Flea Market Decorating

Creative ideas for one-of-a-kind flea market finds, plus expert shopping tips on how to snag the best stuff every time.


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For a cheap and charming alternative to framed art, arrange vintage plates on the wall. Experiment with some different layout options on the floor, then snap a pic of the one you like best for reference. Invisible hangers are available at home improvement stores or online.

Think beyond tape or a basic bulletin board to show off cards, photos or kid artwork you’d love to see (instead of stash in a drawer), and give an old shutter or empty frame new life.

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Mount a shutter directly on a wall so you can tuck things into the slats.

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Tie twine tightly on both sides of a frame, then create a display with clothespins.


Even though a headboard may not seem essential in the scheme of life, it’s the ticket to creating a true focal point in a bedroom. Here, thanks to a little ingenuity, a pair of doors anchor the bed within the room. Some basic DIY, like removing hardware and hinges, is no biggie.


A standard-issue medicine cabinet never boosts a bathroom’s class quotient. What does? A yesteryear mirror or two. Ornate frames lend feminine flair, while the mirrored surfaces bounce around lots of light from the wall sconces.

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If you’re lucky enough to come across an old scale, know that it’s ripe for repurposing to hang fresh fruit in the kitchen. The worn patina of this one contrasts nicely with the modern stainless fridge.

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How to Shop Like Emily Henderson

The super-fun HGTV stylist and best-selling author breaks it down.

• Set your alarm. All the obviously amazing stuff will get eaten up by designers, store owners and collectors by 10 a.m.

• Up your budget. I can’t resist finds that will start a conversation. If you see something that sparks something inside you, that sings a song in your brain, that’s the moment to splurge.

• Look high and low. My eyes constantly dart up and down! Scan walls and under the tables.

• Bring cash. Everyone prefers it and it’s better for bargaining—which should be done nicely. Remember, these are real people, collecting things they love and trying to make a living.

Photos, from top: Gordon Beall, Greg Scheidemann, Kim Cornelison, Paul Dyer, Werner Straube, Erik Johnson.