FINDING GOLD AMONG THE GARBAGE
Discount fan trolls flea markets, swap meets, antique fairs
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 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.
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.