Go on a flea market tour with Eddie Ross and you'll never see things the same way. Case in point: we got there early before the tour started and I didn't "see" much. Actually felt a bit disappointed. Then started the 2 hour tour with Eddie and realized all the hidden treasures and deals that were there. (plus had a lot of fun!)

Eddie and Jaithan scope out the flea market ahead of time in order to bring to life all his ideas and tips. Here we are at one dealer's booth where Eddie spotted these mauve velvet slipper chairs. To transform this $450 pair, Eddie suggested:
- Remove the skirt and the button tufting
- Reupholster in linen. Consider making your own custom striping with 2 colors of linen, broad stripes on either side.
- Add polished nickel casters to the legs. That suggestion was unexpected and I think really takes those chairs to a very high end.

In addition to tips on what to look for in terms of markings on china and silver, Eddie gave helpful advice on how to spruce up and care for your purchases. Eddie recommends:

- Gorham silver polish. Remember not to polish out all the patina in the relief.

- Don't put silver and stainless steel into the dishwasher at the same time. It will damage the silver.

- A small dab of Lestoil can work wonders on stubborn stains. Just don't use too much as the smell is strong.

- For painting furniture, use Zinsser primer to block out all stains.

Eddie also differentiated between options for higher end items versus lower end items. For example, for these high quality vintage broaches he suggests shadow box framing them for a custom piece of art. A few stalls later we came across bags and bags of lower end vintage jewelry - those can broken apart and used for magnets and decorative accents. Other great ideas:

- If you love a "onesie" buy it! Eddie recently fell in love with one glass and bought it. A few weeks later he found 5 more in the same pattern.

- Upgrade common mats you may find vintage artwork or prints in with linen and spray adhesive.

- Always look at the vintage clothing booths for great fabrics that can be used to make a one-of-a-kind pillow or for upholstery. A plaid wool or tweed coat can transform an accent chair. A brocade top becomes an awesome pillow.

Here's Meg of Pigtown Design and Jennifer Sergent of Washington Spaces checking out feedback sacks. Jennifer scored 3 great ones for only $10 total!

I love vintage linens and was thrilled to go back after the tour and find the $40 London Map linen table cloth Eddie had showed us there still available. Eddie's suggestion - find a way to keep this treasure in view. For example it could be used as wall decor in a child's bedroom or playroom.
The detail is great. How cute is that - You Are Here - The Westbury!

Green linen napkins, $1 a piece, 6 blue napkins w/a Made in Belgium label $15, 6 monogrammed yellow napkins $15. Keep in mind Eddie's advice - don't worry if they're not your initials.
I'm very excited about these 2 tablecloths. The one to the left is cotton with a raised white design $15 and the Fantasia permanent press golden yellow and gray one was $15. (All these linens came from the nicest dealer, Debra Morman of Back In Time Antiques. You can find her beautifully laundered and pressed linens at Old Town Manassas Antiques (703.361.4510) andTwo Guys Antiques (703.221.9669).
I've got plans to set a table using both of these and the gorgeous Paris Gray Creative Candles that Eddie and Jaithan gave me. It was a really fun day at the D.C. Big Flea!!