How often do you consider ‘recycling’ when it comes to the decor of your home? With so much cool, new design at our fingertips these days, its often difficult to remember our other options. I want to chat a bit about the beauty of flea markets, peddlers malls and the occasional off-the-beaten-path antique store and how to utilize these places to A) save money B) make your home look stellar & unique and C) give you the warm fuzzies for giving a new life to something forgotten.
Let’s get right to it. First you must find these magical places. Do a local search for estate sales that are happening nearby. Subscribe to the companies that host them to get on their mailing lists. You can score really awesome pieces at these things. They’re no joke. My other favorite is Peddlers Malls and the ReStore by Habitat for Humanity. Some are practically junk heaps, and others are never ending treasure troves. You’ll get to know the best around town. It’s my favorite rainy day hobby. Scope them out or ask around. It is important to know though, that you will have to learn to focus & not be scared to rummage!
I was in the market for a buffet for our dining room when I saw this 1920’s piece for $100 in a junk store I stopped into on a rainy day excursion. I saw potential. Here are some tips for best luck. Don’t expect success on the first try.
You will have to learn to VISUALIZE:
– Take pictures of rooms in your home from many angles and always have them on you cell phone for reference
– Take measurements of all spaces in need of furniture and keep them with you
– Keep a tape measure in your car or purse. You never know when you will need it!
Think OUTSIDE of the Box:
– You will rarely find what you want while you are looking for it. Learn to enjoy the hunt!
– Never be scared to offer less than asking price. Most stores are more than happy to negotiate!
– Remember that you can personalize items and change the entire feel of it simple by installing new knobs on a dresser/desk or even reupholstering that funky colored chair with the great hand-carved woodwork! Find the most DROOL-WORTHY knobs & hardware HERE from Anthropologie!
-In a world where everyone wants things to be NEW, try to see the character in a less than perfect piece. Older furniture has a story. Maybe I’m a purist, but I think that painting over finished wood should be a last resort. A good cleaning and polish can seriously do wonders. Don’t always let the DIY world of Pinterest get the best of you. However, adding a few touches – perhaps painting or gold leafing the feet, for example, can really jazz up a dull item and add interest. Here is an excellent tutorial on how to gold leaf anything HERE!
PROTECT your gem:
Old items can be delicate and the woods can scratch easily, but that is no reason to dismiss owning older furniture. For around $50 or less, a local glass shop will custom make a topper that will perfectly preserve the surface giving durability and shine to an otherwise lackluster dresser or table!
After hauling my new piece of furniture home and polishing it very well, I decided to add a few gold leaf touches to accent the dining room and added a glass topper. Total cost was under $150!