“I dream of flea markets, antiques, roadside finds, collectables and vintage goods.” - Unknown
Vintage, upcycled, antique, reclaimed, shabby chic, pre-loved, heirloom, retro, second hand, recycled and just plain, old used. All names for the same thing, it’s simply your perspective what moniker you choose. But whether you prefer upscale or downtown isn’t really the point. The point is that more and more people are opting to stay away from traditional furniture stores preferring to go out and find cherry-picked, formerly-owned pieces to decorate their homes.
Affordable Mallorca wants to help you find the best of the best whilst sticking to a budget!
How to Shop #
There was a time when hand-me-down furniture was only for university students or the seriously downtrodden. But today’s take on it has a decidedly new twist. Eco-conscious, modern shoppers from all socioeconomic backgrounds are bypassing the likes of Ikea and heading to flea markets, vintage shops and thrift stores in droves looking for special, unique pieces to fill their homes with.
Some claim there is actual skill to finding just the right items, but I believe it’s more like luck and perseverance. That being said, there are a few things to consider and keep in mind when shopping for these types of items.
- Stay away from posh words like “antique” and “heirloom” and sometime even “vintage” if you are looking to score bargains, though it’s always possible to cut a deal with the owner, but there are no guarantees.
- Don’t entirely shy away from the odd expensive piece, if you can swing it though. You want your home to be unique, and adding a mix of things can give it personal touches that you will love, and others will admire. The illusion of having a few key items that are clearly a bit more expensive will enhance any room and detract from the less pricey things, creating an overall look that screams stylish and cool.
- It’s also important to decide if you’re willing to use a bit of elbow grease to bring a beautiful, but flawed, piece of furniture back to glory. Reupholstering, refinishing and painting are easy enough to do, but you have to have the time and, more importantly, desire to do it, otherwise that gorgeous chair or amazing chest of drawers will sit in the garage waiting for you to be ready to tackle them twenty years from now. This is a good instance of “know thyself” and if you know you’re not the kind of person who likes to upcycle, either leave the piece behind, or know that you’ll have to pay someone to do it for you, turning a bargain into not-so-much of one.
- Finally, remember to look the object of your desire over carefully. Make sure there are no wood worms, ants or termites (!), serious damage or major design flaws.
Where to Shop #
On Mallorca, there are far too many places to go looking for unique pieces at differing price points. Here is our personal selection to start with:
- Recici-art.e (Recycle Art)
This Manacor-based shop offers second-hand furniture, appliances, art, and other home furnishings at seriously competitive prices. Delivery service is available, and they are open six days a week for your convenience.
Address: Avenida Mossen Alcover,16 bajos, 07500 Manacor/+34 654 150 443 or +34 628 790 381
- Consell Flea Market
Every Sunday from 8h to14h rain or shine, the Consell Flea Market has an extraordinary selection of ready-to-be-recycled housewares and furniture. Pricing can be all over the shops, so don’t be afraid to haggle and beware of vendors trying to pass off pieces as “antiques”. That being said, you’re likely to come across some weird, wonderful, and wacky one-of-a-kind things here, so give yourself enough time to cover the whole venue.
Address: Carrer Antonio Barceló García de Paredes 2, 07330 Consell
- Fundació Deixalles
A personal favourite of mine as they literally saved us from drowning in our own boxes after our second transatlantic move in eleven months, this non-profit organisation has a vast selection of items for the home (including heaps from mine!) at reasonable prices. The organisation provides work for people that may not otherwise have employment options, giving them extra brownie points. With locations in Palma, Inca, Manacor, Calvia, Soller, and Felanitx, they are convenient for most parts of the island. Their website can give you info on the various shops and warehouses, where they store larger pieces of furniture.
Info: www.deixalles.org / +34 900 772 211
- Happy N Things
This Palma -based shop gets new stock regularly, has some interesting finds and helpful, friendly staff. Much comes from people who are leaving the island or downsizing their homes, and is in good nick. Prices are good and they provide delivery.
Address: Carrer de Monterrey, 40, 07013 Palma / +34 653 724 229
- In Progress
Probably the most “curated” on this list, In Progress, also in Palma, is an eclectic shop filled with treasures you may not even know you needed. Prices are bit higher than the other options but are still in the reasonable range, and it's worth a look simply for the cool ethos and vibe of the place!
Address: Carrer Despuig 58, 07013 Palma
I mention this for those who like to shop from the comfort of their sofas. This site has pages of items for sale-by-owner with photos and pertinent information. Most things are pick-up only, so you may need to hire or borrow a van but considering you can get free or next-to-free items from here, it’s worth having a gander.
Being the eco-warriors that you are, I needn’t hit you over the head with why it is a fab idea to go with pre-loved pieces when shopping for new-to-you furniture. The impact on the environment alone puts you in the near-saint like category, plus it gives your home a personality and charm you’d not get from buying bulk at a big retail outlet or chasing the newest trend.
Since you already know the why, we hope we’ve made it easier for you to choose the how and the where. Happy Hunting!
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By Stephanie Horsman
14 October, 2019