Apartment fully furnished from a flea market

5 years ago
2 minutes

Hairstylist Cyndia Harvey has slowly transformed her south London apartment into a home with character and history — using only flea market bargains.

“When I first moved in, it was completely empty,” Cyndia says in an interview with Architectural Digest. “I had zero furniture, except a duvet and a pillow on the floor.”

This extreme version of minimalism enabled Cyndia to get to know her space before she imposed her own style on it.

“I wasn't in a hurry to do anything, really,” she says. “It’s quite lovely, even bare.”

The apartment, fully equipped with French doors, a leafy garden, and brick barbecue, is part of a building which once housed stables being remodelled for use as a factory. The 1,000 square metre space was a prime candidate for Cyndia’s own eclectic design tastes.


“I knew I liked ’70s interiors, and that I didn’t want to buy anything new,” she says. In fact, she adhered to this motif with such enthusiasm that the only new thing she owns is her kitchen island, which she had custom made. Eco-friendly advocates everywhere can only dream of living in a home with this level of recycled materials.


Cyndia scoured the city for furniture and art with the idea of ‘the older, the better’. She secured a bed frame with faded blue suede upholstery, a pair of concrete planters by Swiss design pioneer Willy Guhl who was one of the first industrial designers in Switzerland, and a white chair shaped like a giant paint splatter.


“Old furniture carries certain wisdom,” Cyndia explains. “I love finding a piece, then learning when and where it was made, what kind of person owned it last, and scoping it out for those beautiful marks, shades, and cracks that can only happen over time.”

When it comes to decorating, it can be hard to find your own unique style — especially when everyone is using the best products from well-known Australian brands or following the same design trends. This is why Cyndia’s flea market bargain hunting is a great way to inject your home with your own personality — plus, vintage items have their own story to tell.


The Lost and Found Market in Melbourne’s Fitzroy originally started out as a group of collectors who would sell their wares in an abandoned nightclub in Collingwood in 2005. Since then, it has gathered a cult following and is the perfect place to find beautiful vintage furniture, art, and bric-a-brac.

In Sydney, Collectika’s mid-century vintage and retro offerings are timeless. Each item is handpicked by the owner and sourced from both Australia and international shores. It’s a great place to find classic German and Italian ceramics or furniture like this 1970s armchair which has been lovingly restored.

Before you go bargain hunting, read our explanation of the most popular design trends here.

Source: Architectural Digest