It was a beautiful fall day in New York City yesterday, warm and full of sun, as the flea market on 39th street buzzed with more people (their dogs, bikes and backpacks) than I’ve seen since May. Now that most New Yorkers have returned from their summer homes on the beach or in the country, their attention has turned to their places here, in the city, and the flea market is the perfect place to find inspiration! Mine first came in the form of these great acid etched glass bowls I bought.
There were two footed dessert bowls and two single finger bowls. I suggest collecting a bunch, every one of them different but all beautifully etched. Then, for a seasonal dessert, I might do an autumn poached pear in a red wine syrup or warm apple sauce with cinnamon crème fraîche.
Here was someone who scored a great find. Check out the size of that floor vase! And such a beautiful color too. I’d put it near a front door and use it as an umbrella stand. I wonder what they’re going to do with it…
This pair of marble lamps was in such good condition. It even looks like they’ve been rewired. All they need now are beautiful gray burlap shades with braided hemp trim in a darker tone. Then I’d put them on a mirrored side console against a silvery blue wall. Very Dorothy Draper.
This dish I love, love, LOVED! It’s Wedgwood black Jasperware and relatively rare. I love how masculine it looks—very Bill Blass—and it works perfectly in our apartment, which will be in Domino in November!
This Queen Anne style highboy caught my eye too. It has a great shape and tons of storage. Like the secretary I made over a little while ago, this piece was probably mass-produced in the 50s or 60s, so it’s not a true antique. I do like its lines, though, and it could be easily updated with a fresh coat of paint and hardware that was a bit less ornate. For a dreamy master bedroom, I’d paint it a beautiful French gray, then place two bergere chairs on either side, covered in pale pink dupioni silk. I’d do wide pink and gray striped wallpaper, then lay a natural woven sisal carpet down for warmth and texture. How pretty is that?
As a New Yorker with a New York-sized apartment, I love anything nesting. Throw in a little faux bamboo, and I’m sold! Couldn’t you just see these painted a beautiful celery green? I’d cover the tops in creamy white and green gingham wallpaper, then do a grosgrain ribbon trim all around. Wallpaper, paint and trim are such an easy way to update a piece of furniture like this. To protect the tops, I suggest using a clear shellac. Just make sure it’s clear because some turn yellow as they dry, and you definitely don’t want that!
How great is this marble lidded box? On a coffee table, it’s the perfect accessory—simple and chic. I see things like this at antique shops for hundreds of dollars.
Dig and ye shall find! In a crate piled high with plates and tucked under a table, I found these pretty teal and pink ones in the Indian Tree pattern from Johnson Brothers. How great would they be for an elegant New Year’s Eve dinner party?
The holidays are just around the corner, and who doesn’t love a cookie? My favorites are usually the ones from old cookbooks. I just love going back in time, finding vintage recipes, then decorating or packaging them in a new or unusual way. I think it’s so charming!
This old, hand blown jar I loved for its generous size and rolled lip mouth. I can just see it now: Christmas eve, falling snow and a house (or, in our case, a tiny New York-sized apartment) full of guests. The table is covered in homespun linen and for a centerpiece, this beautiful hand blown jar, surrounded by green and white variegated holly and filled with homemade egg nog. And while you’re at the flea market, don’t forget to pick up the silverplate ladle!
It’s still about 75 degrees outside, but now that I’m feeling so warm and fuzzy with all this talk of Christmas, check out this fringed carriage blanket I found. Love the color combination—camel, chocolate brown and a warm burnt orange. Even though it’s a blanket, why not use it for a Thanksgiving tablecloth instead? I’d do all ironstone china, stag horn flatware, hemstitched napkins and beautiful burnt orange candles in antique wooden candlesticks.
This thing was pretty unusual. Can you guess what it is?
It’s actually a welding cabinet, and don’t worry if you couldn’t figure it out. (I had to ask too!) I just love that it’s on a stand with a lid that opens the way it does. What a great cooler for an outdoor party! I’d drill a hole in the bottom, then use an ordinary cork to plug it. You could leave it just as is or, for a more polished look, take it to an automotive dealer, and you’ll have about a million colors to choose from. And if you’re feeling particularly inspired, you could even monogram it!
Onsie chairs like this you can find at the flea market by the dozen. I love the Chippendale clawed foot because it reminds me of the set my Great Grandmother Searles had in her house. Those are true antiques, so I wouldn’t dare paint them. This one, though—not so much. For a sophisticated and unexpected perch in a master bath, I’d lacquer it geranium red, then cover the seat in plush, pale yellow terry cloth.
This old table I found incredibly charming. It’s a very "made in Dad’s basement workshop" kind of piece with an uneven, slatted wood top I love. It’s definitely a good size, and I don’t even mind the color, a pretty butter yellow. For a guest room in a beach cottage, I’d place it between two twin beds topped with a traditional ceramic table lamp wrapped in natural sisal rope, a linen shade and a little ottoman beneath.
This last piece piece too could be so amazing with a little paint love. At first, I thought it was a desk, but it’s actually a woman’s vanity with a fold-up mirror and plenty of storage. For a chic woman’s dressing room, I’d paint it kelly green, swap out the hardware, then pair it with a white bamboo chair, a cool piece of modern art above and yellow foo dog lamps with white pagoda shades trimmed in green. Very Kelly Wearstler.
No, no…there’s no relation. Plus, I don’t think I could ever get my hair to look like that!
So until next weekend, and another spin through the flea market, be sure to check back often for lots of new posts, Objects of the Day and plenty of ideas for fantastic fall decorating and entertaining. And if you’d like, feel free to leave me a comment!