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The Insider: A professional's guide to junk-hunting


A new TV show for junk nerds started this month on Sky Arts 2 (Tuesdays, 8pm). Design Dealers follows Sarah Brunner and Paul Liengaard as they trawl flea markets to furnish some of the UK's swishest spaces. As frugal furnishing infiltrates the mainstream, I asked Brunner for her shopping list…

Gotta have it

"Recognise what fills you with 'object lust' – then think about how to get it into your home. For example, I love 1970s glitter drum kits: wall-mounted, they're shelves for rolled-up blankets; on the floor, a side-table. Approach junk-hunting by thinking: 'What do I want to look at?'"

Out and a spout

"Teapots have many lovely uses. I like them as outdoor planters hung at intervals with wire."

Leg up

"You can do loads with gorgeously old, paint-spattered ladders, such as wall-mounting one horizontally and using it as a book shelf."

Brass action

"Lots of things can be made into lights – even musical instruments. I illuminated a euphonium by threading a lamp holder through it. Brass is one of 2013's big trends, too."

Look and learn

"Find sources of inspiration before you go out: I love the repurposing at jamesplumb.co.uk: it bridges the gap between art and utility."

Slope off

Wooden skis are just beautiful. I like fixing them on walls – minus the foot holders – to hang fabric from. You can also make beautiful coat stands by using three of them lashed together upright." Sound daunting? If you aren't crafty – just source a good maker. You could also hire Sarah Brunner's skills via the Design Dealers Facebook page.

More images for some of these ideas – and others – can be seen in today's post at Kate's blog, yourhomeislovely.com