What to Look for at the Flea Market Now
Find a Great Old Clock, Camera, Portrait, Chair or Globe and It's Your Lucky Day
There's nothing like spending a weekend morning wandering the aisles of a flea market and letting your imagination wander with ideas about where these treasures came from and how you can use them in your own home. Here are some hot items to look for at the source so you won't pay the dealer markup on Etsy, Ebay and in stores:
This one image captures a few current trends. They're so trendy, in fact, many companies are creating facsimiles for purchase. The hanging school clock, empty baroque gold frame, army-issue trunk, rattan headboard and grain sack pillows are all items to look for at flea markets. They won't be as nicely displayed as they are here so have extra keen vision for these because people in the know will snap them up for resale. Go early if you can to snag the trendy items.
Ethnic rugs and textiles are popular right now and their pricing reflects it. I have seen some beautiful Oriental and kilim rugs at flea markets. I actually look for ones with worn out spots - visually they are much more interesting to me. You won't have to worry about how the rug will hold up in high traffic parts of your own home, and you can talk the dealer down for the "imperfections".
Personally, if I haven't rented a larger vehicle, chairs are the biggest item I will spring for at flea markets. One can never have enough chairs, and the wooden Danish variety with sculptural lines will never go out of style or conflict with any other decor.
Globes have been collectors' items for years now. I'm not sure why things with an institutional origin (school clocks and maps, military trunks) are big right now, but if you can find a globe that was created for educational purposes, ideally with defunct countries and borders, you are in luck.
The strangers staring out at you from painted portraits tell a story about a life and add a lot of character to a room. These can fetch hundreds of dollars at dealers if they are painted well, but most small painted canvases at flea markets cost less than $100.
Antique cameras are also a wanted commodity. With the ease of digital photography and camera phones, the visual appeal of these antique versions has grown tremendously. People love displaying and collecting these, and why shouldn't you have one, too?
You have seen deer antlers everywhere as natural and rustic additions to any decor. They are humane in that deer shed their antlers annually, so they're a true celebration of nature's beauty. If you can buy recycled antlers for your display, even better.
My all time favorite thing to get is old wood crates. I can never have enough of these as inexpensive and interesting storage solutions around my house. Papers and files, books and magazines, pillows, pantry items. A rustic and stylish way to avoid plastic containers.
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