Flea market tips

Saturday December 01, 2001

Shopping for children’s furniture can be an atypical adventure 

By The Associated Press 


So you’ve decided to shop a local flea market for things to furnish your child’s room. 

Decorators Jane Bell Cammarata and Linda Clay, who’ve volunteered to set up a charity tag sale at Lyndhurst in Tarrytown, N.Y., have some advice for you: 


• Think beyond typical children’s furniture. Look for small-scale storage pieces and seating and anything with shelves. Chests, trunks, desks and baskets that are not specifically for children often work well in children’s rooms. 


• Steer clear of used cribs and outdoor climbing furniture. Safety standards have changed, and chances are older examples of these items will not meet current guidelines. With old cribs, for example, slats are often too widely separated, and a small child could get his or her head stuck. 


• Stay away from wooden pieces with splinters or peeling paint. But if you can’t resist, sand and repaint or refinish the item before it is brought into the house. 


• Used upholstery is much less expensive than a new piece. If it looks all right and passes a smell test, it should be fine. 


• Speed is essential when competing with others for the best items. Snap decisions probably will be required. Bring along a list of room measurements and a tape measure. Or better yet, memorize the relevant stats. If fabric swatches or paint samples will help in a buying decision, bring those along, too.