Posted May 24, 2009 in Arts | 0 Comments

A TASTE for the HUNT

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Now that your hungry for deals and willing to go out of the way to look for them, here’s part 2 of that essentials list.

FLEA MARKETS – Although increasingly a thing of the past, outdoor flea markets remain one of the best places to find choice items for cheap. Typical of more rural areas, some cities still spontaneously convert parking lots into rows of vintage must-haves. Don’t forget to bargain, especially if you notice heavy rain clouds starting to fill the afternoon sky.

Here are some suggestions:

http://www.vancouverfleamarket.com/Auction/Home.asp

(Vancouver)

http://www.n49.ca/p/edmonton/flea-markets/flea_markets/place

(Edmonton area)

http://www.montreal.servpro.ca/listcompht/31324/flea-market.html

(Montreal area)

http://fleamarketsandauctions.com/

(Atlantic Canada)

http://www.bestbuys.ca/FleaMarkets/FleaMarkets1.htm

(Toronto and area)

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CONSIGNMENT STORES Do a quick Google search for consignment stores in your area, and visit them often. You’d be amazed at what treasures are being unloaded there and at how quickly the inventory turns around. Where do you think antique store pickers and collectors go when they’re not bidding at auction or on eBay??

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SIFTING ONLINE Undoubtedly, I’m preaching to the converted on this point, but regardless, I implore you NEVER to underestimate the resourcefulness of a few good keyword searches. Always always always check Craigslist or your local university’s classified pages for that must-have-IKEA-whatever (although I still encourage more original choices) b4 actually making that long trip to the nearest megastore. If you still consider something pre-fab to be a must-have, chances are that 20,000 people locally also did before you, and are already trying to unload it, fast, so why pay full price. This being said, local online classifieds are a goldmine for the discerning décor pioneer, as surfing for used-deals makes possibilities endless.

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Sustainable décorMore and more environmentalists are urging that we retail at a local level. The absorption of shipping costs in foreign products are only going to drive their prices up, and if we care to nurture our local economies and native work force in any way, whenever possible, buy Canadian. Mass producers of household goods increasingly have the mandate to design rapid obsolescence into their products garnishing the shelves of our larger stores. In other words, things are made to brake and fall apart faster than ever before. I say circumvent this system that’s unnecessarily leaching our dwindling resources; buy used furniture and household items from local thrift and secondhand shops, choose smart design made from noble materials over flash-in-the-pan seasonal trends, and look into innovative recycled household product design at a national level (see below for this months featured store). A home should reflect who you are; an eclectic mix of your interests and evidence of your experiences, and not be a carbon copies of an Ikea catalog spread or a Walmart week-end flyer. For my money, nothing is more interesting than mismatching items in a cohesive way that underlines your individuality and caters to how you redefine the expression of your personal space.

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This month’s featured storeCOMMISSAIRE in Montreal.

A gallery of “creations from international designers (with a focus on the reused and redesigned product), offering unique pieces, limited editions, North American firsts, and carefully selected doodads for everyone. It has been cited on a number of occasions in publications like L’Express, Le Nouvel Observateur, Monocle and the New York Times as a not-to-be-missed spot on a visit to Montreal.”  You can also find them on Facebook.

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