in partnership
The Fremont Sunday Market is open year round. Peruse the booths for funky vintage items, then take in more next door at the Fremont Vintage Mall. (Image: Melanie Biehle / Seattle Refined)

Treasure hunting in Seattle

Seattle has some of the best places for unearthing vintage treasures. You often have to dig through a lot of less-than-fabulous finds to get to something that's worth taking home, but occasionally you're rewarded big for your patience.

I approach the Fremont Sunday Market in the same way that I look at art. I don't have the time or desire to look at every single thing that's there. Instead I do a walking once-over, scan the offerings as I slowly stroll by, and only stop if I see something that grabs my attention. I'll skip an entire room in a museum if I'm not "feeling" what I see, and I do the same thing with booths at outdoor markets.

I don't feel obligated to visit every single stand. I also don't feel pressured to finish reading books that I don't like. Lesson: Life's far too short for art, shops and writing that doesn't capture your interest.

When I do find something that catches my eye, I don't mind giving it lots of time and attention. I've sat on the floor of used bookstores and sifted through piles of art books, dug through boxes of old photographs and vintage postcards in antique shops, and flipped through countless 1980s issues of Seventeen, Teen, and Young Miss hoping to catch a glimpse of the Bonne Bell and Love's Baby Soft ads that I loved when I was thirteen.

The Fremont Sunday Market and its quirky neighbor Fremont Vintage Mall could keep you busy all day. I keep hoping that I'll discover this yellow enamel Finel bowl at a bargain price that I fell in love with one weekend at a Whidbey Island rental home. I always stop to take a closer look at vintage cameras, though I have yet to bring one home with me, and I never pass up a booth that sells bright colorful flowers or succulents. You never know when you're going to find that unique item that perfectly completes a bookshelf vignette comprised of curated items that you love.