Flea Market Décor

CANDY-COATED LIVING

Kitschy and colorful pieces turn this rented apartment into a flea-market haven.

- By Kristin Dowding

Kitschy and colorful pieces turn this rented apartment into a flea-market haven.

ONE OF THE MOST DIFFICULT TASKS FOR VINTAGE-LOVERS IS LETTING GO OF THEIR TREASURES.

It’s painful to think about getting rid of even one out of a hundred antique bottles, but sometimes life requires a change. For profession­al organizer Jeanie Engelbach of apartmentj­eanie, a recent move to a smaller apartment forced her to rethink her treasures and downsize her beloved collection­s. “I came from a larger apartment with more wall space,” she says. “I had to eliminate three-quarters of what I own.”

Jeanie’s new 775-square-foot apartment in New York City required some creative thinking when it came to establishi­ng her new look. “You have to consider the new space,” she says. “You don’t want it to look exactly like your old home.” With less wall space and fewer display surfaces, Jeanie had to reorganize some of her collection­s and say goodbye to others. Rather than bring everything to her new place and decide then what to keep, she made a plan before she moved out to make the process less stressful. “I measured and did paper templates and laid it all out on paper to see what I could actually bring,” she says.

While some of her vintage pieces didn’t follow her through the move, her style remains the same, and her spaces boast vibrant and cheerful hues. “I love colors,” she says. “I don’t like muted or earth tones, and I couldn’t live in a home that didn’t have yellow paint somewhere.” Pink and yellow walls, a yellow coffee table and a pink couch are just the start of Jeanie’s candy-coated home. “I like things in candy colors in general,” she says.

Most of her furniture and décor was acquired at flea markets, thrift stores, antiques shops or even on the street. “I’m not looking for something in particular when I go flea-market shopping,” she says. “There are things I gravitate toward, like cartoony things and Carnival chalkware,” but she prefers to shop with spontaneit­y rather than a wish list. Other pieces, like her leopard-print dining table, were acquired through friends. “I had my dining table painted by one of my friends 28 years ago,” Jeanie says. “It’s followed me through every apartment change, and I requested the leopard-print legs and a floral top.”

Through this big change, Jeanie proves that you can be an avid collector and pare things down when needed. She survived her downsizing project, and has a unique and personaliz­ed living space to show for it.

 ?? PHOTOGRAPH­Y BY RIKKI SNYDER ?? COLLECTION­S ABOUND in Jeanie’s living room, where plates line the corner wall and pillows suggest more than comfort. “The pillows represent facets of my personalit­y,” says Jeanie. “The dog looks like my first dog, Little Bit, and my nickname is Queenie, so my friend got me the Queen of Hearts.” She found the mirror on the street in Brooklyn and had to elicit help to take it home. “It weighs like 500 pounds,” she says.
PHOTOGRAPH­Y BY RIKKI SNYDER COLLECTION­S ABOUND in Jeanie’s living room, where plates line the corner wall and pillows suggest more than comfort. “The pillows represent facets of my personalit­y,” says Jeanie. “The dog looks like my first dog, Little Bit, and my nickname is Queenie, so my friend got me the Queen of Hearts.” She found the mirror on the street in Brooklyn and had to elicit help to take it home. “It weighs like 500 pounds,” she says.
 ??  ?? COLOR SURROUNDS the TV in the form of a coral credenza and a piece of railing from an old carousel.
COLOR SURROUNDS the TV in the form of a coral credenza and a piece of railing from an old carousel.
 ??  ?? opposite: JEANIE TRANSFORME­D the previously blank walls of her kitchen with wallpaper that depicts rainbows, diamonds, stars and planes, and she painted the ceiling yellow because there wasn’t any available wall space. Two book towers take the place of unnecessar­y bar stools under the counter where they’re accessible and out of the way. “It was a temporary solution so I could empty boxes, and I decided I liked it,” she says.
opposite: JEANIE TRANSFORME­D the previously blank walls of her kitchen with wallpaper that depicts rainbows, diamonds, stars and planes, and she painted the ceiling yellow because there wasn’t any available wall space. Two book towers take the place of unnecessar­y bar stools under the counter where they’re accessible and out of the way. “It was a temporary solution so I could empty boxes, and I decided I liked it,” she says.

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