My Trip to The French Country Flea Market
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What are your plans for the weekend? If you like to spend time browsing the stalls at a Flea Market, then you are going to like what I saw when I got to attend the French Country Flea Market in Tallahassee, Florida.
This time of year when the weather gets a little chilly and the leaves start to change colors I enjoy going to weekend yard sales, outdoor craft fairs and vintage style flea markets.
Last October you may remember when I posted about my trip to Nest Fest held near Charlotte, NC. I found this unique metal cabinet of drawers that I later painted to use in my studioffice.
Last weekend, I headed to Tallahassee, Florida after, Visit Tallahassee.com invited me to attend the French Country Flea Market and a chalk painting workshop with the creator of Chalk Paint, Annie Sloan.
I flew to Florida so I couldn’t buy anything since I would not be able to bring it home with me on the plane :-( …but I did bring back lots of creative decorating inspiration to share with you today.
This post is photo heavy… lots of color, decor ideas and inspiration ahead.
The French Country Flea Market has become an annual event in Tallahassee. It brings together 200 of the best vendors in the southeast, showcasing antiques, collectibles hand-painted furniture, up-cycled decor, hand-made jewelry and more.
It is held on the property of Sweet South Cottage and Farms. It is also the home of the boutique, Sweet South Cottage and painted furniture workshops that are held throughout the year.
If you have ever used Annie Sloan’s Chalk Paint, then you may be familiar with some of paint color names, like Louis Blue and Duck Egg Blue. The flea market is laid out in rows of vendors.
Each row is like a street and has one of the paint names as a street name. So clever, but also good for when you get lost or are meeting someone. You can simply say, “Meet me at the corner of Duck Egg Blue and Louis Lane”.
It was very hot, un-seasonally hot even by Florida standards for October, but there were plenty of trees to provide shade all around the property.
Since I could not buy anything I took note of some ideas that I thought may inspire you…
….I like the way the chairs at this table are a few shades lighter than the table. Keeps it all in one colorway, but adds more interest than if they were all the same color.
I also like the casualness of the table centerpiece…no fussing needed and the sheet music used as placemats.
I wanted to get one of these signs that were made and customized by Kristen Park the owner of Southern Grace Gifts. She doesn’t sell them online, but you can find out more information about them over on her Facebook page.
There were a vendors selling collectibles…
Along with jewelry and accessories.
I bought one of these dip mixes from Miss Emily’s Gourmet Pantry to make for pre-Thanksgiving dinner snacking.
Rows of salvaged home decor items.
Love how this mother and daughter team, Rose and Grace repurposed metal funnels into hanging planters.
After strolling half-way through the market it was time for lunch.
The picnic area was in the shade and filled with plenty of tables and chairs, plus live music. There were about 7 food trucks and a few food vendors right on the property.
I headed for the KitchenAble tent. I thought chef Jessica Bright was so cute and Oh… so French!
I had the Chicken Salad on a croissant.
It was delish and so was the way it was served in a box with blue and white checked paper lining.
I didn’t find out exactly what this food vendor was selling other than it was baked goods. The line was long so it must have been good!
The flea market is spread out over the farm acreage. After lunch I strolled around more to get a look at more of the vendors.
Being that my background is in retail display, I enjoy when I see a creative display created like this open picture frame wall that became a phot0-booth for many shoppers. This was at the Wood Junkies tent.
Here is another creative phot0-booth set up by another vendor.
There was so much to see…
… and hand-made jewelry.
Painted bottles… They look so chic. I now will be on the look-out for bottles that have raised writing on them so I can make some of my own.
Seeing this pinecone and candle holder has given me an idea of what I can do with a few of the gazillon pinecones in my yard.
Every vendor had something different to sell.
I also went into the Sweet South Cottage shop that is on the grounds. It is open all-year round and sells farmhouse and vintage decor, accessories for the home and is a stockist for Annie Sloan Chalk Paint.
Here is a simple idea I saw displayed in the shop. Break the spine on an old book and separate the book pages into a few sections. Wrap with twine or jute and place a paper flower over the tie.
I like how they added gift paper to the drawer fronts of this dresser…
…and on the tops of these stacking tables.
Have a collection of similar small items? Place them in a bowl and they will become a decorative accessory for a table in your home.
There was so much to see and I took tons of photos as everywhere I looked I saw a creative idea and pretty decor.
After almost a full-day at the market it was time to head back to where I was staying in Tallahassee.
As I walked to the entrance I took a few more photos…. love this table and with the mix of chair styles around it.
Aren’t these clever? Just in time for Christmas.
I thought this would look nice on my mantel…
… and this quilt from Suzi Q. Junktion draped over my new sofa in the summer months. I wish I bought it as I think I could have gotten it home.
More colorful decor…
…and crafty ideas to decorate a home on a budget.
Have any scraps of molding from a DIY project? Look what you can make with them.
I knew I was going to go back the next day to attend a painting workshop with Annie Sloan so leaving wasn’t too hard. I will share the workshop and a few painting tips I learned with you on Monday.
After my day of strolling around the Flea Market, we headed to the inn where I was staying. One thing that Tallahassee is filled with is Live Oaks with Spanish Moss draped from them…
…they are everywhere and create quite a nice canopy over many streets, historic homes and more. This is the Grove Museum.
This is where I stayed, The Park Avenue Inn an antebellum mansion in the heart of Tallahassee.
I didn’t spend much time here, but my room was spacious, the bed super comfy and breakfast both mornings….delish! Look closely at the front door… it is a Dutch door!
If you live in southern Georgia or the panhandle area of Florida and love to attend vintage and craft flea markets, I highly recommend this one. The next market will be in the spring of 2018.
For more information and upcoming dates for the French Country Flea Market, check out their website:
Stay tuned for Monday’s post with Part 2 of my trip.
If you are going out on the hunt for decorating treasures this weekend? I hope you find something good.
Love it French markets…….
I have to save this post. So many great ideas!
That looked like fun!
Thank you, Diane, for your time and effort in sharing this trip with us! I would have loved to attend, but this was the next best thing.
Wow that looks like a lot of fun!!
Loved the BandB you stayed in!!
Nothing like retail therapy!
Thanks for sharing!
It appears you had a great time and I spied several items that would have stopped me in my tracks. You know, a quick trip to FedEx or UPS and that beautiful quilt (and other “necessary” items) could have been yours. Whenever I travel on vacation, I budget for shipping costs rather than take an extra suitcase, now that the airlines are charging for every bag – both ways. Plus, it’s like Christmas when it arrives.
Hi Pat – Great idea, plus like you said, it feels like Christmas when it lands on your doorstep via FedEx or UPS. Will remember to do this on my next trip in a few weeks. Shopping will be involved again. :-)
Diane, what a great tour from my ouch with a cup of tea, perfect and some great ideas. I’m going to have to work on a quilt for you this winter.
Hi Gail – I should have bought that quilt. I think I will email the vendor and see if she still has it. See you tonight. :-)
Thanks for all the lovely pictures. i feel like I went along with you.
Thanks for sharing Diane. What lovely things to get ideas from …and to say to myself “Hey I’ve done that too!” :-)
I often go to these types of events not to buy (usually most of it is overpriced for my small budget) but to gather ideas to do similar things on my own once I get home.
You’ve provided some wonderful DIY projects to ponder by sharing your lovely photos.
WOW! Seems like you had lots of fun, and there so much to be inspired by! Living in Florida, I definitely need to add this to my list of things to check out. Not that there’s a whole lot in Tallahassee, but there are a few national parks on my list too. Will have to plan a nice trip. Thanks so much for sharing!
P.S. I hope you have more pictures of the Antebellum home where you stayed while there (inside tour).
I too would want to buy that quilt. Why didn’t you have them ship it to you????
Hi Sheryll – I only have a few photos of the outside of the Antebellum home. The inside is a museum now, called The Grove Museum. You can check more out here: http://thegrovemuseum.com/
I’m glad you were able to attend a festival in Florida. I recommend the Palatka Blue Crab Festival. It is my favorite. http://www.bluecrabfestival.com
And I haven’t been to the riverfront since Irma, so I’m hoping it is not bad. You would probably like The Fernandina Shrimp Festival, it is supposedly the largest festival and definitely draws a huge crowd!!
Oh my thank you for sharing your wonderful trip and all these vendors … One of these days I will have to visit
Thanks for feauturing photos from my booth Suzi Q Junktion…so glad you liked the pinecones and the quilt!
We have a store in Apalachicola :) if you ever are in our area please stop in and say Hello?
Hi Suzi – I will add your info into the post. :-) I should have looked to see if you still had the quilt when I was leaving the flea market and had it shipped. :-) It was a very nice flea market with so many nice things at affordable prices. I hope you did well.
So fun! I wish I could go next year as it is all my style! How were the prices?
Diane: You’re so lucky to have met Annie Sloan. She’s my hero! LOL
Replying to your reader “over the distressed look”, one can do soooo much more with Annie Sloan’s paint. I have painted so many pieces of furniture without the distressing part. I just applied paint very evenly and I always love the “powdery”/velvety look I get. I even painted my porch with the Coco colour and it looks so good: first, because the colour is unique; second, because the finish is unique too.
You can even do contemporay looks with that paint.
I even use a little in my “Pollock” style abstract painting, especially using the Graphite colour, because there’s nothing else like it.
Sure, it’s more expansive than other paints, but I think it’s worth it.
Does it show that I am an fan?
Hi Chantal – I agree with you that Annie Sloan CP can be used to create contemporary finishes also. I have done this one a handful of pieces I have made over. Your Pollack sounds interesting… very creative use of the paint and allows you to have an original. :-)
Merci Beaucoup for the sweet mention of KitchenAble and Chef Jessica. We are so glad you came to the French Country Flea Market and enjoyed our hospitality. We hope you come again soon!
Thanks for sharing, Diane. The beautiful pictures inspire me.
Gosh Diane, it must have been so hard to have done all that looking and not have been able to bring anything home with you…. except ideas. Though maybe that’s the best in the end. ;) Thanks for the lovely tour.
It was nice the weather was so pretty. That is a pleasant way to spend a day. But I must say, I am over chalky painted, distressed everything. What do you see as the next big trend?
Hi Hannah –
I think painted furniture will always be a thing since it is an affordable way to makeover a dated piece. I love using chalk paint since you don’t need a lot of prep work. I painted a dresser blue a few years ago and did not distress at all. It is a bright color, but looks perfect in my bedroom. You can see it here: https://inmyownstyle.com/2015/03/modern-paint-finish-using-diy-chalk-paint.html
As far as what I think will be the next big trend…. I think we are going to see stripped and stained pieces become more popular where the base will be painted a dark color… navy, dark green, grey or black and the top or another section will be stained. Who knows though… I guess only time will tell.