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Antiques Diva Maison Objet Trend Report

Dear Diva Readers 

I‘m writing to you live from Paris where Europe’s largest design exhibition  is underway, giving a glimpse into the future and hinting at the direction interior design will take this year and nextMaison & Objet  is the most important international industry event for interior design and decoration.  Held in the Paris-suburbs in Villepinte at the Exhibition Center near the Paris Charles de Gaulle airport, it offers a unique opportunity to gain an overview of the trends in decoration, furniture, home furnishings, etc.

And today on the Antiques Diva blog I’m trend tracking, showing you what trends to expect in home decor! 

I spent today trend tracking home décor in Paris at Maison & Objet.  Bold, dark and dramatic colors still reign in the interior kingdom – in fact, anything dramatic was de rigueur.  Today’s trends says “Give me bling, silver accessories, glass, crystal, and mirrors – the better to see you with my dear!” I found lots of black at the home show with bold use of lighting fixtures and an abundance of antique-inspired chairs.

Things being “out of proportion” is very hip – whether we’re talking over-sized lighting, chairs or headboards. Natural textures are in – let’s talk about petrified woods, shells, corals, minerals and rocks. The look de jour is still very focused on industrial design with metals. I was surprised by the bold use of patterns including a comeback of wall paper in funky variations. Contrast this with blue & white vases paying homage to antique Delft and classical elements mixed into the contemporary decor.

There was a definite focus on the table arts moving more into the living room – pull out the porcelain and hang it on the wall. Bar ware is utterly chic. Black & white photography and large scale prints are in. Gustavian reproductions don’t hold a candle to the original with their current paint finish made to look distressed by age. Natural and limed woods and ebonized woods ruled M&O.

Overall every brand – whether contemporary or country – loved object d’art,  the more the merrier. 70’s lighting has made a comeback as have silk flowers and wicker. Still hot at the moment – anything animal print and anything with crystals. #M&O2013

Enjoy my “Antiques Diva Trend Report” snapshots!

Antiques Diva Paris

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Join me in Paris January 24 – 28 2014 for the Spring Collection– this is the perfect time to book an Antiques Diva Paris flea market tour! For details email Toma@antiquesdiva.com for details

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Antiquing at Place St Sulpice, Paris

Dear Diva Readers,

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You know summer in Paris is officially underway when the brocante at St Sulpice comes to town.  Ending on June 23, the market is held in the Place Saint Sulpice, named after the famous eglise which flanks its eastern side.   Don’t worry if you missed the fair this year – you can always plan a trip next June as the fair comes to Paris each summer like clockwork.   Movie buffs might recognize the name of this square as well – it played prominently in The Da Vinci Code. And, if you’re a French flick fan, you might be excited to know that the French actress Catherine Deneuve lives in a gorgeous flat overlooking the square.  She’s often seen shopping in the neighborhood (and on more than one occasion we’ve bumped into her shopping this antiques and flea market).

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Antiques Diva Flea Market Tour

The square, built in 1754 as a tranquil garden in the Latin Quarter of the 6th arrondissement of Paris, is just as lovely today as it was 250 years ago.  In fact, at the flea market (held this year from June 13 to 23) relics from the past remind us what life was like during those days of yesteryear.

Antiques Diva Paris Shopping Guide Danielle snapped a few pics while shopping the market last week and we had to share this glimpse into Paris antiquing with you!

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Brocante

Antiques Diva Flea Market Tours

To book your Paris Brocante and Flea Market Tour email info@antiquesdiva.com for more information.   Don’t forget to ask to tour with Danielle to go off the beaten path into Paris’ best neighborhoods and brocantes.

Bonne Shopping!
The Antiques Diva® & Co

Girls Guide To Paris Interview

Dear Diva Readers,

I just had to write and share with you the details of an interview I recently gave with my favorite online Paris Resource…. Girls Guide to Paris.   In this interview I answer questions such as “How I became The Antiques Diva®” and dish on details of my favorite flea market tour we offer at my company! I give tips on bargaining in the Paris Flea Markets and answer the question “How do I know if I got a good deal?”  I even confess that I’m my own worst client while sharing details of what my recent purchases have been!

Toma Clark Haines in Paris

If you’re not already reading Girls Guide To Paris you better rush out and join this online community today.  While the site “technically is for girls”, boys are invited too – to read fabulous French inspiration on the most fabulous city in the world.  From dining to shopping and beyond, this collection of Paris insights is priceless.

Whether you are in the mood to book a recommended hotel room on the site, sign up for a Paris tour, or just peruse their list of fab restaurants, Girls Guide to Paris keeps up with the best and latest, enabling traveler and resident a glimpse into all the goodness the City of Light has to offer… they also have a TRAVEL CLUB whereby you can book all your favorite tours, including our Antiques Diva Paris Tours!

Enjoy The Antiques Diva® interview!

Au Revoir!
The Antiques Diva®

 

Bringin’ Home The Birkin

Dear Diva Readers,

Jennifer – one of our Antiques Diva Guides leading tours at the Paris Flea Market- has been an Hermès addict since the age of 13 when she received her first scarf. She’s been obsessed with the idea of owning a Birkin ever since, but the $9,000 upwards to $120,000 price tag stands in her way!

 

Today, Jen’s “Bringin Home The Birkin” … well, almost!

Diva Guide Jennifer writes:

“For those lusting after one of the most sought after accessories on the planet but without the patience for the year-plus waiting list, why not try an Antiques Diva solution? There are many stores in the Marché aux Puces de Paris in Saint-Ouen that specialize in vintage Hermès, Chanel, and Louis Vuitton. Just be sure if you go the vintage route to buy from a reliable Antiques Diva approved source as Hermès will confiscate any copies and you will be out the cost of a new car”!

Paris Diva Tour

“I myself fell in love with this red Birkin but I fear my budget means I will have to make do with my orange “faux-kin”. A chic new substitute – a tote bag that has the Birkin screen printed on it! At least I can carry my flea market purchases in fun style”!!

“Both can be found at the Marché Serpette at Pierre L”.
(Pierre L, Marché aux Puces de Paris-Saint-Ouen, Marché Serpette, Stand 16, Allée 3).

Bonne Shopping,
The Antiques Diva & Co ®

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Macarons at Laduree

Macaroons

Dear Diva Readers,

One of my favorite places to hide away on a rainy afternoon in Paris is Laduree. This summer my niece Kyrra is visiting me in Europe from the USA. One afternoon, after attending a fashion show at Galleries Lafayette, she and I were meandering Rive Droit and as a cloud was threatening the sky she turned to me and asked, “Can we taste macarons? I always see pictures of them on Pinterest – I want to know what they taste like!”

I think perhaps this girl is my child for she is so much like me I sometimes laugh outloud in recognition of myself! I grabbed her arm, and we strode through the streets to the nearest Laduree.

Laduree

While I typically tend to haunt the establishment on Rue Jacob and love the interior best of all at the one on the Champs Élysées, we found ourselves at their shop on Madeline, one of the quieter, more intimate locations. The ladies at the table next to us had the bench next to them piled high with Chanel bags from the shop across the road and I tried to sneak peeks into their black and white sacks, hoping for a glimpse of their treasures.

Kyrra and I discussed the menu, going into excruciating details over the intricacies of each flavor and finally chose our assortment. When the delicate morsels were brought to our table I favored the lemon and strawberry bonbon while Kyrra loved the vanilla. We each savored a rich hot chocolate so thick and creamy our spoons could stand up in the middle of our cups, held in place by the gooey melted chocolate alone.

Paris Antiques Diva

As we sat smiling and people watching and chatting about Paris I was so happy to be able to share my special place with my niece! As Kyrra took the last morsel into her mouth, pinching away a crumb, I informed her that they actually were not that difficult to make and that she could easily make them when she returned home to America. She was delighted in discovering that she could bring the taste of Paris anywhere she wanted – after all, as Hemingway said, “Paris is a moveable feast!”

To make Kyrra’s favorite flavor try Daniel Boulud’s recipe for Vanilla Macarons Recipe as seen in Elle Decor.

Vanilla Macarons Ingredients:

• 1¾ cups almond flour
• 3 cups powdered sugar
• 7 egg whites, divided
• ⅓ cup water
• 1 cup sugar
• 1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped

Directions:

Preheat oven to 275°F. Spray a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray and line with a piece of parchment paper. Sift the almond flour and powdered sugar into a medium bowl and set aside. Using a standing mixer fitted with a whisk, begin to whip three egg whites to a medium peak. Meanwhile, combine water and sugar in a small heavy-bottomed saucepan over high heat. Simmer while monitoring with a candy thermometer; be careful not to overbeat egg whites. Remove syrup from heat when temperature reaches 240°F. Continuing to whip the egg whites on medium speed, pour the syrup down the side of the bowl to incorporate slowly. Increase speed and whip until whites form glossy, very stiff peaks. Using a spatula, stir the remaining egg whites and the vanilla seeds into the flour mix, making a smooth paste. With the spatula, fold one third of whipped egg whites into the batter; then gently fold in the rest. Stir until the batter falls in a ribbon when you lift the spatula. Using a soupspoon and your finger, place round dollops onto the baking sheet, about an inch apart. The batter should be stiff enough that the macarons hold their shape. (Cover batter with plastic film when not scooping.) Lightly tap the sheet to settle the batter. Let the cookies sit at room temperature until a light crust forms, about 15 minutes. Sprinkle with your choice of toppings (see below). Bake for 5 minutes, then rotate the pan 180° and bake for another 5 minutes. Remove the cookies and let them cool. Repeat the process until all the batter is used. The cookies can be stored in an airtight container for two days, or frozen. Makes 70 cookies or 30 sandwich cookies.

Suggested Toppings:

• Cocoa powder
• Candied orange zest
• Chopped pistachios or other nuts

Suggested Fillings:

• Fresh strawberry slices
• Fresh raspberries
• Nutella
• Fruit jam
• Orange marmalade
• Ganache (recipe follows)

Ganache Ingredients:

• 14 oz. dark chocolate, chopped
• 1½ cups heavy cream

Directions:
Place chocolate in a heatproof bowl. In a small heavy-bottomed saucepan, bring the cream to a simmer. Pour the cream over the chocolate and stir until the chocolate is completely dissolved. Refrigerate, covered, until ready to use. Assemble the cookies by placing filling of your choice on the flat side, then topping with another cookie to make a sandwich; or serve open-faced.

Bon Appetite!
The Antiques Diva®

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2 Favorite French Blogs

Dear Diva Readers,

I’m making the rounds this week… and would like to give un très gros merci to 2 of my favorite French bloggers for giving The Antiques Diva & Co a shout out on their uber-hip blogs recently!!

The Antiques Diva & La Mom bloggers

My friends Stephanie & Allison, the authors of La Mom blog, are doing a sensational new series titled  VIP – Very Interesting Parisians where they interview everyone from author Elaine Sciolino of La Séduction to the French journalist William Réjault  (a man so interesting he even has his own Wikipedia entry).  Somehow in the midst of all these très intéressant Parisians, I managed to get interviewed for the series.  I’m still not sure how that happened – but think that having friends in high places (er, thanks Stephanie & Allison) might have helped secure me one of the coveted slots on La Mom blog! 

In my interview they asked hard-hitting questions, getting me to reveal answers to questions on my favorite French stores, restaurants, meals, drinks and more….  Not only will you learn a little about me in this interview but you’ll also learn some great addresses for shopping in the city along the Seine.  Merci La Mom for including me in your VIP List!

If you’re not already reading La Mom, you’ll want to add her to your blog roll – La Mom is actually Les Moms! Stephanie and Allison are two best friends in Paris blogging about what the tourists don’t see and “La Mom” is the character they’ve created who lives out an amalgam of Stephanie and Allison’s everyday (but extraordinary!) experiences raising Franco-American families in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower.

Another great French blog to follow is The Carams blog, another joint venture between amies who happen to share a passion for photography.  Carina and Amanda’s blog allows you to follow their oh-so-picturesque French life through the lens of their cameras!  And – as I DO write a shopping blog – I’d be remiss if I didn’t tell you that their site also allows incredible opportunities to buy handmade cards, photo’s d’art.

In addition to having a guest appearance on La Mom blog last month I was delighted to discover that Carams also gave me a shout out on their blog last month in an article title Brocantes – The Ultimate French Treasure Hunt Following is just one of Carina’s gorgeous photos of her recent trip to Lille.  If I know you like I think I do, I’m certain you’ll enjoy the great tips Carina gives on where to stop, shop and drop some dough at the brocantes and flea markets of France!

Merci Ladies for telling your readers about The Antiques Diva® & Co’s European antique shopping tours!

Au Revoir!
The Antiques Diva®

Bastille Brocante 2011

Dear Diva Readers,

There’s still time for you to book an Antiques Diva® Tour during one of our favorite French Antique Fairs  SALON D’ANTIQUITES BROCANTE at the PLACE DE LA BASTILLE .  Held from  4 – 13 NOVEMBER 2011 some of our favorite upscale vendors will be setting up shop alongside the Seine!

This traditional fair first occurred in 1969 and has become over time a Parisian institution with undeniable French charm owing to it’s location in the heart of Paris and it’s exclusive antique atmosphere boasting over 350 French vendors! 

The theme of this years event is “MINIATURE AND SMALL OBJECTS OF VERTU” so many of the vendors will specialize in offering unusual and tiny miniature precious curiosities!

LOCATION
PARIS – Place de la Bastille

ACCESS
Metro: lines 1, 5 or 8 – station: Bastille

HOURS
Daily from 11 am to 19 pm

ENTRY FEE
8 Euros

To read a past blog post about this sensational antiques fair and to see some of Paris Parfait’s photos –
click here.

For information on Antiques Diva Special Tours of the Bastille Brocante:
contact info@antiquesdiva.com

Bonne Shopping!
The Antiques Diva®

Village Suisse

Dear Diva Readers,

One of my favorite mid-week places to go antique shopping in Paris when Les Puce is closed is the Village Suisse! Mais non, I’m not hopping on the TGV and heading to Switzerland (though, that too sounds like a grand plan).  Rather, I’m talking about the antique mall in Paris’ 15eme arrondisement located near La Motte Picquet metro stop.

Village Suisse
 54 avenue de la Motte Picquet,
75015 Paris

Named such after its location as the Swiss Village during the World Fair of 1900, today it houses a handful of good quality antique shops and from September 23 – 25, 2011 they will be hosting Fête les Vendanges, la Gastronomie et les Arts de la Terre

At this fair they’ll celebrate bonne food et bonne vin in an atmosphere resplendent of antiques and la bonne vie!  Held during the first 3 days of the famed FOIRE NATIONALE D’AUTOMNE AUX ANTIQUITÉS, À LA BROCANTE ET AUX JAMBONS I couldn’t help but to tell you about this other extraordinary event going on in the city of light during the same period. Two fairs – combining French Food & Antiques! Now, those are my kinds of fairs!

Bonne Shopping et Bonne dégustation!
The Antiques Diva®  

Belle Inspiration

Dear Diva Readers,

I was delighted recently when I had the opportunity to sit down with Belle Inspiration editor and founder Mimi to discuss her life in France! She shared all sorts of diva-licious details, including her favorite places to dine, tour and shop in Paris!

 

 

The Antiques Diva®
Mimi – you’re an American living in Paris. What a romantic life you must lead – how did you decide to move overseas?

Belle Inspiration
I moved to Paris like so many women before me – I came for love! I met my other half in Paris one of those old-fashioned fairy tale ways, and 16 months later we were living happily ever after. It has been a big change for me as an American in Paris, but a marvelous one. I have the best tour guide in the world and he never laughs at my horrid French!

The Antiques Diva®
So from the beginning of your time abroad you’ve been living like a local in Paris! Care to share details of your favorite spots around the city of light?

Belle Inspiration:
Paris is a walker’s city, and we like to spend our weekend exploring fabulous spots around the city. Usually when the weather is fine, we load our picnic basket and head for some of our favorite spots. You may see us in the Jardin du Ranalagh or Jardin du Luxembourg and we have even scouted out the most romantic spot in the beautiful gardens of Versailles.

The Antiques Diva®
Sounds divine! Now, the way to my heart is through food… do you have any dining tips diva’s-in-the-know need to know about?

Belle Inspiration:
To celebrate my move to Paris, my French Honey surprised me with a big splurge at Restaurant Lepérouse. Our private dining room was très romantique! The servers won’t enter your room until you call them with the silken pull cord. The Lapérouse has been in business forever, and evidently these private rooms have quite a colorful history. The decor was luxurious, the food delicious, and of course the company perfect – I felt like Marie Antoinette.

The Antiques Diva®
Wow! Tres Diva!! I’ve never been but feel like I must book to dine there with my husband! Now, I happen to know you and I share another passion besides French food – antiques! What are your secret sources in Paris?

Belle Inspiration:
Being I am an antique lover I found a sweet antique/brocante shop, Passy Brocante, in a courtyard just off rue Passy in the 16 arrondissement. It is a large space, just right for rummaging through all the treasures. There is also a rustic, wood-paneled dining room by the entrance. If you call ahead for reservations, the owner will cook a special lunch just for you. It is a pleasant way to spend a few hours with friends – dining and antiquing.

The Antiques Diva®
You’re full of great tips!! This is a total insider’s source. With all this knowledge I can see why you decided you needed to share your information. How did the idea to create a magazine come about?

Belle Inspiration:
I have always had a dream of creating a magazine. After beginning my blog Bonjour Romance and getting to know the wonderful world of Blogland, I decided to just go for it. We launched Belle Inspiration Magazine in September 2010 and have never looked back. The Belle Team is a talented group of contributors who are busy writing and photographing their way around the world. Our motto is ‘Celebrating La Joie de Vivre’. Belle Inspiration is currently offered in a digital format, but soon to be released in print! It has been an incredible adventure, and I love every minute of it.

The Antiques Diva®
Mimi, you’re such an inspiration! How can Diva Readers subscribe to your publication?

Belle Inspiration:
You can subscribe by visiting out website at Belle Inspiration.

The Antiques Diva®
Merci Beaucoup Mimi for being “The Diva of the Day” at The Antiques Diva® & Co!

Until next time – keep fulfilling your dreams,
The Antiques Diva®

Last Night I Dined with Napoleon

Dear Diva Readers,

Last night my husband and I dined with Napoleon.  It just so happens that the little general was looking a little waxy – and was only 3 inches tall – but that didn’t stop my husband and I have from having a delightful meal.  We started with a melt-in-your-mouth melon wrapped in prosciutto and then followed  by my fast-and-friendly version of Eggplant Parmesan.  Dessert was a simple goat’s cheese and fresh berries. 

This funny little Napoleon’s bust staged in the center of the table became a topic of our conversation as we moved onto a second glass of wine. Did you know that Napoleon is actually the reason we dine in courses?” I inquired of my husband, giving a salute to the little general with my Italian red.  I had picked up this tongue-in-cheek Napoleon’s bust candle at a novelty décor shop around the corner from the Arc de Triomph last time I was in Paris and though his hat sprouts a wick for lighting I didn’t have the heart to light poor Bonaparte’s chapeau on fire!

Pray tell,” my husband urged, knowing that once I went off on my favorite subject – French History – that he didn’t stand a chance. 

Putting on my best school-teacher face I lectured, using my fork as a pointer, “Today the French daily dine on perhaps the greatest impact Napoleon made on modern culture – service à la russe.  Napoleon and his armies adopted the idea of course-by-course dining while en campagne, bringing back to la République a Russian tradition that changed the way the French – and therefore the world – eat”. 

After living in France 5 years we too took up Napoleon’s habit, dining daily in courses, lingering over our dinner as we discuss the day.  While today multi-course dining makes the art of eating so much more civilized, in Napoleon’s time he actually implemented it because it was so much faster than the grand buffets of the Louis’ times.

If you’re as fascinated by French history as I am, then check out the article I wrote on this very topic for Bonjour Paris newsletter.  At the very least, it makes great fodder for the next dinner party when you’re dining Diva Style!

Bon Appetite!

The Antiques Diva®

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