Window Shopping: Paris Flea Market

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

At first - or even second - glance, the glassware, wall hangings and home decor at Paris Flea Market might appear to be new.

Look closer, says owner Marilyn Kuntz. In fact, very little of it is.

Wine glass sets, vases and plates are found at antique malls and estate sales and selected with quality in mind.

"I don't mind the fact that something's 40 years old, but I don't want it to be beat up," Kuntz said, "because who wants that in their home?"

She usually sands and paints or stains furniture and reupholsters seats completely before they're put on the floor.

"Almost everything in here is on its second, third, fourth life," said Kuntz, who took over ownership of the shop about a year and a half ago and updated its selection somewhat. "There's way too many things that go to the landfill today that don't need to. So we're all about giving a new life to them."

Kuntz likes to "upcycle," taking otherwise overlooked items like, say, a single plate, and attaching it to a glass candle holder to make a pretty cake plate.

Discarded closet doors are hinged to form room dividers. Old crown molding can be cut to make a frame, with chalkboard paint converting the background into a mini-blackboard.

In addition to selling her handiwork, Kuntz is happy to share some of her secrets with those who are less inspired.

"Your house can be gorgeous. For free," she said. "You just need your creativity."

Kuntz, who works with her sister, sister-in-law and daughter to search for items, says they've had luck with the "If we like it, we buy it," shopping philosophy.

Despite the loose interpretation, the selection is quite cohesive, and Kuntz arranges the inventory as you might see it in a home: frames hanging on walls and tables set, looking ready for company.

The concept requires a little attitude adjustment - shoppers need to pay attention to both the antiques for sale as well as the shelves and cabinets they're sitting on.

Paris Flea Market is housed in a former Hershey's ice cream shop built six years ago but designed to blend in with historic downtown Powell. She uses the basement as a workspace, storing items that are under construction or out of season.

Paris Flea Market

28 N. Liberty St., Powell



Hours: 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Saturday, 12-5 p.m. Sunday