There is no better way to add personality to an interior than to add flea market finds. These pieces, usually vintage, give a home unique character and say so much about the people who live there. They're easy to find and often cost very little. For interiors that I design, I don't use a lot of flea market pieces. I sprinkle them here and there among the new pieces to add soul to a room.
My husband recently took me to the Rochester, Minnesota area to spend a romantic weekend rummaging through old junk at Gold Rush Days. I saw so many items that could dramatically enhance a lucky rummager's interiors. If you like bits of vintage finds in your home but don't know how to use them, here are some suggestions to get you started.
These chairs would clean up beautifully. All they need is some touch-up to the frames and a small amount of fabric for the upholstery. Chairs like this are usually very inexpensive, unless they're made by a highly sought after furniture maker. I'd avoid anything expensive and go for a look that you like. Only buy chairs that are sturdy as it can be expensive or nearly impossible to stabilize a wobbly chair.
Old spool chests make great storage pieces. Use them in the dressing area for jewelry, the kitchen for utensils, or even next to a sofa as a side table. If the height isn't right you can have a custom stand made to any height you need. In recent years the prices of these chests have gone up but they're still less expensive than a comparable new chest or table.
Talk about personality! Old posters make wonderful graphic art. For a low price you can fill up a wall, if you stay away from highly collectible pieces. You'll need to spend a little on a simple frame to get a polished look. It might start out as junk, but you don't want it to look like junk in your home.
You're probably not going to buy this old bathtub, but isn't it great? There's something authentic and beautiful about the patina--or is it just me? If you had room in your garden this would be a great planter. I'm not sure if you could use this one as a bathtub but if you're building or renovating there are wonderful vintage tubs that can be re-purposed. Talk to your designer or contractor before you make this type of purchase.