Sharing inspirations on Home, Travel and Fashion while solving the mysteries of each. We love to create a new fashion “look” a room redesigned or an itinerary imagined. Home travel and fashion blogger Jonelle Tannahill takes you behind the scenes to meet Innkeepers, fiber artists, fashion stylists and museum curators to give you the latest in lifestyle trends.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Become Flea Market Savvy

I always appreciate when a vendor displays their items neatly and puts prices on the item

Who does not love a good Flea Market?

I have shopped Flea Markets around the world.  From the Tours, France outdoor open air market, to Malmsbury, England’s “boot sale” to California’s famous Rose Bowl Flea Market, I love to treasure hunt to find that perfect thing to make my personal style unique.

Don't you love the round glass 1/2 marble shaped trim this vendor put on this mirror to add interest?

Last Sunday morning I met up with my friend Diane in Sacramento to scour a monthly Flea Market for tea pots, fiestaware, fun unique serving plates, wooden boxes and more.  Always get there with a small list of what I’m looking for always leave with treasures I found but hadn’t necessarily thought of.

Good idea for jewelry display in your closet.  Will remind you to use your jewelry when you can see it as you get dressed.

The Sacramento Antique Faire is one of the places I go in search of treasures for my home.  You may be saying, I wish I lived near Jonelle and could go to that flea market.  Now, everyone has a flea market near them, so google your “towns name and flea market” and see what’s near you. A flea market is an outdoor antique and collectible marketplace where people bring their collected items to sell.

Go early to find the best stuff and go late to find the cheapest prices.

Most vendors at this flea market are antique dealers who, either have a store and use this to gain customers, or sell from the garage of their homes because they love to collect. Most of what I see at the flea market is picture frames, furniture, vintage clothing, old linens, textiles, architectural pieces, books, jewelry, silver, cultural pieces, china, pottery, glassware, garden accessories, sewing notions, rugs, art and collectibles of all kinds.  Did I miss anything?

Notice the cashmere pillow.  This is a project on my "To-do" list.  I am glad I found it to look at closely and get ideas.

It is a great interior design resource too.  I have found rugs, chairs to recover, china pieces and paintings.  I love to see painted furniture refinished, accessories restores, antique clocks rejuvenated, fixtures rewired, delicate jewelry refashioned, French designs re-purposed, garden tools reused.  I love it!  Now this is a true green program of reusing other people’s treasures.

My mom used to have those cool Indonesian dolls on the left.

 It's also a great place to get ideas for the things you already own.  I have a box of old "tourist dolls" I'm going to dig out and display in my home office now.  What a great idea!

My tips for successful Flea Market hunting:

Go early

Be friendly. 

Bring a tape measure

Bring Cash, smaller bills not all 20’s

Know your prices or check Ebay while looking

Feel free to bargain and offer less than the price

Bring two eco-bags to carry your treasures and a backpack to hold your purse and small items

Have fun, and maybe I’ll run into you at a Flea Market.

 You can take a photo of things you know your friends are looking for and send it to them with a price to see if they'd like you to purchase something for them.  I sent this photo to a friend collecting M&M display items...

 I carry my cell phone and Diane and I split up sometimes and start at different ends of the flea market.  Then we call each other or send a photo text when we see something the other might like.

I love the way he displays his items on those beautiful rugs.  Really caught my attention.

 Flea markets are a great way to add to your collection.  My husband is a camera buff.  Last year I bought him an antique camera to display on his bookshelves in his office.  I bought it from this vendor.

I had to take this photo and send it to my friend Sara who collects keys...  A very nice way to display them I think.
Here's the link to this Flea Market:

21st Street between W & X Streets  [Map]
Sacramento, CA 95818

(916) 600-9770

That's it for today.  Happy hunting!!  Jonelle

PS.  I ran into one of my favorite bloggers, Barbara Bussey from “The Treasured Home” at the Flea Market looking for wood furniture to paint.  She has a wonderful store called: The Treasured Home  it is located at 9906 Fair Oaks Blvd., in Fair Oaks, California (916- 514-5272) Tue-Sat 11:00 – 5:30. She teaches chalk painting and milk painting DIY classes.  I need to sign up and paint a few of my own tired pieces.   Here is a link to the things she has from past flea markets and other finds.  Check out her blog at:

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