You Win Some, You Lose Some: Long Beach Flea Market

This weekend, I wandered over to Long Beach to check out the flea market that happens once a month. When I went before, I was impressed because I say so much good stuff and it was so much cheaper than Rose Bowl. It has been a while, and I think Long Beach must be more popular than ever because I feel like prices skyrocketed.

Flea Markets are hit or miss, and where Rose Bowl this month was a major win for me, this trip was a miss. Everything I wanted to buy was priced a little too high for me. I was obsessed with these wooden cannisters, but the vendor was asking $70 for the set, and that just felt like too much.

The $70 canisters just seemed a little too expensive.
The $70 canisters just seemed a little too expensive.

I did end up buying a set of glasses with midcentury looking wooden sleeves and a matching tray, but I came home feeling like I got ripped off. The guy told me that they were “Eames,” and while I didn’t believe him (no markings, no stickers, I’d never heard of a set like this), I was hoping they were a knock off  of something else. After a ton of searching after bringing them home, I can’t find much on them.

Here’s what happened: I went over to negotiate and another lady started looking at them. I got so caught up in someone else wanting them and “winning” the score that I told the guy I would take them outright. I was so upset about it, I haven’t been able to bring myself to take a photo yet. I guess the best way to learn is to make mistakes, and this has been one of those “learning experiences.” Don’t get me wrong, it is a cool set, but I think I just paid too much for it. I’ll show you guys a photo later this week when I get it cleaned up.

That being said, I did see some cool stuff at the LB Flea:

I loved this colorful stove. The guy had stoves in pink, red, blue, and classic white.
I loved this colorful stove. The guy had stoves in pink, red, blue, and classic white.
This light fixture was really cool, and was actually a good deal at $325.
This light fixture was really cool, and was actually a good deal at $325.
I liked the finish on this table.
I liked the finish on this table.
Funny, freaky figures. I didn't get a price, but they were pretty cool. They were really big, so I'm not quite sure what someone would use them for...
Funny, freaky figures. I didn’t get a price, but they were pretty cool. They were really big, so I’m not quite sure what someone would use them for…

 

Lesson in Textiles II: When Bad Things Happen to Good Furniture

Lesson in Textiles II: When Bad Things Happen to Good Furniture

Just an example of how the wrong fabric can completely ruin a piece.
I actually thought these were being sold with the intention of being reupholstered. Okay, this may be the right fabric if you have a jungle theme or are a thirteen year old girl, but I generally wouldn’t choose cheetah print for something I’m selling. They kinda had a Flinstone’s vibe, but the fabric was so totally fake…
Surprisingly (to me), a lady was flipping for these and actually jumped on me for asking the price ($100 for the set- a more neutral fabric could double the asking price, IMO).
At the end of the day, these chairs sold because the right buyer came along, but it was definitely a risk.

A Lesson in Colors and Textiles

So it’s pretty basic that color and fabric can completely transform a piece of furniture. The right combo can take something you want to hide in the corner to a showpiece that everyone loves. The wrong picks can make a piece that was already pretty good look pretty terrible. I saw a lot both today at the Long Beach flea market.

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Not as big (therefore not as intimidating) as the Rose Bowl flea market, Long Beach still had a wide variety of stuff. It had great vintage clothes, dishes and colored glass as far as the eye can see, lots of pieces of furniture sitting there just waiting to be rehabbed, and some really creative finished items. It didn’t seem as crowded as Rose Bowl or even Fairfax, but I went at the end of the day, so it may have died down by then. Anyway, I left feeling super inspired.

So, walking down the aisles, searching for that perfect piece for my next project, I nearly choked when I stumbled upon chairs just like my roadside find I recently finished. Remember this post? These chairs?!

Finished chair

Well, they were just like them but different. Different fabric, different paint, different feel.

I loved mine so much I couldn’t bear to sell them. These just weren’t my style… but it was cool to see someone else’s take on the exact same piece. It really goes to show how much difference the paint and fabric can make!

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Another view of the chairs in Long Beach. I wonder if they found them on the side of the road, too?