Finders keepers

Upcycling bric-a-brac, art and furniture from the vast selection available at markets and online auction sites is an enjoyable way of putting a unique stamp on your personal space


Ferocious Mingle Marcade
A bohemian wonderland of colourful traders, music sessions, a screen showing black-and-white movies, and bric-a-brac ranging from fur stoles to paintings and candles. Recently moved from its Thomas Street location to Camden Street.

Flea markets
The Brocante Market sells second-hand, refurbished, antique and hand-crafted homeware and takes place on the third Sunday of every month at Dublin Food Co-op, on Newmarket Square, off Cork Street in Dublin 8. The Co-op also hosts a monthly vintage market (first Sundays) and flea market (last Sundays). Free parking; Blackrock Market, in Co Dublin, held every weekend, is also worth a visit.

In Cork, Mother Jones Flea Market on the corner of MacCurtain and York Streets, opens Friday to Sunday and has a great selection, from lamps to old furniture.

Merchants Market
At more than 4,600sq m, this is the largest indoor market in Ireland. On the go for the past two years, it sells just about everything. The furniture section, a mix of antiques, collectables and modern offerings sourced from house clearances and liquidation stock, is open daily with a larger market at the weekends. The Yellow Brick Road room has a colossal selection of bric-a-brac. East Wall Road, Dublin 3;

Online finds
For art at giveaway prices and are great. You can set an alert when auction items are coming to a close and pick up a bargain. For specific items, set a search on the likes of,, or and you can get alerts with pictures and prices when the items you are looking for are posted.

Chalk and please
Annie Sloan has been mixing paints for 20 years and her chalk paint requires no preparation, priming or sanding – and you can paint over anything, which is not possible with latex paints. The range is based on 30 historical colours. The effect is shabby chic and transforms items you might have thought destined for the skip. You’ll need to wax or gloss after painting and your paint job will not take kindly to fingerprints prior to this. See