Yesterday I decided that the pull of the Brimfield Antiques Show was too much to resist and at the last minute I decided to get up at the crack of dawn and make the nearly two hour trek from my home to the biggest outdoor antiques show in the country. For those of you who don’t know what Brimfield (it’s referred to by one word like Madonna and Shaq because that’s what it’s status is in the world of antiques) is, it is essentially an entire downtown population filling their yards and fields with antique dealers (well, technically some people are importers and purveyors of new items, but either way there are lots of goods). And if the land owners don’t have dealers, then they are turning their land into parking lots to profit off the zillions of people who attend this thrice annual show (in May, July, and September). Chances are if you’ve bought a reproduction of a vintage piece at a major retailer, the original piece came from Brimfield.
Above, the lone vintage garden chairs gather together in hopes of finding a new home. I wonder what kind of green certification this show warrants as it is saving a lot of items from ending up in a landfill. But the most awesome thing about Brimfield is that there is literally something for everyone and the entire show is proof that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. If you are a collector of anything from toys to Fiestaware to garden gnomes to baseball bats, you will find what you love at Brimfield. You will also find lots and lots of things that you cannot believe anyone would ever buy, but they do. And you will see everyone from the quirky hillbilly to the high end antiques dealer co-mingling to find the coolest stuff at the best deals. Television shows are lurking about filming to share the experience with people across the country.
I hope that this collection of photos gives you an idea of the breadth of items available at the show. I wish I had taken even more pictures, but as my hands became full with purchases, my camera made its way out less frequently.
I really loved this vintage glass cake stand, but while I would have happily picked up a cool cake stand, I knew that I could get a similar look for less in reproduction and since I wasn’t particularly passionate about having a vintage or glass one, I didn’t think the $45 price tag was worth it. The vendors are keen on trends and with the influx of dessert tables, they’re smart to price things high that are trendy.
If you are a collector of any type or color of glass then Brimfield is the place to go. It was only day three when I was there, and most of the glass was already 50% off. I was incredibly tempted, but since I didn’t really have a use for it at the moment, I decided to wait until I build that dream pantry/party closet.
Also in the world of glass are lots of cool glass jars.
These vintage vials of color dyes were very cool, but with children in my house I could only envision my living room rug turning a new color.
What’s with the vials? I really was drawn to them, but seeing as I couldn’t come up with what I would use them for, I couldn’t justify buying them. I’ve bought enough things in my life that still don’t have a purpose to know that.
Then I moved onto furniture. There is tons of fine furniture at this show, but that’s not what I’m really drawn to lately. I really loved this potting bench because of its rustic feel and the fact that it had a real sink in it. I could probably find a spot for it, but not one that hooks up to plumbing.
The Newporter in me loved this porthole side table.
And this amazing filing cabinet went from drab to nautical chic with some paint and a little nautical flag knowledge.
Why am I so drawn to the Union Jack even though I have little tie to it other than having been to Great Britain twice in my life?
Speaking of European inspired furniture, how about this French bistro inspired children’s set?! Unfortunately, my oldest is too big for it and my second isn’t too far behind so it wasn’t worth it.
lots of other amazing headboards, and starting at $550, they were well priced too.
The same vendor had these great crab paintings as well as some oyster ones. I’m tempted to go back again and get one as they would look amazing in my living room and were pretty well priced. I have the guy’s contact info so if anyone is interested just message me.
He also had these fabulous wicker pendant lights for $95. Again, if I only had a place to put them!
And all the twine you could ever imagine.
And if you’re fond of wooden crates, this is the place to go, although I was bummed to not be able to find any as well priced and good looking as the ones I got the last time I went.
We’ve seen grain sack pillows and coffee sack pillows, but how about a money bag pillow? These were reasonably priced at $20, but considering they weren’t even sewn and just closed with a safety pin at the top, I’m pretty sure you could make these yourself without thinking twice…if you happen to have a bunch of money bags laying around. Oddly, I think I might have a few, but sadly they aren’t filled with money.
And if you’re more into fashion than home goods, there is plenty for you too. The former jewelry designer in me was incredibly tempted by this table, but then I remembered all of the beads in my basement and refrained from indulging. However, the vintage clothing, bags, jewelry, etc. are endless at this show.
So what did I end up going home with? I picked up this two-tiered round table because I was inspired by my friend Dani’s use of a similar one although I’m not sure I’ll use it the same way. I was also looking for a bench for my mudroom, but then I found these two wooden bistro chairs for a song and think they’ll work really nicely with my vision for my mudroom redesign. Plus, they’ll be easy extra seating for when I have a large group for dinner. And the baseball bat for my five-year-old who’s currently obsessed with all things baseball and the Red Sox.
I also picked up this turquoise mason jar which I can’t wait to fill with the peonies from my garden, and the amazing vintage turquoise burlap which it sits on.
And lastly, I grabbed this French stripe banding. I’m really excited to work these items into my own home and to make some of it into new products which you might just have the opportunity to buy yourself!
So if you are within a few hours radius of Brimfield, MA and looking for something to do this weekend, hop in the car and check it out.
1. Go with a set budget or else you’ll blow it in the first hour. Giving yourself a limit makes you really second guess whether you need something or not.
2. Have an idea of what you’re looking for and what it typically sells for so that you don’t overpay.
3. Be prepared to bargain. Everything is negotiable!
4. Carry a large tote or bring a wagon in case any of your purchases are heavy. I carried those chairs a long way.
5. If you really love something, buy it immediately or else it may be gone the moment you turn around.
6. Never forget that an item is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it. For instance what some people would normally throw in their recycling bin, might be worth $1 each.
I really hope nobody paid for these, but as I said one man’s trash is another man’s treasure and that’s what Brimfield is all about!
If you like this post, then you might like these:
Etsy Pick of the Week: Vintage Red Objets
Etsy Pick of the Week: Sweet Meas for Upcycled Vintage Finds