Dis­count fan trolls flea mar­kets, swap meets, an­tique fairs

The Hamilton Spectator - - GO - SACHA STREBE Do­maine

When it comes to fur­ni­ture shop­ping, there’s noth­ing I love more than scor­ing a deal on a vin­tage trea­sure or rare find, but it’s the thrill of the hunt I covet most.

That feel­ing you get when you find some­thing spe­cial at a bar­gain price (es­pe­cially af­ter you’ve trawled through the clut­ter to get it) is sur­pris­ingly ad­dic­tive. Call me a dis­count devo­tee, but I can’t get enough, and since you’re read­ing this, I’ll as­sume you feel the same way.

There’s an art to find­ing the gold among the garbage, not to men­tion how time-con­sum­ing the process can be, and quite frankly, who has the time? Thank­fully for you, this is one of my favourite pas­times. So to­day I’m shar­ing a few of my favourite haunts, both vir­tual and phys­i­cal, where I fre­quently find dis­counted and af­ford­able fur­ni­ture and decor. You’re wel­come.

One Kings Lane

There’s some­thing mag­i­cal about One Kings Lane. I was in­tro­duced to this trea­sure trove when I moved to the U.S. last year, and now I have a se­ri­ous habit. In fact, I find my­self on the site do­ing a quick check of its clear­ance sec­tion al­most daily. There are al­ways new mark­downs, and not just mi­nor ones: I’m talk­ing up to 50 per cent off, like this amaz­ing turquoise chan­de­lier and this gor­geous gold vo­tive holder, which has been marked down to a mere $9 — that’s a dis­count of 64 per cent. Sign up for the news­let­ter and fol­low the site on so­cial for sale re­minders.


While I love Etsy for its hand­made, one-of-a-kind crafts, it also has an in­sane amount of cool vin­tage fur­ni­ture at awe­some prices. I’ve stum­bled on so many amaz­ing de­signer fur­ni­ture pieces with price tags you wouldn’t be­lieve. The site also has a big range of su­per­spe­cial one-offs and vin­tage decor items you won’t find any­where else. Keep an eye on the Venice Vin­tage Par­adise store and sim­i­lar shops that are up­dated of­ten with rare finds. You have to be quick to get the deals, though. Our editorial di­rec­tor re­cently se­cured an in­cred­i­ble 1920s vin­tage rug for just $265. Beau­ti­ful pieces at bar­gain prices — that’s Etsy.


I have a ma­jor eBay ad­dic­tion, and I can hon­estly say I look some­thing up on the site at least once a day (if not twice). I have a watch list so long that it doesn’t bear dis­cussing, and I’m al­ways look­ing for new sellers, de­sign­ers, vin­tage finds, and dead­stock items. While most peo­ple I know use it for fash­ion and ac­ces­sories, eBay also has an in­cred­i­bly broad fur­ni­ture and decor range, but one area it par­tic­u­larly ex­cels in is rugs, es­pe­cially the vin­tage Turk­ish and kilim styles. It has one of the big­gest se­lec­tions of hand­wo­ven and soumak styles. Some eBay sellers have even con­verted these stun­ning ta­pes­try rugs into dec­o­ra­tive pil­lows, and I guar­an­tee you will want them all.

Es­tate sales

Es­tate sales are a fan­tas­tic place to score deals on fur­ni­ture, but the real-world ver­sions can be in­tim­i­dat­ing, es­pe­cially if you’re not a self­pro­claimed es­tate sale junkie. Don’t get me wrong: I love the thrill of a sale, but there’s some­thing cut­throat and com­pet­i­tive about es­tate sales that scares me a lit­tle. If this is you, too, stick to the on­line ver­sions. Ev­ery­thing but the House has an amaz­ing lineup of fur­ni­ture, with bid­ding start­ing as low as $1. Pad­dle 8 is an­other great auc­tion house that steers more to­ward col­lec­tors with some se­ri­ously high­end items; it’s def­i­nitely worth a look. If you’re a newbie to the es­tate sale, there’s plenty of great com­mon-sense ad­vice out there for those who want to nav­i­gate the phys­i­cal es­tate-sale cir­cuit.


This isn’t the first time I’ve pro­fessed my love for Craigslist as a place to source af­ford­able fur­ni­ture — it’s also great for find­ing a rental — it’s just so good that it’s worth men­tion­ing twice. I can hon­estly say a de­cent chunk (at least 80 per cent) of my apart­ment’s fur­ni­ture came from Craigslist. My hus­band and I are al­ways on the Craigslist app search­ing for sec­ond-hand mid­cen­tury pieces and de­signer fur­ni­ture near our area. We found a gen­tly used LC4 Cor­bus­ier chaise for $300, a Restora­tion Hard­ware in­dus­trial wooden din­ing ta­ble for $200 (they even threw in some chairs for $50), and four navy Emeco-style chairs for $50 each. We set up our en­tire first apart­ment with the bare bones for un­der $1,000, thanks to Craigslist. You can find some rare and gor­geous finds if you have time and pa­tience.


Chairish is one of my favourites for fur­ni­ture. It has all the best de­sign­ers, from Hans J. Weg­ner to Knoll, at the very best prices. If you have a lim­ited bud­get, head straight to the sales sec­tion be­cause this site was made for bar­gain hun­ters. You can even search by price and choose from as lit­tle as $100 and un­der in the drop-down menu. There is so much va­ri­ety here, which also means a lot of scrolling to find what you want, but that’s part of the fun, right? I per­son­ally love Chairish for its orig­i­nal art­works. You can find some truly dis­tinct ab­stract paint­ings at in­sanely af­ford­able prices.

Lo­cal mar­kets

My ab­so­lute favourite place to dis­cover rare and unique fur­ni­ture is at flea mar­kets, an­tique fairs, and swap meets. As an L.A. lo­cal, the Rose Bowl Flea Mar­ket is my go-to each month. The event fea­tures some of the best se­lec­tions, from re­ally high-end de­signer fare to neat and thrifty finds. At the re­cent event, my hus­band and I found a leather rug for $40, a mag­a­zine rack for $20, and a cool in­dus­trial end ta­ble for $40. It was a good haul that day. Type “an­tique fair,” “flea mar­ket,” or “swap meet” into Google and you’re sure to find the pop­u­lar events in your lo­cal area. They are to­tally worth it for the deals and the fun.


A flea mar­ket, like the fa­mous one shown here at the Rose Bowl, held in Pasadena, Calif. is a good place to find deals on fur­ni­ture.

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