Flea Market Décor
COOL, CALM AND COLLECTED
Relaxed Bohemian style flows through this streamlined flea-market home in Antelope, California.
Relaxed Bohemian style flows through this streamlined fleamarket home in Antelope, California.
FOR CHI YANG, OWNER OF SIMPLY CHI VINTAGE, ORGANIZATION IS IMPERATIVE. On top of running her own shop from home and doing all the marketing, Chi is also a mother of four. Thankfully, she has a great handle on storage, as well as an eye for style.
While most people hunt for their favorite colors and patterns, Chi does just the opposite. “If I see a hideous pattern, I’ll go for it,” she says. “I’ll buy it, bring it home and test it out. And it will work.” Chi expresses her personal style through her furniture choices, and she’s up to the challenge of working with unexpected designs.
“It’s kind of like clothes shopping,” Chi explains. In the past, she would always “find simple, solid pieces with barely any patterns.” Once, while out and about, she saw an “ugly,” patterned shirt for sale. It only took a glance to know it was awful. But something odd happened when she tried it on with her own clothes. “It changed,” she says. “It was gorgeous!” The same goes for furniture. You may be surprised to discover that a certain pairing works, but, as Chi says, “You never actually know until you try it.”
Chi collects “almost everything” and she’s constantly on the lookout for new items, since she sells a lot of her personal home décor. She frequents the local thrift shop and estate sales, as well as Target. Chi has purchased tons of vintage baskets and goblets and even some larger must-haves, like a $20 mustard-colored sofa. “I try really hard now not to take home big pieces,” Chi says, “but that one I just had to bring home.”
For a small home with hundreds of artifacts packed in, Chi’s home is surprisingly streamlined. “I have four boys,” she says. “Everything has to be nice and tidy or they will bump into it or break it.” She uses numerous organizers throughout the home—mostly bamboo shelves with a midcentury aesthetic. “I have way too many shelves,” she says. But they’re great business, since “people are always looking for nice, quality bamboo pieces.”
Chi stores like with like, placing similar items together. “If I group it by the type of item, it’s easier to find,” she explains. She keeps stunning stone and glassware goblets in the kitchen, an abundance of baskets in the entryway and a lineup of globes in the bedroom.
In Chi’s house, even the exhibit cases add to the atmosphere. Not only does she incorporate lots of bamboo, but she also assembles items based on the appearance of the unit. The more ornate the shelf, the fewer objects that adorn it. While she leaves the living room shelf sparsely furnished, “so you can really see the form of it,” she fills the generic bookshelves with things she loves.
On top of using racks stylistically, you can also create storage-within-storage. Chi keeps several extra baskets in her guest room organizer. Try lining bookcase surfaces with charming baskets or containers you love. Then fill the baskets with odds and ends that need a home. This way, the containers serve a dual purpose: making a splash and providing more room.
Need more space? You can also take advantage of unused seats. Chi’s peacock chair serves as an additional guest
"If I group it by the type of item, it's easier to find."
home for her large potted plants. Nestle herbs, books or other favorite treasures on the seats. If you end up needing the chair, simply remove the items and replace them when you’re through.
Chi’s boho home, in addition to being highly organized, is also extremely functional. “Everything is multipurpose,” she says. She likes to keep her master bedroom walls bare, as a ready backdrop for product photos. Her guest room throw blankets are fuzzy, for her kids’ sakes.
Even the assorted houseplants have a job of their own—they hide electrical outlets, among other things. “I’m very good at creating an illusion,” she says.
"I like to make sure that I'm using all my space."