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]

Flea Market Finds

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cover of the May 2012 edition of Homes and Antiques magazine

The new May 2012 edition of Homes & Antiques magazine popped through our letterbox today – an ‘upcycling’ special.

"Flea Market Finds" feature in the May 2012 edition of Homes and Antiques magazine

We loaned a few things to stylist, Kiera Buckley-Jones for her ‘Flea Market Finds’ feature.

H is for Home shop stock including a small vintage dandycord sewing box and small sky blue vintage clock featured in the May 2012 edition of Homes and Antiques magazine

The items look great – some super styling from Kiera, incorporating them into various room settings.

H is for Home shop stock including a vintage Crown Devon pottery sugar shaker featured in the May 2012 edition of Homes and Antiques magazine

Lovely photographs by Carolyn Barber capture the combination of classic period pieces and upcycled projects which give tired or neglected materials a new lease of life.

H is for Home shop stock including a framed vintage orange woolwork picture featured in the May 2012 edition of Homes and Antiques magazine

We’re not being biased, but this magazine is an excellent read – it’s evolved over recent years and now includes lots of vintage loveliness in its various articles and house tours.

M is for… Market

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Todmorden Market stall | H is for Home

We live in Todmorden – and run our website from here too.

It’s a small market town in the Pennine hills on the border between Lancashire & Yorkshire. Todmorden Market is one of its major assets.

Olives for sale on Todmorden outdoor market

Thursday is flea market day, with a mix of regular traders & one off stall holders having a clear out or raising money for charity.

Free cakes with the bric-a-brac on Todmorden Outdoor Market

We try to get there most weeks, trawling stalls for potential H is for Home stock. We’ve picked up all manner of things over the years – from 200 year old chairs to 1960s lamps.

Bric-a-brac for sale on Todmorden Flea Market

Some traders know what we like now and draw our attention to things they’ve got or will be getting hold of soon.

Bric-a-brac for sale on Todmorden Flea Market

After the second-hand stalls have been scoured, there’s a great place to stop for coffee – it has an unbelievable choice of teas & coffees all on display on their shelves… with home-made cakes and doughnuts to boot!

Exchange Coffee Co on Todmorden Indoor Market | H is for Home

Florist on Todmorden Indoor Market | H is for Home

Jams for sale on Todmorden Indoor Market | H is for Home

Also on the inside market are a florist, greengrocer, cheese stall, biscuit seller, haberdasher, butchers, bakers, but alas, no candlestick maker! Having said that, there’s Dawson’s – a great, traditional hardware stall that never fails to have that little brush or screw that no one else seems to stock. They, no doubt, have candlesticks… and the candles that go in them too!

Dawson's Hardware on Todmorden Indoor MArket | H is for Home

The market has at least 4 different butchers – everyone has their own regular or favourite. Ours is Paul Standsfield whose stall greets you as you enter through the main doors. He’s Fudge’s firm favourite too as he’ll always throw in a big, tasty beef or venison bone for him.

Standsfield Butchers on Todmorden Indoor Market | H is for Home

On other days of the week, the outside market has the usual range of food, clothing and homeware stalls.

Todmorden Outdoor Market | H is for Home

Cheese for sale on Todmorden Flea Market | H is for Home

Fruit & veg for sale on Todmorden Outdoor Market | H is for Home

Special mention has to go to Alexander Gourmet Med, a Mediterranean food specialist who’s usually there on a Saturday. Alex is extremely passionate & knowledgeable about everything he sells. He knows where it was made, which family made it, the methods they used and what makes it unique. We buy great olives & other antipasti, honey, chocolate, coffee, olive oil and balsamic vinegar. He’s an endless source of birthday & Christmas presents for friends & family!

Alexander Gourmet Med Mediterranean stall on Todmorden Outdoor Market | H is for Home

We hope you get the chance to visit one day!