USA Edition: Chicago Chic – Alessandra Branca

Dear Diva Readers,

top:5px;float:left;color:white;background:#781300;border:1px solid darkkhaki;font-size:100px;line-height:90px;padding-top:1px;padding-right:5px;font-family:times;”>For years I’ve worshiped at the design altar of Alessandra Branca, licking the pages of the publications in which she’s appeared.  But my adoration neared obsession after I listened to an interview with her on my favorite blog/podcast The Skirted Round Table with Linda Merrill .  Branca is simply my favorite interior designer and when a long layover on a flight home for the holidays had me meeting up with friends in Chicago I had one request  – I wanted to visit Branca’s decorating store!

With friends La Reine (blogger of She’s Shopping Now) and Lady Lotus in Branca’s Chicago Shop

Branca’s Chicago shop – located at 117 East Pearson Street – exceeded all expectations and my expectations were high.  The fact that they showered my friends and me with bubbly minutes after entering the store added to the ambiance, but even without the prosecco I was in Branca heaven – swathed in black and white stripes and deep European red décor.  Her style is – like her – Italian, but her years lived abroad in the USA give her European Décor a  fresh American twist.

Branca’s Chicago shop is magazine ready, perfectly staged for the pages of House Beautiful or Traditional Home.  Her combined mix of antiques and upholsteries in simple tickings juxtaposed with rich silk damasks has an exotic flair while her daring use of pattern pushes me beyond my comfort zone to take chances I might not have taken on my own.   Alessandra paints with pattern, and her varied colors range from steel grey and shocking pink to Pompeian red and sun-drenched ochre, the shade of old stone and stucco walls seen everywhere in Rome, the city where she grew up.

These Italian roots define Alessandra’s work – growing up in Italy, Branca’s concept of color was formed by Giotto, Raphael, and Caravaggio and her sense of scale shaped by Bramante, Borromini and Bernini. Today, these Italian roots are readily apparent in Branca’s work.

Notice how Branca’s palette can be found in Caravaggio’s “Supper at Emmaus”

Branca’s book tore.branca.com/New-Classic-Interiors-w-Dust-Jacket-P468.aspx”>New Classic Interiors is one of my favorite design books  and visiting her store felt like I had opened the cover and stepped inside for an actual tour of its pages.  Better than the book, everything I saw in the store was for sale, Chez Branca!

Happy Shopping,

The Antiques Diva®

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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.

    • It’s beginning to look at lot like Christmas, and as I do every year I’m in the USA for an extended break to see my family and friends!

      I will have limited access to email – so to make sure your email catches my eye, make sure to respond with URGENT in the title if the message is time sensitive! If this is regarding tours, the online store or public relations you get double priority!

      I’ll be in touch as soon as possible!
      Merci,
      Toma Haines
      AKA, The Antiques Diva

  • Thanks for the shoutout Toma! And for showing us Branca. I’d love to see that too – her work is amazing! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Safe travels!

    • It’s beginning to look at lot like Christmas, and as I do every year I’m in the USA for an extended break to see my family and friends!

      I will have limited access to email – so to make sure your email catches my eye, make sure to respond with URGENT in the title if the message is time sensitive! If this is regarding tours, the online store or public relations you get double priority!

      I’ll be in touch as soon as possible!
      Merci,
      Toma Haines
      AKA, The Antiques Diva

  • As we browsed the store, it was all so gorgeous it felt like a champagne moment. And voila! as you see in the photo, we were soon sipping a chilled prossecco. It certainly added to the ambiance of Branca!
    Bonnes fetes a tous!

    • It’s beginning to look at lot like Christmas, and as I do every year I’m in the USA for an extended break to see my family and friends!

      I will have limited access to email – so to make sure your email catches my eye, make sure to respond with URGENT in the title if the message is time sensitive! If this is regarding tours, the online store or public relations you get double priority!

      I’ll be in touch as soon as possible!
      Merci,
      Toma Haines
      AKA, The Antiques Diva

    • It’s beginning to look at lot like Christmas, and as I do every year I’m in the USA for an extended break to see my family and friends!

      I will have limited access to email – so to make sure your email catches my eye, make sure to respond with URGENT in the title if the message is time sensitive! If this is regarding tours, the online store or public relations you get double priority!

      I’ll be in touch as soon as possible!
      Merci,
      Toma Haines
      AKA, The Antiques Diva