For those of you who are new to this blog, I was on a recent episode of Flea Market Flip - a show about taking flea market items, making them over, and then selling them. My awesome partner, Leigh Heagney, and I battled against two carpenter craftsmen. Unfortunately, we lost, but I'm super proud of what we accomplished. And it was an incredible experience. Here's a behind the scenes look at the show...
The Buy Day
We were lucky enough to have our buy day at Brimfield Flea Market - in my humble opinion, the best flea market on the east coast. We had to show up at the crack of dawn ready to battle. My biggest worry was what to wear. There were so many restrictions - no patterns, no hats, no sunglasses, no white. I usually don't worry about how I look, but I felt like I had to look my best. After all, I was going to be on NATIONAL TV! Oh, and it was about 90 degrees and super sunny so I was slathered with sunscreen and sweating like a pig. No hair and makeup here folks. Just a porta-potty.
Luckily, we knew our competition (Erik and Brian) from back home so that wasn't an unknown, but we also knew they woud be tough. Leigh and I both worked with Erik at the local antique center where we had competing businesses. Erik always had a steady flow of sales. Another worry - Erik and Brian are super cool - with tattoos and everything.
Once we met the producers and camera crew and got all miked up, we were ready to film. Lara, our host, gave us our challenge which Leigh and I gladly accepted. It was to create three pieces that would make a vignette (i.e. three pieces that would make up a room or "scene"). This was right up our alley - since Leigh and I are both designers, we LOVE vignettes. We immediately thought we'd create a living room scene, complete with seating, table and, of course, a bar.
We had $500 and one hour to shop. Here's what we ended up with... a pair of Thonet chairs with chrome trim, a mixing bowl that we were going to convert into a coffee table, and a vintage bar complete with a mini fridge. I think we ended up spending up around $210. Not bad, right!?!?!
Our next challenge was to remake these dogs into beauties. We had one day in the workshop to make magic happen. Leigh, who is an amazingly talented redesigner, took on the arduous task of re-upholstering the chairs in a beautitful white velvet. The host, Lara, wasn't sure Leigh could do it but Leigh totally proved her wrong!
Our plan for the bar was to paint it and add grasscloth with protective glass on the actual bar surface. We wanted to keep the brass hardware - it's always best to keep the hardware if you can.
Since Leigh was busy re-uphostering the chair, I set about cleaning the bar and painting the first coat. I am an amazingly talented cleaner - but that's it! Luckily, the painting wasn't hard at all (thanks to the Amy Howard paint that we used). I had some problems with applying the wax finish so Leigh had to go in and kinda re-do what I did. Oops!
The industrial dough bowl makeover was my baby. The concept was to create kind of a terrarium inside the bowl so I brought sand straight from Monmouth Beach (where I spend my summer days!) and some faux succulents. First,I scrubbed the thing to death. Cija, one of the carpenters on the show, helped me make a dummy bottom so we wouldn't have to fill the entire bowl with sand (which would have made it way too heavy). After pouring in the sand, I plopped the succulents in just so, and topped with a piece of glass that Leigh scored in her yard sale travels. Voila - the project took all of an hour to put together. My kind of project!
With the makeover complete, we were set to sell. We had to report to Long Island City Flea Market, where we set up our vignette right next to the boys. The boys make a collection of three tables using a super cool burnt wood technique. Polar opposite of us from a style standpoint but very cool. Here's how our vignette turned out - I have to say I'm very proud!
P.S. take a look at the amazing faux hide pillows on the chairs. Leigh made them!
It was freezing cold and there weren't many people at the market. I knew this was going to be a tough day. The highlights of the flea market were a french fry booth, biergarten and a stall selling Halloween costumes for $5. Here's our amazing producer, Michael with a nice wig that he bought.
We sold the coffee table pretty early on but the boys were selling like hot cakes so the pressure was on. Our selling time was coming to a close, and despite receiving a lot of interest, we still hadn't sold the chairs or the bar. We ended up selling the bar for just a small profit but the chairs just sat. Turns out, chairs don't sell. Grrr. The boys were very kind and tried to help us sell the chairs but we had no luck.
Needless to say, the boys won. We were super disappointed but soooooo happy and honored to have been part of such a fun show. Such an amazing experience!
Working with Leigh was so fun - she taught me so many crafty techniques and also how to just CHILL OUT! Hard for me to do. Thanks Leigh!
For those of you who need help redesigning your treasures, Leigh can totally help. Here's the Facebook page for her business, Embellish. Check out her page to see what amazing transformations she's created. Top notch!
Until next time!
I'm all about sharing ideas in home design, gardening and living so we can love our homes. I'm joined by my dog, Boomer, who is always by my side.