Serious shoppers in-the-know go to Belgium to buy industrial and mid-century modern pieces at positively brilliant prices. On Antiques Diva Belgium tours, our Antiques Guide picks you up at your hotel and takes you to our secret sources including European antique warehouses, by-appointment-only antique stores – including private residences where virtually everything in the vendors home is for sale. As always, our Guide translates and negotiates on your behalf, bringing the buying power of all our clients to the table when we walk in the door. We also liaise you with a preferred shipper to get your purchases home.
Mid-Century Modern Spotted on a Recent Antiques Diva Tour in Belgium:
Designers Jean Prouvé and Charlotte Perriand
“Prouvé combines the soul of an engineer with that of an architect” – Le Corbusier
I’ve lived in Berlin over 5 years, and as The Antiques Diva®, when I moved here I thought: brats and beer, yes. Antiques? no! But I’m here to tell you: When it comes to antiques, Berlin is probably Europe’s best-kept secret. Though one of the hottest spots on the map for tourists, antique sellers forget Berlin exists when it comes to stocking their stores, and prefer instead to shop with the masses in France, England and Sweden. I’ve built my Germany little black book of secret antiques sources, and I can’t wait to share a few of them with you!
With a fast-growing number of antique and modern furniture shops and more flea markets than any other city in Europe, it’s time to put the artsy German capital on the map for international buyers seeking antiques and vintage!
- If you’re looking for pieces not found in every shop and around every corner – Germany is for you.
- Want mid-century modern – but don’t want to pay Danish or Italian prices? Double Check. Again Berlin is the answer.
Our Berlin, Germany, antiques tours focus on the plethora of antique and modern furniture shops and markets. The fact that Berlin offers the lowest cost of living in Western Europe means that bargains abound. You’ll discover hidden warehouses in unique locations where you might end up with filling up a container of your purchases.
To help you discover the best antiques and vintage in Germany – and at the best prices – I’ve recruited two local antiques experts as Germany Antiques Diva Guides. While living in Berlin I lost my 1st apartment due to a fire from an unwatched candle in a neighbor’s apartment. I had to scour Berlin for the best pieces – at the best prices – to furnish my apartment, I met and worked with Felix and Philip. With their expertise and connections, The Antiques Diva is excited to present our newest Berlin, Germany antiques tour!
One of my favorite recent purchases is from Felix’s Berlin shop, Felix Bachmann Antiquitäten. Instead of artwork, in my home office I have a pair of 1960’s gold ceiling tiles which were salvaged from the ballroom of the Russian Embassy in Berlin, that Felix also installed for me!
Felix Bachman has been working in furniture restoration and trade for 15 years. In 2011 he founded his own company in Berlin, Felix Bachman, specializing in antiques and mid-century modern furnishings, as well as pieces of his own design. His experience in dealing with forms, colors and textures benefits his furniture restoration and creating his own works of art. He attended West Dean College/Sussex University in Chichester, England; studying Conservation – Restoration of Furniture.
Philip Seiler loves, collects and sells beautiful furniture, lamps and objects of the 20th century. The name is part of the program. Many pieces are unique, hand selected and refurbished with passion. In May 2016 owner Philip Seiler opened his showroom in Berlin, Monsieur Unique. The focus lies on furniture from the timeless mid-century era and the rustic industrial design era. Monsieur Uniques warehouse is located in a former factory building in Berlin, Prenzlauer Berg.
Introducing: Where The Wild Things Are – Berlin Modern Furniture Tour
Available Saturday and Sunday
Full Day Tour 10am to 6pm
Berlin is known as the wild party capital of Europe. But there are a lot more wild things to discover when it comes to modern furniture, lamps and objects from the 20th century and earlier. With more than 50 warehouses and boutiques, the fast-growing artsy capital of Germany offers a huge variety and one of the lowest price points in Europe, especially for mid-century and industrial furniture. A lot of these warehouses and boutiques are not easy to find, hidden in the backyard of Berlins typical old buildings or outside the city borders. Our Where The Wild Things Are – Berlin Modern Furniture Tour will take you there. Shop in the former locations of a huge futuristic rock club, an old mill and buy where others don’t buy. This Antiques Diva & Co Germany Antiques Tour will be personalized by our Guides, who will choose the shops which suit your shopping desires and negotiate and translate on your behalf. We also liaise you with a shipper to get your purchases home. After a long day, you can complete this unique shopping experience with a dinner and one or two drinks in one of Berlins many restaurants and bars if you wish.
Are you ready to discover Europe’s best-kept secret and visit our Germany sources for antique, vintage and mid-century modern furniture and accessories?
Toma – The Antiques Diva
Dear Diva Readers,
top: 5px; float: left; color: white; background: #781300; border: 1px solid darkkhaki; font-size: 60px; line-height: 50px; padding-top: 1px; padding-right: 5px; font-family: times;”>Serious shoppers in-the-know go to Belgium to buy antiques, vintage and decorator pieces at the positively brilliant prices. While it may be our smallest tour country geographically, Belgium makes up for its modest size with amazing finds at great prices! While you can certainly find fantastic antiques of several different styles including Flemish, French, English, and Swedish, Belgium is also home to some of the best Mid-century modern dealers in Europe.
Pick up any international shelter magazine and you will find Mid-century pieces being incorporated in every type of interior imaginable. In Belgium you can find an entire range of Mid-century pieces. From larger furniture pieces like seating, desks, dining room tables, and commodes to smaller furniture like side tables, livingroom tables, and side chairs, Belgian dealers are scouring Europe for the sleek silhouettes and sexy lines of Mid-century style. But they’re not stopping with furniture. Several of our sources offer gorgeous mirrors, decorative objects, and lighting as well. In fact, a lighting is one of the most popular categories clients are looking for right now. Belgian dealers stock a range of lighting options from huge mid-century glass chandeliers, to smaller chandeliers, standing lamps, desk lamps, and wall-fixtures. While it can be more difficult to find Mid-century artwork, we do have sources that deal in unique, qualitative and quantitative are from paintings to objects.
Some clients are looking for specific designer pieces that command a higher price due to their provenance. This is where our Buying Services can come in handy. We have very good sources for top-of-the-range exclusive and rare pieces of Mid-century furniture. We put the word out to our vast list of secret sources in our little black book, and when a particular piece becomes available, they let us know before putting it on the market. It’s a great way to add to a collection or source highly specific pieces.
For those who want the Mid-century look without the costly price tags, we certainly have seen a vast amount of pieces which are “in the style of” famous designers, but are offered at much lower prices. This is the perfect way to get the look you’re after without paying for the designer name. Regardless of whether you want to source designer furniture or simply get the look for less, you can find very reasonable prices in Belgium compared to what is for sale in larger American cities, or international websites which sell antiques.
As far as trends go, we’ve seen clients buy a lot of Mid-century credenza’s, desks, seating, and lighting as of late. That means these items are popular and will be showing up in America stores, homes, and on magazine covers in the near future.
If you’re interested in booking an Antiques Diva Mid-century Buying Tour in Belgium, I’d recommend a 2 to 3 day tour depending on the scope of your interest. Send me an email at email@example.com and we can talk about your wants & needs to determine the perfect custom tour for you! if you can’t make it over to Europe but still want to source Mid-century pieces, email me about our Buying Services. You may just find it’s easier to source antiques in Europe than you thought!
Until next time,
The Antiques Diva®
Dear Diva Readers,
top: 5px; float: left; color: white; background: #781300; border: 1px solid darkkhaki; font-size: 60px; line-height: 50px; padding-top: 1px; padding-right: 5px; font-family: times;”>Attention, attention! We’ve got a last minute special happening in Paris! Book a SPECIAL TOUR of the Puces du Design in conjunction with the Puces de Paris and save 100 EURO!!! The Puces du Design is the only event of this size and quality to be open to the public. With over 100 dealers, our Diva Guides can help you navigate the booths, translate with dealers, and negotiate on your behalf.
When the fair was first founded in 1999, it was absolutely audacious to propose in Paris a market with dealers specialized in Post War 20th century design. Who would buy it, the French wondered…. But the bet of fair founder Fabien Bonillo paid off and his Puces du Design has been going strong for 15 years! The Puces du Design is the only design event of this size and quality (100 exhibitors among which 40% of non French gallerists ).
Among the hundred of antique dealers and gallerists coming from all over Europe you’ll find some of the most famous designers of the period – Eames, Panton, Saarinen, Matégot, Prouvé. And did I mention they also do fashion at the fair…
Paris Flea Market, Puces du Design, Antiques Diva Tours, Mid-Century Modern, Tours of Paris.
Get bit by the fleas. Book a tour now and save as the Puces du Design runs May 28-31. Email us at to:firstname.lastname@example.org”>email@example.com.
The Antiques Diva®
Dear Diva Readers,
top: 5px; float: left; color: white; background: #781300; border: 1px solid darkkhaki; font-size: 60px; line-height: 50px; padding-top: 1px; padding-right: 5px; font-family: times;”>Last year during Maison Objet I was delighted to meet one of the team members of Chairish, a curator approved online marketplace for vintage and used furniture. When they recently asked me to choose a vintage rug from their site and design a style board for a room around said rug, I was up for the challenge! When choosing a color palette for a room, it can be hard to step away from basic neutrals– going bold is a big decision. But as I always say “Fortune Favors the Bold!”… and “Go Bold or Go Home!”
Part of my mission is to make antiques relevant in today’s lifestyle. To me, that means mixing antiques with vintage and modern pieces to reflect
the way we live in the 21st century. Below you’ll see the rug I chose and then a mix of pieces—all available at Chairish.com—that I think would work
well together in a space.
I love this beautiful Mid-Century Modern style sectional sofa. It looks comfortable and sleek. It’s fairly new, being only a year old and
well maintained. Starting with this piece we’ve already got a hip vibe going, but I want to mix in some antiques that will make my imaginary room
This suede pair of classic French chairs with nailhead trim would be the perfect foil for the modern sofa. Probably from the mid-20th century, the pair is nicely made and are in very good vintage condition, with a couple of very small spots on the upholstery—which is one reason I would suggest reupholstering them. While at the upholsterers, I’d have them painted black and recovered in a malachite patterned fabric to give them an entirely new look!
This stunning vintage Neo Deco brass ram’s head coffee table is the ideal statement piece. The gleaming brass finish of the three ram’s
heads contrasts brilliantly against the shiny black lacquered bass. It features outstanding quality construction with a three quarter inch thick
circular glass top. Here is where we start to add in touches of brass and gold to warm up the space.
Across the room, I’d place this French provincial Louis XV Style serpentine walnut and veneer commode. This piece would compliment the chairs while contrasting with the sofa and modern rug. Things are starting to get interesting!
Above the commode, I’d hang this vintage-inspired portrait of an aristocratic lady in the 1500’s. With its ornate gold frame, this sets the tone for a dramatic room. However, I’d place some modern accessories such as this unique black glass head, which was once a display mannequin. Mixing in some modern pieces keeps the commode from feeling stuffy.
While we’re dotting the room with modern touches, I love this 1960’s tom-stand” target=”_blank”>Noguchi styled sculpture on a custom stand. This piece would be stunning in front of a window.
For the walls, I’d hang this vintage monochromatic portrait which features a restrained color palette, offset by the gilt wood frame. Above
it I’d also hang this original 1896 framed and matted etching of whitewater rapids in Glen Affaric River in the Scottish Highlands.
Over the sofa, I’d hang this French style gold leaf mirror for added glamour. Every room needs a mirror and the style of this one contrasts with the modern sofa perfectly while also tying in the French chairs and the commode.
For a few pops of color, I love this purple JuJu African feather headdress along with this emerald green glazed ceramic Asian-style lamp. With its brass neck and a new black fabric shade, it ties in nicely with other pieces in the room.
For overhead lighting, I’d finish the room off with this modern brass sputnik light with a raw brass (unpolished) finish. I think it adds just the right touch to this eclectic mix of pieces!
So there you have it! A fun melange of antique furniture and mid century pieces create a playful yet stylish space that is comfortable and elegant
at the same time – exemplifying that Antiques Diva Style!!
Thanks to the lovely people at Chairish for giving me the opportunity to dream up a space inspired by one of their gorgeous rugs! Go check out the other lovely rugs they offer on their site!
Until next time,
The Antiques Diva®
Dear Diva Readers,
top: 5px; float: left; color: white; background: #781300; border: 1px solid darkkhaki; font-size: 60px; line-height: 50px; padding-top: 1px; padding-right: 5px; font-family: times;”>It seems like my travel schedule has been insane lately! Between taking private and trade clients on tours, international speaking engagements and press trips, it’s been a whirlwind! But one of the perks of my job is being able to attend some of the best antiques fairs in the world. This week I had the privilege of taking a journalist from America on an Antiques Diva & Co tour of London which was perfect because it was in conjunction with The Decorative Fair at Battersea Park!
The Fair opened on September 30 and we were privileged to get a handful of Press passes which allowed us to enter the fair before the public. Being able to meet with dealers and see the inventory before it flies out the door is always a thrill. And being one of the top antique fairs, there are trays of champagne being passed, which fits perfectly with the Antiques Diva experience! As people line up outside to enter the fair, they are also served glasses of champagne… now that’s the kind of line I wouldn’t mind waiting in!
Of course there is so much to see at this fair— styles range from French and English antique furniture to tabletop to mid century modern. And what I love about the Battersea Decorative Fair is that not only is there something for everyone’s taste, there is also a range of price points. If you want serious antiques, you can find them. But you also can find very decorative pieces that won’t cost you a fortune and may even fit in your suitcase!
However, there are definitely serious shoppers at this renowned fair. Famous actors, international socialites and philanthropists all frequent Battersea. In fact, just a few days after we were there, Oprah Winfrey dropped by to peruse the stalls. Nothing like bumping elbows with celebrities while sipping champagne and shopping for antiques!!!
All in all I’d say that this is certainly a “do not miss” event. More than just shopping, The Decorative Fair at Battersea Park is an experience. And my team at The Antiques Diva & Co feels so privileged to count several dealers at the 2014 fair as friends and favorite sources that our clients consistently have access to. Sometimes it’s surreal to think that we have the same sources as celebrities and royalty…but the truth is, we do!
If you’d like information on taking an Antiques Diva & Co Buying Tour in any of our 8 tour countries, email us at to:firstname.lastname@example.org”>email@example.com.
The Antiques Diva®
Dear Diva Readers,
top: 5px; float: left; color: white; background: #781300; border: 1px solid darkkhaki; font-size: 60px; line-height: 50px; padding-top: 1px; padding-right: 5px; font-family: times;”>Do you remember the movie Grease? As I write this blog the song where they repeat “Grease is the word” is going through my mind….. Though in this instance I’m singing “Mid-Century is the word, is the word, is the word”…. Okay, forget singing, it’s never been my forte. But mid-century is the word that keeps popping up everywhere lately. From top shelter magazines to design shows on television, it seems that everyone is infusing mid-century modern pieces into their interiors. At The Antiques Diva & Co, we’ve been taking clients on buying tours all across Europe to source mid-century modern items including lighting, art, and furniture. But we love when our favorite dealers come together in one place, and that’s exactly what’s happening on Sunday, May 11th. Modern enthusiasts from all over will flock to Mid-century Show East at Goldfinger’s Haggerston School in London to shop 50 of the best mid-century vendors in Europe.
Known for their stylish events, Modern Shows are thoughtfully curated, offering up highly sought after design classics by Eames, Jacobsen, Bertoia, Nelson, and Wegner. This show will feature original twentieth-century pieces of British, American, and Scandinavian provenance. The variety promises to be vast with dealers offering ceramics, glass, wallpaper, vintage fabrics, industrial, clocks, collectable posters, furniture, lighting, and much more. If you’re looking for top quality mid-century modern design, this is the place to be!
Pack your bags because it’s time to shop! Or let us shop for you – we’re always happy to help source antiques abroad through our buying services. How it works is simple. You tell us what you want… we scout out what you’re looking for, taking photos and sending them to you with pre-negotiated trade prices scored through our brilliant array of contacts. Let me know if you want more details on how we can help you source European mid-century modern pieces.
And remember – Grease is the word! I mean Mid-Century Modern is the Word!
The Antique Diva®
P.S. Missing this spring event? Don’t worry – there’s time to come abroad on future shows.
October 12th 2014
The Midcentury Show at Haggerston, East London
November 23rd 2014
Midcentury Modern in Dulwich, South London