Flea Market Hacks

by Cary Garcia 10/06/2019

Part of you can't stay away from flea markets, garage sales, and antique malls. But another part of you knows that there is not enough room in your home for the random pieces that you find. The living room corner is not the perfect place for a rusted pitchfork, and your bedroom shouldn't house that old hand plow. But some items fit right in, and others that can be made to order with a little hacking.

Hacks, not a hacksaw

Although many hacks require some cutting or drilling into the piece, remember that its very age makes it less able to withstand severe alterations without also improving its stability. For example, a wooden library card-filling system creates a perfect side table with the addition of legs, and the wood usually can withstand the drilling. Conversely, a metal and glass tea trolley may not have the stability to add drawers or remove shelves, and a dresser with delicate French legs might not bear the weight of your entertainment system. A sturdy farmhouse table, however, makes a fantastic coffee or game table and only requires cutting down the legs. Before embarking on alterations, consider the original use of the piece and adjust your expectations accordingly.

Think creatively

Vintage beds rarely come in queen-size. If you’ve got your eye on an antique headboard, but you have a queen bed, consider that you may need to add pieces to the sides to make it fit. Or, you can take that headboard and attach it to a bench instead, so you get the vintage piece in a useful, but fitting, alternative.

Another hack for a headboard is to use an antique door. Many old doors have interesting architectural features worthy of artistic interest. Turn a door on its side and connect it to legs and your bed frame, and voila! You have a lovely headboard. Or create a banquette with two doors attached as the bench backs in a corner.

Expand its use

Metal tea trays in deep rich colors make excellent wall art for a kitchen, breakfast nook, or even a bedroom. Cluster several together for interest and to draw the eye. Or, attach a large tray to the top of a nightstand for instant charm. If the tray has a sturdy base, you can even connect hairpin metal corner legs to create a side table.

Don't buy the first items you see. The perfect one might be right around the corner in a market you've never visited. If you're new to an area, ask your real estate professional about local thrift stores, farmers markets, and city-wide garage-sale days.

About the Author
Author

Cary Garcia

Marymount University - BS Finance

Georgetown University - Master's Real Estate

Associate Broker

Northern Virginia Association of Realtors ® Top Producers Club

  

Finding a real estate agent is easy. Finding a skilled agent is the hardest…What separates me from other real estate agents is my extensive knowledge of contract law and the market data of the region. You need an agent who understands the legality of the contract by enforcing the terms of the offer as well as all of the contingencies, addendums and disclosures. Before signing the offer, I will thoroughly explain the contract in detail, so you understand what you are committing to.I bring an expert’s perspective to help buyers and sellers make the right decisions. Because I understand the legal and highly emotional aspects associated with real estate transactions, I am able to provide expert guidance to help you make informed and educated decisions. In addition, I’m very skilled at project coordination. With so many people involved in the home sale process, I know how to create satisfying resolutions and make the process go as smoothly and successfully as possible.

My real estate business has the “clients for life” philosophy where I strive to excel in every aspect of my business, continually reinventing myself as I find better ways to achieve my clients’ goals. I’m constantly learning and reviewing my business, systems and processes, and asking myself: How can I improve my level of service to my clients?

My expertise encompasses all housing types, including co-ops, condos, single-family homes and multi-unit buildings. I welcome first time homebuyers, owners wishing to sell their homes, trade up or acquire income-producing properties. In addition, I warmly invite those interested in relocating to Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C. 

With an in-depth view of the market, I know where to locate the properties that compliment your wish list and lifestyle. Moreover, when it’s time to sell, my innovative appraisal approach will help to appropriately price your property for maximum financial return. I focus on marketing that is effective – that is why I relentlessly track what works and what does not.

I recognize the common thread in each and every real estate transaction is a client with similar needs: exceptional customer service, an agent who understands the contract, neighborhood expertise and professional guidance throughout the process. I embrace all of these needs and work diligently to cater to them on every level of my business. I know Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C. areas very well and know what it takes to earn a stellar reputation for giving clients’ what they ultimately want. I take this responsibility seriously and work tirelessly to ensure you receive all the information you need to make sound decisions that will affect your future. So when you’re ready to buy or sell property in Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C., set your sights high and give me a call. 

My expertise, dedication and perseverance will ensure your next move a complete success. I will help you achieve it.

TESTIMONIALS

Cary was fantastic in all respects. We will definitely recommend him to others. He went way above and beyond what was necessary in our first home buying experience.

– Barry Kennedy and Amy Kennedy

If it wasn’t for Cary’s hard work, we would not have the house we are now living in. … He was always patient, kind and informative. We knew that he was always on our side and trusted his judgment. He worked so tirelessly for us, without reservation. I highly recommend him to anyone looking for a house in the Washington area.

– Daniel and Christine Mullins

Cary was very professional from the very beginning. He kept us informed throughout the whole entire selling process. Eventually…he helped us buy our next home. We will recommend him highly.

– Dr. Deborah Jones & Dr. Gregory Miller

For the past six years we have had a business relationship with Mr. Cary Garcia. He was our realtor during the purchase and sale of our home. … No detail was too small and nothing was overlooked. … I would recommend Cary Garcia to anyone looking for a hard working and trustworthy professional.

– Marc and Mona Lisa Gittleman