Shopping flea markets and antiques stores is addicting -- especially when it's easy to turn your fragile finds into a family-friendly decorating coup. Explore this house to see how it's done.
Safely stow away delicate collectibles in a display case, but when it agrees with your tastes, collect inexpensive items that you can use, such as these colorful teacups and spoons. Then you can purchase them guilt-free and not worry if a few get chipped or broken.
Why spend money on a pricey dining set when you can purchase a table to match your dining room's scale and color palette and find more dramatic chairs in an antiques shop? A new coat of glossy black paint and toile covers make these chairs smart again, and the perfect foil for the round marble-top table.
In the living room, a large antique mirror hangs low on the wall to anchor the sitting area and reflects the daybed, billowy sheers, and drapery panels. The classic-boned 1930s French chairs were given a fun and functional facelift by swapping out silk upholstery for cotton.
Salmon-pink wallpaper exudes romance in a hallway; clean-line wainscoting keeps the look simple and the paper out of reach of grubby fingers. Adding a vintage crystal chandelier is an easy way to transform the look of a room (or hallway) -- it lifts the eye and adds character to a space. Try colored shades for a chandelier or a soft pink light bulb for a lamp to give the room a romantic glow.
Another serviceable collection: Depression-era pottery with curves that look good enough to stand alone or in groups. Toss in a few stems of wildflowers when entertaining or use shallow vases as key and coin holders.
Stacking small piles of books and magazines horizontally leaves plenty of room for displaying more trinkets out of harm's way. Pricey antiques, such as a century-old European crown and vintage tiaras, stay safe but prominent on the top shelves.