Flea Market Décor
“I NEED POLYURETHANE! WHAT IS THAT IN GERMAN?”
above: THE MAN CAVE is for husband Chuck. He collects military portraits, and the room has a mix of images from the couple’s two families’ military service.
right top: THE VINTAGE ANTLER
MOUNTS were mostly bought in Germany. Many of them have dates on them, says Maggie, who notes that one says 1812. “The curly horns are alpine goat antlers.”
right bottom: IN MAGGIE’S
SEWING ROOM, the gallery wall has a lot of needlepoint, including her favorite, the blue one with the boat.
There was also a small matter of 400 pieces of pottery. While in Germany, Maggie went to thrift stores all the time, and in doing so, discovered the joys of collecting West German pottery.
The pottery—especially a design called “Fat Lava”—is colorful, chunky, substantial; it’s easy to see how she fell in love. “I rotate, swapping out colors on my displays,” she says. The numbered pieces are mostly from the 1950s and 1960s, but were made up until the country was reunited in 1990. Most were under $10 when Maggie bought them, and bought them she did. Somehow she managed to go back to the U.S. 1,000 pounds under the military’s weight limit for the family’s move.
These days Maggie says she has a “painter’s wardrobe.” She’ll come home in one outfit, and “I’ll say, ‘I wonder if this paint will work out,’ and then suddenly the wall is half painted. There I am in my clothes with paint on them.” But this spirit of experimentation is key. “If you bought it for $10 at the flea market, you really didn’t invest that much. Go for it! You’re not going to learn to do it unless you try. I have had some fails. You learn from them. And sometimes it works in a different way. You never know; maybe it will turn out better.”