Friday 5 August 2016

Thrifting For Treasure? Here Are Some Top Tips!

Whether decorating on a budget or if you are an antique aficionado, flea markets, garage sales, car-boot sales, thrift shops, second hand charity shops, recycle warehouses, antique markets, vintage shops are all amazing places where you can find unique treasures to add to your home decor. And certain bargain finds can be extremely valuable and highly collectible!

I love shopping at flea markets. Unique pieces like this gorgeous antique mirror in my home has been sourced from an antique flea market and many other pieces have been repurposed or up-cycled from various thrift stores and street markets. So I thought of putting together a few of my favourite tips for thrifting the best antiques and home decor pieces from flea markets, antique shops or recycle warehouses that I learnt along the way.

So here we top tips for picking up the best antiques and home decor pieces at flea markets, junkyards or thrift stores.

Tip 1 ~ When antiquing or scouting for unique finds in vintage shops or flea markets, try and look beyond the chipped exterior and rather at the potential hiding beneath the dust of yesteryears. Bespoke coffee canisters, vintage ceramic mustard jars and distinctive spice tins make excellent collectors items and are great for use as storage for cutlery in the kitchen or for planting herbs and succulents.

Tip 2 ~ Antique markets or recycle junk warehouses are a great place to source old lamps and one-of-a-kind industrial pendants. Keep an eye out for architectural elements such as provincial salvage doors or vintage barn doors that can be used as a wall decor to create a showstopper or instead of builder grade wardrobe or room doors.

Tip 3 ~ Vintage trays, silver platters, old crates, vintage bread boards, original mason jars, old wire baskets, vintage photo frames, side tables, occasional chairs, desk lamps are highly collectible items and can be found in abundance at second hand thrift shops or charity shops.

Tip 4 ~ Salvaged or reclaimed wooden corbels can be used as bookends, to hold potted plants, used as coat racks, as shelves or simply as decorating accents on the bookshelf or mantle to inspire a farmhouse look. They also make fabulous doorstops and can be found aplenty in various sizes and finishes in old recycle warehouses and vintage junkyards.

Tip 5 ~ Don't be penny wise and pound foolish! When buying furniture or rather anything at the flea markets, ensure that you check out the piece thoroughly for cracks or broken bits or legs. Some pieces may need just a quick and cheap fix whereas others may require a complete overhaul, plenty of time, effort and money to restore.

Tip 6 ~ And lastly, remember to bargain... bargain... bargain! Flea markets, street markets, trash and treasure markets and even salvage warehouses are a great place to snag fantastic treasures at bargain rates. 

Summer is a great time to visit all those street and flea markets and go on an antiquing journey. Antiquing is a great way to spend a lazy Sunday afternoon! If you are planning on antiquing this summer in the U.S., here's a couple of comprehensive guides put together by Invaluable, a leading online marketplace for fine art, antiques and collectibles for The Top U.S. Towns for Summer Antiquing and here's one for antiquing in London! Unlike the U.S. or the UK, in Australia it's currently winter and sadly too cold to treasure hunt at outdoor flea markets.

What are some of your favourite tips to snag some cool and special finds from flea markets or thrift stores? Share with us, we'd love to know!

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