Monthly Archives: August 2015

Client Spotlight: Antique Chinese Opera Bench

We loved seeing a photo of our antique Chinese opera bench in our customer Suzan’s hallway! This unusual and attractive piece of antique furniture makes a stunning style statement and the clean lines look at home in any style of decor.

Antique Chinese Opera Bench Carved

This is the exceptional antique Chinese opera bench, carved in elm and dating to 1900. It was crafted in the Shanxi Province of China and it would originally have been used for a family to sit together during a theatrical or musical performance in an opera house. The Shanxi Province was renowned for plays and musical entertainment and this style of carved bench was popular in this region.

Antique Chinese opera benchHere is the antique Chinese opera bench in its new home: the hallway of our customer Suzan G. in Santa Barbara, CA. It’s an inch under 6 feet long and it fits the space beautifully. Doesn’t it look great beneath that lovely image on the wall? The hand-carved scrolls on the substantial cabriole bench leg create a charming decorative effect. Suzan told us she was very pleased with the bench.

Antique Chinese Opera Bench carved detail

The Late Qing Dynasty Chinese opera bench also boasts subtle hand-carved organic motif details on the back. This close-up photo shows the delicate carving. It looks like a real labor of love to me!

Antique Chinese Opera Bench side

An antique opera bench is perfect for a hallway or living room, or anywhere you want additional seating and a stunning focal point. From the side you can see the sweeping curve of the bench back.

Thanks to Suzan for sending us the picture of the antique Chinese opera bench in her house – we hope that all your guests enjoy admiring it as much as we do!

AimeeAvatarAimee owns EuroLuxHome.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. Find us on Facebook or connect with EuroLux on Google+. Or you can sign up here to receive this blog in your inbox.

Sea Shell Decor and Furniture

I loved writing my recent blog posts about beach style decor. As we’re now in the last days of summer I want to finish off the beach theme with a post about shell decor. Shells in furniture and lighting are such a unique natural material and they create a distinctive look that is full of light.  I hope that all you beachcombers enjoy scouring the ideas in this blog post, even if you live many miles inland!

Shell collections always look gorgeous displayed in glass jars, as you can see in this Los Angeles beach style bedroom. Shell adds a nautical atmosphere which is a great match for a seaside condo or coastal cottage. Shell also tends to reflect light and one big shell as a centerpiece on a dining table looks pretty by candlelight.

Shell sconceAnyone can enjoy shell decor and furnishings even if you live far from the ocean. For example, this tropical shell sconce light in our online store adds a touch of color and whimsy to a living room, bedroom or hallway. The shell sconce would look pretty in a bathroom too… for all you mermaids!

Currey Shell SideboardImagine teaming a pair of orange shell sconces with this fantastic Currey & Company natural shell sideboard. The intricate detail of the shell-encrusted cabinet is amazing. It’s perfect for your Mediterranean grotto bathroom!

Oyster Shell ChandelierMoving on to the dining room, can you picture this oyster shell chandelier hanging over your dining table? The Aiden Gray chandelier featuring genuine oyster shells is crafted with rustic rope details. Whether you like eating oysters or not, you can enjoy their famous aphrodisiac benefits. The eight electric candles create a truly romantic and unusual glow in your home!

Dale Tiffany Nautilus Shell LampAlthough this exquisite Dale Tiffany lamp is not actually made of shell, I have to mention it because it is hand-made in glass and styled with the sleek lines of a nautilus shell. The new Dale Tiffany Nautilus table lamp is crafted using traditional Tiffany glass techniques and each piece of hand-rolled art glass is hand cut, pieced and soldered by a glass artist. The sleek lines and opulent color ensure that the Tiffany table lamp will be a focal point for your room.
Orange shell throw pillow

Finally, If you’re really going shell crazy, add a throw pillow! This French textile and USA finished shell throw pillow is boldly and beautifully designed with orange coral and large white shells.

The detail is lovely and at a plumply generous 19 inches wide, the square throw pillow makes a gorgeous impact as a finishing touch to your decor.

I hope that I’ve provided a little inspiration to help you come out of your shell… (Groan!) Summer doesn’t have to go away just because the nights are getting shorter. I love the cheerful look of shell decor, as well as the natural beauty. Do you collect sea shells? Tell us about it in the comments!

AimeeAvatarAimee owns EuroLuxHome.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. Find us on Facebook or connect with EuroLux on Google+. Or you can sign up here to receive this blog in your inbox.

 

Stay at Beautiful Historic Leeds Castle

Leeds Castle in England has been called “The Loveliest Castle in the World” and it’s easy to see why! The castle is the perfect day trip from London. But if you want to stay for longer, visitors can not just tour the amazing castle and grounds, you can stay there too!
Leeds Castle EnglandLeeds Castle is in the English county of Kent, which is known as ‘the garden of England.’ The castle is nearly a thousand years old and it’s set in the middle of a fabulous moat, just like the stuff of legends.

Leeds Castle EnglandThe first stone fortification was built on this site in the 1100s and when Eleanor of Castile bought it in 1278 the castle came into royal hands. Over the centuries, it has been associated with a total of six queens of England. In the 1500s, King Henry VIII had a big makeover done on the castle to make it a truly resplendent royal palace for him and his first wife, Catherine of Aragon.

Leeds Castle Banqueting Hall

This is the banqueting hall and you can just make out a portrait of King Henry VIII over the fireplace. Henry didn’t travel lightly… when he visited Leeds Castle in 1520 he took a crowd of 5,000 courtiers and retinue with him! The king was on his way to France for the famous ‘Field of the Cloth of Gold’ meeting with King Francis I.

Leeds Castle Drawing Room

Leeds Castle is full of original European antiques and exquisite architectural details. This is a wood-paneled drawing room.

Leeds Castle

What a lovely library! Look at the row of large porcelain vases lined up above the bookshelves as well as the urns on the mantelpiece over the fire. The old books look so handsome but I wouldn’t want to have to dust this room!

Leeds Castle Maidens Tower Bed and BreakfastIf you plan to stay at Leeds Castle you have various choices including B&B, holiday cottages, and glamping. This is one of the bed and breakfast rooms in the 16th century Maiden’s Tower, decorated in period style with modern touches. Breakfast is served in a 17th Century oak-beamed restaurant.

Leeds Castle Knights Glamping Fantasy Camping

Or you can try glamping (glamorous camping) in one of the Medieval style Knight’s Glamping striped pavilions in the castle vineyard. The pavilion tents are so posh that they sport four poster beds with cotton linens and you can keep warm on a chilly night with a wood stove.

Leeds Castle is about an hour from London and there’s a lot to do on the 500 acres of formal gardens and parklands. Try punting on the moat, watch a falconry display, or explore the maze formed by 2,400 yew trees.

Check out my posts on other English Castle Hotels and French Castle Hotels for more unique and historic European vacation ideas. Send us a postcard if you go!

AimeeAvatarAimee owns EuroLuxHome.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. Find us on Facebook or connect with EuroLux on Google+. Or you can sign up here to receive this blog in your inbox.

Client Spotlight: Retrofit Sink Chest

We love it when our customers get creative with pieces they buy from us. This chest of drawers retrofit into a sink chest is a great example.

Antique French Style Chest of DrawersOur customer Edwin Miller of Edwin Miller Interiors found this new French style chest among our selection of new and antique chests of drawers and thought it would make an excellent sink chest!

The antique-inspired chest of drawers (item number BG-265) is crafted with a solid wood construction and toned brass French hardware. The curvy carved apron front and cabriole legs add to the French style charm and the gorgeous distressed finish gives the chest of drawers an authentic antique look.

Edwin had the three-drawer chest converted to a sink chest and it does look fantastic in his client’s guest bathroom!

Retrofit Sink Chest French style

The vessel sink is a perfect match for the chest of drawers and you can really see the quality of the wood finish in this photo.  Edwin Miller’s website notes that he is known for his high quality “finish selections, attention to detail and expression of client individuality, emphasizing refined sophistication.” We can see from this lovely retrofitted sink chest that he’s done it again!

If you don’t feel like converting a chest of drawers into a sink chest yourself, you might want to check out some of our beautifully crafted antique-inspired sink chests.

Ambella Home Sink Chest AugustineFor example, this Ambella Home Augustine sink chest features detailed rope carving, a white porcelain sink and a beautiful Emperador marble top.  The three-drawer petite sink chest has a rich mahogany finish.

We work with quite a few people who are building houses and the Ambella Home sink chests are always a big hit.

We can order sink chests of all sizes for our customers, from large double sinks to petite sink chests to tuck into a powder room.

Ambella Home Sink Chest Mini This mini Ambella Home sink chest may be small – a slim 23.5 inches wide, to be exact – but what it lacks in size it makes up for in looks! The antique-inspired sink chest has a mahogany frame and an Imperial Beige marble top. Swirl mahogany veneers add to the decorative effect of the very pretty sink chest. I’d team it with a pair of sconces on the wall on either side of the sink for an elegant glow.

Thanks to interior designer Edwin Miller for sending us the photo of retrofitted sink chest – we hope his clients enjoy using it for many years!

AimeeAvatarAimee owns EuroLuxHome.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. Find us on Facebook or connect with EuroLux on Google+. Or you can sign up here to receive this blog in your inbox.

Best of Summer 2015: Coastal Style, Collections & Corner Furniture

This has been a busy summer and we’ve covered a lot of ground in our antiques and home decor blog, including coastal style, corner furniture, client spotlights, and how to display collections. Let’s not forget our new cat porch! Here are the highlights of our favorite blog posts from June and July.

My series on how to display a collection showed some lovely examples of creative ways to display ceramics and jewelry, as well as the more unusual collections of vintage model trains and classic cameras.

Upcycled chandelier spoondelier 4 tiers

We were delighted to hear in July that the upcycled chandeliers that we stock were being featured on the Trashformers TV show on FYI Networks.

You can read about the Trashformers show and the upcycled chandeliers here and see some clips of the episodes too.

The chandeliers (or spoonderliers!) are custom-made by an artisan from vintage silver-plated spoons. The TV show picked them to feature as a good example of innovative upcycled design.

 

Woodbridge Neo Classic Corner TableOur most recent client spotlights both took a peek inside our customers’ homes to show how they’d used the antique-inspired tables they bought from us. We always love seeing our customers’ decor and we’re grateful that they share their photos with us… what a treat!  Bob in California ordered this Neo-Classic Woodbridge corner table from us and the photo of it in his living room inspired my post on corner furniture. These beautiful pieces make crafty use of every inch of space.

As it is high summer and the cool ocean breezes beckon, it felt like the perfect time to look at some inspiring  Beach Style Decor and Beach Style Textures and Home Accessories.

Whether you live by the water or just wish you did, you’ll find some wonderful ideas in that post about how to create your own coastal retreat!

Fozzy cat on the cat porchFinally, we are enjoying our new cat porch so much, we wonder how we ever did without it. Oh, the cats are pretty keen on it too. Here’s Fozzy looking down from on high, but the cat porch also includes perches and platforms for all our six cats, plus a fireman’s pole scratch post. Basically it’s Disney World for cats.

Our post on building a cat porch in our vintage bungalow shows how we did it with lots more photos too.

I look forward to sharing more about antiques and decor with you as we head into August. Let us know in the comments if there is a subject you would us to talk about or come visit us on our Facebook page. For now, happy August!

AimeeAvatarAimee owns EuroLuxHome.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. Find us on Facebook or connect with EuroLux on Google+. Or you can sign up here to receive this blog in your inbox.

Bookshelf: The Nautical Home

I’ve blogged recently about Beach Style Decor and Beach Style Textures and Home Accessories so I thought it might be fun to see what new books have been published this summer to add to the nautical decor inspirations!

The Nautical Home

The-Nautical-HomeThat’s the perfect title, although the subtitle might be even better: Coastline-Inspired Ideas to Decorate with Seaside Spirit.

The book is written by Anna Örnberg, the author of many interior decorating books and a keen flea market shopper. Readers who own a coastal home will obviously be interested, but the book is also intended for those who live in a city or a land-locked town, while dreaming of the salt air and laid-back lifestyle of the beach. Anna writes about color schemes, materials, and the finishing touches to capture a life on the ocean wave!

My Cool Houseboat: An Inspirational Guide to Stylish Houseboats

Cool Houseboat decorIf you are lucky enough to own a houseboat so you literally live or vacation on the water, here’s the newly-published book for you!

As well as giving tips on how to live stylishly and practically in a small space on a boat, the book offers a tour of houseboats on waterways from as far afield as California, New York City, London, Paris, Amsterdam, and Berlin.  The author Jane Field-Lewis is a film and photography stylist who has also written books about cool caravans and sheds. I wonder what compact outdoor spaces she’ll write about next?

Beach House Happy: The Joy of Living By the Water

Beach House Happy decorBeach House Happy is written by Antonia van der Meer, the editor in chief of Coastal Living magazine, so she should know what she’s talking about! Antonia sails us around the world to look at the homes of people who are happy to live by the water and who know how to decorate their coastal nests to make every day feel like a vacation. This coffee table book offers 224 pages of sunny inspiration from Florida, Georgia, Cape Cod, California, Mexico, South Africa and many other coastal gems.

Now I think I’m ready for a piña colada and a hammock!

AimeeAvatarAimee owns EuroLuxHome.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. Find us on Facebook or connect with EuroLux on Google+. Or you can sign up here to receive this blog in your inbox.

The Fleur-de-Lis in Home Decor

Many of the French antiques and antique-inspired home accessories that pass through our hands at EuroLuxHome.com feature the fleur-de-lis motif. The fleur-de-lis is one of the most enduring symbols in furniture and home decor and it has appeared in art, architecture, and heraldic designs for many centuries. Here’s some background on the fleur-de-lis and some ideas on how to incorporate this elegant symbol into your own decor around the house.

In French, ‘fleur’ means flower and ‘lis’ means lily, so a fleur-de-lis is a stylized lily. The one on this iron gate in New Orleans is a perfect example. It’s also sometimes spelled as fleur-de-lys.

Red Handwoven Pillow Fleur de LisAlthough the fleur-de-lis has cropped up in architecture, arts, flags and heraldry all over Europe, it is especially linked to France and to the French monarchy.

It has appeared on French flags and coats of arms for around a thousand years, and later it adorned French postage stamps too. The king of Spain and the Grand Duke of Luxembourg also display the motif in their coats of arms.

This new handwoven Aubusson throw pillow (one of our selection of fleur-de-lis pillows) shows how regal the motif looks, especially in rich colors like gold and red. It’s perfect for Renaissance style decor! The fleur-de-lis also works beautifully with French Country style.

Antique French Gothic BenchThere are various stories about the origins of the fleur-de-lis symbol, which also links it with the wild iris, but it was certainly used as a decorative or symbolic motif by the earliest civilizations as well as throughout European history.

The universal image also has religious meaning as a reference to the holy Mother Mary and it represents purity and chastity. With its 3 “petals”, the fleur-de-lis also symbolizes the Holy Trinity. Not surprisingly, it is often seen in Christian religious art and on antique religious objects.

This 1880 French Gothic antique bench is heavily carved in oak with flowery details including a gallery of fleur-de-lis along the top of the bench back.

Because the classic lines of the fleur-de-lis work with any kind of design scheme, you can add a touch of regal style anywhere in the home.

Here the fleur-de-lis is hand-painted by an artist on the stove hood of a Tuscan style kitchen in San Francisco.

The symbol is stately but still quite subtle on the floor of this traditional pool house.

The flourishing symbol also glitters overhead in this glass transom over a doorway. What a flamboyant way to greet visitors!

The fleur-de-lis translates nicely to finials on wood or iron curtain rods. These style of rod for drapes is so popular, we are all familiar with seeing it,  but not everyone knows that it’s a fleur-de-lis design.

Now you will start seeing fleur-de-lis designs everywhere!

AimeeAvatarAimee owns EuroLuxHome.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. Find us on Facebook or connect with EuroLux on Google+. Or you can sign up here to receive this blog in your inbox.