Gabrielle Santiago Design
Past - Present - Future


High-End Design with Flee Market Finds

I always go into a flee market with nothing particular in mind. This leaves me with a blank canvas. This way as soon as I find what I’m looking for I’m left with a million options to paint with in order to compliment my focal point.
— Gabrielle Santiago

I have a little house in Los Angeles in which my little sister lives with me. She often hears "You're lucky you live with your sister because she's an interior designer" to which she usually responds in a "yeah,yeah,yeah" type of attitude. Possibly because I'm her older sister and also possibly because I am addicted to vintage home goods. I'm not kidding. I have vintage glasswear, bowls, rugs, candle holders, you name it. Infact, I've debated on opening a little stand at the Long Beach Flee due to how much extra fabulous I have laying around here. Don't get me wrong it's not an episode of hoarders but I certainly have a lot going on.

I spend so much time designing other peoples homes that I nearly never have the time to worry about my own. So, long overdue "Project Gab" is currently underway!  

If I were to create a blog post on all my favorite vintage finds it would be a million pages long. However, I would like to share with you a select few of my most recent finds. Hopefully you will enjoy my insight and be able to conceptualize your own little journey to the thrift store and create high-end design on your own time! 

although printed copies of his work are going for 500.00 alone. The value is insignificant because the painting is so beautiful however, I couldn't help but wonder. When I found this painting I immediately envisioned it on a wall with old newspapers as a wallpaper behind it. Although I didn't have a project for it at the time I am so happy I went with my gut and purchased it. Now, I have a wonderful story behind this signature piece that always seems to strike up conversation.


2. 18th Century "New York Daily" Newspapers.                                     Melrose Flee Market - Los Angeles

1. Original Artwork by William Kwameno-Poh            Los Angeles - Goodwill

I found this piece of artwork at a local "Goodwill" in Los Angeles. It was located in the back of the store behind several irrelevant movie posters. I spent days trying to uncover the signature in the bottom left corner. I finally decided to post it on social media and to my surprise one of my followers recognized the signature. The painting is by an Artist named "William Kwameno-poh" who was born in Ghana, West Africa and paints primarily with gouchache. I paid a total of $19.99 for this original art that was already framed and ready to be hung. I looked up some of his work trying to grasp an amount of value which I still have yet to come across

I had been hoping to create a newspaper wallpaper for quite some time and after I found the Chicago Newsboy Painting by William Kwameno-Poh I decided I was in desperate need for some Newspaper realness. My sister woke me up on a Sunday morning and we headed to the Melrose Flee Market in Los Angeles. She, Of course spent the majority sorting through vintage clothing where I headed towards the interior goodness of the event. There was a stand that caught my eye. He had bins upon bins of vintage maps. You don't have to ask me twice. I got right in the action. I started sorting through the maps when I found a pile of old newspapers. I began looking through them a realized the time and location was off. They were too recent and didn't have the sepia tone I was looking for.  Noticing my disappointed face the man who owned the booth asked what I was searching for. I told him that I was looking for either Chicago or New York newspapers to transform into wallpaper. He immediately smiled asked me to watch his booth and five minutes later he came back with a large clear portfolio filled with 18th Century "New York Daily" original prints. I negotiated with him and purchased the entire thing (about 11 sheets) for 40.00! JACKPOT! I now plan to make copies of them in order to preserve the originals and turn them into the accent wall where the "Chicago Newsboy" painting will be placed on top of. 

My girlfriends always say "You always find the good crap!" or "You make it look so easy" The truth is.. There's a few secrets when it comes to finding these goodies and I'm going to share them with you right now!


  • - Go Alone. I always find the best treasures when I don't have anyone distracting me. I suggest you go alone or go with people who allow you to really do your thing!  
  • - Keep an open mind. It's easier to find when you're not searching!
  • - Be patient. Good things come to those who search. Spend that extra time digging behind those weird paintings. Dig to the bottom of those bins. You'll find a hidden treasure. I guarantee! 
  • - Negotiate. I never pay full price for anything. If they say 35 but will give it to you for 25 what they really mean is "I paid 15 for this but its been here all day. Please take it off my hands" in which my response is "20 bucks gets you a deal!" 
  • - Just Buy It. It's not going to be there after you make your rounds. If you love it from first sight. Get it. You will kick yourself if you don't!




Gabrielle Santiago