Leading industry designers visited the Duralee showroom in New York’s Decoration & Design Building to hear expert opinions on how to tour and shop the European antique market.

By Brielle Bryan

Photo courtesy of The Robert Allen Duralee Group

New York’s Decoration & Design Building had its second installment of its Designer Forum Series, “European Treasures, Discovered; Source Like The Experts,” on February 6. Known nationally and internationally as the world’s most important home to more than 130 showrooms, the DDB represents more than 3,000 leading manufacturers dedicated to the very best in residential and business interior furnishings, educational opportunities and resource information.

More than 100 designers visited the Duralee showroom to hear the expert tips of Toma Clark Haines, founder and chief executive officer of The Antiques Diva & Co. The Antiques Diva & Co. is the world’s largest antiques touring company, sourcing services in 15 countries across Europe and Asia. At the event, Haines shared her secrets to touring and shopping the European antique markets alongside well-traveled designers Garrow Kedigian and Robert Passal.

Justin Shaulis, Design Host for the philanthropic-based HGTV series, “Home Rules,” also attended the event. As an interior designer client, Shaulis turned to Haines with a client’s tight budget, knowing that he could get more bang for his buck overseas without sacrificing on quality. Haines shared that in theory, the European Market offers a 3 to 5 times markdown compared to the New York City market, notwithstanding cost of travel and delivery.

While it may be easier to buy multiple pieces when the prices are lower, Passal noted that the “best price” for a piece is whatever you’re willing to pay, citing that value isn’t always calculated in dollars. Kedigian suggested that pre-shopping the Markets before visiting with clients and then post-shopping without them to close the deals makes for a smooth sourcing process, as well.

Throughout the year, the DDB will be teaming up with various leading experts of design and luxury to elevate the design conversation and provide added value to the interior design community.

Photo courtesy of the Decoration & Design Building