Flea Market Décor
Vintage storage options are always good for texture and character, but is the piece you’re looking at truly functional?
THE KEY TO STORAGE IS ACCESSIBILITY. We’ve all seen towers of trunks with the perfect patina stacked high in the corner of someone’s home, but if you want your vintage trunks to be as functional as they are attractive, piling them high may not be the best option.
Homeowners Linda and Chris Bradford of Junk Style Design found a way around this problem with a special find. “The metal stand is originally from a Los Angeles film studio that held round metal tins the films were in,” says Linda. “I bought three of them from a local vendor and sold two, but ended up keeping one for myself.”
Because they’re stacked in individual shelves, each piece of luggage is easily accessible, and you can slide one out without displacing the rest. “They’re easy to clean, too,” says Linda. “You can vacuum the tops.” While she avoids storing clothing in her trunks, she’s found that they’re great for nonessential items such as seasonal décor, shoes, CDS, photos and books. “It’s useful storage for things I don’t need to get to all the time,” she says.
When shopping for these beauties, Linda is careful to inspect each trunk to ensure she’s purchasing a quality product. “While they’re visual pieces, you need to make sure they work and are useful,” she says. “I always open them before I buy them and look for rips. You want to avoid ones that smell and have mold, too.”
Their worn exteriors tell a story, and their history is the best part, so don’t pass up a chance to ask a vendor where a trunk is from or how old it is. “Luggage is not only useful storage, but it really adds texture and character to our home. I have a set of my parents’ luggage from their honeymoon, and one still has the tags from their last trip to Hawaii in 1975.”
Whether passed down or scored at a flea market, vintage trunks will always be a classic addition to any collector’s home.
“While they’re visual pieces, you need to make sure they work and are useful.”