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A leisurely afternoon spent at a flea market can yield great items that you can use in your home decor.

As a home stager and designer, I love incorporating vintage pieces into an otherwise modern style. As a picker and flea market fanatic, I equally enjoy seeing my found items take on new life.

When you scour the market, some things you will want to look for are small items you can use to create collections. For example, you may find an assortment of candle holders throughout the venue. If the price is right, scoop them up. You can take them home and — after a good cleaning — use spray paint in a shiny gold or other color to create an eye-catching, cohesive display. Glassware, jars, pottery and vases all make great collections.

Flea markets are also good places to find unique storage options. Old dressers or cabinets that are missing a drawer or door can be updated easily with a coat of paint, and then add baskets for storage. The mustard-yellow piece pictured here was missing the cabinet doors when we snagged it at a flea market. The tall wooden ladder (pictured) was another super find. It is a great display for throws and quilts.

If you have priced new dining room chairs lately, you might be in sticker shock. The cost can often range well over $100 per chair.

Flea markets are generally overflowing with vintage chairs that require very little elbow grease and craftiness to become stunners for your dining room. Armed with a staple gun, bronze paint and some fashionable fabric, I updated the chairs pictured here to a stylish seating option — all in a single afternoon.

Do you enjoy flowers in your home? If so, look for vintage metal containers and enamelware to repurpose as vases. Galvanized sap buckets allow you to add a touch of farmhouse flare to your decor without having to move to the countryside. From recycled ammunition canisters to olive buckets, metal is all the rage, it and can allow you to create interesting flower arrangements.

Flea markets are also a fabulous option for home furnishings and decor if your budget is a bit tight. In the dining room pictured, all the furniture was found at a flea market. The table and chairs cost $100. The large buffet server was $100. If wasn’t painted when we got it, so we updated it with fresh white paint. The floral print chair was $25. The large window pane was $45, and the small mini server was $60. The entire dining room was furnished for under $350.

These are just a few ideas for added a touch of vintage to your home. Flea markets are filled with a limitless array of items and ideas. So, the next time you are out for an afternoon of market shopping, keep an eye out for salvaged items you can repurpose into sassy home decor.

Lesa Smith is the owner of Salvaged to Sassy, an occasional market and home staging/decorating company in Charleston. Salvaged to Sassy is also the promoter of The Gathering Vintage Market, a bi-annual market held in April and August at the Milton Pumpkin Park. For more information on Salvaged to Sassy or to contact Lesa for your home staging needs, visit or on Facebook.

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