Monthly Archives: January 2016

Best of January 2016: Beautiful Homes & Decor

We jumped into 2016 in a very busy way, unpacking a new container of antique furniture that arrived from France just before Christmas! We were busy on our Letters from EuroLux antiques and home decor blog too, admiring our customer’s houses, exploring the new color trends for the year, and cooking up some traditional soups to keep us all warm!

Vintage teaspoon chandelier in kitchenHere’s a round-up of our January blog posts in case you were too busy to see them at the time. You can turn the year back a few notches already and check them out now!

We started January by glancing back at our top 12 antiques and decor blog posts of 2015.

It was hard to choose just a few of our tours of customers’ homes and posts about antiques, home decor and other things that interest us like antiques-inspired travel and elegant entertaining, We hope you like the ones that we thought were the cream of the crop!

Lion Fountain CourtyardThen we gave you a mini tour of this lovely house in Georgia that has the look of a French chateau. We delivered a Regency style vintage French games table and chairs set here to our customers Nita and Walter and we took the opportunity to admire the house inside and out! The courtyard pictured left has a charming lion’s head fountain on the attractive brick wall. Step inside and see the rest!

Pella Victorian VillaOur second client spotlight this month took us to the historic Pella Victorian Villa in Iowa.

We sold two antique tables and some handsome antique French Hunting chairs to the homeowner Stan and we took the time to find out more about the interesting history of the house. We also learned about Pella Historical Village, which (true to its Dutch heritage) is home of the annual Tulip Time tulip festival. Read all about it in the Pella Victorian Villa Client Spotlight.

Blue and Pink Floral TraditionalI always like to write about home decor trends but especially at the beginning of the year it’s fun to look at the latest ideas for the year ahead. In my series of posts on color trends I took a look at the Pantone pink and blue colors of the year for 2016 and the interesting ways you can use these tranquil tones in home decor.

Scarborough House Demilune tableWe also welcomed two new collections of furniture and home accents to our online store so I introduced you to the Stunning Home Decor from Scarborough House and Cyan Design.

These exceptional collections include hand-crafted and antique-inspired furniture with the finest veneers, plus spectacular lighting that has been featured in Elle Decor magazine!

Dowager enjoys soupFinally, as part of the country braced against winter storms and much of the country settled in to enjoy the final season of Downton Abbey, we took the advice of the Dowager Countess of Grantham who famously said, “Every good lady’s maid should know how to make a restorative broth.” No, I didn’t get myself a lady’s maid, but I did blog about some traditional Old Country soups from Europe to warm everyone up! Try Cock-A-Leekie, Beef and Barley, hearty Flemish Waterzooi and more in the Traditional European Soups post.

I hope 2016 will be a wonderful year for you – keep checking back to read more about traditional decor and fine antiques for regular folks!

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 9 (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: Antique Furniture in Victorian Villa

Pella Victorian VillaWe were pretty thrilled when Stan V. in Pella, IA, bought some antique furniture from us to furnish a historical house. The Pella Victorian Villa was built in 1871 and as an Iowa historic site it is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

Right now this grand villa is being renovated so it is not open for tours, but thanks to the internet (which never needs renovations!) you can still see photos of the rooms in the Pella Victorian Villa online virtual tour.

This is a photo of the dining room in the Pella Victorian Villa.

dining_room-victorian-villa

You can see the handsome antique French Hunting chairs and a large antique table that came from us at EuroLuxHome.com. Later we shipped another set of chairs and another table to the villa so we look forward to seeing how those are featured in the old house.

The house was built by John Voorhees for his family, and there is an interesting story about the bricks. They were all made in a kiln on the property with clay from local clay pits and because the mortar was the same color as the bricks the builders painted white lines on the mortar between each brick. What a painstaking task that must have been! But they did a good job of it because the bricks and the mortar are still in great condition.

Apparently the house cost about $10,000 to $13,000 to build and this was double the amount Mr. Voorhees intended to pay. Tell us about it! Houses always cost more than we expect, don’t they? (We have our own stories about our 1920s vintage bungalow renovation.)

Stan and Alma purchased the house in 2011 with the aim of preserving it and they decorated it with period pieces like the antique furniture that they bought from us.

The Pella Historical Village looks like a beautiful place to go visit, especially if you want to explore the village’s Dutch Heritage.

Pella Historical Museum Tulip TIme

Pella Historical Museum at Tulip Time

Attractions include the Scholte House Museum, built in 1848 and filled with antiques, and the Vermeer Windmill – an authentic working Dutch mill.  The annual Tulip Time tulip festival also looks like a lot of fun!

We’ll revisit the Pella Victorian Villa when the renovations are complete so we can see how our antique furniture looks in the ‘new’ old house! Meanwhile, you can see our antique furniture in another historic house in our spotlight on the Johnny Cash Boyhood home.

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 9 (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.

Traditional Old Country Soups to Warm You Up

I just found out that January is National Soup Month. I don’t know how I missed that before but maybe this is the perfect timing to talk about soup as folks are still digging themselves out from Winter Storm Jonas and it’s still so cold over much of the country. As we are into the final season of Downton Abbey too, let’s take inspiration from The Dowager Countess of Grantham (played by the awesome Maggie Smith) who is a big fan of soups.

Dowager enjoys soup

She was the one who said, “‘Every good lady’s maid should know how to make a restorative broth.” I don’t have a lady’s maid (I went wrong somewhere…) and probably you don’t either, so here are some traditional Old Country soups from Europe that you can make yourself to get warmed up!

We’ll start with an English Barley Soup creation from Pamela Foster, author of the Abbey Cooks Entertain books. Beef and barley soup is a very old English dish – you’ll find a version of it in Mrs. Beeton’s Book of Household Management book published in 1861, but it goes back long before that.  On her DowntonAbbeyCooks.com blog, Pamela offers two variations: cream of barley for the posh family upstairs and a more rustic beef and barley soup for the servants downstairs. I’m with the servants – it looks delicious!

Cock a Leekie soup MSFarther north, Scotland is famous for its Cock-A-Leekie soup, which was first written about in the 1500s. It is often served on Burns Night at the end of January in celebration of the Scottish poet Robert Burns, but it is a year-round warming treat.

The soup is made of leeks and chicken, usually thickened with rice but sometimes with barley. Prunes are traditionally added for extra seasoning or as a garnish.

Try the recipe by Martha Stewart or go direct to the source with the Cock-A-Leekie recipe in The Scotsman newspaper!

French Onion Soup If you’ve been to France, you might have fond memories of luscious French onion soup. It’s a wonderful comfort food, served with croutons or slices of French bread on top, covered with melted cheese and traditionally served in a chunky round bowl with one or two handles. There are many versions of this simple but satisfying soup that dates back to Roman times, but the longer you leave the onions to caramelize, the richer the flavor! Here’s one recipe from Real SImple magazine.

Waterzooi soupWe import quite a lot of antique Flemish furniture and lighting  to our store, so I went looking for a traditional Flemish soup.

This recipe for Waterzooi soup is a great one to try if you want something a little different. The thick stewy soup is traditionally made with fish, although you can substitute chicken. It has egg yolks, cream and potatoes in it, so you won’t go hungry!

Do you have any favorite traditional soups, perhaps from old family recipes? Make our mouths water and 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 9 (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.

Pantone Picks Pink and Blue for Interiors

A few weeks ago I blogged about the Paint Colors of the Year for 2016, which are all soft whites. The only company that has spoken out for color this year is Pantone. The international color trend experts at Pantone picked a pink and a blue for their colors of the year 2016. The colors are called Rose Quartz and Serenity.

Pantone pink and blue

Pantone chose these soft pink and blue tones for the same reason as the paint companies who chose whites!

They say it’s to create a sense of peacefulness – an escape from modern day stresses. The Pantone website says “Whether on their own or combined with other shades, the pairing of Serenity and Rose Quartz bring a feeling of calm and relaxation into the home environment.”
This is the first time Pantone picked two colors rather than one. Last year it was the deep wine color Marsala, which I thought was a very nice shade for many different styles of home decor. The light pink and blue are a bit different. Pink and blue makes some people think of picking a color to paint the nursery for the baby! Other people might be reminded of the 1980s.  But I think there are ways to work with Serenity and Rose Quartz in the home and still keep it looking grown-up and beautiful.

Blue and Pink Floral Traditional

Here is one example. It reminds me of the decor I’ve seen in some old French houses and chateaux, where the soft pastel pinks and blues were a very traditional choice. High quality materials and fine finishes are important to carry off this luxurious look. A touch of gilding adds to the sophistication too!

This is a sweet take on the same color combo. The romantic bedroom plays up the delicate tones by pairing them with flowers, bows, crystals on the light fitting, and sheer curtains. Even the image behind the bed of a rack of dresses has a floaty feel.
Aubusson Pink Blue Throw Pillow
If all-out Rose Quartz pink and Serenity blue is too much for you, a few home decor accents can capture the tranquility of these colors.

This new Aubusson throw pillow blends similar shades of pink and blue beautifully. Crafted using traditional techniques to replicate antique French Aubusson pillows, the pillow has a floral design that would look very pretty in a Victorian bedroom or in a country cottage living room.

Dale Tiffany Blue Barroque LampThe airy weightlessness of the two colors also makes me think they will look good on glass. The softness of the colors matched with the shiny translucency of glass seems like a match made in color heaven!

I think the blue on the hand-crafted art glass shade of this new Dale Tiffany Blue Baroque table lamp looks very close to the Pantone Serenity shade.

The shade is made by glass artisans using traditional copper foil techniques and the pretty glass jewels add to the light and tranquil feel.

Pink Chandelier FlorenceThis amazing new Cyan Design Florence chandelier looks like a close match for Rose Quartz pink. The Murano glass style chandelier with its cascading swirls could almost be whipped up from pink clouds at sunset! Or maybe I’m just getting all romantic and dewy-eyed from looking at Rose Quartz pink and Serenity sky blue for too long!

What do you think of the Pantone colors of the year? Would you like them in your home? Would you combine them or just stay with one shade or the other?

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 9 (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: Vintage French Games Table in Chateau

At the beginning of December we made a delivery of a vintage French games table to a gorgeous house in Georgia that has the look of a French chateau.

French vintage Games table

This is the vintage French games table that Nita and her husband Walter purchased.

The Regency style table set with four chairs was made in France in about 1960 and you can see that the round table has drawers to store your cards and dice. The gold design on the green leather top and the handsome matching tufted chairs make the set look especially debonair, as if it came from a chic casino in Paris or Cannes.

We made the delivery to Nita and Walter in their beautiful home in Augusta, GA. There are so many lovely details to the house, it really resembles a French chateau from the outside.

Chateau house

I couldn’t resist taking a photo of the gorgeous courtyard that one encounters after entering the wrought iron gate:

Lion Fountain Courtyard

The fountain that runs from the lion’s mouth on the brick wall had been turned off as we were starting to have evening temperatures that dropped below freezing.  What a lovely spot to enjoy coffee and croissants, or a bottle of wine at the end of the day!

Vintage Games table in room

We delivered the vintage French games table to a large living area at the rear of the home, off the large kitchen. The floor-to-ceiling fireplace crafted in natural stone is absolutely stunning in person. The vintage games table in mahogany has a beautiful green leather playing surface that pairs superbly with the four green leather upholstered chairs with a Mid-Century Modern look. The green leather is the perfect complement to the olive green in the large Oriental rug.

Vintage French Games table room

The ceilings were so high that I couldn’t quite catch them in the room view, but they are hand-planed wooden planks, framed by massive wooden support beams. The natural light pouring through the windows floods this cozy nook.

I don’t know how to play bridge, but this looks like an ideal spot for fun times spent with family and friends near a warm fire this winter season! Thank you Nita and Walter for letting us see inside your lovely home. We hope that the vintage French games table brings you many years of good fun and good luck!

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 9 (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.

Stunning Home Decor from Scarborough House and Cyan Design

We are thrilled to be starting the new year with two new furniture collections in our furniture and home accents online store. Each collection is stunning in its own way. The first furniture maker is Scarborough House which creates beautiful antique-inspired furniture. The high-quality pieces are hand-crafted using using age-old techniques.

Scarborough House Demilune tableThis Scarborough House demilune table is a fine example.  Scarborough House is acclaimed for its veneers using the finest crotch mahogany and burls that remain beautiful for years to come. They also make their own brass hardware to create a perfect match for the piece. Combined with their rich finishes on the wood, this attention to detail and great craftsmanship all adds up to heirloom quality furniture.

Scarborough House Rosewood Card TableThis charming rosewood and crotch mahogany flip-top card table looks like it should be in a Jane Austen novel with its decorative brass accents! The satinwood chest of drawers below is another impressive example of Scarborough House style.

Satinwood Chest of DrawersAs you might guess by the company’s name, it was founded by an Englishman who was a fine furniture designer and maker. You probably remember the song: “Are you going to Scarborough Fair? Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme.” The old English ballad refers to a gathering held in the coastal town of Scarborough in the north of England. It was a popular attraction in Medieval times when it took place for more than a month each summer.

You can browse all our Scarborough House fine furniture at this link.

We also started stocking a large collection of lighting and home accents by Cyan Design. They approached us to look at their collection. How could we resist when they create such spectacular pieces, like these amazing Murano style purple Bella Vetro glass chandeliers featured in Elle Decor magazine?

Cyan Designs Bella Vetro ChandelierCyan Design has a very unusual style that (as you can see) is different to Scarborough House but equally stunning. Their pieces are also great value, with surprisingly low price points for their small sculptures, candlesticks and art glass pieces.

Cyan Design Skyros Pendant Chandelier Gold LeafThis is another glamorous light fixture. The gold leaf Skyros chandelier pendant manages to be both classic and contemporary at once, with a traditional chandelier inside a chic globe made of a meshed quatrefoil design.

Cyan Design Ribbon Console Table2Although this Cyan Design ribbon console table looks streamlined and edgy in one way, I can totally see in a French Rococo living room, hallway or bedroom beside your antique French furniture! The black granite top and gold legs give it a classic note and the swirly lines are very ooh-la-la!

I could browse Cyan Design furniture and home accents all day. I hope you enjoy exploring these exceptional pieces too!

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 9 (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.

Top 12 Antiques and Home Decor Blog Posts 2015: Part 2

Last week I gave you a roundup of six of our most popular home decor and antiques blog posts of 2015. Here’s Part 2 with the remaining six of our (and your) favorite 12 posts from last year. It’s been fun seeing all the things we talked about in 2015 – we hope you enjoy seeing the highlights too. Happy new year!

7. Romantic Teacup and Spoon Chandelier

Vintage teaspoon chandelier in kitchenEveryone loved seeing our customer Marie-Louise’s romantic vintage kitchen in Haute-Normandie, France. Marie-Louise bought a new, custom-made vintage teacup and spoon chandelier from us. (It’s one of our many upcycled chandeliers, hand-crafted for us by an artisan from vintage components.)

See the photos of her characterful French kitchen in the story about The Vintage Teacup Chandelier.

Kelley in Houston, TX, was another customer who bought one of the whimsical chandeliers, but as this story shows, she changed out the vintage tea cups for large double espresso coffee cups!

8. Charming Cottage style

antique French dining chairs RenaissanceThis charming old cottage next to a babbling brook is owned by our customers Lenore and John. They only bought it recently and they picked several pieces of antique furniture from us to furnish it. Their selection included a beautifully carved antique French Henry II buffet, vintage French Renaissance dining chairs, and a pretty Louis XVI buffet for the bedroom suite.

It all looks very impressive — as well as very cozy — against the exposed logs in the mountain cabin, as you can see from the photos in the Cottage Style with Antique Furniture post.

 

9. Choosing Antique-Inspired Furniture

demilune regency sideboardI’ve written before about how to buy antique furniture online, but sometimes people need advice on buying high-quality reproduction or antique-inspired furniture too. It can be overwhelming to know what to look for as a sign of good quality. My post on Choosing Antique-Inspired Furniture describes three important elements to consider when you are shopping!

 

10. Beach Style Decor

Beach Style Living RoomThis summer I was inspired to write a series of posts about Beach Style Decor from sea shell decor to coastal cottage accents. This breezy series is full of ideas to create your nautical home, or perhaps just a single room that feels like a vacation… with a refreshing dash of casual chic and a sunny atmosphere to cheer even the coldest day!

 

11. English Castle Hotels

Leeds Castle EnglandSpeaking of vacations, I had a great time (and spent a lot of imaginary travel dollars) writing about English Castle Hotels. These unique locations are full of English history, lore and legends for a very special overnight stay. Everyone feels like royalty! I also wrote about ways to stay at Leeds Castle in England. This incredible castle, sometimes called “The Loveliest Castle in the World,” needed a whole post to itself to do it justice!

12. Yard Yoga at our Vintage Bungalow

Spring2015 planting the front yardBack in the U.S.A., our own vintage 1920s bungalow in historic Newberry, South Carolina is our castle!  We’re pleased with all our progress on our “new” old home, as you can see in our series on The Vintage Life. Blog readers and friends of our page on Facebook have been very encouraging,  making positive comments on everything from our tiling adventures to the cat porch we built.

But as it’s the middle of winter, I’m going to pick out a summery landscaping post: April Showers bring May Flowers to show off just how lovely the garden has grown! Greg and I love puttering in the garden – it’s so relaxing to be outside, digging in the dirt. I like to call it yard yoga. We’re looking forward to this year’s yard yoga and this year’s flowers… we hope you have a flourishing 2016 too!

If you missed Part 1 of our top 12 blog posts of 2015, you can see the other six here.

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 9 (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.