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Journal

September 21st

Budget-friendly Market Finds That Add Style

A few vintage books on the side table add to this room's cozy feel.

We’ve shared in this blog about our fantastic finds online and at various stores, and how we can create reproductions of high-end furniture. But we also have one more tool in our bag, and that is shopping at antique stores and flea markets. I love shopping at these stores, so here are a few tips on what to look for and what to avoid. Get ready to dig!

• If your décor is more of a vintage or country theme, you are likely to be more successful at these markets. However, you can also find older items that fit modern styles – such as a retro geometric 60s lamp that works well in a contemporary setting.

A refurbished surfboard is a fun accent piece in a teen's bedroom or a "man cave."

• My favorite find is old books. There is nothing like the look of colorful, slightly tattered books to fill a bookcase, and new hardback books are simply too expensive for that application so market finds are perfect. I also like to stack a few old books on a side table.

• People give away chandeliers a lot, and they end up at antique stores or markets. Did you know an electrician can easily rewire and refinish these? The result is a quaint light fixture for a fraction of what a new chandelier would cost. This is true of most broken items you see – fixing it is more economical than buying new.

You can find unexpected accessories such as this chess set at resale markets.

• Just like you can have a chandelier repaired, you can also have furniture reupholstered to look like new. Wood items – such as dressers – can be painted for a fresh look.

• Vintage typewriters and cameras are terrific finds. These can be used as accessories in bookcases or on tabletops.

• If you’re a collector, look for additions to your set and incorporate them in your décor. I have a client who collects Lionel trains, for example, and those pieces make interesting accessories.

• Some other fun props to watch for that add character to your décor: bells, telescopes, picture frames, bicycles or bike parts, bookends, signs.

My only caution about visiting antique stores and flea markets is to tread lightly. While a few vintage pieces are fun and get attention, too many of them can turn your house into a museum. So don’t overdo it.

We love to shop for just the right accessories for our clients. Please contact us for an individual consultation about your design needs.