Monthly Archives: May 2013

Best of May 2013: Home Decor Inspirations and More

Looking back over our May blog posts I can see this was a very busy month! We’ve been out and about making deliveries to customers, returning with lots of photos to share how our clients use and display antique furniture in their home decor. Let’s revisit some of our favorite May posts, starting with how we took style inspiration from Hollywood.

I was inspired by the new movie of The Great Gatsby to have fun with this post about Great Gatsby style decor. I spend a lot of time talking with customers about how certain pieces might work in their home decor. So it wasn’t too much of a leap to make some guesses at the antique furniture and accent pieces that Jay Gatsby and Tom and Daisy Buchanan might choose to reflect their own unique personalities and tastes!

Paul-RevereOn our 2900 Mile Road Trip to Boston Greg and I mixed business with pleasure! We made some deliveries to customers and visited a furniture market to select high-quality antique reproduction furniture for the gallery. We also visited my grandma, spending hours chatting and picking crabs – a real family tradition! Then Greg and I celebrated our 12th wedding anniversary, sightseeing on the Freedom Trail and visiting The House of Seven Gables.

 

 

Antique French bedroom suite takes pride of place in our client's home decor. EuroLuxAntiques.comWe visited our clients Sandy and Brent in Northport, AL, to deliver a fabulous Louis XV bedroom suite, and shared lots of pictures of the beautiful French antique furniture that they enjoy in their home. Sandy and Brent have been EuroLux Antiques customers for several years, and it’s wonderful to see how they incorporate antiques into their home decor with such timeless grace.

Mid-Century Modern sideboard is a very pretty example of the kind of vintage furniture I loveIn the Client Spotlight post Vintage French Sideboard at Home in Maryland we showed how Irene made a terrific feature of this vintage French Mid-Century Modern sideboard in her elegant dark blue dining room.

 

Strawberries with balsamic vinegar and pepper recipeAs the sunny days arrived, my mind turned to fresh summer produce to enjoy during leisurely dinners in the long, light evenings. I shared a simple but delicious recipe for Strawberries in Balsamic Vinegar and also blogged about how to Serve Up Summer Herbs in Style…The Old-Fashioned Way.

 

Tudor Place in Washington, DC is packed with beautiful antique furniture, open to public tours. EuroLuxAntiques.comWe also took a peek at Historic Tudor Place in Washington, DC. It’s a National Historic Landmark built in 1816, and it was home to six generations of Martha Washington’s descendents. It’s a gorgeous house and it’s packed with a huge collection of antique furniture, ceramics, and silver.

 

This high-quality antique French Renaissance Hunting Buffet (circa 1880) looks great in Susan B.'s living roomFor anyone who enjoys a sense of history in their own home (even if it’s probably a bit smaller than Tudor Place!) check out my post on Heavily Carved Antique Furniture. I showcased some exceptionally beautiful pieces that really lend a unique, hand-crafted touch to your home decor. You can bet that you’re not going to see these one-of-a-kind buffets in anyone else’s home! You certainly won’t see the magnificent eagle-adorned French Gothic Style chandelier that I mentioned in the same post, for people who are looking for something a little special in their lighting.

I’ll have more to say about home decor and living the antiques lifestyle in June… just as soon as I’ve finished unpacking the latest EuroLuxAntiques.com container of antique and vintage furniture from France. It’s a great workout!

Aimee owns EuroLuxAntiques.com with her best friend, Greg.  Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting, & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way.  She loves her 8 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina.  Connect with or sign up to receive this blog in your inbox!

Client Spotlight: French Country Antique Furniture in Alabama

EuroLuxAntiques.com clients Sandy and Brent gravitate toward French Country and Arts and Crafts styles furniture.

Sandy and Brent H. in Northport, Alabama, are wonderful, truly hospitable Southern folks. They’ve been customers for several years now. As you can see in this photo, their home is filled with quite a large collection of beautiful French antique furniture. They especially gravitate toward French Country and Arts and Crafts styles.

 

French Country Secretary Desk and Louis XVI style armchair. EuroLuxAntiques.comWe first met Sandy and Brent back in 2010 when they purchased a charming French Country Secretary Desk. (It’s the perfect place to practice the vintage art of letter writing!) The secretary desk looks wonderful in a corner of one of the bedrooms, paired with a Louis XVI style armchair.

 

Louis XV Bed in this French Country style guest bedroom. EuroLuxAntiques.comSandy & Brent tell us they’ve enjoyed receiving our newsletters ever since that first purchase, and in a 2012 newsletter they spotted a Louis XV Bed that now occupies one of their guest rooms. When we said we also had a matching armoire and vanity with a pretty orangey-red marble top, they just couldn’t resist bringing the whole set home.

French Country style antique vanity and a Louis XV bed. EuroLuxAntiques.comDue to the fragile nature of the vanity mirror and because Sandy and Brent were within driving distance, Greg and I decided to personally deliver the antique Louis XV bedroom set. Sometimes it is nice to get out of the office and meet our customers in person!

Heavily carved antique hall bench beneath the stained glass panels - and a great collection of cowboy hats! EuroLuxAntiques.com

 

 

Sandy recognized us immediately from our photos on the website and was a very gracious hostess. We couldn’t help ooohing and aaahing over her collection, and particularly liked the heavily carved antique Hall Bench in the foyer with antique stained glass panels hung above. Can you tell Brent hails from Texas with his cowboy hats on display?

Antique Louis XV nightstand to match our client's French Country bedroom suite. EuroLuxAntiques.com

 

That bedroom set didn’t have a nightstand, so Sandy and Brent asked us to keep an eye out for an antique Louis XV nightstand that would match their French Country bedroom suite. About six months later, we found a gorgeous green-marble topped nightstand that was a wonderful match. We sent the photo to Sandy & Brent while we waited for the container to arrive in the US. The photo showed the whole Louis XV bedroom suite – and it happened again! Sandy and Brent fell in love with the whole set and just had to bring that one home too!

Louis XV marble-topped vanity and bed This new set included an armoire, full-size bed, green marble-topped vanity, and nightstand. Brent and Sandy already had another Louis XV bed set up in their second guest room, but were planning to move it to a room that was currently being used as an office. We set up the armoire in the office room and then set up the vanity in the second guest room. We left the bed against the wall at their request.

Louis XV bed, part of an antique French Country style bedroom suite. EuroLuxAntiques.comSandy just sent us a photo of the bed set up in its new home with beautiful green striped bedding that matches the marble on the vanity and nightstand.

 

Of course the biggest surprise was that Sandy had dinner waiting for us upon our arrival! She prepared a delicious pot roast with carrots and potatoes and even baked a cake with scrumptious home-made icing. What a fantastic treat for us and how very kind and thoughtful of Sandy! We truly appreciate our customers at EuroLux Antiques – another big shout out of thanks to Sandy and Brent!

Browse our current selection of fine antique furniture, including many gorgeous French Country style pieces. To receive our monthly newsletter showcasing the latest antique furniture, vintage lighting, high-quality reproduction furniture, and home decor accents, join our mailing list at EuroLuxAntiques.com.

Aimee owns EuroLuxAntiques.com with her husband and best friend, Greg.  Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting, & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way. She loves her 8 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina. Connect with or sign up to receive this blog in your inbox!

Antique Furniture at Historic Tudor Place, Washington, DC

If you love antique furniture and you’re planning a trip to Washington, DC this summer (or maybe even over Memorial Day weekend) head to Tudor Place in Georgetown. The National Historic Landmark was built by Martha Washington’s granddaughter in 1816, and was home to six generations of Washington’s descendents. Now it’s open for the public to tour the house and gardens.

Tudor Place in Washington, DC is packed with beautiful antique furniture, open to public tours. EuroLuxAntiques.comHere’s a view of the Neoclassical house. It looks quite spacious, doesn’t it? It needs to be, as Tudor Place is home to a collection of nearly 15,000 items dating from 1750 to 1983. Treasures here include a large collection of antique furniture from America, England, and France, plus American and European silver, and Chinese ceramics. For history buffs, the tour highlights might be Martha Washington’s 18th century English Chippendale tea table and George Washington’s presidential dinner and dessert service.

Antique Furniture in the Dining Room at Tudor Place, Washington, DC. EuroLuxAntiques.com

This is the Dining Room, but like all of us today, the families that lived here changed the rooms around a lot! It was originally a bedroom and sitting room for the lady of the house, Martha Washington’s granddaughter Martha Custis Peter. From the window here, she saw British troops burning the U.S. Capitol in 1814.

It became a formal dining room at the beginning of the 20th Century. I love the sparkling chandelier and ornate gilt mirror over the fireplace. (We’ve got some glittering chandeliers at EuroLuxAntiques.com, if you like that look too!) They lend a festive and decorative oomph to the otherwise quite simple antique furniture and dining table.

The saloon looks out through the elegant domed temple portico over the South Lawn. They called it saloon in the English style, rather than the French ‘salon’. The Neoclassical columns are perfectly framed by the side tables bearing striking candelabra. The soft mocha walls manage to combine traditional grace with a quite fresh and modern feel.

 

 

Dog statue at Tudor Place, Washington, DC. EuroLuxAntiques.comThis handsome dog statue guards the 5.5 acres of garden at Tudor Place…and all the antique furniture inside! I bet he could bark some good stories about what he’s seen here. The gardens reflect much of the original Federal era landscaping, including English boxwood planted 200 years ago. The gardens also boast a bowling green and Japanese tea house!

Aimee owns EuroLuxAntiques.com with her best friend, Greg.  Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting, & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way.  She loves her 8 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina.  Connect with or sign up to receive this blog in your inbox!

Great Gatsby Style

I haven’t seen the new movie The Great Gatsby yet. (Greg and I are busy catching up after our 2900 Mile Road Trip to Boston to deliver antique furniture!)

But I’m enjoying all the buzz about the 1920s Great Gatsby style in the movie, from the chic flapper clothes to the period 1920s interiors. It looks like the costumes and sets are fantastic and of course we love seeing the vintage decor. Here’s Leonardo DiCaprio playing Jay Gatsby in his lavish mansion.

Those cascades of elegant white flowers are so wonderful, but he doesn’t look very happy about it, does he? I suppose he’s got more to worry about than his floral arrangements. I’m convinced those pretty pastel French macaroons are the same ones I wrote about in my post about how to hold a tea party with a recipe for Macarons Aux Amandes. Perhaps he’s resisting all those tasty treats for fear of messing up his pristine suit!

Daisy from The Great Gatsby would love this blue and white 1920s Delft ginger jar! If you’re looking to add a touch of Great Gatsby style to your home, I think Daisy Buchanan (played in the movie by Carey Mulligan) would have loved this large antique Delft ceramic ginger jar, dating to the 1920s. The graceful and sophisticated blue and white floral pattern is perfect for Daisy, as she so often wore white and surrounded herself with fresh white decor. If you take the lid off the jar, it would make a great ornamental vase to display a flourish of blossoms, too, as in the Jay Gatsby photo above.

 

 

Great Gatsby style 1920 Art Deco wall clock with grape carvings for your champagne lifestyle!Tom Buchanan (played by Joel Edgerton) might opt for this 1920s French Art Deco wall clock. He – and wine lovers today – would appreciate the grape carvings on the corners of the clock. Tom would see the grapes as a sly joke, as everyone in The Great Gatsby spends a lot of time partying with champagne, despite the fact that the story is set during the Prohibition era! The 22 inch high Art Deco clock is also just a superb example of Great Gatsby style.

 

Great Gatsby style: Jay Gatsby might like this 1920 French Renaissance-style oak buffet with plenty of space for bootleg liquorJay Gatsby always chose the best of everything, so I think he’d like this distinctive 1920 French Renaissance-style oak buffet. It’s more than eight feet tall, so there’s plenty of room for Mr Gatsby’s bootleg liquor and fancy glassware and china, and discreet drawer space for his secret documents that he doesn’t want the world to see! He’d appreciate the refined details, especially the pair of carved courtiers or princes on the upper doors, and the distinctive leaves and fruit embellishing the lower doors. As Gatsby so much enjoyed being the gracious host at his ‘roaring twenties’ parties, the sideboard would be an ideal piece of furniture for his 1920s home!

Do you enjoy the Great Gatsby style of home decor and dressing? Have you seen the movie? I’d love to hear what you think – tell us in the comments below!

Aimee owns EuroLuxAntiques.com with her best friend, Greg.  Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting, & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way.  She loves her 8 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina.  Connect with or sign up to receive this blog in your inbox!

Hand-Crafted Home: Heavily Carved Antique Furniture

It was no surprise to me when I saw a design expert in an issue of Oprah magazine talk about the home decor trend for mixing heavily carved antique furniture with contemporary furnishings. I guess it’s no surprise to our customers either! Carved wood buffets, tables, chairs, and other home decor accents are among the most popular items at EuroLuxAntiques.com.

First there’s the pleasure of owning an exclusive, one-off antique, lovingly-created by master craftsmen. Then you have the decorative impact of an ornately carved piece in beautiful aged wood. That’s true whether you enjoy it in a traditional style home, or blended with your modern decor. Either way, the choice shows off your unique personality and taste. Really, it’s hand-crafted history!

This high-quality antique French Renaissance Hunting Buffet (circa 1880) looks great in Susan B.'s living roomWe loved how Susan B. displayed this antique French Renaissance Hunting Buffet (circa 1880) in her living room. It looks great next to an oil painting of Venice, Italy. When we delivered the buffet to Susan in Spartanburg, SC, we learned she chose it because the carved wolf or hunting dog at the top reminded her of her lovely pair of German Shepherds. (See other pictures of Susan’s home and her heavily carved antique furniture in our customer spotlight.)
French Brittany style antique buffet (1880) in highly carved chestnut. EuroLuxAntiques.com

Michelangelo said:
“I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.” The craftsman who created this Brittany style buffet server or hutch dating to 1880 took his inspiration from the scenes of daily life he saw around him in France. The rich chestnut wood is highly carved with a water scene and depictions of people working the fields, spinning yarn, and even walking with an umbrella! You can read more about heavily carved antique furniture in the Brittany style in my earlier blog post.

Antique French buffet (1880) carved with birds, fish, and the monogram EM or ME! EuroLuxAntiques.comThis French Hunting Style buffet is lavishly carved with game birds and fish. It also has those gorgeous barley twists down each side. The 1880 antique French buffet is also carved with the monogram ME or EM. That’s because it was commissioned to be made for a specific family. How amazing is that? I suppose if your initials don’t match, you could just go with the ME version. As in: “I deserve this beauty for ME!”

 

 

 

Awesome vintage French Gothic Style chandelier with 6 regal eagles! EuroLuxAntiques.comBuffets and sideboards are perhaps the most popular ways for people to incorporate heavily carved antique furniture into their homes. But this awesome French Gothic Style chandelier draws the eye upwards to the ceiling! The 6 regal eagles are splendidly carved in dark oak. Each one holds a glass shade in its beak. Dating to 1950 France, this unusual chandelier is definitely a conversation piece!

It’s hard to find craftsmanship like this any more. Fortunately we do it for you in our antiques buying trips to Europe!

Aimee owns EuroLuxAntiques.com with her best friend, Greg.  Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting, & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way.  She loves her 8 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina.  Connect with or sign up to receive this blog in your inbox!

Client Spotlight: Vintage French Sideboard at Home in Maryland

I fall in love with all the antique and vintage furniture that Greg and I select for EuroLuxAntiques.com. We carefully choose these beautiful pieces from France and elsewhere in Europe, and then (even more carefully!) bring them back to America to share with our customers. Sometimes I want to keep every piece of vintage furniture for myself! Of course I can’t, because when we finally finish the renovation of our 1920s bungalow it will be packed to the rafters with me, Greg, and our eight dog and cat pals, as well as our own antiques.

Mid-Century Modern sideboard is a very pretty example of the kind of vintage furniture I loveThis French Mid-Century Modern sideboard is a very pretty example of the kind of vintage furniture I enjoy. It especially tempted me to tell the family to squeeze up a bit tighter so we could fit it in! But I’m so glad it went to such a lovely home, and I’m delighted that our customer Irene in Fulton, Maryland, let us show you these pictures of her dining room.

Vintage Sideboard in its new Maryland home! EuroLuxAntiques.comIrene has done a lovely job with her elegant blue dining room. The Art Deco chandelier is a great match to the sideboard against the far wall. The gold-framed mirror on the left wall will be hung above the sideboard, but Irene sensibly decided she need to see the sideboard in place first, before positioning the mirror.

 

Vintage French buffet sunburst design and basketweave. EuroLuxAntiques.com

The sideboard or buffet dates to 1960 and it features a fantastic walnut veneer and handsome hardware. It’s clear that a master craftsman put a lot of love – and probably a lot of hours – into creating that stunning sunburst design. Then you’ve got that sensational basketweave on the top and side doors too.

 

 


Interior of French buffet. Vintage furniture from EuroLuxAntiques.com
The doors open to reveal this very practical and attractive storage space. The superb banded marquetry on the shelves and interior drawers add plenty of decorative detail.

Vintage French sideboard in dining room. EuroLuxAntiques.comHere’s another shot of Irene’s dining room, with a closer focus on the vintage French buffet. The symmetry of the decor is very pleasing to the eye. The dark blue walls are exceptionally striking and noble, and Irene adds a little lift and lightness with that lovely touch of white along the lower wall panel. This is a really unique and stylish dining room and I wish we could all gather around the table for a celebration feast!

If you have a room with vintage furniture, we’d love to see your photos. Send us an email here. Meanwhile thanks to Irene for offering such great inspiration!

Aimee owns EuroLuxAntiques.com with her best friend, Greg.  Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting, & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way.  She loves her 8 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina.  Connect with or sign up to receive this blog in your inbox!

The 2900 Mile Road Trip to Boston

blue crabEvery once in awhile, it is nice to get out of the office and take a road trip to make a few deliveries. Most of the time, we only meet our customers via email and phone. However, if something is particularly fragile and within driving distance, Greg and I will sometimes personally deliver it so that we can meet our customers face-to-face.

We also tend to deliver pieces in Virginia and Maryland, as Aimee’s 86-year-old grandmother lives there and we like to go visit her, especially when blue crabs are available in the Chesapeake Bay.

We had already planned to go to the High Point furniture market in North Carolina to source more high-quality antique reproduction furniture. We didn’t know that it would turn into a 2900 mile road trip to Boston, via Alabama!

Sandy and Brent H. in Alabama have been wonderful customers for quite a few years now. They had purchased a fantastic antique Louis XV bedroom suite that included a very fragile antique Louis XV marble-top vanity, so we decided to personally deliver their set on our way to High Point. You’ll have to wait for another blog post to see more photos of their lovely home, but I promise it will be worth the wait.

We wore our feet out walking around the High Point furniture market for three days, but we are excited about the new vendors of antique reproduction furniture with whom we will shortly begin working. Here is just one tantalizing example of what is to come in the next few months as we add these exceptional pieces to our website!

http://www.jonathancharlesfurniture.com/catalogue/image/cache/492637-1-1400x1200.jpg

We scheduled a delivery of a very beautiful mid-century modern sideboard purchased by Irene G. in Maryland for the day after the High Point show. Again, you’ll have to wait to see the photos from Irene’s handsome blue dining room in a separate blog post.

Greg and I will celebrate our 12th anniversary this weekend, so we decided to include a couple days sightseeing in Boston to the road trip – since we were already this far north and we’ve always wanted to see the city!JohnAdamsBirthplace

We started our exploration of Boston by visiting our 2nd President, John Adams’ birthplace (as well as that of his son and our 5th President, John Quincy Adams), their retirement home, Peacefield, and their burial sites in Braintree. Greg is a huge Revolutionary War buff and he has always felt that the role John Adams played in our nation’s founding has long been under-appreciated.

Our next stop was the Freedom Trail in downtown Boston. Paul-RevereIt was fascinating to follow in the footsteps of our founding fathers – to see where they met to plan the Boston Tea Party, where the Boston Massacre happened, where Paul Revere lived, and the steeple in the Old North Church where the lantern was hung to give the sign that the British were on their way to Lexington and Concord.

We arrived in Boston the week after the terrible terrorist attack on the Boston Marathon and found Boston Strong signs everywhere. We also found everyone to be exceptionally friendly – we’re not sure if Bostonians are always friendly or if it was a result of the attack, but we surely felt welcome to be there.

Fenway

Watching a baseball game at Fenway park has long been on Greg’s bucket list, so we were able to check that off the list on this trip – complete with a dinner of hot dogs, a pretzel, and peanuts! The Red Sox beat the Astros, so that made up for walking around lost for an hour after the game – so much for the short-cut to avoid the crowds on the subway!

Constitution

 

We finished walking the Freedom Tour the next morning by visiting a few cemeteries (all of the pretty yellow daffodils were in bloom!), exploring the old Italian neighborhood of the North End, and then touring the USS Constitution, which was very fun and interesting as it is the oldest commissioned warship afloat in the world.

7Gables

We ended the afternoon in Salem, which was on my list of things to do. We toured The House of Seven Gables, made famous by Nathaniel Hawthorne’s novel of the same name. Built in 1668, it is the oldest surviving 17th century wooden mansion in New England, and it has a wonderful collection of antique furniture. We browsed through the witch-themed giftshops and took an evening walking tour led by a witch. I even had a psychic reading, which was quite an experience.

crabsWe stopped at Grandma’s house on the way home and my Dad brought a bushel of crabs for dinner! We spent hours talking and picking crabs – one of my favorite family traditions. We also visited with some folks in Pennsylvania that lived in Germany for several years and had amassed quite a collection of European antique furniture. We loaded up our trailer and will put these pieces on consignment in our Gallery.

AimeeGreg

It was a long road trip to Boston and back, especially since we drove 2900 miles in essentially 6 days, but we enjoyed it.

Happy Anniversary, Greg – I love you!

(The psychic says you’ll have to put up with me for quite a few more years!)

 

Things We Love Right Now – May 2013

Our rose trellis in Newberry South Carolina. EuroLuxAntiques.comHere in Newberry, South Carolina, Greg is enjoying getting the yard cleaned up and ready for the growing season. Last year we built a trellis on the side of the porch and planted a climbing rose bush and jasmine vines. The rose bush is blooming like crazy! It will take a while for the jasmine to fill in, but we’re pleased with how it turned out.

 

 

We also plantedFuzzy young peaches on our tree in Newberry South Carolina. EuroLuxAntiques.com 2 peach trees and a fig tree last fall and the peach tree has quarter-size little fuzzy peaches coming in. (We’ve had so much rain lately in South Carolina that the grass is really growing too.) Did you know that peaches as a decorative motif on antique furniture represent longevity? I talked about Symbolism and Chinese Antique Furniture in a previous blog post.

Aimee and Mom, from EuroLuxAntiques.com in Newberry South CarolinaI’m looking forward to spending Mother’s Day with my mom, Linda. We’re going out for brunch and then will spend the afternoon chatting and catching up. She lives about an hour away from me, so I try to go over to see her every three weeks or so. I plan to surprise her with a pretty hanging basket of hot pink geraniums for her back porch. Isn’t it funny how the older you get, your mom becomes more of a best friend than a mom? At least that’s how it feels to me. We’ve shared so much through the years – the ups and the downs – she has always been there with a shoulder to cry on or to cheer my success. I love you mom – thanks for everything.

Lever Farms Strawberries in South Carolina

Lever Farms Strawberries

Therese is loving the beautiful 70 degree days and opening the windows to bring in the fresh air. She has especially enjoyed some lazy weekend mornings, eating breakfast out on her screened porch. Her favorite thing to make? French toast with fresh sliced strawberries! Strawberry season is in full bloom here in Newberry. If you’re in the area, be sure to visit Lever Farms as you can pick your own strawberries. Their fields are ripe for the picking, or you can buy baskets already picked if you don’t want to do it yourself.

 

Strawberries with balsamic vinegar and pepper recipeIf you’d like to try something different, Strawberries in Balsamic Vinegar taste amazing! The dish is also amazingly simple to make. Sprinkle 16 ounces of strawberries (hulled and chopped in half or quarters, depending on the size) with about 2 tablespoons of good quality balsamic vinegar, and a quarter cup of white sugar. Stir lightly, and for an extra touch of spice, add a few grinds of black pepper! Marinade for an hour or more, so the balsamic and pepper can mingle and really bring out the flavor of the strawberries. Serve in a green salad, or as  dessert with ice cream, whipped cream, panna cotta or mascarpone. This strawberry sensation also tastes great drizzled over pound cake. It’s fun for a dinner party. Guests wonder what on earth you are serving up…. until they take the first bite!

Aimee owns EuroLuxAntiques.com with her husband and best friend, Greg.  Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting, & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way. She loves her 8 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina. Connect with or sign up to receive this blog in your inbox!

Serve Up Summer Herbs in Style…The Old-Fashioned Way

Many of our customers have traditional-style kitchens, and we know many are keen gardeners too. So let’s look at some traditional ways to serve up summer herbs in style! Many of these old-fashioned ideas for culinary herbs are great for entertaining – they’ll look charming on your dining table. Or just enjoy them for a meal with the family.

These gourmet treats can cost a fortune if you buy them ready-made in the store, but they’re easy enough to make yourself. Plus, it’s fun – and very fragrant!

Chill out on a summery day! Chill out on a warm day by sipping iced mint tea. Just steep a generous handful of mint leaves in hot water and refrigerate. Strain the mint before serving in a pretty glass pitcher. Add a dash of sugar to taste if you have a sweet tooth, or squeeze a spritz of lemon for a really summery zing! Garnish with a couple more mint leaves. You can also make your own sparkling herbal water with summer herbs including mint, lavender, and lemon verbena.

Summer herbs are fantastic in oil and vinegar infusionsHerb-infused vinegars and oils are delicious in salad dressings. Pop aromatic summer herbs such as rosemary, thyme, tarragon or dill into a sterilized jar with a nice quality vinegar, like red or white wine vinegar. Be lavish with the herbs – if the flavor is too strong you can always dilute it later to taste. Leave for 24 hours to two weeks in a cool, dark place. An occasional taste test will tell you if it’s ready to rock your romaine or put a frisson in your frisée!

Cooking with summer herbs, the traditional wayFor a herb-infused oil, opt for a good olive oil and follow the same method as for vinegars. Basil and chives are especially lovely summer herbs to give a punch of flavor to oils. You can use the oils too in marinades for meat or to cook vegetables, like these tasty and colorful roast beets with herb oil.

 

Summer herbs in the gardenIf you’re not sure which herbs grow best in your area, many public gardens have kitchen gardens and herb gardens, so you can see what flourishes there. This Friday May 10, 2013, is National Public Gardens Day. Thanks to Better Homes and Gardens magazine and the American Public Gardens Association, you can get free admission to participating public gardens and botanic gardens across the country for up to 10 people. Just print out your free tickets here.

All this talk of summer herbs is making me hungry. As the saying goes: So many herbs, so little thyme!

Aimee owns EuroLuxAntiques.com with her best friend, Greg.  Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting, & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way.  She loves her 8 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina.  Connect with or sign up to receive this blog in your inbox!

Bookshelf: Stylish Living, English Country House, Romantic French Homes

I’m surrounded by fine antique furniture all day and talking with customers about their home decor. I often take photos of their homes too, for our client spotlights. So what do I do in my spare time? Curl up with books about antiques and interior decor! I can’t get enough of seeing how people make their living space so uniquely personal to them.

These three new books provide lots of home design ideas. They’re great for anyone who loves traditional stylish living.

Designers at Home: Personal Reflections on Stylish Living

Our customers have their own sense of stylish living, but it's still fun to peek inside the homes of design gurus! EuroLuxAntiques.comOur customers have their own sense of stylish living. They trust their own taste above the opinion of any interior designer. Still, it’s always fun to take a sneak peek inside the homes of design gurus! Lifestyle blogger Ronda Rice Carman (foreword by Martha Stewart) explores the personal spaces of famous interior designers. For example: Hutton Wilkinson’s Beverly Hills pad, Nicky Haslam’s historic hunting lodge, and Barry Dixon’s Edwardian manor. It’s perking up my energy for our 1920s bungalow renovation!

Romance & Revival in an English Country House

Ideas for stylish living the English way by Nicky Haslam. Nicky Haslam’s Folly De Grandeur: Romance and Revival in an English Country House gives a closer look at how Haslam renovated his home. The posh society interior designer has a glittering list of clients including Mick Jagger. Haslam has called his home “the prettiest small house in the world.” Small? He says none of the rooms in the Tudor part of the hunting lodge is more than 12 feet square! He shows that size is no obstacle to stylish living. You can make even the smallest space comfy and welcoming.

If this book inspires you, check out our English Antique Furniture and reproduction furniture in the English style.

Romantic French Homes

Romantic French Homes EuroLuxAntiques.comLove French style as much as we do? This book captures the spirit of French home decor. It shows both formal and casual interior decor, for fancy entertaining or just enjoying family time. During our antiques buying trips in Europe, we accept every invitation we can to see inside French homes. We love low they use heirlooms and antiques for a timeless, romantic, and very stylish living space. This book by American writer Lanie Goodman gives a glimpse inside country manors, farmhouses, city apartments and townhouses. You’ll spot a few chateaux too!

Want some French romance for the castle you call home? Browse our antique French furniture collection. You’ll find armoires, buffets, vintage chandeliers and home decor accessories plus our personally selected high-quality reproductions.

Aimee owns EuroLuxAntiques.com with her best friend, Greg.  Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting, & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way. She loves her 8 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina. Connect with or sign up to receive this blog in your inbox!