory striped accent chair. It’s been totally refurbished with new foam padding and back and cream linen fabric with double welt all around. Carved wood trim has been stripped and waxed to let the gorgeous grain show through. The perfect chair to sit and have a long conversation with another Diva!

Antiques Diva Styles a Diva Den for Chairish movement chair

Aesthetic Movement Chair
This chair speaks for itself and would go on the other side of my lily table. I love this because it’s unique and fitting for a sassy lady!

Antiques Diva Styles a Diva Den for Chairish Bar Cart

Gilt Faux Rope & Tassel Bar Cart
Who doesn’t need a 1960’s Italian gilded iron rope and tassel bar cart? With two glass shelves, it’ll hold plenty of spirits which can be wheeled over from the main bar!

Antiques Diva Styles a Diva Den for Chairish Acryl Brass Etagere

Jonathan Adler Lucite Acrylic Brass Etagere
Bring on the tough glamour. The Jacques Collection creates a bold balance of masculine lines and feminine finishes. The étagère mixes the jewel-like sparkle of custom-tooled brushed brass with Lucite construction. The result is modern decor with an heirloom-level of quality. It’s perfect for displaying books and other favorite curiosities.

Antiques Diva Styles a Diva Den for Chairish Tom Greene Chandelier

Brutalist Tom Greene Chandelier
This modern chandelier would help bring the entire room together! What a statement piece!

Diana Ross Framed photo

Diana Ross Framed Photo
Every Diva Den needs a photo of a true diva! Why not hang this black and white portrait of Diana Ross? In fact, I might just do an entire wall of diva photos…can you imagine? Talk about inspiration!

Zebra Hide Rug

Zebra Hide Rug
Underfoot you can never go wrong with a zebra rug. The average size of a zebra hide rug is 10 feet from tip of nose to tip of tail 6 feet at the widest point making it large enough to rest under a seating group.

And there you have it! My Diva Den inspired by midcentury bar stools and decorated using exclusively items from Chairish.com! What would you put in YOUR Diva Den? Leave me a comment!

Stylishly,

The Antiques Diva®

An Afternoon in Cotignac

Dear Diva Readers,

An Afternoon in Cotignac Fountain

What antique lover hasn’t dreamed of hunting for treasures in Provence? The gorgeous landscape, the French lifestyle, the tiny villages dotting the hillsides, and lots of small shops and brocantes tucked away just waiting to be discovered…sounds like Antiques Diva Heaven! One of the idyllic villages we take clients to when they’re on an Antiques Diva Provence Tour is Cotignac. Nestled on a hillside, the village of Cotignac in the Var is surrounded by majestic cliffs which have played host to the town for centuries, and have provided shelter and refuge to humans for millennia. The Provencal village is the ideal place to take a stroll, admiring the charming architecture, quaint shops, and intoxicating blend of colors, both on the buildings and in nature.

An Afternoon in Cotignac Provence rooftops

An Afternoon in Cotignac Mountain view

Driving up to the village is part of the pleasure of visiting this enchanting place. Most of the surrounding area is “zone vert” or green zone, meaning it’s protected for its natural beauty. As you weave your way through the road on the hill, you get a nice view of the village, which dates back to Roman times. Much of what must have attracted the Romans to this area still remains unchanged— the sunny climate, the excellent soil perfect for growing vines, and the picturesque views of the French countryside. But there is one more thing that attracts a Diva like me, and that is…antiques of course!

An Afternoon in Cotignac Pedestrian Road

After parking the car, the first place to head to is the raised pedestrian road in the middle of the town called the Cours Gambetta. Line with large Plane trees which cast their shadows over the stone streets, this bustling little street is where you can often find locals perched on a bench, watching passersby or admiring the fountain which no doubt has seen thousands of people make a wish.

An Afternoon in Cotignac House Clearing

An Afternoon in Cotignac Antiques Shop

For an antique lover, the first thing to do after grabbing a quick coffee is to hit some of the local shops. Our Diva Guide knows exactly which off the beaten path places to take you to, where you’ll find an eclectic mix of the best inventory. One of the shops we often take clients to is called MODES. Rounding a corner at the top of one of the hills, you’ll see antiques spilling out into the square from a tiny door which faces the hillside. Each piece at MODES is a work of art, and although it’s a small shop, it certainly has big style! Original works of art, vintage furniture, fine antiques, and Italian marble sculptures are all curated by the shops stylish owners, John and Simon.

An Afternoon in Cotignac Modes Small Antiques Shop

An Afternoon in Cotignac Antiques and Vintage Pieces

Upon entering their treasure chest filled with antiques and vintage pieces, you’ll find there is a story behind each item they have. In fact, their home—which has been featured in several international shelter magazines– is just a short walk away, and is filled with even more antiques, all of which are quite special. And the view from this house on the hill is absolutely spectacular!

An Afternoon in Cotignac small passage

After weaving your way between the tables that spill onto the pavement from restaurants and cafes, you may find yourself in the mood for a nice meal al fresco. The popular Cafe du Cours is certainly Diva worthy, as there is a view of the main pedestrian road, along with a nice breeze coming from the valley– and the food is divine! After lunch, Stop into several other shops which dot the hill, offering everything from perfectly packable souvenirs to mid-century modern to antique artwork.

An Afternoon in Cotignac packable souvenirs mid century and modern

An Afternoon in Cotignac Chandelier

If you happen to be there on market day (Tuesday mornings until noon), you’ll find the village square is transformed into a colorful array of stalls filled with all kinds of French goodies! Whether you want to buy some homemade cheeses, local honey, ceramics, or baskets, the market is a lively place to spend an afternoon. Complete your glimpse into the French village life by sitting at a cafe with a coffee and people watching. You won’t be sorry!

An Afternoon in Cotignac French Village

If you would like information on our Antiques Diva Provence Tours, where we can incorporate a day in Cotignac for you, email us at info@antiquesdiva.com.

Au revoir,

The Antiques Diva®

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