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Best Finds At San Francisco's Treasure Island Flea & Jack London Square

Once the hard work of finding a place to live is behind you, the fun of personalizing the interior space with unique items can begin. See what fun you can have visiting a Bay Area flea market such as Jack of All Trades Market or Treasure Island Flea, where the creative people you meet are happy to share ideas and you can stay within budget.

Angie Ansanelli, at Jack of All Trades in Oakland (Credit, Laurie Jo Miller Farr)

Angie Ansanelli
Co-founder, Treasure Island Flea
1 Avenue of the Palms
San Francisco, CA 94130
(415) 898-0245

Two years after launching Treasure Island Flea, Angie's family company, Ansanelli Productions, curated and created a second monthly marketplace at Oakland's Jack London Square, Jack of All Trades. At once struck by so much artisan talent, but finding it inconveniently scattered around the Bay Area, Ansanelli's inspiration was "to offer an affordable platform and venue where start-up entrepreneurs could showcase their creative ideas and talents." A day filled with sunshine, views, food trucks and live entertainment is the formula for family and friends who browse the stalls and hang out. For fans of repurposing, upcycling, antiquing and DIY-ing who look to decorate on a budget, your one-of-a-kind, conversation-starter, found-it-at-the-flea find is here, not at Ikea.

Jack of All Trades Market, Oakland (Credit, Laurie Jo Miller Farr)

Reimagined And Repurposed

Danny and Debbie began Reclaimed Treasures as a retirement hobby out of their home in San Lorenzo. At their attractive stall with a nod to shabby chic and memory lane finds from the 50s and 60s, shoppers discover Danny's skill in making a bedside stand from an old stool, storage repurposed from a former television cabinet and a wooden serving tray (breakfast in bed!) from reclaimed shipping pallets. A handsome oval wood-framed mirror found at an estate sale puts chain store prices to shame. With lots of items under $55, the couple attends markets at both Treasure Island and Jack London Square.

Teresa of Urban Boulevard (Credit, Laurie Jo Miller Farr)

Function And Efficiency

Teresa's dual function seating/storage pieces built from old fencing are as useful as they are good looking. Small city spaces love the clever combination of storage inside a padded bench or trunk, so the kids can store their shoes where they put them on. Get seating at the end of the bed for tucking extra blankets inside or use as nightstands or ottomans. Vintage images at The Graphics Fairy inspire Teresa's upholstery, so it's easy to make curtains, pillow covers and spreads to match. Talk to Teresa at Treasure Island Flea or Jack London Square's market. Custom pieces are available from $100 and up.

Pomelo Caribbean and Latin Arts (Credit, Laurie Jo Miller Farr)

Recycled Flair

Just for the sake of waking up feeling happy, and to support Haitian craftsmen, you can decorate with joy. Susan's collection features lovely whimsical wall sculptures made from recycled steel oil drums. Each comes with a photo signed by the artist, all in limited editions or one-of-a-kind. With over 30 years traveling from Berkeley to Haiti, Susan knows the artists and buys direct for Pomelo. Small mirrors start at $10, bigger ones are up to $45 and sculptures are $72 to $150.

Mike's Photographs (Credit, Laurie Jo Miller Farr)

Proceed With Caution

Personalizing your rental home without putting nails in the walls is tricky. Consider high res mounted photographs of the Bay Area expertly stretched on a frame, canvas gallery-wrapped like an oil painting. They're featherweight and can comfortably rest desktop on a $5 aluminum easel or eye level on a taller easel; they'll go where you go when you move. Mike sees beauty everywhere as he walks his paper boy routes at dawn. Visit Mike at Jack of All Trades Market held on the second Saturday of each month.

Antique Decorative Prints (Credit, Laurie Jo Miller Farr)

Go Continental

Lonny and Michel have a wonderful collection of antique decorative prints of the sort one finds at London's Portobello Market and Camden Passage. Marked $10 to $60, they sure beat London prices. It's addictive flicking through boxes labeled up with categories such as maps, botanicals, birds, shells, astronomy, fashion, medical and architectural. Covered in clear wrappers to stay clean and adorned with date stickers at the back, a pair of prints makes a thoughtful housewarming gift. Or, express your own special interests as an addition to your décor. Find your favorite scenes at this Jack of All Trades Market stall.

Laurie Jo Miller Farr loves walkable cities. A tourism industry professional and transplanted New Yorker by way of half-a-lifetime in London, she's writing about the best of the bay and beyond for Yahoo, USA Today, eHow, and on


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