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March 10, 2019 GMT

It is always interesting to think about making something new out of something old. There seems to be a trend these days to survey flea markets and yard sales to find bargains that can be upgraded. Some do it as a profession and resell their innovations, and some do it to furnish their own homes. There is hardly a DIY television show or design magazine that doesn’t have a segment on some refurbished or repurposed piece of furniture.

Repurposing doesn’t automatically mean someone’s abode is “shabby chic,” instead, these finds easily agree or highlight other decors as well. Mid-century modern is huge now and what better place to find one of those cast-off treasures than a tag sale, a flea market or even an antique shop. There is something for everyone to find in cast off sales whether it is farm house classic, traditional or industrial. If the item doesn’t work with a certain decor perhaps it can be repurposed to fit.


For example, it is amazing the number of bars that are made from simple bookshelves, desks, cabinets and tables. Then there are the unusual vessels that become servers or maybe footstools of such as barrels, bikes and buckets. Unusual planters made from galvanized tubs, punch bowls, teapots and even chairs can be very attractive. This is a case of the imagination going out the door to accomplish a goal, which is a good thing. Such individual creations are often the one more thing that makes your home uniquely yours.

Imagination and discarded home goods can play into creating a collection that could be accumulated without too much expense at a flea market. Flea Market Magazine highlights some of these interesting collections such as Christmas tree toppers, sterling teapot lids, spritzer bottles and bridle rosettes. One could also consider accumulating interesting collections of expected items such as jadeite and other crockery from flea markets and tag sales. One should consult blogs, magazines and television shows not only for inspiration with what people are collecting but see how these collections are displayed.

There are a few suggestions that might help you out as you shop these secondhand venues. Shopping early helps you avoid the crowds, but late in the day brings better deals. Negotiate on price with grace and be considerate in that the vendor has to make a profit. Finally, go prepared with an empty backpack or shoulder bag to hold your treasures. If you are making a large purchase, consider how you might get it home because a delivery service is usually not part of the deal.

Flea markets and yard sales are great places to find the unusual and the just right piece for your home. More than one decorator has been known to frequent these treasure troves to find just the right thing for their client. Perhaps you too will find something unique to hang on a bathroom room wall, or maybe you will discover some architectural pieces that add just the right panache to your living space.