French flea markets – garage sale heaven!

From fine fabric to china and demi-lune tables, France is garage sale heaven!

From fine fabric to china and demi-lune tables, France is garage sale heaven!

CurtainFrench Flea Markets

Back home in the States we have garage sales. When hunting for cool furniture finds in France, you should head straight to the many flea markets, which present no shortage of quirky items and bargains to deck your new holiday home out with.

It AMAZES me what Dan, Francesco and Arcadio have managed to orchestrate in merely three weeks at our house in Vers Pont du Gard. It takes a certain personality to see, feel, hear, and sense what changes need to happen in an architectural gem like le Muguet and THEN to pull it off.

Wow… I believe one of the tricks is to have a super organized spirit (not me!) and to dovetail a trip to bring Francesco to the airport with a morning jaunt to the Villeneuve d’Avignon market and finally, stop again at the Ikea store near Aix en Provence to search out a sofa bed solution.

I am 100% content to just sing in the choir and let the maestros direct. I certainly have picked up some tips and in today’s email to Dan I said:

Demi-lune_chair“I love getting your updates, dead tired that you are. Many thanks. Never again will I rush over to France to decorate a complete house in 10 days or less! Nor will I depend on Brico Marché when the real deals are at the flea markets.”

Comments from Dan on 4/5 about his flea market purchases:

“We have made more WONDERFUL purchases for you at flea markets. We have been going, going, going… Made it to Barjac – the ‘mother of all flea markets’ locally. It took us about three hours just to make a quick tour. Very pricey, however, so we contented ourselves with two more lamps to fix (lovely 19th century brass oil lamp base, and a Chinese porcelain.

You now have a used ‘coffee table’ book about chateaux of France that has inspirational photos for us and will be left here as we are Lampsslowly filling up your book shelves. (You are inheriting about 20 or so of our CDs that we brought from home – it is always nice, we think, to find a little selection of music and reading when you stay at a house that is not your own home…) Total cost of all of the above was about 80 euros.

Also I found a 4-drawer antique walnut with marble top dresser for the bedroom (we are painting and moving the red one up to the terrace bedroom); a beautiful and stylish Voltaire chair with lovely green velvet upholstery for the salon; an old wrought iron floor lamp – very heavy and looking great for the same; a large round dining table – the type that can have two sides folded down for compactness when wanted; six cane seated chairs; an old gilt mirror for the bathroom and two heavy brass sconces for the same.

M. VoltairePlus we have a really cute marble wash stand with two drawers that goes against the stone wall where the wicker hamper has been located. There’s also a host of much needed kitchen items – practical stuff , but with proper ‘flair’ that is creating an old ‘family’ feeling there.”

And while we’re talking about flea markets in France, here’s a pic of our lovely Limoges china, found at the Uzes Asparagus Festival.

So how about you, where do you source your best household bargains from, and have you discovered any French flea markets that we should be making a beeline for?

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