I’ve always been inspired by unusual pieces that reflect different cultures and eras,” says Selina Lake, a British interior designer and stylist. “I also love church bazaars, yard sales and flea markets.”
Now Lake has written a book – “Bazaar Style: Decorating with Market and Vintage Finds” (Ryland Peters & Small, 2008) – with lifestyle journalist Joanna Simmons that combines these interests and explains how to achieve smashing results by using little money but lots of style and imagination.

I’ve always been inspired by unusual pieces that reflect different cultures and eras,” says Selina Lake, a British interior designer and stylist. “I also love church bazaars, yard sales and flea markets.”

Now Lake has written a book – “Bazaar Style: Decorating with Market and Vintage Finds” (Ryland Peters & Small, 2008) – with lifestyle journalist Joanna Simmons that combines these interests and explains how to achieve smashing results by using little money but lots of style and imagination.

“Bazaar style encapsulates all that is colorful and diverse,” Lake says. “Nothing is off-limits. It grows organically over the years and cannot be purchased in just one shopping trip.”

An example is an old kitchen shelf with a peg rail for mugs Lake recently purchased at a flea market for 50 cents. “I took it home, painted it canary yellow and placed it in my bedroom,” she said. “I hang necklaces from the pegs and use the shelf to display my collection of antique perfume bottles.”

Lake offers the following tips for incorporating bazaar style into your decorating scheme.

Getting Started
Vintage textiles – everything from upholstery and fabric remnants to drapes and Indian saris – are a great way to begin because they’re usually cheap and readily available at flea markets and thrift stores. Use them to recover cushions or as tablecloths or as colorful throws over the backs of chairs and sofas.

On the Prowl
Follow your heart. Look for items that speak to you. Lake’s favorites include floral oil paintings in ornate frames, pretty china, old patterned lampshades, storage tins, chairs and little cupboards that can be revived with just a lick of paint.

Bend Me, Shape Me
The bazaar style – with occasional exceptions – is not about fine antiques, so don’t be afraid to paint or alter your finds. Tired of your cabinets? Why not use appliqués or re-cover them with vintage wallpaper? Change handles and hinges at will.

The Art of Display
Part of bazaar style is using traditional objects in untraditional ways. For instance, in your bedroom, instead of a jewelry box, why not keep your favorite rings and bracelets and earrings in china teacups? Then, in your kitchen, instead of a cupboard, why not an old wardrobe?

Everything’s Illuminated
Lighting can instantly change the look of a room. Pink paper lanterns give rooms a warm – and flattering – glow. Fairy lights and Christmas lights look wonderful draped around mirrors and picture frames or pinned up around doorways and entryways.

Flower Power
Flowers and their various containers are a great way to add color and verve to a room. Old teapots, ceramic jugs, Moroccan tea glasses – all can be interesting vessels for freshly cut flowers.

The Great Outdoors
For your yard or balcony, use vintage china for unusual planters or hang up mirrors to give a sense of depth and space. Vintage lanterns and candleholders add romance to alfresco dinner parties.

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