French Garden House Sourcing Tips

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;”>If you’re not already familiar with French Garden House you are missing out!  French Garden House mixes European elegance with American style, old with new. Owner Lidy loves nothing more than to inspire you with her divine collection of French Home and Garden accessories.

french garden house

french garden house

(a sneak peek at their store)

Their online shop offers elegant French Antiques, furniture with the patina of wear, vintage heirloom accessories to delight you, and French Country utilitarian pieces.  Lidy has worked very diligently to choreograph a collection of treasures that make your home fresh, lively and inspirational.

Lidy Baars

The reason for the phenomenal success of the French Garden House online store has been because Lidy’s skill set as a buyer.   In my  last blog post I told about the tours/belgium”>Belgian Antiques Diva Trade Tour Lidy Baars of French Garden House took with me.  Today I wanted to share with you some sources that Lidy introduced me to!!


After doing her 3 day Antiques Diva Tour Lidy also did a self-driving tour of the Limburg region in The Netherlands – she emailed me with excitement, “Darling you MUST meet Caatje Antiek and Brocante de Veranda! You’ll adore them!”

french garden house

Knowing these tips were too good to keep to myself I had to share sourcing tips from the shopping prowess of French Garden House!  Lidy not only has gorgeous taste but she’s also a brilliant buyer.  She understands her client base, what they’re looking for and really works to choreograph a collection that is as unique as the fingerprints on each of her clients.

Bonne Shopping!
The Antiques Diva®

Thanks for the Memories and Where in the World is The Antiques Diva?

top:2px;padding-right:5px;font-family:times;”>A fan of the Today Show, I love their annual segment “Where in the World is Matt Lauer?” A few years ago, Matt Lauer even came to the tiny village south of Amsterdam where I lived, causing my husband serious trepidation as he knew I’d had a crush on Lauer for years! Unfortunately I wasn’t even aware he had been in Breukelen until my friend La Reine emailed to ask if I was outside holding my “Antiques Diva” sign and clamoring for his attention….

Anyway, I digress… during the last month and a half while emails have gone unanswered and phone calls unreturned, I’ve felt like I was living Lauer’s life, playing the game “WHERE IN THE WORLD IS THE ANTIQUES DIVA?” My husband called my mobile one night a few weeks ago while I was away on one of several extended business trips for my Antiques Diva Fall Flea Market Tours and he asked, “What country are you in?” I had to look at my dinner companions to answer that question.

to 10px; WIDTH: 300px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 400px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”” border=”0″ />Holland, France, Belgium, Germany, Holland again, and again… I’m racking up more miles on the Merc than we ever thought possible! In the last month and a half I’ve slept more nights in other people’s houses and hotels than in my own bed! Needless to say, my poor husband who’s been left at home has suffered the consequences of Diva Tour’s success and has not only learned to cook for himself but he’s taken up ironing as a hobby!!! So today’s blog is devoted both to THE ONES I LOVE & a CALL OUT to some SPECIAL PEOPLE!

1) I’d like to give a Gros Bisou” (that’s French for a big kiss) to my husband The Wine Guy!

to 10px; WIDTH: 400px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 300px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”” border=”0″ />Thanks for putting up with my recent prolonged travels! I love you dear! We recently realized that in 6 months I will have spent half my life in his arms – and it’s been the best 18 years of my life!

2) My Second Dank u wel goes to my lovely hosts in Holland! The lady on the left, Lucretia, might look familiar as not only has she been hosting me frequently while I’ve visited Holland, but she is also an Antiques Diva Tour Guide! I’ve practically gained squatters rights based upon the number of times she & her lovely husband have let me stay chez them in my own private quarters on the 3rd floor! Thanks so much for your continued hospitality – you are the most gracious hosts I know!

to 10px; WIDTH: 370px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 400px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”” border=”0″ />
3) When I wasn’t staying with friends in Holland, I was mooching off friends in Paris! I’m seriously shameless… and I enjoyed every minute of it! While staying in hotels is always nice, it’s so much nicer to stay with friends, especially friends that make you feel like family. By the end of the trip, I was convinced that Jen was my long-lost sister and that we had been separated at birth! And I fell so head-over-heels in love with Jen’s daughter that I seriously contemplated chucking the Diva lifestyle and packing her up and bringing her home with me!

to 10px; WIDTH: 350px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 400px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”” border=”0″ />Psst… If my Parisian host looks familiar it might be because this isn’t the first time she’s appeared on my blog! Remember the Guest Post, It’s Hermes Darling?

4) In addition to Thanking my Husband and Hosts, I’d also like to call attention to my Antiques Diva Guides – these two ladies help me behind the scenes, coordinating details, translating information and bargaining on our client’s behalf. They scour the local scene and keep me informed on what’s going on where and in general provide support, helping Diva Tours be what it’s become. My heartfelt thanks to Marlene & Lucretia!

to 10px; WIDTH: 300px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 400px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”” border=”0″ />Marlene seen above waving an antique toy bowling pin in Cachot Antiques in The Hague with clients

to 10px; WIDTH: 400px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 300px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”” border=”0″ />Lucretia seen here at W. Angevaren Oude Kunst en Antiek in The Hague while taking clients on a Diva Tour.

5) While I’m thanking people, I have to ask, “what would my time in Paris have been without the sensational Sylvia”? She served as friend & translator during a few of the Diva Tours when I needed an extra hand!

to 10px; WIDTH: 300px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 400px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”” border=”0″ />She embodies in one person my 3 European lives! I first met my German friend Sylvia when we were both living in Holland, though it just so happens she’s lived the better part of the last 2 decades in France, speaking French so flawlessly that everyone who meets her is awed it’s not her native tongue!

6) I couldn’t forget to THANK the MYSTERIOUS La Mom – who revealed her secret identity to several Antiques Diva Clients while we were on Tour in Paris!!!

to 10px; WIDTH: 380px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 254px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”” border=”0″ />NOTE: THIS IS NOT A PHOTO OF LA MOM, BUT INSTEAD A STOCK PHOTOGRAPH LABELED INCOGNITO… I thought it was an appropriate filler since La Mom’s TRUE IDENTITY is SAFE WITH ME (and those Diva Clients to whom she revealed her true identity!)

7) While in Paris I was honored to spend time with two ladies who made me forget that I was working as they were simply too fun to shop with. I should hire them to be stunt-doubles on all future tours, simply to bring the party to the tour! Chantal Panozzo, (o
n right) is a sensational freelance writer
who shops as well as she writes and Kim P happens to be quite possibly the most interesting joie-de-vivre-filled-well-connected-Paris-informed person I’ve ever met!

to 10px; WIDTH: 400px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 300px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”” border=”0″ />Kim P, The Diva and Chantal

Thank you Chantal for the shout out on your blog earlier – Diva Readers, make sure to check out Chantal’s Blog “One Big Yodel and French Fans, Kim’s writings on The Paris Traveler are a Must-Read. I also owe Kim a thank you as she recently emailed to let me know my name was in print – emailing me a Suzanne’s Files articles I had missed seeing at first glance!

8) Merci to Jessica (below) for helping to store MY Parisian purchase overnight in your car and transporting it chez vous so I could cash in on this SENSATIONAL BARGAIN when I found myself without wheels the one day I needed them!

to 10px; WIDTH: 300px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 400px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”” border=”0″ />Readers, please ignore the fact that I’m wearing the same outfit on 2 different tour days – it’s a career casualty when living out of a suitcase! Back to the mirror – I paid a mere 125 Euro for this fab French mirror! When concerns arose that it might not fit into the back of my station wagon, Jessica graciously agreed to buy it off of me (for an additional 10 E discount off what I originally paid – LOL!) but perseverance paid off and it eventually (with a lot of pushing and shoving by Jessica and me) fit into my car! Until our next shopping adventure – Thanks for everything Jessica!

9) Last but least, THANK YOU to The Antiques Diva clients who followed me along on my adventures this last month-and-a-half doing Fall Flea Market Tours in Holland, Belgium and France! I couldn’t have done it without you!!! 40+ days, nearly 40 clients, 3 journalists + a handful of Bloggers bopping along has made the last month & a half a sensation!!! And now, after a month and a half of non-stop antique shopping, I SLEEP!

Bonne Nuit!

The Antiques Diva™

PAN Amsterdam

Earlier this week, I wrote giving you the dates and details for the upcoming PAN Amsterdam to be held Nov 23 – 30, 2008 at the RAI. For those of you who are not familiar with PAN Amsterdam, I thought you might enjoy reading a review written by an IWC Member who participated in the PAN Amsterdam Antiques Diva IWC Outing last year! So Ta Ta from me and Hello from Novella, an IWC Antiques Diva Participant!
IWC Member Novella writes:
top:2px;padding-right:5px;font-family:times;”>It was a cold autumn day in Amsterdam, but what better way to spend it than browsing indoors through PAN Amsterdam. Eight of us art & antiques loving IWC members met up at the RAI exhibition centre for a Diva’s Day Out! Thanks to the “Invitations” obtained by Antiques Diva Tour Guide Marlene we all obtained free entrance to the show – a savings of 12.50E per person!

This was my first visit with the Antiques Diva Group and it was great fun strolling around the hugely varied exhibits, sometimes with the others and sometimes taking time to view paintings alone, lost among classic fine art, modern art, early period furniture, ceramics, photographs, jewelry, sculptures and all the rest that remains a blur. Some of our group was very knowledgeable about antiques and also confident in approaching gallery owners and dealers asking for information and prices of pieces while others of us hadn’t a clue. Speaking of prices, it’s fun to go to PAN even if you know you can’t possibly afford the majority of the price tags for items at PAN! You learn so much and as The Antiques Diva always says, “Seeing fine art educates your eye so you appreciate quality when you see it. It’s like doing a wine tasting to educate the palette.”

I was bowled over by a modern painting by Karl Appel, entitled De Kat from the Jaski Gallery, but no price tag was listed on this one. Taking a cue from the Diva, I inquired with the smiling dealer as to its cost, “The Cat is 35,000E” he said and I retreated with grace to join the others.

Some of the galleries had made great efforts to provide atmosphere to enhance their exhibits, in particular Jan Roelofs Antiquairs specializing in early period furniture and object d’art. The lighting and setting worked to great effect setting off the beauty and mystery of the mainly 16 & 17th C Italian and Spanish furniture.

An exhibit of Russian early 20th C paintings also caught my eye. The paintings, and there were many, seemed so fresh and reasonably priced! They were the bargain at PAN! They were exhibited by the tory.html” target=”_blank”>Douwes Fine Art Gallery and I might just pop along the Spiegelkwartier later and have another browse with “intent” as a I have a large white wall crying out for some affordable art.

The Art Nouveau period was also featured at the show and I particularly liked the art glass such as Tiffany, Daum and Loetz. Absolutely exquisite! I realized quickly I wanted to start collecting pieces such as these.

The PAN Amsterdam fair is a great venue for antique and art novices and dealers alike. The bars and cafes, strategically situated down the center of the exhibition, buzzed with chatter and happy antiques diva’s exchanging views and making new friends in between sips of coffee or wine and cake! This is a cool place also for people and fashion watching… it’s not just the art that is on show but the guests as well! I look forward to my next Antiques Diva experience in January!

IWC Amsterdam Member