The Decorating Diva Style Maker Look Book

top:2px;padding-right:5px;font-family:times;”>When The Decorating Diva LLC listed my blog as one of the “Best of the Web” I was over the moon at the recognition she’d doled out, but when she asked me to compile a “look book” of images that define The Antiques Diva™ for the first of her Style Maker Look Book series I practically didn’t come back down from orbit!

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The Decorating Diva, LLC writes:

“‘Style Maker‘ Toma Clark Haines, founder of The Antiques Diva Tours and editor of the fabulously divine European antiques shopping and lifestyle blog, “The Antiques Diva”, shares her dream living room decor with The Decorating Diva, LLC readers via her elegant, refined and beautiful style and design look book compilation!”

to 10px; WIDTH: 200px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 70px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”” border=”0″ />See more details of The Antiques Diva™ Style Maker Look Book and other great Style Makers Look Books by visiting The Decorating Diva, LLC today!

And stay tuned! While above I show you my dream living room, over the next few months – via The Diva News Network videos – I’ll take you on a tour of my real life living room at home in Berlin!

Thanks Decorating Diva, LLC for the shout out!


The Antiques Diva™

Here’s Holland

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top:2px;padding-right:5px;font-family:times;”>I had to share with you a picture that Diva Reader Shirley Agudo, current editor of the 9th edition of Here’s Holland, sent with a note saying,

“Antiques Diva, I couldn’t help but think of you when I saw this store front in Amsterdam!”

I was as delighted with the picture as I am with the book Shirley edits and co-authors!

Here’s Holland is simply the best all-in-one guide to travel and life in Holland. Written by British expat Sheila Gazaleh-Weevers, this Dutch travel guide has sold over 60,000 copies and will soon be entering its 10th edition. Sheila is a sensational woman with the energy of 20 ladies, a smile that lights up the room and is a true genius in compacting a wealth of information in an easy to read format! What differentiates this guide from other books is that it covers both tourism opportunities in Holland as well as expat tips on how to live in The Netherlands.

People often ask me, “Diva, how do you know so much about life in Holland?” My answer – “Here’s Holland!”

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Like a well-packed suitcase, Here’s Holland has all you need

When I have a Dutch question, it’s the best resource I have in finding the answer. Whether I need to know where to go to entertain a friend’s child who is visiting me for the weekend or I’m trying to figure out how to get the best train fares in the country, the answer is here inside this handy, dandy Holland guide! From booking a B&B;, to finding an out-of-the-way museum, to perusing the Yearly Calendar with tips on special events, this book has the answer! It gives inside information about culture and customs, characteristic Dutch crafts and products, biking and shopping opportunities as well as tips on eating out, sporting venues, markets, special activities and so much more!

Like a well-packed suitcase, Here’s Holland has all you need for your journey – whether you are passing through Holland on a weekend excursion or living in the Low Lands! You can order your book directly from tomahaines” target=”_blank”>my Library – or better yet, contact Here’s Holland directly and have your tor+and+Antiques+Diva.jpg”>tor+and+Antiques+Diva.jpg” border=”0″ />autographed copy mailed today!

Until next time,

The Antiques Diva™
(Seen at right with good friend Here’s Holland Editor Shirley Agudo)

P.S. Stay tuned for an upcoming blog where Here’s Holland Editor and Co-Author Shirley Agudo takes The Antiques Diva™ to her favorite Het Gooi-based sources for antiques, vintage and reclaimed goods!

Ponderings on Travel Books…

top:2px;padding-right:5px;font-family:times;”>I love travel books… from start to finish. I love the joy of planning a trip, the joy of standing in a bookstore with my arms loaded down with exotic locations. Pre-trip I read, I highlight, I sticky-tab the books, draw pictures in the margins of what I intend to pack or make little lists of things to do before I leave (like hire a pet sitter, get my hair cut or clean the refrigerator!) When trip time comes, I pack the books in my suitcase or carry on & they make the journey with me, adding to the weight of my luggage.

Once in my hotel room, I place them on my bedside stand and then when it’s time to hit the streets of whatever location I happen to be in… I begin to I load my Longchamp carrier bag – the one that is easiest for long days wandering foreign cities. Inevitably, the last thing to go in is my favorite tour book (plucked carefully from the pile next to the bed) and inevitably, that book is the straw that breaks the camel’s back and makes my purse too heavy to carry for a full day. So I return the book to the bedside table where it rests for the next few days or week but I carry it with me in my mind and when my husband asks “What do you think this building is?” from the recesses of my mind, my trusty travel book whispers the answer into my ear and my husband is impressed with my knowledge and I’m reassured the memory techniques that got me through university still work as well as they did back then!

At night in the hotel, I sit my glass of wine on the book. Then my husband comes around the corner, sees me lying on the bed and attacks me with a flurry of spontaneous kisses brought on by the wonderful relaxing joy of being on holiday. In his enthusiasm, I knock over the wine glass, marring the book cover and pages with a deep rouge smudge.

Returning home, I place the book on the bulging buckling book shelf, and after each trip I comment to my lazy literary cat who likes to sleep on my piles of beloved books, “We should get rid of all these old books” and I scratch behind his ears. Then I run my fingers across the book spines remembering various trips. My finger lands on the first travel book I ever bought. It’s a book on England and I purchased it as a university student for my study abroad trip to London and this book is so old with prices, dates & times so out of date that I know I should throw the book away.

top:10px;margin-bottom:10px;margin-left:10px;font-family: Arial,Helvetica,Georgia;font-size:22px;line-height:23px;color:grey;text-align: right;”>“The world is a book and those who don’t travel read only a page”

But then I pull it off the shelf, and stuck between page 122 and 123 is travel brochure for Turkey I used to mark my page on the city of Bath. I remember thinking Istanbul seemed, at the time, as the most exotic location in the world. On the corner of the brochure I’ve jotted a phone # and a time and have drawn a heart around it. It’s the time I was supposed to call my boyfriend who was across the pond still in the USA and this little doodle proclaiming my love for the man who is now my husband makes me smile yet again. I put that travel book back on the shelf, with the brochure returned to its proper page, and I remember how my husband proposed – taking me by surprise just before I left to study abroad. He was fearful that in going to Europe I would forget him and he wanted to “seal the deal” before my odyssey. How funny now that we’ve spent most of our marriage in Europe and yet it was my first going abroad that caused him to propose sooner than he’d planned. I tread downstairs and give my husband, who is sitting at his computer catching up on missed emails, a kiss on top of his head.

“Feel like going to Istanbul?” I ask… He nods and says, “I could be convinced …” and excitedly I make a note to stop by Waterstones or The American Book Center and the journey starts all over again.

All the best,

The Antiques Diva™