Bookmarks – Flea Market Chic

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'Flea Market Chic' book by Liz Bauwens

This book looked right up our street when we opened the envelope… and we haven’t been disappointed.

cover of 'Flea Market Chic' Liz Bauwens & Alexandra Campbell

What better way to grab our attention than a front cover image featuring a gorgeous kitchen diner – bright, modern & relaxed with a contemporary rustic look. A perfect blend of old & new with cream coloured Aga, vintage enamelware, fresh fruit & flowers, 1970s chrome chairs with bold orange fabric seat pads, whitewashed walls & painted floorboards.

Vintage wire cooling racks and aluminium stove-top coffee percolators on a kitchen shelf

It combines neutral, natural shades with bold flashes of colour – a look we love – and, with the light streaming in through an open sunny window, it’s an idyllic scene. This room encapsulates the Flea Market Chic eluded to in the title.

kitchen diner with wooden farmhouse table and mix and match chairs

When done well, it looks stylish & effortless – and this great little book by Liz Bauwens & Alexandra Campbell is a helping hand along the way.

framed artworks above a bed covered with a vintage patchwork quilt

The book covers all those second hand sources from where pre-owned goods can be purchased – car boot sales, garage sales, antique fairs, junk shops, charity & thrift stores.

vintage blue and white china and decorative objects in a kitchen

The obvious starting point is the actual house & room scenes from which to draw inspiration…

four photos of blue and white vintage crockery and kitchenalia

…real people’s living spaces, beautifully photographed by Simon Brown.

vintage crockery and kitchenalia images on the opening page of the 'Recycled Kitchen' chapter

The authors manage to skilfully weave their story around the photos – drawing in the types of room to be furnished, the different looks that can be achieved and so on.

shelves covered in vintage cream coloured pottery, crockery and wooden utensils

The accompanying text picks the brains of the owners – all dedicated flea market shoppers.

cabin kitchen area decorated and kitted out with pretty vintage finds

The types of property might vary greatly – house, flats, cabins and even a boat…

white vintage pottery jug of flowers in front of a porthole

… but common threads run through them – the homes have evolved naturally over time to incorporate their vintage finds – and the owners have a very good eye!

cabin sleeping and sitting areas decorated and kitted out with pretty vintage finds

The book also goes into further detail about the types of object to look out for, sought after names, designers – and the nitty gritty of restoration & associated costs. It’s crammed full of little tips.

view through a whitewashed doorway into a hallway with encaustic tiled floor and shabby chic coat rack

These flea market finds can add individuality, warmth and character to a house.

vintage decorated monochrome bedroom on the opening page of the "New Romantic" chapter

There’s the fun of hunting of course (although some of the early mornings can’t be described as fun). The recycling/upcycling angle is also a great selling point too.

four photos of different areas of a vintage decorated house boat

If you want to avoid the ‘house full of old junk’ look, finds have to be used intelligently and creatively.

collection of vintage wooden shoe lasts on an antique chest of drawers

This book is the perfect guide in achieving this.

whitewashed walls with a group of natural wall hangings

If we’ve piqued your interest, Flea Market Chic is available from Hive, Amazon and Abe Books.

[Many thanks to Cico Books for this review copy]