My Kind of March Madness: Flea Market 101

I hope you’re not tired of hearing about the Nashville Flea Market already because it happens again this weekend and I’m headed that way with my BFF! If you’ve spent 3 seconds at home sweet here, you know that I love me some flea market (if this is your first visit, welcome and take a look here or here to learn more about my obsession.)

For those of you that are anti-flea market, don’t stop reading here. This is kind of for you. When I am bragging about all of my fabulous flea market finds, a lot of people tell me they’ve tried it and just can’t find anything. They don’t get how to look. So, when I went in February, I did some shopping for you. I found so many great things that I think you’ll like and hopefully, you’ll be inspired and I’ll see you there this weekend, loaded down with goodies.

First and foremost, you have to see the rehab potential and look past redon’ts. For example- look at the shape, size and sturdiness of these chairs. Ignore the awful fabric and silver spray paint. These chairs were $35 for the set (read that again, $35 for the SET, like 4 chairs) and make-over gold.

Laugh at the oddities, but try not to have nightmares. I’m all for seeing potential, but who would buy this?

If Pinterest is your crack, consider the flea market your dealer. Old door knobs to make the perfect coat hanger deal, check. Furniture pulls, check. Skeleton Keys, check. Mason jars, check.

What about these lanterns? Clean and paint them and they’re better than Pottery Barn. I would love these in a bright color, lighting my patio steps. Pretty!Industrial lights are everywhere. Including the flea market. Look at how huge these are? I’m sure they could be rewired and cleaned up and make the perfect obnoxiously large pendant light. (thanks mama for modeling next to it so we can see how HUGE these are!)You’ll find pretty new stuff, too. These bunnies were almost too cute to resist. I heart bunnies.

Everyone needs a seasoned cast iron skillet. Period. You will find plenty here for great prices. Mmmmmm, cornbread. 

Ever break a crystal off your chandelier or lamp. I have really. Well someone else broke one off a lamp carrying it out of the flea market for me. This is where your find your replacement. Or your inspiration for a little gaudy project.

Back to some oddities. Please laugh with me. 

Why did the chicken cross the road? To go home with you. These are not quite my style, but if I liked to decorate with chickens, these are as cute as they get. And here is Robb’s birthday present. Shhhh, don’t tell. Love the shape of these lamps- paint, a new light kit, and pretty shades and these are so perfect, Taylor Swift may write a song about them. Look for unusual items. Like these puppies. I wanted them so much, but not $35 much. Let’s talk Linens. Etsy has a bajillion people making the cutest little aprons you’ve ever seen. Unless you’ve been here. These are old, homemade and they ooze with character. And they’re cheap! Speaking of linens, hankies are so stinking cute and only $2. These babies are not just for nose blowing. 

Especially this one. If my name even had a C in it I would buy this and frame it. This is beautifulMetal is also in abundance. My BFF got some coppery tiles like this several years ago here for her half bath. They are beautiful. I copied her in my half bath, but mine came from Hobby Lobby and don’t have near the character. Sarah wins. The flea market wins. Notice the bull head in the corners if both of these pictures? Why do I want that? 

For Swamp People watchers- “Choot-em, Liz-beth”I heart the flea market, obviously. It’s frugal, original, and I really think everyone could find something. Each month is different and some are much better than others. But hopefully you’re starting to see what it has to offer. There are 2 things left for you to do.

1. give the flea market a try this weekend and

2. raise the roof if you love it. 

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Flea Market Finds

This weekend is the fourth of the month and if you live anywhere near Nashville you should know what that means:

FLEA MARKET!

The Nashville Fairgrounds has the best Flea Market once a month and with Spring like weather outside I am just itching to get back there. If you’re not a flea market-er, I totally understand. There are icky parts to every market including the Nashville one, but I assure you that the great parts far outweigh the icky ones. There are about a bajillion great finds and some of the nicest people around.

I’ve always been on a tight budget but I’ve also always loved things with some extra character, so the flea market is pretty much the perfect place for me to meet both needs. It would be scary of I actually counted what all in our home sweet here came from the flea market.

I’m not counting today, but I did want to show you some of my collection and we’ll start with accessories…

I just picked a few at random that I brought home and used as is. No rehab required. I think they are all pretty unique to flea market finds- like you won’t walk into TJ Maxx or Wal-Mart and find these babies kind of unique. See what you think…

one: Remember what I said about the nicest people ever at the Flea Market? This old wire basket is the perfect example of this. My parents are monthly flea market-ers and have made friends with said nice people. When I was coveting wire baskets, they asked their friend if he could find one and the next month- not only did he have one for me but he said “Happy Birthday!” and gave it to me. Really. Like $0, for free, priceless, thank you sir, gave it to me. I was so grateful. It wasn’t exactly the shape I had in mind and it is a bit more rustic than I usually pick, but when I threw some magazines in it I fell in love! Thank you, nice flea market man

two: How cute are these guys? My parents or my “pickers,” as I like to call them found me this little couple. They seem to find more for me when I don’t go, than I do when I’m with them. Maybe I should rethink this weekend. Anyway, I thought these little bookends were so stinking cute and “whimsical” as Emily Henderson would say. I move them around from shelf to shelf and they just seem so perfect everywhere

three: And here are some more bookends. I got these $5 puppies with every intention of painting them. They are kind of gaudy. But when I got them home, I liked the gaudy. I’m finding that every room needs a a touch of gaudy gold or brass to really balance it out. My good friend/partner in design crime/let’s consult about this while we take a work break, Bonnie Jean, will back me up on that too, right?

four: Another find from my pickers! I kind of love photography. Kind of a lot, so one of my “collections” is full of vintage cameras (flea market and antique store finds mixed with my older ones). I need to show you those someday too, but for today- something a little more unexpected. If you need out-of-the-ordinary, you won’t find this in every Ross in the country type of artwork- give old magazine adds a try. Even if your style is more modern, I think you can find something that will meet your needs. These are vintage Kodak adds. One from 1961 another from 1922 and I’m not sure about the other, but they go with my camera collection and balance each other out perfectly.

five: this just shows you how flea market finds can fit perfectly with your “store bought”stuff. The top is a basket from TJ Maxx probably, the middle one is a Hobby Lobby suitcase and the bottom is another flea market treasure. I have used it on it’s side, alone, or stacked with some friends and it’s kind of great. I have been tempted to bring some others home too, but you have to be very careful when selecting an old suitcase to use as storage. #1 make sure it’s not stinky and #2 if you’re going to stack them, make sure it’s not slanted. Lots are and that has been the biggest reason I’ve walked away from several non-stinky suitcases.

My flea market fever is hotter than ever! I need to go back this weekend. Maybe if I do, I’ll go shopping for you and show you some things that I think would make a great addition to any space. And how about, I continue this little show and tell sometime soon and show you some furniture and maybe some other things we’ve made over. I’m thinking you like the sound of that so it’s almost like you need me to go this weekend and find some fabulous stuff. Like, we may not be friends anymore if I don’t. That is a lot of pressure but I’m going to see what I can do for you. I think you’re worth it.