Real Life Design: Flea Market Finds

For the second installment of Flea Market Finds, I ventured down to the Long Beach Flea Market. With over 800 dealers, Long Beach offers the same caliber of vintage goods without the crowds of the ever-so-popular Rose Bowl. It was a rainy and cold Sunday so only the brave (aka hard-core) deal hunters made an appearance. Boy, were they happy to have made the journey! Here's why:

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Who: Rachel
What: industrial lockers
Why: Rachel and her beau need storage for their bathroom. They live in a 1920s craftsman that has plenty of built-ins throughout the house, but none in the bathroom. Voila! These sturdy gym lockers are perfect for storing bulky linens and extra bath goodies. Best part? Because most dealers were having rainy day specials, Rachel scored these for $75! Industrial lockers are fantastic storage solutions and I've never seen a dealer let go of a set for less than $150. Steal of the day!


Who: Karen
What: vintage military footlockers
Why: Karen couldn't resist these hunter green footlockers. The dealer was practically giving them away, another rainy day deal...$50! Although they've seen better days, who doesn't love a little patina? If you want to keep vintage charm but get rid of rust stains, use zero-grain steel wool. It will rid you of pesky rust without stripping the original color. Karen also learned these industrial lockers are from China and were used during WW2. They even have their original tags inside. Karen plans on using these as living room storage and had originally been eyeing this Ikea version. These lockers were a mighty great find with an interesting story to boot!


Who: anonymous gentleman
What: "R" marquee letter
Why: This cute gent's girlfriend works for Roxy and they were busy gathering visual props for her store. They got this "R" for a good price--$20. Vintage signage is a popular trend and you can find letters in all colors, fonts, and sizes. Some even retain their working, blinking lights! Dealers know they're in demand so buyers beware: make sure there are no sizable cracks, dents, or scratches. Don't break the bank on a single letter--most dealers will sell you the entire set at a discounted rate. But if you don't want a big Papa John's sign in your house, don't spend more than $30 a letter.

Images: 1. Long Beach Flea Market; 2 - 4. Alison Brislin