Peek Inside Lara Spencer's New Book, "I Brake For Yard Sales"

HGTV host and "Good Morning America" co-anchor, Lara Spencer, shares how she uses flea market finds to create high-end rooms on a budget in her book, "I Brake for Yard Sales."
Similar Topics:

When Lara Spencer, coanchor for Good Morning America, says that it’s easy to get “addicted to the hunt,” she’s not talking about stalking celebrity news stories. She’s referring to her off-the-clock passion: finding raggedy , outdated, neglected furniture via yard sales, thrift stores, flea markets and yes, even dumpsters, then transforming it and using it to create amazing, high-end rooms on a budget.

I can totally relate, because her lifelong addiction to “sale-ing” is my brand new one: Since I bought my first house, I’ve been a Craigslist and estate sale addict, and the thrill of finding (and transforming) that amazing piece is intoxicating. New to the hunt? Lara’s book, I Brake for Yard Sales, shows you how to find furniture gems in the rough. You can also get more of Lara's expert tips in her HGTV special, I Brake for Yards Salesand on HGTV's upcycling competition show, Flea Market Flip

Thrifting runs in Lara’s family — she spent nearly every weekend as a child hopping from secondhand shop to yard sale to auction with her mother and siblings — so she’s nailed down the tricks of the trade. She starts by helping you define your style, then offers tips for how to recognize quality pieces (and duds.) She also shows you how to use the pieces once you get home — a vintage sign becomes an industrial-chic focal point in this space filled with modern, graphic touches.

From flea market find to living room showpiece.

And as Lara reveals how she makes over and styles each piece, she also tells you how much she paid for them: Can you believe she picked up an Eames lounger for just $150 and a pair of Picasso sketches for $30?! (So. Jealous.) This collection of medallions set her back only $20, while the ornate “musical” chair was a mere $50. Looks like a million bucks, right?

Retro yellow wallpaper gives traditional furniture a modern look.

The book also shows off some of the interiors she’s decorated with flea market and budget finds. My favorite: This living room in comedian Kathy Griffin’s house that’s decorated in a style her friends jokingly call “Palm Springs gay man going through a midlife crisis in his midcentury home who wants to attract the hottest guys to come over.”

Kathy Griffin's living room, designed by Lara Spencer.

And Lara is full of ideas that take decorating outside the (reclaimed and repainted) box. After recovering her kitchen chairs one too many times, she found the perfect budget-friendly solution to two messy kids: cover the chairs with shower curtains!  She used one heavy-duty plastic curtain per chair, and hid the seams with chrome upholstery tacks.

Dining room chairs recovered with high-end shower curtains.

When you finish the book, you’ll want to drive off and slam on the brakes for the nearest yard sale…I know what I’ll be doing this weekend!

Get more of Lara's expert tips and tricks in her HGTV special, I Brake for Yard Sales, and her hit upcycling competition show, Flea Market Flip.

Get Lara's Time-Tested Haggling Tips

How to Be a Great Haggler 03:00

Get Lara's time-tested tips on how to be a great flea-market haggler.

Next Up

3 Easy Steps to Give New Life to an Old Wood Bowl

You don't have to be a world-class chef to appreciate the beauty and usefulness of an antique or vintage dough bowl but years of constant use can really take a toll on the wood, leaving it dried-out, scratched and stained. In just 3 steps, you can reverse decades of use and give new life to an old wood bowl.

8 Ways to Upcycle Christmas Decorations for Your New Year's Eve Party

Don't store your Christmas decorations just yet. Use it for your New Year's Eve party instead.

Turn a Side Table Into a Faux Bar Cart

Transform a side table into an easy-to-create, affordable bar cart stocked with repurposed items.

Step Inside Christina Applegate's Bright, White Kitchen Makeover

Get an inside look at actress Christina Applegate's easy and affordable kitchen makeover with Laurel & Wolf.

Step Inside the 2016 Kips Bay Decorator Show House

See how some of the nation's most celebrated designers and architects transformed a luxury Manhattan home to benefit the Kips Bay Boys and Girls Club.

Get an Inside Look at the White House at Christmas

Each year HGTV takes viewers on an exclusive tour of the White House during the holidays. This year is no exception, and the 2015 festivities offer one of the most visually impressive examples to date of this ambitious and multifaceted holiday tradition.

7 Interior Design Books That Double as Decor

In honor of National Read a Book Day!

Go Behind the Curtain: 41 Sneak Peek Photos From Fixer Upper Season 3

You don't have to wait until December 1! Get a sneak peek of season 3 right now.

Step Inside This Warm and Welcoming Urban Bistro

Architect Alan Metcalfe re-invented a familiar neighborhood gathering place from old and bleak to urban and chic.

Nashville Flipped: Creating New Historic Homes

There's more to Nashville than just country music – and more, sometimes, than meets the eye. DIY Network's latest home restoration series, Nashville Flipped, offers some tangible evidence.

Meet the Team

Get to know the talented writers and editors of HGTV's show and design blog. 

Go Behind the Blog

From the Archives

Take a look back at our past posts, from entertaining and design trends to up-and-coming HGTV shows.  

Read All Our Past Posts