One Woman's Treasure Hunt for a "Shabby Chic" Headboard in Houston
I want a new headboard. I've been looking for a while now. I'm not sure exactly what kind I want, but I'll know it when I see it.
In point of fact, I've seen lots of headboards I like and lots of headboards in my price range; I just haven't found a headboard I want in my price range. The look I'm going for is what decorators have dubbed "shabby chic," which in layman's terms means something that looks aged but classy without spending a lot of money. I am a teacher by trade, which makes my budget self-explanatory.
Even though I haven't had any luck so far, I'm not worried. Resale shopping is like going on a treasure hunt. The merchandise is constantly changing, and the prices drop the longer an item remains in the store. The strategy is to wait a little while and try again. The chase is part of the fun.
I started with my "go to" places, all trusted resale shops in the Houston area: The Guild Shop on Dunlavy Street; The Charity Guild of Catholic Women on Lovett Boulevard; The Blue Bird Circle Resale Shop on West Alabama; Hidden Treasures Consignment on Nasa Parkway in Webster; and several of the shops on 19th Street in the Heights.
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While in the "wait and try again later zone," I was flipping through the TV channels and came across an interior design show called Find and Design. The premise is to redecorate a room using furniture/decorations found from swap meets, flea markets and garage sales while staying in the clients' limited budget. Flea markets and swap meets . . . huh . . . maybe it's time to expand my go-to list? The redecorated rooms looked great on the TV show.
This is a new arena for me, so I did the obvious and Google-searched top swap meets/flea markets in Houston - turns out, there's lots. I picked three of the top rated to visit: Trader's Village; Sunny Flea Market; and Westheimer Flea Market.
Photo by Taleen Washington
Trader's Village 7979 N. Eldridge Road (Exit Eldridge off I-10 north or Beltway 8) http://tradersvillage.com/houston/ I did know about Trader's Village, but had forgotten about it over the years because it is so far away from me as to be almost in another state. It was a pleasant outing worth revisiting, especially on a nice day. The grounds and booths are clean with a nice selection of merchandise, including furniture. At 100 plus acres, it's by far, the largest open-air flea market in the area. There's food booths, carnival rides and special events scheduled on a regular basis including: auto swap meet, church garage sales, Cajun festival, American Indian Pow Wow, music festivals, etc. Although I didn't find the headboard I wanted, I'm sure this is the type of venue it would show up at sooner or later.
Photo by Taleen Washington
Sunny Flea Market 8705 Airline Drive (Off I-45 by airport, on Airline between Little York and Gulf Bank) http://sunnyfleamarket.com/ I had not heard of the Sunny Flea Market but, at 35 acres, it is also advertised as one of the largest open-air flea markets in the Houston area attracting more than 50,000 visitors every weekend. Turns out that while Sunny's is decidedly the largest, it is actually one of several flea markets on Airline Drive that form a giant mercado. The day I went, I only saw one small furniture booth . . . but like all flea markets that can change on any given day. Sunny's offers authentic Mexican food, spice shops, farmer's markets, shoes, clothes, and health and beauty products. It looked like a great place for families with small children to spend a day with carnival rides, play areas, and a large selection of affordably priced toy booths. Sunny's is also an official group ticket outlet for the Houston Dynamo Soccer Team, and it's not unusual for team members to make scheduled appearances.
Photo by Taleen Washington
Westheimer Flea Market 1733 Westheimer Road (On Westheimer in Montrose area near Dunlavy) http://westheimerfleamarket.com/ Westheimer Flea Market is located in the heart of Montrose. There's no telling how many times I've passed it going back and forth between The Guild on Dunlavy and the Catholic Charity Guild on Lovett. Unlike open-air flea markets, this one is inside a building with an open storefront. There's no carnival rides or scheduled events, but there is a large selection of furniture and home décor including pianos and other musical instruments.
The reason I never stopped to go inside before is because there's a large "antique" sign attached to the storefront. It's been my experience that when an item is labeled "antique" instead of "used," the price tag jumps significantly . . . and usually out of my price range. There were items out of my price range, but there were also items well within my price range . . . just no queen headboards. Given its location and quality of merchandise, this is definitely an addition to my go-to list.
The results are that I had a very nice weekend exploring new venues, but still no headboard, and so the hunt continues. That's how it is in resale; one woman's trash is another woman's treasure.
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