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Alfies 40th Anniversary Party in London

Everyone knows that I love a good party, and will use any excuse to celebrate! Champagne anyone? One of my favorite English antique institution, Alfies, is celebrating their 40th anniversary! To commemorate this occasion, they’re running several activities this month in conjunction with the London Design Festival.

Alfies Antiques London

Even though I can’t be in London this month, as I’m traveling in Asia setting up our new Antiques Diva Asia Tours #WatchThisSpace, our English Diva Agent Gail McLeod is on the ground and in command leading a special VIP GROUP tour for one of our favourite clients, Modenus. Founder of Modenus, Veronika Miller is a dear friend and she brings a group of clients – including bloggers, designers and dealers – over each year during London Design Week as part of Design Hounds.

Alfies Antiques London

Alfies Antiques London

The Antiques Diva segment of their London tour will be on 21 & 22 September and our plan first is to whisk them off to Martin Johnson’s fabulous new warehouse he has opened in Lewis with the lovable Fontaine boys for an exclusive behind the scenes glimpse in the best of the decorative antiques trade in England. And then the next day Gail – aka the Commander in Chic – will take them to Alfies and the Antiques Young Guns pop-up and the Church Street dealers. Sadly the Design Hounds have to dash before the Alfies party begins… but if you watch the #DesignHounds on Instagram you can get a glimpse into this VIP DIVA TOUR!

Alfies Antiques London

Besides the 40th Anniversary Party at Alfies, there are several other events taking place this week in London, and we’ve got the run down of must-Diva-do’s!

September Events to Celebrate Alfies London 40th Anniversary

If you find yourself in London be sure to check out the pop-up shops featuring several Antiques Young Guns dealers, many of whom are AD&CO friends and vendors! Even if you’re not able to be in London, check out their websites below.

AYG members standing at the pop-up shop are:

Alfies Antiques London

And last but not least – Rumor has it Design Hounds will be joining me in Asia to kick off the new year… if you’re interested in joining that VIP GROUP TOUR make sure to contact either me or Veronika @ Modenus.

Cheers,

Toma Clark Haines, The Antiques Diva®

Modenus Talks & Blog Tour Reunion at Art Basel in Miami

Dear Diva Readers,

Modenus Talks & Blog Tour Reunion at Art Basel in Miami

O ne thing I love about my job is that it is NEVER boring. While our main focus at The Antiques Diva & Co is custom planning antique buying tours in Europe for our clients, my Diva Guides and I also stay on top of what’s happening in the design world in general. I’ve been privileged enough to have many great friends in the design industry, but perhaps—no, definitely— some of the most fun people I’ve met have been through Modenus-Blog Tour! I’ve been a blogger on Blog Tour NYC and Blog Tour New Orleans and I’ve also been a sponsor of Blog Tour Milan and in Veronika Miller’s newly formed Design Hounds London, an evolution of BlogTour!! I’m so excited to be heading to Miami in December for Blog Tour reunion and Modenus Talks Miami ! In fact, yours truly will be giving a talk on December 2, 2015.

As lovers of all things design, the Modenus ladies have planned their fabulous agenda in conjunction with Art Basel and Design Miami, so it is sure to be a fun and informative few days! Modenus will be bringing together a wonderful group of speakers as well as hosting two events for design professionals and social media influencers.

The schedule begins with opening night cocktails and hors d’oeuvres at the Ritz Carlton Coconut Grove on December 1. The following day, Modenus Talks takes center stage at the Ritz. With topics focussing on licensing opportunities to styling photo shoots, to how to sketch, it’s sure to be a full and fun day! I’ll be speaking about the antique and vintage styles of Europe and how to avoid pitfalls when buying abroad. That evening, we’ll all board The Venetian Lady for a fabulous dinner cruise hosted by Mr. Steam and Modenus.

For a full look at the schedule, including special art & design events during Art Basel, visit the Modenus website here There you can find out how to join us and even get a good rate on a room at the Ritz! I hope to see you in Miami!

Artfully yours,

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®   

Root Cellar Designs

Dear Diva Readers,

As a woman entrepreneur and blogger, I am fully aware of what it takes to start a business and then keep the momentum up. You have to truly love what you do in order to maintain an energy level that allows you to grow and expand your business. That’s why I’m always excited when girlfriends of mine are able to succeed in business! My friend Tamara Matthews Stephenson has a fabulous blog, Nest by Tamara which was one of the first blogs I started following online back in the beginning of the blogosphere.  She frequently writes about antiques and how they influence her interior design. I’ve had the privilege of taking Tamara on an Antiques Diva Tour in Milan in conjunction with Blog Tour Milan by Modenus and am always happy to paint the town red with her when in New York!

Root Cellar Designs, Tamara Matthews Stephenson, Nest by Tamara, Modenus, Blog Tour Milan, The Antiques Diva, Custom textiles, Susan Young,

Tamara and her friend Susan Young have recently launched Root Cellar Designs, a fabulous custom textile company, and I’m so proud of her and impressed by the Spring 2015 line that I want to feature it here on my blog! The pair of ladies have backgrounds in the fashion and interior design industries and have pulled from both of these arenas to create fabrics that are whimsical, stylish, and take cues from history, which I love of course!

Root Cellar Designs, Tamara Matthews Stephenson, Nest by Tamara, Modenus, Blog Tour Milan, The Antiques Diva, Custom textiles, Susan Young,

The fabrics are digitally created and printed on cotton/linen fabric which means they are durable and easy to live with. I love the fact that they are using new technology along with historical influences to create an innovative product! The team says, “We like playing with history and traditional elements then tweaking them so they are fresh and new, and we are excited to note that you most likely will not see our designs anywhere else in the home marketplace.”

Root Cellar Designs, Tamara Matthews Stephenson, Nest by Tamara, Modenus, Blog Tour Milan, The Antiques Diva, Custom textiles, Susan Young,

Their products have been featured in NY Social Diary, The Editor At Large, and New York Spaces, among others. They’ve used philanthropic causes to give back and promote the line this year including The Lenox Hill Neighborhood House Black Tie Tabletop Gala, Housingwork’s 11th Annual Design on a Dime Charity Showhouse and Sale, and the Third Annual IFDA NY Chapter’s Take A Seat Auction to benefit Habitat For Humanity. Come summer, Root Cellar Designs will begin selling at various design and art shows throughout the NYC metropolitan area, and they hope to offer products online by fall 2015.

Root Cellar Designs, Tamara Matthews Stephenson, Nest by Tamara, Modenus, Blog Tour Milan, The Antiques Diva, Custom textiles, Susan Young,

I’m so proud of Tamara and Susan for following their dreams and starting this business! I love when women can take their experiences and pair them with their dreams. I look forward to seeing what the future holds for these women and Root Cellar Designs—I’m sure we’ll be seeing some wonderful creations this year!!! Congratulations ladies!

Yours,

The Antiques Diva®   

(Seen here at my Antiques Diva Paris Flea Market Fete with Tamara – in the middle – and friends)
Root Cellar Designs, Tamara Matthews Stephenson, Nest by Tamara, Modenus, Blog Tour Milan, The Antiques Diva, Custom textiles, Susan Young, Toma Clark Haines, Paris Flea Market Party

Villeroy & Boch

Dear Diva Readers,

I was delighted when Veronika Miller CEO of Modenus invited me to join her group on #BlogTourFrankfurt for a day as a special guest which allowed me to catch up in person with some of my favorite design bloggers for a day at Ambiente – the world’s largest furniture fair!

villeroy and boch dinner at villa kennedy, BlogTourFrankfurt, Modenus, Veronika Miller, The Antiques Diva, Toma Clark Haines, Villa Kennedy, Best hotels in Frankfurt, Villeroy & Boch, Louis Guntrum, German Wine, Ambiente, World’s Largest Furniture Fair

Villeroy & Boch dinner at Villa Kennedy

 

Louis Guntrum, BlogTourFrankfurt, Modenus, Veronika Miller, The Antiques Diva, Toma Clark Haines, Villa Kennedy, Best hotels in Frankfurt, Villeroy & Boch, Louis Guntrum, German Wine, Ambiente, World’s Largest Furniture Fair

Louis Guntrum Winery

 

We started the day by enjoying a wine tasting at one of Germany’s best wineriesLouis Guntrum and then moved on to exploring the collection at Villeroy & Boch at the furniture fair! The day was capped off by dinner at Villa Kennedy – the chicest new hotel in Frankfurt (voted one of the top hotels in the world) by having dinner with the Villeroy & Boch team.  The hotel was chosen because they use a variety of V&B’s products in their hotel – from plateware to bathroom décor.  At the dinner I was honored to be seated right next to Monsieur Villeroy who shared with me some behind the scenes history on this truly European firm….

Meet the Bloggers Blog Tour Frankfurt - Monsieur Boch along with Jennifer Mehditash, Jeffery Johnson, Carmen Natschke, Robin Gibson, BlogTourFrankfurt, Modenus, Veronika Miller, The Antiques Diva, Toma Clark Haines, Villa Kennedy, Best hotels in Frankfurt, Villeroy & Boch, Louis Guntrum, German Wine, Ambiente, World’s Largest Furniture Fair

Meet the Bloggers Blog Tour Frankfurt – Monsieur Boch along with Jennifer Mehditash, Jeffery Johnson, Carmen Natschke, Robin Gibson

 

villa kennedy, BlogTourFrankfurt, Modenus, Veronika Miller, The Antiques Diva, Toma Clark Haines, Villa Kennedy, Best hotels in Frankfurt, Villeroy & Boch, Louis Guntrum, German Wine, Ambiente, World’s Largest Furniture Fair

Villa Kennedy, Frankfurt

 

In 1748 Francois Boch and his three sons started manufacturing ceramic crockery. In 1791, Nicolas Villeroy acquired an earthenware factory, and by 1836 the two competitors joined forces, forming a partnership which was one of the first Global Players in the business world. The company helped make porcelain accessible to the masses, whereas it was once quite expensive to produce, and thus only available to nobility. With exports to several European countries, by 1850, they were sending goods across the Atlantic to North and South America.

Deco Porter Blogger Jennifer Mehditash Strikes a Pose with Villeroy & Boch, BlogTourFrankfurt, Modenus, Veronika Miller, The Antiques Diva, Toma Clark Haines, Villa Kennedy, Best hotels in Frankfurt, Villeroy & Boch, Louis Guntrum, German Wine, Ambiente, World’s Largest Furniture Fair

Deco Porter Blogger Jennifer Mehditash Strikes a Pose with Villeroy & Boch

 

In the second half of the 19th century the company began expanding their products to include tiles and terra-cotta items. No longer just a crockery manufacturer, Villeroy & Boch were commissioned to complete restoration tile work in many historical buildings across Europe including the famous Cologne Cathedral. At this time Villeroy & Boch also creates products including their well-known crockery for very important clients like the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow and the Castle of the Prince of Thurn and Taxis in Regensburg. Their global client list grows and encompasses many noble and ruling households throughout Europe.

villa kennedy v&B, BlogTourFrankfurt, Modenus, Veronika Miller, The Antiques Diva, Toma Clark Haines, Villa Kennedy, Best hotels in Frankfurt, Villeroy & Boch, Louis Guntrum, German Wine, Ambiente, World’s Largest Furniture Fair

Villa Kennedy Villeroy & Boch

 

By the 1950’s the company was even commissioned to create custom crockery for the Pope. Since then they’ve created tableware for several Popes which is used during formal occasions at The Vatican.

Today the company continues to manufacture and distribute tabletop pieces as well as decorative items, bathroom necessities, gorgeous tiles, and innovative flooring. The longevity and prestigiousness of Villeroy & Boch are a testament to the commitment to quality they have. From residential tableware to fine place settings (and gorgeous bathrooms) at some of the best hotels- such as the famous Villa Kennedy – chances are you’ve come across their products.   They’re simply the best.

The Antiques Diva® 

Portobello – Modenus Hotel Recommendation

Dear Diva Readers,

We’re always looking for tips on favorite Hotels and B&Bs in our tour areas so when Veronika Miller, founder of Modenus commented on a Google+ photo we posted of Portobello Market saying that her favorite B&B was just around the corner from Portobello Road with its boutique shops, restaurants and teeming flea market, I knew I had to tell you about it – especially when I discovered what a wonderful bargain it was with rates starting at £ 55 per person per night!

The Main House, Portobello, London Hotel Tips, Veronika Miller, Modenus, London B&Bs,

The Main House
6 Colville Road
Notting Hill, London W11 2BP

Veronika explains, “I travel a lot, for business and pleasure and do what I can to stay away from big hotel chains in search of places that are intimate, have character and allow me to experience my destination as if I were a local. The Main House is a classic, small boutique hotel that feels more like you’re staying at the very stylish home of a good friend rather than a hotel.  The rooms are a fabulous Left Bank chic with hardwood floors, crisp white linens on the beds, Belgian linen drapes and original artwork. There are only a handful of rooms and very beautifully appointed so it’s hard to choose.  We loved ours for the very spacious bedroom (how often do you get that in London), huge bathroom complete with claw foot tub and of course the style of the place.  Caroline Main, the owner, took every care and made sure we had what we needed, including fresh brewed coffee served in silver and delivered to the room every morning at the time we asked. We never felt rushed to leave the room for the dreaded housekeeping call and with our own key to the building did feel like we actually lived there. So, from someone who spends half her life in hotels: If you love individuality and a very private ambiance with class at every turn, you’re headed to the right place.”

The Main House, Portobello, London Hotel Tips, Veronika Miller, Modenus, London B&Bs,

The Main House, Portobello, London Hotel Tips, Veronika Miller, Modenus, London B&Bs,

The Main House, Portobello, London Hotel Tips, Veronika Miller, Modenus, London B&Bs,

Thanks Veronika for a great London hotel travel tip!

The Antiques Diva®

May I Flush In Peace

Dear Diva Readers,

Last April 2013 I attended #BlogTourNola in New Orleans as part an amazing program created by Veronika Miller of Modenus.  She selects 10-15 bloggers to take with her several times a year to write about sponsors in a variety of great cities around the world – New York, Paris, Milan, LA, etc.  You probably read about me being one of those sponsors just 2 months ago in Milan when a group of design bloggers came overseas to write about the #BlogTourMilan event.  As part of participating in the all-expenses-paid blog tour the bloggers are required to write about a certain number of the sponsors.

BlogTourNOLA, Modenus, Toma Clark Haines, New Orleans Design, KBIS,

I’m usually very good at fulfilling my commitments. I’m nothing if not loyal.  However, life got in the way after I attended #BlogTourNola and I didn’t get all the sponsors written about at the time.  I was in the middle of a move, I was in the middle of taxes, and oh by the way, my company was growing by leaps and bounds and I was struggling to manage it all.   Yes, I’m making excuses.   And I have been for over a year.  But since then I’ve felt quite guilty that I never wrote about one of our fabulous sponsors – Toto.

TOTO-NEOREST-750H-Vignette, Toto Toilet, High-End bathroom fixtures, BlogTourNOLA,

In fact, Toto has been haunting me.  I was staying at my friend’s apartment in Chicago and went to flush the loo… and who did I see? Toto Toilets!  I was in the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Atlanta speaking at the Design Bloggers Conferrence and again? Who did I see?  Toto Toilets! In fact, at least once a month – always in a high-end luxury accommodation – I would bump into my friend Toto in the restroom.  They were everywhere.  And Toto doesn’t just do toilets.  In fact, they also do bathroom fixture (gorgeous sleek towel racks and paper holders) as well as bath tubs and faucets, even showers.  Toto is the world’s largest plumbing products manufacturer with a complete line of commercial and decorative plumbing fixtures and fittings, faucets, accessories, shower and flush valves, as well as lavatories, toilets, Air Baths and urinals. For over 90 years, they have been producing their products.  I was certain I’d never have a moment’s peace in the bathroom again unless I cleared my conscious – so wanted to write today to tell you about this top brand.  I really like luxury living – whether in hotels on the road or at home – and  I knew without catching up on my BlogTourNOLA obligations I’d never flush peacefully again – because I’m telling you I can’t turn around without bumping into a bathroom product by Toto.  They’re everywhere because quite simply – they’re the best.

Ta Ta for Now,
The Antiques Diva®

(Seen below on BlogTourNOLA with blogger Linda Merrill of Surroundings)

Toma Clark Haines and Linda Merrill, BlogTourNOLA

Doing Blog Tour Milan with Antiques Diva Style

Dear Diva Readers,

When Veronika Miller, proprietress of Modenus, asked me if we’d put together an Antiques Diva VIP experience for Blog Tour Milan I said “Si! Si! Si!  Absolutely YES!”  I’ve been fortunate enough to go on 2 blog tours in the past as a participant (in both NOLA and NYC) and so getting the opportunity to be a sponsor of the event gave me the chance to sit on the other side of the table to benefit from meeting a slew of fabulous bloggers and taking them on an Antiques Diva “experience”!

The Antiques Diva & Co

I’ve called their “tour” an “experience” as it wasn’t a typical tour.  We typically offer 1 on 1 private customized tours that last anywhere from a full day to a full week – but this group only had an afternoon to spare in their tightly packed scheduled and we wanted to make sure they saw some sites so we combined antiques with some diva lifestyle.  In order to maximize their time we offered the lovely group of top design bloggers a bite sized taste of what The Antiques Diva® & Co does. We put together an afternoon walking tour of some of our favorite antiques and vintage vendors in the Brera district of Milan, once home to artists and bohemians and still full of color, character, and life.  This is one of the most important arteries of the design district in the city, oozing style and creativity with beautiful stores and galleries that makes one feel like a child in a candy store.  The narrow streets twist and turn, holding a surprise at every corner.  We shared the creme de la creme of Milan’s antique and culture. One of our 1st stops was actually Cavalli and Nastri where vintage clothing reigns supreme, a tiny store bursting at the seams (excuse the pun) with stylish clothing and jewelry, a couple of seamstresses’ nimble fingers work diligently to hem and tuck.  L’Oro dei Farlocchi just around the corner had a fascinating and eclectic collection of furniture and decorative arts.  And Il Cirmolo tucked in Via Fiori Chiari was a labyrinth of repurposed, salvage and collections.

The Antiques Diva & Co

Susan Pennington, Andrew Skipper

The Antiques Diva, Pamela Copeman

Kelly Kole

Antiques Diva & Co

Italian Vintage

A tour of the Brera wouldn’t be complete without paying a visit to Roberta Tagliavini and at least one of her famed stores (she has three…at last count) at Robertaebasta one really need look no further for mid-century, she is the queen!

Toma Clark Haines, Modenus

Toma Clark Haines, Modenus

After a whirlwind antiques tour we took a sneak peek inside the world famous Scala Opera House.  After all, we couldn’t let these design bloggers come to Milan and not see any of the traditional sites.  Popping in to La Scala theatre is the perfect way to really get a feel for the fabulous culture in Milan.  Being able to peek in and catch a few moments of ballet rehearsal on the main stage is a once in a lifetime bonus!  A tour through the reception rooms with the plethora of gorgeous portraits makes one feel as though Maria Callas herself may step into the room at any moment.

All this was followed by an aperitivo we hosted in a private floor room in the original Campari Bar just a stone’s throw away from the renowned Duomo in Milan.

The Antiques Diva & Co, Modenus

With a view of the Duomo, a selection of drinks including prosecco, martinis, and campari spritzers of course, and an appetizing spread of Italian treats, the aperitivo is anything but average.  Of course every diva needs an opera mask while in Milan, so our guests are all sporting them at our cocktail hour!

Blog Tour Milan

Aperitivo, Italy, Antiques Diva

We were so pleased to host the Blog Tour Milan group for an afternoon and evening of antiques, culture, and cocktails Diva style!

If you’d like to book a custom Antiques Diva & Co tour in Italy or anyone of our 8 tour countries – France, England, Sweden, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Denmark and Italy, contact us at info@antiquesdiva.com to inquire about your custom made private antiques buying tour.

Ciao for now!
The Antiques Diva®

Where in the World is The Antiques Diva?

Dear Diva Readers,

Celebrating New Year’s Eve – wearing my fascinator “The Clock Strikes 12”

It was only 6 1/2 months ago that 2011 gave way to 2012 and my life has been a whirlwind ever since.  On New Year’s Eve a storm brewed – the skies darkened and torrential winds whipped through the night – and as the clock struck 12 I mused, “perhaps all this electricity in the air is prophetic… an indication of what the new year has in store.”    Today it’s June 11th and as I write I breathe a deep sigh, finally for the first time in 6 months stopping to catch my breath.  I’ve been on non-stop go, accelerating, whirling and twirling in Antiques Diva-land!

in Belgium

On an Antiques Tour at the Flea Market in Berlin – Photo Credit Laila McCubbin Jones

My antique shopping tour business has blossomed but with the bloom there has been growing pains which have left me burning the candle at both ends as I’ve been left to deal with an ever mounting pile of paperwork. Last month I took steps towards solving this problem by hiring office administration to help my staff of Antiques Diva Guides & I, but in the meantime my blog has taken the brunt of the burn out from the work load, being the thing I set aside as day to day obligations took precedence.  I’ve not had the time to blog as much as I normally do – and I find I miss you guys!!!

Hard at work at Diva Headquarters – Photo Credit Laila McCubbin Jones

Today, as I write, it’s my way of coming back to you to tell you a bit about my year so far and what’s been keeping me so otherwise engaged.  Those of you who follow me on Facebook  & Twitter have seen the maddened pace of Antiques Diva Tours I’ve been on as I share daily photos of our company tours and treasures.  But for those of you who aren’t following me on social media you might have missed the joyful madness!

Global Living Photoshoot - Antiques Diva

Behind the scenes Global Living Photoshoot, snapping a picture of Photographer Laila McCubbin Jones hard at work

As soon as I returned home from celebrating Christmas in the United States I immediately went to work on preparing my house for the Global Living photoshoot.  Imagine my joy when I discovered they decided to feature my home on the cover of their Premier issue.  After doing the behind the scenes work with photographer Laila McCubbin Jones for that feature and another in Belle Inspiration, I left for Belgium to help New York Times T magazine with a feature they were doing.  In between these press calls I was taking some extended tours in Belgium, France and England with To The Trade buyers as I helped antiques dealers and interior designers stock their stores. 

Lynn Yaeger - Fashionistas at the Fleas

Photo courtesy of Vogue Meeting Florence and Enjoying a delightful morning in Paris Fashion Week with Lynn Yaeger – Elizabeth Lippmann ­ 

Next up it was Fashion Week in Paris which meant a party with Vogue – Fashionista’s at the Fleas!  And then it was on the road again to Bath, England for my new favorite fair – The Bath Decorative and Antiques Fair.  You know how much I love La Foire National a la Brocante et Jambon?  Well this one in Bath has as good of inventory as Chatou but with better prices and it is now vying for the title of best brocante ever!

Kirstie Allsopp, Mark Hill, Gail McLeod, Judith Miller, Angela Linforth, Natasha Goodfellow

Spending the day at the Bath Decorative and Antiques Fair – Natasha Goodfellow, Homes & Antiques, Judith Miller, Mark Hill, Gail McCleod, Kirstie Allsopp, Angela Linforth, editor Homes & Antiques

While in England for the fair, I had the opportunity to do a press tour around the fair chatting with vendors alongside BBC stars Kirstie Allsopp & Mark Hill as well the famous maven of antiques Judith Miller.  I even had the opportunity to chat with Nigel Worboys of Antiques Are Green and George Johnson all thanks to the amazing introductions of Gail McLeod, who not only happens to be my Diva Agent in England but also owner of Antiques News & Fairs and one of the most connected women in antiques in the UK!   After attending the Bath Decorative & Antiques Fair, there was a party hosted by Homes & Antiques magazine  – the official magazine of The Antiques Roadshow  – to celebrate The Best of Britain competition.  At the fair the antique award winners were announced and a champagne fete was thrown in their honor.

Charcutepalooza

With Cathy Barrow of Charcutepalooza in Paris at the National Fair of the Flea Market and Ham

March Madness literally had me on the road the entire month from day 1 to day 31!  While in the UK I had the opportunity to stay in both The Manor House and The Royal Crescent – luxury hotel experiences you’ll be reading more about this summer both on my blog and in a couple of publications I write for.  Then I bid adieu to England and said Bonjour to Paris yet again as I helped Charcutepalooza with their Grand Prize Giveaway, taking winner Peter Barrett of A Cook Blog on an antiques tour and then co-hosting alongside Cathy Barrows of Charcutepalooza and Jack Dancy of Truffle Pig a Parisian Blogger fete before bagging it for Belgium this time to take a group on tour. 

American Women of Surrey and SAT Travel

With The American Women of Surry Club on a SAT TRAVEL/Antiques Diva tour in Belgium

While the majority of our tours are private individuals, SAT TRAVEL organized a group trip with me bringing The America Women of Surry to Belgium for a fantastic 4 day shopping fete!   My three favorite vendors in Belgium took the time to do special events and parties with the group – and I want to give special thanks to Kurt and Aida of Antwerp Antiques Center, to Anne Marie of Antiques L’Histoire and Karine of Antiek’s by Karine!  

BlogTour 2012

Next off – it was up, up, up and away for two sensational weeks in New York City as I was chosen as one of a dozen or so bloggers from around the world to participate in #BlogTourNYC  a week-long celebration of design in the Big Apple coordinated by the tireless team at ModenusVeronika Miller and Tim Bogan have my absolute awe and admiration for the amazing tour they coordinated.

BlogTour 2012 - New York City - Antiques Diva

Look at the maniacal look in my eye as I learn to shoot a bow & arrow alongside some new friends from Samuel Heath a quintessentially English company who design and manufacture high quality faucets, showers and bathroom accessories

I still have a slew of blog posts to write about all the amazing things we saw  – so stay tuned for me telling you about learning to shoot a bow and arrow inside an art gallery in Soho alongside the team of Samuel Heath or hobnobbing at the D&D Building.  Spending time in NYC it was also a pleasure to meet Nicole of BKLN CONTESSA, Stacey of Quintessence and Tamara of Nest, Nest, Nest as well as getting to spend time with my dear friend Saxon Henry of Adroit (who threw a party in her Brooklyn loft in my honor) and to go vintage fashion shopping with Lynn Yaeger (stay tuned as this is another article soon to be released!)

Back home in Berlin

Returning home to Berlin from the city that never sleeps left me a tad tired… but there’s no sleep for the weary.  Tours in Paris, Antwerp, Amsterdam and Berlin beckoned.  It was particularly an honor to help Haupt Antiek with their Central and Eastern European tour, leading a group tour in Berlin as well as hosting a party at my home in Berlin for their group of dealers coming abroad to buy for the Haupt Antiek Market – one of the top 25 flea markets in America.

Antiques Diva - Toma Clark Haines

Meanwhile my first article in Homes & Antiques magazine hit the stand – Vintiquing in Antwerp – and was followed quickly by another article I wrote for them on Vintiquing in Berlin.    Flea Market Décor magazine  gave The Antiques Diva & Co a shout out in their International Flea Markets article. 

Antique Shops & Designers magazine hit the newsstands featuring not only an article about my tours but also an article by me on a luxury shopping experience I had antiques shopping at Axel Vervoordt’s private residence – his castle nearby Antwerp.  They even used as their magazine cover one of the photos I took while on an Antiques Diva Tour!

Antiques Diva Tours

Shopping at Smeden og Journalisten – one of my favorite shops in Scandinavia 

And while all this was going on, I was laying the ground work for the expansion of my company into 2 new countries with our first ever Scandinavia Tour in Sweden & Demark. This brings our roster of countries where The Antiques Diva & Co operates to 8 countries – including also France, Belgium, England, Italy, Holland and Germany. 

I couldn’t have done this without the amazing help of an amazing team of professional stylista’s! Special thanks to Diva Guides – Gail, Jennifer, Danielle, Kim, Susan, Lucretia and the designer of our custom-made Diva Bags, Di Venter of Made by Di!

Just writing about the last few months has me exhausted and exhilarated – there are so many wonderful things going on at Antiques Diva headquarters.  I truly love my job and am blessed to have the opportunity to pursue my passion as my career!  Sorry to have been away from my blog for so long – I’ve missed you!

Yours Truly,
The Antiques Diva®

Design Find Photo Contest – Vote for Me!!!

Dear Diva Readers,

Last week while on BlogTourNYC at the Architectural Digest Home Design Show I entered Modenus’ photo competition – taking pictures with my favorite products at my favorite exhibitor’s booths.  We were told to “be creative” with the picture, featuring our favorite products at the fair  – and so I’m hamming it up – diva style! 

As of today – April 8 – voting starts to determine the winner of the competition – and you, my readers, are charged with the task of voting for me to win the competition! While winning the trip to London would be nice, honestly what I really want is to win an iPad – which would benefit you, dear readers, as it would allow me to blog live from the road while I’m on Diva Tours, giving you more access to antiques on the road in Europe!

BlogTour 2012

Following you’ll find my entries into the Modenus Photo Competition – all you have to do is follow the link for your favorite photos and click LIKE to help me become eligible to win!!

Repurposing is the name of the game at The Antiques Diva & Co and this gorgeous Ross Edwards Design “large bowl” at the Modenus booth at the Architectural Digest Home Design Show makes a perfect hat!

Vote for the Winning Photo

Kokoon! My favorite find at the Royal Botania booth at the Architectural Digest Home Design Show was this gorgeous outdoor bedroom – called Kokoon, created in teak wood and indoor / outdoor fabric I find this modern day hammock diva-worthy!

Vote for the Winning Photo!

The Antiques Diva & Co is in bed with Hastens – 2000T2 Flagship Model King Size Split Bed – customized as the densest bed in the world!  Believe it or not, this bed is stuffed with horse hair and that’s what gives this bed such amazing comfort!!!

Vote for the Winning Photo

Lights, Camera, ActionEthan Allen’s Maxi Me 9 Light Chandelier is ready for Action! It was the star of the Architecture Digest Home Design Show last week in NYC!!!  And at $1,999 it is a great buy, adding drama and intrigue to your home!

Vote for the Winning Photo!

Even diva’s do house cleaning with Miele!  This Miele Red Velvet Vacuum Cleaner has The Antiques Diva & Co stamp of approval… not to mention the Good Housekeeping seal! For those of you with HayFever, it’s the ideal purchase as it’s perfect for trapping allergins and the Red Velvet casing is princess perfect for decorating your cleaning closet!

Vote for the Winning Photo

Splish, splash I was taking a bath…. round about last week in NYC at the Architectural Digest Home Design Show! I LOVE this Victoria & Albert Fos Tub constructed with volcano  lava stone and available in 22 different shapes and sizes. 

Vote for the Winning Photo

Frame yourself with this Georgian Custom Cabinetry hand-painted with Farrow & Ball available at Crown Point Cabinetry!  A great find at the Architectural Digest Home Design Show on #BlogTourNYC! 

VOTE for the Winning Photo!

That’s one “Big Ass Fan” – and nope, I’m not talking dirty, that’s actually the name of the brand! This brand wants to be the “first thought in Home Design for Energy Efficient cooling systems that fit in any home decor”.

Vote for the winning photo!

I was BLOWN AWAY by the Modern Aire ultimate designed ventilating system at the Architectural Digest Home Design Show while on #BlogTourNYC!

Vote for the Winning Photo!

Hide & Seek with Jenn Air.  I’m loving this Jenn Air Wine Cellar – Product # JUW248RWRS found at the Architectural Digest Home Design Show I attended as part of #BlogTourNYC!   

Vote for the winning photo 

Let the Voting Commence!!
The Antiques Diva®

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1:1 custom antique buying tours in 8 European, 6 Asian countries and America, 7 days a week, 365 days a year

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.

The Antiques Diva & Co is a LAPADA Approved Service Provider 

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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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