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Ever go to a flea market and find your priorities immediately scrambled? "Stuff! So much stuff! I don't know how to deal!" Well fear not, because in the latest edition of Goop, Gwyneth and interior designer Peter Dunham have put together a flea play-by-play that's actually helpful.
Their "Flea Market Buying Guide" includes the best fleas all over the US and abroad, what to look for at each and what to bring with you in order to find the bohemian, vintage pieces of your dreams. Of course, Gwyneth Paltrow's definition of what constitutes "bohemian" is akin to what a Kuwaiti prince views as "expensive." See for example, the "find a hotel close to the fare grounds" tip: Not everyone can make a flea market trip into a destination vacation. However, Goop does include viable tips that even laypeople can use. Below, allow Goop and Peter to school beginners in flea marketing your way to "hippie deluxe" interior design.
Some of the most universally useful tips in the full guide include:
1. Pretty obvious but extremely important: "Measure your space before you go. Beyond the parameters of the area you'd like to fill (i.e., the space allotted for a coffee table), bring measurements for the supporting furniture (i.e., the height and length of your couch, etc.). If you live in an apartment building with small elevators, or a house with unusual doors, be sure that you'll be able to get the item inside!"
2. A concrete way to play hard to get: "If you're interested in an item, but not overly attached, walk away—do a second lap at the end of the day. If it's still available, you'll have much more negotiating power."
3. The numbers game: "Look for pairs and sets: Vendors generally hate to break them up, so you're going to get a better deal. Besides adding symmetry to a space (see below), you can often use an extra lamp or chairs in a different room."
Now head over to Goop for "the best" fleas from Cali to Ohio to New York, interior decorating advice and so many more useful tips.
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