Coffee and Antiques with Bob

Bob Loeser is the Director of Sales at Marisa Perry.  You may know him as the elegant man who can get you any diamond you’re looking for, but what you may not know is his love for antiques and art.  Some of our customers have gotten wind of his impeccable taste, and have brought pieces in for his input before they buy.  He is our favorite resource for all things antique, and he also makes a mean martini!

I decided to sit down with him and pick his brain about antiques and decorating for creating your romantic, antique style home.

How long have you been collecting?

30 years.  I collect art, antiques, and interesting objects.  Some are not so valuable, but I collect them just because they’re cool.  I also have a decent collection of ancient Roman and Greek artifacts.

How do you feel about mixing antique with modern?

I love it.  I think that it’s much more interesting today to do that because it shows you have flexibility of taste.

If you were going to suggest a staple for antique beginners what would it be?

I would say buy yourself a little end table, or a side chair, and come to a realization of what styles you like.  Work your way up!  The nice thing about a small piece like that is that it doesn’t necessarily dictate what the rest of your style will be.

What antique shops in New York do you recommend?

Guild antiques on 83rd and Lexington has a lot of 18th century English styles.

Newel has a beautiful selection of high end antiques (lighting, furniture, etc.)  Full array of 17th to 20th century, from Louis 14 to Art Deco.  425 East 53rd Street.  A wonderful place for inspiration.

a_image French Louis XVI style (19th Cent) cream painted open arm chair with carved gilt trim with a beige upholstered oval back and seat

What advice do you have for shopping at auctions?

My advice is to watch them and visit them frequently.  You never know what will turn up!  Also, never go in with one thing in mind!  You may be surprised at what you find.  Doyle New York is my favorite for the basic collector because they are a local house and deal with local estates.  You can find some of the finest 18th century furniture up to modern reproductions at reasonable prices.

What is your favorite piece from own collection?

My favorite piece of furniture is probably the early 18th century French Bombe I have in the living room.  Bow front with cabriole legs.  Louis the 15th.  Covered with inlaid wood with a very decorative pattern and gilded mounts.  Marble top.

Q467.1L

Favorite Art: a Carracci portrait with a side view of a nude male, 16th century Italian Renaissance.

Paintings by Carraci

Paintings by Carraci

Let’s say you find a piece you love, but it has some wear and tear.  How do you fix up a not perfect piece?

The easiest thing to do to improve the look of a piece is Olde English scratch cover, or you can buy furniture touch up pens which will help get rid of the scratches.

If you really want to improve the finish, Minwax Finishing Wax.  That’s a high quality wax that leaves a high quality finish,  You must thoroughly clean with a damp cloth with a mild dishwashing detergent like Ivory.  Do not saturate it.

What happens if the fabric on a chair or sofa has some spots?

I used some spray on oxyclean which doesn’t hurt the fabric.  Try an invisible spot first to make sure it doesn’t hurt the fabric.  Use sparingly and rinse with warm water.  But there are some stains that you just can’t get out.

Thank you Bob!

Until Next Time….

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Romantic Home: Breakfast in Bed

Now that some people have power restored in NYC, I think it’s fitting to do a post about creating a cozy, romantic home.  One extremely romantic way to take a morning at home to the next level, is to serve your loved one breakfast in bed.

Breakfast in bed isn’t really a new thing, so why is it always so special?  Is it that your partner wants to pamper you?  Is it that it’s really nice not having to get out of bed and prepare your own meal? Is it that it comes with flowers and you would never add that to your own meal?  Maybe it’s all of  the above.

Well, loving to serve it and loving to receive it, I wanted to inspire you with a few ideas to make breakfast extra special!

Let me start by sharing my breakfast inspiration with you: monogrammed trays from Designdarling.com.  These truly darling trays usually feature three initials each, but my husband, Douglas Elliott (designer) and I prefer our everyday initials. Leave it to the designer to opt for customization! 😉  Design Darling has many fantastic home accessories that are exceptionally priced. They’re great for hostess gifts, but so stylish that you’ll want to keep them for yourself.

As far as breakfast is concerned, Douglas and I like to eat gluten-free as much as possible, and he also prefers sugar-free.  In an effort to please both our waistlines and taste buds, I’ve learned how to make healthy meals taste yummy.  I start with Pamela’s wheat-free/gluten-free pancake mix. The mix is a rice-based flour, consisting of both brown and white rice. I find it comes out tasting closer to a French crepe.  I follow the recipe for pancakes exactly but I use low fat milk, instead of water.  Once everything’s mixed, I take out my fabulous Presto electric griddle, (the secret to all great pancakes), and just heat and pour!  While the pancakes are cooking, I chop up strawberries and mix them with a tablespoon of sugar-free, vanilla syrup.  It makes them taste like strawberries and cream, without having to use cream! Next, I heat up sugar-free maple syrup for him and maple agave for me. I love the agave because it tastes just like really good maple syrup, but it doesn’t raise the glycemic index and it’s totally natural.

Of course, breakfast in bed is not complete without coffee and a rose.  Our Keurig machine takes care of the coffee element with ease,  and I just step out into my garden for the rose. That stated, if you are a Manhattanite without a rose garden, nothing does the trick like a dozen roses from your convenient local deli – one of the wonderful perks of living in NYC.

Want to mix it up a little?

Try out different flavored syrups, like vanilla or caramel.

Try making a heart shape with your whipped cream.

Try grilling bananas – they’re fantastic!

Add other fruits to the mix like blueberries for a splash of color.

You can always add eggs or bacon if your love has a savory-tooth.

Have fun experimenting! I hope it ends up being a very romantic morning.

Love – Marisa

Romantic Home: Black & White

Hello, my lovely Romantic readers!

Just a few days ago, our Liz took some stunning pictures of our jewelry in black and white and I just felt so inspired, I had to share with you!  What better way to add a touch of romance to your home than by printing off some of your favorite pictures in black and white?

I personally like mixing some of your own favorite memories with iconic prints. I love the idea of pairing sultry with playful, and sentimental with silly. There’s something about black and white photos that just evoke a dreamy, romantic state of mind.

Marisa actually just gave her bathroom a makeover with some cute prints of Audrey Hepburn and Marilyn Monroe. It just looks fantastic with black chandeliers and soft colors. Both women are just so beautiful and awesome inspiration for getting ready in the morning.

If you’re like me and don’t have black incorporated into your interior color scheme, why not try putting them in earthy, wood frames for an antique feel? I think the twine and clothespin garland display is super cute, but then again my apartment is totally crafty and DIY.

I’m already brainstorming ways to fit black and white photos into my home decor! If you’re interested in more information about any of these photos, they are pinned on our Everyday Romantic board on Pinterest. Have a romantic night! 🙂

xoxo – Alexandria

{ Everyday Romantic }

Welcome to Everyday Romantic, the Marisa Perry Atelier blog!  We hope you enjoy having a place to peek into our wonderful world of diamonds, romance, & NYC adventures.  Originally inspired by Marisa Perry’s favorite quote, “live for and by the special” {Bell Book and Candle}, this blog was created to celebrate and savor the special things in life. We believe in being hopeful romantics and infusing every day with romance.

Since we work at a boutique that specializes in diamond engagement rings, our daily work life feeds our inner romantic, but shouldn’t everyone get their dose of romance, too?  We think so!  Whether it’s creating a delicious dinner date in, finding the sweetest anniversary gift or planning the perfect proposal, this is the place to find our thoughts on all things romantic.  We might post something as big as Marisa’s plan for memorable moments in Paris or something as simple as how to create a romantic atmosphere at home.

The MP team is so excited to embark on this new blogging journey.  We’re looking forward to sharing our thoughts and tips, as well as the hilarious happenings of this place we call home. Are you ready for yummy recipe posts, delicious diamond photos, and an abundance of romance and revelry? We hope this site is fun while being a resource for you. Feel free and encouraged to communicate with us through the comment section below.  We’re excited to get to know you, as you get to know us!

Much love – Alexandria & the MP team