Flea Market Style: Art and Furniture

art thrift


(There are seven “thrifted” items in this photograph.

Two paintings, a floor lamp ( $5), a table lamp ( $3), a table ($4.99), a hassock ( $5) and distressed silver trays. ($1 each)

When I was a child, I loved the old home at the end of the street. The people who lived there were quite elderly. They were thoughtful and kind. Theirs was a home with over-stuffed furniture and beautiful dark wood. The piano was covered with music from years gone by and ticking clocks which were certainly not in unison but competed wildly. Little finches twittered away in a large, cast iron cage near the window. The cloth runner on the round table had fringe hanging down and there were piles of books everywhere.

Mrs. Alice always wore an apron and a dress and rather than turn up the heat in the old house, they conserved and wore sweaters. There was old art on the walls, hung far too high for my liking so that I could barely see it but I remember the subtle colors, the ornate frames and the little chains by which the frames were hung on nails.

So begins the march towards my goal for the year.

Make-over my home entirely by thrifting.


Through many posts on www.AllThingsGrandma.com I plan to document my efforts so that I will remember what I did, how and why or why not. Since I have been a thrifter and a flea market prowler for only a short time, I have been very lucky to find the kinds of things I had in mind. That’s what I am told.

When I began, Grandpa truly believed that I had lost my mind, ( and might still ) but, he fixed and re-finished every old thing I dragged home without any complaint.

My self-imposed rules were simple:

Earth tones

( always the most restful to me )

Good quality or really good fake.

( neither of us like tons of peeling paint. sorry Shabby Chic )

Easy to mix-and-match from room to room.

(I have always been able to change things from room to room )

Use existing large furniture as anchors.

(  I like what I have)

Make changes primarily by accessorizing.

(this is the most fun, anyway)

stairs art thrift


Each “Flea Market Style” post on All Things Grandma will show one or two segments of my project.

The first three paintings are oils. ( top of the page ) The top painting is a wonderful view of a shipyard in browns, rust and green. It makes me want to climb right up to the ship and look around the shipyard. It came from Goodwill. ( $7.99) (Close-up below )


The painting in the middle hung in Grandpa’s home as he grew up showing beautiful Utah aspens. The third came from Deseret Industries. ($2 )  The three were compatible and since I like picture groupings as a style, I put them together and liked the look.

The paintings above the stairs are all enlarged prints. They are in the entryway. They are images I found on the Internet or in art books. I sent them to Costco for printing and then used frames I already had. Since Grandpa and I both love art and Grandpa loves to paint, we generally have frames around and it is common for us to change the art in the same frames from time-to-time. I chose these particular prints because I found them to be very comforting. They are all in earth tones. They are all at the end of the day. They are all paintings of people working. Three are by N. C. Wyeth, whose style I have always loved.




I looked and looked for a rather large, round table to put between the sofa and a chair. I also wanted a color of wood which was compatible with the wood floor. I found this at Savers. It was $35, which was one of my “more” extravagant purchases. The table was displayed as oval with a large leaf. The clerk said it had been on the floor for about 10 minutes. I could see why it would not have been on the floor for 15. Stamped on the underside was “Made for Macy’s of California”. Made in Italy. I had bought a $1000 table from the past according to Macy’s website and catalog.

I found the chair, also at Savers on a different trip. ($5.99) It was in beautiful condition, with a perfect cane seat and wood that looked wonderful with the table and the wood floor. For now, I have put it under the table. If I can find an ink stand, I just might leave it there in case someone needs to write a letter.




How will I know if it has all come together?

It will be cozy and warm and quiet and interesting.

It will give me and others a calm feeling.

The styles and colors, though mixed and matched 

will flow along without anything dramatically out-of-place.


People will want to curl up with a book in the chair. 

I will want to curl up with a book in the chair.

It will be rich with texture.

My husband and family will feel comfortable with the changes.


” The easiest way to feel at home is to stay there.”












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