If you are a fan of creating your own unique style at home, the UK has some fantastic antique and salvage markets to visit. If you are prepared to get up very early, haggle and move fast, you will be in with a good chance of finding some fantastically unique pieces.
It is well worth learning more about eras that you like so that you can spot a real bargain; alternatively, simply decide to buy items you find beautiful, affordable and will look great in your home! Remember that one person’s junk is another person’s treasure and salvage is certainly one area where apparently useless items can be reworked to become highly desirable and functional furniture pieces.
The best UK markets
The best shows are dotted all around the UK. Lincolnshire Showground hosts the International Antiques & Home Show, which is huge and attracts global buyers. Here you will find fabulous glassware, china, home furnishings, vintage fabrics and more.
You will find 1,700 stalls at the bi-monthly Ardingly Antiques & Collectors Fair at the South of England Showground in West Sussex. Here you will find plenty of antiques, vintage finds and collectibles. There is also the Alexandra Palace Fair in North London, which has been running for over 25 years.
Head to Worcestershire for the Malvern Flea & Collectors Fair at the Three Counties Showground. This is set against a beautiful backdrop and has a lovely and relaxed fete-like atmosphere, with local foods and treats for sale alongside the homewares. Taxidermy is one speciality of this event, which is held 10 times a year at weekends.
If you are looking for something huge, head to Newark and Nottinghamshire’s Showground for over 2,500 stands, a global audience and more.
Looking at other sources
In addition to UK markets, it is well worth finding out whether there is an architectural salvage company nearby. These are often located on big sites and offer absolutely loads to trawl through and explore at your leisure. Check out resources such as http://www.periodhomesni.com/products/architectural-antiques.html before you go to keep up to date with current trends.
Pinterest and specialist magazines are also a great way to learn new things, gain inspiration and find ideas for transforming the items you buy. Be creative and you can end up with some really unique pieces!