The Kitchen Designer

Thanks for stopping by! I'm Susan Serra, certified kitchen designer, and my mission is to take kitchen design style, function and analysis to a higher level. Here's why the kitchen has the most honored place in the home - all five senses reside in the kitchen.  Best...Susan  Contact: susan@susanserraassociates.com

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Kitchen Design Inspiration at the Flea Market

I probably have access to one of the best flea markets anywhere, on the upper west side of New York in the mid 70s on Columbus Avenue, so there's not much need to do deep searching for great finds, I admit it! Regardless of my good fortune, it's worth it to do the searching at your local flea markets and garage sales to find those great deals on items that can give a fresh look to your kitchen.

Come on along with me to the flea market I went to the other day. You may have seen those very modern dish arrangements on walls, often using vintage dishes. Many of the dishes you can find are inexpensive - LOTS of bang for the buck. This table's treasures are from A Vintage Home.


Start a new obsession collection! My husband and I both enjoy our stop at the bottle man's table. You can get very old bottles for as little as $10, maybe even less. We have a nice collection now and purchased one at this last trip...this one with a top on it, unusual! Our collection used to be on the long window sill in my previous kitchen. In my new home, they are all on a tray in the dining room. Hmm, I don't have this contact at the moment. If anyone is interested, let me know and I'll try to find it. I think there might be a website.


Here is a collection that you don't see every day...working vintage toasters! This is a small sample of what was on display. I think these are super cool, high art and functional all wrapped into one. They are beautiful pieces of history. Excuse me while I go put my gown and lipstick on...go to Toaster Central.


Another very fun kitchen find were these decoupage handmade tiles. These are tiles made from maps! I can see this in a retro kitchen, complete with soda fountain bar stools! They can be used as coasters, as they can also have a cork backing if desired. Not good for behind a cooktop or range, but elsewhere, they're fine. Contact: wendyola @ aol.com


Not really last, but all I have time for now is this fantastic exhibit of asian accessories, many of which can be useful in a kitchen or just for decorative purposes. I mean, here are your color accents! Here are your shapes and forms. Let your imagination run.

For another teriffic New York City source, go to the Housing Works auctions...see what are in the windows of the various Housing Works thrift shops. "Housing Works is committed to ending the twin crises of AIDS and homelessness. We believe that all people have the right to a rich and empowering life."

A great note to end on...shop on!


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Reader Comments (3)

Those toasters are a hoot!!!

Tricia - Avolli

May 28, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTricia - Avolli

Loved visiting the flea market with you. The photos and descriptions were great. I've got to get to a city flea market soon. My only experience are with the ones upstate in the country.

June 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterPaula

Tricia, yes what a find...I'm sure there are very few people around who specialize in antique toasters!

Paula, thanks for your note! I think they're really good for authentic/vintage accessories. This one has another two big rooms inside full of tons and tons of things like old prints, pottery and so many good things. Worth a trip, and Housing Works is open too, just a couple of blocks away. Then, you can go to the Shake Shack, Danny Meyer's popular place, just next to the flea market!

June 7, 2009 | Registered CommenterSusan Serra, CKD

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