Flea markets. You're either all about them or want nothing to do with them. I have seen some adorable furniture and accessories in friend's homes and found out the items were salvaged from a flea market, but on the other hand- used stuff? Do you really know what you are getting into?
Well, I decided to check out the flea market scene this past weekend at the Royal Oak Farmer's Market and was pleasantly surprised. There was a lot of junk, which is to be expected, but there was just as much, if not more, fun and vintage items. I exercised a phenomenal amount of self-control and steered myself away from the costume jewelry cases towards furniture (we are still in need of a lot of furniture since the move, but I am just not into the same-sameness of the big chain stores).
In about 15 minutes, I swooped in on my first two purchases: a coffee table and a metal seat, and then hemmed and hawed about the lamp for a bit before purchasing it (which turned out to be a good thing, which I will explain later).
The coffee table is the perfect size for the living room because although our couch is big (to accommodate lanky limbs) the coffee table will be at a strategic junction of the room-- right in the main pathway connecting the dining area to the hallway to the bedrooms. The coffee table I found is perfect because it is a good length, but a pretty narrow width, so it won't obstruct the pathway. I am pretty sure the coffee table was a bench in its former life, but I think it will work well for our space and I love that the top opens for storage! I am going to refinish it because the shabby chic finish it has now isn't quite my thing, but I will decide what color after I get a living room rug and a few other things...
The metal seat will be perfect for me as perch for putting on my shoes (it will go in the extra bedroom, which has begun to formalize as my dressing room/shoe closet/awesome-jewelry-making-sewing-random-craft-room). I am going to reupholster the seat (natch) and paint the metal a pewter color... or maybe go for rose gold, I can't decide yet ;)
Lastly, the lamp! I couldn't decide if it was cool or odd-looking, but the turquoise glass is a color I was already thinking about for the living room... if I don't steal it for one of the bedrooms. As I mentioned, I couldn't commit to the purchase, so I made my other purchases, loaded them in the car and then went back in to look at other items... which was the perfect amount of time because the vendor marked everything on his tables (including my lamp-to-be) 50% off! Yippee!
OK, to wrap up this lengthy tale, I got the coffee table for $20 (splurge of the day) , the metal seat for only $5, and the lamp at half price for $14-- not bad. I think flea markets might be part of my weekend plans every now and again because there is a lot of history and quite a few unique items to be found if you are willing to look. I will have to put a little money into painting and refinishing, but the prices were so good, I think I can deal ;)
What about you? Are you a flea market junkee or do you steer clear of anything involving the word "flea"?? Also, any unconventional places you love to shop for furniture?