Flea Market Hacks

by Erin Fernschild 04/21/2019

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

Erin Fernschild

I believe that when it comes to Real Estate sales and service, you can have it all and that is my professional goal. Erin Fernschild has lived in Stratford, CT since moving from New York City in 2005. First living in the direct waterfront community of Breakwater Key and then moving to Lordship in 2012. Her interests in Real Estate expanded while she was searching for a home that would meet her lifestyle and growing family needs. Commuting to Wall Street in NYC on the train gave her ample time to find the perfect location for all of her requirements, even though she was told by many “you can’t have it all”. Erin attended William Patterson University earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and International Marketing. Throughout her career, she has worked for several Investment Banking Firms in NYC including First Boston, Bear Stearns, and Deutsche Bank. In 2016, Erin obtained her real estate license and joined RealtyQuest. Erin’s passion for service and understanding of what it takes to complete any transaction with the least amount of difficulties stems from her role at Deutsche Bank where she co-­founded its Relationship Management team which is accountable for the Bank’s overall commercial relationships. Erin worked face-to-face on a daily basis with large hedge funds, asset managers, and high net worth individuals, listening to their needs, communicating effectively and often acting as a mediator to resolve issues. Her friendly style, tenacity, and technological ability provide her clients with a competitive edge in challenging markets. She is a natural people person who will work tirelessly on her client’s behalf. She truly enjoys assisting others to Buy, Sell and Invest in Real Estate and understands the amount of time, dedication, and thoughtfulness that goes into finding the right property, at the right price, that meets all of her client’s needs.