Tag Archives: Victorian

Charming Victorian Inns for a Cozy Getaway

If you’re looking for a cozy getaway this fall and winter, these charming Victorian inns are picture perfect! These beautiful Victorian homes have been made into inns and decorated in period style, including antique and vintage furnishings and fine antique-inspired furniture.

Hamilton-Turner Inn

The Hamilton-Turner Inn in Savannah, Georgia, was built in 1873 to be the home of Samuel Pugh Hamilton, known as “The Lord of Lafayette Square.” It was the first residence in Savannah with electricity. When the electric lights were turned on in 1883, those watching the house light up were afraid it would explode!

Hamilton Turner Inn Victorian Inn style

The mansion was featured in “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil” as the location for many wild parties and the lavish decor really gives a sense of Savannah’s opulent style.  The individually designed rooms and a separate carriage house feature details like antique four-poster beds, claw foot tubs, romantic fireplaces and ornate draperies.

Chanticleer Inn

Chanticleer Guest House in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, has a very different feel! This rustic retreat (above) in a renovated 19th-century farmhouse and barn is decorated with period antiques and surrounded by forest and ponds. The country charm makes this a lovely place for a relaxing weekend getaway curled up by the fireplace, but there is plenty of pampering too with whirlpool tubs and tasty breakfasts delivered to your room!

Jeweled Turret Inn Victorian Inn

The Jeweled Turret Inn (above) in Belfast, Maine, is a more traditional Victorian B&B, and a Landmark on The National Register of Historic Places. Built on Penobscot Bay in 1898, the Victorian house has been restored and decorated in classic Victorian style including some lovely antique furniture and collectibles. Outside, guests can relax on two verandas with porch swings.  tourmaline-room Jeweled Turret

The “Tourmaline Room” shown above is decorated with antiques, lace, chintz, and a marble-topped bureau, and the bathroom features birds-eye maple woodwork and a Victorian claw-foot tub. The “Amethyst Turret” is a popular honeymoon room, located in an octagonal turret complete with a four-poster bed AND a fainting couch! It’s clearly designed for romance so the hero can sweep the heroine off her feet in several parts of the room!

If you know a beautiful Victorian Inn that you’d love to recommend to our blog readers, please leave a comment or tell us on our Facebook page.

And if you want more Victorian Inn inspiration, I hope that you’ll enjoy my earlier posts on Romantic Victorian Inns and Historic Inns.

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.

Romantic Victorian Inns

These romantic Victorian Inns aren’t just for Valentine’s Day – you can enjoy them all year round. The Victorian era was one of the most romantic in terms of architecture and home decor, although I’m not sure I’d do so well without our modern-day amenities. Thankfully, visitors to these four Victorian inns get all the romance AND the Wi-Fi!

The Oaks Victorian Inn, VirginiaThe Oaks Victorian Inn

The Oaks Victorian Inn on Main Street in Christiansburg, VA, has a very romantic story to tell. Major W.L. Pierce built the inn in the late 1800s for his bride, Julia. They lived happily ever after and had seven children. This is the Julia Pierce Room at the Inn, which was once Julia’s own bedroom. It’s been decorated with a Victorian bed and a hand-painted slate fireplace and the bedroom boasts a Jacuzzi tub big enough for you and your sweetie. Outside, you’ll find a garden with 300-year-old oak trees and a pretty porch.

The Victorian Inn, CaliforniaCalifornia Victoria Inn Parlor Room

The Victorian Inn in the Victorian village of Ferndale, CA, makes a delightful base to explore California Redwood Forest. Built in 1890, the Inn boasts boasts vintage fixtures and furnishings in its rooms. This is the Victorian Parlor room with an antique armoire and a red velvet Victorian couch in the bay window sitting area.  The VI Restaurant steps into the 21st Century with a mix of classic and contemporary Californian cuisine. That’s probably just as well, as Victorian food isn’t always a good fit for our taste buds today!

The Victoria Inn, Maine

Romantic Bed in Victoria Inn Bethel Maine

This charming bed in The Victoria Inn in Bethel, ME, looks so tempting. The romantic inn is a restored 19th century building filled with period Victorian decor and furnishings including lace-draped beds just like this one. Bethel became a vacation destination way back in the 1800s when city dwellers visited to enjoy the refreshing mountain air. The allure is apparently timeless; Ski Magazine said that The Victoria Inn was one of the 10 best inns in New England.

Innisfree Bed & Breakfast By-The-Lake, North Carolina

Romantic Victorian Innisfree Inn NCThis is nearly in our backyard! The Innisfree Bed & Breakfast By-The-Lake is a AAA Four Diamond property overlooking Lake Glenville near Cashiers and Highlands, NC.  It is perfectly placed to explore the majestic Blue Ridge Mountains but I reckon it would be hard to tear yourself away from the house itself and the 12 acres of grounds filled with gardens and woods.

Barrett Suite Innisfree Victorian Inn North Carolina

Rooms at the Innisfree are named after Victorian personalities, including one named for the queen herself: Victoria’s Grand Suite with a mahogany four-poster bed. Then you’ll find the Lord Tennyson suite with a private veranda, chandeliers, a fireplace, and a tub for two overlooking the garden, and the Barrett Suite, shown above. This romantic boudoir boasts a canopied four-poster bed with French lace and a fireplace. During the day, guests relax in the sunny parlor, and by evening Irish coffee is served beside the cozy fireplace. Guests go for dinner in the inn’s octagonal Tower Dining Room lit by chandelier.

If you want to give your spouse or significant other a hint for a romantic weekend away, just send them a link to this blog post. (Hello Greg!)

We’d love to hear about your favorite romantic Victorian inns too. Meanwhile, don’t forget our Valentine’s discount for your special person or just as a gift for your 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 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.

 

 

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.

Client Spotlight: Antique Brittany Furniture for Victorian Restoration

Angela M. recently bought several pieces of antique Brittany furniture from our gallery for the beautiful Victorian house that she is restoring in Galveston, TX.  The 1890 Victorian was almost completely gutted by fire about two decades ago. Here is the photo Angela sent us of the outside of the house as it looked nearly 120 years ago in the year 1894.

Our client's Victorian restoration home as looked in 1894

And below is a photo of the house “under new management” last year. Isn’t it gorgeous?

Front closeup

Angela says that the house is known for the lovely detailing around the porch of mariner’s wheels.  The white paint on the porch really makes those wheels stand out! Antique Brittany furniture is a perfect choice for the interior. The Brittany style often features maritime details such as ship’s wheels in tribute to coastal Brittany’s sea-faring history.

Brittany armoire 14-2A-1This is one of the pieces of antique Brittany furniture Angela chose for the house. It’s a display cabinet or bookcase dating to 1880, carved in chestnut with a beveled glass door. You can see the large ship’s wheel at the top of the French cabinet, tying in with the maritime theme of the house porch. The two galleries of spindles along the top and bottom of the bookcase are typical of Brittany style furniture. So are the hand-carved rosettes adorning the bottom drawer.
Antique Brittany Table KC-33A-1Angela also picked this Brittany style chestnut dining table dating to 1880. It’s a real stunner and the French craftsmanship is superb. Each leg boasts a carved figurine of a man or a woman wearing period regional costume. Carved figures of French country folk like these often decorate antique Brittany furniture. They are one of the most delightful characteristics of the style. The central stretcher beneath the table once again features a carved ship’s wheel.

Antique Brittany chairs KC-33B-1To match the table, Angela chose this splendid set of six Brittany dining chairs. Crafted in France in around 1880, the chestnut chairs are carved with an arched gallery of spindles on the crest rail. Each chair back features a carving of a French man or woman in happy pastoral scenes. Some of them are playing bagpipes. If you’re wondering why French country folk are playing bagpipes – an instrument that normally makes us think of Scotland – here’s the reason. Brittany is historically a Celtic nation, like Scotland, Ireland, and Wales. Similar Celtic traditions and symbols appear in all those regions as they had such close cultural ties. Hence the bagpipes, which are often portrayed on antique Brittany furniture.

Due to Angela’s arthritis, she is having much of the Victorian restoration work done for her. We all know these things take time! But we hope she sends us photos of the antique Brittany furniture in place once the house is further along. Angela says “I should have waited a while to buy furniture, but I love the Brittany style and just couldn’t resist!”

We’re glad she gave in to temptation. She chose some exceptional furniture that will blend perfectly into the stately Victorian house and stay true to the exterior’s maritime theme.

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: Victorian Restoration Dining Room

We know many of our clients are working on Victorian restorations and it’s wonderful to see how they bring their homes back to their original style and beauty. Here’s a case in point.

Our client Sal S. in New York is restoring a beautiful Victorian home that had been neglected through the years. He’s returning her to her former glory and doing a terrific job of it. Sal knows his own tastes but he is working with an interior designer to help tie it all together. He is a busy entrepreneur so he needs some help to get all the work done that goes into a tackling a Victorian restoration.

Sal’s designer found our EuroLuxAntiques.com website and sent him down to check out our gallery. He actually took a road trip from New York with his mother to come visit us in person in Newberry, South Carolina. He couldn’t make a decision between all of the Renaissance buffets we had in stock!

Antique Renaissance Buffet for our client's Victorian Restoration DIning Room

He ended up picking out a wonderful antique Renaissance Buffet in walnut wood. The antique French buffet is heavily carved with an acorn motif symbolizing strength, power, and endurance. How fitting! Anyone involved with a Victorian restoration needs endurance, and any entrepreneur like Sal is bound to be gifted with the qualities of strength and power! The buffet dates to 1900 and it is 9 feet tall with an ornate pediment, crown molding, and lovely brass handles on the two drawers.

10 Hunting Chairs for our client's Victorian Restoration dining room

Sal also selected this set of 10 beautifully upholstered Hunting chairs. The antique French chairs date to 1880 with fantastic carvings of leaves and grapes. Carved in oak with chunky barley twists, they are pretty heavy. Each chair weighs nearly 17 pounds! The physical weight is nicely balanced though by the visual lightness in the pierced splat. The floral tapestry upholstery works well with the French Hunting style frame and also fits nicely with the style of Sal’s Victorian restoration dining room.

Antique server or sideboard for our client's Victorian Restoration house

Sal finished his antiques shopping trip by choosing this gorgeous Renaissance style server in walnut with handsome grey-green marble.The 1900 French server or sideboard features rich carvings of leaves, crests, and rope, as well as turned spindles. The plate rail sits above the 4-foot-long veined marble top.

SalStrazzaeri Here’s how the buffet and chairs look in Sal’s Victorian restoration dining room. It isn’t spectacular? I love the decorated ceiling, and how about those elegant drapes? The aged patina of the walnut and oak looks wonderful against the pale green wallpapers. It all fits delightfully into the Victorian style. Obviously Sal took as much care in choosing the decor accents as he did in selecting the furniture from us. All of the wallpaper and curtains are new and I believe that is an antique chandelier hanging above the table.

The only thing this Victorian restoration dining room needs now is a dinner party to celebrate its return to its original grace and style. I suspect Sal might have taken care of that already!

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

Decorative Stair Ideas

We’ve been looking at decorative stair ideas that give you the chance to express your creativity in this most humble and functional area of the home. Although our 1920s bungalow renovation is still in progress, I’m getting a lot of inspiration for my own decorative stairs! One of them might work for our upstairs area dedicated to Greg’s ‘man loft’ and the guest bedroom.

Check out these decorative stair ideas that we’ve pinned on our Pinterest page. They elevate (excuse the pun) a simple staircase from pure function to a unique design feature


Graphic and gorgeous! Music fans will enjoy these elegantly decorative stairs, painted with piano keys. This would be a fantastic way to lead visitors up to your music room.


Don’t neglect the stair risers! These decorative stairs feature a selection of pretty floral wallpapers on the risers. It’s a great idea for a country cottage or to enhance a Victorian decor home. You could of course use all the same wallpaper on each riser. But I rather like the unmatched and eclectic feel of this approach. It adds to the vintage mood.


Here’s a fine way to upcycle some old wooden rulers. You have to look quite closely to see that they are indeed old-fashioned rulers glued to the stair risers. The various tones of the wood and the styles of the ruler markings create a unique effect.


Tile on the stair risers might be a more tricky DIY job. You need to ensure the tiles are exactly the same height as the risers. But look how fresh and appealing the tile looks! I can picture this working beautifully in a coastal home, with the breezy blue and white tile, accented by one red riser. It could also be rather fabulous with Art Nouveau design tile.


This clever home-owner has used decals on the risers to create a butterfly and bird vignette. The surrounding walls and stair rail are kept quite simple and clean. I think this is generally a good idea so the decorative stair design is framed without too much other distraction.


If you want a simpler but still very decorative stair approach, the subtle gradation of color on these stair risers looks highly sophisticated. It’s a rainbow of blue!


Turning our gaze to the other side of the stairs, shelves on the underside of an open staircase are a great way to display your books, collectibles, and small antique or vintage items.

If you have any decorative stair techniques or ideas, we’d love to hear about them. Tell us in the comments box below!

Aimee owns EuroLuxAntiques.com with her husband, 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!

Add Warmth and Mood to Your Interior Design with Wood

The magnificent paneled sitting room of Bamburgh Castle -- EuroLuxAntiques.com

Bamburgh Castle exhibits a classic, dark-paneled treatment common to English estates of the day. The dark wood finish confers a real warmth to the room, which is heightened by the red leather sofas.

You may not have the privilege of living in a magnificent castle, a la Downton Abbey, but you can create many home decor effects — from the warmth of a paneled Victorian drawing room to the cool of a mid-century modern lounge — by using wood throughout your interior design. Let’s look at how wood can change the mood of a room.

In general, wood adds warmth to a room. Darker wood finishes feel warmer, while lighter, blonder finishes feel cooler. But all of them help you create an inviting interior.

A recycled wood ceiling adds warmth to this modern kitchen by Jeremy Levine Design -- EuroLuxAntiques.com

Jeremy Levine Design uses recycled wood to add warmth to this modern kitchen.

In this modern kitchen by Jeremy Levine Design, the medium-tone ceiling of recycled wood warms up a space that could otherwise come across cold and industrial. Note also how the wood ceiling draws the eye upward, making the ceiling feel higher. I love the play between the wood tone of the ceiling, the light wood cabinets, and the floor (is it cork?). This kitchen is a great example of balancing hot and cold design elements.

 

Blue and white bowls really pop when displayed on an ebonized table -- EuroLuxAntiques.com

Blue and white rice bowls really pop when displayed on an ebonized table.

Beyond the generally warm feeling wood adds to a room, wooden furniture and other elements also can create a real sense of drama in your decor. Check out this shot of an ebonized table at an Asian restaurant. Doesn’t that black background really make the blue-and-white rice bowls pop? When you use richly colored wood furniture in your design scheme, you can play off that to create stunning color contrasts. Besides an ebonized table like this one, think in terms of painted wood architectural elements hung against a neutral wall, golden oak wood floors with chocolate leather furniture, or brightly painted chairs in a white dining room. When you’re working with wood, you can customize the finish to create the effect you want.

Monochromatic wood tones combine to create a warm, inviting dining area -- EuroLuxAntiques.com

Our client Isabelle creates a warm, inviting space with monochromatic wood tones livened up by the plate display in the sideboard.

Our clients know a thing or two about using wood furniture to warm up a room. Here, Isabelle uses antique furniture to create a monochromatic dining area that’s anything but boring. These pieces all work in harmony (along with her gorgeous wood floor!) to create a calm, inviting dining area. And, really, shouldn’t a dining room be all about peacefulness? For contrast and color, Isabelle displays plates on her sideboard and hangs a richly colored tapestry on the wall.

These homeowners create contrast in their natural wood decor by adding a dark French antique buffet -- EuroLuxAntiques.com

If you love natural wood tones in your decor, add some lighter or darker wood elements for contrast. Here, the dark buffet warms up the cooler blonde beams.

Our clients Jamie and Bill obviously love the look and feel of natural wood in their design. They purchased the beautiful French antique buffet at right from us. The darker tone of the buffet provides a nice counterpoint to the exposed blonde beams. And the red sofa adds color and drama. Well done!

As you can see, incorporating wood furniture, flooring, or paneling into your design scheme can help you create a warm environment that says, “Stay awhile.”

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

 

Accessorize Your Way to Bliss

Peachy French bistro pillow from T's Eclectic Treasures at Etsy -- EuroLuxAntiques.com

This peachy throw pillow will perfectly accessorize your French bistro set or your cottage style living room. By T’s Eclectic Treasures at Etsy.com.

It’s March, and we’ve been talking about color in interior design. Aside from paint, one of the easiest ways to bring color into your decor is through accessories. We talked about using houseplants as accessories, and today I felt the urge to head over to Etsy, where I can find great handmade home decor accessories. (In case you didn’t know it, we have our own Etsy shop, too!)

Why Accessorize?

The great thing about home decor accessories is you can change them as the mood strikes. Maybe you’re sick of that chintz throw pillow. Maybe you got over your passion for purple and now want to erase all of it from your design scheme. Maybe you want to move your decor in a more contemporary direction — or shift to a more traditional look. Home decor accessories can help you accomplish all of these goals, and do it stylishly and affordably.

This Victorian style wall hanging adds color and style to your BnB or Victorian restoration -- EuroLuxAntiques.com

For your Victorian home or bed-and-breakfast, this charming, handmade wall hanging adds color and reinforces your design scheme. By Autumn Elan at Etsy.com.

Accessorize for Theme

A new, handmade Victorian style wall hanging like the one pictured makes an affordable and attractive way to underscore your Victorian decor. Whether you simply love all things Victorian, or you own a bed and breakfast and need wall art, a piece like this not only brings color to the room but reinforces the design scheme.

Accessorize for Place

Here's a charming crab rug for your beach cottage -- EuroLuxAntiques.com

This charming, upcycled crab rug is made from old t-shirts and would make a fun addition to your beach cottage! By Shore Lake Home at Etsy.com.

You may not want to use a whimsical crab rug at your city house (or then again, you might!), but this charming fellow will put a smile on your face when you visit your beach cottage! Upcycled from old t-shirts and hand painted, this pretty, round rug adds color and is environmentally friendly, to boot.

Accessorize because You Can

Cool, retro cityscape watercolor by Albie Designs -- EuroLuxAntiques.com

Albie Designs paints custom cityscapes in a retro style and will send you a high-quality print for the wall. By albie designs at Etsy.com

Albie Designs will create a watercolor painting of your cityscape and then send you a high-quality print for the wall. I love the cool, retro style of this painting, and look at the beautiful color. What a great way to personalize your space. Albie also does cityscapes of world cities, like Paris, so you can get your France fix, too.

Show us your favorite home decor accessories! What’s got your attention right now? Send us an email, and maybe we’ll feature your swag on the blog!

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

Take a Romantic, Antique-Themed Getaway for Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is nearly upon us. Do you have anything special planned for your sweetheart?

Why not take a romantic getaway that includes an antique theme? Bed and breakfast inns around the country offer a way to experience the “antiques lifestyle” while enjoying a great vacation!

Right here in Aiken, South Carolina, not far from our gallery in Newberry, Annie’s Inn Bed and Breakfast provides a stately retreat within a home built in the early 1800s. Each guest room is decorated with antiques and Oriental rugs.

Tucked away in the middle of New York state, the Hathaway Inn Bed and Breakfast, housed in an 1880s Queen Anne Victorian, boasts four fireplaces and a tin ceiling in the dining room. This lovingly restored home features antique decor throughout. Here’s a sampling, from Hathaway Inn’s website:

Photo of a parlor at Hathaway Inn Bed and Breakfast in New YorkLooking to experience something more exotic, yet luxurious? Head west to San Antonio, Texas, to experience the Inn at Craig Place. Built in 1891, the inn was converted to a B&B in 1999. According to the inn’s website, many guests come to enjoy the library, pictured below:

Photo of the library at the Inn at CraigEven further west, check out the gorgeous, four-square Victorian that is home to Cherry Hill Bed & Breakfast in Petaluma, California. Stuffed with Victorian antiques, Cherry Hill B&B is situated smack dab in the center of Northern California wine country, so you can indulge your passions for both antiques and wine! Here’s a photo of the house from Cherry Hill’s website:

Photo of foursquare Victorian home Cherry Hill Bed BreakfastWhen you visit a bed and breakfast, you not only experience the privilege of sharing space with fine antiques, you come away with design inspiration for your own home.

If you’d like to get away for Valentine’s Day, try using BnBFinder.com to locate a bed and breakfast inn near you. Many of them offer special deals for a romantic vacation with your sweetheart!

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

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Bookshelf: Napkin Folding, Soups & More

Part of what I love about living with antiques is the innate sense of history each piece embodies. And nowhere is this more evident than with antique or vintage French Country kitchen furniture. When I sit down at my antique kitchen table, I can almost feel the original owners gathered around, the entire family enjoying a bowl of the classic French pot au feu. Who knows how many generations ate this hearty stew and drank wine together at this very table? I love France, and my antique dining table connects me with those wonderful people on a soulful level.

So I was delighted to discover a trio of new books from Robert Rose publishing that will help you enjoy your antique furnishings during this holiday season. Two are cookbooks and one teaches you how to create elegant napkin folds — perfect for any occasion, and particularly appropriate for those planning a Victorian Christmas. Let’s dive right in!

Top 100 Step-by-Step Napkin Folds

This delightful book by Denise Vivaldo takes you through all kinds of fun and pretty napkin folds with skill levels that range from easy to challenging. Vivaldo has catered everything from the Academy Awards Governor’s Ball to Hollywood wrap parties, so she knows her stuff. The book is helpfully wire-bound so you can set it flat right next to you as you walk through the steps to create each napkin fold.

Napkin folding is kind of a lost art, yet it will make your family members and friends feel very special to sit down at a place setting that includes a folded napkin. And your holiday dinners will feel even fancier with the simple touch of a folded napkin.

In the book, Vivaldo also discusses how to choose the right napkins for any occasion, what to look for in terms of fabric (to make folding work better), and what size napkin to use for various occasions (think: cocktail napkins, luncheon napkins, dinner napkins, and even paper napkins). This is a book that will reside on your bookshelf for years to come, as you discover the fun of napkin folding.

I thought this “orchid fold” would look particularly lovely on a Victorian Christmas table. Email me for a full-size version of the photo you can print out and keep! (Note: All photos and recipes courtesy www.robertrose.ca.)

Orchid Napkin Fold Directions from EuroLux Antiques.jpg (5.19 mb)

150 Best Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Do you sometimes feel overwhelmed by the volume of cooking involved in the holidays? I know I do. So, I was pleased to discover this book of delicious (and simple!) grilled cheese sandwiches. Written by Alison Lewis, a nationally known recipe developer, 150 Best Grilled Cheese Sandwiches includes selections that range from humble to decadent.

A little history (because antiquers always love history!): The grilled cheese sandwich dates back to about 1920. It became popular during the Great Depression as an inexpensive company supper dish and was often called the “Cheese Dream.”

If you picture the grilled cheese sandwich of your childhood and can’t stomach even the thought of the calorie load, you’ll be happy to learn Lewis’s book includes tips on how to lighten-up a grilled cheese sandwich (hint: use grainy mustards and Greek yogurt) and devotes an entire chapter to light and healthy sandwiches.

Grilled cheese sandwiches are enjoying a huge resurgence and were recently named a major trend in cooking. These sandwiches can be fun to prepare with guests, and you can even create dessert sandwiches!

One of our favorites to help us get out of the holiday turkey rut is this decadent-looking Grilled Roast Beef and Stilton sandwich.

Grilled Roast Beef and Stilton
Serves 4

You’ll need: a panini grill or large skillet. Preheat panini grill to medium, if using.

  • 8 slices whole wheat bread
  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise or basil aioli
  • 12 oz thinly sliced roast beef
  • 1 cup arugula leaves
  • 2 tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup crumbled Stilton cheese (or your favorite blue cheese)
  1. Brush one side of each bread slice with butter. Place on a work surface, buttered side down. Spread 4 bread slices equally with mayonnaise. Top equally with roast beef, arugula, tomatoes and cheese. Cover with remaining bread slices, buttered side up, and press together gently.
  2. Place sandwiches on preheated panini grill or in a large skillet over medium heat and cook, turning once if using a skillet, for 3 to 4 minutes or until golden brown and cheese is melted. Serve immediately.

300 Sensational Soups

Getting back to that pot au feu I mentioned earlier… With their classic beef stew, the French knew this truism: A good soup nourishes the heart as well as the stomach. This fabulous soup cookbook by Carla Snyder and Meredith Deeds will keep your family warm all winter. When you share the sublime soup recipes in this book, you’ll connect with friends and family members on an intimate level.

Vegetarians and vegans will be happy to know the book contains plenty of meat-free selections. There’s even a classic pot au feu recipe! But I loved this decadent lobster chowder recipe because I think it would make a beautiful first course for any holiday dinner.

Rich Lobster and Roasted Corn Chowder
Serves 6

Preheat oven to 425F. You’ll also need a large rimmed baking sheet.

  • 3 cups corn kernels (fresh or thawed frozen)
  • 1 1/2 Tbl olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt, divided
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 4 slices bacon, chopped
  • 2 cups chopped onions
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1 lb boiling potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups clam juice
  • 1 1/2 cups whipping cream
  • 2 Tbl unsalted butter
  • 3 cooked lobster tails (each about 10 oz), meat removed and cut into bite-sized chunks
  • 3 Tbl chopped fresh chives
  1. On a baking sheet, combine corn, oil, 1/2 tsp of the salt and 1/4 tsp of the black pepper; toss to coast evenly and spread in a single layer. Roast in preheated oven for 10 minutes. Stir and redistribute into an even layer. Roast until corn is lightly but evenly browned, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.
  2. In a large pot, saute bacon over medium heat until browned and crispy, about 5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon to a plate lined with paper towels. Set aside.
  3. Pour off all but 2 tbsp of the fat in the pot. Add onions and saute until lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Add cayenne and saute for 1 minute. Add potatoes, stock, clam juice, and the remaining salt and pepper; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Stir in roasted corn and cream; return to a simmer, stirring often, until potatoes are tender, about 5 minutes. Do not let boil.
  4. In a large, heavy skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add lobster meat and saute until heated through, about 1 minute.
  5. Ladle chowder into heated bowls and top with lobster. Garnish with reserved bacon and chives.

I hope you enjoy these recipes and the napkin-folding instructions and can use these ideas for your holiday entertaining — and the cold weeks ahead! These three books from Robert Rose will make a welcome addition to your antique French Country kitchen bookshelf. (Note: We are not affiliated with Robert Rose in any way.)

What elegant, decadent, or surprising dishes do you make during the holidays? Do you salute your ethnicity through food? Please share with us in the comments!

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

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