5 Vintage Décor Tips & Flea Market Finds

Styling your space with vintage flea market finds invites you and your guests into memories from the past. Vintage items tell stories of those who once held them in their hands, used them for daily tasks, and enjoyed their simple beauty. Incorporating your vintage finds with new pieces helps to create a new story: your story. Nods to the past add depth to the room, while the items from today add your unique contemporary style. 

But don’t think of simply throwing vintage decor items together. It’s about blending found pieces to balance the design between old and new. Let me show you some of my flea markets finds!

A Touch of Gold Glam

I spotted this vintage coffee table when I was visiting my local hot spot for a quick shopping haul. The gold glam metal trellised coffee table with a thick glass top had to be mine.  Rich jewel tones have always been popular in vintage décor, with emerald green and gold shades.  My sister-in-law helped me lift the glass top off and gently load it into my truck. Score! This treasure was all mine, and I couldn’t believe my luck!

Tip 1: Always keep your eyes open for one-of-a-kind vintage gems.

Don’t let the Color Fool you

You spot something interesting, but the color doesn’t match your decor. If it is in good shape, you can change the color. These wicker glasses are a great example. Believe it or not, I found these washed-out orange wicker glasses for $2 (set of 8), and all I did was spray paint them a high-gloss navy. Voila, I use them for outdoor entertaining and as props for styling my interiors photoshoots. They are perfect!

Tip 2: If the item is in good shape but not the right color…paint it!

Palm Beach, Here I Come

My next find was inspired by a woven beach tote my mother owned. She paired it with a cute short set, a long silk scarf headband, and oversized black round sunglasses. She looked hip and trendy, and I loved her vibe. Funny story about the vintage tote I found peering through my antique shops’ window: they are closed by order of the town until they organize their space safely! But I know the women in charge, so I asked them to show me what was peeking out from the corner of a top shelf. They brought it to the door, and I negotiated a fair price.

Tip 3: Find pieces that evoke a fond memory from the past to help you recreate a moment in time.

Oh Boy, Look At My Dough Bowl

Sometimes inspiration may come from another Interior Designer or a design coffee table book. That was the case for me. In 2007 my sister-in-law gifted me with Nell Hill’s design book, Feather Your Nest, signed by Mary Carol Garrity. Debbie frequented the Nell Hill’s Shop when she and her husband lived in Kansas. Fast forward sixteen years later, I found this incredible vintage dough bowl just like the one I recalled in Nell Hill’s Book! I had to have it, and after some tricky negotiating, it came home with me! I use it in various ways: entertaining vessels for wine and champs, decor on my console table, and a styling prop for interior photoshoots. 

Tip 4: Use interior design books and magazines as inspiration.

My Gardening Basket

Finally, something I was specifically searching for… a gardening basket. Again, my mother was my inspiration for wanting a gardening basket/tray like the one she had when I was growing up. I looked but couldn’t find what I was looking for, so I purchased one from Studio McGee, which I love! But then I was in Point Pleasant with a girlfriend, stumbled across this beauty, and bought it to add to my collection! I use it in my garden and as a styling prop for interior photoshoots.

Tip 5: It can be tough to find EXACTLY what you want, so be flexible and find something that may be similar or evoke the same vibe!

My final tip is to be curious and have a good eye whenever you are out and about shopping or browsing. You know the saying, “When you see it, buy it.” That is true 100% of the time. I have missed out on so many incredible finds because I did not act and buy it right then and there. It is a treasure hunt for me, and I hope it is for you too. I love finding pieces to add to my home decor puzzle that fit together in new and interesting ways to create a haven for my family. Now go out and explore, have fun with your treasure hunt, and I know you will catch the antiquing bug, just like I have!

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Credit: Sourcing: The Mercantile https://themercantilebytcds.com

Larkspur Pillow

Sur Throw

Calaisio Table and Serveware

Antique Brass Lanterns

Matte Gold Cheese Set

The Journal


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