How to boss a flea market and decorate your apartment for mad cheap.

Why is a flea market named a freakin' flea market? I mean that could be the most unattractive name, ever for someone to buy something for their home/to wear, etc.

Before I moved to L.A. I was hesitant that I could find: a) cheap shit b) that's good quality. When talking about my woes when decorating our new apartment, so many people mentioned hitting up the various flea markets in the L.A. area. My previous experience with flea's included the Brooklyn flea, which is really just a place to showcase expensive stuff that's like hipster because it's at a flea, but still really expensive. No bueno.

I mean when I am buying someone else's old shit, I want it to be super cheap, ya know? It's like when you go to Target, to look at clothes and there's a top there for $50 dollars and you're like, I'm not spending more than $25 bucks on any item of clothing here, bye.

Moving has been stressful (per usual) randomly you forget about all the shit you need to do, and I was nervous and decorating our entire apartment on a budget. I've just never been one to spend 2k on a couch, maybe someday, but now I need to travel, keep up with this look (aka get ready once a week), and save money to buy a car (!!!!)

So I decided to give it a go, after all the help from local friends in California, and went to Melrose Trading Post off Fairfax. I dragged Justin with me so he could feel like he had a say in decorating our apartment (hehe). So hot, but so worth it, we made it all around the place, finding so many cool things like furniture, rugs, crystals (I had to stop myself), lamps, antique furniture, plants (succulents are damn cute), art, cheap jewelry and clothes. So many people venturing through bins and racks of clothes there! Lots of old Levi's, tons of dainty necklaces and accessories. 

I think there were a few things I wish I would have known first, going to the flea, and I wish I would have known about it sooner. 

Why the flea market rules:

  • It's so nice that the boho, mismatched, warn look is in, because then it's really like, everything (almost) at the flea could be considered vintage chic. I think everyone at the flea says the furniture is 'shabby chic' when it's really not.
  • It's CHEAP, and you can negotiate your price. I bought this gorgeous mirror for $100 dollars (she told me originally $140) and some bedroom furniture for $200 total, with shipping. I negotiated to get shipping directly to our apartment for free. I think Justin wanted to jump off a cliff watching me barter with random flea market retailers. But also, by being so cheap, you can get so much more to actually fully complete a look in your place. 
  • Everything is unique, so it's not like you're doing the typical Ikea shit. Remember that, 'I've never seen that Ikea coffee table' said no one ever meme? Its' like that. Because I've had that Ikea coffee table (RIP) and it's nice to do something different. 

Tips to boss the flea:

  1. Take your time looking, and do a lap before you buy.  I bought my dresser right before I found a dresser I was absolutely in love with, and I don't know how a return would actually work at a Flea. Make sure you check out the surroundings, see what you like, and compare it to other stuff, and then before you leave make your swoop. This also helps so you don't need to carry shit the whole day. 
  2. Feel free to barter, and negotiate. People expect it honestly, and you're going to get a fair price 75% of the time, but these people want to get rid of this shit, so they'll most likely take any price from you (that's realistic). 
  3. Go to Flea Markets in nice areas. I know this sounds basic, but we went to the Melrose Trading Post in Beverly Hills, so a lot of the stuff was really nice stuff from people who lived close by. If you go to a Flea in a shitty area, you're going to find shitty stuff and vice versa.
  4. I don't know if you should buy clothes from the Flea, but that's just me, and if you're a second time around shopper, then I'm sure it's fine.
  5. The flea is really good for furniture, and big things, as well as small decor, so just have a good idea in mind of what you need so you don't get off track. (I had to refrain from buying tons of crystals, because we seriously don't need anymore right now). 
  6. Bring cash. A lot do square now, but in case they don't bring cash to pay.

Where to go: 

If you're in L.A.


Melrose Trading Post Flea Market: Fairfax and Melrose 

PCC Flea Market: 1570 E Colorado Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91106

The Roadium Open Air Market: 2500 W Redondo Beach Blvd, Torrance, CA 90504

In New York:

Fort Green Flea: 176 Lafayette Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11238

Artists and Fleas: 70 N 7th St, Brooklyn, NY 11249

Also a few more, via this link

In Chicago: 

Buyers Flea Market

A few more, via here.

Oh and you guys wanna see what I got? Peep the little white bedside table, turquoise mirror for the living room, and small tex-mex vibe rug for the kitchen. The bedside table was $50, the mirror was $100, and the rug was $60! So legit. 

J wouldn't let me get the big dream catcher :( "looks like a ghost dude". 


Have such a good week. Headed to Chicago for the weekend and oh so excited! In the meantime, need to get this place sorted and find a damn California "coming out" Instagram - #LYFE.

Krista xx