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Architectural Salvage

Your European Pickers

Dear Diva Readers,

Here at The Antiques Diva & Co we love taking clients on buying tours, introducing them to places and people that can help them find exactly what they’re looking for. With tours operating in 8 European countries, our locally based guides stay busy taking both tourists and trade professionals on tour! But did you know we also offer Buying Services for clients who want to source antiques in Europe, but can’t come over due to scheduling issues? We act as the “man on the ground,” reaching out to our trusted vendors and dealers to find specific pieces that our clients want. And while buying online has made international shopping a bit easier, we offer the service of loyalty to our customers, ensuring that what we’re showing them via email is of quality and up to their standards because we’ve actually seen each piece in person!

Architectural salvage, Decorating Tips, antique walnut bookcase, boisserie, Antique Buying Services, Sourcing antiques in Europe, The Antiques Diva

Recently one of our long-term clients (who just so happens to be a big name in the hotel world) reached out to us wanting to incorporate more antique architectural items into the hotels he designs.  So who better to source unique and special architectural salvage than The Antiques Diva & Co!? This certainly isn’t the first time we’ve sourced architectural salvage for a client. From antique gates to doors, to fireplaces to floors and even a cathedral ceiling, we’ve found it all.  We adore the idea of creating new spaces using one-of-a-kind antique elements. Antique architectural salvage is often very well-designed and made of solid, quality material but yet it comes at a fraction of the price of producing the same thing nowadays.

Italian antiques, Architectural salvage, Decorating Tips, antique walnut bookcase, boisserie, Antique Buying Services, Sourcing antiques in Europe, The Antiques Diva

So while I was visiting a dealer in Italy, I came across a very handsome semicircular walnut bookcase circa 1810 which had a fabulous price. And because we all love a good story, I asked the dealer for a bit more information.  It was originally built for the Court of Appeals in Brescia, which is a city in Lombardy. It is composed of five elements; a central entrance (which probably concealed a secret passage), flanked by two bookcases on each side. With original patina, it is the perfect piece to design a room around. I could picture a chic hotel bar utilizing this circular bookcase.

Italian wooden bookcase, Architectural salvage, Decorating Tips, antique walnut bookcase, boisserie, Antique Buying Services, Sourcing antiques in Europe, The Antiques Diva

italian walnut bookcase, Architectural salvage, Decorating Tips, antique walnut bookcase, boisserie, Antique Buying Services, Sourcing antiques in Europe, The Antiques Diva

This is just one example of gorgeous architectural elements that come out of important historical European buildings. From chateaus that are being torn down to governmental buildings that are being renovated, our sources have access to some pretty awesome pieces. Staircases, boisserie, windows, doors, flooring— you name it, we can find it. And for an antique lover like me, knowing that these pieces will have a new life for many years to come is quite a rewarding prospect!

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If you would like information on our Buying Services or even an Architectural Salvage Buying Tour in Europe, email us at info@antiquesdiva.com. We’d love to help you find just what you’re looking for.

Cheers,

The Antiques Diva®  

Salvo Fair

Dear Diva Readers,

Whenever clients reach out to us for information on taking an Antiques Diva Buying Tour, one of the first questions we ask them is for which type of pieces they will be looking. Architectural salvage has been high on client’s lists for the last few years and the desire for these types of pieces hasn’t slowed down in 2015. While we have wonderful sources for architectural salvage, the largest architectural salvage fair in the world is coming up in June which will bring together dealers from the UK, Europe, and beyond. The Salvo Fair will be held on 27-28 June with Trade Day on Friday 26 June, at Fawley Hill, Fawley Green, Henley-on-Thames RG9 6JA, Oxfordshire and will be open 11am – 5pm.

Salvo Fair, Architectural Salvage, Antiques Diva Buying Tours, Sourcing antiques in Europe, English Antiques, Fawley Hill, Sir William McAlpine, Decorating tips, Decorating with Reclaimed Materials

Salvo Fair, Architectural Salvage, Antiques Diva Buying Tours, Sourcing antiques in Europe, English Antiques, Fawley Hill, Sir William McAlpine, Decorating tips, Decorating with Reclaimed Materials

This is the fourteenth year for this fair which is legendary in the trade, often bringing in some of the best interior designers, architects, builders, developers and dealers to shop. Even celebrities and billionaires are known to peruse the fair for just the right pieces of antique garden art or reclaimed building materials. Anything from antique flooring and bricks to vintage lighting, antique fireplaces, and decorative antiques can be found at Salvo Fair.

Salvo Fair, Architectural Salvage, Antiques Diva Buying Tours, Sourcing antiques in Europe, English Antiques, Fawley Hill, Sir William McAlpine, Decorating tips, Decorating with Reclaimed Materials

Salvo Fair, Architectural Salvage, Antiques Diva Buying Tours, Sourcing antiques in Europe, English Antiques, Fawley Hill, Sir William McAlpine, Decorating tips, Decorating with Reclaimed Materials

Salvo Fair, Architectural Salvage, Antiques Diva Buying Tours, Sourcing antiques in Europe, English Antiques, Fawley Hill, Sir William McAlpine, Decorating tips, Decorating with Reclaimed Materials

This year it will be held at Fawley Hill, Sir William McAlpine’s extraordinary private estate near Henley-on-Thames. And it’s the weekend before Henley Regatta and Wimbledon and just after the Royal Ascot races. It’s at the centre of the English Social calendar! Ruby Hazael, co-organizer of Salvo Fair says, “Sir William McAlpine has built an extraordinary home on the outskirts of Henley with a full size steam railway, a railway museum and 400 rescued animals. We are honoured to be able to hold the Salvo Fair at Fawley Hill, and very excited that our visitors will not only be able to browse and buy at the largest salvage fair in the country but will also be able to experience Fawley Hill’s attractions which are not normally open to the public.”

Salvo Fair, Architectural Salvage, Antiques Diva Buying Tours, Sourcing antiques in Europe, English Antiques, Fawley Hill, Sir William McAlpine, Decorating tips, Decorating with Reclaimed Materials

Salvo Fair, Architectural Salvage, Antiques Diva Buying Tours, Sourcing antiques in Europe, English Antiques, Fawley Hill, Sir William McAlpine, Decorating tips, Decorating with Reclaimed Materials

Salvo Fair, Architectural Salvage, Antiques Diva Buying Tours, Sourcing antiques in Europe, English Antiques, Fawley Hill, Sir William McAlpine, Decorating tips, Decorating with Reclaimed Materials

Just a taste of what one can expect to find at Salvo Fair includes:  Fireplaces, chimneypieces, doors, windows, radiators, statuary, seats, urns, troughs, tubs, garden, sundials, birdbaths, pergola, rose arches, railway sleepers, furniture, bathrooms, baths, basins, taps, toilets, tiles, brassware, knobs, handles, knockers, hinges, balls, finials, chairs, pews, altars, lecterns, stained glass, staircases, spirals, flooring, parquet, woodblock, floorboards, bricks, pavers, flagstones, york stone coping, pediments, balustrade, timber, oak pine, marble, trusses, beams, columns, pilasters, portico, cornice, dado, skirting, roof tiles, slates, ironwork, gates, railings, lighting, lamposts, kitchens, kitchenalia, sinks, post boxes, telephone boxes, cartwheels, shopfittings, butchers block, and shingles.

Salvo Fair, Architectural Salvage, Antiques Diva Buying Tours, Sourcing antiques in Europe, English Antiques, Fawley Hill, Sir William McAlpine, Decorating tips, Decorating with Reclaimed Materials

Salvo Fair, Architectural Salvage, Antiques Diva Buying Tours, Sourcing antiques in Europe, English Antiques, Fawley Hill, Sir William McAlpine, Decorating tips, Decorating with Reclaimed Materials

In other words, if you can’t find it at Salvo Fair, you can’t find it!

If you’d like more information on Salvo Fair, check out their website or email us at info@antiquesdiva.com.

Cheers,

The Antiques Diva®

Sourcing in the Venetian Countryside

Dear Diva Readers,

Mamma Mia…..  Here at The Antiques Diva & Co we custom plan each client’s tour route, taking into account their travel time, budget and what type of antiques they are looking to source. This means that sometimes we take them to specialized shops in the cities and other times we schedule their tours around specific flea markets. And still other times we go off the beaten path to warehouses and private residences in the countryside to find the perfect pieces. This is pretty much the case for each of our 8 tour countries, but today I want to talk about Venice—or rather, Veneto!

Sourcing antiques in Italy, Venetian Antiques, Antiques Diva Buying Tours, Veneto Antiques, Architectural Salvage, 15 Century Antiques,

Sourcing antiques in Italy, Venetian Antiques, Antiques Diva Buying Tours, Veneto Antiques, Architectural Salvage, 15 Century Antiques,

Sourcing antiques in Italy, Venetian Antiques, Antiques Diva Buying Tours, Veneto Antiques, Architectural Salvage, 15 Century Antiques,

Sourcing antiques in Italy, Venetian Antiques, Antiques Diva Buying Tours, Veneto Antiques, Architectural Salvage, 15 Century Antiques,

Yes, we lead fabulous tours in Venice proper, guiding clients through canals and hidden alleyways to shops which house museum quality pieces. But we also are excited to start offering tours in Veneto! Imagine the experience of our local Diva Guide picking you up from your hotel and whisking you to a small town in the north area of Vicenza where 15th century architecture dots the landscape. In fact, we can recommend a 15th century castle in the area where you can actually stay! Now that’s traveling fit for a Diva!

Sourcing antiques in Italy, Venetian Antiques, Antiques Diva Buying Tours, Veneto Antiques, Architectural Salvage, 15 Century Antiques,

Sourcing antiques in Italy, Venetian Antiques, Antiques Diva Buying Tours, Veneto Antiques, Architectural Salvage, 15 Century Antiques,

When it comes to sourcing antiques however, we drive you to a 17th century palazzo filled with furniture, objects and art—all for sale. You’re greeted by the owner, a kind man who lives in this historic palazzo and has aptly named it “The Palace of Old Things.” And old things he has! Meander though the grand country house itself, complete with its stone walls, wooden beams and private courtyard, shopping for not only architectural salvage but also antique furniture from Veneto, France and other European countries. If you happen to have something specific that you’re looking for, just tell Francesco and he can find it for you.

Sourcing antiques in Italy, Venetian Antiques, Antiques Diva Buying Tours, Veneto Antiques, Architectural Salvage, 15 Century Antiques,

Sourcing antiques in Italy, Venetian Antiques, Antiques Diva Buying Tours, Veneto Antiques, Architectural Salvage, 15 Century Antiques,

Sourcing antiques in Italy, Venetian Antiques, Antiques Diva Buying Tours, Veneto Antiques, Architectural Salvage, 15 Century Antiques,

Sourcing antiques in Italy, Venetian Antiques, Antiques Diva Buying Tours, Veneto Antiques, Architectural Salvage, 15 Century Antiques,

From 17th century pieces to vintage furniture from the 20th century, you can find restored or unrestored condition. As many of our sources offer two prices (restored or unrestored), the same goes in Veneto. This is a convenient option because it puts the decision in your hands whether you want to do the restoring yourself or have your purchases arrive ready for use.

Sourcing antiques in Italy, Venetian Antiques, Antiques Diva Buying Tours, Veneto Antiques, Architectural Salvage, 15 Century Antiques,

Sourcing antiques in Italy, Venetian Antiques, Antiques Diva Buying Tours, Veneto Antiques, Architectural Salvage, 15 Century Antiques,

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

Ciao Ciao,

The Antiques Diva®

Antique Zinc

Dear Diva Readers,

Antique zinc is a hot item right now, especially in America.  With its natural look and interesting patina, zinc is the perfect addition to any interior. In Europe it’s been used as an architectural element for centuries.  If you look at historic buildings, you’ll notice zinc window frames, decorative downspouts, over-door decorations, gables, and other ornamentations.  Because it is lightweight, zinc could be molded into intricate designs, adding elegance to many European homes, churches and public buildings.

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In its natural state, zinc has a shiny metallic look, but after time and weather have their way it transforms into a matte gray finish, almost chalk-like. Over the years it continues to patina which only adds to its appeal. If it gets scratched, zinc will repair itself! While being delicate enough to mold, it’s also quite durable. Many old buildings have their original zinc roofs that are well over 100 years old. Because it doesn’t rust, it was the perfect element to use in architecture.

Antique Zinc, Buying architectural fragments in Europe, Designing with Zinc, The Antiques Diva, Trends in Design, Trends in Antiques, Architectural Salvage

Zinc finials, Antique Zinc, Buying architectural fragments in Europe, Designing with Zinc, The Antiques Diva, Trends in Design, Trends in Antiques, Architectural Salvage

Today we see zinc used in interior design.  Mostly decorative but also functional, zinc adds a sense of history to a space.  Its color is neutral enough to fit into most schemes while the texture adds a unique element.  Zinc can be used as an embellishment over a door or window or simply hung on the wall as 3D art. Why not turn an old window frame into a one-of-a-kind mirror? Zinc finials make wonderful sculptures for tabletop vignettes. I’ve seen entire zinc railings while antiquing and thought they would make great headboards!

Antique Zinc, Buying architectural fragments in Europe, Designing with Zinc, The Antiques Diva, Trends in Design, Trends in Antiques, zinc railings, headboard ideas, Architectural Salvage

zinc railing, Antique Zinc, Buying architectural fragments in Europe, Designing with Zinc, The Antiques Diva, Trends in Design, Trends in Antiques,

The key is to reimagine what you can create with these architectural fragments. Incorporate them into new construction or simply use them as decoration. However you reinterpret this classic material, it’s sure to bring something unique and visually appealing to your space! Look for these pieces at flea markets and antique stores.  We often find dealers that have the most unique zinc ornamentation hidden in their back rooms, guarding them as if they were a secret. With all the inquiries we’re getting about antique zinc, I don’t see this trend going away any time soon.

Zinc Oeil de Boeuf, Antique Zinc, Buying architectural fragments in Europe, Designing with Zinc, The Antiques Diva, Trends in Design, Trends in Antiques,

Zinc finials, Antique Zinc, Buying architectural fragments in Europe, Designing with Zinc, The Antiques Diva, Trends in Design, Trends in Antiques, Architecural Salvage

If you would like to take an Antiques Diva & Co Buying Tour in one of our 8 tour countries–France, England, Italy, Belgium, Sweden, Denmark, The Netherlands or Germany- just email info@antiquesdiva.com for more information.

The Antiques Diva®

Repurposing Flea Market Finds

Dear Diva Readers,

Flea marketing is a European past-time that locals and tourists indulge in alike.  At The Antiques Diva & Co we are constantly taking clients to flea markets in all of our 8 tour countries, which means we see a lot of inventory! Flea markets can be overwhelming, but if you know what to look for – and what to do with those things you find –  bargains can abound.  Today I want to share with you some of my favorite ways you can repurpose items found at the flea market.  Hmmm… now that I think about it, I should have titled this blog “Flea Market Finds and How They Get Their Groove Back”.

Repurposed antiques, repurposed flea market finds,

Turn On A Slew of Ideas for Repurposing Flea Market Finds with Pinterest

 

Repurposed flea market finds, buying antiques in europe

Turn On A Slew of Ideas for Repurposing Flea Market Finds with Pinterest

1.  I think one of the biggest bargains at a flea market is on lighting.  Whether you’re buying traditional crystal laden chandeliers, funky vintage fixtures from the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s or table top lamps, prices at the puce in Paris can be up to 10x cheaper than in a retail shop.  But you don’t just have to buy ready-made lamps – the flea market is a virtual lamp supply store for people with an eye for repurposing.  All you need to do is go to your local hardware store, pick up a lamp kit and then scan the market for something you can use for a base.  It needs to be sturdy enough to stand on its own after you add the lamp apparatus and shade on top.  Bottles and vases make obvious choices, but think outside the box. You can make a lamp base out of anything: a stack of antique books, an old type writer, a vintage camera, a teapot, a stack of mixing bowls or even stacked pasta strainers.  Any old bucket will do. What about a tripod or a mannequin, statues or even old dolls?  Ideas for repurposed lighting are endless.  And we haven’t even started talking about what you could do with the shades!  Rip the fabric off a lamp shade and string the frame with vintage crystal for a shabby chateau look.  Drill holes through the end of vintage cutlery and string them on a lamp frame to put in on a dining room lamp.   Sconces are a breeze to make from old plates or hand held mirrors.

Scarf repurposing, flea market finds, buying antiques in europe, The Antiques Diva

Check Out More Scarf Repurposing Ideas on my Pinterest page

2.  Vintage scarves are not only chic but also cheap.  And while they can update your wardrobe in a flash, they are positively perfect for home décor.  Frame brightly colored scarves for instant artwork.  Sew on backing – et voila – you’ve got throw pillows.  Patchwork scarves together for Bohemian draperies or for a no-sew-solution simply tie or drape a scarf across a window for a burst of color.  Hint: if you’re a hopeless seamstress you can buy iron-on tape to use in lieu of a needle and threat.   When shopping for scarves look for quality.  And while silk is always gorgeous don’t turn your nose up at a vintage rayon blend – this artificial fabric actually adds to their durability.  The stiffer the scarf the easier it can be converted into purses and bags, slinky summer tops or even skirts.  And the next time you need to give a gift, why buy wrapping paper when you can wrap the present with – what else? – a vintage scarf!

Flea market finds, gift ideas porcelain, brocantes, paris flea market

Vintage Gift Ideas

3.  You would never believe it – but the flea market is the perfect place to purchase presents. Forget going to a registry next time someone is getting married – go to the flea market and buy crystal wine glasses and a decanter.  Add a bottle of wine and an antique cork screw and you’ve got a perfect present for honeymooners (or any oenophile for that matter).  Put together a Mad Men basket for a university graduate – source martini shakers and vintage cocktail napkins, cocktail forks and little hors d’oeuvre plates. You can often find leather boxes or small trunks – pack it all away and tie the box with an old tie to make your bow.  Know someone having a baby? What about an antique silver baby rattle?  Buy antique linens and sew up gorgeous burp clothes.  Tuck into the package a bottle of The Laundress All Purpose Bleach Alternative so the young mum can safely whiten, brighten and disinfect.  Frame antique children’s clothes – bonnets, christening gowns and shoes to decorate a baby’s room. For the teenage girl, glue old jewelry onto a headband or a picture frame.  Bridal magazines are filled with images of antique broaches being used in lieu of flowers in wedding floral arrangements.  Keep your eyes out for unique cutlery and serving platters – and stock up.  Next time you’re invited to attend a party pull out a vintage platter and tell the hostess “Keep the Edwardian serving tray! I bought it just for you!”  Go a step further and stock up on antique silver accessories and get them monogrammed with your hosts initials or seeking out silver already monogrammed with your friends initials!

Pinsperation, bedroom decor, wooden door headboard, repurposing antiques, flea market finds,The Antiques Diva

Check out Pinterest for More Pinspiration for Bedroom Décor

Pinsperation, bedroom decor, wooden door headboard, repurposing antiques, flea market finds,The Antiques Diva

Check out Pinterest for More Pinspiration for Bedroom Décor

Office Decor ideas, repurposing flea market finds, mirrors

Check Out More Diva-Worthy Ideas for Office Décor

4.  Using architectural salvage in home renovations is all the rage at the moment – but even if you’re not doing a home renovation these items can be great used as decoration.  The impromptu headboard is perhaps the most classic use for architectural salvage – doors, shutters, garden gates all make gorgeous backdrops.  If you’re not handy find a good upholsterer and ask them to help you convert fireplace mantle into a padded headboard.

Repurposed Porcelain, repurposed flea market finds, lighting

Love this Repurposed Porcelain Idea

5.  China and Porcelain are available by the car load at the markets.  Whether buying one offs that you mix and match or entire sets, get out your hammer and start breaking these plates and saucers into teeny tiny bits and bobs.  Voila – you have mosaic material.  Now find something you want to mosaic.  You can mosaic anything from the side table to a tea pot to a broken violin and create your own unique art (and get rid of a lot of pent up aggression).  If a full-on craft project is more than you bargained for, add magnets to the back – et voila – refrigerator art.  Mix and match various patterns of plates and saucers. Put the biggest plate on bottom, glue a wine glass to the center of the plate then stack another plate, creating your own multi-tier serving tray.  Pretty floral china tea cup can be converted into clusters of tea cup hanging lights – wouldn’t that be adorable in a little girl’s room for throwing tea parties?  Or glue a tea cup to a garden stake and fill it with bird seed.

Happy hunting,

The Antiques Diva®

The Antiques Diva, Toma Clark Haines, Paris flea market

Looking for Lighting!

Not Just Any Loo Will Do!

Dear Diva Readers,

This week while I’m out of the office with a client, shopping in Belgium for architectural salvaged antiques, I felt like you needed to be able to shop along vicariously with me – so I’m showing one of my favorite sources for building or renovating a home with reclaimed goods.  I’ll be criss-crossing Flanders and Wallonia looking for stairways, window frames, marble mantles and more, but I’m going to send you bathroom shopping today in England’s Stiffkey Bathrooms where they have an incredible collection of antique bathroom fittings as well as new bathroom accessories.  Over the years they’ve been featured in numerous magazines and worked with high-profile interior designers at stately homes, hotels and other historic buildings. They’ve also advised on antique bathrooms for several film and television shoots and supplied many unique items for hire!

Stiffkey Bathrooms
89 Upper St. Giles Street Norwich,
Norfolk, NR2 1AB, UK 52.629354 1.285493
Tel: +44 1603 627850

I’ve always wanted an antique loo – but not just any loo will do.  Someday, when I get my villa under the Tuscan sun, I’m going to renovate my bathrooms with a Delft painted toilet – I mean, what else would The Antiques Diva® do? 

This is perhaps my favorite of their collection…

Circa 1890

You might be wondering where its water tank is…  Look up Silly!

This charming Victorian Blue Transfer WC C.1890 – No name, just ‘chicken’ trademark

Although, it might give new meaning to the phrase, “It smells like a barn yard in here!”

For my sink, I don’t think I want to go with another blue & white motif… for some reason I’d want that to be a tad simpler… my dream sink is this Serpentine-Fronted” French Double Basin by J.Delafon, Paris  C.1900

Of course, what bathroom would be complete without a nice soaking tub?

Happy Baths,
The Antiques Diva®

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1:1 custom antique buying tours in 8 European, 6 Asian countries and America, 7 days a week, 365 days a year

The Antiques Diva & Co offers custom planned Antiques Buying Tours for tourists and trade professionals. Whether you’re looking to buy one specific piece or wanting to fill an entire container, our personal shopping antique buying guides share their vast knowledge of secret sources to take you to all the right places.

The Antiques Diva & Co is a LAPADA Approved Service Provider 

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The Antiques Diva & Co is the Official Tour Guide of Paul Bert Serpette at The Paris Flea Market

The Paris Flea Market Paul Bert Serpette




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