Sometimes people and friends ask me what it takes to make their home genuine as many of them are tired of their 99% IKEA like interior. I have nothing against IKEA. Quite the contrary: I really like IKEA. I find it practical, non-expensive and I have to admit that they have great designers working for them, particularly since the Swedish home furniture brand started reissuing original mid-century furniture; and if it wouldn’t be for IKEA, we would probably only have pieces of furniture, maybe practical but not that fancy.
in fact, if you go to Berlin, make sure to stop by the city’s museum of design: they have a huge wall (something like 45 feet high) on which are fixed, challenging gravity, some IKEA furniture. Most of them are now-hard-to-find pieces of design from the 70s. So next time you go to the flea market, don’t neglect having a closer look at this piece of furniture from the 60s, 70s or 80s branded “IKEA”; it might be something worth buying (if museum look for them, that might be a good indicator that it is something worth to collect). But let’s get back to my friends complaining about their IKEA-like interior.
Many of them think that buying flea market stuff is hard, because first you have to know how to negotiate with merchants (that’s no big deal if you know a few tips of the “art of flea market haggling”), and then you have to be sure that what you buy will actually look good at your place.
Mmm… what do you mean by “and then you have to be sure that what you buy will actually look good at your place”?
Well, if you like something and it is not outrageously expensive, buy it. Don’t think twice or you’ll keep thinking about it a day later, the day after and so on, and you will eventually regret not having bought it. And quite often, the smallest piece of what most people would call “junk” on a flea market booth, can REALLY look amazing once displayed at your place.
Because most of the time it is all about “abstraction”. You have to forget the current environment in which you are (noisy people, mix of good/old/new/fake stuff, the smell of the hot-dog booth nearby, the old lady threatening you with her walking stick, etc) and try and picture some of the object you browse on the booths, at your place. And ask yourself how it would look like in the living room, the kitchen, your bedroom or your bathroom for instance.
And if your want to see how good could a motley interior looks like, have a look at this library by YTA which is a very well balanced mix of a comfortable home for both usual books and modern media, with a touch of industrial design and vintage.
Convinced? So don’t wait anymore and rush to the flea market this week-end, and the next, and the following, and the one after. Because even if you don’t find anything interesting this time, it will still be a great opportunity for you to train your eyes, observe and learn. And there is nothing like training your self like this to make great finds!