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The Funky Shui Way


No one will accuse the O’Neil sisters of decorating their homes from a Pottery Barn catalog. The coauthors of Funky Shui: How to Lighten Up, Loosen Up, and Have Fun Decorating Your Home scour thrift shops for pop culture pieces that really make the room.

"As soon as someone walks into your house, your personality should immediately be apparent," says Kitty (left), an Orinda resident who is redecorating her living room retro-Western-style. "People come into my house and they want to know more," adds Jennifer, whose "kitschy kitchen" has a Blue Hawaii theme. Here are the sisters’ favorite East Bay hot spots, where you can find just the things that will help you funk up your homestead.

➊ The Alameda Antique Fair, first Sunday morning of every month, (www.antiquesbybay.com). "Start at the back for better prices," says Jennifer. "There’s a seniority to the positioning, and the vendors in the back are more likely to give you a deal."

➋ The Solano Swap Meet, Saturdays and Sundays, 1611 Solano Way, Concord. "It’s a little rough and tumble—a true flea market," says Kitty. "But you can go out there with $10 and come home with a truckload of stuff."

➌ Poppy Fabrics, 5151 Broadway Ave., Oakland. "Fabric is a good starting point when redecorating a room," says Jennifer. "It’s a decorator’s trick: Pick a fabric that has a print and colors that you like, then go from there to choose paint and art for the walls, then add some accent pieces to finish it off."

➍ Thrift Store Heaven. "The thing about thrift shopping is that you need to go often, because you never know what you might find," says Kitty. "There’s one parking lot in Pleasant Hill (1699 Contra Costa Blvd.) where you can park, and hit Goodwill, Salvation Army, and STAND! Against Domestic Violence. Also, these shops have a free trail map to all of the Contra Costa thrift stores. It’s well worth picking up."

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