The thrill of the find and the discipline to choose wisely
First on the list of party invitations you never turn down? The winter soiree of a Tulsa Flea Market vendor. Oh gosh. The home of a flea market vendor could only yield one of two glorious visual adventures: perfect curation or hoarding at the highest level. Both fascinating.
Thank you, Adam Forgash and Andrea Whitney, for inviting me behind the curtain to see how one flea couple lives. Their home is not a filthy pile of boxes and newspapers but rather a textbook example of the layered décor an adventurous life can build. It’s warm with history and their sly, cheeky humor. Below, some notes on this fine couple’s style.
An edited hobby. Adam and Andrea have other career endeavors beyond the flea market, but I met them at their booth full of vintage photos and antique camera equipment. Knowing the full breadth of the photographs and photography memorabilia they’ve owned makes the relatively small amount they have framed and displayed in their home that much more intriguing. These are the favorites. It’s so meaningful and personal to see what makes the cut, what they want to be surrounded by.
Layers and how to find a knick-knack. I always suggest to people decorating their homes to mix old and new pieces. This adds dimension and makes for a modern yet welcoming home. The next level, which Adam and Andrea have achieved, is home décor that represents your travels and experiences. It’s ideal to have a high ratio of items that found you versus items you set out to find. There will always be times you must find a couch or must find a teapot, but there is no good time to procure a meaningless knick-knack. Ever. Wait until you’re out exploring local shops or on vacation and something speaks to your heart. Your home will feel more familiar and welcoming to you and your guests.
Your home’s architecture and your style, how they should interact. Adam and Andrea live in the Tribune Lofts in the Brady Arts District. Built in 1924 and renovated in 2001, the building now has modern, industrial-feeling living spaces. This couple’s style suits the history of the building; they pair gorgeous antique finds with sleek silhouettes. Does the interior of your home have to match the architecture? Always give a nod. You don’t have to go the whole nine yards—that can be great or horrible—but you should make some style choices that marry your structure to your design. For the sake of continuity. For the sake of respecting history.
Humor in your home, yes. There is a charmingly self-serious painting of a boxer above the toilet in Adam and Andrea’s home. Think about it. Who doesn’t want to laugh every time they defecate? What? You don’t? We are not friends.