Flea Market Find Hacks

by Lili Patch 06/26/2019

Part of you can't stay away from flea markets, garage sales, and antique malls. But another part of you knows that there is not enough room in your home for the random pieces that you find. The living room corner is not the perfect place for a rusted pitchfork, and your bedroom shouldn't house that old hand plow. But some items fit right in, and others that can be made to order with a little hacking.

Hacks, not a hacksaw

Although many hacks require some cutting or drilling into the piece, remember that its very age makes it less able to withstand severe alterations without also improving its stability. For example, a wooden library card-filling system creates a perfect side table with the addition of legs, and the wood usually can withstand the drilling. Conversely, a metal and glass tea trolley may not have the stability to add drawers or remove shelves, and a dresser with delicate French legs might not bear the weight of your entertainment system. A sturdy farmhouse table, however, makes a fantastic coffee or game table and only requires cutting down the legs. Before embarking on alterations, consider the original use of the piece and adjust your expectations accordingly.

Think creatively

Vintage beds rarely come in queen-size. If you’ve got your eye on an antique headboard, but you have a queen bed, consider that you may need to add pieces to the sides to make it fit. Or, you can take that headboard and attach it to a bench instead, so you get the vintage piece in a useful, but fitting, alternative.

Another hack for a headboard is to use an antique door. Many old doors have interesting architectural features worthy of artistic interest. Turn a door on its side and connect it to legs and your bed frame, and voila! You have a lovely headboard. Or create a banquette with two doors attached as the bench backs in a corner.

Expand its use

Metal tea trays in deep rich colors make excellent wall art for a kitchen, breakfast nook, or even a bedroom. Cluster several together for interest and to draw the eye. Or, attach a large tray to the top of a nightstand for instant charm. If the tray has a sturdy base, you can even connect hairpin metal corner legs to create a side table.

Don't buy the first items you see. The perfect one might be right around the corner in a market you've never visited. If you're new to an area, ask your real estate professional about local thrift stores, farmers markets, and city-wide garage-sale days.

About the Author
Author

Lili Patch

What people love most about Lili Patch is her easy communication with them and her ready availability. This is not surprising as she was a Communications Major in College and began her professional career as an on-air broadcaster for major radio stations and media groups. Her many successful years as a Realtor is due in part to this terrific background. She is an excellent listener and continuously negotiates the best possible outcome for her buyers and sellers. Lili’s passion to continuously learn and stay cutting edge is a driving force, which is evidenced in her ability to serve her client’s needs at the highest level. She has earned certifications as a Seller Representative Specialist (SRS), a Certified Home Marketing specialist (CHMS), and a Pricing Strategy Advisor (PSA). In her limited spare time, Lili enjoys running, cycling and her participation in book clubs and wine clubs.

Lili started her Real Estate career on the east coast, where she has licenses in 3 states..NH, ME, & MA. Moving on to the West Coast and getting her 4th license in CA, where she is currently enjoying the beauty of San Diego. She is humbled to be in a field that allows people to put so much trust in her, as she navigates a smooth journey on one of the largest purchases most will ever make.  Her major focus is to offer excellence and expertise to ensure a great real estate experience for her clients.