Things We Love: Our Clients & Art Deco Betty

I appreciate all our loyal customers, including Betty S. in Tallahassee, Florida, who especially likes Art Deco pieces. My previous client spotlight on the Art Deco buffet Betty bought from us showed photos of her cool 1958 home. I also explained that Betty is more than just a long-time customer, she is a friend.

Art Deco Dog Clock Betty’s birthday was in December and she decided to treat herself to a birthday present from EuroLuxAntiques.com. She chose this vintage 1930 German ceramic Art Deco mantel clock flanked by two terrier dogs. The Art Deco clock no longer ran, but Betty decided she would set it for 5:00 (as it’s five o’clock somewhere) and call it art!

Art Deco clock in our client's homeBetty placed the clock on top of the Art Deco buffet she purchased from us before. On the left you can see one of her pups looking very curious about what’s going on. (He thinks the photo opp is all about him, right?)

Betty Art Deco Clock 2
Another view of the Art Deco clock and buffet in Betty’s home

I appreciate that Betty keeps coming back time and again to buy herself a little something special. We celebrate our 10th year in business in 2014 and we are very flattered that we have met so many wonderful clients who choose to remain in touch with us. We hear from them periodically and they think of us when they’re looking for their next piece – whether for an antique or for some high-quality new furniture. It means a great deal to hear that we are their “go-to antiques folks” and that they like to share our story with their friends and family. It means we have earned their trust, and that is the cornerstone of our business.

We treasure every client and work hard to make sure every sale is a wonderful experience for our customers. It is not always easy, but that is why many businesses don’t provide excellent customer service these days. Often big box stores or online retailers sell in such large volumes that they don’t go the extra mile to make sure every single sale is right and every single customer is happy. Each transaction is just one of many, many sales that day, so it’s hard to treat each customer as an individual. However, because we are a small family business, we strive to make each and every customer feel special and appreciated – as if they were a guest in our home.

Vintage German Art Deco Regulator Clock
Betty also bought this very pretty German Art Deco Regulator Clock from us before. Fully working!

We are happy to spend as much time as a customer needs to help them find just the right piece. I personally oversee all of the shipping arrangements to make sure that everything gets to where it’s supposed to be. And in the rare event of a mishap or delay, I make sure it is taken care of promptly and professionally. We are proud of our track record. As well as selling directly from our EuroLuxAntiques.com gallery we also sell on Ebay. We have over 3500 unique transactions on Ebay with 100% customer satisfaction in our feedback!

Our many wonderful customers like Betty make our job very satisfying. As I said in the Art Deco buffet post, my relationship with Betty goes back more than 20 years. She was a bit of an angel in my life, encouraging my first study abroad experience in Florence, Italy. That led to me spending much more time in Europe and then launching this European antiques import business with Greg. So we’re delighted to see the new photos of Betty’s Art Deco clock alongside her other Art Deco collectibles. May those two cute dogs on the clock bring her much joy!

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

Things We Love Right Now – August 2013

Most of our antique finds go straight into the EuroLuxAntiques.com gallery so they can become someone else’s antique finds! But sometimes we come across antique or vintage pieces that we keep for ourselves. Here are some of our own antique finds that we love right now.

Therese is our Shipping Manager and she also handles some restoration work and many other behind-the-scenes jobs for our family business. (Therese is Greg’s aunt.) When she’s not helping us keep the wheels spinning at the gallery, she spends her spare time collecting spinning wheels! Therese is such a big fan of spinning and textiles that at one point she owned 40 spinning wheels, although she’s downsized her collection now.

100_0659This is one of Therese’s antique finds. It’s a Canadian production wheel dating to circa 1900. There was a resurgence of interest in hand spinning in Canada around the turn of the century, which was too little too late in the face of the industrial revolution. Therese found this wheel at an antique market in Atlanta, GA. It has a cast iron treadle and tensioning device. “I had been looking for one for some time, and turned the corner at the sale and there it was,” says Therese. “It was the last day of the sale, so I was able to get a great deal on it. It is wonderful for spinning a fine yarn based on the ratio of the 30″ drive wheel to the small spindle.”

Vintage Norwegian Thy Roc  spinning wheel, circa 1980. This Norwegian wheel circa 1980 is another of her vintage treasures. The brand is Thy Roc and it is made of ash. Therese wanted one of these when she started spinning in 1988, but they were no longer being made. “Many years later, I found an ad for this one in a specialty magazine,” says Therese. “Even though it was an old issue of the magazine, it was still available. I bought it immediately. It is a smooth running wheel good for a thin to medium thick yarn.”

I already blogged about how I fell in love with the great vintage clothes and home decor at the Flower Child store in Columbus, Ohio. I found a fab pair of 1960s purple platform heels and bought a vintage 1960s dress to match. You can see me modeling my groovy new outfit in my vintage life post.

One of our antique finds: 1937 Art Deco Zenith Radio On the same road trip to Ohio, Greg and I also picked up this 1937 Art Deco Zenith Radio while we were hunting around for some ‘new’ antique finds. The radio is about the size of a large nightstand, and that’s how we plan to use it.

Our 8 cats and dogs are fluffy finds rather than antique finds, but they are certainly our favorite finds! We are passionate about our fuzzy brood and EuroLux Antiques donates a portion of every sale to help rescue homeless pets at Pets Inc., a no-kill animal shelter in Columbia, SC.

Lenny and Ozzie have been especially keen to “help” me out lately. Here’s Lenny, helping me with the laundry, and Ozzie, affectionately known as Mr. Kittles, helping me check my emails. However would I manage without them?

Ozzy helping me check emailsLenny, helping me withe the laundry

We’d love to hear about your antique finds – and your favorite fluffy finds too! Tell us in the comments box below.

Aimee owns EuroLuxHome.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 to receive this blog in your inbox!

Great Gatsby Style

I haven’t seen the new movie The Great Gatsby yet. (Greg and I are busy catching up after our 2900 Mile Road Trip to Boston to deliver antique furniture!)

But I’m enjoying all the buzz about the 1920s Great Gatsby style in the movie, from the chic flapper clothes to the period 1920s interiors. It looks like the costumes and sets are fantastic and of course we love seeing the vintage decor. Here’s Leonardo DiCaprio playing Jay Gatsby in his lavish mansion.

Those cascades of elegant white flowers are so wonderful, but he doesn’t look very happy about it, does he? I suppose he’s got more to worry about than his floral arrangements. I’m convinced those pretty pastel French macaroons are the same ones I wrote about in my post about how to hold a tea party with a recipe for Macarons Aux Amandes. Perhaps he’s resisting all those tasty treats for fear of messing up his pristine suit!

Daisy from The Great Gatsby would love this blue and white 1920s Delft ginger jar! If you’re looking to add a touch of Great Gatsby style to your home, I think Daisy Buchanan (played in the movie by Carey Mulligan) would have loved this large antique Delft ceramic ginger jar, dating to the 1920s. The graceful and sophisticated blue and white floral pattern is perfect for Daisy, as she so often wore white and surrounded herself with fresh white decor. If you take the lid off the jar, it would make a great ornamental vase to display a flourish of blossoms, too, as in the Jay Gatsby photo above.

 

 

Great Gatsby style 1920 Art Deco wall clock with grape carvings for your champagne lifestyle!Tom Buchanan (played by Joel Edgerton) might opt for this 1920s French Art Deco wall clock. He – and wine lovers today – would appreciate the grape carvings on the corners of the clock. Tom would see the grapes as a sly joke, as everyone in The Great Gatsby spends a lot of time partying with champagne, despite the fact that the story is set during the Prohibition era! The 22 inch high Art Deco clock is also just a superb example of Great Gatsby style.

 

Great Gatsby style: Jay Gatsby might like this 1920 French Renaissance-style oak buffet with plenty of space for bootleg liquorJay Gatsby always chose the best of everything, so I think he’d like this distinctive 1920 French Renaissance-style oak buffet. It’s more than eight feet tall, so there’s plenty of room for Mr Gatsby’s bootleg liquor and fancy glassware and china, and discreet drawer space for his secret documents that he doesn’t want the world to see! He’d appreciate the refined details, especially the pair of carved courtiers or princes on the upper doors, and the distinctive leaves and fruit embellishing the lower doors. As Gatsby so much enjoyed being the gracious host at his ‘roaring twenties’ parties, the sideboard would be an ideal piece of furniture for his 1920s home!

Do you enjoy the Great Gatsby style of home decor and dressing? Have you seen the movie? I’d love to hear what you think – tell us in the comments below!

Aimee owns EuroLuxHome.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!

Neutrals Balance Rich Color in this Successful Design Scheme

Gorgeous Art Deco clock garniture set in marble -- EuroLuxAntiques.com
This gorgeous Art Deco marble clock garniture set provides great contrast against our client’s bold red walls.

We’ve been talking about color during this month of shamrocks. So far, we’ve looked at decorating with houseplants, adding color to your decor with accessories, and how to add warmth and mood to your rooms with natural wood elements.

In today’s client spotlight, we look at color from a different perspective: How you can use neutral accents to complement strong hues on the wall, floor, or in furniture.

Our friend Dave lives in a 19th-century rowhouse, filled with inherited antiques from the 1920s. Luckily, Dave loves that era in general — and Art Deco style in particular.

A bold red room with white accents -- EuroLuxAntiques.com
To successfully go bold with color in your interior design, be sure to incorporate plenty of neutral-colored accents.

As you can see, Dave isn’t afraid of color! His bold, red walls really make a statement. But while all that red could be overwhelming, it isn’t. That’s because Dave knows how to use neutrals to balance the vibrant hue of his walls.

Note how the crown molding, mantlepiece, and built-in bookshelves all are painted white. This serves to “cool down” the red and define the shape of the walls — especially the lovely bay window at right. Dave also uses white sheer curtains on the windows to lighten up the space.

More cooling accents come in the form of blue-and-white plates hung on the wall, along with the neutral-colored marble Art Deco clock garniture set Dave purchased from us.

A warm red wall serves to frame a cool, neutral colored marble Art Deco clock garniture set on this mantelpiece -- EuroLuxAntiques.com
The red wall almost serves to frame the neutral colored Art Deco clock garniture set on the mantelpiece.

As a stone, marble exerts an intrinsic cooling influence on an interior. In this case, the marble’s tan and taupe colors also work to balance the warmth of the red wall. In fact, the red wall helps highlight the beautiful clock, acting almost as a frame around it.

I love it when people take a fearless approach to color. And this wonderful design scheme by Dave shows you can successfully use even the boldest wall color as long as you tone it down by using neutral accents. Well done!

 

Aimee owns EuroLuxHome.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!

What is the Art Deco Style of Antiques?

As an antiques dealer, I am often asked how I determine the approximate age of an antique or vintage item. While the true answer to that question is from the experience gained through many years of directly handling antique and vintage items, one aspect of any determination of age is the aesthetic style or design of the item in question. And to this end, the Art Deco style of antiques is one of the easiest styles to recognize. Art Deco furniture is a surefire way to make a mid-century statement in your living room or dining room. Featuring quality inlays fit for the Great Gatsby, this style brings a 20th century glam to your home.

Prior to World War I, the Art Nouveau style reigned the aesthetic world from 1890 to 1914, with an emphasis on lavish, free-flowing designs, which focused on organic motifs. However, by the time World War I ended in 1918, people around the world had experienced a sobering loss of innocence. It profoundly affected our global consciousness, and which, of course, was reflected in the art and design of the 1920s and 1930s. The craftsmanship of the Art Deco style created pieces that make today’s interior designers blush. Pieces from the Art Deco period include credenzas, console tables, bookcases, coffee tables, sideboards, dining tables, and more! For your seating needs, maybe an Art Deco sofa or set of Art Deco chairs is what you need. All of these pieces can bring a retro / mid-century modern style to your home. 

Consumers were no longer interested in the elaborate carvings and extravagant nature of Victorian and Revival design styles after WWI, but instead demanded a new modern style based on simplicity and a streamlined design, such as the Set of 6 Antique Art Deco Dining Chairs above. At the same time, home decor consumers were fascinated by new technologies that were recently introduced to the world: the radio, the television, the automobile, the airplane, and architectural wonders known skyscrapers, such as the Chrysler Building and the Empire State Building in New York City.

Ever wonder how the name of this modern, streamlined aesthetic originated? It all began at The International Exposition of Modern Industrial and Decorative Art (Exposition Internationale des Arts Decoratifs et Industriels Modernes) that was held in Paris in May of 1925 to showcase the new, modern, and functional design of France. Forty three years later in 1968, a museum exhibition was held of many pieces from the 1925 Paris Exposition, and that is when the term Art Deco was first used to describe this exuberant style, firmly rooted in the promise of the future.

Early Art Deco style of the 1920s uses dynamic, sweeping curves, which give the feeling of velocity and speed, and the aerodynamic design of airplanes and automobiles. The Art Deco style at its heart is the celebration of the Age of Machines, of the optimism of spirit that announced the future had already arrived, and it had been carried on the wings of technology.

This disconnection with the past was also expressed by the Flappers, young women who rebelled against societal norms, in the Roaring Twenties. These women shocked society by taking off their girdles, cutting their hair short, and then smoking, drinking, and dancing all night long in the Jazz clubs. This radical break in tradition required a bold, new, and dramatic style, and Art Deco design was recognized as the “bee’s knees” and the “cat’s pyjamas.”

As the Art Deco style progressed through the 1930s, emphasis shifted away from sweeping curves, switching instead to a focus on rectilinear lines and geometric shapes. These geometric shapes were often fractionated, reflecting the Cubist influence of the contemporary artist, Pablo Picasso.

Key attributes of the Art Deco style are the use of geometric shapes, zigzags, trapezoids, chevron and starburst patterns, as well as the stylized use of flowers and animals such as gazelles and birds. The Antique Art Deco Buffet and the Antique Art Deco Vanity above show the focus on a rectilinear design in combination with stylized flowers, as does the Antique Art Deco Chandelier below.  Notice the sunburst design combined with stylized lettering on the Antique Art Deco Crucifix below.

A dramatic and bold color palette was favored in Art Deco design.  Bright yellow, red, orange, green, and blue were used abundantly, especially in the joyful dishware line called Fiestaware in the United States.

After the stock market crash of 1929 when unemployment reached 25% in the US, inexpensive Art Deco products in cheery colors were still in demand as they helped boost sagging spirits, while the focus on technology and the future promised better things to come.

Art Deco designs took center stage at The World’s Fair in Chicago in 1933, and again in 1939 in New York City. The most prominent architects of the Art Deco era include the streamlined designs of Frank Lloyd Wright and the father of the steel and glass Bauhaus movement, Walter Gropius. In furniture design, Emile-Jacques Ruhlmann and Jules LeLeu ruled the day, while outstanding glassware was designed by Rene Lalique, whose style was inexpensively reproduced and later became known as Depression Glass.

I hope you enjoyed learning about the vibrant Art Deco style of antiques, and that you agree it is quite easy to recognize.

Thanks for stopping by the EuroLux Antiques blog!

Aimee

 Aimee owns EuroLuxHome.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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