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Architectural Salvage

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;”>W e’re all familiar with the saying, “They just don’t make things like they used to,” and I know this to be a true statement! That’s one of the reasons many people come on tour to search for architectural salvage. Whether clients are building their dream home, adding a special addition, or purchasing inventory to stock their store, architectural salvage tours seem to be one of our most popular request. It makes sense to me—when you spend your money on something, you want to know that it is made of quality materials that will stand the test of time. What better way to ensure that they’ll last than to buy something that’s been around for over one hundred years?! Speaking of quality materials, antique architectural salvage can often by purchased at a fraction of the price it would cost to reproduce them.

Architectural Salvage

Architectural Salvage

Price and endurance aside, architectural salvage pieces allow you to add something unique to your home. In a cookie cutter world, it’s becoming more and more important to incorporate unique pieces into your life, better reflecting your style. Whether you’re incorporating antique mantels or lighting fixtures into your home or reinventing salvage by creating furniture from recycled items, antique pieces add character to any space.

Architectural Salvage

Architectural Salvage

We’ve seen architects use old French doors in new construction, interior designers source vintage sinks in multiple colors to complement a scheme, and private clients buy gorgeous chandeliers to hang over their dining tables. The options really are endless. Owners of older homes often look for period pieces for restoration projects while those building new houses want something that’s going to add that warmth and patina that only antiques can add. Loft dwellers love finding burnished pieces and industrial salvage, perhaps from an old warehouse or factory.

Architectural Salvage

Architectural Salvage tiles

In fact, we’ve helped clients source entire frescoed ceilings, built-in libraries, Italian roof tiles, floor tiles, reclaimed wood floors, and even staircases. Whether found on tour or through our Buying Services, our guides know where to go, who to talk to about restoration, and what a fair price is. Here are a few tips to keep in mind if you’re on the hunt for architectural salvage:

Shop First
If you wait until the last minute to try and find a mantel or door that will fit the exact spot that’s already carved out, chances are it’s going to be difficult to source. Instead, find special pieces you love and ask your contractor to create a space for it.

Measure twice 
The last thing you want to happen is that you buy a beautiful piece only to find out that it won’t fit through your door or up the stairs! Take measurements of the space you want to fit it in as well as all doorways and hallways it will need to pass through.

Rely on Restoration
Many times you’ll come upon an item that could use some TLC. That’s ok! It’s normal to purchase something in its “original state,” often meaning that it hasn’t been restored or changed at all because the seller wants to let the buyer choose how much to restore it, what finish to use, and to advise if size adjustments need to be made. A lot of antique dealers do their own restoring or have workshops they trust to carry these wishes out. Don’t be afraid to ask about a piece just because it isn’t in pristine condition.

Get the Right Team
Make sure the contractor you are working with understands architectural salvage. Often times if someone isn’t used to working with reclaimed materials, they’ll say that something isn’t possible, when in fact, it is. Interview your contractor and trades men to make sure they appreciate repurposing.

See Green
Not only is architectural salvage a green choice for the environment, it also can save you money. For instance, you can find antique cast-iron tubs for about a tenth of the price of new ones. Of course, you may need to refinish the tub, but you’ll still be ahead of the game financially. Installation of these antique tubs requires common plumbing techniques and they can be outfitted with reproduction faucets. Solid wood doors are another place to save by using salvage. Just be sure they have no rot on the bottom and that they aren’t warped. Compared to modern doors that are often made of lightweight pine, old doors offer much more value.

Architectural Salvage

If you are interested in one of our Architectural Salvage Tours, email us at info@antiquesdiva.com. We’d love to help you source the perfect piece!

The Antiques Diva®

Savonarola Chair

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;”>W hen antiquing throughout Europe, one often comes across curious pieces of furniture. While many pieces are beautiful to look at, they frequently have interesting characteristics that one can discover with further inspection. One such item is the Savonarola chair. You’ve probably seen this type of chair before, known for its unique X-frame. Having been around for centuries, this style of chair was made for a specific purpose and its construction, consisting of multiple slats in the legs which cross each other and rise to form the arms is quite interesting. It is this crossing of the legs that creates the X shape.

Savonarola Chair

Developed in the late 15th century in Italy, the Savonarola chair was originally created to be foldable, and thus a more portable, version of the ancient Roman curule chair. The Savonarola however had more angular legs and the addition of a low back and though the basic construction of the chair was simple, there are many variations in armrest, backrest, and feet, as well as the type of wood used. The woodward was often covered with silk or velvet and the seat would have had a cushion. Typically the Savonarola chair had a wavy-shaped X, similar to the Dante chair, another X shaped style of seating.

Savonarola Chair Italy

 

Of course as time went on, the style and features of the chair were adapted and in the 19th century during the Renaissance Revival, versions of the chair featured iron pins for folding, higher backs, and more ornate details such as carving and inlay. The more ornate and larger they became, the more difficult they were to transport, thus altering their original purpose. These Renaissance Revival remakes began to look more like thrones!

Savonarola Chair Italian-Walnut-Savanorola-Chair-300x300

The Savonarola didn’t get its name until the 19th century when homage was paid to a famous Renaissance Dominican friar, Girolamo Savonarola, who led Florence during the late 15th century. This moralistic religious leader is best known for his Bonfire of the Vanities, and it is quite possible that Friar Savonarola did possess a chair like this, since monks typically used folding chairs in their small rooms.

Savonarola Chair Italy 15th Century

Today this style of chair still holds much of its aesthetic value. While we have much more portable folding chairs made of plastic, the Savonarola chair remains a favorite decorative piece for interior designers and those with a love of Renaissance style. In Italy you can often find these lovely examples of ingenuity from a bygone age at antique warehouses, second hand stores, and even house clearings.

If you would like more information on taking an Antiques Diva Tour in Italy or any of our other tour countries—France, England, Belgium, Sweden, Denmark, The Netherlands, Germany— email us at info@antiquesdiva.com.

The Antiques Diva®

Gray’s & Alfie’s Christmas Shopping Parties

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;”>C an you believe that Christmas is just around the corner? With all the shopping I do, you’d think that I would have my Christmas shopping done by now, but I must confess, I am way behind! If you’re in the same boat as me, it can be helpful to shop antiques stores and markets since there is such a wide variety of items and price points all in one place! I’ve just received word of two fabulous Christmas shopping parties coming up in London and wanted to share them with you all in case you happen to be in London soon! (or better yet are just looking for a reason to book some travel!)

The legendary Alfies and Grays Late Night Shopping events are a fantastic way to shop for rare and beautiful Christmas gifts.

Grays Antique Center is home to a diverse collection of luxury antiques, fine jewelry, silver and Asian art. Seconds from Bond Street and Oxford Street, Grays is a focus of the London antiques trade and is home to over 200 of its finest dealers.

They are located at 58 Davies Street & 1-7 Davies Mews, London W1K 5AB and the late night shopping event takes place on Thursday, 26 November 2015, from 5pm-8pm.

Alfies Antiques Market (formerly Jordan’s department store) has around 75 antique dealers trading there along with a fabulous rooftop cafe. The adjacent part of Church Street also has some 20 shops selling twentieth century antiques. At Alfies you will find a huge range of antique and vintage goods including vintage fashion and accessories, modernist furniture and lighting, costume jewelry and 20th century decorative arts.

They are located at 13-25 Church Street, Marylebone, London, NW8 8DT and the late night shopping event takes place on Thursday, 3 December 2015 from 5pm-9pm

At both events you can enjoy vintage inspired music and entertainment, plus complimentary canapés and drinks to add to the festive atmosphere while you browse. There are over 300 dealers across the two markets, so take advantage of this opportunity to shop after hours in two of London’s largest and longest-standing antiques centers and, if that is not enough, for those last-minute shoppers both Alfies and Grays will be open right up until Christmas Eve!

Their in-house services range from engraving a personalized message on your presents to creating a bespoke piece with one of their jewelers. The two centers also offer a personal shopping service and gift certificates as well. There is no better place to find that one-of-a-kind gift!

Alfies and Grays are never short of the perfect gift. With a varied selection of items— from fine jewelry to homewares— and a divers price range, you’re sure to not leave empty handed! I’ve even had a preview of some of the pieces which will be available and want to share them with you below. Here’s a little sampling to whet your shopping appetite!

Gray’s & Alfie’s Christmas Shopping Parties Linda Bee - 18ct gold plated snake necklace by Askew London £250

toppers-from-Meissen-and-the-Paris-manufactories..jpg”>toppers-from-Meissen-and-the-Paris-manufactories.-300×154.jpg” alt=”Gray’s & Alfie’s Christmas Shopping Parties Serhat Ahmet Antiques – A selection of European porcelain scent bottles and stoppers from Meissen and the Paris manufactories.” width=”300″ height=”154″ />

Gray’s & Alfie’s Christmas Shopping Parties 1950s leather desk lamp. Matt Mitchell London

Gray’s & Alfie’s Christmas Shopping Parties Arabella Bianco - Gold Tone Crystal Calla Lily Brooch by Nolan Miller£75.00

Gray’s & Alfie’s Christmas Shopping Parties Horner Antiques - Japanese gold lacqueur tray and martini glasses £325

Gray’s & Alfie’s Christmas Shopping Parties Diem - 1960s snake stick pin set with ruby emerald and diamonds, 18ct gold

Happy shopping!

The Antiques Diva®

Megan’s Cafe in London

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;”>W hen it comes to antiquing in London Kings Road is a guaranteed to result in a successful afternoon shopping. Whenever I ‘m in the area I have one place I have to go – and that’s Megan’s Cafe. It’s an institution in Fulham (their other cafe is in St. John’s Wood High Street in Chelsea). Coming here guarantees I get a healthy incredibly delicious lunch while out antiquing – and better yet – almost guarantees I’ll run into some of my antiques industry friends! Given it’s location opposite Guinevere’s this cafe frequented by some of the antiques industry’s most well known dealers and shoppers alike. Whether you’re there for brunch—try their freshly squeezed juices paired with a free-range eggs Benedict— lunch, afternoon tea— the fresh baked cakes are to die for— , or dinner, you’re sure to enjoy a gorgeous meal prepared with fresh and often organic ingredients.

Megan’s Cafe in London Celebrating with Champagne

I’ve spent many afternoons at Megan’s with clients and colleagues, discussing our recent finds and upcoming projects over a bottle— or two— of champagne. A favorite place to sit is the beautiful courtyard, with quaint tables pulled together – you’re in the heart of London, but somehow the ambiance feels quintessentially French country to me. There’s nothing like savoring excellent food while being surrounded by flowers. I often wish I could take a piece of Megan’s home with me!

Megan’s Cafe in London excellent food

That’s why I’m so excited that the cafe has come out with a book called, “Friends Around the Table,” chock full of mouth watering recipes.

Megan’s Cafe in London Cafe's Book Friends Around The Table

Whether you’re entertaining a group of friends or simply cooking for two, this cook book has something for everyone. Eating should be a communal activity, and as someone who loves to cook and entertain, I can’t wait to try some of these recipes, such as the grilled squid, chorizo and asparagus salad! Doesn’t that sound like the perfect lunch for me to make friends for lunching on terrace? (winters only just beginning but I’m already fantasizing about summer again). And as I have to accept that the weather is going to get cold… perhaps I should look for a heartier winter dish to fix friends and family? What about the pot-cooked beef fillet with pea puree and hasselback potatoes…yummy! Delicious. I”m an arm-chair recipe reader and Meghans cookbook has already transported me to a dozen tables in my mind!

Megan’s Cafe in London dessert cake

 

I’d love to hear what some of your favorite restaurants are in London – or elsewhere – and if you have any preferred recipes from them! Head over to The Antiques Diva & Co Facebook page and share them with me on the wall.

Until next time, bon appetit!

The Antiques Diva®

Venice Salon Recap

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;”>A s many of you know I recently attended a very special event hosted by my two Diva Guides in Venice, Orseola and Chiara of O&C Antiques. These ladies delivered once again by creating a fabulous Salon style evening where artists, designers and collectors came together from all over the world for a few hours of thoughtful discussion while viewing some very special pieces of art and antiques. The mobile Salon (last year I attended their event in Berlin) encourages guests to learn about the pieces which have been curated by Orseola and Chiara, all the while enjoying antiques, art, music and scintillating conversation with like-minded people. The great part is that every piece, be it a rare antique or modern art piece, is available for purchase.

Venice Salon Recap Italy Antiques Diva Guides with Toma Clark Haines

While everything at the Salon was gorgeous, I wanted to highlight five of our favorite pieces here on the blog to give everyone an idea of the type of objects these ladies are bringing together – better yet – it just so happens these are still for sale so even if you missed the salon you still have the opportunity to shop it!

First up is the sleek RM58 Classic chair originally designed by Roman Modzelewski in 1958. This fiberglass chair is one of the earliest Polish designs of polyester-glass laminate furniture and has no counterpart from that time, either in Poland or the rest of the world. One of the original chairs was purchased by the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and was displayed at the “Cold War Moder: Design 1045-1970” exhibition which was the first to explore the works in modern design, architecture, film and pop culture developed in the context of the Cold War, on both sides of the Iron Curtain. This design is currently available in red, black, white, yellow, and green and is priced at 934€.

Venice Salon Recap RM58-classic-black chair

A digital print on photographic paper by Costanza gianquinto also caught my eye. Every shot this artist takes represents a moment which lends itself to the story of his mind, an esoteric and symbolic path that enables him to sneak in his perception. In the artist’s own words, “I do not take pictures in order to create, I do photography to communicate, to release myself. I seek to express what I imagine in a tangible way, to discover what makes me worried and what trickles down from the scraping walls of my thoughts. There is not reasonable research, neither an obsession or cruelty but only the sweet
tones of aromas and vibes that lay soaking while they wait to be discovered.” The untitled print is priced at 750 € and would make a fantastic addition to a private collection.

to” src=”https://antiquesdiva.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/tumblr_n266jbSUuR1t46597o1_500-300×200.jpg” alt=”Venice Salon Recap Untitlet Print ” width=”300″ height=”200″ />

A 1964 fresco on plywood titled, immagine n°509 2b, by artist Gino morandis is another show-stopper. I love the colors and composition of this piece. It is priced at 2500 €.

Venice Salon Recap fresco from Gino Morandis

Dating back to the first half of the 17th century, a pair of miniature Italian portraits of Bianca Cappello and Giovanni di Bianca Cappello added depth to the Salon. These very special enamel on copper portraits of the Florentine School are priced at 4800 €.

Venice Salon Recap Miniature Italian Portraits

Venice Salon Recap Miniature Italian Portraits

I was thrilled to see the work of a friend displayed at the Salon as well. Dutch designer Mariska Meijers is a multi talented artist, boasting her own fabric lines and wallpaper designs. She also paints and offers all of her designs at her showroom in Amsterdam. Perhaps one of the most interesting aspects of the Salon was seeing her stunning Venetian style lamp shade in Bold Cubisn Parisian Pink (298€) atop an antique lamp base (300€). The juxtaposition of the modern shade and the antique lamp seemed to sum up the feeling of the evening. Mixing the past with the present and curating objects from all time periods is the name of the game and Orseola and Chiara have a flair for winning at that game.

Venice Salon Recap Lamp by Mariska Meijers

If you’d like more information on any of these pieces or on future Salon events, email us at info@antiquesdiva.com.

The Antiques Diva®

Modenus Talks & Blog Tour Reunion at Art Basel in Miami

Dear Diva Readers,

Modenus Talks & Blog Tour Reunion at Art Basel in Miami

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;”>O ne thing I love about my job is that it is NEVER boring. While our main focus at The Antiques Diva & Co is custom planning antique buying tours in Europe for our clients, my Diva Guides and I also stay on top of what’s happening in the design world in general. I’ve been privileged enough to have many great friends in the design industry, but perhaps—no, definitely— some of the most fun people I’ve met have been through Modenus-Blog Tour! I’ve been a blogger on Blog Tour NYC and Blog Tour New Orleans and I’ve also been a sponsor of Blog Tour Milan and in Veronika Miller’s newly formed Design Hounds London, an evolution of BlogTour!! I’m so excited to be heading to Miami in December for Blog Tour reunion and Modenus Talks Miami ! In fact, yours truly will be giving a talk on December 2, 2015.

As lovers of all things design, the Modenus ladies have planned their fabulous agenda in conjunction with Art Basel and Design Miami, so it is sure to be a fun and informative few days! Modenus will be bringing together a wonderful group of speakers as well as hosting two events for design professionals and social media influencers.

The schedule begins with opening night cocktails and hors d’oeuvres at the Ritz Carlton Coconut Grove on December 1. The following day, Modenus Talks takes center stage at the Ritz. With topics focussing on licensing opportunities to styling photo shoots, to how to sketch, it’s sure to be a full and fun day! I’ll be speaking about the antique and vintage styles of Europe and how to avoid pitfalls when buying abroad. That evening, we’ll all board The Venetian Lady for a fabulous dinner cruise hosted by Mr. Steam and Modenus.

For a full look at the schedule, including special art & design events during Art Basel, visit the tour-reunion-at-art-basel-miami” target=”_blank”>Modenus website here There you can find out how to join us and even get a good rate on a room at the Ritz! I hope to see you in Miami!

Artfully yours,

The Antiques Diva®

Chez Sarah in Paris

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;”>D ressing in vintage fashion allows me to drape myself in the past – taking my passion for antiques a step beyond interior decor! There’s something special about the style, the cuts, and the attention to detail that went into vintage attire and accessories that makes my heart pitter patter a bit more. Anytime I’m at a flea market, I always keep my eyes peeled for a piece of vintage fashion that may be calling out to me, and I know I am not alone in this! One of our most popular antique buying tours in France is our tours/france-antiques-tours/paris-antiques-tours”>Vintage Fashion Tour in Paris. Seriously, what better place to find fashion than Paris? Ooh La La!

Chez Sarah in Paris Flea Market

Chez Sarah in Paris Flea Market

While our vintage fashion tour includes many sources, shops, and stops along the way we certainly have our favorite places that specialize in high-quality vintage fashion. One of those places is Chez Sarah located off the beaten path in the Lecuyer Passage at the Paris Flea Market. I love to go in and sift through the historic clothing and textiles.

vintage fashion at Chez Sarah in Paris Flea Market

Chez Sarah is not just flea market finery – it has evolved into a real shop that is beyond imagination! It’s the ideal place for anyone with even the slightest interest in vintage fashion—whether you are a serious collector, a fashion designer, or someone looking to purchase a piece wear every day. From clothing to laces & ribbons, hats, lingerie & corsets, bags & shoes, fabric samples, vintage jewelry, and even men’s vintage fashion, Chez Sarah has something for everyone! Its positively huge!

vintage fashion at Chez Sarah in Paris Flea Market

Being born into the business—Sarah is the granddaughter of a chiffonier— she took over the business from her mother and inherited the eye for quality and detail learning her trade at her mother’s knee. What I enjoy is hearing the story behind each piece and imagining myself giving it a new life or rather continuing its story. When shopping for vintage fashion I can’t help but to ask myself… “Who wore that hat before? What events has that gown been to? Whose closet did that outfit hang in?” I suppose vintage fashion is similar to vintage and antique furniture in the fact that each piece has a story to tell. But that’s the charm of the past… other lives, other times, other place and other stories.

When you’re shopping the Paris Flea Market – Chez Sarah is a must-visit! And if you’d like more information on our Paris Vintage Fashion Tour or any of our Antiques Diva Buying Tours, email us at info@antiquesdiva.com. We’d love to share more of our secret addresses and share with you our Europe!

Toma Clark Haines in vintage coat from Chez Sarah in Paris Flea Market

Be Chic, Be Stylish. Always Dress Like a Diva.

The Antiques Diva®

Antique Tuscan Amadias

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;”>O ne thing I love about antiques is the fact that they connect us to the past. And while some pieces of furniture are no longer necessary due to today’s technology, they are still beautiful and can be adapted for new uses in modern life.Take for example the Amadia, an Italian piece of furniture that once graced the kitchens of every Tuscan home, great and small. Originally it was pressed into service while preparing dough for bread-making—a daily activity in each household 100 years ago. Today you can still see amadias in Tuscan country kitchens, but more often than not, they are used for storage rather than a place to store and knead dough.

Antique Tuscan Amadias

Antique Tuscan Amadias

Bread is a staple food in all cultures, and has been for centuries. Each corner of the world seems to have its own take on this ever present food, offering diverse shapes and flavors. The preparation of dough was once a common task that relied heavily on traditional methods, always involving water, flour, yeast, and of course strong hands to knead the mixture. Today as you travel in India and Asia you often still see this bread making ritual a part of daily life in their households. If you’ve ever tasted Tuscan bread you’ll know it’s unique in the fact that it is prepared without salt. Legend has it that around the year 1100, the salt trade was interrupted due to a war between Pisa and Florence, resulting in a very high cost for salt. In turn, Florentines adapted by making bread without salt, gradually adjusting to this new taste, referred to as “sciocco,” (without salt), and thus what should have only been a temporary fix has evolved into tradition. (Plus it happens to taste fabulous when dipped in Olive Oil with fat salt and fresh pepper!)

Antique Tuscan Amadias

Antique Tuscan Amadias

Prepared once or twice a week, Tuscan bread would be made with locally produced flour, and once baked, would keep for about a week. Every kitchen would have had an amadia, a sort of dough trough, where the dough was kneaded. The amadia was equipped with a board to grind the flour, a rolling pin to roll out the dough, and a storage area. Once the dough had risen, breads were placed on a prepared canvas, the fabric making a fold between each loaf. In the mean time a fire would be made in the oven, and once its flames had died down, the embers would be set aside while most of the ash was removed.  Then came the time to bake the bread! Of course, if there was stale bread still left in the amadia after a week, it would not go to waste. Instead it would be used to prepare a list of exquisite dishes which utilized stale bread such as ribollita, panzanella, aqua cotta, pappa al pomodoro, fettunta, and black cabbage soup.

Antique Tuscan Amadias

Today you can find several different styles of amadias dating from the 19th century up to the 1950’s, each with their own unique patina and style. Clients that take our Antiques Diva Tuscany Tour often remark on these pieces, as they can be found in second hand stores, antique shops, and warehouses. And while their function is no longer necessary, they can still add to the look of a kitchen and act as extra storage or prep space, proving that objects from the past can still be made relevant, even in new ways!

If you’d like more information on taking an Antiques Diva Tour in any of our 8 tour countries—Italy, France, UK, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Belgium, or The Netherlands— email us at info@antiquesdiva.com.

Ciao,

The Antiques Diva®

Book Review- Carrier and Company Positively Chic Interiors

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;”>O ne of my favorite things to do in my down time is flip through design books. With inspiring photos and thoughtful text, these books not only keep me informed of what’s happening in the design world, but they also give me fresh ideas about how I can decorate my own home. While I enjoy a variety of styles, the magic of “the mix” is what really resonates with me. When I come across a design book that mixes antique pieces with contemporary style, I’m immediately drawn in! A recent book that does just that is Carrier and Company Positively Chic Interiors by husband and wife duo Jess Carrier and Mara Miller.

Book Review- Carrier and Company Positively Chic Interiors

Book Review- Carrier and Company Positively Chic Interiors

With a combined total of 30 years experience working with New York’s premier design firms before opening their own in 2005, Carrier and Company boasts high profile clients including Anna Wintour – Vogue, Bob Pittman, Jane Rosenthal, Catie and Donald Marron, Jay Fielden – Town and Country, Jason Wu and Annie Leibovitz to name a few. Their work has been published in Elle Decor, The World of Interiors, Vogue, Traditional Home, Town and Country, W, and House Beautiful . I’d say this couple knows a thing or two about what people want when it comes to mixing styles to satisfy the way we live now!

Book Review- Carrier and Company Positively Chic Interiors Carrier-and-Company-reception-area

Jesse and Mara touch on something that I completely agree with—in the book they explain that their goal is the “perfectly imperfect,” meaning they want to achieve spaces that combine various elements that may not necessarily “go together” but that work harmoniously in a room. This mix allows for more freedom in design, and results in an interesting and beautiful place to live.

Book Review- Carrier and Company Positively Chic Interiors Carrier-and-Company-Florida-entry

While it’s evident that they use modern pieces in their projects, the team also takes on projects that lean on the traditional side. They honor the past but aren’t bound by tradition. “Tradition for us is something of a loose fantasy, rather than a tight construct of provenance and period,” they say. I couldn’t agree more! When living with antiques, I always tell people to reimagine how to use them. While it’s important to understand the function of a piece and how it may have been used in the past, it’s also fun and exciting to pair it with modern objects and give it a whole new lease on life! Jesse and Mara certainly have an eye for mixing antiques and vintage finds with modern art and case pieces from sources like Restoration Hardware, proving that items from the past and present can mingle together in the same space to create a warm and inviting home—that’s also functional!

Book Review- Carrier and Company Positively Chic Interiors

This new book—and all of its gorgeous photos— shows why Carrier and Company are the chosen designers of so many clients with discriminating taste. They understand the art of mixing high and low, old and new, form and function, and ultimately achieving timeless interiors that reflect the way people want to live. If you haven’t already, I highly recommend that you order this chic design book as I know it will inspire you!

Happy designing,

The Antiques Diva®

Entrepreneur Series- Strengths and Weaknesses

Dear Diva Readers,

To continue our Entrepreneur Series, I want to talk about something that all aspiring business people should be aware of: their Strengths and Weaknesses.

Entrepreneur Series- Strengths and Weaknesses Examine your Strengths slogan

My Biggest Weakness in both my professional and personal life is Time. We all have the same 24 hours in a day, and it is crucial to identify what you can do well and what you can’t do so well in that time in order to grow a thriving business. Due to a constant travel schedule, time is one thing that seems to always allude me. I have to be aware of what I’m able to accomplish within a 24 hour period and what I need to delegate.

Entrepreneur Series- Strengths and Weaknesses we all have the same 24 hours in a Day

Running a company is a sure-fire way to guarantee you’re sleep deprived. In the beginning I didn’t have the money to hire staff or outsource certain services so I did everything myself. Today even with a team of 18 people, there is still never enough time to complete the tasks that need to be done each day. I spend more than 200 nights per year on the road traveling so managing my schedule takes a lot of prioritizing. And at the end of the day I’ve had to accept that some things simply don’t get done.

I have, however, created a system for organizing my schedule that time-blocks certain tasks so that I maximize my energy mode. For example, administrative tasks, when lumped together in an hour, go faster than if randomly done throughout the day. If I do all my creative tasks at the same time, my brain needs less “warm up” time when starting new projects and I get in the “mode” and am able to work faster. By time-blocking tasks by category – administrative, financial, creative, marketing, follow up/clients contact, etc I’m more productive and am able to get more done during the allotted time.

I’ve also learned to listen to my body in determining my natural rythym and thus work when I am most productive. For me it’s in the early morning hours – I wake daily around 4am and have 4 hours in my office before most people leave to go to work. During those 4 hours I am able to accomplish twice as much work as I’m uninterrupted and have high energy.

Entrepreneur Series- Strengths and Weaknesses Take a Break

And believe it or not – one of the biggest solutions to managing my time crunch – has been learning to take a break. Each morning after my first 4 hours in the office – I go for a walk. Exercise gets the blood flowing and wakes up the brain. I’m able to use this time to process and think through things that need more dedicated time, while doing something healthy. It also enables me to think more creatively about work problems, finding solutions while in that new environment walking in nature or working out with my trainer.

While my company might be called The Antiques Diva® & Co but there is no room for being a diva when it comes to running a successful business. The key to my professional success has been an utter lack of ego. Yep! I catch the irony that I am BRAGGING about lack of ego…. but hey let’s face it – my company name Diva wouldn’t work if we really were divas in the shoe throwing since the word! Lack of Ego as a strength means recognizing it’s NOT all about me. The client comes first. And I dont always have to be right or know the answer – I’m not afraid to admit to myself, an employee, or even a client when I don’t know the answer to their question. While I may not always know the answer – I usually know how to find those who do know the answer – that’s another of my strengths – my global network. We’ve grown as a company because I’ve surrounded myself with experts who strengthen me and my brand. Externally we’ve hired graphic artists, lawyers, accountants, publicists and social media gurus, while internally I’ve hired a slew of people who have different skills, knowledge levels, languages and contacts to serve as our locally based Diva Guides as well as Office Staff.

Entrepreneur Series- Strengths and Weaknesses Just because you can do something slogan

A big realization that has allowed my company to grow is the realization that just because I can do something within my company doesn’t mean I have to be the one doing it or that it is the best place for me to be spending my time. I assess where my time is best spent and prioritize my schedule to align with what yields the greatest results for the company overall. Sometimes this means more time is spent on stage front and center while other times it means I’m stepping behind the scenes spending more time on strategy instead of implementation.

Regardless of what type of company you’re running, it is crucial to understand that time is one of the most valuable assets you have. Learning what you can do (and do well) in a day, and what needs to be outsourced or delegated can really give you an edge when it comes to growing a business.

Go Rock the World.

The Antiques Diva®

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