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Judith Miller

Vintage Home by Judith Miller

Dear Diva Readers,

Vintage finds are dominating the “antiques” market place… with more and more clients seeking vintage pieces instead of period antiques. From mid-century modern to retro and beyond, there are so many stylish pieces that can enhance a home. My design philosophy has always been to mix antiques, vintage pieces, and modern objects for the ideal finished product. That’s why I’m so excited the antiques expert—and AD&Co friend— Judith Miller http://www.millersantiquesguide.com has come out with a new book called Vintage Home.

Vintage Home by Judith Miller book

Vintage Home by Judith Miller in coffee table

Miller has written over 100 books, innumerable articles, and is a regular guest on several television and radio shows – I may be The Antiques Diva – but Judith is unquestionably The Queen of Antiques. While I’m constantly adding her reference books which often catalogue antique furniture and objects to my personal library, this new addition showcases the best of 20th Century furniture and design and is a style guide which focuses on vintage and retro furniture. With a brief history of the Modernist movement, the book then looks at the Art Deco period, followed by the New Look & New Moderns, and finally finishing with a comprehensive directory of designers, makers, and suppliers, Judith does what she does best – She demystifies “antiques” and removes stuffy traditional rules from the genre making this “vintage” movement accessible to antiquers helping us understand no matter the age their relevance.

In the book, Miller highlights famous designers like Eames and Murano, and also sheds light on lesser known 20th Century designers. It’s a fantastic reference book for collectors and a visual feast for interior design lovers. For those looking to start or expand a vintage furniture collection, this is the book to read before heading to the auction house or buying online. It’s also a nice guide for the less serious buyer, as it covers mass-produced and highly popular designs that may be considered kitsch and not so costly, but still highly sought after.

Vintage Home by Judith Miller mix of vintage and retro

I’ve seen a big trend in the last year with younger clients wanting to source vintage pieces as well as antiques. Mixing in vintage and retro pieces, be it a mid-century chandelier or a funky plastic chair is what interior designers are doing today and Vintage Home provides inspiration with its gorgeous photos as well as information on specific styles and pieces. Incorporating vintage pieces into the home can be tricky, but the homes featured in this book show how to tastefully add in vintage touches for the way we live now.

If you’re a design fanatic like me, or simply interested in vintage furniture, I recommend adding Vintage Home to your library. It’s a great way to learn about what I think is the next big thing in interiors and antiques, allowing you to know about the styles, designers, and makers of vintage and retro pieces.

Until next time,

The Antiques Diva®

Vintage Home by Judith Miller

University of York Antiques Fair

Dear Diva Readers,

Here at The Antiques Diva & Co we have a little black book—actually it’s NOT so little, it’s practically bulging with the best antiquing addresses in Europe.

We use this resource list to decide where to take our clients so they can find just what they are looking for.  And while the antique warehouses, private by appointment only stores are divine, there is a time and place for a good old antiques fair!!  Attending an antiques fair is down-right convenient when you get a gathering of vendors in one place – giving you the opportunity to do one-stop shopping!

Exhibition-Centre-Main-Entrance-Best

There is a prestigious antique fair this year on July 4 and 5 that promises to be a do-not-miss event. Translation— it has some of the top dealers in the area! Members are selected for their expertise, integrity, and reputation.

18th-Century-Caughly-Mask-Jug-247x300

The University of York Antiques Fair  will be held in the University of York Exhibition Centre and it will have approximately 40 exhibitors. Items on display will include period furniture, high quality silver including Scottish provincial items, 18th, 19th and early 20th century ceramics, antique arms and armour, high quality jewelry, art nouveau, art deco and arts and crafts metalware, glass, lighting and pottery and both contemporary and antique fine art. The event will have exhibitions from a number of Yorkshire based antiques dealers trading in items with a Yorkshire bias.

18th-Century-1st-Period-Worcester-Tea-Cannister-241x300

George-Wright-Oil-on-Board-1-300x225Rose Antiques Fairs Ltd aims to establish the fair at the University of York as an annual event.  If you would like more information on The University of York Antiques Fair or any other antiques fairs throughout Europe, email us at

info@antiquesdiva.com and we’d be happy to discuss how we can custom plan a private tour for you, combining special fairs and our secret sources
throughout 8 countries.

Happy antiquing,

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®

 

The Future of Antiques

Dear Diva Readers,

I am delighted to be speaking alongside some major players in the antiques world coming up on November 20 in New York City! Join us for cocktails, a book signing, and panel discussion on The Future of Antiques: Antiques & Design in the 21st Century.  The panel will be moderated by Doris Athineos, of Traditional Home Magazine, with antiques experts Judith Miller, Olga Granda-Scott of The HighBoy and myself – founder and CED (that would be Chief Executive Diva) of The Antiques Diva® & Co.

Doris Athineos, Traditional Home Magazine, Judith Miller, Millers Antiques Guides, Olga Granda-Scott, The HighBoy, Toma Clark Haines, The Antiques Diva, The Future of Antiques, Antiques and Design in the 21st Century, Alhambra Antiques, The Pier Antique Show

Doris Athineos, Traditional Home Magazine, Judith Miller, Millers Antiques Guides, Olga Granda-Scott, The HighBoy, Toma Clark Haines, The Antiques Diva, The Future of Antiques, Antiques and Design in the 21st Century, Alhambra Antiques, The Pier Antique Show

Moderator DORIS ATHINEOS is Senior Antiques and Art Editor, Traditional Home magazine.  She writes about fine and decorative arts, artisans, design, and collecting. Her job involves tracking down culturally significant one-off designs, whether a Chippendale chair, a Tiffany lamp or a freshly-made Moulthrop bowl. Prior to joining Traditional Home, Athineos served as an editor at Forbes magazine, where she covered the art market. Her articles have appeared in The New York Times, The New York Observer, Architectural Digest, Wine Spectator, Art & Auction, and other publications.

judith miller antiques, Doris Athineos, Traditional Home Magazine, Judith Miller, Millers Antiques Guides, Olga Granda-Scott, The HighBoy, Toma Clark Haines, The Antiques Diva, The Future of Antiques, Antiques and Design in the 21st Century, Alhambra Antiques, The Pier Antique Show

Perhaps the Queen of the Antiques Scene is JUDITH MILLER, – Antique Expert & Author, Miller’s Antiques & Collectibles.  She is one of the world’s leading antiques experts and has authored more than 100 books, including the newly published Arts& Crafts: Living with the Arts & Crafts Style and the international best-seller, Miller’s Antiques Handbook & Price Guide, founded in 1979. She appears regularly on British television, pens an antiques column for Forbes, and lectures around the world including the V&A in London and the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C.

Doris Athineos, Traditional Home Magazine, Judith Miller, Millers Antiques Guides, Olga Granda-Scott, The HighBoy, Toma Clark Haines, The Antiques Diva, The Future of Antiques, Antiques and Design in the 21st Century, Alhambra Antiques, The Pier Antique Show

OLGA GRANDA-SCOTT is the Founder of The HighBoy a curated marketplace for Antiques & Fine Art. As an antique dealer herself for over a decade at Alhambra Antiques in Miami, Olga was frustrated by the lack of technological innovation in the industry, and thus The HighBoy was born. Dubbed “a hip contender to the antiques throne” by The Wall Street Journal, The HighBoy marries the beauty and sophistication of antiques, decorative arts, and jewelry with the innovations of 21st century technology.

Doris Athineos, Traditional Home Magazine, Judith Miller, Millers Antiques Guides, Olga Granda-Scott, The HighBoy, Toma Clark Haines, The Antiques Diva, The Future of Antiques, Antiques and Design in the 21st Century, Alhambra Antiques, The Pier Antique Show

While you probably already know me since you’re reading my blog – I thought you might enjoy finding out a bit more about me too! I’m TOMA CLARK HAINES – founder and entrepreneur of The Antiques Diva & Co European Tours.  Since opening in 2008, The Antiques Diva® & Co. has become Europe’s largest antiques touring company, offering customized, private one-on-one antiques buying tours in 11 countries to both private individuals and to the trade. When I’m not on a buying tour, I’m also a freelance travel and design writer and an international public speaker.

Join us in NYC!
Thursday November 20, 2014 7:00-9:00pm
At Jonathan Burden, Antiques and Works of Art
180 Duane Street, New York, NY 10013
RSVP is required – email me toma@antiquesdiva.com.

All attendees will receive complimentary tickets to The Pier Antique Show on November 22 & 23 – where if you didn’t yet know it – The Antiques Diva & Co is delighted to be a sponsor!!  Admission is free for all attendees who confirm their attendance at futureofantiques.thehighboy.com.

See you in NYC!

The Antiques Diva®

Decorating with Antique Books

Dear Diva Readers,

While I love to shop (and take clients on shopping tours), I also love to decorate! I think a great way to add personality and a sense of history to any space is by using antique books in your decor. Not only do they look beautiful, but they also are practical—you can actually READ them! When my husband started collecting first editions he made a promise to himself that he would always read the books regardless of how many zeroes were included in the price tag.

The Antiques Diva, Toma Clark Haines, Decorating with Antiques Books, Shelfie, Ashley Hicks, David Hicks, The Grove, Ronda Carmen, Susanna Salk, Judith Miller, Mercanteinfiera

The Antiques Diva, Toma Clark Haines, Decorating with Antiques Books, Shelfie, Ashley Hicks, David Hicks, The Grove, Ronda Carmen, Susanna Salk, Judith Miller, Mercanteinfiera

Now whether you’re placing antique books on shelves or using them as art in themselves, I’ve got a few easy ways that you can incorporate antique books into your home.

Of course if you have built-in shelves or even just a bookcase, books are the perfect way to fill these spaces. You can mix up the colors or color block them in groups of green bindings, red bindings, etc for more of a statement. I recently had the opportunity to visit Ashley Hicks – son of designer David Hicks – at his home in the English countryside and was able to sneak a picture of his famous father’s red office fitted with gorgeous antique red leather books.

The Antiques Diva, Toma Clark Haines, Decorating with Antiques Books, Shelfie, Ashley Hicks, David Hicks, The Grove, Ronda Carmen, Susanna Salk, Judith Miller, Mercanteinfiera

Make sure you intersperse some books that are stacked horizontally so you can sit a small object d’art on top of them. This is a great way to show off a special piece.

The Antiques Diva, Toma Clark Haines, Decorating with Antiques Books, Shelfie, Ashley Hicks, David Hicks, The Grove, Ronda Carmen, Susanna Salk, Judith Miller, Mercanteinfiera

The Antiques Diva, Toma Clark Haines, Decorating with Antiques Books, Shelfie, Ashley Hicks, David Hicks, The Grove, Ronda Carmen, Susanna Salk, Judith Miller, Mercanteinfiera

If you come across antique books that aren’t in the best shape, consider bundling them together with twine and sitting them on a table. It’s a cost effective and fun way of displaying tired books almost as sculpture. You could also remove the bindings and just use the monochromatic pages lined up on a shelf as a modern take on the classic library. In Designer David Hicks’ personal bedroom at his house, The Grove, his books are all white toned and rumor has it that when the famous designer had insomnia he would wash the spines of his books keeping them shelves spic and span in lieu of counting sheep!

The Antiques Diva, Toma Clark Haines, Decorating with Antiques Books, Shelfie, Ashley Hicks, David Hicks, The Grove, Ronda Carmen, Susanna Salk, Judith Miller, Mercanteinfiera

If your table lamps are sitting just a bit too low, perch them atop a stack of antique books.   In David Hicks’ office I loved his specially designed “library lamp”  in which the shade is cut in half in an updated modern version of the Italian shades to shine light on the books behind it.

The Antiques Diva, Toma Clark Haines, Decorating with Antiques Books, Shelfie, Ashley Hicks, David Hicks, The Grove, Ronda Carmen, Susanna Salk, Judith Miller, Mercanteinfiera

The principle of using books as risers can apply to any object you’re wanting to elevate. Place a beautiful bowl on top of a stack of books or sit a sculpture on top of the stack. It will make the object seem more important, as if on a pedestal of its own!  In my own secretaire in my living room at home in Berlin I’ve stacked a giant inkwell on the shelf.  These books were a gift from an English friend – which reminds me – antique and vintage books make great presents! You can be really creative in picking books that have to do with your friends interests, travel plans, or even use their name in the title.

The Antiques Diva, Toma Clark Haines, Decorating with Antiques Books, Shelfie, Ashley Hicks, David Hicks, The Grove, Ronda Carmen, Susanna Salk, Judith Miller, Mercanteinfiera

Regardless of how you use antique books, they are sure to add personality to your space. Books tell people about your interests and they create dimension in interiors. While my husband collects first editions from Parisian expat writers in the 1930’s – I collect interior design books – both vintage books such as David Hicks as well as current day books from friends such as Ronda Carmen’s book Designers at Home to Judith Miller’s latest tome.  On my reading list at the moment is Susanna Salk’s Decorate Fearlessly.  We’re traveling together in Italy this week doing some stylish shopping at Mercanteinfiera and I’m excited to get to spend time IRL with a favorite author shopping by her side!

The Antiques Diva, Toma Clark Haines, Decorating with Antiques Books, Shelfie, Ashley Hicks, David Hicks, The Grove, Ronda Carmen, Susanna Salk, Judith Miller, Mercanteinfiera

Whether an antique or vintage book – a brand new book from a favorite designer – I want to know what are you reading?

The Antiques Diva®

 

The Antiques Diva, Toma Clark Haines, Decorating with Antiques Books, Shelfie, Ashley Hicks, David Hicks, The Grove, Ronda Carmen, Susanna Salk, Judith Miller, Mercanteinfiera

Photo Credit: Laila McCubbin Jones

Greetings From America and Andrew Skipper

Dear Diva Readers,

You may not know me but I’m Andrew Skipper and I’m one of the team members working behind the scenes at The Antiques Diva® & Co headquarters helping to make the magic happen!  You’ve heard the expression “it takes a village”? You may not realize this but The Antiques Diva® team is comprised of 18 people scattered across the continent.   As for where I’m based…that’s a difficult question to answer.  You see, I live 3 months in Europe then 3 in the USA, then it’s back to Europe for another 3 months then back again to the USA for another 3.  As an American interior designer, antiques dealer and lifestyle expert I was hired to help the company keep a fresh eye on an American perspective.  Toma (aka The Antiques Diva®) has lived outside of America for 14 years and she felt she needed a breath of fresh American air to remind her how we do things in the good old USA.  That’s where I come in… I am from a small town in northern Indiana, USA. So when the opportunity to live and work in Europe came, I was beyond excited! I had been on a tour of Europe just after college, which gave me enough time to do all the “tourist things,” which I loved. But this time I would be traveling throughout Europe for extended periods of time!  I was enamored with the thought of scouring flea markets, warehouses, and antique stores with Toma and her Diva Guides. Who better to introduce me to the antique world in Europe than The Antiques Diva?!

Andrew Skipper Everyday, The Antiques Diva, Vintage Top Hat, Antique Buying Tours in Europe

One thing that attracted me most about this opportunity to work with The Antiques Diva & Co was the European lifestyle—laid back, wine with lunch, beautiful historic surroundings— it all sounded so different from my life in Indiana. I planned to purchase treasures from each place that I travel. What I love about shopping, and antiquing in particular, is that each object has a memory attached to it. Not only the history of its former life, but the memory of how I acquired it.

The Antiques Diva, Tiger Rug, Belgian Antiques, Antique Shopping Tours in Beligum,

Every time I look at an antique tribal urn I purchased in Belgium, I am reminded of the day Toma and I spent, laughing with each other, sipping prosecco with vendors while she lay on a tiger rug (that’s a whole other story!). When I see the collection of pewter trophy cups on my coffee table, I think of my friends Scott and Jennifer, who were always up for hitting the Berlin flea markets with me on the weekends. A horse-hair covered pill box takes me back to the market in Parma, Italy, where I shopped with my new friends Carol Lee and Miller until we finally had to stop for a cappuccino break!  The top hat that hangs on my wall reminds me of my fantastic day spent at the Paris Flea Market with Paris Diva Guide Danielle, and then the macaroons and wine we shared afterward…how divine!

Andrew Skipper Everyday, The Antiques Diva, Vintage Top Hat, Antique Buying Tours in Europe

Andrew Skipper Everyday, The Antiques Diva, Vintage Top Hat, Antique Buying Tours in Europe

The vintage Turkish slippers I purchased in Bath make me laugh out loud, not just because of their fun appearance, but because the day I bought them was filled with laughter with my new friends Diva Agent Gail McLeod, Judith Miller and the Antiques Young Guns. The bird figures resting on my mantel bring back memories of slipping in and out of stalls at the Portobello Market in London with Diva Guide Alys Dobbie then popping into a pub for steak and ale pie. Yum! The antique white collar in my study makes me think of Anna from The Antiques Roadshow and our wonderful day in Antwerp. There are so many more objects and stories…too many to tell here.

Andrew Skipper Everyday, The Antiques Diva, Vintage Top Hat, Antique Buying Tours in Europe

I suppose, after thinking it over, that when I look at these various trinkets, I am taken back to a time and a place, and I am reminded of the people I was with. The people that effected my life and my outlook on the world. I am taken back to conversations— moments spent getting to know strangers who would become new friends.

Perhaps one of the most important lessons my time in Europe has taught me is that we are all more alike than we are unalike.  When it comes right down to it, we all just want to be validated. We want to connect—to know that we matter. We want to be heard.  Underneath the surface we are all asking, “Do you see me?  Do you hear me?” I had this notion that people in Europe would somehow be different from my fellow Americans. And while there are some differences, at the end of the day, we are all on this planet and in this life together. Antiques bring us together by allowing us to share stories.  They help us connect with the past and acknowledge our humanness. Through connecting and sharing, we realize that people are the most important things in life. It’s relationships, not stuff, that truly matter.

Andrew Skipper Everyday, The Antiques Diva, Vintage Top Hat, Antique Buying Tours in Europe

By surrounding ourselves with objects that have a story, we can remember the people in our lives each and every day. That, to me, is the real gift of shopping, antiquing and decorating. Collecting mementos that enrich our everyday lives by bringing back memories of happy times with people who we enjoy. For me, these various treasures are not just pieces of Europe I’ve brought back to America with me. They are pieces of memories, connecting me to the wonderful people who I met and shared some of the best times with. I’d say it’s time to get our there and make some more memories (and purchases!).  Who’s with me?

Andrew Skipper Everyday, The Antiques Diva, Vintage Top Hat, Antique Buying Tours in Europe

Be well,

Andrew Skipper

In the Press Spring 2014

Dear Diva Readers,

Extra Extra Read All About It…. The Antiques Diva & Co has been in the press all over the place! From Atlanta to London, Amsterdam, Houston to Dallas, Parma, Italy and everywhere in between…..   First off we showed up in the press at the Homes & Antiques blog while touring the Bath Decorative Fair with Judith Miller.

Antiques Diva , Toma Clark Haines

It was a double whammy with Homes & Antiques magazine as my article “Vintiquing in New Orleans” appeared in their February issue!  If you’re not already familiar with this British publication Homes & Antiques magazine mixes the best of the old with the best of the new – this much loved homes magazine is for people who adore great design and beautiful objects from every era.

Antiques Diva 2

I guess I should make this a grand slam home run…  Imagine my surprise when my copy of the 2014 – 2015 Collectables Handbook and Price Guide by Judith Miller and Mark Hill showed up in the mail with a quote on the back cover by YOURS TRULY!

Antiques Diva 3

Antiques Diva, Toma Clark Haines

This book is an indispensable guide to antiques, providing the most in-depth and up-to-date information to the collectables market.

Speaking of great publications – if you haven’t seen the recent issue Antique Shops & Designers magazine – I had 2 articles inside – one about my favorite Tuscan villa agriturism estate Montestigliano and another sharing secrets to antiquing in Sweden.

Antiques Diva 4

Antique Shops & Designers is a magazine of home interiors, home decorating, and Interior Design. The magazine combines antique objects of art with contemporary home decorating. A designer’s reference book loaded with imported antique accent pieces, modern designer kitchen appliances, antiques and the latest in today’s lighting and accessories design.  I really appreciated the shout out Joni of Cote de Texas gave The Antiques Diva & Co as well in her post about this fabulous magazine.

Meanwhile we were delighted to make the Mothers Day Gift Supplement in  The Times (that would be London’s Times not New York’s) and then imagine my delight when California Homes magazine hit the newsstands yesterday and yours truly was pictured on the “Party” page for the Americans in Paris Party! You’ll recall I wrote about this sensational fete in January.

The Antiques Diva London Times

americans in paris party california home magazine

Sometimes our media coverage is a bit more incognito… we appeared lurking “behind the scenes” in an article about one of our favorite Dutch dealers – Benko – in a Dutch newspaper.  We’re incognito in this article as we were shopping for a top secret VIP client! Oh the intrigue!  Sorry… I’ll never tell who we were shopping for… one of our services at AD&CO is complete confidentiality for our clients.   My new in house creative consultant Andrew Skipper is also seen here noting the plethora of purchases our client was making.

Antiques Diva 5

Meanwhile The Antiques Diva & Co was mentioned in a slew of blogs after I spoke at the Design Bloggers Conference!

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The Design Bloggers Conference is the only conference specifically focused on the interests of bloggers on interior design teaching attendees how to build a stellar personal brand for their design career.  Special thanks to Pamela Copeman for mentioning The Antiques Diva & Co in her Posh Palette Blog on 30 Quick Takeaways from DBC 2014.   Pamela Copeman is an award winning interior designer noted for her posh panache and timeless designs that unite classic style with a modern, often colorful twist.

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Photo of Pamela Copeman with Kandrac & Kole

Kelly Kole and Joann Kandrac of Kandrac & Kole blog also gave The Antiques Diva & Co a shout out! in their colorful blog.  Kandrac Kole is a nationally recognized interior design firm well known for their approachable, dynamic personalities, signature use of color, and one of a kind, custom designs.  Voted one of Atlanta’s Top 20 Residential Interior Designers in 2013 by the Atlanta Business Chronicle, their work has been featured on HGTV as well as The New York Times, House Beautiful, Southern Lady Magazine.

Inspirational lifestyle design writer Mitzi Beach was also so kind to include a mention of my speech in her blog as well.  Mitzi is an award winning interior designer who not only is an author but is an esteemed speaker as well!  On top of this she’s a Baby Boomer Marketing & Lifestyle Specialist  armed with 30+ years’ experience and a masters degree in interior design. Mitzi firmly believes the Boomers can and must be the generation that changes the way we age in this country and her unique combination of education, expertise and experience—even the Aging in Place principles evidenced throughout her own “Living Lab” home, called Cypress—make her the ideal candidate to lead that charge.

Antiques Diva

(I’m seen here with Mitzi Beach and Lisa Mende Designs)

I was also particularly honored that Steve McKenzie’s blog mentioned me in their DBC2014 highlights.  Steve and Jill McKenzie own Steve McKenzie’s Interiors and Lifestyle store.  The brand offers a design sensibility that converges two fundamental influences – the southern hospitality and graciousness mixed with their love for the mid-century modern aesthetic. Steve’s fabric designs are beyond divine.

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Jill McKenzie & Toma Clark Haines at DBC2014

Last but not least with respect to the Design Bloggers Conference, I want to thank Cromatti for not only including me as one of their 4 Inspirational Bloggers but also for sharing their $5000 1st dibs prize with me, giving me a $1000 Gift Certificate.  I met Alan Rauta, their Chief Operating Officer, at the conference on the first day and for the next several days we traded banter.  When Michael Bruno announced that the 1st dibs competition winner of the $5000 Gift Certificate was Alan Rauta of Cromatti I was smiling from ear to ear – it couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy!  But I had no idea how nice he was – imagine my surprise when I received an email from Alan saying “The thing I learned at the Design Bloggers Conference was that blogging is all about sharing and I want to share my prize with you.”  His generosity left me speechless.  This unexpected act perhaps sums up Cromatti as a brand – they offer the unexpected in their collection of ultramodern and colorful metal furniture.  Perhaps what intrigued me most after learning about their company is that they’ve found a new meaning in modern furniture that begs the question: Does minimal have to be understated?  If you’re a designer or collector add Cromatti to your “Brands To Watch” as they’re changing the future of design.

I was beyond honored my home state of Oklahoma included an interview with me in the design ezine Sooner Spaces.  Sooner Spaces is a new media site devoted to sharing compelling stories about Oklahoma spaces and the people behind them.

Antiques Diva 10

(Journalist Malena Lott and me in OKC last November)

Just south of my home state of Oklahoma you’ll find Texas – and honey, everything is big in Texas including the heart on Dallas blogger and top interior designer Denise McGaha.  I simply adore Denise and am delighted to have met her!  Denise McGaha delivers fashionable, diverse, and adventurous designs for clients who live on the fast track; specializing in turn-key, concierge-level service delivered in 90 days or less. With a roster of clients from professional sports figures to busy executives, Denise offers her discriminating clientele a true luxury experience with a timeline.  By offering Deadline Driven Design solutions, her clients receive exhilarating interior design coupled with prompt and nimble completion of their project.  It has been said that Denise McGaha Interiors, is consistently ahead of the curve not just influencing interior fashion, but often dictating it.  With a seamless blending of multiple interests Denise is able to offer her affluent clients access to Dallas’ best-kept secret: her black book of high-end concierge services.   And speaking of that little black book I’m delighted Denise counts The Antiques Diva & Co among those resources!  She’s written about her recent Italian antiques buying tour in a series on her blog.

Antiques Diva, Toma Clark Haines

Denise is seen here on our Antiques Diva VIP TOUR with Mark Cutler (far left), Denise McGaha, Tobi Fairley, me, and Andrew Skipper

Fans of the popular company Girl’s Guide to Paris will be delighted to note the company has expanded and is now producing an online magazine – The Girls’ Guide To Europe.   The Antiques Diva Guide to Berlin is featured in their premier issue!

Antiques Diva, Berlin

All these press or blog mentions and I’ve forgotten to mention two exciting new developments at  The Antiques Diva & Co – one geared towards our tourist clients another specifically geared towards our trade clients.    We’re delighted American Express has chosen us yet again for their Personal Shopper program for Paris and London…. #WatchThisSpace for more details on this exciting new program.

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Meanwhile…  a sexy new interior design site named PORTE-COCHÈRE has included The Antiques Diva & Co as one of their preferred business resources.

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PORTE-COCHÈRE is a new sales channel and national membership network exclusively for full-service interior design firms and their suppliers in the high end residential market.  Their mission is to increase efficiency and profits for all members through direct designer-supplier relationships, and to promote the stature of professional full-service interior design.

Until next time,
The Antiques Diva®

25th Anniversary of the Bath Decorative Antiques Fair

Dear Diva Readers,

This week marked the 25th anniversary of the Bath Decorative Antiques Fair in England and I just so happened to be taking a group of ladies on a tour in Bath at the same time!

Antiques Diva Tour  Bath Decorative Antiques Fair

Although these particular clients were tourists and not trade clients, we opened the doors to give these “mere shopping mortals” access to wholesale shopping – diva style.  We went to the fair on trade day (using our own trade credentials to get our clients in the door).  It’s always great to get first choice of everything!  There was definitely excitement in the air as vendors brought in a vast array of pieces from Georgian and early Victorian to mid-century Danish and 18th C Gustavian…and everything in between!  Variety is the spice of life.

Bath Decorative Antiques Fair

Bath Decorative Antiques Fair

Bath Decorative Antiques Fair

Bath Decorative Antiques Fair

Bath Decorative Antiques Fair

Bath Decorative Antiques Fair

The day was filled with plenty of shopping and special VIP rendez vous with honorary diva’s – such as renowned antique expert Judith Miller! She took our ladies out for an hour at the fair to give her opinions on their purchases and to walk through the stalls pointing out what she noticed with each vendor.  But more on that later…  Toward the end of the day, the party celebrating the fair’s 25th anniversary kicked off.  Shoppers at the fair were ushered out but our locally based Diva Agent Gail McLeod managed to secure us invites for the fete.  Champagne and hors d’oeuvres were passed and there was a lovely cake cutting to celebrate the silver anniversary.

Bath Decorative Antiques Fair

Bath Decorative Antiques Fair 7

Bath Decorative Antiques Fair

Bath Decorative Antiques Fair, Toma Clark Haines

Bath Decorative Antiques Fair, Toma Haines

Bath Decorative Antiques Fair

We were so pleased to mix and mingle with industry colleagues and leaders such as the Editor of Home and Antiques Angela Linforth and Assistant Editor Dominique Corlette.  We also clinked glasses with Marc Allum and Lisa Lloyd from the Antiques Roadshow.  George Johnson of Lady Kentmore Antiques gave us news about the Antiques Young Guns alongside fair organizer and founding member of Antiques Young Guns, Gail McLeod.

All in all it was a fantastic opening to a fun filled fair and I look forward to sharing some of my favorite items from the fair with you in the coming days!

Stay tuned for more from the Bath Decorative Fair.

Cheers!
The Antiques Diva®

PS:  To book an Antiques Diva Tour or inquire about our Buying Services so you can source antiques abroad virtually, email info@antiquesdiva.com

National Antiques Week – The Awards

Dear Diva Readers,       

I was delighted that after this last month – which has literally found me on 3 continents in a months time (India, America & Europe) – that I was able to take time out of my busy travel schedule to attend the Awards for National Antiques Week at The Decorative Fair in London.   Gail Mcleod –  The Antiques Diva & Co’s English Agent who manages our antique buying tours for the UK and our buying services – just so happens to be founder of National Antiques Week and she finagled me an invite to this prestigious invite.  This meant I was able to rub shoulders with the movers and shakers of the England antiques trade such as Spencer Swaffer, Martin Johnson and the Fontaine boys and even shared a glass of bubbly with famous interior designer Nicky Haslam!!  My friend Ronda Carman of All the Best blog (and author of the fabulous new book Designers at Home) must have had burning ears for we chatted about her fabulousness over our coupe de champagne!

Judith Miller

 Publisher Homes & Antiques, Judith Miller and Winners Debbe Perry & Jim Broomfield of Brackley Antiques Cellar  

The awards being presented at the event were two fold – first there was the Homes & Antiques Magazine award for Best Shop of the Year.  Drum roll please… and the winner of  Antiques Centre of the Year for the UK is  Debbe Perry & Jim Broomfield of Brackley Antiques Cellar!

Brackley Antique Cellar is the largest purpose-built antiques centre in the Midlands of England with  over  160 independent dealers, 30,000 sq ft of antiques and collectables, under one roof and all on one level!  It has Diva-Divine written all over it.  The presenter for this competition was Judith Miller –  Miller is THE Goddess of Antiques. Moreover, she is a delight – she’s a fountain of information – and quite simply as friendly as she is informative.  NEWS FLASH for my American Readers – Judith will be in NYC and Houston this November and is making special bookings for talks, book signings, etc.  Stay tuned for more details.

Mark Hill

Nickey Haslam and Mark Hill

For the Young Guns competition the presenters were also equally high profile!   In order to be eligible for the Young Guns award you had to be an antiques vendor under the age of 39.  I was thrilled that by a hair I was still in the age bracket categorized as YOUNG!  The award presenters were Nicky HaslamMark Hill and George Johnson.

Timothy Medhurst

AND THE WINNER OF THE YOUNG GUNS AWARD IS…. TIMOTHY MEDHURST!
Photo:  George Johnson, Nickey Haslam, Timothy Medhurst of Reeman Dansie Auctioneers
and Mark Hill

The Winner of the 2013 Antiques Young Gun was the 21 year old Timothy Medhurst of Reeman Dansie Auctioneers whom the judges all agreed was an outstanding ambassador for the trade based on his enthusiasm and energetic support for the campaign, his willingness to promote his fellow dealers and his absolute commitment to his profession. Well done Tim!!

Joint runners up were:  Keeley Harris who owns Discover Vintage and runs multiple events across the UK including Festival of Vintage. The judges agreed that Keeley’s achievements and hard work together with her ability to include and work with her peers has really put her on the map and we felt that her success will be an encouragement for other young dealers in the vintage trade.

Chris Oxley of the family firm P A Oxley Antique Clocks has been a pivotal member of the Antiques Young Guns group on Twitter and has been a fantastic supporter of the campaign and his fellow Young Guns. Chris has displayed a heartfelt commitment to the family business since his teenage years and has taken the business – a traditional and highly respected business – into the 21st Century with gusto.


Special Award:  George Johnson, Alys Dobbie of Nana Dobbie, Nickey Haslam and Mark Hill

The judges were delighted to be able to award one extra prize on the night, having struggled to select just three winners from such a starry line-up! One of my favorite London hauntsAlfies Antique Market – generously offered a free stand at this famous and iconic London landmark antiques, vintage and Mid C Retro emporium for two months in the summer of 2013 and this award went to Alys Dobbie of Nana Dobbie who the judges agreed was the ideal person to make the very best of this opportunity. Alys has established a destination vintage and Mid C shop in Brighton and works with her father to manage another Nana Dobbie shop in Cornwall. She is perfectly poised to take London by storm and what better place than Alfies? Alys has a great sense of personal style and her shops reflect this and at Alfies she will have the chance to meet and interact with seasoned and experienced dealers – a true Young Gun experience.

Mark Hill

Goerge Johnson

All the Young Gun shortlist will benefit from a fantastic package of prizes from the generous sponsors including:  Hotel Una Brighton; Cooper Antiques Fairs; Penman Antique Fairs; On-Line Galleries and Antiques are Green.

Congrats to all who received the awards and a special shout out to our Antiques Diva English Agent Gail McLeod for her tremendous work she does promoting the antiques trade in the UK.  I’ve said it for years that Gail is the most connected woman in antiques in England…. And seeing her in action at the awards Thursday night had me brimming with pride that she was part of our team.  Gail is not only a member of the Diva Team, but she’s a dear friend and business mentor.  We love you Gail!!  Congrats on another successful National Antiques Week.

Antiques Diva

Gail McLeod – Founder of National Antiques Week and the English Agent for The Antiques Diva & Co

Warm Regards,
The Antiques Diva®

Win a Guided Shopping Tour with Judith Miller and Mark Hill

Dear Diva Readers,

I have a confession – I’m not a cheater, a thief or a liar, but If there was any way I could fix this competition so that I would win, I would. I would cheat. I would steal. I would lie…. for a chance at a personal guided shopping tour with my British Idols:  The Antiques Roadshow experts Judith Miller and Mark Hill of the Miller’s Antiques Guides at one of my favorite fairs in Europe, The Bath Decorative Antiques Fair going on this March 10-11, 2011.

Judith Miller

 

Mark Hill

Enter online to win the shopping excursion of a lifetime

As if shopping on the arms of these experts was not enough, add to the thrill shopping in the city of Bath – a city Oprah Winfrey listed as one of the top 5 most amazing places on earth.   And if that isn’t enough… it gets better.  What’s the chicest, most exclusive address in town?  You guessed it – the Royal Crescent.    You can start hyperventilating now – the Grand Prize winner will stay a free night at the Royal Crescent Hotel

Royal Crescent Hotel

While the 2 Grand Prize winners will score the deal above, 5 more lucky Runner Up’s will also get the chance to tour with Judith and Mark – and to help you console yourself on missing out on the most luxe hotel in town, they’ll throw in a bottle of oh so diva-worthy champagne!!! 

Lest you worry, “Oh no, I never win anything…” I’ve got Good News for you!! This is a competition EVERYBODY wins!  When you enter the competition online, you’ll be given a downloadable ticket allowing you free entry to the antiques fair – good for any day of the 4 day event! 

And then – let the shopping commence!  Traditional fair favorites from The West of England Antique Dealers Association will be bringing a wonderful selection of country house furniture and upholstery!  Core One Antiques is receiving lots of publicity about their first-time appearance at the fair, bringing with them English and Continental Decorative furniture, lighting and mirrors!  And the 18 separate dealers hosting the Blanchard Collective will be on hand with antiques, contemporary furniture and decorative items!

All in all – this is an event for The Antiques Diva® in all of you!  To whet your appetite, here’s a few pictures, before I say Au Revoir!

Bonne Shopping, Mes Amies!

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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The Antiques Diva & Co is the Official Tour Guide of Paul Bert Serpette at The Paris Flea Market

The Paris Flea Market Paul Bert Serpette




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