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Great Places in Denver to Find Hidden Treasures – Flea Markets, Estate Auctions and More!

In this economy, most of us don’t have extra funds to throw away on expensive décor. Are you looking for ideas on how to decorate economically? These days, it’s easier than ever because of two big factors: the recycling boom and the internet. Shabby Chic is everywhere, and while it means different things to different people, it generally involves re-purposing old, discarded items in new ways. Shabby Chic doesn’t strive to match or look perfect; it aims for comfort, thriftiness and usefulness. Here are some great places to find furniture, accessories, art, or knick-knacks on a tight budget:

Thrift stores — Goodwill, Salvation Army, The Humane Society, and a hundred other nonprofit organizations sponsor storefronts to finance their activities. While many of these have online shops or auctions, it’s really best to look at the items in person before you buy. Many large items must be picked up in person anyway, and it’s very difficult to judge the true condition of a used item from a few photographs.

Flea markets – Bargain hunters everywhere sing the praises of flea markets! An online search will help you find where and when the biggest flea markets will take place near you. Be prepared to spend a whole day walking and looking. Be sure to dress comfortably, and take the cash that you want to spend. If you’re planning on looking at furniture, make sure you have means to transport it after the sale. Some sellers at flea markets have drivers/trucks for hire so that might be an option to consider.

Estate auctions — Be careful here, because the thrill of bidding can sometimes cancel out the whole idea of finding a great bargain and decorating on the cheap. The first time you go, it’s often best to just watch. Having an absolute upper bid limit and sticking to it will help you avoid the winner’s curse — winning the item at too high a price. Don’t try to buy collectibles for investment purposes unless you’re an expert. Bid on something only because you love it.

Discount stores — Stores that sell returns, refurbished items or seconds are a great resource. Buying large or otherwise expensive items like carpet through these outlets can save you an enormous amount of money. When you visit a carpet outlet, it’s especially important to take along accurate measurements of room dimensions. You can often find irregular remnants which can be cut to perfection for your purposes.

Have fun with your treasure hunts! When you are in Denver, be sure to contact your friends at Sloane’s Carpet Secret for chic carpeting that’s not too shabby.