When redecorating your bedroom, a flea market can be your best friend. Vintage furniture not only creates the ultimate style, but it also can be found at the perfect price. However, sometimes your finds need a little tender love and care. And if you’re willing to put in the time, flea markets and garage sales can be the most practical and stylish way to furnish your bedroom.
Yet searching for hidden gems can be a little overwhelming, but with a little guidance, you can make the experience truly exciting and worth your time. Not to mention tips and tricks for getting the best items or the best deals. Here’s a guide that will have you flea market shopping like a pro!
When To Go
There is definitely something to be said for when you go hunting. Going at the right time can make all the difference in the world, but it depends on what kind of experience you’re looking to have.
Shopping For Great Finds: If your main concern is what you’re finding and not what you’re spending, you want to hit up the sale when it first opens. Going on the first day it opens, right at opening, is going to offer you the best selection. If you wait too long to go, all the items will be picked over and you might not be able to find what you’re looking for. If it’s a weekend sale, try to opt for Friday morning instead of Saturday to beat all the people who plan to shop throughout the weekend.
Shopping For Great Deals: For those who are looking to go bargain hunting and find great steals, you should wait for the end of the day, right before the flea market closes. When a flea market first opens, sellers are less willing to make a deal with you. However, by the end of they, sellers are trying to get rid of their inventory, meaning you’re more likely to strike a deal.
What To Bring
Before you arrive at the flea market, you want to make sure that you’re properly equipped for a day full of shopping. Since purchases are typically final and each item you find is unique, you don’t want to pass up on something you might later regret. Here’s how to make shopping more productive:
Assemble A Flea Market Toolkit: Bring paint and fabric swatches of any upholstery or drapery that’s currently in your bedroom. This way you won’t have to rely on a mental picture when trying to find new items that complement what’s already existing. Throw in a tape measurer to make sure everything is scaled to your liking and some bubble wrap in case you find any fragile treasures.
Stop At The ATM: While some vendors might accept credit cards, you don’t want to run the risk of passing on a dream piece because you don’t have adequate funding on hand. Bring enough cash – preferably smaller bills so that it’s easier to make deals. You might even want to consider wearing a money belt to protect against pick pocketing in large crowds (better safe than sorry!).
Pack A Snack: Every so often, you come across an amazing flea market that keeps you searching all day long. Carry a bottle of water and a couple of snacks in order to save money on overpriced concession stands.
Turning Flea Market Finds Into Treasures
If you’re going for a vintage bedroom or shopping on a budget, there are plenty of pieces you can pick up at a flea market or garage sale. While you probably can’t furnish the room completely, there are several items you want to keep an eye out for when scavenging. And with some time and spray paint, you can make them look brand new.
Bedside Table: The cool thing about bedside tables is you can make them out of anything. From a stepladder to a stack of suitcases, the options for unique nightstands will go as far as your imagination can run. But if you manage to find the perfect sized nightstand, you can easily revamp it with a fresh coat of paint.
Headboard: Like a bedside table, a headboard gives you a lot of room to get creative. Pretty much any large vintage item can be used to spruce up your bed. While you probably don’t want to look for a whole bed at a flea market, turning an old door, mirror or fireplace into a headboard is the perfect way to breathe new style into an old frame.
Lamps: Vintage inspired table and desk lamps are an instant win. All you need to do is refinish the base to make it sparkle like new. Or you can up the creative-ante by turning an old vase, bottle or something of the likes into a lamp. Also, keep an eye out for chandeliers, which are sure to bring some vintage class to any bedroom.
Dresser: Store your clothes in style with a vintage or refurbished dresser. Just clean it up, or restyle it completely with decorative knobs and nailhead trim. You can even style it to match your nightstand.
The Tech-Savvy Shopper
How do you find the perfect flea market or yard sale? There’s plenty of apps to help. Here are some we love:
Garage Sale Map (Available for iOS and Android users): This free app pulls garage sale information from a variety of different hosts including Gsalr.com, Oodle.com, YardSales.net, and EstateSales.org. You can search by city and you can even see photos that the sellers upload.
Yard Sale Treasure Map (Available for iOS and Android users): Yard Sale Treasure Map is a free app that accesses information from Craigslist to find yard sales in your area. You can even select multiple sales within the app and it will create an ideal shopping route for you to navigate.
The real key to shopping at flea markets is patience and optimism. With a little bit of love and creativity, you can turn almost anything into a gem!