You can keep baby
costs down by skipping fancy home-decor stores and heading to
your local flea market for one-of-a-kind finds. Before you begin
scouring stalls and rummaging through bins, here are a few things
to keep in mind.
>> Plan Ahead. "Go early, and bring measurements
for rooms, nooks, ans doorways," says Maria Moss, co-author
with Barri Leiner of Flea Market Baby. Moss learned
the hard way: "I hauled home and entire armoire for my daughter's
room, only to find it didn't fit through the front door."
>> Look For Inspiration. "Rummage through boxes and
bins for small textiles and trinkets that will help inspire
colors and a room theme," says Moss. Leiner and Moss suggest
"retro cowboy," "at the seashore," "horsing around," and "souvenir
>> Be Patient And Flexible. You're not going to find
everything you want in one day. in fact, you may never find
exactly what you're looking for, so be sure to keep an open
mind. For instance, why not use a dresser as a changing table?
"Simply outfit it with an easy-to-attach changing pad and
enjoy the extra storage below," says Leiner. Then when baby
no longer needs changing, you already have his dresser."
>> Be Creative. Instead of plastic storage bins,
look for ovesize dollhouses to store books and puzzles. Stacked
suitcases are perfect for storing art supplies, says Leiner.
For "instant heirlooms," says Moss, look for "silverwear like
monogrammed cups and rattles," and silver charms to adorn
baby's first bracelet.
>> Best Bets. For city markets, Leiner and Moss recommend
the Annex Antique Fair & Flea Market (Sixth Avenue, between
24th and 26th Streets). Day-trippers should head to the Brimfield
Antiques & Collectibles Show (Route 20, Brimfield, Massachusetts).