Dear Diva Readers,
One of our most popular requests is for architectural salvage. Whether clients are coming on tour or utilizing our Buying Services, we are constantly scouring Europe for all types of salvage and reclaimed materials. One trend that is very popular in the USA right now is the barn door—a type of sliding door you would typically find in a barn. But now people are using them in homes, restaurants, and hotels to divide spaces and add instant character and diva charm!
As with any design trend, the specifics of each project vary, but the overall concept remains the same. All you need are door track hardware and wheels, which you can find at many big box or hardware stores (or even online), and a door of course! Here at The Antiques Diva & Co we recommend using a vintage or antique door to make your project that much more special and unique. You can make this a DIY project or entrust it to your contractor, but be sure to select a door and hardware that enhance your particular space. This look works great in a traditional setting as well as a contemporary room. It all depends on the door you choose—the age, patina, finish, color, and style will all play a part in how the overall project turns out. For a more modern look, why not choose an industrial door? For a casual feeling, opt for warm wood tones with just the right about of wear.
We love taking clients to warehouses that are literally filled to the brim with doors. Perusing row upon row of every type of door imaginable is always a thrill. We’ve seen some beautiful old church doors as well as tall imposing doors that once hung on hinges of great country houses and chateaus of Europe. Many of our sources have excellent workrooms where their craftsmen can help get your door (or any other architectural pieces you find) ready to your specifications before shipping it. This means they can adjust the height, width, drill necessary holes for hardware, stain, paint, sand, and distress to your liking. We’ve even had pieces lacquered in Europe before having them shipped to clients across the pond.
Depending on the size of your space, you may want to consider using a pair of doors for your barn door project. It’s not uncommon to come upon a pair of matching doors that may have once been used as pocket doors or as double doors. Mounting them in the barn door style gives them a fresh life and what’s old can become new again. Another bonus is that older doors are often solid and made of the upmost quality. Think about it—if a door has been around for 100 years, it has proven that it can stand the test of time.
If you would like more information on taking an Antiques Diva Buying Tour or if you’d like to learn more about our Buying Services, email us at email@example.com. We’d love to hear from you!
The Antiques Diva®
Dear Diva Readers,
ur lovely Antiques Diva Guide in Provence is Caren. Today she’s sharing a bit about why antiquing is so much more exciting than simply shopping big box stores—especially in Provence where markets have constantly changing inventory! She even shares some of her favorite places to score antiques.
Diva Guide Caren writes:
“Antiquing… it’s so much more exciting than just shopping. It’s like looking for hidden treasure. You’re never sure what you will find and it’s often not in plain view, but when you discover the right piece, you know it’s a keeper. For most of us, shopping is a chore. Not so with antiquing. In a world where so many of the stores pump out the same old, same old, it is a breath of refreshing air to be in Provence with daily possibility of shopping at a market.
And remember, nowadays, even top fashion houses are looking to combine shabby with chic. When you’re antiquing you won’t see the same brand names that are found in high streets, airports and shopping malls the world over. The French markets are a daily and weekly delight, brimming with fresh local produce and handicrafts.
If you’re looking for a bargain or something that won’t be found in any of the high street shops, it’s the Puce or Flea markets, the Brocante (Second Hand goods) and the Vide-Greniers (literally, Empty Attics,) which are the ones to seek out.
Some Flea Markets take place on a regular basis and the stallholders are mostly professional dealers, but the Brocante and Vide-Greniers sales tend to be held only occasionally. Vide-Greniers normally attract private sellers who in the UK might attend a Car Boot Sale or in the US would hold a Yard Sale. Really big Vide-Greniers may attract hundreds of sellers and thousands of bargain hunters. This is the place to find collectables or pick up a bargain— something that you won’t find at any chain store.
The great news is, that if you’re in Provence, there’s a flea market to be found every day of the week. Here’s a list of some of the Antique markets.
Saturday: Villeneuve les Avignon.
One of my favorites is held every Saturday morning across the Rhone from Avignon. Moderate in size, it is held in the car park underneath the ancient fortress of Villeneuve. Between 80 and 100 vendors set up here, offering a wide range of items, many with a focus on Provence. Buyers who own shops in the near-by Isle sur la Sorgue come here in search of a bargain. Provençal ceramics, pots, linens, agricultural tools and clocks. A great market where you might well make an interesting discovery, and at a reasonable price.
Sunday: Carpentras – parking des Platanes
Carpentras is approximately 30 km north of Avignon. Late on a Sunday mornings a delightful flea market unfolds in a lovely tree-lined parking area– parking des Platanes. It starts around 10.00 am and it’s a preferred meeting place for some of the more serious collectors: those who a happy to do their own digging. Here you often have to rummage through boxes and crates to find your treasure. Between 130 to 150 vendors set up and often, they are selling their own belongings, which fall more into the category of “second-hand” than “collectable”. The variety in terms of wares and prices is huge, with an emphasis on the rustic and every day, rather than on up market decorative objects. If you are looking for something really unusual and surprising, this is one of the best places to find it, though you will have to expend some energy in the process.
This is the perfect flea market for someone to dig around and hunt for something special and affordable!
Also on Sunday…
Aubagne: Antique market: last Sunday of every month at the Marche de Gros, quartier de la Tourtelle
Isle sur-la-Sorgue: Antique and flea market: every Sunday all along the avenue des 4 Otages, in the village centre
Monday: Nice – Cours Saleya
There are about 200 vendors here until to mid-afternoon. Cours Saleya is just behind the Promenade des Anglais and it’s a great place to rummage. The market is mostly high quality, but treasure hunters can often find a special something. Many items have also found their way here from across the Italian border which makes for an interesting mélange and some vendors speak English, as well as Italian. Lots of silver, vintage clothing, posters, nautical and travel items and ceramics.
Tuesday and Thursday: Aix en Provence, Place Verdun in the mornings
Wednesday : Pernes les Fontains
Antique market in the morning in the car-park at the centre of the village
A Brocante market at Place du Théâtre in the morning
If you would like more information on an Antiques Diva Provence Tour, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Au revoir et Bonne Shopping!
The Antiques Diva®
Dear Diva Readers,
hile there are several flea markets throughout France, each offering something unique and specializing in different types of antiques, it’s easy for me to choose the TOP TWO flea markets in France!
My Top 2 Flea Markets in France?
Without a doubt the top 2 flea markets in France are the Paris Flea Market and L’isle sur la Sorgue in Provence. Here you can find absolutely anything and everything French & chic from antique furniture – chest of drawers, Bergers and Fauteuils oh my – to art de la table and art for your walls, impossibly gorgeous kitchenalia and divine vintage frocks and jewels. The more important question is, what won’t you find?
But to choose a 3rd favorite flea market in France? Oh la la… I fear that’s almost impossible! Of course I’ve spent many a morning wandering the stalls at the Porte de Vanves in Paris. It’s ideal for smalls. But I fear if I mention Porte de Vanves I’m only focusing on Paris… and there is a whole nation out there ready and waiting for Diva Readers to shop. Villeneuve Les Avignon is one of my favorite Provence markets tucked away under the shadow of the town’s chateau and Allées Jules Guesde, in central Toulouse has a plethora of perfectly polished collectables. Carpentras is worthy of a hit as well. And buyers looking for a day trip out of Paris are sure to enjoy the amazing prices on inventory at the Orleans market in the Loire Valley!
So the next time you’re planning a trip to France, just know that there is a plethora of flea markets just waiting for you! If this seems overwhelming, we’re here to help. For more information on booking a French flea market tour, email us at email@example.com. We’d be happy to custom plan an antiques buying tour to suit your needs and your budget.
The Antiques Diva®
Dear Diva Readers,
arlez Vous Brocante? Do you speak French Flea Market? I want to share with a few key words to guide your French Flea Market forays this spring and summer so you know where to buy antiques in France!
Marche aux Puces – The Flea Market. The Marche aux Puce de Paris (otherwise known as the Paris Flea Market) is where the term “flea market” was coined. (You can watch my Editor at Large TV video to learn how the term “flea market” was coined). When traveling in a French town look for their local Puce (their local flea market). It usually occurs 1 or 2 days a week – often on – but not limited to the weekend. Some of the best flea markets in France are in the South of France – in Nice, Avignon, Arles or Toulouse. Closer to Paris I really like the Orleans flea market – it’s quite similar to Puce at the Port de Vanves.
Brocante– A Brocante is a short term flea market. It can be held anywhere from 1 day to a full on 2 weeks. Bigger ones will have billboards all over town advertising them – so when you see a sign stuck to a lamp post or a giant poster in the metro with this word Brocante highlighted on it get ready to shop! These brocantes attract vendors from all over France selling everything from high end antiques to vintage pieces and simply second hand junk. If I were a bumper sticker kind of girl I’d put a sticker on my car that says “I Brake for Brocantes” You can find great prices at these special flea markets. My All Time Favorite Brocante is La Foire Nationale à la Brocante et aux Jambons. (Next time you can book a tour for this fabulous brocante is 26 September – 6 October, 2014).
Vide-Greniers – Essentially this is an Attic Sale – but its set up in the center of town with anywhere from 50 to a couple of 1000 people participating. These aren’t professional vendors but private people wanting to sell their goods. Consider it a town wide garage sale where anything and everything is for sale. While you’ll have to dig through second hand clothes and used toys you can also find gorgeous antiques going for a song!
Salon des Antiquaires – This is a step up from a flea market or brocante – which can have second hand and decorative tat. This will be more high brow and have higher quality pieces – but dont let that phrase scare you – there are bargains to be had. They are just bargains on 200 year old pieces instead of 80 year old pieces.
When you go to a Puce, Brocante, Vide Grenier or Salon des Antiquaires you should know a few key phrases in French to get the ball rolling!
Basic Brocante Vocabulary:
Start the conversation with a simple, Bonjour Madame or to catch the vendors attention try S’il vous plaît (SVP) Monsieur.
Point then to the item you are interested in and ask how much it costs C’est combien, SVP? or try Vous voulez combien?
Ask how old it is? Quel âge a cette chaise? Ça date de quand? What wood it is? C’est quel type de bois? And where it comes from: Quelle est sa provenance?
Don’t be shy – negotiation is expected. Ask for a good deal. Vous pouvez faire un meilleur prix? or C’est votre meilleur prix? or Vous pour faire mieux?
Verify they are giving you the export price – C’est le prix pour exportation? Is it too expensive? C’est trop cher! (said while batting your eyes!) A good deal? C’est bon marché – C’est un bon prix – C’est raisonnable. I’ll take it! Je le prends!
And don’t forget to say Merci! Au Revoir!
The Antiques Diva®