Decorating With Flea Market Finds

living room decorated with flea market finds

I'm just one of those designers and decorators who loves a good bit of vintage mixed into every room. It doesn't need to be a mumbo jumbo cluttered up mess, but I adore pieces with patina and when I find something that speaks my language I'll find a way to mix it in. I've been in the process of...

pink shabby chic cabinet

...decluttering as you may know if you've been following here, but I still have a plethora of pieces and props. Where are they? Sometimes they are tucked away in a closet, stored in a basket or bin and if air conditioning isn't the garage it may go. I am a collector who curates and not a snob when it comes to stopping at a yard sale that looks juicy or picking up a curbside find. Here are my 3 favorite things to look for when hitting up the flea market or shopping the rounds of yard sales and scouting.

Decorating With Flea Market Finds


Cabinets come in so handy and in many older homes there is a lack of closets to store things in. This cabinet was found by a friend for just a few dollars and she was kind enough to give it to me when no longer needed. I don't have a proper linen cupboard in my master bedroom area, so all of the extra pillows and blankets are stored here. 

cottage style decorating beach house

This step-back cabinet is another representation of some great storage that is decorative and perfectly patinized with the old chippy white paint. I'd been looking for something like this for our casual beach home for several years and when I saw it one day on Craig's List I couldn't get over to pick it up fast enough! If you are searching for something that you can't live without, have patience and just don't buy the wrong thing. I've learned this over the years that your perfect piece will come!


vintage trophies collecting

It's hard to draw the line sometimes at when to stop collecting and to know what exactly constitutes "a collection". I would call anything more than two a collection and like to group similar things together in vignettes. That being said, I LOVE to display flowers and feel that a home is not complete without at least a few wild flowers in a container. I pick up the unusual and harder to find when I find them at a great these vintage trophies at a flea market a few years back. They are authentic and I will always prefer that over reproductions. Fill them with flowers if you find them!

vintage aqua bottles

Some of my favorite flea market finds to display and contain flowers? Look for vintage bottles, old enamelware pitchers, antique ironstone and even a plain old mopping bucket will do! If your container won't exactly hold water, but the flowers inside of a jar and then place inside your larger piece of the past.

bottles on a mantel with flowers

Try mixing your vintage finds in with newer pieces in multiples. A simple bunch of bottles, both new and old...makes a beautiful statement on the mantel.

vintage french enamelware body pitcher


Vintage chairs, sofas and seatings are those collectible items that are useful and generally pretty easy to source at flea markets. I've bought and sold so many chairs over the years and kept just a few for our home...mixing and mingling them in with new reproductions. The chair above is in our master bedroom and serves the purpose of seating for putting on my shoes in the morning. I look for tufted pieces and on this one the faded velvet was in great shape so I kept it. 

french chairs covered in grainsack

Consider the condition always when shopping for vintage furniture and how much work you are willing to put into it. Can you recover chairs by yourself? Are you patient enough to paint? 

white tufted french sofa

The French tufted sofa was an inexpensive thrift store find and I'd been on the hunt for quite awhile. I knew what I would be getting into with this project, so I hired it out...and that was costly. Think about those things when you are scouring those markets and go with your budget in hand.

Speaking of furniture...I can't wait to show you what I find when I'm at High Point Market this weekend with the Design Bloggers Tour Fall 2016