I've pretty much been shopping at flea markets and antique fairs since birth. Every woman in my family considers antiquing as a top 3 favorite hobby. Naturally, I feel very comfortable rummaging through antiques and because I get asked so many questions, thought I should share my thoughts on the antiquing experience.
( my little sister and I posing for the mirror )
There are so many posts out there on how to prepare to shop at Round Top all day. I invite you to read up here on where to stay, where to eat, how to dress etc. I'm not going to talk about these things, I want to show you how to actually walk away from a successful antiquing adventure.
Prepare yourself for what you need. Look around your home and determine what you are looking for. Measure the space and write down dimensions. Also, take a photo of the space you are looking to fill. For example, if you need a mirror for above a console, get a photo so you can do a better job imagining that mirror in the space. You don't want to do all of this from memory. Designers feel confident doing that and they make it look easy but just be sure to prepare yourself so you don't have to second guess yourself. Finding a good score is all about the power of making smart and quick decisions.
Be open for what you want. I can't tell you how many times I have stumbled upon something I absolutely don't need, but I had the feeling that I couldn't live without it. So of course I had to have it. These always end up being the biggest conversation pieces in my home. The one thing that everybody comments on when they see it. There is always going to be something that catches your eye. It may not be the prettiest thing in the world but you just absolutely love it. The things that speak to you are what you should absolutely fill your home with. Be open to the energy of things that are meant for you. This is totally Glam-shui.
Ask a TON of questions. I've read so many times how impactful the art of listening is. Allowing yourself to be receptive to the ideas and stories of others...there is a world of opportunity inside of that. You never know what you will learn or what was meant for you to hear. Antique dealers are typically like art historians, they are so passionate about what they make or buy that they will have so much information for you. Be open to listening to the stories behind the art, antiques, jewelry, etc. There is always a fantastic story.
Bring some confidence. Don't be afraid to ask for a deal. Most of the time, they will be happy to work with you on the price tag. I know a lot of people who hate to ask stuff like this but don't worry, most dealers are prepared for that and they are happy to give you a deal so that its a price that works for both of you.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR:
Keep your eyes out for great artwork. I honestly think the best place to find amazing art is an antique fair. I have found so many cool pieces this way. I absolutely love original and unique work. Pay attention to the frame. Be sure the frame is solid and sturdy. Framing can cost a TON so a good frame is key. This ornate gold frame with the pretty black and white abstract piece I found while rummaging and just fell in love. Even if you hate the art, you can paint over it because the frame is so damn glam!
Look for whimsical things. I found this awesome brass palm tree. Not sure where I would put it but it would be such a cool idea for an empty corner. This is the type of thing that you could put in your home for a Pinterest worthy vignette.
Score unique lighting. Chandeliers and lamps are some of my favorite things to buy vintage/antique. They just don't make things the way they used to. Antique lighting is almost like a work of art in itself. I obviously loved the sputnik chandelier and the lucite table lamps. All in different shapes and sizes.
Lucite. Speaking of lucite, I like to find my lucite pieces here as typically they are fairly priced here. Lucite can be priced so high when buying retail. If you see a fab piece that you absolutely love for a super great deal, score it. Even if you don't want it, it will probably sell really well on Craigslist in your neighborhood and you could even make a buck or two.
Get inspired. Keep your eyes open for moments that inspire you. For me, I loved the shade of grey in this paper that surrounded this particular booth. It goes beautifully well with silver and black. I always get inspired by seeing the way things are set up. Certain fabrics on chairs, pillow combinations, art wall layouts. This is one of the best places to get inspired for decorating with impact because you get to see the ideas of people from all over. Take a little from everything that speaks to you.
Look for your statement piece. Rugs are a fantastic way to come up with color palette combinations. They also are a MAJOR statement piece in a room. A rug could be the perfect way to set the stage for a fabulous room. These beautiful pink moroccan rugs from Heja Home got me dreaming of decorating a girls room in a beach house. Now I have a whole idea for a few different looks to create. If you are trying to come up with a scheme for a room, a rug is a fabulous place to start and vintage rugs are usually colorful and cozy.
Upgrade your style. Take for instance this planter. Brass and lucite have never been so cool. I've never seen a houseplant all glammed out like this before. This is such a chic way to add style to your houseplants. This is the type of thing to get, unique items to jazz up your everyday household items. I like to look for unique things to hold toilet paper, hand towels, magazines, etc.
Jewelry. I always head to the jewelers. I am a huge fan of vintage clip on earrings, I have a whole collection. I obviously had to indulge myself in vintage Chanel clip on earrings in gold. Hello!
MY FINAL TIP & SUPER COOL TIP:
GO EARLY! Round Top fair actually starts a week earlier than people know about. Vendors start setting up so go early. That's when the cool kids go. They get to find the best, most unique coolest finds then.
Do you like shopping at antique markets? If you have any tips, please feel free to leave a comment below. I would LOVE to hear how you do it?