The Antiques Diva Expatica Resource Guide

top:2px;padding-right:5px;font-family:times;”>When we accepted our first expat assignment, I orchestrated the move while my husband went ahead to start his new job in Paris. When our shipment arrived months later with only a forth of our furniture in tow, my husband was baffled at my choices. As he sought a chair on which to sit in our living room, he incredulously asked, “Why didn’t you bring all our furniture?”

Realizing for the first time the consequences he faced as a result of not sharing in the coordination of our international move, he was given an answer that would define nearly a decade of expatriate life, “As an expat, Europe is now my playground. A person’s home should reflect not only who they are, but where they’ve been and where they’re going.” By bringing only our favorite possessions, I gave us room to grow into the people we’d become through living abroad.

Needing a table on which to dine, as well as the china to set on it, we began searching the flea markets of Europe, letting our travel choices dictate our décor. “Darling,” I rang my husband’s office one day, “We need a buffet and I’ve just read an article on the selection of antique side boards available in the Costa Blanca. Shall we go to Spain this Easter to see the procession and to stop by an excellent source for richly carved chestnut chests?” Weekends were passed flea marketing in the French countryside as we filled our home and stomachs while sampling the specialties of the regions. As our waistlines expanded, we’d return to 6eme Parisian apartment with a shabby chateau canapé that would groan when sat upon and Napoleon III side tables lacquered and adorned with mother of pearl embellishments.

When we moved to Holland, Belgium became our favorite getaway as it brought back memories of France with its abundance of French antiques, but better Belgium prices. Trips across Germany have filled our home with the type of knick knacks we never knew we needed until they completed a tableau. While visits to see friends living in Switzerland resulted in us starting a new collection of antique globes found at their many brocantes and led us to purchasing a politically incorrect vintage fur throw straight from a chalet at a bargain bin price.

Guests visiting us in The Netherlands nearly a decade after our expat journey began tour our home and comment on the eclectic international décor and when I point out a pile of plates that I peddled home in a box tied with a bungee cord to the back of my bike, they exclaim, “It’s just so you!”

By The Antiques Diva

PS: To read the country overviews I wrote for Expatica, simply click on the links below!

to-antiques-shopping-Expatica_country-wide.html” target=”_blank”>The Antiques Diva™ Expatica Resource Guide



The Netherlands




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Author: Toma Clark Haines

Toma Clark Haines is a Global Tastemaker, Speaker, Writer & Entrepreneur; and founder and CEO The Antiques Diva® & Co, Europe, Asia and America's largest Antiques Sourcing & Touring Company.

  • I am so happy to have found you – this Expatica resource is incredible. You highlight some of my favorite places. I’m going to email you my tips too. Will you post them on your blog if I do? How do you beome part of the Antiques Diva team or an Antiques Diva reporter?

    Ana – Wassenaar

  • Thanks Esther for the compliments and birthday wishes!

    And Li in Wassenaar, you made me blush with pleasure at your compliment! I love a challenge and I’m going to start sourcing my fav vintage locations for a Delvaux treasure for you! Stay tuned and I’ll get back to you with my tips and advice!!

    Dank u wel!
    The Antiques Diva (TM)

  • Dear Antiques Diva,

    Thank you so much for your articles on Expatica. I love your blog, and I was wondering if you could help me source a vintage Delvaux hand bag in either Belgium or the Netherlands? It would be easy to buy something new at one of their shops, but I prefer the look and feel of something a little worn and aged.

    Can you recommend a shop or website that might carry such an item? Your help would be greatly appreciated.

    Li in Wassenaar

  • Thanks Kel! I appreciate your compliments! Though I love our Dutch home, I miss that 6eme Parisian apartment with the gorgeous crown moldings and fireplaces in every room! But wouldn’t Italy be a Dream for a expatriation?!? I ask my husband often, “Can you get transferred to the Roma office? Viva Italia!” Sadly, he always responds that it’s not a possibility… but it doesn’t stop me from dreaming!

    Phivos, They don’t call me The Diva for nothing! I love shopping for antiques, vintage, home decor and otherwise!