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Tattered but TREASURED

Flea market decorating is for those who want a distinctively original home. Whether your style is retro, modern, country, or whatever, you can find second-hand furniture and accessories that appeal to your sense of taste. Get affordable and creative ideas for transforming one person's trash into your own personal treasure. With some tender loving care, you can transform second-hand junk into decorative pieces.

Exploring flea markets can be both a great way to spend time and a fruitful hobby. Each antique piece that you encounter dates back to a point in time and tells its own story. Sometimes the things you can find in an antique store could easily rival items seen in museums. One could spend ages just exploring flea markets and finding hidden treasures. To take it a step further, many people find joy in buying secondhand or old items from flea markets and by adding their own personal touches and giving these items a makeover.

Although the concept of flea markets is not common in Bangladesh, the trend is widely popular in most countries abroad. Bangladesh is rich in its culture and heritage, so you never know what you might find if you looked a little. Keep your eyes peeled for your next roadside knickknack or when your grandparents are giving away old collectibles and prepare to be surprised!


FLEA MARKET FINDS from cheap to chic

For the past few years there has been a growing trend of shopping at thrift stores and flea markets all around the world. The thrill of finding something wonderful at a bargain is incomparable; often a seemingly common item can be modified into something useful and interesting just by being a little creative. Moreover, every now and then we stumble over that special something that has a bit of history to it, and can be given a new lease of life by using our imagination. At times coming across an object that serves as a reminder of the days gone by is evocative and nostalgic. And we are all aware that few things provide the sense of fulfilment achieved by being creative!

In the western world the concept of flea market shopping has gained serious momentum. Magazines and websites tirelessly sing its praises, labelling chic flea market finds as 'vintage'. It is a term that refers to any useful, sometimes previously-owned object sourced from inexpensive, cheap places.

It is an umbrella term; pretty much anything can be called vintage, be it furniture, clothes, shoes, machinery, crockery, etc. Celebrities are often spotted wearing vintage clothing and accessories that are unusual and hard to find and also inexpensive, and it has created a major fashion trend. While purchasing previously-owned clothes may not be very popular in our part of the world, there are still whole hosts of treasures to be found and used, just by being a little imaginative.

If you have recently moved in to your new place, or looking for ways to redecorate, chances are that you will need furniture. At times, buying new ones can be expensive, especially when one is on a budget.

Flea markets can be of great help in these scenarios. There are many shops dotting the streets of Shegunbagicha, adjacent to the Anti-Corruption Commission Office, where old furniture can be bought at a reasonable price. You can then revamp these treasures according to your taste and budget.

Chairs and sofas can be re-upholstered and painted to great effect; ottomans and divans fall in the same category and treatment. Bookshelves and racks are usually available too. Side-tables and stools may be found as well. Keep an eye out for other items that are usually hidden from plain sight. A friend recently found an old-fashioned brass table fan he got polished by professionals and now it's a great conversation starter in his office!

There are a few pointers to keep in mind though. First, examine the goods properly before purchasing. While they are not likely to be brand new, do watch out for cracks and chips in wooden furniture, splints in bamboo and cane goods. Make sure they will be useful after refurbishment; severely-damaged goods are no good! Also, learn to haggle. Do not wear fancy clothes as you are likely to get dirty while scouring through the dusty heaps and it will be hard for you to negotiate.

If you are looking for other knickknacks to add a dash of panache to your living or working quarters head to New Market. The labyrinthine passages at the back of it are a veritable treasure trove of curious finds. Look out for fancy vases, crockery, wooden items, kitchen paraphernalia, porcelain decorative objects and much more.

The upshot is that these goods are unusual and new. Items sourced from here can be modified and personalised to suit your taste. Be prepared to haggle or else you are likely to return home with an empty pocket as the range of goods available here is extensive, to say the least!

The upper floor of DCC Market at Gulshan 2 is an excellent source of scoring vintage finds. The shops here are chock-full of items such as furniture, old telephone sets, trunks, brass table lamps, fans, chairs, armoires, jewellery, etc. You can also find interesting statues and art that are sure to add character to your house. Mostly visited by foreigners, these stores charge slightly higher prices so be wary of shrewd salespeople.

Finding the desired item is understandably exciting and thrilling. What adds to the excitement further is if the goods are inexpensive yet stylish. So while your friends spend major amounts of money at fancy shopping malls buying generic things, give these places a shot. Let your creative juices flow and stand out from the crowd with the unique, distinct finds that are truly your own!

By Sabrina Haq
Photo: Sazzad Ibne Sayed



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