Flea Market Finds: Rose Bowl in Pasadena, CA

One of the things I miss most about LA is the Rose Bowl Flea Market. Sure, Portland has some serious estate sales and vintage furniture shops, but there is nothing here like the glory that is the Rose Bowl Flea.

The Rose Bowl Flea Market is a vintage junkie’s holy grail.  It uses the majority of the Rose Bowl (football stadium) parking lot with some of the best vintage and antique vendors from all over Southern California. It occurs the 2nd Sunday of every month and it is a don’t miss event for interior designers and set decorators alike.  It is also not unusual to find some of your favorite celebrities here.  Taylor Swift, Jessica Alba, Lauren Conrad and Heidi Klum are all fans of the Rose Bowl Flea.

So when our trip to LA happened to fall on the 2nd Sunday in December, I HAD to make the trip out to Pasadena to my favorite flea market.  When I lived in LA, I was one of those crazies that would be at the flea market for the early open (5am) but on this trip I kept it casual and got there around 10am.

Here are some of the favorite things I found:

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One of the best things about the Rose Bowl being a monthly event, is that the merchandise definitely changes to fit the season.  These vintage jingle bells are sure to add a rustic touch to anyone’s holiday decor.

Processed with VSCOcamIt doesn’t get more rustic Christmas than these vintage burlap stockings.  This might be something I need to DIY.Processed with VSCOcamI am a big fan of vintage holiday lawn ornaments and these light up choir children take me right back to my childhood.Processed with VSCOcamIf I had any way to get this vintage fire truck back to Portland, it would have had a happy home under my Christmas tree waiting to surprise my lil man on Christmas morning.Processed with VSCOcamA BIG trend I noticed at the Rose Bowl Flea were industrial letters.  Whether old or new, these light up box letters were EVERYWHERE.

Processed with VSCOcamHere is another vendor with some great light up letters and signs.Processed with VSCOcam

I loved these metal numbers and letters and I am currently kicking myself for not buying some for our house numbers.Processed with VSCOcamWhen a DIY trend hits, you can always count on the Rose Bowl Flea Market vendors to act fast.  I couldn’t turn around without seeing a vintage frame with a painted chalkboard center.Processed with VSCOcamMid-century modern pieces are a Rose Bowl Flea staple. If this is your style, this is a great place to find some.Processed with VSCOcamI definitely saw more “farm rustic” and less “shabby chic” than I have in years past.  I loved these burlap upholstered pieces I saw at the market this year.Processed with VSCOcamThis vintage European linen vendor has been coming to the flea for years, but I have never seen them with such a wide of selection. Business must be doing well!Processed with VSCOcam

I fell in love with this vintage mail box unit and the vendor even had ALL the keys! My lil man would stay busy for hours playing with this!Processed with VSCOcamThe trend I was most excited to see present was all of the industrial items.  I don’t remember seeing nearly this many in years past and it was definitely all over the place. Processed with VSCOcam

I love these vintage diner barstools!Processed with VSCOcam

These industrial drawers would make great bathroom/craft room storage.  Processed with VSCOcamI love the yellow color of this vintage hardware store storage that once held screws and nails. The small size would be great for an office.Processed with VSCOcamThis salvaged industrial table would be so cool in a foyer or behind a couch.Processed with VSCOcamI love everything metal mesh, including this metal mesh shelving unit.  It’s short and would be perfect for holding towels in a bathroom.Processed with VSCOcamI love our dining room table, but if I had seen this industrial table first, I probably would have passed on ours.

Where do you go for great vintage finds? Share your best secrets! I gave you mine ;)


7 Comments on Flea Market Finds: Rose Bowl in Pasadena, CA

  1. Kayla
    December 11, 2013 at 8:12 am (4 months ago)

    I love looking at all of these finds! SO much fun. I’ve only been to one flea market like that and it was in CA too!

    • [email protected]
      December 11, 2013 at 2:18 pm (4 months ago)

      In Southern CA, my two other favs are the Long Beach Flea and the Pasadena City College Flea. A lot of the same vendors attend, but the overall market is smaller (and a little less overwhelming) and the entry fee is a lot less. The Melrose Flea Market is also great for clothes, but not as good for home goods.

  2. pechluck (@pechluck)
    December 11, 2013 at 12:44 pm (4 months ago)

    I’ve never been a big vintage shopper- I think I’ve wandered in stores a few times and wondered about the stories behind the items I see, but never purchased anything. Now that I’m a home-owner and settled down in Portland and the “vintage” items are apparently becoming more charming to me. Where do we have to go in order to get a market like this in Portland, it seems like a great opportunity for various vendors to move product instead of hoping people know about their shop and visit?!

    • [email protected]
      December 11, 2013 at 2:16 pm (4 months ago)

      I am with you Pech! I think Portland could use a good flea even if it’s only during the summer!

  3. Leah
    December 11, 2013 at 9:45 pm (4 months ago)

    I have to agree as well PDX needs a similar market in the summer.
    This looks like it was awesome- so many cool things

  4. bonnieeng
    December 16, 2013 at 5:29 pm (4 months ago)

    Thanks for the post! I’ve never been and now have it on my to-do list! :)

  5. Erin // Clementine & Olive
    December 18, 2013 at 8:47 am (4 months ago)

    I’ve been meaning to go to this when I am downthere and never do!! Ah I love these pictures!! Now, I need to go so much more


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