On our recent trip to Cincinnati over Memorial Day weekend, we partook in one of our favorite Cincinnati pastimes at the Peddler’s Flea Market on Kellogg Avenue, otherwise known simply as “The Flea.” It was the perfect day, and the lot was bustling just as we’d hoped.
Surrounded by questionable bars and night clubs, a gas station and an RV storage lot, The Flea is not exactly a destination you’d give a second glance if you weren’t sure what you were looking for. We, on the other hand, have been frequenting this gem for the last decade or so. Need an old stereo system to keep you company while you work on projects in the garage? Check. Need a brand new pack of tube socks? Check. Need a pair of old bicycles to spray paint green for your wedding ceremony? Check and check!
The Flea is a great place to find new and vintage articles, and often resembles 100 fantastic yard sales all in the same parking lot. Trailers and vans are packed to the brim and some folks even seem to specialize in one thing or another. This vendor had tons of antique glass bottles (of lard!) and some modern canning jars, which are handy for all types of projects and shenanigans. Not only would they add interest to any mantle, but how great would they look once you pop some tea lights in a whole cluster of ’em?
Another vender filled their lot with nothin’ but “oops” paint. At just a couple of bucks per gallon, you could paint your entire house inside and out for a steal. Not your thing? How about a fresh coat of paint on a quick weekend furniture reno?
Along with more practical items like paint and canning jars, you’ll surely find tons of cool knick-knacks and tchotchkes. This awesome hand carved owl caught our eye, but we had to leave him behind, after our recent acquisition of Sidney McStanley Cuppen-stein.
Along with the owl, we also stumbled upon this somewhat ugly, kinda cool (maybe?) ceramic tiger cub. Okay, maybe he might need a quick coat of glossy spray paint. But again, Henry has enough company in our living room.
Oddly enough, we struck some gold in the lighting department on this trip. This hard-wired ceiling lamp was amazing, and Kim lobbied hard for us to bring it home for future use. But, alas, the last thing we need is another project that we have no space for. I can’t say she agrees, and she still reminds me of this light on an almost daily basis.
This vintage table lamp also caught our eye (and seems to look pretty great against my lady’s nail polish), but again, space constraints forced us to leave this guy in Cincy.
Furniture finds were a-plenty on this voyage. This chair was all lonely by itself towards the end of our trek, but it would have required some serious elbow grease and a re-upholstering job to achieve it’s full potential. And while my wife often feels compelled to save the world’s furniture misfits, I had to remind her of our swollen “honey-do” list. Sadly, we felt we had to pass it up.
And you gotta love a piece that does double duty. This vintage sewing table has a little trick up it’s sleeve: simply fold the machine into the table and cover it up with the attached leaf. No one will ever know you hem your own pants!
Much like antique malls and thrift stores, Flea Markets are great resources if you’re not afraid to put a little work into your finds. You’ll likely save yourself a boat-load of money (even as opposed to shopping at CB2 or Ikea), and you’ll be able to avoid the embarrasment of having all of the same furniture as your neighbors. Remember the episode of Friends with the Apothecary Table?
So what are your favorite haunts for scoring awesome vintage pieces for your space? Do you have a regular spot that you hit frequently, or do you simply bring your car to a screeching halt every time you see a yard sale sign? Dish the dirt on your favorite spots, folks!