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where does design inspiration come from?

Where does design inspiration come from?

Amalfi coast lemons

Amalfi Coast lemons

While taking my summer vacation in the Amalfi Coast this summer one of my favorite things I did – besides merely lounge poolside in my BoxerinBlue swimwear under the wafting smell of the lemon trees – was visit the Ruins of Pompeii, which I talked about in a recent blog post when I announced my furniture collection – The Antiques Diva Collection by Aidan Gray.

Pompeii continues to fascinate – Mount Vesuvius had erupted in a phenomenal fashion straight off a Hollywood movie script – perfectly preserving the ancient town of Pompeii and the surrounding countryside in ash. The result – while devastating at the time, burying the people alive – did preserve the works of arts for centuries allowing us to see frescoes from the time of Jesus. (Segway from religion to sex… ) While the frescoes in the brothels were… uhm… especially interesting… what continues to fascinate me is the lush decadent lifestyles they lived in ancient Roman times. When I think of 2000 years ago, I imagine people walking around barefoot and yet in Pompeii the rich were living in villas I’d be happy to call home today.

Pompeii was to Rome like the Hamptons are to New York. And these villas surely must have been where the profession of interior designer came about. The wealthy employed sculptors and painters and other artisans to create an atmosphere that reinforced their position in society. In addition to proper sewage, they had gyms and swimming pools, libraries and courtyards with gorgeous mosaics… but for me… it’s all about the frescoes. The villas were painted ceiling to floor with motifs that were anything from actual images of other villas to architectural elements such as porticos or even cards, rivers and coastlines as well trees, fruits, flowers, birds…  But my favorite room, a kitchen in one of the villas, reminded me of my own home. The walls of the kitchen were painted with swimming fish found in the sea nearby.

Pompeii: Be Inspired | Toma Clark Haines | The Antiques Diva & Co

Pompeii kitchen frescoe of swimming fish 

At my home in Venice, I live in a small apartment a stone’s throw from the Peggy Guggenheim Museum, on a side canal just off the Grand Canal. Soon after I got an apartment here I found myself dreaming of water – which apparently is a trait of Venetians. Water is as much a part of daily life in Venice as is air and breathing. Meanwhile fish swim in the canals outside my kitchen window, they are served in every restaurant and I even have pet goldfish (Frank Sinatra Jr and Frank Jr Jr – fans of the TV series Friends will catch the joke in the name of the later). Wanting to connect the interior of my apartment to my surroundings, I decided to commission the artisans from Porte Italia to come and paint fish swimming down my entry hall. I chose to do the entire entrance in a dramatic high gloss black paint – painting the ceiling as well as walls which makes the space feel infinitely larger.

Toma Clark Haines hallway in Venice

My entry in Venice hand-painted by Porte Italia 

A fan of Fornasetti, I had the artisans nod towards Piero’s style. The fish swim towards a reflection pool in the middle – aka, an 18th C Gilded Mirror with the original mottled and melting mercury glass. The mirrors frame design is straight out of a fresco design in Pompeii, a basket overflowing with pomegranates and roses. This mirror created most likely between Louis 15 and Louis 16 reign reflects the notion we discussed in a recent blog – where does design inspiration come from? Everything we see and feel and do, influence who we are and our design aesthetic. Louis 16th furniture makers were heavily influenced by Pompeii, just as I was heavily influenced by Louis 15 and 16th when designing my furniture collection – The Antiques Diva Collection for Aidan Gray, which debuts this week at High Point Market.

Be Inspired 

Fall 2018 High Point Market I’m speaking on 2 panels that broach the subject of Design Inspiration. I’ll be Facebook Living both events – so don’t worry if you’re not able to be there in person, know you can always catch it online on my personal page Toma Clark Haines.

Inspiration Behind the Designs – Saturday October 13 2-3pm
Surya Showplace 4100

Join interior and product designers Mary Douglas Drysdale, Michel Smith Boyd, Toma Clark Haines (“The Antiques Diva”), Xander Noori, and Keon Khajavi-Noori as they discuss where they seek inspiration, how they overcome the dreaded creative block, and give tips and tools for recharging your creative batteries. 

Inspiration Behind the Designs

 

Designing Women of the World – Sunday October 14 1.30 to 2.30pm
Suites at Market Square Seminar Room SAMS T 1014

How do you prioritize travel as a busy designer and business owner? How do you prepare for design inspiration at a particular destination? How does getting outside of your local marketplace help your business? Join our traveled designers as they discuss these questions and many more, while giving tips and inspiration on how to incorporate travel into your design process. Panelists include Adriana HoyosTina NicoleToma Clark HainesSandra Espinet, and Aviva Stanoff with Deb Barrett as moderator. Reception and book signings to follow.

Designing Women of the World

 

Until then, Be Inspired.

Toma Clark Haines – The Antiques Diva®

 

Currey & Co

Dear Diva Readers,

As I’m gearing up for High Point Market next week, I wanted to invite you all to a party I’m hosting in conjunction with Currey & Co called Midnight in Paris with The Antiques Diva & Co! It will take place in the Currey & Co showroom on Saturday October 17th from 3 to 5 PM and is sure to be one of the most fun events at High Point, as everyone knows Currey & Co’s showroom is THE place to be for a good time! The idea of the party came when we had the pleasure of taking the Currey & Co team on an Antiques Diva shopping tour of the Paris Flea Market this year during Maison Objet. Their team came over to Paris for inspiration and boy did they find it! We were able to take them to sections of the market they didn’t even know about. In fact, their PR Maven Bethanne Matari says, “The Currey & Co design team spent a full day with Toma & Dive Guide Danielle at Le Puce de Paris. Having been to the market more than 20 times on our own, they took us to the back side of the flea market where we’d never been before – and it was all NEW to us. We found lots of inspirations and a few concrete ideas on new furniture designs. The best part of the day (other than a superb lunch) was a tour of vintage clothing & fabric shops. We could have spent all day there! Toma and Danielle seemed to know just about every vendor at the flea market and were full of historical information on how Le Puce came to be. All in all, it was a thoroughly entertaining day—oh,  and did I mention champagne!  Bubbly always makes an excursion more fun.”

Currey & Co, High Point Market, The Antiques Diva, Toma Clark Haines, Midnight in Paris Party, Maison Objet, Paris Flea Market Tours, Sinclair Bar Cabinet, Bar Carts, Odeon Bar Cart, Zhin Cabinet, Chinoiserie, Hester Table Lamp, Clara Folding Screen, Bethanne Matari

While Currey & Co is known for their lighting lines which include chandeliers, wall sconces, table and floor lamps, they also manufacture a wide range of home furnishings, garden furniture, and accessories. In fact, they’ve been a purveyor of distinctive garden furnishings since 1988. The essence of Currey & Company is not only the product for which it is known but also the very important people who help to create the product and carefully deliver it into the hands of those other important people, the customers, in a timely fashion. While people are key, the product is also the lifeblood of the company and at Currey & Company they take pride in their original design work , meticulous craftsmanship and careful attention to all details of a product. The effort of their multi-step hand-finishing process manifests itself in the richness and depth of the final finish of many of their products. The appearance of these pieces speaks of the human hands that have touched them as well as of the design skills and craftsmanship that have created them. They have the willingness to do what many other manufacturers regard as too difficult or too time-consuming, and it certainly shows.

Some new products we love that will launch at this market are:

1. 3249  AR 4497  Sinclair Bar Cabinet

50.25″w x18.25″d x54.5″h

Material: Wood/Printed Glass

Finish: Black Lacquer/Emerald Green Lacquer/Malachite

A provocative mix of gloss black lacquer and reverse painted malachite glass panels make you want to see what’s inside this beautiful bar cabinet. Features include a gloss emerald green interior, lit with under-mount lighting, touch on/off, wine bottle storage for up to 13 bottles, a pull out tray and adjustable glass and wood shelves

Currey & Co, High Point Market, The Antiques Diva, Toma Clark Haines, Midnight in Paris Party, Maison Objet, Paris Flea Market Tours, Sinclair Bar Cabinet, Bar Carts, Odeon Bar Cart, Zhin Cabinet, Chinoiserie, Hester Table Lamp, Clara Folding Screen, Bethanne Matari

Currey & Co, High Point Market, The Antiques Diva, Toma Clark Haines, Midnight in Paris Party, Maison Objet, Paris Flea Market Tours, Sinclair Bar Cabinet, Bar Carts, Odeon Bar Cart, Zhin Cabinet, Chinoiserie, Hester Table Lamp, Clara Folding Screen, Bethanne Matari

 

 

2. 4217  Odeon Bar Cart

36″w x19.75″d x35.5″h

Material: Wrought Iron/Mirror

Finish: Gold Leaf/Black/Light Roche Antique Mirror

Modern chinoiserie story with geometric patterning and shallow curved detail reminiscent of Chinese architecture

Currey & Co, High Point Market, The Antiques Diva, Toma Clark Haines, Midnight in Paris Party, Maison Objet, Paris Flea Market Tours, Sinclair Bar Cabinet, Bar Carts, Odeon Bar Cart, Zhin Cabinet, Chinoiserie, Hester Table Lamp, Clara Folding Screen, Bethanne Matari

 

3. 3258  Zhin Cabinet

33″w x23″d x62″h

Material: HDF/Solid Steel

Finish: Snow White/Molten Lava/Contemporary Gold

This Modern Chinoiserie cabinet has crisp lines, bold color and geometric hardware from an Asian motif. The lava red inside adds drama and the hardware is a statement on its own. The cabinet features ample storage with soft close drawers, cubbies with cord management and an adjustable shelf than can be removed to accommodate a small flat screen TV.

Currey & Co, High Point Market, The Antiques Diva, Toma Clark Haines, Midnight in Paris Party, Maison Objet, Paris Flea Market Tours, Sinclair Bar Cabinet, Bar Carts, Odeon Bar Cart, Zhin Cabinet, Chinoiserie, Hester Table Lamp, Clara Folding Screen, Bethanne Matari

 

4. 6258  Hester Table Lamp

34″h

Material: Ceramic/Metal

Finish: Gold/Black and White Stripes/Satin Brass

Shade: Off White Shantung

18x18x10/150w/1w/A

And an exclusive sneak peek only here on The Antiques Diva Blog

Currey & Co, High Point Market, The Antiques Diva, Toma Clark Haines, Midnight in Paris Party, Maison Objet, Paris Flea Market Tours, Sinclair Bar Cabinet, Bar Carts, Odeon Bar Cart, Zhin Cabinet, Chinoiserie, Hester Table Lamp, Clara Folding Screen, Bethanne Matari

 

5. 3244 Clara Folding Screen

78″w x2″d x74.25″h

Material: Wood/Brass/Linen

Finish: Natural Black Linen/Brass/Bronze

Inspired from a bangle bracelet this screen is full of drama. The black linen texture compliments the hand finished brass cladding that is inlayed into the piece. Each panel is hand wrapped in brass cladding to frame out the design with class.

Currey & Co, High Point Market, The Antiques Diva, Toma Clark Haines, Midnight in Paris Party, Maison Objet, Paris Flea Market Tours, Sinclair Bar Cabinet, Bar Carts, Odeon Bar Cart, Zhin Cabinet, Chinoiserie, Hester Table Lamp, Clara Folding Screen, Bethanne Matari

Cannot wait to see all these new products in person! Be sure to join us at the Midnight in Paris with The Antiques Diva & Co party as you can enter to win a tour of the Paris Flea Markets with the DIVA. Join us for lively conversations about antiques, design, travel and more while sipping a champagne cocktail, listening to live music and viewing new Currey products on the first official day of market.  SPECIAL 100 EURO OFF Diva Tour Gift Certificates will be given out at this fete in everyone’s favorite showroom at High Point! See you there!

Ciao,

The Antiques Diva®   

DesignHER

Dear Diva Readers,

I am so honored to be part of an exciting project which is being celebrated this month at High Point Market.

Julianne Taylor, Taylor Burke Home, Gretchen Aubuchon, Fashion Décor, DesignHER, High Point Market, Toma Clark Haines, The Antiques Diva, Wesley Hall Showroom, Design Inspirations

Julianne Taylor, Creative Director Taylor Burke Home

I first met Julianne Taylor, founder of Taylor Burke Home last year at High Point Market through the formidable Gretchen Aubuchon of Fashion Decor.  Immediately I knew this woman had it going on. A family woman and an entrepreneur, Julianne understands the struggle that many business women face when it comes to maintaining work/life balance. We instantly connected, having a shared past as expats. Julianne’s vision to start her company started when she herself lived overseas in Asia.  Her story of the start of her business echoed my own and she inspired me to continue to pursue my dream.  We have stayed in touch through various social media outlets, operating our lives in concentric circles—don’t you just love social media?!  This month, Julianne has a new book coming out called DesignHER. The book highlights 35 inspiring women who are shaping the interior design world. I am delighted to be included in that list of go-getters and I cannot wait to read the book and gain insights from the lives and careers of the 34 other inspiring ladies!

Julianne Taylor, Taylor Burke Home, Gretchen Aubuchon, Fashion Décor, DesignHER, High Point Market, Toma Clark Haines, The Antiques Diva, Wesley Hall Showroom, Design Inspirations

Julianne Taylor, Taylor Burke Home, Gretchen Aubuchon, Fashion Décor, DesignHER, High Point Market, Toma Clark Haines, The Antiques Diva, Wesley Hall Showroom, Design Inspirations

There will be a special pre-release party on Saturday October 17, 2015 from 5:30-7:30pm at the Wesley Hall Showroom in High Point. I’m thrilled to be able to attend the fete, as I’ll be in High Point for market (stay tuned to see the 5 – yes count them, 5 – events I’ll be taking part in from a panel, to a tour, to a book launch and more.) After this pre-release of 300 numbered and signed, advanced copies, the book will be available for purchase in early February 2016. I hope you’ll pick up a copy for yourself or a friend, as there are bound to be several tips, stories, and advice from women who have started their own businesses and continue to lead the design industry into the 21st century.  If you’re interested in obtaining a copy email me and I”ll make sure you’re on the list (toma(at)antiquesdiva.com).

Julianne Taylor, Taylor Burke Home, Gretchen Aubuchon, Fashion Décor, DesignHER, High Point Market, Toma Clark Haines, The Antiques Diva, Wesley Hall Showroom, Design Inspirations

Julianne Taylor, Taylor Burke Home, Gretchen Aubuchon, Fashion Décor, DesignHER, High Point Market, Toma Clark Haines, The Antiques Diva, Wesley Hall Showroom, Design Inspirations

Julianne Taylor, Taylor Burke Home, Gretchen Aubuchon, Fashion Décor, DesignHER, High Point Market, Toma Clark Haines, The Antiques Diva, Wesley Hall Showroom, Design Inspirations

Join me in congratulating Julianne along with all of the women involved in the creation of this book which I believe will inspire modern women all over to live out their dreams. To the women entrepreneurs of today—Bravo!

Julianne Taylor, Taylor Burke Home, Gretchen Aubuchon, Fashion Décor, DesignHER, High Point Market, Toma Clark Haines, The Antiques Diva, Wesley Hall Showroom, Design Inspirations

To the little girls dreaming of changing the world and leaving your mark on it—You can do it!

Cheers,

The Antiques Diva ®

Randall Weeks for Aidan Gray

Dear Diva Readers,

Since I’m getting ready to head to High Point Market this month, I’m putting together my own personal list of must-see showrooms and organizing my schedule for doing High Point, Antiques Diva Style. Imagine my delight when I received news that Aidan Gray, one of my favorite companies, will be opening a new showroom at High Point Market! The four-story, 7,000 square foot showroom (located at 201 Main Street) will be jam-packed with European-inspired inspiration. The new collection they’ll be releasing will reflect timeless, tried-and-true looks with just a little edge. Focusing primarily on accent pieces, the showroom will be filled with tables of all sizes, dressers, benches, chairs, and statement pieces. Aidan Gray also creates unique accessories including candle fixtures, lighting and garden pieces.

Aidan Gray, Randall Weeks, High Point Market, Design Inspiration, Antiques Diva

Aidan Gray, Randall Weeks, High Point Market, Design Inspiration, Antiques Diva

Let me share with you a preview of this year’s premiere pieces that will be seen at Aidan Gray’s High Point showroom!

The Shield Back Upholstered Chair

Aidan Gray, Randall Weeks, High Point Market, Design Inspiration, Antiques Diva

The Parker Gray wood finish combined with black leather gives it a modern sensibility. Aidan Gray offers the Shield Back Chair in upholstered and cane back options with 9 choices of wood/fabric combinations.

The Blue Silver Lamp

Aidan Gray, Randall Weeks, High Point Market, Design Inspiration, Antiques Diva

The dark navy glass base has been overlaid with an intricate pattern of embossed motifs in silver leaf. The combination of navy, silver and black makes this lamp a classic right from the start.

In celebration of the showroom’s opening during High Point Fall Market, Aidan Gray will host a Crown & Glory chandelier giveaway. Crown & Glory was conceptualized from the “Ray of Light” motif that surrounds the dove found on most alter carvings in and throughout Europe. The rays represent beams of light radiating from the sun, arranged in a slightly tapered manner. Carved from solid wood and finished with proprietary distressing techniques, each light is unique in its own right. The first 201 High Point customers to write an order of $1000 or more will receive the Crown & Glory chandelier complimentary with their High Point order.  And why 201?  Because that’s their new address at High Point!  201 Main Street.

With Aidan Grays signature combination of textural finishes, graceful lines and understated elegance, I’m sure to find many favorites at this showroom. I can’t wait to take a tour and see what they’ve got to offer the market!

See you at High Point!

The Antiques Diva®  

The Antiques Diva Does High Point Market

Dear Diva Readers,

I cannot believe that it is almost October already! It seems that this year is flying by, but October means that it’s time for autumn High Point Market which is one of my favorite times of the year.  I’ll be there giving my behind the scenes tour of The Antique & Design Center and also throwing a Midnight in Paris party at the Currey & Co showroom! I’m also speaking on a panel and taking over the High Point Market’s Instagram account for a day – not to mention standing in when Julianne Taylor of Taylor Burke Home does the pre-release of her book DesignHer, listing 35 Inspiring Women Who Are Shaping The Interior Design World.  I’m so excited she included me – ME!!! – in that list! In fact, I’m excited in general as the reason this is my favorite time of year is that High Point is all about People. It’s when I get to connect with industry friends and brands, colleagues and clients – and not to mention – BLOG READERS! I’d LOVE to invite you to attend one of my Antiques Diva events at High Point Market!

High Point Market, Toma Clark Haines Speaking Engagements, The Antiques Diva, Currey & Co, Midnight in Paris, Julianne Taylor, DesignHer, The Antique & Design Center, Paris Flea Market, Modenus, Veronika Miller, Robert Passal, Lowy Frame & Fine Art Services

1.  The Antiques Diva Happy Hour Tour of The Antique & Design Center 

Date: Friday, October 16th 2015 at 4:00pm
Location: The Antique & Design Center Ground Level of Market Square

The early bird gets the worm at the ADC with me, Toma Clark Haines, owner of Europe’s largest antiques touring and buying service company, as I take you on a tour of the major antique periods and styles to identify their key characteristics utilizing modern day metaphors and featuring inventory found at the Antique and Design Center in High Point.  No passport required.   Focusing on the antique trends in Europe- I’ll take antiques out of the past and bring them into the future of design. Visit the High Point Antique Center Blog for details.

High Point Market, Toma Clark Haines Speaking Engagements, The Antiques Diva, Currey & Co, Midnight in Paris, Julianne Taylor, DesignHer, The Antique & Design Center, Paris Flea Market, Modenus, Veronika Miller, Robert Passal, Lowy Frame & Fine Art Services

2.  Midnight in Paris with The Antiques Diva & Co

Date: Saturday, October 17th 2015 from 3:00pm to 5:00 pm
Location: Currey & Company Showroom – IHFC M110 on Main Street, Street Level

Join me, The Antiques Diva, and win a tour of the Paris Flea Markets with the DIVA. Join us for lively conversations about antiques, design, travel and more while sipping a champagne cocktail, listening to live music and viewing new Currey products on the first official day of market.  SPECIAL 100 EURO OFF Diva Tour Gift Certificates will be given out at this fete in everyone’s favorite showroom at High Point!

High Point Market, Toma Clark Haines Speaking Engagements, The Antiques Diva, Currey & Co, Midnight in Paris, Julianne Taylor, DesignHer, The Antique & Design Center, Paris Flea Market, Modenus, Veronika Miller, Robert Passal, Lowy Frame & Fine Art Services

 

3.  DesignHer Pre-Release Party 

Date: Saturday, October 17th 2015 from 5.30pm-7:30pm
Location: Wesley Hall Showroom
310 N Hamilton St, High Point, NC 27260

Julianne Taylor, IIDA Founder + Creative Director of Taylor Burke Home is doing a SPECIAL PRE-RELEASE Party for the launch of her new book DesignHer – listing 35 Inspiring Women Who Are Shaping The Interior Design World.   I happen to be one of those 35 profiles and will be attending this fete with other featured women in design.  After this first release of 300 numbered and signed copies, the book will be available for purchase in late January/early February 2016.

 

4.  Mastering the Mix of Antique and Contemporary Art & Decor in Interior Design

Date: Sunday, October 18th 2015 from 2:00pm-3:00pm
Location: Theodore Alexander, 229 West Russell Avenue, High Point, 27260

Join industry experts and masters of mixing materials, periods and styles as they discuss how to create designs that look collected, curated and current. Panel: Antiques Diva CEO, Toma Clark Haines; Interior designer Robert Passal; and Lowy Frame & Fine Art Services Co-Owner, Brad Shar. Moderator: Veronika Miller, CEO Modenus.

High Point Market, Toma Clark Haines Speaking Engagements, The Antiques Diva, Currey & Co, Midnight in Paris, Julianne Taylor, DesignHer, The Antique & Design Center, Paris Flea Market, Modenus, Veronika Miller, Robert Passal, Lowy Frame & Fine Art Services

 

ALSO ON SUNDAY 

5.  #HPMKT Instagram TakeOver

The Antiques Diva & Co has been tagged with the task of taking over High Point Market’s Instagram Account! I’ll be posting up to 15 photos on High Points very own Instagram site sharing some Diva Style. Make sure to follow @TheAntiquesDiva on Instagram and High Point Market.

I hope to see many friends and colleagues there! If you can’t make it to market, stay tune to our social medias and the blog as I’ll be keeping you up to date on what’s happening at #HPMKT.

The Antiques Diva®   

Linda Meeks Shops Italy – Guest Blog

Dear Diva Readers,

When Antiques Diva client Linda Meeks offered to write a blog about her recent Antiques Diva Tour I jumped at the opportunity. Linda has attended multiple talks of mine at High Point Antique and Design Center and over the years we’ve chatted about her extraordinary niche service she offers as a custom slipcover designer.  While Linda’s Product Design studies began formally at North Carolina State University, her passion for fine fabrics began at an early age on the back roads of eastern North Carolina. Many hot summer afternoons were spent in the back of Mama’s Ford Fairlane, traveling from one fabric store to another, searching for fine fabrics and silver linings. Today she continues the tradition with her Raleigh based company Pencil Me In,traveling across North Carolina, fashioning classic cotton and linen slipcovers for fine furniture. Recently Linda took her travels a bit further afield and went shopping with Antiques Diva style in Italy with our locally based guide, Susan.

Antiques Diva Italy Tour, High Point Market, Linda Meeks, Pencil Me In, Custom Slipcovers, Tuscan Tours, Susan Pennington, Shopping in Florence, Buying Antiques in Italy, Florentine style

Linda writes about her Antiques Diva Italy Tour:

“On instinct, I contacted the Antiques Diva & Co as soon as Barton (best friend, photographer and muse) ordered cheap airline tickets and a copy of Rick Steve’s guide to Italy. You see, since hearing Toma Clark Haines speak at High Point Furniture Market Fall 2014, I knew I was destined for a fabric reconnaissance with one of her guides. Enthralled with Rick Steves’ “Europe through the Back Door” travel style, I was convinced that seeing the marketplaces that the creatives and makers move through would carbonate my experience in Italy, and I needed a guide.

Antiques Diva Italy Tour, High Point Market, Linda Meeks, Pencil Me In, Custom Slipcovers, Tuscan Tours, Susan Pennington, Shopping in Florence, Buying Antiques in Italy, Florentine style

Antiques Diva Italy Tour, High Point Market, Linda Meeks, Pencil Me In, Custom Slipcovers, Tuscan Tours, Susan Pennington, Shopping in Florence, Buying Antiques in Italy, Florentine style  Antiques Diva Italy Tour, High Point Market, Linda Meeks, Pencil Me In, Custom Slipcovers, Tuscan Tours, Susan Pennington, Shopping in Florence, Buying Antiques in Italy, Florentine style

Toma connected me with Antiques Diva guide Susan Pennington and it was a match made in Sienna. My wish list for Susan was simple: 1. I’d like to see and hear Italians trade wares and secrets and learn a few swear words, 2. Take in the country air, and 3. Come home with a good find and a memory or two. When tour day arrived, Susan met us at our hotel and led us through the narrow streets of Sienna, dashing in and out of secret source shops, dodging Vespas and divulging tips about the local culture. Our morning excursion included an array of haberdasheries, galleries, and consignment shops in search of linens, passementerie, buttons, furniture, and art. Then we embarked on a road through Chianti, lunching in a hill town en route to Florence.

Antiques Diva Italy Tour, High Point Market, Linda Meeks, Pencil Me In, Custom Slipcovers, Tuscan Tours, Susan Pennington, Shopping in Florence, Buying Antiques in Italy, Florentine style

Antiques Diva Italy Tour, High Point Market, Linda Meeks, Pencil Me In, Custom Slipcovers, Tuscan Tours, Susan Pennington, Shopping in Florence, Buying Antiques in Italy, Florentine style

Antiques Diva Italy Tour, High Point Market, Linda Meeks, Pencil Me In, Custom Slipcovers, Tuscan Tours, Susan Pennington, Shopping in Florence, Buying Antiques in Italy, Florentine style

Antiques Diva Italy Tour, High Point Market, Linda Meeks, Pencil Me In, Custom Slipcovers, Tuscan Tours, Susan Pennington, Shopping in Florence, Buying Antiques in Italy, Florentine style

Next stop on our itinerary was a bit of luxury. Of course I can’t tell you the name or it would not be a secret source. But I will tell you it was neither a furniture showroom, workshop, carpenter’s shop, or architectural design studio, but a harmonious fusion of all the aforementioned. A place that honors the Florentine craft traditions, this unique space specialized in items restored, reinterpreted and reimagined for the home. Exactly what I encourage my clients to do with their heirloom furniture and fabrics every day! Here in this place Susan led the way as we climbed the attic to dig in the secret archives of waitlisted projects. And there it was! The perfect example of a Florentine footrest, aged green and tiny gilded bees. Susan negotiated the purchase and arranged to have it shipped (along with other linen & lace finds) to my workshop in Raleigh, NC, where it will be reimagined with a Florentine inspired slipcover and a story to tell.

Antiques Diva Italy Tour, High Point Market, Linda Meeks, Pencil Me In, Custom Slipcovers, Tuscan Tours, Susan Pennington, Shopping in Florence, Buying Antiques in Italy, Florentine style

Antiques Diva Italy Tour, High Point Market, Linda Meeks, Pencil Me In, Custom Slipcovers, Tuscan Tours, Susan Pennington, Shopping in Florence, Buying Antiques in Italy, Florentine style

Antiques Diva Italy Tour, High Point Market, Linda Meeks, Pencil Me In, Custom Slipcovers, Tuscan Tours, Susan Pennington, Shopping in Florence, Buying Antiques in Italy, Florentine style

Antiques Diva Italy Tour, High Point Market, Linda Meeks, Pencil Me In, Custom Slipcovers, Tuscan Tours, Susan Pennington, Shopping in Florence, Buying Antiques in Italy, Florentine style

After a long day of scouting and scavenging, and double gelato, Susan left us with assignments of more secret sources to scope on our own. Now confident in our sleuthing skills, we affirmed that whether in North Carolina, Sienna, or Florence, it is in the unexpected places and on the Back Roads that we find the EXTRA that makes the ordinary EXTRAORDINARY. And so as Back Door travelers, we have memories of: listening to Susan translate our trades in her lovely British/Italian, enjoying a scenic drive through the country, and discovering THE FIND. But did we hear any swear words? I don’t know!”

Antiques Diva Italy Tour, High Point Market, Linda Meeks, Pencil Me In, Custom Slipcovers, Tuscan Tours, Susan Pennington, Shopping in Florence, Buying Antiques in Italy, Florentine style

Thanks for sharing your experiences with us Linda! We’re so happy you enjoyed your time in Italy and that you came away with a treasure (and I promise we’ll get you a list of ‘ approved swear words” – note to the reader, Diva Guide Susan would never mutter a curse word… but the vendors on the other hand… Mamma Mia….

For more information on taking an Antiques Diva tour, or learning to cuss in Italian :),  email us at info@antiquesdiva.com.

Ciao,

The Antiques Diva®   

Favorite Finds Part 2 of Antique & Design Center of High Point

Dear Diva Readers,

T oday we’re continuing our Favorite Finds from The Antique & Design Center of High Point.  If you missed part one make sure to go back and read it HERE. Now, last time I wrote, you’ll recall, I was delighted to lead a tour of the Antique & Design Center during Spring Market. For those of you who missed market, I had to share some of my top picks from market.

Normally specializing in painted pieces of Italian, Swedish and French provenance, Mitra of Art & Antique Hunter found a sublime Swedish walnut table that she instantly knew was a show stopper. This piece is stunning in person – photos simply cannot do it justice. The pattern of the wood grain is gorgeous in an of itself, each piece specifically cut to make a starburst on the table’s center, with the woodgrain gorgeously flowing down the legs.

High Point Market, Toma Clark Haines, The Antiques Diva

There weren’t a lot of garden antiques at the Antique & Design Center of High Point, but the pieces that were there were stellar. Perhaps my favorite garden piece at the fair was this pair of rare 1920’s sculpted garden statues from Gallery at Summerhill. Australian vendor Chris O’Brian found this pair in a Palm Beach House – constructed entirely from one piece of carved limestone. The quality is exquisite. I loved their pose- the way their forms embraced – it’s actually quite rare to find both male and female pieces together this way. And if you look closely, the male figures have classic Baroque putti faces… but the females… have you ever seen anything quite like them? Probably not! There is no tradition for a female “putti” face so the sculptor had to imagine them himself, breathing his own life and inspiration into them.

High Point Market, Toma Clark Haines, The Antiques Diva

Another fabulous garden piece, this pair of Romantic Revival Movement garden statues circa 1800 from Hank Kozlowski are grand and fun all at once. They’d be just as appropriate today in a boxwood garden as they would be in Marie Antoinette’s hamlet where she used to frolic pretending to be a peasant!

High Point Market, Toma Clark Haines, The Antiques Diva

Next door to Hank Kozlowski is Halsey Dean Antiques which gives vintage and antique pieces a new lease on life. They silver and gold leaf vintage pieces so they simply shimmer. One of our favorite finds in their stall was a reinvented Tomlinson piece made in 1962… RIGHT HERE IN THE VERY BUILDING where the Antique & Design Center of High Point now calls home! At The Antiques Diva & Co we believe in making antiques & vintage pieces relevant. I give Chris and Tim a round of applause for making vintage pieces that might be overlooked more marketable and applicable for today’s interior.

High Point Market, Toma Clark Haines, The Antiques Diva

I love it when vendors think outside the box. And that’s exactly what vendor Heidi Jones of Punch Jones does. By nature she is a storyteller and her inventory is choreographed in a way that it reads as if  it were a novel. Sometimes it’s a historical novel, other times a mystery. While almost all of her pieces were statement pieces, perhaps the piece that caught my eye the most was an antique black dress framed in a shadow box. With such graphic punch it could work in a modern space as well as a traditional space!

High Point Market, Toma Clark Haines, The Antiques Diva

Speaking of vendors with great eyes, Sandy Luther has a fantastic eye. Her entire booth is a favorite from market because of her divine style – we couldn’t choose just one piece to highlight – so we’re highlighting Sandy’s style overall. Correction make that “Sandy’s Style” overall… the word style needed a capital S! Specializing in 18th C Italian religious relics and fragments, Sandy does like to shake it up from time to time. She’s recently started mixing in mid century pieces with her inventory and she has me smitten with a capital S.

High Point Market, Toma Clark Haines, The Antiques Diva

Speaking of being Smitten, you’ve probably heard me say before that Alhambra Antiques is one of my favorite vendors in the USA, selling divine European inventory. Ignacio (and his daughter Olga who is co-owner with husband Doug Scott of The HighBoy) have a great eye for sourcing in Europe! Alhambra Antiques consistently has top quality, creative inventory that punctuates spaces with a European vibe. His first time displaying at market, vendor Ignacio’s stole the show with his chandeliers. While he had chandeliers dating several hundred years old, perhaps my favorites were the vintage Italian Murano and Art Glass. Talk about a statement piece! WOW!

High Point Market, Toma Clark Haines, The Antiques Diva

Sometimes my favorite items in the booth, weren’t the oldest or the most precious, or even the best value. Dealers Richard and Tatiana of Rue Auber Antiques had a wonderful assortment of pieces that were under-priced! They buy low at auction (or house clearing sales nearby their New England home) and thus they pass along their savings. One painting in their booth was estimated at $3-5K at auction and they were selling for $1200 and they had an Italian Carerra Marble fireplace that would have sold in New York for 12K going for 4K! They pride themselves on seeking quality and selling for a good value. The piece that struck me in their booth was a designer’s dream – it was a faux malachite table from the 1960s. The color, the pattern, the shape were all perfect and I can imagine it showing up on the cover of House Beautiful or some other shelter publication in the coming years!

High Point Market, Toma Clark Haines, The Antiques Diva

Last but not least was Marshall Clements from Little Rock, Arkansas. They have some of the most to-die-for inventory – my particular favorite piece in their booth was a 19th C Sculoa Baroque Table – similar to Pietre Dura (which is comprised of semi-precious stones). This is a pigment version from a church in Rome. I think it was one of the most special pieces at the fair! I also loved their Pair of 19th C bibliotheques as well as their assortment of well priced 18th C walnut tables selling for 3-5K.

High Point Market, Toma Clark Haines, The Antiques Diva

Hope you’ve enjoyed our Antiques Diva High Point Antique and Design Center Round Up!

The Antiques Diva®

AD&Co Favorite Finds at Antique & Design Center of High Point – Part 1

Dear Diva Readers,

Twice a year I cross the pond and head to High Point Furniture Market where each season Spring & Fall I offer a slew of events Stateside (No Passport Required) at the Antique & Design Center of High Point.  This year – in addition to speaking on a panel on The Secret Life of Antiques – I was delighted to lead a special tour of the market, pointing out new dealers, old favorites and highlighting some of my Favorite Finds at the fair!  With a crew of 40+ shoppers in tow we had an enthusiastic  group eager to learn how to shop – Antiques Diva Style!

Without further ado, here are my top finds at this Spring 2015 High Point Market … Alas there were so many goodies to be found this blog post can only fit Part 1…stay tuned for Part 2 on Friday!

High Point Furniture Market, The Antiques Diva, Toma Clark Haines, Design Trends, Antique & Design Center, Antiques Tours, High Point Market,

Perhaps my favorite piece in the whole of the fair was this repurposed 18th C Italian Alter from B. Kelley Antiques – who displayed for the first time ever at this fair.  Sharing a booth space with Old & The Proud (who has some great ironstone) this piece is originally from a church in Italy. In excellent condition – the piece is married from 2 pieces – the top entirely original patina while the bottom had been made from old wood with additional 18th C Italian fragments added to complete the piece.  I can picture this in an entry way, a living room, even a dining room – regardless of which room of the house it ends up in it would be an ideal statement piece in any home.

High Point Furniture Market, The Antiques Diva, Toma Clark Haines, Design Trends, Antique & Design Center, Antiques Tours, High Point Market,

Next up we’re doing a total flip flop on style – flashing forward a couple of hundred years!  This Walter Von Nessen swing-arm lamp from the 1930’s – available at Metropolitan Interiors – caught my eye because it was the very first prototype of this type of lamp.  While today swing arm lamps are incredibly well known it was innovation at its finest back in the day!

High Point Furniture Market, The Antiques Diva, Toma Clark Haines, Design Trends, Antique & Design Center, Antiques Tours, High Point Market,

A step into Anne’s booth Antiques on Holiday was just that… a vacation for the eye, filled with gorgeous one-of-a-kind pieces.  I was downright smitten with this French globe from the late 1800’s. I loved the scale – oversized with a gorgeous color scheme – I felt like the whole world, er, make that Le Monde (all the writing was in French) was at my finger tips!

High Point Furniture Market, The Antiques Diva, Toma Clark Haines, Design Trends, Antique & Design Center, Antiques Tours, High Point Market,

There was definitely a trend towards religious pieces at The Antiques & Design Center of High Point – most of which have a Catholic origin. Perhaps one of the most unusual finds at #ADCHP was a 17th century cabinet from Arcanum Antiques & Interiors.  Of Jewish origin, probably from Eastern Europe, it is believed to be a Torah Cabinet— used for transporting the Torah and all of its accoutrement. It’s got handles and comes apart in various pieces for easy transport.

High Point Furniture Market, The Antiques Diva, Toma Clark Haines, Design Trends, Antique & Design Center, Antiques Tours, High Point Market,

Another of my long-term favorite vendors at the fair is Tuesday on the Boulevard.  This vendor sells exclusively at High Point – so if you want to shop their quirky finds – which almost ALWAYS SELL OUT – you need to buy from them the Antique & Design Center of High Point.  One of my favorite items in their stall this year is a fun and happy mid-century painting in the style of Miro.  The vendor found this painting while cleaning out the contents of a chi-chi Manhattan apartment.  Now… this painting is a great example of mixing modern with antique. It would be the perfect foil for a serious antique chest of drawers in a dark wood!  I’m imagining it against an Empire commode.

High Point Furniture Market, The Antiques Diva, Toma Clark Haines, Design Trends, Antique & Design Center, Antiques Tours, High Point Market,

I can not mention my favorite vendors at the Antique and Design Center of  High Point Market with out giving a great big Shout Out to Nancy PriceI love her and her entire team…. they are as beautiful as their inventory!   Choosing only 1 piece to highlight in her stall was next to impossible… but I finally settled on this Italian Altar Piece with candle holders dated circa 1750 (shown at the bottom of this photo).   Now… this piece is particularly special… most of our trade clients have us sign a confidentiality agreement when we do sourcing for them but Nancy was happy to tell her clients that she’d sourced this piece (as well as several others) with us in Europe though our Buying Services!  It’s so fun to see pieces from one of our favorite vendors across the pond make their way to America with one of our favorite vendors stateside!

High Point Furniture Market, The Antiques Diva, Toma Clark Haines, Design Trends, Antique & Design Center, Antiques Tours, High Point Market,

Speaking of fun… the guys at BoxRoad.net are so much fun—and so is their inventory. The team comprised of Michel, Stacey and Donny has a great eye with an electric mix of inventory.  These aren’t the people who follow the trends… they set them.  While numerous pieces in their stall caught my attention from paper mache molds, to the “instant collections” of mirrors to Lucite barstools and industrial tables perhaps the most quirky of the inventory in their stall was this horn chair from Texas.

High Point Furniture Market, The Antiques Diva, Toma Clark Haines, Design Trends, Antique & Design Center, Antiques Tours, High Point Market,

Now last but not least, before I bid you adieu in PART 1 OF MY HIGH POINT ROUND UP,  let’s talk about one more stunning piece…this vintage 1920’s Italian backdrop.  Vendor Antoinette of A. Vincent Antiques and Interiors bought this from a dealer’s personal collection and she was only allowed to buy the piece if she promised to make sure it ended up in a good home.  Hmmm…..  I give my antiques the best attention, love and care… I would have bought this one myself but alas….  I was too late! It sold to one of the other vendors at High Point Market within seconds of market opening!

Stay tuned for Part 2 of our High Point Favorite Finds!

The Antiques Diva®

Come Hear Me Speak at High Point!

Dear Diva Readers,

Are you heading to High Point Market?  If so then you won’t want to miss me at the Antique & Design Center of High Point where I will be doing 2 events!

High Point Market, Toma Clark Haines, The Antiques Diva, The Antique & Design Center, The Secret Life of Antiques, Melissa Mittag, Cari Cucksey, Heather Karlie Vieira, Fromental,

Saturday, April 18th, 4pm at The Antique & Design Center
As owner of Europe’s largest antiques touring and buying service company, The Antiques Diva & Co takes you on a tour of the major antique periods and styles to identify their key characteristics, utilizing modern day metaphors and featuring inventory found at the Antique and Design Center in High Point. No passport required. See you there!

High Point Market, Toma Clark Haines, The Antiques Diva, The Antique & Design Center, The Secret Life of Antiques, Melissa Mittag, Cari Cucksey, Heather Karlie Vieira, Fromental,

Monday, April 20th, 5pm-6pm for a Panel Discussion on The Secret Life of Antiques
The Secret Life of Antiques:
a panel with Toma Clark Haines Melissa Mittag Cari Cucksey and Heather Karlie Vieira

Have you ever wondered just how those incredible antique finds end up on the covers of your favorite shelter magazines and in the showrooms of the top designers? Well, we’re here to uncover their past, reinvent their present and revitalize them for the future. Join Toma, Melissa, Cari and Heather as they discuss the journey from flea market find to show stopping favorite. The discussion will focus on just how the vintage and antique pieces are sourced by dealers, then how their histories are revealed through research and restoration, going forward the panel will discuss the marketing of vintage and antique finds and how the interior design community has been at the forefront of the resurgence of popularity of these pieces, and they’ll also discuss how those vintage and antique pieces are placed in homes, showrooms and how they wind up on the pages of our favorite shelter magazines.

Join us for a fun and lively discussion on the Secret Lives of Antiques!

You already know me – Toma Clark Haines aka, The Antiques Diva CED (that would be Chief Executive Diva) of Europe’s favorite antique buying tours – Melissa Mittag is an expert on antique and contemporary wall coverings and is a representative for Fromental llc, Cari Cucksey is an HGTV personality and has her own line of paints, Heather Karlie Vieira is a vintage and antique dealer with a showroom on the South Shore of Boston called @20th Century by HKFA.

See you there,
The Antiques Diva®

Wrapping Up 2014 with The Antiques Diva

Dear Diva Readers,

As we wrap up 2014 and I reflect on this year I’m reminded of words by Charles Dickens,“it was the best of times and…” well, the best of times! I cannot help but think “Wow!” It’s been a fabulous year of growth for us here at The Antiques Diva & Co.  We’ve grown to being the largest antiques sourcing company in Europe, offering customized buying tours in 8 countries (and counting) and working with a team of 18 locally-based guides.   If I could sum up the year in three words they would be Clients, Collaborations and Celebrations!

The Antiques Diva, Toma Clark Haines, Year in Review, Antiques Diva Paris Flea Market Party, Maison Objet, Deco Off, Editor at Large, Timothy Corrigan, Paul Bert, Serpette, Michael Boodro, Elle Décor,

We kicked off 2014 in January with our first ever Antiques Diva Paris Flea Market Fete coinciding with Maison et Object and Deco Off.   With over 150 mega VIP guests in attendance the event received great media coverage and we were able to film a special tour of the Paris Flea Market with Editor at Large.  Such was last years success we’re doing it again this January 25 2015 for our second annual fete at the Paris Flea Market in conjunction with special guests Michael Boodro, Editor in Chief of Elle Décor, one of my favorite “Frenchy” interior designers, Timothy Corrigan and the owner of the Paul Bert/Serpette, Jean-Cyrille Boutmy (RSVP now for details toma@antiquesdiva.com! You’re invited!!)

The Antiques Diva, Toma Clark Haines, Year in Review, Tobi Fairley, Denise McGaha, Jon Call, Mark Cutler, Stacey Bewkes, Quintessence, Stylish Shopping with Susanna Salk, Mercanteinfiera, Parma Antiques Fair,

The Antiques Diva, Toma Clark Haines, Year in Review, Jon Call, Mercanteinfiera, Parma Antiques Fair,

The Antiques Diva, Toma Clark Haines, Year in Review, Stacey Bewkes, Quintessence, Stylish Shopping with Susanna Salk, Mercanteinfiera, Parma Antiques Fair,

In February (and again in September) we were able to once again take VIP groups of American Interior Designers to Mercanteinfiera in Parma, Italy. Attending this large antiques fair is always a treat, but most especially when the clients are as fun as Tobi Fairley, Denise McGaha, Jon Call and Mark Cutler!   Later in the fall we were delighted to film Stylish Shopping with Susanna Salk along with Stacey Bewkes of Quintessence for an upcoming episode on antiquing in Italy, Diva Style at Mercanteinfiera!   Watch this space! Both trips were filled with antiques sourcing, photo shoots and copious quantities of food & wine.  This month I was also delighted to add a new member to our team at Diva Headquarters – Andrew Skipper!

Then in March I hopped on a plane and headed to the USA to speak alongside Michael Bruno founder of 1stdibs at the Design Bloggers Conference. It was such an honor to meet so many talented design enthusiasts and to be able to share my story of turning a blog into a business.  Again, many lasting relationships were forged at this fantastic conference!

Just days later I was back on a plane headed for the UK. Our lovely Diva Agent Gail and I met up with Antiques Expert Judith Miller who gave our group of clients a private tour of The Bath Decorative Fair, which happened to be celebrating its 25th anniversary with a Champagne fete.  Yes, Champagne does tend to follow me around.  At the end of the month, I headed back to NYC to speak at the IFDA New York Design Center. What a jam-packed month!

The Antiques Diva, Toma Clark Haines, Year in Review, San Francisco Cottage & Gardens, Joy Venturini,

Criss-crossing the USA, I then flew to Atlanta to speak at ADAC and then spoke in both Los Angeles and San Francisco (special thanks to Kneedler Fauchere for hosting a fete in my honor).  I was also delighted to attend the launch party of San Francisco Cottage & Gardens where I befriended fashion icon Joy Venturini who moments before this photo was taken officially told me I was the “best dressed” for the event!  What a treat it was to see so many clients and make new friends!

The Antiques Diva, Toma Clark Haines, Year in Review, High Point Market, Antique & Design Center, Mad Cap Cottage

Then it was time for High Point Market which is THE MEETING PLACE for all my clients and colleagues.  Here I hosted – what else? – a Champagne tour of the Antique & Design Center after leading a Style Guide lecture on the Louis (lest you think antiques are boring… this talk involved plenty of sex and scandal to spice up the antiques and history!!!!).

The Antiques Diva, Toma Clark Haines, Year in Review, Blog Tour Milan

But I couldn’t stay long at High Point – I had to jet back to Milan, Italy for Salone to meet my Italian Diva Guide, Susan, to lead a VIP tour for Blog Tour Milan! Our lovely clients enjoyed this gorgeous city with us culminating in our party at the famous Campari Bar. After all that jet-setting, it was time to meet my husband in Tuscany for some much needed down days of relaxation at the Villa Bordoni.   I’ve been fortunate my husband has been able to travel with me on some business trips as I criss-cross the globe and we met in exotic destinations.

The Antiques Diva, Toma Clark Haines, Year in Review, Spring Market, D&D Building, Antiques in the 21st Century,

May brought along plenty of client tours, including taking The Antiques Roadshow Magazine on tour throughout Belgium. But then in May it was back to the States for Spring Market at the D&D in New York where I spoke on a panel about Antiques in the 21st Century. Then in June a life-long dream of mine came true! We kicked off our first Antiques Diva Venice Tours with our new Diva Guides Orseola and Chiara! Exploring this enchanted city on the arms of two locals has given me access to a world I never thought I’d know as an insider.

The Antiques Diva, Toma Clark Haines, Year in Review, Las Vegas Market, Antique Trend Forecast, Design Tastemaker,

July took me to The Windy City of Chicago for a speaking engagement at the Randolph Street Antique Market where I did a promo spot on ABC in Chicago! Then it was off to Las Vegas Market where I spoke on Antique Trends and was delighted to be named one of their Design Tastemakers!!

Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok, Anantara Elephant Camp, Golden Triangle,

August brought some much needed down time in Thailand as my husband and I traveled to Thailand together to spend time at the Mandarin Oriental in Bangkok followed by shopping in Chiang Mai (Watch this space for upcoming Diva News! Will the Diva Do Asia?) followed by an amazing week at the Anantara Elephant Camp in the Golden Triangle learning to drive my own elephants.  Taking in this magical place was truly what we needed after all the hustle and bustle of this whirlwind year!

The Antiques Diva, Toma Clark Haines, Year in Review, Steve Nobel, Nobelinks,

The Antiques Diva, Toma Clark Haines, Year in Review, Decorative Fair, Battersea, Traditional Home, Antique Markets in London

In September I was back in London, leading a VIP tour alongside industry sage and icon Stephen Nobel. Taking in exciting inspiration and sourcing unique antiques was the name of the game—along with lots of bubbly, bien sur! By the end of the month I was back again in London, taking a lovely journalist from Traditional Home on a special tour which coincided with The Decorative Fair at Battersea.

The Antiques Diva, Toma Clark Haines, Year in Review, Gotha Biennale, Fall Market, Darcy Fulton, Jackson McCard, John Rosselli, Bunny Williams, Treillage, Art and Antiques Fair Parma Italy

Then in October after spending time in Italy for Mercanteinfiera I flew back to the Big Apple to speak at the D&D Building for Fall Market. But I couldn’t stay long because up next was High Point Market where I spoke yet again about my Antiques Diva Style Guide. High Point is always like a reunion! Such a pleasure to see so many familiar faces.  Before I knew it, I was back to Italy for another VIP event – attending the opening night gala at the Gotha Biennale with special VIP guests Darcy Fulton of John Rosselli and Jackson McCard of Bunny Williams’ Treillage!

The Antiques Diva, Toma Clark Haines, Year in Review, Olga Granda-Scott, The Highboy, Doris Athineos, Traditional Home Antiques, Jonathan Burden, Antiques in the 21st Century

The Antiques Diva, Toma Clark Haines, Year in Review, Holiday House New York, Justin Shaulis, Gallery Hopping in Miami, Louis Navarrete,

In November we capped off the year with our last Antiques Diva event as I returned to NYC, speaking alongside the grande dame of antiques Judith Miller, Traditional Home magazine antiques editor Doris Athineos and Olga Granda-Scott of The Highboy at Jonathan Burden, Antiques and Works of Art. I was also able to go to the opening night gala of Holiday House New York with my dear friend and client Justin Shaulis whose room “Gallery Hopping in Miami” was simply a show stopper!  I was also particularly partial to client Louis Navarrete’s Bohemian Rapsody!

All these events… and I’ve not mentioned the MOST IMPORTANT PART OF THIS YEAR.  As a company my 18 guides and I served more clients than ever before! Our busiest week of the year  we had more than 25 clients spread across 6 of our tour countries!!!!  Thank you for your support, your love and…baby, we quite simply could not do it without you.

The Antiques Diva, Toma Clark Haines, Year in Review, ICEHOTEL, Arctic Circle Dog Sledding, Reindeer Sledding in the Arctic, Northern Lights, New Years Resolutions

The Antiques Diva, Toma Clark Haines, Year in Review, ICEHOTEL, Arctic Circle Dog Sledding, Reindeer Sledding in the Arctic, Northern Lights, New Years Resolutions

The Antiques Diva, Toma Clark Haines, Year in Review, ICEHOTEL, Arctic Circle Dog Sledding, Reindeer Sledding in the Arctic, Northern Lights, New Years Resolutions

And that brings us to December where I’ve fallen into a pile of exhaustion as we entered our slow season,  as I spent my holiday in the Arctic Circle.  You must add the ICEHOTEL to your bucket list. It’s amazing.  I’ve spent the last week dog sledding in the tundra, reindeer sledding (and making one too many sightings as those buggers crisscross the roads in the Nordic) and stargazing while watching the Northern Lights. All in all I’d say it’s been a full, fun and fabulous year.

As we prepare for 2015, I can’t help but think that the BEST is still ahead!  This past year has had many highs (and a few lows as well) and the lesson here has been on priorities. In January 2014 I told my husband my goal for the year was to jump off cliffs…. free falling to see where these risks I was taking would take me.  The year has yielded more returns than I ever expected.

Thank you to all of my clients, friends, family and followers for everything and I look forward to seeing all of you in 2015!!! Let’s make it a great year!

Happy New Year,

The Antiques Diva®

 

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The Antiques Diva & Co offers custom planned Antiques Buying Tours for tourists and trade professionals. Whether you’re looking to buy one specific piece or wanting to fill an entire container, our personal shopping antique buying guides share their vast knowledge of secret sources to take you to all the right places.

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