Tag Archives: romantic decor

Paris Ritz Renovates Traditional Antique French Decor

I am pleased that the Paris Ritz renovation is finally completed and the hotel is open again! Here at EuroLuxHome.com we import all our fine antique furniture from Europe (hence the name!) and although some of the furniture comes from other European countries, most is from France. Paris is close to our hearts and the Paris Ritz is an icon. The building on Place Vendôme is beautiful and it is packed with antique furniture. So let’s see how it looks now, because even if we can’t all afford to stay there, we can enjoy the beautiful antique décor.

Ritz Paris Windsor SuiteThe photo above of the Windsor Suite gives a taste of what to expect. When Swiss hotelier César Ritz bought this private palace built in the early 18th century, he planned to turn it into a luxury hotel with: “All the refinement that a prince could desire in his own home.” He did a good job of it because when the Ritz opened in 1898 the most influential people started to stay there.  The Ritz boasted a private bathroom with each guest room! In those days, this was an unheard-of amenity. Boy, how times have changed. Even a Motel 6 room has its own bathroom now!

Paris Ritz Imperial Suite

In 2012 the current owner closed the Paris Ritz in order to restore it back to its former glory. The hotel is famous for its traditional 18th-century French décor, splendid and opulent, but the antique furniture and decorative items needed some work.

Ritz Paris suiteThey had craftsmen restore the antique furniture and light fixtures, and apparently the hotel expected a lot from the artisans who did the restorations. For example, some of the antique chairs were repainted 15 times to restore them to their original authentic colors!

Marie Antoinette Room Paris RitzAntique objects and art still fill the Ritz Paris after the renovation, and some of the suites replicate the furnishings that reflect the décor styles of the famous names that once stayed at the hotel. For example, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Coco Chanel, and Marcel Proust all had their individual styles. This is the Salon Proust:

salon Proust Paris Ritz

The New York-based French architect and designer Thierry W. Despont was in charge of this precious renovation. Yikes, he had to carry a lot of responsibility. He had to keep the essence of the hotel but also allow for modern technology to be included, and hey… as a New York architect he certainly knew that they had to upgrade the air-conditioning system!

It seems that the renovations at the Paris Ritz have been very popular. It looks like they did a great job of it. If you’ve stayed at the Paris Ritz since it reopened, tell us about it on the blog or even send some photos… we’d love to see them!

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.

Graceful Getaways in New England

If you feel like a getaway in New England this year, we’ve got three beautiful suggestions of places to stay!  Anyone who has followed my series of posts on travel and historic hotels, knows that I love finding places to stay that have a sense of history or are beautifully furnished with antique furniture or in antique style. These three Grace group hotels make me want to pack my bags!

Mayflower Grace Hotel

Mayflower Grace hotel with antiquesThe Mayflower Grace is a great country retreat, just a short hop from New York City (about a 2 hour drive) in the scenic Litchfield Hills in Washington, CT.

The boutique hotel and spa is located on 58 acres of landscaped gardens and a collection of 18th and 19th century art can be viewed throughout the hotel.

The rooms are furnished with very good taste and plenty of antiques and antique-inspired decor. For example, the hotel features antique rugs and antique four-poster beds. Grand mahogany wood fittings, marble and Limoges look very VIP!

Mayflower hotel with antiques

Not surprisingly, the Mayflower Grace was named one of The 7 Most Romantic Hotels in North America by Travel & Style. It’s a great base for scenic hiking trails or going antiquing. It’s also near Connecticut’s oldest art house movie theatre, the 1927 Bantam Cinema.

The Vanderbilt Grace Hotel

Vanderbilt restaurantThe Vanderbilt Grace is an historic boutique hotel in Rhode Island. Formerly Vanderbilt Hall, the vintage Newport mansion was built by Alfred Gwynne Vanderbilt in 1909.

Guests can expect to be greeted with a glass of champagne on arrival and canine guests are even treated with special doggy meals. I love that idea! I bet our pups Jake and Rudy would love that idea too, and then all the cats would want to come as well. So shhh! Don’t tell them!

As the hotel is near the waterfront, rooms are named with a maritime theme such as the Admiral Suites and Captain’s Loft Suites. This is the very fancy restaurant called Muse. There is also a rooftop bar to watch sunset over the harbor.

White Barn Grace Hotel

White Barn restaurant

The White Barn Grace (previously the White Barn Inn & Spa) in Kennebunk, ME, has been a local landmark for 150 years. The hotel has its roots back in the Civil War era, when people stayed at the old Boothby Boarding House which grew from a farmhouse into a hotel. Many additions and renovations later, it has grown into a luxurious retreat and the original barn has become a AAA Five Diamond restaurant. Artifacts from the old barn were saved to show in a display loft.

If you have a favorite hotel, B&B or other getaway that has a historic story or is decorated with antiques, let us know in the comments box below. We’d love to take a tour with you!

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.

 

 

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.

English Castle Hotels

If you love the romance of English history, lore and legends, you’ll be pleased to know that you can experience the romance for yourself by staying in an English castle! I blogged before about how to take a castle vacation at Château de Bagnols in the Beaujolais valley and in other French castle hotels. But today we’re hopping across the Channel to sneak a peek at the English castles that could tempt us to put on our wimples and go for a visit.

Hever Castle, Kent

Stay at Hever Castle in England

Hever Castle is famous for being the childhood home of Anne Boleyn, the second of King Henry VIII’s six wives. Henry was never going to win “Husband of the Year” and poor Anne came to a very unfortunate end. But first she made her mark on history by giving birth to a little girl destined to be the future Queen Elizabeth I.
This impressive double-moated medieval castle was built in 1270. It’s thanks though to the American William Waldorf Astor that the castle is so well restored today. He gave the castle a facelift and to keep it authentic his workmen use the same materials and tools that the Tudors used!

Hever Castle Inner Hall

You can stay at Hever Castle or just visit to enjoy spaces like this amazing Inner Hall with walnut panels and columns. During the Tudor years it was the Great Kitchen, cooking up feasts for the household after their hunting parties, no doubt.

Augill Castle, Cumbria

Augill Castle CumbriaIf you’re visiting the Lake District or the Yorkshire Dales in the north of England, you’ll find Augill Castle a convenient and mighty impressive place to stay! It’s been named English B&B of the year and it offers Gothic towers and turrets, antique furnishings and 20 acres of grounds with a tree house!

Augill Castle room Queen Victoria

Built in 1841 as a country residence for a Victorian gentleman, Augill Castle has a library, its own cinema, and 15 guest rooms for travelers to stay in.

This is the Pendragon room and it is said that Queen Victoria stayed in this room on her way to her Scottish country castle of Balmoral.

In addition to that stunning four poster bed, the room has a carved oak fireplace and arched leaded windows. The bathroom boasts stained glass windows and a Victorian cast iron claw footed bath.

 

 

Amberley Castle, West Sussex

Amberley Castle

Visitors should be safe in this 900-year-old castle… it’s surrounded by a 60-foot-high castle wall and a twin-tower gatehouse with a portcullis that is closed each night! During the 14th century the castle was the Bishop of Chichester’s Summer Palace. Now it’s a hotel including a restaurant with suits of armor and a 12th century barrel-vaulted ceiling.

Amberley Castle hotel room

Bedroom decor includes antique furnishings, original fireplaces, and four poster beds – one room even has access to a tower! Peacocks roam the 12 acres of grounds with 1920’s topiary and statues, and you can play tennis, old-fashioned English croquet, or golf on the 18-hole putting green.  It’s easy to stay at Amberley Castle if you are traveling though London as it’s less than 60 miles from the city. It’s also near the seaside town of Brighton which is well known for its antique shops!

If you’ve ever stayed in an English castle – or a castle in France or anywhere at all – we’d love to hear from you!

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: Vintage Crafts

There are so many books coming out about vintage crafts. Old-fashioned skills like quilting, embroidery, crochet, and knitting are popular partly because they offer a way to create personalized items to wear or to enjoy in our decor. But also it’s just lovely to give a hand-made gift and to create heirlooms to pass down through the family. These recently published vintage crafts books provide both inspiration and practical advice!

Vintage Quilt Revival

Vintage Crafts Vintage Quilt Revival bookIs there anything cozier and more inviting than a beautiful quilt? Giving a fresh twist on tradition, this new Vintage Quilt Revival book is subtitled 22 Modern Designs from Classic Blocks.  As well as bed quilts, the projects include a table runner and a bag. Patterns range from the Mayflower block to the Exploding Star, Dove at the Window, and Double Windmill. I love the romantic names!

Quilting is one of those vintage crafts that seems never to go out of fashion. Crafty types can get really creative with their quilts, using fabrics and patterns to reflect their individuality and their decor.

 

Maison Sajou Sewing Book

Vintage crafts sewing bookMaison Sajou is a famous haberdashery and sewing crafts store in Paris. The old shop first thread its needle in 1857 and it is still going strong supplying chic French seamstresses with fancy laces, ribbons, and embroidery silks. This new book describes 20 Maison Sajou projects to make at home.

Ideas include decorative napkins, a vintage style clutch bag, a charming silk slipper bag, a French Country style tablecloth, a nautical tote bag, and a pulled threadwork linen bolster. You don’t have to be an expert either. The projects with illustrated instructions start with basic embroideries all the way through to more intricate concoctions.

Sew Your Own Vintage Keepsakes

Vintage Crafts sewing keepsakesA treasure trove of ideas to make gifts, mementos and accessories that may become heirlooms! The book is heavily inspired by vintage crafts and decor and the author herself lives in an old Victorian townhouse. The 40 projects are paired with photos and step-by-step instructions to make all kinds of keepsakes from a calico doll to a christening gown, and from a drawstring bag to a fabric-lined basket. Although a reissue of an older book, this could be a keeper if you like making keepsakes!

Do you knit, sew, embroider, conjure up quilts or enjoy other traditional vintage crafts? Tell us about your favorite project in the comments box below.

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

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.

Best of January 2014: Romantic Decor, Rococo, Art Deco, and More!

Our January blog posts covered subjects from romantic decor to fancy pet furniture for the furry members of the family, to a client who loves Art Deco furniture.  We’ve had a wonderful start to the new year and hope you have too! Let’s revisit some of our favorite posts from the first month of what we hope will be a beautiful 2014.

Victorian Home dining room restorationWe started by looking back at our top 12 antiques and decor blog posts of 2013. We’re lucky that many clients send photos of the antique furniture or home decor accents they’ve bought from us, showing the pieces in their new home. (Like this gorgeous Victorian restoration dining room shared by our client Sal S. in New York.) Those client spotlights are always popular, but other top posts of 2013 included home decor inspirations, travel ideas for antiques lovers, and tips on caring for antiques.

Antique table for Johnny Cash Boyhood HomeThen we looked forward to the opening of the Johnny Cash Boyhood Home Museum in Dyess, Arkansas in 2014 – especially because the museum bought this antique table from EuroLuxAntiques.com! The heavily-carved 1890 table is just like one the Cash family had in their home during Johnny Cash’s childhood, according to the music legend’s siblings.

Romantic decor in the bedroomWe started getting in the mood for Valentine’s Day by talking about romantic bedroom decor. You could fall in love with many of the design ideas in that post to create romantic decor in other rooms too.

Rococo chandelier in client's dining room.Talking of romantic decor, it’s hard to beat Rococo furniture and home accents to add a very pretty note to a room. Our client Gail L. in Colorado proved the point in our spotlight on the vintage rococo chandelier in her dining room. The photos in that post show that Gail has created a beautiful and welcoming space. I love the way she creates a slightly theatrical  mood with what looks like a heavy curtain draped across the entrance to the dining room. It’s so inviting, don’t we all want to peek behind that curtain?

Our long-time customer Betty S. in Florida enjoys Art Deco pieces, as you can see in this photo:

Art Deco clock in our client's homeBetty bought this Art Deco buffet from us for her cool 1958 home. She later added the Art Deco clock flanked by two dogs that you see on top of the buffet. (Betty’s real-life pooch obviously approves!) The post on Betty’s Art Deco decor shows the clock in close-up and tells you more about this dear client and another clock she bought from us too.

Jonathan Charles pet furnitureAs dogs have starred in two photos in this post so far (they always steal the spotlight, don’t they?) we might as well end this month’s round-up with the antique style pet furniture I found for your dogs and cats. Whether your taste is for Renaissance style, Louis XVl romantic decor, Arts & Crafts or Mid-Century Modern, you can bet I’ve sniffed out matching furniture for your four-legged friends! Most are from specialist pet furniture retailers, but we’ve got a few new pieces of pet furniture on the horizon too.

In our January Beauty at Home bookshelf we shared three new books that certainly help put the romance into your decor, whilst our travel piece on Biltmore House and Gardens might provide inspiration for a romantic weekend away. With that, it’s farewell to January but if you would like me to write on any home decor or antique furniture subjects in February… I always take requests! Tell us in the comments box below.

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

Romantic Bedroom Decor

Vintage Valentine CardWith Valentine’s Day just around the corner, I’m inspired to think about romantic bedroom decor.  Of course, romance is in the eye of the beholder. If you’ve just fallen in love then anywhere is romantic… The same goes if you are as happily married as Greg and I are. We celebrate our 13th wedding anniversary this year and we are just as in love as ever. I am still thinking up a romantic surprise for him for Valentine’s Day. (Shh! Don’t tell him!) However, it’s sometimes a challenge to find a quiet space to snuggle up with your sweetheart when you’ve got 8 cats and dogs eager to come snuggle up with you, like Greg and I do. And you know… I wouldn’t change a thing!

I enjoyed looking at the romantic bedroom decor in these photos, and I hope you get some ideas too.

Romantic Bedroom Decor White ROom This beautiful white bedroom is softly seductive and proves that you don’t have to paint a room pink to create a romantic atmosphere! The gauzy draped chairs and pure light set the tone, and a fabulous vintage chandelier adds a sultry and inviting touch. The feather boa in the cat basket on the floor gives me a chuckle. Our adorably mischievous cat Lenny would have a fine time playing with that!

traditional romantic bedroom decor

By Johns Creek Interior Designers & Decorators Janie K. Hirsch, ASID

In general, romantic bedroom decor tends to rely on pale or pastel tones – sweet lavender, delicate blue, warm peach, and yes, the very feminine pink! Layering different shades of the same color will give more depth and sophistication to the boudoir. Flowing window treatments and gently distressed furniture add to the sense of comfort.

Romantic bedroom decor with toile de jouy

By New York Interior Designers & Decorators Anthony Baratta LLC

A canopy or four-poster bed always sparks up the romance factor. (We have some gorgeous traditional beds in the gallery, including some by Ambella Home and Jonathan Charles.) Toile de Jouy is a classic choice if you want pattern in your wallpaper or bed linens but prefer to avoid florals. It immediately adds a French accent to your romantic bedroom decor. You don’t have to go as all-out toile as the photo above though.  I think it is delightful but if you prefer a lighter touch…

Romantic Bedroom Decor pink toile This French Country bedroom limits the pretty red toile fabric to the bed linens and breezy drapes, with a few matching plates as wall decorations.

Romantic bedroom decor with mural

A fairy-tale lace bed canopy and soft peachy walls provide the allure in this romantic bedroom decor. The curvy lines of the furniture add to the sensuous mood. Notice the lovely mural too. A cute white pup is optional!
Cherub light
Chalkware Guardian Angel
Cherubs and angels add a sweet note to romantic bedroom decor. The Italian cherub chandelier on the left in our gallery is made from an antique wooden cherub serenading you with a lute. The vintage gilded chalkware angel above dates to around 1950 and as it hails from France, it surely knows the language of love!
Jonathan Charles Leather ChairIf you literally want to add hearts to your bedroom, we rather like the range of new Jonathan Charles heart chairs in the gallery. Crafted in walnut and leather, the chairs add a romantic note without being too fussy. I think this green leather chair would look especially wonderful before a dressing table or vanity.

What is your idea of romantic bedroom decor? Is it about the color scheme, the fabrics, or is there some special accent that makes your heart flutter? Do you have a romantic boudoir? We’d love to see photos, or tell us about it in the comments box below.

 

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