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Think Outside the Decorating Box

Dear Diva Readers,

You might remember a couple months ago I did a blog post on The Urban Market’s November 8 antiques fair in Houston. On that post I included a picture of a darling wagon, calling it “the Find of the Day” and claiming it would make a sensational, eclectic coffee table for those who are interested in using fun finds in unique and interesting ways as home décor!

Just a few days after posting that picture I stumbled upon a picture in the July/August 2009 Elle Décor magazine featuring a similar wagon just as I described this one’s potential! Needless to say, I had to share it with you to help you visualize how one might turn a wagon into a coffee table!

The text on the feature photo reads:

“The living area of the barn turned guest cottage of Dan MacDonald and Gregg Kaminsky’s Long Island New York retreat, Cow Pond Farm, which was decorated by Kathleen Clements, has vintage photographs and subway sign displayed above a Chesterfield sofa from Mecox Gardens. The pillows are made from old grain sacks and an antique bellman’s car serves as a cocktail table. The rug is by Lauren, Ralph Lauren Home.”

Recently, while at Antiek d’ Eglantier Amsterdam, I stumbled upon these charming potato sacks and think they would go perfect with the décor in the room above!

Meanwhile I might just use them for a “Do-It-Yourself-Diva” project to make footstools similar to this pair of footstools recovered with La Post bags which I found on my Fall French Flea Market Extravaganza!

Until next time, think outside the decorating box!

The Antiques Diva ™

Diva-scovery: Online Shopping at The Inglenook Décor

Coco Chanel once said, “An interior is the natural projection of the soul” and if that’s true, then my soul is well-lit with crystal chandeliers, shabby chic slipcovers, rococo antiques, object d’art and everything Baroque and beyond! As a decorating-obsessed diva, I’m out hitting the flea markets and antique shops during the days but at night, once the markets have closed and insomnia is in full swing, I find myself surfing the design blogs, flipping endlessly through shelter publications and pursuing online décor stores. Here lately a new kid in town is capturing my attention! Enter The Inglenook Décor, an online home & garden shop specializing in 4 decorating styles: Vintage Modern, French Chateau, Rococo and Shabby Country.

The brains and beauty behind Inglenook Décor, choreographing the charmingly eclectic inventory, is the darling Maureen. A physical therapist in private practice, Maureen dreams of “traveling the world à la Samantha Brown, checking out the world of design & decor”. She confesses impishly that she “longs to be an interior designer to entertain her creative side….” And speaking of entertaining a creative side, that is exactly what she does for me with both her online shop and her blog!

Oh, did I forget to mention – not only does Maureen run an online boutique (with a store website chocked full of useful decorating nuggets of wisdom) but she also writes a blog called Ingle Talk to boot. The design blog Odi et Amo posted a sensational interview with Maureen earlier this year, where Maureen explained among other things the origin of the company name and shed some light on where she finds the treasures for her online store!

Maureen writes, “Inglenooks are built-in alcoves centered on a fireplace where friends and families gather. It’s like the center of an old-fashioned cottage. Just like what this built-in alcove represents, I believe homes should provide warmth and should be a place of refuge from the outside world and a reflection of our own personal style and taste.”

To find inventory, Maureen started subscribing to trade magazines and checking importers from her home country – the Philippines – as well as going to several markets in the US. And Maureen explains, “Of course, (I go) antique and flea market shopping. This can be tricky, you have to separate the trash from real great finds. A little self-serving but some of it, I kept for me…. As for my archetypal customer? Highly independent, confident and creative individuals that thrive on making all of their choices definitely unique and their own. I picture them as sophisticated men and women who totally agree with one of Coco Chanel’s famous quotes: ‘An interior is the natural projection of one’s soul.’ A little frivolous for these times perhaps, but they realize that a beautiful surrounding inspires.”

Thank You Maureen for being an Inspiration – You, my dear, are The Diva of the Day!

The Inglenook Décor
www.theingelnookdecor.com

Happy Shopping,

The Antiques Diva™

The Urban Market Houston – USA EDITION

Dear Diva Readers,

If you’re anywhere near Texas this November 8th, you need to high-tail it to Houston!!! On Sunday, November 8th 2009 you’re invited to the Extraordinary Urban Market in Houston!

Going into its fifth year, The Urban Market Houston has become THE TEXAN event for dealers as well as bargain hunters who are looking to spend a day outdoors looking through tents filled with incredible antiques and treasures! The ever-charming Jackie Sharbrough has organized an amazing assembly of antique dealers for each of the three Urban Markets throughout the year. The dealers come from all over the USA and each has their own specialty with merchandise to die for. The market has the feel of a Paris flea market – Texan Style – with the tents and big wide grassy walkways.

You’ll want to sign up to join The Urban Market’s mailing list as this event is held 3 times a year and you’ll want to stay in the loop to learn when the next event will be held! Each February, May, and November vendors have one day – and one day only – to move all sorts of interesting objects, antiques, artwork, designer & decorators collections! A walk through the dealers list guarantees that this is a high-end, Houston-styled flea market, and I’m certain you won’t be disappointed! Some of the vendors have shopped throughout Europe for years and each stall is guaranteed to be filled with oodles of antique home and garden items! Food lovers will not be disappointed with the terrific variety and selection of sandwiches, salads, cheeses, oven-fresh breads, sweets, Katz’s iced coffee, and even Pimento Cheese Spread. The Urban Market Houston has become an all-day event with “early birds” lined up looking for the booth number of their favorite vendors. The gate is $5 – children get in free.

So, put the date on your calendar, call a friend and sneak out early Sunday morning, November 8th. For map & contact information, see website.

Clipping from Country Living Sept 2007

All photography by Julie Landreth courtesy of Urban Market’s webpage.

Until Next Time, Happy Shopping,

The Antiques Diva™

Find of the Day!


Wouldn’t this garden wagon be sensational as a funky coffee table?
Imagine the rustic as home décor!

Upcoming Paris Brocantes!

Dear Paris-Based Diva Readers,

This Weekend – Oct 17 & 18 – get out of the city! Leave Paris behind and head to Senlis and visit this small town’s “Salon des Antiquaires” near Paris at the Abbaye Royale de Chaalis –Fee of 3 Euro includes entrance to the brocante & abbey!

Another out-of-town event nearby Paris that might be interesting to art lovers is being held this weekend on the grounds of the infamous Foire Nationale à la Brocante et aux Jambons en l’île de Chatou – The Grand Marche d’Art Contemporain Oct 15-18, 2009

If staying in the city is more your style, visit Brocante de la place Maubert – Sunday, Nov 1.

And last but certainly not least, visit the Antiquites Brocante at the Place de la Bastille Nov 5 – 15, 2009! There’s still time to book a last minute Antiques Diva Tour! I think blogger Tara Bradford of Paris Parfait has the best pics of this sensational flea market! Check them out!

While we at Diva Tours like to keep you informed on what’s on in Paris, we also like to educate you so you can find the flea markets of Paris (and all of France for that matter) on your own. Whatever dates you’re in Paris, you can always look up to see what flea markets and antique fairs are being held in the city of light by visiting the Brocabrac website. For Paris events click region 75 and learn what the fleas have in store for you!

Happy Shopping,

The Antiques Diva™

Extra, Extra Read All About It… Parisien Salon & Lonely Planet!

The Antiques Diva is in The News!!!

Women reading newspapers by Bert Hardy, 1957

This week’s blog interview between The Antiques Diva™ & La Mom was so stimulating that the glossy travel planning & destination e-magazine “Parisien Salon” picked it up & posted our Paris Insiders Discussion in an article they titled, Hamming it Up with The Antiques Diva™”.

Visit Parisien Salon to get inside information on what to see, do, buy & eat while in Paris in this e-magazine written by people who don’t just love Paris but who know it like the back of their hands, taking you beyond the landmarks & giving you exclusive entrée to a Paris usually limited only to locals!

And if that’s not enough, Lonely Planet then picked up the “Parisien Salon” posting, adding The Antiques Diva & La Mom’s “Hamming it up in Paris” interview under their heading “Blogs We Like”!!!

Until Next Time, Happy Reading!

The Antiques Diva™

An Interview with La Mom & The Antiques Diva – Visiting The Best Flea Market in France

Photo of The Antiques Diva & La Mom’s Empty Chair
The smell of ham mixed with hundreds-of-years-old antiques is in the air… It’s that time of year again when the Parisian’s mouths begin to water in anticipation of France’s best brocante. While in most countries “ham & antiques” isn’t a natural combination automatically going hand-in-hand, in France La Foire Nationale la Brocante et aux Jambon is the country’s largest antiques and gourmet food fair and it’s back again this fall in the Parisian suburb ile de Chatou between September 26 – Oct 4, 2009. La Parisian, La Mom, recently sat down with me and chatted about this fair, asking all those deep-probing, La Mom-esque questions!

To Read the Interview discussing THE BEST FLEA MARKET IN FRANCE,visit La Mom’s blog today!

If this interview Chez La Mom catches your attention, don’t forget that there’s still time to join me at my favorite flea market in France during the Fall French Flea Market Extravaganza! Better yet, book ahead – Email me toma@antiquesdiva.com for details on the upcoming Spring 2010 Trip to La Foire Nationale la Brocante et aux Jambon! And remember, though La Mom writes her blog incognito, she does offer Antiques Diva clients a chance at learning her secret identity. When you book a 4 day Paris Tour, La Mom makes a guest appearance at an ultra-exclusive local, revealing her secret identity to you and you alone!!! No camera’s or last names given, but you’ve got a free-for-all to query how she comes up with these sensational posts about La Vie a Paris!!!

Until next time,

The Antiques Diva™

Parlez-vous brocante?

Parlez-vous brocante? Do you speak French flea market? While the “Armoire” is the best known piece of French furniture, did you know that if an armoire only has one door then it is not an “Armoire”? Instead, it is a “Bonnetiere” deriving its name from the rounded top which looks like the shape of a bonnet worn by “Breton” ladies ( women from a region in northern France called Brittany). Sometimes you’ll see this bell-shaped armoire top referred to as a “Chapeau de Gendarme” or a police man’s hat. But if that “Bonnetiere” is divided by a drawer then this piece becomes an “Homme Debout” (or “Standing Man”).

This Beautifully Carved Walnut Homme Debout can be yours from 1st Dibs Garden Court Antiques

As Anglophones, when we hear “Commode” we think of a toilet, but in France a “Commode” is a chest of drawers and is considered the finest piece of furniture made for a house! While Anglophones tend to use “chest of drawers” for storing clothes, the French would use a “Coffre”. We might be familiar with the term “buffet” used as a side table in the dining room, but did you know a true buffet is higher than a commode with 2 doors on the bottom and 2 drawers at the top? Meanwhile, a “Buffet a Deux Corps” is literally a cabinet with 2 bodies. The bottom is usually traditional, but then a 2nd upper body is placed on top. However, if the top part has a plate rack, instead of doors, then it becomes a “Vaisselier”.

This Louis XV Style Commode in Kingwood & Tulipwood, c. 1850 is similar to the one I have at home! Shop like The Diva at 1st Dibs – William Word Fine Antiques

This Louis XV Cherry Buffet a Deux Corps, Circa 1760 is from
Richard Norton Antiques at 1st Dibs

A shelf (or even a floor in an apartment) is called an “Etage” but if a piece which sole purpose is shelving, then it is called an “Tagre”. However, if you’re storing books on that “tagre” and it has enclosed sides, then it is called a “Bibliotheque” which happens to be the same word for library in France. Wouldn’t it be confusing to ask how many bookshelves a certain library has?

All this thinking in a foreign language probably leaves you tired. You might as well take a “Siege”!! No, don’t attack a foreign city, instead take a seat – in fact, any seat, this is a general term for “Canapes, Fauteuils or Chaise”. You might know chair is “chaise” in French, but are you familiar with “Fauteuils”? This is nothing more than an armchair from any period. But if that armchair is upholstered, has an exposed wood frame and enclosed sides, then it is considered a “Bergere”. While you might be hungry don’t assume you’ll get an hors-d’oeuvre when you hear canapé mentioned – for a French man is probably asking you to sit on an antique wood-framed couch or love seat!

Another item you’ll find chez moi, this Pair of French Louis XVI Style Painted Bergeres are from the late 19th Century. From Alhambra Antiques – 1st Dibs

If you want to kick back and relax, you won’t find a Lazy Boy in France, but you will find a “Chaise Longue”, a chair long enough to support your legs! But if the “Chaise Longue” has a back rest at both ends it is known as a “Recamier”. Meanwhile a grand chair with matching ottoman would be called a “Duchess Brise”. If a chair has a footstool but it doesn’t match, that’s “un pouf”! Of course, if you’re looking for a chair that looks like a stool to sit at the side of a chair but not sit your feet on, then that’s a “Tabouret”!

I’ll be looking for something like this for my bedroom at Diva Tours French Flea Market Fall Extravaganza. ThisThree-piece Louis XV style Duchesse Brisee was made in 1870 and is available on line from, you guessed it, 1st Dibs.com
Vendor: Alhambra Antiques

Last but not least, you might need a “Lumire” to read by! While chandelier sure sounds like a French word to me, the French do not use this term – they call them “Lustre”. Finally, we come to something simple – a lamp is just “une Lampe”, but that’s where simple stops! If I were to say “Appliques” what would you think it means? Me? I think of an embroidery or iron-on patch, but in French this is the word for a sconce! That’s it!!! I’ve had enough French furniture vocabulary for one day! I’m going to bed, which in French is “Lit” pronounced “lee”!

“Bonne Nuit!” Good Night!

The Antiques Diva™

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An Invitation to Join Two Special Antiques Diva Tours in Fall 2009

Dearest Diva Readers,

You’ve heard me dish about my dalliances in Paris time and time again. I’ve talked of sipping champagne alongside the Seine, sashaying past the crowds at Les Puce de Paris, promenading at the Porte de Vanves Flea Market and doing the Diva-Loca during Les Soldes. I’m constantly dazzling you with details of miscellaneous brocantes in the city of light, tossing out frivolous French addresses and tempting you with stories of antiquing conquests! But I have an important question to ask:

“Why just READ about it when you can LIVE it?”

Join The Antiques Diva™ for A French Flea Market Extravaganza!

Here’s a Special Invitation to join The Antiques Diva™ in Paris for one of two upcoming divalicious tours this Fall 2009 in a French Flea Market Extravaganza!


What:

Not only will we shop the traditional Paris flea markets, oohing and ahhing over everything Louis and beyond, but we’ll also hit the Mother Load of Divadom at one of The Diva’s two favorite French flea markets: la Foire Nationale à la Brocante et aux Jambons on the île de Chatou or The Antiquities Brocante at the Place de la Bastille (depending on the dates of your tour)!

When you think you’ve literally shopped until you’ll drop, The Diva will revive you with champagne or café au lait – you name your poison – we’ll leave the flea markets behind, stepping into Hemingsway’s Paris, hitting a bar named after him and parading through the Ritz as if it were built for us alone. On another day The Diva will take you, arm-in-arm, strolling the streets of Saint-Germain-des-Prés, showing you the hottest shops, the best boutiques, the obvious and the out-of-the-way in her private Paris, sharing memories and making new ones! We’ll even make a rendez-vous to meet up in person with some of the best Parisian bloggers and online personalities! Should food or wine be your thing, let Diva Tours know and for an extra cost we’ll schedule French cooking lessons or steal some time for a wine tasting or two!

Picture it. You, The Antiques Diva™ and Paris. It looks good, doesn’t it?

When:

Option 1

Option 1 takes place during the famous La Foire Nationale Nationale à la Brocante et aux Jambons, a fair going on annually in the Parisian suburb of Ile de Chatou since the Middle Ages! Tour includes trips around Paris to the Porte de Vanves flea market as well as the world-renowned Paris Flea Market at Clingnancourt. We’ll hit a few Paris tourist sites to check some Paris Must See’s and, as this is Paris, we’ll shop the clothing boutiques and vintage fashion of St-Germain-des-Prés! Dinner plans will be discussed before the tour. Dinner is at your own cost but Diva Tours will secure the reservations. Hotel and Airfare are not included in tour cost; however, we can make hotel recommendations and suggestions on which area of the city in which you should stay!

Tour 1: Sunday Sep 27 – Wednesday Sep 30, 2009

Tour 2: Friday Oct 2 – Monday Oct 5, 2009

Option 2

Includes everything mentioned in Option 1; however, replace La Foire Nationale Nationale à la Brocante et aux Jambons with the Antiquities Brocante at the Place de la Bastille, where we’ll storm the antiques and flea market finds in this square chocked full of tales from the French Revolution!

Tour 3: Friday Nov 6 – Monday Nov 9, 2009

Tour 4: Friday Nov 13 – Monday, Nov 16, 2009

Where:

Do I really need to say this… where else do you think, mes amies? We will meet in Paris, bien sur! (this said with a French accent and the wiggle of my fake moustache). To best optimize your time, please schedule your flights or train schedules to arrive a day before and depart a day after scheduled tour dates should your Parisian trip not extend beyond these Divalicious tour dates!

How Much:

Four Day Antiques Diva Tour: 1,000 Euro (approximately $ 1,400) *

Girls Trips always earn special discounts as do married couples!

Email toma@antiquesdiva.com for further details, to book your trip or to learn about special discounts which might apply!

* Price is set at 1,000 Euro. Price in USD will be set at booking based on current f/x rate but will never exceed $1,400 as Diva Tours will absorb any exchange rate risk above that threshold.

Day Tours Also Available

Perhaps this all sounds like great fun but you are not looking for a full four day Diva Tour. E
mail toma@antiquesdiva.com to check availability on attending a one-day-only tour
of La Foire Nationale Nationale à la Brocante et aux Jambons (between Sept 27 & Oct 4, 2009), Antiquities Brocante Place de la Bastille (between Nov 5-15, 2009) or either of the Paris Flea Markets – Porte de Vanves or Les Puce at Porte de Clingnancourt!

The Early Bird Gets the Worm

The Antiques Diva™ Tours are taking pre-bookings for March and May 2010!

Some of you may be thinking you’d love to come this fall but these dates simply don’t work in your agenda. Never fear! As they say, the early bird catches the worm. Both The National Fair of the Flea Market and Ham and The Antiques Flea Market at the Place de la Bastille in Paris occur not only in the Fall but also in March and May 2010! Email me at toma@antiquesdiva.com to discuss dates and opportunities for Spring 2010.

Hope to see you on one of these exciting Paris Flea Market tours!

The Antiques Diva

One Minute Diva – Paris Flea Market Celebration

All this talk of Paris reminds me that I meant to tell you about what’s going on in Paris’ Flea Market this June 28, 2009! Normally, you go to this famed French flea market to score killer antiquities – this time, however, I’m not sending you there for the loot, instead I’m sending you for the entertainment!!

A Paris Flea Market Celebration

Visit the Marche Malassis in the Puces de Saint-Ouen for a sensual sensation watching tango dancers get their Latin groove on as the Casa Del Tango, led by Frédérique Behar, helps les Parisians et beaucoup des tourists kick off Summer/ été 2009!

Also, for you French-readers out there, I wanted to let you in on a recent discovery! Did you know The Paris Flea Market now writes a blog?? Visit Puces de Paris for great updates on what’s on at the Paris Flea Market!

Au Revoir,

The Antiques Diva™

Follow The Antiques Diva on Twitter!!

Reader Question: Paris Flea Market Dates

Dear Diva,

I love your blog! You have inspired me!! I am traveling to Paris on April 28 for 1 week and am hoping to go to Chatou. Do you know if the flea market is on-going? Perhaps during the weekend only?

Thanks!
Robin

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Dearest Robin,

I hate to dash your dreams, but the Foire Nationale de la Brocante et Jambon won’t be going on when you’re in Paris next week! This fair, held in Chatou, is only twice a year and you just missed the March 6 – 15, 2009 dates and the next dates for this fair are not until Sept 25-Oct 4, 2009. 

Paris Flea Market Dates

A good standby for flea marketing anytime when in Paris is the Paris flea market at Porte de Clignancourt, officially called Les Puces de Saint-Ouen. This well-organized flea market has no stalls set up on blankets in the street – instead it has permanent structures housing millions of euro of inventory, complete with 13 districts, 2000 vendors & 7 miles of alleys! It’s on every weekend Friday – Monday. Friday is dealer day, Saturday and Sunday is shopping for mere mortals. Monday is a nice day to go as there are smaller crowds at this typically overcrowded market; however, many of the vendors are closed or close early in the spirit of TGIM! (Thank God It’s Monday).
Another regularly scheduled weekend flea market in Paris is the Porte de Vanves market. Not as big as Les Puces, this market in Paris’ 14eme arrondisment has more than 350 vendors open Saturday and Sunday from 7am-3pm all year. The smaller-sized makes it a more compact outing for a morning’s brocanting.
If you’d like to wander off the tourist paths, then consider going to a traveling brocante. I did a wee bit of research for you and on 1-3rd May there will be a traveling brocante at the Brocante Square des Batignolles. BrocaBrac is a great site to discover what flea markets are happening when and where across France. To navigate the site, simply click on the map, check the area of France you will be visiting and a list of flea markets happening within the next month will appear, telling you the location of the markets. Click on the market and more information will appear including the number of vendors and the hours of market operation. Be sure to check out this secret diva source before your next trip to Paris… and speaking of Paris, I’m off myself to the city of light this next weekend, but more on that later!

Until then… à bientôt et bon voyage!

The Antiques Diva™

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