Flea Market Fix-Ups

Buy what you love and fix it up!

Posted by Harriette Halepis | Sep 10, 2009
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Browsing through flea markets in search of home decorating treasures is lots of fun - after all, who doesn't love to pick up a one-of-a-kind find for just a few bucks? If you love to look through flea markets, but you aren't sure how to use the items you see at flea markets, take a look at some of the flea market fix-up ideas below.

Top Themes

Interior design themes are abundant at flea markets. All you have to do is look closely and you'll see all kinds of items that can easily go together to create a special, unified look. The next time you're out flea market hunting, look for the following themed objects:

  • Sandy Shores: add a colourful rug, bright pillows, a cute wall hanging, and some wicker furniture together to create a seashore theme. You won't have any trouble finding these items at a flea market, and adding a splash of the seaside to your home is a great way to infuse any room with summertime fun, no matter what time of year it is.
  • Mix 'N Match: don't be afraid to combine designs that you find. Go for colors that complement each other, artwork that may be a bit unusual (think about hanging old windows on walls), and furniture that you can repaint or recover.
  • Vase Place: flea markets are full of great vintage vases. Why not collect a few of these vases, and use them to display seashells, flowers, marbles - anything that you enjoy collecting. Or, line up colored vases on a windowsill for a unique look.
  • Warmth: throws, pillows, thick rugs - all of these things add warmth to any home. Look for cozy knit items, items bulging with stuffing, and soft materials.

Light Bright

Have you ever noticed how many light fixtures can be found at flea markets? If you find a light that you love, don't worry about dust, rust, or other blemishes. Go ahead and pick up any lights that strike your fancy.

Any fixture that you love can be transformed into a great home addition with some simple steps:

1. Clean you any fixture by applying the right kind of cleaner. For silver fixtures, use silver polish. Glass can be cleaned using glass cleaner, and gold will shine with special gold polish.

2. If a fixture has faulty wiring, you can bring it to a professional electrician. Most electricians will not charge too much for this kind of job, and you'll have a new-to-you lamp that you love.

3. The color of any fixture can be easily painted. Just head to your local hardware store, grab some metal (or other) paint, and color to your heart's content.

4. The structure of a lamp is one thing that you cannot easily alter. If a fixture is bent or chipped, you may not want to purchase it.

5. Shades are super easy to change. Pick up some old vintage shades, or buy some new ones at a home decorating store - any flea market lamp will look great with the right shade. 

Material Madness

What do you think of when you see a material that you love, but you hate the object that it's attached to? Imagine that you've found a chair that's upholstered with the finest silk around, but the chair itself is a hideous piece filled with chips and cracks. What would you do? In order to think like a frugal flea market maverick, you have to know how to detach material from ugly objects. Everything from pillows to bed sheets can be made into something else. Pick up an easy reupholstering book (it's easier than you think!), and never pass up a material that you love ever again.

Buying What You Love

Are you planning to spend the day at a flea market? If you head to a flea market with a clear mind, then you will be able to choose only those items that you love. In contrast, if you head to a market looking for a priceless antique item, you may be disappointed. Flea markets are all about finding objects that you love, transforming those objects, and turning them into items that you'll enjoy looking at for years to come. If you're new to flea market shopping, just keep this rule in mind: buy what you love...then figure out what to do with it!

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