Getting Steamy In New Orleans


Dear Diva Readers,

I’ve got the tour” target=”_blank”>#BlogTourNola Blues… while I had the time of my life, I’m utterly depressed the trip is over.  I didn’t want to leave Crescent City – such were the food, the fun, the friends and the fantastic designs.  The trip was – AMAZING – and – down-right exhausting.  After all that fun, my #BlogTour amies and I decided we definitely needed a SPA BREAK! And where better to go than my favorite chain hotel –” target=”_blank”>The Ritz Carlton?

Located on the edge of the French Quarter, this hotel features a destination spa – with over the 25,000-square-feet of award-winning spa facilities and fitness centre with  full range of therapies and treatments.

The Ritz-Carlton Spa, New Orleans features 22 treatment rooms, over 100 therapies, a Spa Café, a fitness center, retail store, complimentary valet parking and more.  Even more The Spa was selected as a Top Hotel Spa in the United States and Canada by Travel + Leisure magazine and selected by Elle magazine as one of the Top Ten Spas in the United States.  What makes The Ritz-Carlton Spa, New Orleans stand above the rest is not only its physical decor but the fact that they only use the best products and brands in their spa – that’s why it’s no surprise that they have included a steam room from  #BlogTourNola sponsor Mr. Steam to help their clients relax diva-style in Nola.

A visit to a Mr Steam steam room is guaranteed to relax every muscle in your core .  Steam rooms provide many therapeutic services – they help you relax, relieve stress and sore muscles, improve blood circulation, rejuvenate skin and reduce sinus congestion… not to mention steam hydrates skin pores and opens them up so that toxins can be flushed out.

I love nothing more than taking time out of my busy travel schedule (did I mention I was on 3 continents this month?) to pamper myself – diva style – and for me steaming is a regular part of my health and beauty routine.  But I usually do it at my esthetician or spa… until meeting Martha Orellana, Vice President of Mr. Steama woman I like to call Mrs Steam – I didn’t know it was possible to have the spa experience at home!!

Martha Orellana, Vice President of Mr. Steamone of the country’s’ largest manufacturers of steam generators

Forget the Ritz baby, I’m bringing Mr Steam home for my next spa date!  If there is a face to Mr Steam – it’s Martha’s.  When a VP could be the model for their own companies media campaign you know the product she’s using is spot on!  Having the chance to tour New Orleans with Martha this week I was able to see how she pours her heart and soul into her company and as a result of her dedication to her product, she is a picture perfect vision of good health – great skin and a gorgeous glow.   Of course, Martha doesn’t just hit the steam room once a month at the spa – she has incorporated it into her regular life.

The Mr Steam motto is “Making Wellness a Way of Life”.  For over 50 years, informed architects, builders, remodelers, and consumers have chosen Mr Steam as the premier source of upscale, and high quality steam products including towel warmers, shower speakers, shower seats, aromasteam and chromasteam™ systems.    Should you be thinking about creating your own home spa –  Consider Mr Steam!

Happy Spa-ing,
The Antiques Diva®

Blog Tour New Orleans: Day 2


Dear Diva Readers,

Let’s face it – coming to New Orleans for design inspiration was only part of the story…I also came here to eat, New Orleans Style, from crayfish to beignets.

tour” target=”_blank”>#BlogTourNola sponsor KBIS knows the way to my heart.  While the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show at the New Orleans Convention Centre is still being set up behind the scenes with the official show running April 19-21, the show coordinators are taking me and the rest of the #BlogTourNola crew to breakfast this morning at Luke to whet our appetites for what’s to come later at the show.

Photo Credit: Travel Muse

Chef John Besh runs this famous grand old Franco-German brasserie Luke in the style of the famous New Orleans brasseries of yesteryear . Since opening in 2007, Luke has been hailed by Condé Nast Traveler and Travel + Leisure for its “disarmingly home-spun culinary touches and broad-shouldered dishes that satisfy something more than just an appetite.”  While filling up on breakfast foods, er… I mean preparing ourselves for the hard-core work we’ll be doing later in the day, we’ll learn more about KBIS while discussing  innovative kitchen and bath designs and the new products we’ll find at the KBIS Show.


Then we’ll head out for a streetcar ride to tour the Garden District, Audoban Park and Zoo and Tulane University.  You’ll want to make sure to follow me on Facebook so you won’t miss one photo from #BlogTour Nola

Next up, Shaun Smith will be taking us on an antiquing & design tour in New Orleans, visiting the shops on and around Magazine Street!! For me this a real treat – normally I’m the one leading the antique shopping tour  and it will be such a pleasure to be able to sit back as the tour-ee for a change!!

Shaun Smith is a residential and commercial design firm and boutique based in New Orleans and they have a passion for creating, stylish, organic, and contemporary spaces utilizing a mixture of modern and rustic design components with simple and clean lines.  They truly capture New Orleans living in a way that rejuvenates, inspires, and encompasses the essence of living well.


Photo Credit: 

Photo Credit:  

Needless to say I cannot wait to see what insider NOLA décor shops they highlight on their tour today –  And don’t worry – I promise to share everything I learn with you.  No way I’m hiding this light under a bush, oh no! In fact,  if you are on Twitter, you can follow me @TheAntiquesDiva for live tweets or check out the hashtag #BlogTourNOLA so you can read not just my insights on our tour but my BlogTour companions insights as well!  We’ll finish our tour in the Shaun Smith Home Shop.

And just when I thought I’d died and gone to New Orleans, it gets even better.  After spending a fabulous afternoon doing my favorite pastime (and profession) – Antiquing – this evening we’ve got a date with  my design hero, Miles Redd, for cocktails at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art!

Miles Redd is an internationally acclaimed interior design sensation, known for his quirky brand of cozy glamour. An Atlanta, Georgia native turned New Yorker, his work has been published in Elle Décor, House Beautiful, Vogue, House & Garden, Domino and W magazines…. And as of last fall, Redd’s fabulous “The Big Book of Chic” (published by Assouline), has hit the shelves.  This is an inspirational resource and compilation of all things chic, lavishly illustrated featuring a diverse selection of his unique interiors, a visual feast for anyone interested in spirited, eclectic design.

If you’re as smitten with Miles as I am you must take some time to listen to this interview with my fellow #BLogTourNola compatriot Linda Merrill of Surroundings – posted on her popular interior design podcast The Skirted RoundTable.

Miles Redd – Elle Décor

Miles Redd in Texas

Loaded down with a freshly signed design book… next up, it’s time for JAZZ!!! You CANNOT go to New Orleans and NOT listen to music! So we’ll skip out of the Ogden and over to Lafayette Square for Wednesday at the Square.  This is part of a series of twelve free outdoor concerts from early March through late May by well-known New Orleans and Louisiana artists. Tonight we’ll be listening to The Revivalists + Disco Demolition Knights.  Elevated above the crowd on a big sound stage, each week bands perform a wide variety of indigenous musical styles, including jazz, rock, funk, swamp pop, Latin rhythms and more.

Photo Credit: tos/offbeatmagazine/7263820408/” target=”_blank”>Off Beat Magazine

Once our toes getting tapping, we’ll leave the muggy outdoors to get steamy INDOORS  ….  Get your mind out of the gutter.  We’re going to dinner courtesy of Mr. Steam!  You’ll remember that Mr. Steam is one of our #BlogTourNola Sponsors. 

Mr.Steam® makes the world’s most luxurious steam showers and steam baths for the home and for the spa  – not to mention diva worthy towel warmers!  They’re taking us to Bayona where Louisiana native Susan Spicer defines her cooking style as being  “New World”.  She’s known for her imaginative dishes on a constantly changing menu served in an early-19th-century Creole cottage that glows with flower arrangements, elegant photographs, and trompe l’oeil murals suggesting Mediterranean landscapes.   Rumor has it that this is the place to eat dessert first, lest you’re too full to eat dessert.  I’m having fantasies about that maple-semolina cake with golden-raisin compote and pomegranate sauce.

The only thing I love more than food, antiques and travel is taking time to go to the spa – unfortunately it’s something I don’t do nearly enough.  When I do go one of the first things I do is plan time in the steam room before the sauna and then an ICE SHOWER.    With Mr Steam, it’s now possible to have that Spa Experience at home, avoiding what #BlogTourCologne alumni Paul Anater calls “Being Naked in Public”.  One of the products we’ll be learning about is the iSteam, a new home steam shower experience that marks a new era in bathroom remodeling options. As easy to use as a smart phone, the beautiful graphics of the iSteam touch panel are unprecedented in steam controls. With a swipe of the finger, the iSteam’s intuitive touch screen navigation allows the user to seamlessly control temperature, time, aroma, chroma, audio entertainment, and overall steam system functionality.  You can even use iSteam’s accessory commands for optional chromatic lighting and aromatic infusers to transform your shower into a sensory spa.  Now this sounds like an experience fit for a diva.

In fact, this whole day is Diva Worthy! From Shaun Smith Home, to Miles Redd to Mr Dreamy, I mean, Mr Steam….  Today in New Orleans is Drop Dead Diva!

The Antiques Diva®

Blog Tour New Orleans: Day One

Dear Diva Readers,

You’ll remember last March 2012 I had the incredible opportunity to attend #BlogTourNYC as part of a design initiative created by Veronika Miller, the brainchild behind the world’s best interior design resource catalog and networking platform Modenus.

Well, drum roll please… no wait… let’s pull out the full on orchestra!

This pic was taken this weekend at the New Orleans French Quarter Festival

#BlogTour is back… and this year I’m going to New Orleans, with tour” target=”_blank”>#BlogTourNola!

tour”>Antiques Diva BlogTourNOLA

In fact, I SHOULD sayI’m in NOLA” as I came to town a few days EARLY to warm up the crowds and get the party started early for the rest of the BlogTour crew!  When my editors at a UK publication heard I was going to be on this side of the pond, they sent me on assignment a little early so I’ve been doing a little antiquing, New  Orleans style, scouring the south to see whats chic for an upcoming print feature.

BlogTourNOLA  Antiques Diva

The Blog Tour New Orleans Crew –  tour-nola-meet-bloggers.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Dec-a-porter+%28Dec-a-Porter%29″ target=”_blank”>Meet the Bloggers

Today – Tuesday, April 16 – I will meet up  with the Rest of the #BlogTourNola gang as they arrive in town to join me with Modenus for a full on 4 days of fun and festivities meeting sensational sponsors and expanding my design repertoire!  Together with the entire #BlogTourNola Team I will be covering NOLA’s design scene, antebellum architecture in the Garden District, Creole architecture in the French Quarter and a selection of very modernist developments in the parts of town that were most heavily damaged during Hurricane Katrina.

Antiques Diva

Shockingly, 8 years after Hurricane Katrina ,many of these areas are still not rebuilt and families were never able to return home. Hopefully the coverage from BlogTour will spark renewed interest into this situation – in fact, many people are simply unaware the problem remains and that the newly funded development could also mean jobs for many in the area.   Your support in helping #BlogTourNOLA share the message by retweeting and sharing the message on Facebook would be greatly appreciated for our initiative.

Last year, NYC was a crash course in interior design as we met some of the top movers and shakers in the Big Apple at the Architectural Digest Design Show.  This year in Crescent City we will be beating a different drum – we will be spending 2 days at KBISthe Kitchen and Bath Industry Show at the New Orleans Convention Centre.


This is the main event for the Kitchen & Bath industry and it is an inspiring, interactive showcase of everything new in the field, where the brightest and best designers and brands assemble to spot trends, experience product introductions and find the practical solutions and valuable connections that will take them into the future.  As you know for my antique buying tours in Europe we work with both tourist and the trade – antique dealers, interior designers and architects.  For my trade clients, this is one of the biggest shows they attend each year and I’m delighted I’ll be able to join several of my top clients this year in person at the show as we discuss how the trends impact their design needs.

Now…   you know me.  I LOVE FOOD and I’ve got to tell you New Orleans is a fabulous place to host a Kitchen show… because this is a serious Foodie town!  From poboys, jambalaya and gumbo to beignets and chicory coffee… this diva has some serious eating to do while she’s in the house.

We’ll kick off our #BlogTourNola events with a dip into our hotel bar tonight before walking through the French Quarter to Sobu Nola – a restaurant that Esquire Magazine voted one of the Best New Restaurants in America.

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Photo Credit: © tocredit_michael_kleinberg-jpg/” target=”_blank”>Michael Kleinberg

In addition to KBIS serving as a wonderful sponsor, our other sponsors for this week’s fabulous festivities include:

Blanco – For three generations, BLANCO has quietly and passionately elevated the standards for luxury sinks, faucets and decorative accessories.

Du Verre – Du Verre Cabinet Hardware and Bath Accessories, Du Verre has begun transforming its manufacturing process to reflect global concerns about sustainability

Mr. Steam – Mr.Steam® makes the world’s most luxurious steam showers and steam baths for the home and for the spa  – not mention diva worthy towel warmers!

NKBA – The National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) is an international non-profit trade association for kitchen and bath professionals. They provide resources for consumers and industry professionals and promotes professionalism and ethical business practices.

Poggenpohl –  Poggenpohl  is a time-honoured kitchen brand and one of the world’s best-known. The design and production of these exclusive kitchens is carried out in Herford, Germany with distribution to all continents. Complete kitchen solutions are sold to end-consumers through about 35 Group-owned stores in major cities, to independent kitchen stores and to business customers in the project market.

tone.jpg”>tone” src=”×298.jpg” alt=”” width=”180″ height=”179″ />” target=”_blank”>Silestone Silestone is the world leader in natural quartz surfaces for kitchens and bath – its natural quartz surfaces are treated and created to decorate today´s kitchens and bathrooms in a range of attractive quartz colors and extraordinary quartz textures with top-quality performance. It is the only countertop with a bacteriostatic protection that guarantees maximum tops” href=””>hygiene on its surfaces.

toto.jpg”>toto” src=”×109.jpg” alt=”” width=”210″ height=”76″ />” target=”_blank”>Toto –  Toto was Dorthy’s dog in the Wizard of Oz… er, wait, That’st he Wrong Toto!! I mean Toto TOTO is the world’s largest plumbing products manufacturer.  They offer a complete line of commercial and decorative plumbing fixtures and fittings, faucets, accessories, shower and flush valves, as well as lavatories, toilets and air baths.

This week as I report you LIVE from NEW ORLEANS  these SPONSORS will be key players in all we do!!!

Stay tuned for more #BlogTourNola coverage!!

Laissez les bonne temps roulez,

The Antiques Diva®

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