I am always looking for affordable ways to decorate my home, because as much as I love all the decorations at Pottery Barn and Restoration Hardware I know I can't afford to decorate my whole home with them (sigh…who doesn't love them right?!). My decorating style is a rustic modern feel with a little bit of French Country thrown in there! I have nothing against new things at all, but I do love my oldie but goodie finds. There is something about finding an old piece that may not look like much, but you know with a little paint and love you can make it something fabulous. I think every Friday should be Flea Market Finds Friday around here, but unfortunately my favorite flea market in Nashville is only once a month.
I feel like flea markets get a bad rap for selling junk. Now there is a lot of junk sold at flea markets, but if you go to a good one there is way more great finds that junk in my opinion. You just need to know how to look.
The Nashville flea market is once a month on the last weekend of the month. They are huge! Vendors come from all over the US to bring their oldie but goodies and some really cool restored pieces. I will admit it can be a bit overwhelming but well worth it. That said, here are some quick tips on shopping the flea markets:
Plan Ahead: I you have never been to a major flea market before, it can be slightly overwhelming and you really don't know where to start. I like to make a list of items that I am looking for, so even though I am looking around at other items I always have my eye out for “my list”.
This beautiful Tobacco basket was definitely on my list….I had been looking every where for an original!
Dress Accordingly: As much as I love heels ladies, this is not the place to wear them! You will be walking A LOT! I worn tennis shoes this time and my feet still hurt.
Get there early: I promise you that you will not be the first one there. There will be people waiting for them to open. Now I haven't gotten to the point where I am waiting at the gates or anything but I am definitely there within the first hour they open. The good stuff goes fast! You aren't the only one there with a eye to turn any old piece into something special. A ton of people go there looking for old pieces to refurbish and sell for a nice profit. I got there early and still missed out on a few things I really had my eye on. I had been on the lookout for an old rustic bed for my spare bedroom and I spotted the perfect one right away, my first find of the day. At the end of the day when I went to pick it up the guy told me they had to move it because someone asked to buy it every 10 minutes or so.
Just look how pretty she is!
Bring Cash: Make sure to bring cash. Some vendors will now take cards or even checks, but a lot of them don't. I would hate for you to miss out on that perfect rustic farmhouse table because you didn't have cash!
Bargain, Bargain, Bargain: These prices aren't set in stone! The prices are set high because they know you're going to try and get them down to the lowest possible price. I get this whole bargaining thing from my mom. I see her at these Flea Markets and many time I hear her tell a price she will give and when they say no, she straight up walks away! This may sound harsh, but 9 times out of 10 then stop her before she gets too far and either settles not he price she offered or they meet in the middle.
It is hard to know a lot of times what is a good price for an old piece of furniture, or that old vintage lantern? Vendors know when they have something that everyone is looking for and their price reflects that, but it never hurts to ask what you're willing to give. If you are not new in restoring old furniture or looking for vintage finds you will have somewhat of an idea what they go for. If you're new ask questions to vendor about an item, dig into the history, you can get an idea of the value on an item just by asking a few questions.
Take this rustic find….the guy was making $280 dollars for it. In the end after talking with him, I got it down to $190 and I can't wait to share with you later what I have in mind for it!
Hope you enjoyed my little break from painting and home projects for a little fun at the flea market? Maybe we will have more Flea Market Finds in the future.
What is the best piece you've found at the flea market?
Have a great weekend!