Monthly Archives: February 2014

Best of February 2014: Antique and Chic Home Accents

In our February blog posts we took a peek inside some of our clients’ homes and explored antique furniture and chic home accents. This shortest month of the year has just zoomed by, but we’ve made the most of every day. We hope you have too! Let’s revisit some of our favorite February posts.

Upcycled home accent - a vintage spoon chandelierWe started the month enjoying tea in our client Barbara’s kitchen. Well, we didn’t literally go to visit her in Cambridge, MA, but when we saw the photos of her kitchen we certainly wanted to! Barbara has this beautiful teacup and spoon chandelier hanging over her Farmhouse style sink. The chandelier is just one of many hand-made upcycled light fixtures in our gallery, and they all make unique home accents. This one is crafted by an artisan using vintage silver plate spoons. It blends perfectly with the other classic elements in Barbara’s decor. You can see more photos of her lovely kitchen in our client spotlight on the vintage spoon chandelier.

antique renaissance styleFrom the kitchen to the dining room! Our client Tracy bought this oak Renaissance buffet dating to 1900 from us and shared how it looks in his home. The finely carved buffet looks wonderful against his sophisticated dark green walls. That post also gave me the chance to tell you more about the background and typical features of classic Renaissance style. See more photos and learn about antique Renaissance style furniture.

Our first European buying trip for antiques and home accents.Greg and I celebrate 10 years of EuroLux Antiques in 2014. Here I am scouting for antique furniture and home accents on our first European buying trip. We had just quit our corporate jobs and put our life savings into following our dream. We believed that regular folks like us would love hand-selected, high-quality European antique furniture as much as we did. We also had faith that they would buy it online, especially as we could offer very competitive prices compared to fancy big city galleries. We had no idea of what was ahead of us! It has been an amazing journey and you can read about our first steps in my post on 10 Years of European Antique Furniture.

Woodbridge coffee table - a classic home accentWhile most of our furniture and home accents are antique, we also choose some finely crafted, high-quality reproduction pieces to offer to our customers. This stunning Woodbridge coffee table from the Madeleine collection is a great example. The antiqued gold leaf finish and glass top looks perfect in our client Mary’s chic living room. See more of Mary’s sunny California home in our Woodbridge coffee table post.

 

Celebrity antiques: Clooney dining roomJust in time for the Oscars – are you ready for your close-up, Mr. Clooney? In our blog post on celebrity antiques lovers, we had fun talking about the Academy Awards stars who love antique furnishings in their decor just as much as the rest of us. We found that George Clooney, Sandra Bullock, and Ellen DeGeneres have more in common than just great talent. Clooney, for example, seems keen on antique Mission style lighting, as he has decorated the dining rooms in two of his homes with them.

I’ll be back in March to talk more about antique furniture and home accents. Till then, I’m stocking up on popcorn for Oscar night!

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.

Celebrity Antiques Lovers at the Oscars

With the Academy Awards coming up on March 2, I was curious to see which celebrity antiques lovers would be on the red carpet at this year’s Oscars. It turns out that quite a few famous names go hunting for antiques. That includes the stars of the movie Gravity, which is up for best picture award at the 2014 Oscars, as well as other honors.

Sandra Bullock, a best actress nominee for her role in Gravity, has been spotted shopping in antiques shops in Texas and California. (We haven’t seen her in our Newberry, South Carolina store yet – check out our EuroLuxAntiques.com website, Sandra!)

Celebrity antiques: Clooney dining roomHer co-star George Clooney, mixes antique furniture in with his very tasteful decor, including vintage chairs and lighting. He seems to have a taste for Mission style chandeliers. You can see a rather fine one just over his shoulder in the dining room of his Los Angeles home, above what looks like a Renaissance style table and chairs. (Get the full house tour in the CBS News Person-to-Person with George Clooney.)  We have a very similar large Mission style vintage chandelier in the gallery.

Celebrity antiques: George Clooney antique chandelierClooney’s Baja peninsula Mexican villa also has an antique wrought iron chandelier over the otherwise modern dining room table, as featured in Architectural Digest.
Among many reasons to admire George Clooney, I like that he adopted his dog Einstein from a shelter. (A portion of all our sales benefits the PETS Inc. no-kill animal shelter, so it’s great to see a movie star helping homeless pets too.) Clooney got the cocker spaniel to love him at first sight (or first sniff) by rubbing meatballs on his shoes. Way to a dog’s heart, huh?

Ellen degeneres homeEllen DeGeneres hosts this year’s Oscars, and this celebrity antiques collector is fond of mid-20th-century antique French furniture, according to an Elle Decor article and slideshow. Her Santa Monica ranch is scattered with antiques like these 19th-century Windsor chairs. The Jonathan Charles Windsor chair that we stock in gray would also look at home in Ellen’s Country decor.

Other celebrity antiques lovers at the 2014 Oscars include Sandra Bullock’s fellow best actress nominee Meryl Streep (August: Osage County). Ms. Streep is apparently a frequent buyer of fine European antiques. She’s welcome to drop in at our gallery too, although I’d probably be speechless if she did. Only one of those ladies can win an Oscar on Sunday, or maybe one of the other actresses will scoop them both, but at least they have a passion for antiques in common!

While talking Hollywood, we are proud to count a five-time Emmy Award winner amongst our customers. You can read about him in our client spotlight on his French antique chairs.

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: Renaissance Buffet & Antique Renaissance Style

I just came across these photos from a client who bought an antique Renaissance style buffet. As it is the 10th anniversary of EuroLux Antiques this year, I’ve been digging through quite a lot of old files, and I realized I’ve never shared these photos with you.

Tracy R. from Oxford, Alabama, bought this antique Renaissance style buffet some years ago. He came to pick up the oak buffet from us in the gallery, then he kindly sent these photos.

antique renaissance style

The antique Renaissance style buffet dating to 1900 looks wonderful in Tracy’s dining room. It looks so elegant against his dark green walls with the oval table and handsome dining chairs. Two glass candle holders on the table add an authentic finishing touch. The buffet or server is typical of antique Renaissance style furniture, featuring beautiful carvings on the doors and on the posts that support the upper part of the hutch.

Antique Renaissance style buffet

This second photo zooms out a little so you can see how the arm chair is upholstered in the same striped fabric as the dining chairs. That upholstery stripe is charming – classic but adding a great pop of color!

We carry a lot of antique Renaissance style furniture in the gallery, as well as some finely crafted reproductions. Typical pieces include buffets, chairs, tables, and chandeliers – so the style is especially popular for dining rooms. It creates a rather stately atmosphere for a dinner party! The Renaissance Revival style flourished in Europe from the 1830s to the end of the 19th century. At this time, furniture makers and craftsmen drew on classic Renaissance style that originated in Florence, Italy, in the 15th century.

antique Renaissance style buffet or server

They reinterpreted the style with their own creativity, but still the furniture showed the trademark antique Renaissance style details. The heavily-carved furniture tended towards large proportions and ornate carvings of classical motifs. Designs included scrollwork, arabesques, garlands of flowers and fruit, pediments, and columns. References to Greek and Roman mythology might include faces and cherubs.

This large antique Renaissance style buffet currently in our gallery is a fine example. Crafted in France in around 1900 in highly grained oak, the carved buffet is adorned with diamond medallions and foliage on the lower doors. The upper cabinet doors are carved with fabric swags and florals. At nearly nine feet high and six feet wide, the antique Renaissance Henry II buffet hutch is topped by a decorative crown. It offers plenty of serving and storage space and also has a full-length plate rack and two drawers for silverware. Pretty splendid, huh?

You can see more about this style, including photos of clients’ homes, in my other blog posts about antique Renaissance style furniture and decor. Or just browse the posts on antique Renaissance buffets. 

 

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: Our Customers and 10 Years of European Antique Furniture

Love is in the air in the month of February and it reminds me of how much we love and appreciate our customers who trust us to provide them with fine European antique furniture and home décor accents. Greg and I are celebrating the 10th anniversary of our EuroLux Antiques business this year. Time sure flies when you’re having the time of your life! However, we truly understand that we wouldn’t be celebrating this momentous occasion without the patronage and support of you – all of the many wonderful customers we’ve been lucky enough to meet over the past decade!

Newspaper article just after we launched our European antique furniture business

Article in our hometown newspaper The Newberry Observer just after we launched.

Ten years ago, in January 2004, we jumped out of the corporate world and decided to launch this crazy business venture. We were passionate about European antique furniture so we quit our jobs. Greg was Controller/MIS Director of a manufacturing plant and I was a Global Marketing Manager at another manufacturer.

We were willing to gamble our life’s savings on the idea that regular folks would love hand-selected, high-quality European antique furniture as much as we did, and would be willing to buy it online. My dad thought we were definitely nuts. But we felt down deep in our toes that if we didn’t try, we’d always wonder what might have been. And so we jumped off the cliff into the free fall of entrepreneurship.

Our first European antique furniture buying trip

Aimee at a market on our first European buying trip.

It took us nearly six months to get all our ducks in a row. We had to incorporate, get insurance, find and renovate a space, get a marketing plan in place, and then we flew overseas to hunt out the best European antique furniture for our inventory.

Owning your own business isn’t glamorous, as any small business owner knows. Folks that don’t work for themselves think you can set your own hours and just take off whenever you want. I always say you do have the freedom to choose which 12 – 14 hours a day you work! But I didn’t have to put on stockings, high heels, and a suit every day, and I was thankful for that, although I didn’t realize how much heavy furniture lifting would be in my future.

We sold our house in order to raise capital for the business and moved in with my in-laws, which we thought would only be for six months or so. It turned out to be nearly three years. I am so grateful to John and Kathy for keeping a roof over our heads while we passionately pursued our dream. EuroLux Antiques would not have been possible without their emotional and financial investment. Right as we were launching the business, they were retiring, so we convinced them to come work with us too. This small family business venture has truly been a labor of love!

European antique furniture - armoire

One of the first armoires that nearly made us pull our hair out in frustration trying to figure out how to build it!

Our first container of the European antique furniture we’d bought arrived in July and we were so excited. That excitement soon turned to utter frustration as we learned that all of the pieces of furniture came apart in what seemed like about a million pieces. Luckily they were all numbered as to which piece of furniture they belonged to, so we made piles of pieces and then tried to put them together. We look back and laugh now, but we had no idea how to reconstruct some of those French armoires! It seemed that no two went together in the same way. Greg and I remember staying up until the wee hours of the night wrestling with that furniture. After ten years, we probably haven’t seen it all, but we sure don’t get stumped much anymore.

Before we went online with our European antique furniture store, we started doing the antique trade show circuit during the summer of 2004. The Metrolina antique and collectibles show in Charlotte, North Carolina, and Scott’s antique market in Atlanta, Georgia, were our first shows. I’ll share stories with you from our early shows next month.

At the launch of our European antique furniture business

This photo of us appeared in that first Newberry Observer article

But in the meantime, I just want to thank each and every one of you who has helped make this “American Dream” possible. We have worked so hard and put our hearts, souls, blood, and tears into building this business. But we have always known that we couldn’t do it without you. I always try to sign each email with “Thank you for your patronage – we appreciate you!” Those aren’t just words here at EuroLux Antiques – we mean it!

We are still passionate about European antique furniture, even though we’ve expanded into Asian antique furniture and high-quality reproductions and home décor accents too. And truly, madly, deeply – we love our customers!

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.

We Love Our Customers: 15% Off EuroLux Antiques

That’s right – 15% off everything! We love our customers so much that we’re sharing the Valentine’s Day love with a customer appreciation sale. But you have plenty of time to spend with your sweetheart and shop for a sweet deal. You can get our special Valentine discount now through Monday February 24, 2014.

Get 15% off everything at EuroLuxAntiques.com (as well as our always-free shipping) when you enter the coupon code at checkout: WeLoveYou!

That’s 15% off your entire order, on everything from fine antique furniture and reproductions to home decor accents. Consider it our Valentine’s gift to you. Need inspiration? These ideas will surely seduce you into treating yourself, your honey, or your home!

Antique 1920 Louis XVI ChairsThis set of 6 French antique Louis XVI style dining chairs dating to 1920 looks so romantic with pink striped upholstery. Velvety ribbons and floral damask on the delightfully carved solid oak chairs make them perfect for a traditional home… and a modern romance!

Or maybe you want to light up someone’s eyes with a fabulous antique chandelier or a beautifully crafted new Dale Tiffany lamp? The 15% off code is valid on all our fine antique and new lighting.

 

Vintage chandelier glass
For example, this vintage French chandelier will make your heart beat faster if you love the glamour of Rococo style. Dating to 1950, the 12-arm chandelier is crafted of rich gold-tone metal. Electric candles sparkle against cut glass cups and chunky glass pendants. This very affordable chandelier offers tons of luxury for the price, and it’s a big beauty at 28″ high.
Antique BuffetDetailed carvings of florals, feathers and fans give this antique 1900 French walnut buffet a wonderfully elegant decorative effect. The nine-pane lead glass central door creates the perfect spot to display your fine China or collectibles too, and the plate rack could also be used to hold antique books.
Art Deco Madonna
For a smaller piece, we love this very nice Art Deco Madonna and Christ Child statue dating to 1930. The Madonna stands more than a foot tall, with beautiful blue and white coloring on her robes. Our price is only $117 before the 15% off discount for this stunning Madonna. It would make a lovely gift for your wife for a wedding anniversary gift, or for mom (everyone’s other sweetheart) on Mother’s Day.
Or browse our selection of other antique religious treasures.

 

Perhaps you’ll fall in love with a new piece from Jonathan Charles Fine Furniture or the Ambella Home Collection. We carry their high-quality reproduction furniture as the craftsmanship, finish, and fabulous designs meet our high standards. Now you get 15% off our already low prices!

Ambella Home sink chestThe stately styling on this Ambella Home Ball & Claw sink chest is a great match for our antiques-loving customers. Gold highlights glow against the lavish carvings in rich mahogany. It’s all finished off with a black granite top and porcelain sink.
For more inspiration, browse our complete inventory.
Then take 15% off everything in your shopping basket when you enter the coupon code: WeLoveYou!
The offer is valid until February 24, 2014. Happy Valentine’s Day and 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.

Client Spotlight: Woodbridge Coffee Table

We were delighted that our client Mary G. in Point Arena, CA, sent photos of the new Woodbridge coffee table she bought from us. The chic table looks fantastic in her lovely sunny living room and we were thrilled that she added: “Thank you for your help. The table is beautiful!”

Woodbridge Coffee Table glassThis is the new Woodbridge coffee table Mary chose from the Madeleine collection. Although we are best known for our antique furniture, Greg and I also carry some new furniture in the gallery. We select finely crafted, high-quality reproduction pieces, which is why we are proud to feature Woodbridge Furniture Company designs. This classic Woodbridge coffee table has a sturdy forged steel frame with a gorgeous antiqued gold leaf finish. (The table is also available with a silver leaf finish.) The square beveled glass top adds to the refined glamour.

Woodbridge coffee table in living roomThe Woodbridge coffee table looks just perfect in Mary’s elegant living room. I love how the  California sunshine streams into the room through those large windows. A bulky coffee table in the middle of the room would interrupt that beautiful flow of light, but the glass coffee table with its sleek frame enhances the bright and airy mood.  Woodbridge Coffee table in living room

This close-up shows more detail of the gilded frame and its graceful silhouette which pairs so nicely with Mary’s smart armchairs. A pretty posy of flowers and a couple of white candles are all you need! Of course, the coffee table can be used as a cocktail table too. Although Mary has kept the lower shelf clear, you could display small collectibles on that shelf or tuck your glossy magazines on it. Notice how the light reflects off the thick beveled edge of the Woodbridge coffee table – lovely! You probably can’t see the detail of the antiqued patina on the gold leaf finish, but the rich tone is a great accent to the room.

Woodbridge coffee table Madeleine

Looking back to the dining area and kitchen, you get the full and fabulous effect. I like the way Mary has cleverly combined stripes, solids, and houndstooth checks on the chairs’ upholstery. It’s so sophisticated against the deliciously patterned carpet. In our online gallery description of the Woodbridge Madeleine table, we wrote: “It’s the Katharine Hepburn of tables!” There is something about Mary’s whole space that reminds me of Hepburn’s refined and gracious style – so we think we found the perfect customer for the table!

Thanks Mary for giving us a glimpse into your living room with the Woodbridge coffee table.  You’ve got a great designer’s eye!

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.

Romantic Napkin Folding Ideas

I’ve been sleuthing out some romantic napkin folding ideas just in time for Valentine’s Day. A napkin folded into a pretty shape is such a lovely idea for your intimate Valentine’s dinner for two. Not only does it add a romantic touch to the table, but the love and thought you put into wrangling I mean crafting the napkin is a surprise gift for your sweetheart. In fact, these napkin folding designs would be charming on any romantic occasion – a special date, a bridal shower, a wedding, or a wedding anniversary.

Rose Napkin FoldingThis sweet rose folded napkin is made even prettier with a blossom decorating the center. The napkin folding idea is from Bumblebee Linens which sells cotton and linen napkins and some delightful vintage style aprons and handkerchiefs too. You can see the full instructions for the rose napkin on their website. They say the fancy design is easier to do than it looks!

 

This gorgeous heart fold is by Luigi Spotorno, the author of the book Luigi’s Language of Napkin Folding.  I guess we can all see the message in this heart-shaped napkin and he shows you how to do the heart fold in the video. If you’d rather, Luigi also has a diagram of how to do the heart fold on his website.

The intricate water lily or lotus napkin fold will really impress your darling. It would also make a great centerpiece for the table any time you are entertaining. The video instructions on how to do it are by Luigi Spotorno again, who describes himself a Maestro of the art of napkin folding. In the video, he gives several variations of flowers you can make on your way to building his final lotus napkin. He makes it look so easy too!

Swan napkin foldingSwans mate for life and it’s hard to find a more beautiful bird to symbolize pure romance. This pair of swans is actually folded from paper napkins as you can see from the Origamisan swan napkin folding instructions.  It might be tricky to do with bulkier linen napkins, but using paper napkins means that you can keep the swans after the romantic meal! (Just have another napkin ready to roll out when dinner is served.)

I haven’t tried any of the napkin folding ideas yet. I hope I’m not all thumbs. In case any of my napkins flop and look more like rabbits than swans, I want to remind my husband Greg to remember what I said earlier about the love and thought put into it. :-)

And to show us just what is possible with napkin folding, this amazing Renaissance-style sculpture was completely crafted in linen napkins by virtuoso folder Joan Sallas.

Linen Folding ExhibitionThe Spanish napkin-folding genius showed the 5-foot-high display of a fountain with a lion and griffin at his exhibition in Vienna. Wow. Make a gesture like that for your Valentine’s Day dinner and your sweetheart truly will swoon!

If you enjoyed reading this, you might also get some inspiration from my post on romantic bedroom decor!

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: Teacup and Spoon Chandelier

Barbara E. in Cambridge, MA, sent us some wonderful photos of her kitchen with the charming teacup and spoon chandelier that she ordered from us. Barbara said: “I love the chandelier and get many, many compliments on it.” Let’s take a look and see why the custom-made spoon chandelier is so popular in Barbara’s kitchen!

Teacup and spoon chandelierThis is the silver spoon chandelier that we offer in the gallery. It is hand-crafted for us by an artisan who uses vintage silver plate spoons for his amazing creation. The spoons are bent into handles – so in fact you can hang any collectibles you want from it. Teacups look exceptionally pretty. Because each spoon chandelier is made-to-order, no two are exactly alike. And if you wish, you can also customize it, which is exactly what Barbara did!

Upcycled spoon chandelier Here is the teacup and spoon chandelier hanging in Barbara’s kitchen. Barbara ordered the chandelier to be modified so it only has one tier of spoons rather than two.The unusual design creates a nice cozy vintage mood, and I bet it’s a conversation-starter when guests visit.

Kitchen with spoon chandelier

This bigger view shows how the teacup and spoon chandelier works so beautifully in Barbara’s kitchen. Someone with a less keen eye than Barbara might worry that the old-fashioned style of the spoon chandelier would clash with the more modern light fixtures. But in fact it all lives very happily together, perhaps because the silver plate spoons blend nicely with the other silver-tone lights. Barbara is obviously one of our many design-wise customers who are confident enough to mix eclectic decor elements and create their own unique style – a smashing success in my book!

vintage spoon chandelier in the kitchen

It all looks just as gorgeous in the daytime. What an inviting space, opening out into the living area. I love the marble top counter and especially the vintage feel of the farmhouse sink and open shelves stacked with bowls. I hope that the teacup and spoon chandelier gives Barbara a smile as she works over the sink. It certainly inspires the cheerful feeling that any time is tea time!

A Spoondelier!High style upcycled chandelier crafted with 360 vintage silverplate spoons. EuroLuxAntiques.comThe custom-made chandelier is part of the whole upcycling trend where artisans take vintage objects and refashion them into something new and beautiful. We have many different upcycled light fixtures in the gallery for you to browse.  I’ve also posted before on this blog about upcycled decor – like this client spotlight on an upcycled chandelier we provided to a restaurant, created out of a whole vintage tea service.

We’re fans of upcycling because it combines craftsmanship and originality and gives new life to objects that might otherwise be discarded. It also creates a sense of authenticity in home decor. So thanks Barbara for sharing your photos of how you display your teacup and spoon chandelier in your lovely kitchen. I know we all want to come round for a cup of tea later!

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.