French Country in California

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IMG_4075I am passionate about French antiques, French brocante and flea market finds. It was thanks to instagram and this enduring passion that I ended up meeting the boys behind Atelier de Campagne, the import firm that is headquartered in Belgium and in the small town of Corralitos just outside of Santa Cruz in Northern California.

IMG_4074Johan hails from Belgium where my friend Toma, the Antiques Diva says the best deals on French antiques are found. His partner Trinidad is from Mexico but has lived in the US for most all his life and was a former teacher until they both caught the antiques bug.

IMG_4069Johan studied interior design and is adept at recreating items using vintage pieces as well as painting old wooden hutches and other furniture in grey, white or light green to give them that perfect updated French country look.

IMG_4079He is also an expert stager and the creative force behind the duo as one can tell quickly from his photos on Instagram. Trinidad does sales and helps with marketing, social media and relationships with the myriad of designers they work with. They do a lot of business with dealers who find their “finds” as irresistible as I do.

IMG_4083They also do a fair amount of retail work via the more popular flea markets on the west coast. The Alamaeda flea, the Long Beach Antiques market and the Hollywood bowl are regular shows for the pair.

IMG_4089Because they ship via container and score great deals while in Europe, they pass along their finds at very reasonable prices. I have no interest in looking at antiques, which sell for 10’s of thousands of dollars, it’s simply not fun.

IMG_4064But these two focus on beautiful French country looks, iron work, garden items and statuary, French signs, reliquary, dovecotes and other garden charm and they pass on the deals they’ve negotiated.

IMG_4086A new magazine, EVOKE which focuses on the love of French antiques and chateaux put them on the cover of their inaugural issue.

IMG_4070Swedish designer Nina Hartman, author of Vintage by Nina is a fan, as is Diane Keaton and Rachel Ashwell who created Shabby Chic. Not bad for two guys who started out with a tiny stand in a little shop in Santa Cruz.

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Links:

IMG_4062Atelier de Campagne – sign up for their mailing list if you want to be invited to their warehouse open house, which happens several times a year.

Toma Antiques Diva

EVOKE

Nina Hartman

Rachel Ashwell

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