Monthly Archives: November 2013

Best of November 2013: Holiday Gifts, Folk Art & French Inspirations

We wish you a wonderful Thanksgiving! Don’t forget that our 20% discount on everything in our EuroLuxAntiques.com inventory continues until December 3, and we include free shipping too – just as we always do. Now there’s a holiday gift to make Santa smile! Simply enter the coupon code at checkout: HappyHolidays

This month on the blog I’ve enjoyed getting my fix of French inspirations, writing about Beaujolais Nouveau Day for starters! At this time of year Greg and I are far too busy to take one of our antiques buying trips to France. We’re a regular Santa’s workshop here, packing up all the orders for holiday gifts. I’m also on the phone a lot, talking with our customers about their selections, especially with the fine antique furniture. They want to be sure they’ve found the perfect match for their home and I want the same thing.

Maybe we should wear Santa hats!  I’ll try to talk Greg into that. Meanwhile, let’s revisit some of our most popular November posts.

Château de Bagnols fireplaceChâteau de Bagnols in France was built in the 13th century, but now it’s a castle hotel where anyone can stay. After a $16 million restoration it is kitted out with stunning interiors, including tons of original antiques. The grounds are as gorgeous as the inside of the castle, with medieval towers, formal French gardens and a 100-year old lime tree terrace. See a panoramic view of the castle and more inspiring rooms in my Château de Bagnols post.

Antique chinese screen over the mantel
Our client Chris is retiring with her husband to a new house. Chris wanted a large and unique piece to decorate the mantel in the new living room. She chose a 1900 Late Qing Dynasty Chinese window screen. The folk art screen is ornately hand-carved with symbols of good fortune and prosperity. We hope those good fortune symbols are lucky charms for Chris and her husband as they enjoy their retirement! See more photos and what all the carved symbols mean in our client spotlight on the antique Chinese folk art screen.
holiday gift ideas: antique French clockCheck out my holiday gifts suggestions post if you’re looking for unique gift ideas for your loved ones. Or even if you are just taking advantage of our 20% discount for new additions to your own home. You’ll find even more ideas in our recent EuroLux Antiques newsletter. While we’re best known for our “fine antiques for regular folks” we also carry some unusual and exquisite home decor accents in the gallery, as well as newly-made, antique-inspired furnishings.
Oysters and Bloody MaryWe can’t wait to enjoy my Uncle Dick’s Famous Bloody Mary as part of our family Thanksgiving feast! It’s usually served with our appetizer of oysters on the half shell. Next day we relish yet more oysters when my grandmother Elsie dishes up her traditional delicacy: Elsie’s Oyster Stew. If your mouth is watering as much as mine is, I shared the family’s culinary secrets in my Bloody Mary and Oyster Stew recipes post!
Happy Thanksgiving!

 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 you can sign up here to receive this blog in your inbox.

Thanksgiving Thank You: 20% Off at EuroLux Antiques

I’m thrilled to announce our annual Black Friday deal giving 20% off everything at EuroLuxAntiques.com. But we’ve stretched our special offer over a whole week! Starting today, November 24, until Tuesday December 3 you will get 20% off your entire order (as well as our always-free shipping) when you enter the coupon code at checkout: HappyHolidays 

EuroLux Antiques Greg and I want to give you plenty of time to shop at leisure, not just on Black Friday. Small Business Saturday on November 30 encourages shoppers to support small, family-run businesses…like ours! Then there is Cyber Monday. While we’re a small business, we have a big online presence. And at Thanksgiving, we like to thank our customers with a bonus discount on our already low prices. A portion of every sale goes to Pets Inc., a no-kill animal shelter in Columbia, SC. So the homeless pets thank you for your custom too!

Here are some ideas for unique gifts for your loved ones, or just for your own home. The 20% discount code HappyHolidays is valid on everything from fine antique furniture to home decor accents.

antique buffetThe classic style of this antique French Renaissance oak buffet or sideboard will fit beautifully into any decor. We love the playful princes or courtiers carved on the upper doors – they’ll bring a touch of regal fun to any dinner party! The impressive 1920 sideboard stands more than 8 feet tall, with ample drawer and cupboard space and a spindle rail just above the serving surface to display your blue and white Delftware plates or other collectibles.

Antique French nightstandThe gray marble top on this antique French nightstand looks so pretty against the walnut marquetry. Dating to 1900, the nightstand would be lovely at your bedside or in the guest bedroom, with a useful drawer and cupboard and a lower shelf for your bedtime reading. But it’s also a delightful accent table in a living room or hallway – even the powder room!

antique French clockFound at an antiques market in France, this antique Rococo clock was made in 1890. It’s a great pick for a wine fans as the farmer figure standing on the black marble base is admiring the fruits of his labor – clusters of juicy grapes! The clock is still in working order and it is signed by the maker, Ferlet. It is also marked with the name of the French village where it was created: Brienon.

Aubusson Pillows
We’ve just started carrying these gorgeous new handmade Aubusson throw pillows.  They are the perfect complement to the antique furniture in our gallery, crafted with the same centuries-old techniques used by historic French Aubusson weavers. These are just a few of our many classic handmade Aubusson throw pillows. Click the links for details on:
1)  Hand-Woven Silk Floral Throw Pillow
2) Hand-Embroidered Long Throw Pillow
3) Dog Throw Pillow (we’ve got pillows with horses, ducks, and chickens too!)
4) Hand-Woven Classic Square Throw Pillow
5) Hand-Woven Red Fleur-De-Lis Throw Pillow
6) Hand-Woven Wool Floral Long Throw Pillow

 

tiffany lamp

This classic Wisteria Dale Tiffany lamp is hand-crafted with the same techniques used by the master glass artist himself: Louis Comfort Tiffany. The bronze base with an antique verde finish is artfully designed to look like a tree trunk. The hand-rolled art glass canopy of leaves and petals falls gracefully into a delicately shaped edge. The heirloom-quality lamp is bound to add a touch of natural beauty to your living room or bedroom… and dare we say romance too? Know any newly-weds?

USS Constitution Model Ship

 

 

A hand-crafted model of the U.S.S. Constitution makes a terrific gift for the sailor or history fan in your life! This museum-quality model of “Old Ironsides” is more than two feet high, with its own unique serial number. Yes, it does come fully assembled! Made by family business artisans, each ship takes the craftsman hundreds of hours to make by hand, using the same plank-on-frame method used for real ships. Every detail is true-to-life, including the brass fittings and metal cannons.

For more inspiration, browse our complete inventory of fine antique furniture from Europe and Asia, vintage chandeliers, antique religious treasures, Ambella Home Collection furnishings, and other high-quality reproduction furniture. Then take 20% off everything in your shopping basket when you enter the coupon code HappyHolidays

The offer is valid from November 24 to December 3, 2013. Happy shopping!

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 you can sign up here to receive this blog in your inbox.

Victorian Home Delights

If you read Victorian Homes magazine, we hope you see the EuroLux Antiques advertisement we are currently running! Many of our clients across the country are working on Victorian home restorations. We are always delighted to help them find exactly the right piece of antique furniture dating from the Victorian era to blend beautifully into their design scheme.

EuroLux Antiques Victorian Homes ad

This antique buffet in the ad has now been snapped up by a customer. It’s already been delivered to her home in Kentucky. But we have plenty of other antique buffets in our gallery to choose from!

Are you also furnishing a Victorian home? Or do you just love looking at home décor from this period as much as we do? Then you might enjoy some of my recent customer spotlights about clients working on Victorian home restorations.

Victorian Home dining room restoration

Sal in New York is restoring his beautiful Victorian home to its former glory. Sal’s interior designer recommended EuroLux Antiques to him. However, Sal couldn’t decide between all of the Renaissance buffets we had in stock! So he drove from New York to visit our gallery in South Carolina and make his selection in person. It was wonderful to welcome him and show him around. He finally chose a buffet, a set of ten 1880 Hunting chairs, and a 1900 French Renaissance server too. See more photos of the furniture in my post on Sal’s Victorian restoration.

Victorian Home restoration Angela bought several pieces of antique French Brittany furniture from us for her Victorian home in Galveston, TX. Angela is restoring her 1890 house and she chose the Brittany style pieces, all crafted around 1880, because they match the maritime ship’s wheel detailing on her lovely white porch. See all the photos – including one of how the house looked in 1894 – in my post on the antique Brittany furniture.

Other clients opt for something from our selection of high-quality reproduction furniture and home accents to bring some beautifully-crafted Victorian style into their home.

Victorian Homes magazineIf you want to look out for the December issue of Victorian Homes magazine, here’s the front cover! Gorgeous isn’t it? The festive cover puts me in the mood for the holidays!

Do you live in a Victorian home? Or do you like the elegant Victorian style of décor? Tell us about it in the comment box below!

Aimee and her husband Greg own EuroLuxAntiques.com.  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 you can sign up here to receive this blog in your inbox.

Bookshelf: American Style

In this Thanksgiving month we’re celebrating books that pay tribute to American style décor.  Now the evenings get dark earlier, it’s the perfect time to curl up and turn the pages for some interior design inspiration. These recently published books each look at a different angle of American style. All of them are packed with ideas and creativity!

Early American Country Interiors

Celebrating early American style Just like us, author Tim Tanner is a big fan of beautifully designed furniture that stands the test of time. Nicely crafted old objects also grow more lovely and full of character every year. Giving ideas for interiors that reflect the spirit of early American country style, this book features homes from Maine to Utah. The design ideas for every room of the house are aimed at creating an inviting and comfortable atmosphere. We love the cozy sense of nostalgia in this delightful tribute to traditional American style. We also love that the author has restored his own 19th century home. He knows what he’s talking about!

Mario Buatta: Fifty Years of American Interior Decoration

A terrific example of American style by Mario BuattaI guess that a designer who created interiors for Blair House, the official state guest house of the President of the United States, is something of an expert on American style! Mario Buatta has also been the décor guru for clients including Barbara Walters, Malcolm Forbes, and Mariah Carey. He’s famous for his comfortably luxurious and traditional design schemes. Many of his interiors feature antiques (of course!) as an essential part of creating that elegant mood. He’s also known for his fabulous color schemes. The book is rather expensive – it’s definitely a collector’s item.

House Proud: Unique Home Design, Louisiana

American style in LouisianaFocusing on the unique American style to be found in Louisiana, this new book gives a tour of some of the most impressive homes in the state. Rich in personality and creative décor, the homes range from pre-Civil war grandeur to a charming Creole cottage. The author, New Orleans interior designer Valorie Hart, also writes for The Visual Vamp. She shares the stories of each homeowner and how they restored and designed the houses featured in the book. They certainly are house proud, and they have every reason to feel that way!

What do you think is an essential element of true American style? Tell us in the comment box 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 you can sign up here to receive this blog in your inbox.

Castle Vacation: Château de Bagnols

A few months ago I blogged about French castle hotels. These centuries-old châteaux offer a unique vacation experience and you find them all over France. As we just mentioned Beaujolais Nouveau Day, I couldn’t resist telling you about another French castle you can stay in: Château de Bagnols. Built in the 13th century, it overlooks the Beaujolais valley and it’s one of the grandest 5 star French castle hotels, with stunning interiors.

Bagnol outside

A vineyard was added to Château de Bagnols in 1820 and it’s still surrounded by vines and gorgeous formal French gardens. Over the centuries, different owners have added to Château de Bagnols, but it was in pretty poor shape until a 1987 renovation. The English Lady Hamlyn spent more than $16 million restoring it to its glory! It boasts medieval towers, a moat, original frescoes, an outdoor heated Roman swimming pool, and a 100-year old lime tree terrace.

Château de Bagnols fireplace

The rooms are furnished with original antiques, like many other French castle hotels. And as you can see from the photos, the Château de Bagnols offers luxury all the way! Not many of us have a living room with such exceptional architecture, but we can all take inspiration from the decor style. The welcoming nature of this room is enhanced by warm red upholstery and dark wood furniture. Just a lamp, vase of flowers, a decorative bowl, and a few favorite books on the table create a pleasing vignette.

Château de Bagnols bedroom

This bedroom makes great use of an arched alcove.  Imagine how cozy it would be, nestled into that bed under the crimson velvet bedspread! This is actually a former chapel dedicated to St. Hieronymus, and the wall paintings were created in the 1620s. Up-lighting adds to the atmosphere. You could recreate that intimate mood with wall sconces or Dale Tiffany torchiere lamps.

Château de Bagnols bedroom This delightful boudoir was once the command point for the 15th century drawbridge! The yellow damask hangings on the Louis XVI style bed adds to the glow of the fireplace. This bedroom is also furnished with a 19th century carved Henry II style chair, similar to some of the Henry II French Renaissance chairs in our gallery.

Château de Bagnols has 22 rooms and suites and the listed historic castle is about a 30-minute drive from Lyon. Previous guests at the castle include King Charles VIII, who stayed in 1490. The Treasurer of France lived there during the 17th Century. Madame de Sévigné, famous for her witty letters, visited in 1673. So if you take a trip to Beaujolais and stay at Château de Bagnols, you’ll be in good company!

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 you can sign up here to receive this blog in your inbox.

 

Celebrating Beaujolais Nouveau Day!

Beaujolais Nouveau Day is around the corner, on November 21, 2013. That’s the day that this year’s Beaujolais Nouveau wines are released and festivals and events take place across Europe and in U.S. cities from Boston to Seattle.

Beaujolais Nouveau Day The French are protective about their wine. In fact, it’s written into French law that each year’s Beaujolais Nouveau cannot be released until exactly 12:01 am on the third Thursday of November!

The event is marked in France by fireworks and celebrations. For decades, vintners have raced to be the first to get their Beaujolais Nouveau wines on the tables of restaurants in Paris. Later, the race extended across the channel to London. Now it seems like it’s one big world-wide sprint to get the bottles out to all corners, so wine revelers can cheer: “Le Beaujolais Nouveau est arrivé!”

Beaujolais Nouveau Day Poster
The timing is great for American Thanksgiving Day, as Beaujolais Nouveau is said to pair well with turkey. Hats off to the French for their canny marketing techniques! A century ago, the wine, made of hand-picked Gamay grapes, was just a humble table wine made by Beaujolais locals for their own enjoyment, to celebrate the end of the harvest. Now it’s an international star. The young wine is generally best enjoyed by the May of the following year.

Whether you like Beaujolais Nouveau or prefer a more mature wine, we think any excuse for a celebration is good enough. So you can always get in the spirit by raising a glass of your favorite Napa Valley red in honor of Beaujolais Nouveau Day!

Woodbridge Bar StoolWhile we’re talking about wine, I had to share a photo of this new wine glass bar stool that is in our gallery, because the cut-out design on the back is so charming and clever. It’s perfect for a wine celebration or for a wine-lover’s home! Crafted by Woodbridge Furniture Company, the solid wood bar stool has a hand-rubbed and waxed distressed finish, so it looks like it could have come from an old Parisian bistro or wine bar. (We have this design in a counter-height stool too.)

Although I appreciate wine, I doubt that Beaujolais Nouveau will be on our Thanksgiving table. Greg and I will be enjoying Uncle Dick’s Famous Bloody Mary recipe, as you can see in my earlier post!

Ambella Home Enoteca Wine CabinetBut I know that many of our customers are real wine connoisseurs. I would love to have a large enough wine collection to take advantage of this incredible new Ambella Home Enoteca bar cabinet. (We recently added the Ambella Home Collection line of furniture to our gallery, as the quality, design, and craftsmanship meet our high standards!) The 8-foot-tall bar features tons of wine cradles, storage cabinets, and racks to hang stemware.

French Wine Server

 

 

I think this new, reproduction French server/sideboard with a built-in wine rack is more my size! With the whitewash finish on the wood and a lovely limestone tile top, the server looks as if it would be quite at home in a French farmhouse in wine country.

All this talk of wine has made me thirsty! A votre santé! If you celebrate Beaujolais Nouveau Day, we’d love to hear how you do it. Tell us in the comments box 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 you can sign up here to receive this blog in your inbox.

Client Spotlight: Antique Chinese Folk Art Screen

Chris W. just moved to our area from Texas. She and her husband are now planning to spend their retirement enjoying life on Lake Murray in Chapin, SC, just a short drive from the EuroLux Antiques gallery. Chris was looking for something large and unique to fill the space above their mantel. She chose this large antique Chinese window screen, which perfectly fit the bill.
Antique Chinese Window Screen,  circa 1900The antique Chinese window screen dates to 1900 and it was rescued from a home scheduled for demolition in Hunan province.  We imported it into the US to join the other antique Chinese screens and furniture in our gallery. The Late Qing Dynasty screen is ornately hand-carved in camphor wood and the geometric pattern of repeating circles symbolizes infinity and unbroken prosperity.Antique Chinese Window Screen with Dragons

You can see the intricacy of the carvings in this close-up. The stylized dragon in antique Chinese furniture represents power, authority, and wealth, while the detailed carvings of bats add another dash of good luck!

Antique Chinese Window Screen hand-carved with symbols

The carved birds on the screen convey spirituality, the flowers represent growth, vitality, and beauty, and the peaches symbolize longevity. Late Qing Dynasty furniture and architectural elements like this should really be considered Folk Art.

Antique chinese screen over the mantel

Here’s the antique Chinese screen in Chris’ living room. Chris wanted to soften the sharp contrast between the black marble surrounding the fireplace and the white wood mantelpiece. We think the screen achieves that beautifully! The warm wood tone softens the space and the large size draws the eye up toward the high, dramatic ceilings.

Antique Chinese Screen in LivingRoom

 

At more than 5 feet tall and 4 feet wide, you can see how the screen balances the space nicely in Chris’ living room. The exotic nature of the antique Chinese screen fits with their home décor and also with their romantic history. Chris met her husband while stationed in the South Pacific during a Peace Corps stint! Not surprisingly, the couple has an interesting and varied collection of South Pacific handicrafts in their home.

The screen is typical of antique Chinese furniture from the Late Qing Dynasty era. During that time, the growing merchant class had more money to purchase fine furniture for their home. They liked ornately hand-carved decorative pieces to show off their status and wealth. They also enjoyed the rich symbolism of the carvings, offering wishes of good fortune. These pieces were handed down the generations, continuing the tradition of good luck!

Late Qing Dynasty furniture is often called The People’s Furniture and the beautiful craftsmanship still appeals to people all over the world… including customers right in our own backyard!

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 you can sign up here to receive this blog in your inbox.

Things We Love: Elsie’s Oyster Stew Recipe & Uncle Dick’s Bloody Mary

Thanksgiving dinner with Elsie's Oyster Stew Recipe for breakfastI love spending time with family during the holidays. This Thanksgiving, Greg and I look forward to traveling to Maryland to visit my family. We’re looking forward to it so much, I want to share my grandmother’s Oyster Stew recipe with you and my uncle’s wonderful Bloody Mary!

My grandmother, Elsie, lives in Westminster and I’ve always loved going to her house. As a child, it seemed like it took forever to get to Grandma’s house on the long drive from Florida. But Grandma was always waiting for us with open arms and some home-made delicious treat. She always let me lick the beater – even if it was a cherry pie filling that got all over my white jumper.

Grandma is famous for her Oyster Stew recipeAimee and Grandma

As I child, I didn’t realize how hilarious my grandmother is. She is quite the family clown and especially loves to tell stories. Even though we’ve all heard the stories many, many times, I still love to hear them again. At 87 years young, she’ll still climb up and hang from the tree branches with her grandchildren or strike a pose with a Rasta hat. (She claims she didn’t know I put that hat on her head – not true!)

GrandmaRastaGrandma

Oysters and Bloody MaryMy Uncle Dick and Aunt Leigh host the big Thanksgiving meal and they surely know how to put on a gourmet feast for a crowd. The table is spread with all of the traditional favorites. Of course, my favorite part of the meal is when they serve the oysters! My Uncle Dick actually raises oysters in the Chesapeake Bay and lovingly tends to them all year long. We feel so blessed that he shares his bounty with us! Oysters on the half shell are served as appetizers with Uncle Dick’s Famous Bloody Mary cocktails. I am a huge Bloody Mary fan, so I will share this fantastic family recipe with you.

 

Uncle Dick’s Bloody Mary recipe

2 cups Clamato juice
1/2 cup vodka
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp lime juice
1/2 tsp hot sauce
1/4 tsp garlic salt
1/2 tsp celery salt
1/2 tsp Old Bay Seasoning

If you want a spicier drink, add more hot sauce or Old Bay Seasoning. (I do both.) Serve over ice.

Grandma after frying the oystersUncle Dick actually puts the oysters on the grill for a few minutes, which makes shucking easier. Grandma is in charge of making fried oysters – also a family tradition that I love. After the big meal, we all sit around digesting, watching football games, and catching up with the latest family news. I snapped this photo of my dad and grandma kicking back – she still has on her chef’s coat from frying the oysters!

Uncle Dick always brings enough oysters to make Elsie’s Oyster Stew recipe for breakfast the next morning. If you’ve never had it, you might think it sounds gross. (Greg won’t even try it!) But if you like oysters, it is heavenly.

Elsie’s Oyster Stew Recipe

Stick of butter
1/2 pint of shucked oysters
Milk, enough for everyone to have a bowl
Salt & pepper to taste
Old Bay Seasoning

Bring the milk, butter, and spices to just below boil. (Don’t boil it or the milk will scald.) Take it off the heat and add oysters and juice. Let the stew sit for a few minutes until the oysters curl up on the edges.

Aimee&Grandma2013I always look forward to spending time with my family, and especially my grandmother, as you can see from this photo taken this year.

Do you have fond memories of your grandparents? Tell us about them in the comments area below, or share some of your favorite family recipes!

 

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 you can sign up here to receive this blog in your inbox.