Spirit of Sports with Marvin Russell of Linebacker in the Boardroom

Dear Diva Readers,

tour” target=”_blank”>BlogTourNYC sponsor tofsports.com” target=”_blank”>Spirit of Sports  blends the same elegance and sophistication in their collection of sports-related fine art, sculpture, gifts, and home accessories as this Chanel football does, helping fans to create chic interiors that reflect their passion for style + sports.   In the days of yore, living with sport art conjured the classic man cave – a room, in my book, to be avoided at all costs!  Picture paneled walls with posters of the big game and souvenir plastic cups stacked on top of a 1970’s beer fridge.  But NO MORE – gone are days of a large frayed and stained couch parked inches from the latest 60″ flatscreen with a trio of remotes on the nearby 3-legged coffee table – and in its place is sports décor fit for a diva (or divo)! 

Chic Rooms by Spirit of Sports

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Spirit of Sports is surfing the television waves and is popping up everywhere with recent guest appearances on the today.msnbc.msn.com/today/46428111#46428111″ target=”_blank”>Today Show and on the  Nate Berkus show – both of which illustrate that combining sports and art is a positively perfect way for people to have a genuine emotional connection with the rooms in which they live.  tofsports.com” target=”_blank”>Spirt of Sports owner John Pagnucco believes sports activities speak to the heart of what people value – hard work, passion, commitment to a goal, competition, and the ecstatic feeling of pride and accomplishment people get when it all comes together and they – or their team – winMarvin Russell,  author of Linebacker in the Boardroom, agrees. 

Marvin’s book Linebacker in the Boardroom takes his experiences playing Notre Dame football combined with 30 years experience as a senior executive in major international corporations, volunteer community organizations, and as owner and managing partner of a leadership consulting practice to help the reader find their own leadership path through his life lessons and learning tools.  In his own homes he has combined his love for travel and antiques with his passion for sports and the outdoors and the combined result exemplifies the “Spirit of Sports” mentality

Marv Russell hiking in the Alps

From my many visits to Marvin’s miscellaneous homes I’ve witnessed first-hand that living with mantiques and sports memorabilia can be elegant, sophisticated and easily incorporated into any décor.  My friend MR grew up playing sports, played football at the University of Notre Dame and has spent a lifetime collecting pieces from his sports history… memorabilia – new and old – that inspires his sense of sportsmanship and competition.

Over the years I’ve visited MR in the many different cities around the world his career has taken him, and seen how his sports pieces evolve as his surroundings change.

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View from Paris Plaza Athenee

In his Paris apartment MR’s desk lamp was fashioned from his old college helmet sitting on a carved walnut base and crowned with a silk shade. In his front entry was a chic French brass umbrella stand always filled with canes he collected from travels around the world, and used to support his football-damaged knees after many surgeries. Casually thrown in the umbrella stand were a couple antique golf clubs he picked up while in Scotland.  His office bookshelves were filled with text books, management and business books and journals, the latest novels, and bookends comprised of vintage cameras, old bowling pins, footballs, his father’s old fishing reels and chess sets. On his desk a Waterford crystal golf club head held down a stack of papers and a glass frog held a collection of vintage fountain pens.

His cottage in the Poconos was decorated with toile de jouily, vintage French sports posters, and antique ice skates and wooden skis from his wife Catherine’s family in Germany.   The house in Copenhagen on the Baltic Sea showcased an original watercolor of the multi-colored fishing boats in Malta.

MR’s penthouse apartment in NYC offered a 360 degree view of Manhattan and every room a pair of binoculars or a telescope to enjoy the views of the rivers and the skyline. Out on the terrace a roll-away putting green for days too short to escape the city and hit the links.

View from Marvin’s Penthouse in NYC

The house in St Louis – with room to spare compared to city life – had a collection of golf balls from courses he’s played around the world, and a backyard big enough to play boules, a game he’d learned in the parks of Paris.

The Chicago pied-a-terre focal point was a large fireplace surrounded by bookshelves filled with graceful female dancers – Lladro and Dali; bronze, aluminum and porcelain – reflecting MRs admiration for the gracefulness and strength of ballet.

Marvin’s book is not a sports book, nor just a book about leadership, nor only about his time playing Notre Dame football.  Linebacker in the Boardroom discusses the demand for excellence and accountability in all things we do… a concept the company Spirit of Sports embraces.   

Just like Marvin Russell, Spirit of Sports founder to-the-world” target=”_blank”>John Pagnucco is a man of impressive energy and vision.  In talking about his tofsports.com” target=”_blank”>online shop, he explains, “There are very few recognizable personalities on the site, and no team colors. We wanted to do something different.”   Just like Marvin Russell’s home décor, Spirit of Sports provides people an opportunity to look inward in themselves into the sports that are important to them, and their family, giving them a reason to think about sports that they did, or do play or enjoy and develop their designs around meaningful art that matters.

The Antiques Diva®

Blog Tour NYC

Dear Diva Readers,

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;”>In the sound track of my life, Sinatra plays heavily into the mix and this Spring old Blue Eyes has got my foot tapping again as I croon alongside him, Start spreading the news….One month from today I’m going to New York, New York!  Yours truly has been selected for to-brag-its-now-why-should-you-be-in-blogtour-2012″ target=”_blank”>#BlogTourNYC!    New York City? Get a rope!  Because we’re going to lasso up some good times…  Want to know who will be holding my hand in the Big Apple?   I was one of 15 bloggers selected world-wide for this all-expense paid trip to the Big Apple and I can’t wait to meet the crew – the bloggers and the sponsors – plus the coordinators of this amazing opportunity!!

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So who’s who in the world of #BlogTourNYC?

The first name you must know is Modenus Founder & CEO, Veronika Miller – she’s the brainchild behind BlogTourNYC (and other “BlogTour” trips to London, Paris, and Milan).  These events grew out of her “desire to harness the online experience and bring it back to the real world”.   For those of you who don’t know, Modenus is the mot-de-jour in the design world, and this website has become practically synonymous with great design and unique products.  Veronika created BlogTour to bring her audience along as she and her selected bloggers scour the globe for great new design inspiration. Supported by sponsors in the design world and in the travel and hospitality industry, BlogTour is a wholly sponsored trip for those who win the competition – that means my trip to NYC is free, baby, and I’ve never been so excited in my life! Of course, they say there’s no such thing as a free lunch – so I’ll be singing for my supper…  For the next month I’m going to be telling you what’s chic, what’s chock, what’s hot and what’s not as I scour the best NYC’s Design World has got on offer!!

As part of #BlogTourNYC we’ll be going to the Architectural Digest Home Design Show during New York City’s Design Week, entering the event for an advance viewing to give you the inside scoop!!  I’m mad about Miele and they’re going to be hosting us for a design tour and dinner while Poggenpohl & Blanco have got brunch covered!  Needless to say, we’re going to be eating well on this trip for the feast of my eyes is going to be enough to fill me up!  tofsports.com/ ” target=”_blank”>Spirit of Sports is going to get us jazzed up for making man’s caves (and rumor has it they’re planning some sort of game during our days in NYC).   Lest we work up a sweat, have no fear….  Victoria & Albert Baths is going to give us a royal bath and Big Ass Fans are going to be on hand for the cool down!  We’ll open drawers and doors with Duverre Hardware and turn on faucets with Samuel Heath.  Writing about Modern-Aire will be a breeze while I can’t wait to tell you all about a newcomer to the US market, Scholtes.    These sponsors of #BlogTourNYC are going to make my March a dream come true!

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So – that’s what I’m going to be doing this March 2012! I’m going to be stepping away from the antique table to take a look at what is new in the world of interior design and to examine how it influences the world in which we live.  However, don’t fret, I’ll be taking all these great designs and sharing insider information on how we can combine them with The Antiques Diva® Lifestyle.  Wouldn’t Poggenpohl’s clean lines look great with a Venetian mirror?  Or a Victoria & Albert bath paired with some 17th C Cathedral candlesticks?  What about a 18th C limestone fireplace surround inset above your Miele? 

Stand back, ladies and gentlemen – I’m going to do New York – with Antiques Diva® Style!

See You in The Big Apple!
The Antiques Diva®

(seen below at Columbia University on my last trip to NYC)

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