Dear Lee,

Ralph and I had fun filming our TV show Flea Market Finds. Things haven’t changed. I still like helping people find the latest trends and bargains. And I still like finding those unexpected “flea market finds,” the treasures you find in the hunt that you had no idea that you needed!

Some might tell you to write a “wish list” to avoid those impulse buys. But half the fun is discovering that unexpected “find,” bringing it home and scouting out the perfect place to put it and admire it. You can focus on:

Repurposed items: I’ve always liked everyday vintage items used in different ways. Use old suitcases by stacking them to serve as a table. Display colorful plates on the wall like artwork or hang them from the ceiling (as I once saw in a museum). Seed packets look great framed solo or in groups and hung on the wall. You can’t go wrong with early 20th-century advertisements hanging on the stair wall.

Quirky things: Buy a primitive shovel or rake and hang it on the wall.  Or collect garden gnomes of all sizes like I do. I don’t care if they are old or new! I like hiding them throughout my garden. Display vintage pennants, ribbons awarded at fairs, old sheet music and farm utensils. You can display them by theme, say, all of Niagara Falls, or by color.

Different uses: Find new uses for the old typewriter, wooden boxes or library catalog cabinets.

Reclaimed items: I have lots of reclaimed items outside in my garden and on our fence like an old mirror, car grill (pictured here) and even a street sign.

Keep the kids or grandkids entertained: Let them look for a treasure of their own and be sure to give them a budget for their purchase.

My fun is bringing home something that catches my eye and finding that special place for it!

Terry Kovel

old auto grill, Mercedes

A favorite “reclaimed item” on my fence: an old Mercedes front car grill.



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