Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Flea Market Finds & Tips with Eddie Ross

Go on a flea market tour with Eddie Ross and you'll never see things the same way. Case in point: we got there early before the tour started and I didn't "see" much. Actually felt a bit disappointed. Then started the 2 hour tour with Eddie and realized all the hidden treasures and deals that were there. (plus had a lot of fun!)

Eddie and Jaithan scope out the flea market ahead of time in order to bring to life all his ideas and tips. Here we are at one dealer's booth where Eddie spotted these mauve velvet slipper chairs. To transform this $450 pair, Eddie suggested:
- Remove the skirt and the button tufting
- Reupholster in linen. Consider making your own custom striping with 2 colors of linen, broad stripes on either side.
- Add polished nickel casters to the legs. That suggestion was unexpected and I think really takes those chairs to a very high end.

In addition to tips on what to look for in terms of markings on china and silver, Eddie gave helpful advice on how to spruce up and care for your purchases. Eddie recommends:

- Gorham silver polish. Remember not to polish out all the patina in the relief.

- Don't put silver and stainless steel into the dishwasher at the same time. It will damage the silver.

- A small dab of Lestoil can work wonders on stubborn stains. Just don't use too much as the smell is strong.

- For painting furniture, use Zinsser primer to block out all stains.

Eddie also differentiated between options for higher end items versus lower end items. For example, for these high quality vintage broaches he suggests shadow box framing them for a custom piece of art. A few stalls later we came across bags and bags of lower end vintage jewelry - those can broken apart and used for magnets and decorative accents. Other great ideas:

- If you love a "onesie" buy it! Eddie recently fell in love with one glass and bought it. A few weeks later he found 5 more in the same pattern.

- Upgrade common mats you may find vintage artwork or prints in with linen and spray adhesive.

- Always look at the vintage clothing booths for great fabrics that can be used to make a one-of-a-kind pillow or for upholstery. A plaid wool or tweed coat can transform an accent chair. A brocade top becomes an awesome pillow.

Here's Meg of Pigtown Design and Jennifer Sergent of Washington Spaces checking out feedback sacks. Jennifer scored 3 great ones for only $10 total!

I love vintage linens and was thrilled to go back after the tour and find the $40 London Map linen table cloth Eddie had showed us there still available. Eddie's suggestion - find a way to keep this treasure in view. For example it could be used as wall decor in a child's bedroom or playroom.
The detail is great. How cute is that - You Are Here - The Westbury!


Green linen napkins, $1 a piece, 6 blue napkins w/a Made in Belgium label $15, 6 monogrammed yellow napkins $15. Keep in mind Eddie's advice - don't worry if they're not your initials.
I'm very excited about these 2 tablecloths. The one to the left is cotton with a raised white design $15 and the Fantasia permanent press golden yellow and gray one was $15. (All these linens came from the nicest dealer, Debra Morman of Back In Time Antiques. You can find her beautifully laundered and pressed linens at Old Town Manassas Antiques (703.361.4510) andTwo Guys Antiques (703.221.9669).
I've got plans to set a table using both of these and the gorgeous Paris Gray Creative Candles that Eddie and Jaithan gave me. It was a really fun day at the D.C. Big Flea!!

23 comments:

Pigtown-Design said...

So much fun! I can't believe how much I learned in just a few hours.

eddieross said...

We're SO THRILLED you enjoyed the trip. Those candles look AMAZING with your new tablecloths! Can't wait for the table you set!

xo
Eddie + Jaithan

Vitania said...

For the most part I don't usually have the time or patience for the flea market hunt - but i have been itching to spend a day exploring..This has got me really interested..

Pat said...

Wish I'd seen the napkins with my initials! I always like "M" for "mine" which I have on some silver.

thomas said...

looks like you all had a great time. eddie & jaithan are the ultimate shoppers!

Chemin des Muguets said...

Living abroad for so many years I have missed good ole American flea markets. What fun you must have had making the rounds with Eddie and co. Love the souvenir cloth-perfect for framing.

Marjorie

Leila said...

You must have been taking notes! I couldn't for the life of me remember the linen stain remover (Lestoil) nor Eddie's recommended primer (Zinzer). I love the linens you picked up, especially that adorable map of London!

So fun to have met you!

xoxo Leila
In the Tweeds

CRICKET said...

Thanks for the tips, how fun!

Samantha said...

So wonderful to see your amazing finds from the DC Big Flea. I wish I was able to join you all for this one, I can't believe I had to miss it. Hopefully next time.

Best,
Samantha

Lauren said...

such great information!! love the tablecloths- THAT YELLOW is amazing!!!!

LindsB said...

What an awesome time- looks like everyone came away with lots of tips and tricks from Eddie and Jaithan. I cant WAIT for them to come to Boston now!!

Greet said...

I am sure you may have learned a lot and you will have had a lot of fun!

Greet

paintedpreppy said...

Between the plates and the broaches I am in heaven!

pve design said...

Funny how we can all learn to look a little closer and to see treasures in what we may at first believe to be trash....love your treasures!
Show us your table one of these days when you come back down to earth. :)
pve

London Calling said...

LOVE that London map table cloth it is adorable. The yellow and gray will be lovely together.

Flavia @ Estilo Home said...

Just came across your blog through these series of posts(where have I been ?!) I'm excited to discover so many DC bloggers! The DC Big Flea seemed like such fun! Such great finds there.

Fafali Gallery (Art|Luxe) said...

great tips, thnks for the refreshing ideas

Marnie said...

fun to live vicariously at the flee thru your post - sounds like you had fun in the day and evening

vicki archer said...

Such fun stuff and great flea market tips...xv

laura said...

Oh, those pink chairs were still there on our Sunday shopping trip. They were so fantastic, and I only wished I'd had the room in the back of my car. Loved them!!

Jennifer Sergent said...

Michele, you totally scored! I'm glad you got the London cloth -- I had been thinking about it ever since Eddie pulled it out. Awesome matching napkins too. Now you've got me itching to participate in Tablescape Thursday, which I never knew about... Great post!

Shawn said...

So glad you went back and snagged that london tablecloth. Love the yellow ones, also. Such a great booth Eddie found for us. We sent back later, as well, and picked up some great cocktail napkin sets for hostess gifts, per Eddie's suggestion.
What is Thursday tablescape?

Melanie@The Old White Cottage said...

Yes, I was there! Great post about it. When I saw him, he was alone, so I wondered if there was a tour with him. I will have to sign up next time!

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