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Flea Market Tips From a Stylist (Part Two)

May 30, 2013

Hello decor8 readers! I’m Raina Kattelson from A Stylist’s Life visiting you today with part two of a mini series that Megan Camp and I pulled together for decor8 (her part one is here) while we were out shopping at Brimfield this month. I’m a NY-based stylist who has worked most recently with Anthology magazine, Country Living magazine and for designer Thom Filicia. I thought I’d share some of my personal highlights from Brimfield this year along with some tips of my own, so let’s get started!

Flea Market Tips From a Stylist (Part Two)

Brimfield Antique Show & Flea Market is a stylist’s playground with acres and acres of super cool treasures. And since my idea of a perfect day is to get up before sunrise and spend hours walking around searching for potential props for shoots, and lugging them home that’s where I happily headed this month. Most years I spend several days there but this time around could only spend one day – which is hardly enough to see 1/4 of what’s there…agony!

Flea Market Tips From a Stylist (Part Two)

So in the early dawn light I happened upon a booth calling to me with pottery in my favorite blues and greens. I scored a rectangular Italian blue vase decorated with charming flowers and an interesting glaze. I also added to my collection of Dansk cookware with a casserole dish in the most perfect shade of turquoise. The quirky chartreuse warming dish kept calling me so I couldn’t resist. It’s often the strange things that I wonder why I bought that become my most favorite props!

Flea Market Tips From a Stylist (Part Two)

Flea Market Tips From a Stylist (Part Two)

I usually go to a market with some sort of rough wish list, which of course means I won’t find any of it – that’s a flea market curse. This time I was looking for a sideboard, marble sink, and bathroom mirrors for our new house, so zippo. Instead I found a groovy mid century hand made tile top bench/coffee table, which I have absolutely no use for but LOVE! The best part is the secret compartment at the bottom with extra tiles. It will happily find a home somewhere in my house. I also found my dream chair a Bruno Mathsson “Eva” chair with leather straps in great shape, that alone made the whole day worth it.

Flea Market Tips From a Stylist (Part Two)

Flea Market Tips From a Stylist (Part Two)

After wandering the fields to the point of total exhaustion I can’t say I saw too many new trends this year. Industrial, taxidermy and horns, signage and shabby chic seem to be sticking around. I saw a lot of brass and lucite, including a table that was reminiscent of a table in Celerie Kemble’s new line. Worn leather sports equipment was in quite a few booths, though some of the larger pieces are best left as props.

Flea Market Tips From a Stylist (Part Two)

I’ve been shopping flea markets since I was a kid and for years as a pro so here’s some super important tips so you can score the best pieces and not find yourself an exhausted puddle on the ground. Here are my 7 top tips:

1. Arrive early, I know everyone says it.. But it’s true! I hate getting up early, but for a flea 6am on the fields is the time to find the best pieces.
2. A list is good even if you don’t ever find them it’s easy to forget that you needed a new coffee table and quickly blow your money on yet another chair you don’t need. If you don’t believe me check out my basement – it’s filled with chairs!
3. Shop for larger pieces first  (like furniture) – they go quickly.
4. If I see a piece I like but am not sure, I ask the price, take the booth number down and walk away. If it’s still calling to me a little while later I go back and get it. But if you really love it, jump on it right away. There’s nothing worse then going back and seeing your beloved piece with a sold sticker on it. And do write the booth info, no matter how much you think you will remember – you don’t. I have wasted precious shopping time trying to remember where something I now desperately wanted was.
5. Bring lot’s of cash and in small bills! It’s easier to haggle and then hand the dealer a small bill rather then whip out a $100 for a $10 item.
6. Look for shape – you can always repaint, refinish, reupholster.
7. Important things to bring: Cash, water, snacks – flea food usually stinks unless you are at the Brooklyn flea or Paris where the crepe truck is fab. Sunscreen, bags, bubble wrap and packing blankets are always in my trunk. There’s nothing worse then getting your piece home and finding it broken.

I hope that you have enjoyed my flea market tips! It was nice to be a guest on decor8 – thank you for having me Holly! If you missed Part One, click here.

– Raina

(images/text: raina kattelson)






Shop Tours

Flea Market Tips From a Stylist (Part One)

May 30, 2013

Hi decor8 readers, I’m Meagan Camp and I’m a photo stylist and designer based in New York who is visiting you today on decor8 with a guest post since Holly is working on location for her next book. Exciting! I’m going to talk about a favorite flea market in Massachusetts that I just attended with a little glimpse into my finds. So come along with me… Let’s go to the market!

Flea Market Tips From a Stylist (Part One)

I wait in anticipation for Brimfield every year, either shopping for myself or for projects, this market has become a very valuable resource for trend forecasting and is incredibly inspiring for my work as a stylist. I like to go early in the week for the best selection and beat the crowds, although the best deals are at the end of the week because dealers don’t want to pack things back up. For a show the size of Brimfield with thousands of dealers, it’s impossible to see everything so it helps to go in knowing what you’re looking for while keeping in mind it’s the thrill of the hunt. I’m often shopping for clients so I’ll bring with me detailed measurements and inspirational pictures — when I’m out in the fields there’s no time to hesitate so when I see something, I’ll need to jump on it!

Flea Market Tips From a Stylist (Part One)

Flea Market Tips From a Stylist (Part One)

Flea Market Tips From a Stylist (Part One)

Many of the dealers set up their booths like mini-stores with beautifully styled vignettes, great music, even incense or a burning candle — the spaces are so beautiful that I’ll just stand and stare and soak it all in! It’s incredibly inspiring how each vendor chooses to set up their wares. As a stylist, I can definitely get caught up in the little details (like the red milliner feathers displayed a white ironstone bowl, antique doll heads lined up in a glass case or a row of antique glove molds). I love meeting other designers, store owners, and artists who thrive on this sort of thing — people fly in from all over the world to attend this show and there’s never a lack of interesting characters or excitement. Every once in a while you’ll pass by a film crew shooting or someone giving an interview. The whispers of J.Crew buyers running in and slapping their “J.Crew SOLD” stickers on everything (if you’ve been to Brimfield, you know exactly what I’m talking about!) is always the biggest gossip of the week!

Flea Market Tips From a Stylist (Part One)

Flea Market Tips From a Stylist (Part One)

Flea Market Tips From a Stylist (Part One)

This year I was specifically shopping for a multi-functional table for a small apartment, a rustic farm table for an eat-in kitchen and any small props that caught my eye. Although I’m still on the hunt for a farm table, I found a wonderful vintage 1940’s drop leaf maple table with spindle legs that opens up to dining table yet can act as a console when the leaves are down. I also came away with an antique gray chippy adjustable stool with glass ball claw feet that will be perfect for a clients living room as a side table. A set of 1800’s antique plates with hand painted butterflies made their way home with me, I fell in love with their charm and couldn’t resist!

Flea Market Tips From a Stylist (Part One)

Flea Market Tips From a Stylist (Part One)

Flea Market Tips From a Stylist (Part One)

Both Raina Kattelson (a fellow stylist who traveled with me, who will have the part “two” for you soon on decor8 with her “take” on the show) and I have agreed the industrial style seems to be here to stay — almost every dealer had some kind of metal lab stool or rolling cart. It was getting a little out of hand there for a while where anything pulled out of an old building was considered “industrial” with a trendy price tag to match! I have noticed people are mixing the industrial pieces with more refined elements to soften the look of the very masculine, hard lines of the rusty, crusty metal; pale gray and cream painted furniture, faded linen upholstery, reclaimed wood, ironstone and silver pieces etc. This is a style I kept coming across while living in Northern California a few years ago and it seems to making its way to the East Coast. I was calling it California meets Swedish as it seems to be the play on light with a lived-in/casual lifestyle. Mid-century is also huge huge huge. I overheard a handful of dealers independently commenting about how they’ll need to bring more mad-men style pieces for the next show. Although I was there for the first day, many of the big pieces had already sold!

Flea Market Tips From a Stylist (Part One)

Flea Market Tips From a Stylist (Part One)

Flea Market Tips From a Stylist (Part One)

Flea Market Tips From a Stylist (Part One)

Cash is king at a market like this one, although I have found that many dealers are totally okay with checks for large ticket items and some will even accept credit cards. Negotiating is part of the game and the dealers expect it. I always try to start a conversation either by asking “what can you tell me about this piece” or “what are you asking for this piece?” From their answer I can usually gauge their mark-up and if the item is within my price range. In the heat of the moment, it’s important to remember you’ll always get more with honey than you will with vinegar — being polite and friendly will get you far! Negotiating a lower price can be as easy as asking “what’s your lowest price?” or “my budget is xyz, is there any chance you could meet me closer to that price range?” Of course, you don’t want to insult anyone by assuming their wares aren’t worth what they’re asking. If I’m really serious about something, I will let the dealer know how much I love the piece, the color, shape etc. I’ve heard some people say the opposite that you don’t want to seem too eager, but I have found most people will go lower on the price if they know the buyer appreciates what ever it is they’re selling — they picked it, pack it and unloaded it, after all! For many dealers, this is their livelihood and they appreciate enthusiasm for what they do.

Flea Market Tips From a Stylist (Part One)

Flea Market Tips From a Stylist (Part One)

Flea Market Tips From a Stylist (Part One)

Brimfield has definitely become a giant retail store over the years, gone are the “good ‘ol days” when you could load up your car with treasures at bargain prices. Technology and a general interest in the antique industry has made everyone very aware of what items cost. According to many of the dealers, “these damn New Yorkers are driving up the prices”… *gulp*… I guess I’m guilty as charged! Brimfield is a party for people who like stuff and I joke that attending this show is like going to war; you’re tired, you get dirty, your body aches and you push through… and I love every second of it!

Flea Market Tips From a Stylist (Part One)

Flea Market Tips From a Stylist (Part One)

Flea Market Tips From a Stylist (Part One)

So let’s recap with my 6 top tips:

1. Go early in the week for the BEST selection or end of the week for the BEST deals.
2. Go in knowing what you’re looking for.
3. Bring detailed measurements and inspirational pictures. (Holly wrote a post detailing a binder she made back in 2008 when she lived over here – check this out!)
4. Cash is king (though many dealers are totally okay with checks for large ticket items and some will even accept credit cards).
5. Negotiating is part of the game and the dealers expect it.
6. Be friendly with dealers – you’ll always get more with honey than you will with vinegar — being polite and friendly will get you far!

Psst: If you missed the May Brimfield show, don’t worry… There are two more for you to catch this year – here are the upcoming dates: July 9-14 and September 3-8. So rest up and get ready to shop!

Flea Market Tips From a Stylist (Part One)

Nice to visit you on decor8 today everyone! If you have any questions, please comment below and I will try to answer you. Thanks for having me! – Meagan.

(text/photos: Meagan Camp)






Shop Tours

Skinny laMinx Studio Tour in Cape Town, South Africa

January 31, 2012

I’ve known and featured Heather Moore from African interiors brand Skinny laMinx for years now and have enjoyed watching her grow her business into a now successful and known brand in South Africa and beyond. With a brand new Skinny laMinx store and studio in Cape Town that just opened last month, Heather takes her business seriously and loves her creative company.

Skinny laMinx Studio Tour in Cape Town, South Africa

A self-taught designer with a background in education and illustration, she sells screen-printed fabrics and homegoods that are available in her Etsy shop and at Heath Ceramics in California along with many other locations worldwide.

Skinny laMinx Studio Tour in Cape Town, South Africa

Skinny laMinx Studio Tour in Cape Town, South Africa

When I asked Heather about her new store and why she opened it she revealed, “For some time, I’d been looking looking for a special space that could house both shop and studio, where I could meet my customers, give them a peek into what goes on behind the scenes at Skinny laMinx, and also use the shop as a lab for testing new products and designer collaborations.I spotted a freshly placed To Let sign on my way to my favourite morning coffee spot on Cape Town’s Bree Street one morning, and within just over a month, with the help of my friend and architect, Jo Anderson, we managed to transform a greasy scooter garage into a chic and clean-lined store filled with eye-candy for fabric lovers.”

Skinny laMinx Studio Tour in Cape Town, South Africa

In the photo above you can see a series of solid brass pegs and steel shelves entitled “The Skinny” by Cape Town design duo Pedersen + Lennard .This installation is a showcase of a brand new product developed especially for her shop.

Skinny laMinx Studio Tour in Cape Town, South Africa

<Skinny laMinx Studio Tour in Cape Town, South Africa

Skinny laMinx Studio Tour in Cape Town, South Africa

Skinny laMinx Studio Tour in Cape Town, South Africa

Skinny laMinx Studio Tour in Cape Town, South Africa

Skinny laMinx Studio Tour in Cape Town, South Africa

In her shop she carries the complete line of Skinny laMinx tea towels, cushions, table runners, tablecloths, table napkins and stationery as well as retail fabric sales from the studio. You can also order custom 50s-style sofas in Skinny laMinx fabrics along with vintage Danish furniture and accessories.

Beautiful new space Heather, congratulations!

(images: heather moore)






Shop Tours, Travel

Inspired Shops: Bell’occhio in San Francisco

September 6, 2011

My book tour was amazing, surreal, an absolute dream come true BUT I had little time in each city to shop! Boo hoo! Fortunately though I did get to hit a few nice shops thanks to my friend Leslie who introduced me to this fabulous notions store in San Francisco called Bell’occhio. This store left me inspired and deliriously happy and now I have to play it forward to inspire you as well through this post. I loved the whole European vibe of it, it’s always interesting to see how an American translates their European travels and inspirations into something that feels authentic to them. I do this when I travel and bring things home as well, it’s a fascinating process with often equally interesting results.

Inspired Shops: Bell'occhio in San Francisco

(above: a gorgeous Polish paper chandelier – I blogged about these awhile back, you can read the post here for more info.)

Have you heard of Bell’occhio before? Oh dear, it’s quite the store for those who love the finer things when it comes to ribbons (imported from Switzerland and France), paper products, jewelry (made by the shop-owners husband), threads… I could go on and on.

Inspired Shops: Bell'occhio in San Francisco

(above: I love faux wall treatments done right. This faux bois is done so, so right!)

Leslie and I were in heaven, nearly getting a parking ticket since we overstayed our welcome by at least 30 minutes. I didn’t want to leave, and when I saw the adjacent studio space to the shop where she handles her online business, I was even more inspired by the sheer beauty of it all. What a gorgeous space!

Inspired Shops: Bell'occhio in San Francisco

Inspired Shops: Bell'occhio in San Francisco

(above: this looks very German to me – maybe it’s the pretzels? I also love the peek-a-boo ceiling.)

Inspired Shops: Bell'occhio in San Francisco

Inspired Shops: Bell'occhio in San Francisco(above: such a nice display idea for ribbons)

Inspired Shops: Bell'occhio in San Francisco(above: the storefront made me smile, so pretty)

I snapped some photos with my iPhone, so the quality could be better, but at least you can get a sense of this store so that if you are a lover of all things pretty you may be enticed to visit Bell’occhio in person or online.

THANK YOU LESLIE for sharing this shop with me!!!!

(images: holly becker for decor8)






Shop Tours

Astier de Villatte Ceramics + A Deeper Meaning

August 9, 2011

I’ve been meaning to write a post about Paris-based store Astier de Villatte for over a year now but kept forgetting or found myself onto something else (my attention span can be so short, if I were a dog I’d be a golden retriever for sure!), but today this will change because I’m focused and ready to share my ceramics obsession: Astier de Villatte.

Astier de Villatte Ceramics + A Deeper Meaning

In fact, when I was at Liberty in April I vowed to tell you about Astier de Villatte ceramics even then, especially after using some of their pieces in the table styling demo that we did in Liberty’s dining room (we used the Marguerite side and dinner plates, Marguerite Tea Cup, and the Conserve vases in small and medium shown below and a few other miscellaneous pieces).

I imagine food served on these plates would look that much more appetizing and I’ve decided to start working on my collection of them, one piece at a time, since I currently don’t own a single one. Perhaps one day I will own an entire Astier de Villatte table collection and fill my gray French vitrine with them – I imagine they’d look gorgeous inside of it and on my table as well. I’m quite pleased to finally have found my dream set of dishware. It sounds a bit materialistic and almost vain to say that, but to date, I’ve never found dishware that I was completely smitten by and I’ve been searching for a long time.

My current plates are basic plain white porcelain and my last set was plain white with a rim from Crate & Barrell, and though I liked them quite a lot, I didn’t love them – they weren’t something I would imagine passing down to my grandchildren. In fact, when I relocated to Germany I sold them at my yard sale.

You see, like many of you who “get this”,  I’ve always wanted something (china particularly) to pass down because there has to be something of value, tangible at the end of the day other than tweets and blog posts or mass-consumed goods from the local big box store.

When my husband’s grandmother gave us an entire tea service for our wedding gift, something she had used for years, I teared up – it had and still has great meaning in our family and now that she has passed away she is still seated at the table whenever we use it. Though Astier de Villatte is a dream collection for me to own, I imagine building a collection piece by piece so that I can serve guests and someday, hand it to my children and they can pass it on… I want to start investing in a few things like this – in a world full of chaos, mass consumption, Made In China, war, terrorism – maybe a plate is a rather mundane thing to place emphasis on but I believe that the physical things in our “world” at home are bookmarks and links to our memories, to places, to things… and those can help us to feel a part of our own community and a bit connected — a feeling of belonging and love that can be felt through taking tea from your grandmother’s tea service because you remember when you would sit with her using that same tea set when she laid the table.

Shopping is often dubbed, “retail therapy” and attached to negative feelings or consequences – but it doesn’t have to be like that. It can be joyous and meaningful at times. I don’t believe going into a big store and spending $100 on a cart full of plastic junk is joyous and meaningful. Most of that stuff ends up in your spring yard sale. I know, I’ve done it many times in the past. Quantity isn’t the goal. Quality is important and when it comes to certain things, like handmade goods, quality often comes with a much higher price tag. You can’t always afford everything to be “special” or meaningful though, let’s face it – that’s silly. But some things should have meaning, whether they are passed down to you from others that you love or found in a special shop that you enjoy, or of the highest quality. I sip my Kusmi tea a lot slower than I drink my Twinnings. It’s not because I don’t appreciate both, it’s because the quality of one surpasses the other so the experience is better and because it’s more expensive, the experience is also less frequent making it special.

Astier de Villatte Ceramics + A Deeper Meaning

Astier de Villatte Ceramics + A Deeper Meaning

Astier de Villatte Ceramics + A Deeper Meaning

Would you like to see some photos of their shop taken just a few weeks ago by Aussie photographer (aka roving globetrotter reporter), Jillian Leiboff?
Astier de Villatte Ceramics + A Deeper Meaning

Astier de Villatte Ceramics + A Deeper Meaning

Astier de Villatte Ceramics + A Deeper Meaning

Astier de Villatte Ceramics + A Deeper Meaning

Astier de Villatte Ceramics + A Deeper Meaning

When shopping for decorative accessories, or even pieces of furniture, why not save for the cherished piece? Not everything need be the absolute best of the best, or even The feeling of collecting a piece of Astier de Villatte bit by bit, building the collection over time until it is complete, could be a nice memory passed down through these pieces to my future children. For my kids to know they had a mom who really took the time to collect something useful that had meaning and value. Who doesn’t look back with fondness on a parent who cared about creating meaning?

I know I’m going down a totally random path with this but I see great value in some material possessions, not all, but some and I encourage others to think more about how something can add a layer of meaning to your life.

With each piece from the collection shown above handmade in Paris using black terracotta clay in milky white glaze allowing for the black to peek through ever so slightly, what’s not to cherish about these pieces? While they appear to be quite delicate they are known for being extremely durable and are perfect for everyday use. They are even microwave safe and can be placed into the dishwasher… like I needed more reasons to want their dishes and mugs… I love their uneven forms which are quite thin and based on 18th and 19th century shapes, their irregular surfaces, occasional air bubbles, in fact their organic shapes appeal to me the most.

Astier de Villatte also carries their own beauty products, candles (available online at Barneys) and a carefully curated selection of antique furniture but it’s their ceramics I love most.

* The Astier de Villatte store at 173 rue Saint-Honoré in Paris.

(photos: store – Jillian Leiboff, tabletop decor – Tiffany Kirschner-Dixon)






Shop Tours

Merci in Paris

August 8, 2011

I’m happy to be able to share a fresh new shop tour today on decor8, this time in Paris, and the store is called Merci shot by fabulous Australian photographer Jillian Leiboff. If you’ve ever needed shop suggestions for Paris it’s quite likely that Merci was suggested to you as an absolute go-to source for all things interior-related. As you scroll down, you’ll soon see that Merci is a gem, the Liberty of Paris or so I’ve been told. But first, a little Merci history… Lots of us suggest is to friends but do you know much about it? I did some research and discovered that there is much more than beautiful things in a gorgeous environment, Merci has a beating heart – it’s a store with a story and a soul.

Merci in Paris

Marie-France Cohen (who is sister of the late Annick Goutal from the prestigious perfume brand of the same name) developed concept shop Merci in 2009 after the success of her lovely children’s brand called Bonpoint which has been around for over thirty years. In her sixties now, Ms. Cohen could have decided to keep everything comfortable after selling Bonpoint but instead, she decided to play a game of chance and open up shop again – only this time, a totally new concept and Merci was born

Merci has a cafe with walls of books to browse as you eat (you can buy them for between €3-10 each), a cafeteria, fresh flowers, clothing and lots of interiors accessories, furnishings and lighting. Merci is flooded with light, 1,500 square meters in size (around 15,000 square feet) with 10 meter high ceilings and loaded with inspiration at every turn. What makes Merci and shopping there even more special, in addition to the obvious beauty and selection, is that it is the only store where 100% of the joint profits are donated through a foundation to associations that help women and children in Madagascar, a country in which Merci and Marie-France Cohen has developed a special alliance.

Merci also works regularly with brands like Isabel Marant, Azzaro, Stella McCartney, Kris Van Assche, Paul Smith and others to create a unique piece to be sold there 30-40% less than in their shops.

A mix of old, new and commissioned work, Merci (“thank you” in French), is definitely on the top of my must-see list when I’m in Paris next month. When my friend, photographer Jillian Leiboff, was there recently on vacation, she photographed the store and so all of these pictures shown were shot by her to share on decor8 and I’m so grateful for her lovely work – thank you Jillian!
Merci in Paris

Merci in Paris

Merci in Paris

Merci in Paris

Merci in Paris

 

Merci in Paris

Merci in Paris

Merci in Paris

Merci in Paris

Merci in Paris

Merci in Paris

Merci in Paris

Merci in Paris

Merci in Paris

Merci in Paris

Merci in Paris

Merci in Paris

Merci in Paris

Merci in Paris

Merci in Paris

Merci in Paris

Merci in Paris

Merci in Paris

Isn’t Merci just grand!? What are your favorite must-see shops and restaurants in Paris so I can visit some of them?

Merci is located at: 111 Boulevard Beaumarchais, 75003 Paris, Tel: 01 42 77 00 33, Métro station: Saint Sébastien-Froissart.

More beautiful photos of Merci (the store changes constantly so it looks a little different now as the photos above show.)

(images: jillian leiboff)






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