Transforming Flee Market Finds into Treasures

WATERFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Mom and daughter Leigh and Katey Waddington have a passion for transforming old items into new pieces for the home.

“I think what I love most is finding pieces and then letting your mind kind of wander with what you’re going to create,” Katey said.

“Anything that we do find I cherish because, ‘What’s their story? Where did they come from? Who had them from me?’” Leigh explained.

During CT Style Reporter Meghan Yost’s recent visit to the Waddington’s studio, their to-do list included turning three unique vintage finds into treasures. First up was a vanity that they transformed into a display table for an entryway.

“At first when we got it I was going to use it as a vanity, but then I realized, in real life I’m never going to sit down and do my makeup in front of this thing,” Katey explained.

To give the vanity a new glow, they sprayed it with Liquid Gold.

“Liquid Gold is actually going to make it shiny and make it look brand new,” Katey said.

They also added new hardware.

“’It’s very inexpensive and it’s a quick way to make something look different,” Leigh explained.

A fresh flower arrangement and silver tray complete the piece. The second item Leigh and Katey transformed is a chicken crate, which they re-purposed into a coffee table.

“We thought hey, this thing opens up and you can see through it so let’s just stick something in it; let’s put plants in there,” Katey said.

Next they added wheels to the bottom.

“So you can roll it around and move it because I rearrange all the time,” Leigh said.

To finish the coffee table, a piece of glass — which cost about $50 from a local glass shop — is placed on top. The last vintage item the Waddington’s revamped is a metal shade.

“I believe it was upside down on a ceiling,” Leigh explained.

They turned it into a living chandelier.

“Then I just weaved flowers all through the filigree,” Leigh said.

A new bulb transformed the look and feel of the piece.

“I also added herbs to it so when the light warms up, the fresh herbs turn very aromatic,” Leigh said.

The end result is a light that’s one of a kind.

If you want to try your hand at flipping flee market finds, the Waddingtons have a few tips:

  1. Make sure any item you flip is sturdy so you don’t have to do a lot of revamping to it.
  2. Always look for new ways to use old items, like the chicken crate-turned-coffee table.
  3. Swap out old lamp shades and add warm colored light bulbs to create a romantic look and feel.
  4. A fresh coat of paint goes a long way. The Waddingtons recommend chalk paint, which can be applied without sanding furniture.
  5. Always be on the lookout for items to flip – even if they’re on the side of the road, ready to be picked up by the garbage man.

To see the Waddingtons in action, watch the video above. For more information on their company K.L.W. Design Co., visit

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