Flea Market Shopping with Eddie Ross

We ran into Eddie Ross from Top Design on the street a few months ago (don't you love New York!), and he invited us to tag along on one of his flea market shopping trips.

Eddie has begun to offer guided flea market shopping trips in New York and other cities. He’ll talk to you about what you’re hoping to find, and take you to his favorite dealers, thrift stores and pawn shops. We’re not exactly inexperienced thrifters, but we learned a lot! After spending a day with Eddie rummaging through the flea market, we are now firmly Eddie Ross fans.

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We decided that we'd be on the look-out for nice flatware, and Eddie was hunting for vintage ornaments to use for a holiday table setting.


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Looking at chairs outside a thrift store.


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We stopped off at one of Eddie's favorite thrift stores, where he found a large selection of vintage ornaments.


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Vintage brooches or napkin embellishment?


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Vintage never-been-used flatware from the 1960s for 25 cents each!


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Eddie found more vintage ornaments at the flea. He decided that to use them to create a holiday table setting. Look to see what Eddie did with these ornaments!

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Here's what we took home. We dumped it all out on our dining table to sort through it. We couldn't pass up the 1960s flatware for 25 cents a piece. We sifted through a box with Eddie and pulled out some silver flatware that we can't wait to polish up, and we found the bakelite knives at another one of Eddie's thrift store haunts.


Don't forget to check out what Eddie did with those ornaments!


Eddie Ross' Flea Market Tips


  1. Don’t be fooled by soiled linens. I find that 99% of stains always come out. For the first cleaning, I use a mixture of boiling hot water, non-Chlorine bleach and Lestoil for the grease. If something doesn’t come clean, I’ll use a little chlorine bleach, then use the non-chlorine variety for the upkeep.

  2. Mix it up. The easiest way to spruce up your holiday table is by mixing in pieces from the flea market with your own collection. Keep your dinner plates, for example, then top them off with a set of vintage salad or dessert plates. Keep it simple, though. Think simple patterns and coordinating colors.

  3. Sometimes, the more tarnished, the better. That way, you’ll always get the best deal on vintage silver. Just remember, a little elbow grease and some Gorham silver polish (my favorite) go a long way.

  4. Assemble your own sets. A lot of times at the flea market, you’ll find smaller sets of forks, spoons and knives. Mix them together for an eclectic look that’s all you.

  5. When buying furniture, look past unsightly finishes and hardware. That’s almost always a quick fix. If it’s a sturdy piece with good lines, buy it. Just make sure it fits in your car!

Eddie is offering shopping trips in New York, LA, and Atlanta.