Good interior design and renovation need not be expensive

Real Affordable Antiques

Happy 2015 to all! With the Lunar New Year coming soon, it is common to replace the old and buy some new furniture/appliance. With the extra year end bonus some of us may have gotten, it can be quite tempting to splurge. But my new year target (won’t call it a resolution just yet) is to refurbish, reuse and upcycle as much as we can around the house.

We recently had the fortune to visit our family members living in Bloomington, IN where that’s just what everyone does. They don’t dispose old furniture easily, they either do some DIY repair work, post it on Craigslist, or sell to an antique market if the item is of some history or value. We visited a few of such markets and discovered gems. Contrary to common belief that antiques are pricey, I actually found these affordable and in some cases, cheaper than buying new items in Singapore. You must see it to believe!


This charming blue-and-white hand painted porcelain dish is only going for US$1! It’s not a Wedgewood but certainly a beauty.


This scary looking contraption is an early century apple peeler. You place the apple where the cork is and turn a handle which will in turn rotate the interconnected gears attached to a blade that peels your apple! This beauty is made of pure cast iron and cost just US$23.

Cake mixer

Forget KitchenAid. This Hamilton Berch is sturdy like a rock and still lives on after half a century.

1979 bar stool

I was seriously tempted to bring this 1979 bar stool all the way home, but alas our luggage weight limit will make that quite a challenge. This stool with a solid wood seat and cast iron frame exudes character that none of the spanking new furniture sold in Singapore can compare. And it cost just US$49.

Vintage luggages


These vintage leather/wooden luggage have been spruced up and probably repainted too. But they are looking just as charming as the old weather beaten ones. Price range US$20 – US$50 each. They work perfectly well as a coffee table with storage space to boot!


Vintage cast iron train set

These vintage toys are made of cast iron and solid wood, probably hand carved. And cost less than a plastic Transformer toy. The train set is priced at US$25 for all five carriages that weigh a ton, and the lovely cat riding on a wooden scooter is going for US$15.

These items are spotted in Bloomington’s largest antique market, Westbury Antique market at 3106 Canterbury Ct. If you are ever there, check out these other markets as well:

2nd Street Antique Mall – 222 W. 2nd St.
The Cube (The Warehouse 2) – 735 S. College Ave.
The Warehouse – 426 College Ave.

So what’s your New Year resolution/target for the house? Perhaps it’s more do-able than you think!

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This entry was posted on January 6, 2015 by in Budgets, Cool Stuff, Kitchen, Photos and tagged , , , , .
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