We look forward to shopping Brimfield every May after a long winter's break from outdoor antique markets with kettle corn and frozen lemonade. Imagine our disappointment when yesterday decided to be FREEZING and overcast! But alas, we got a hot chocolate, and had a nice 10 mile walk through field after field of antique furniture, rugs, small thingies and weird naked headless mannequins. In case you ever want to visit yourself- read our tips on how to best shop the largest flea market you ever did see here. And scroll through our finds below to read about our vision for each piece!
Brimfield is like your favorite flea market on crack times a million. Which is very fun for the first 4 hours and then the hangry sets in and you no longer want to negotiate "just a few more booths" with your seriously hot, swollen feet and you've forgotten what you were supposed to be looking for and the sun is beating down on you and then you die. But yet, we are always excited when it arrives. There are great finds, great prices, it's generally a fun day as long as you're prepared to be overwhelmed at times.
Along with sharing our finds, we'll be offering a few tips to avoid all of the above and also where to find the donuts.
Tip #1: Always Be Closing. JK but most people will negotiate on price which is great. Sometimes, we feel a piece is worth the price, or it's already very low, but most of the time that's not the case so it never hurts to ask. Vendors will usually mention if they are flexible on price because they want to push their product to make room for new stuff.
Tip #2: If you have the time or are close enough to go for multiple half days, that might be the best. We ALWAYS buy all our stuff the first half of the day. The second half is spent wondering what the meaning of life is. (But it is really hard to leave. We tried and failed because there's so much to see and the fear of missing something is tremendous.) Also, when you go multiple days, you will have the chance to do the fields that weren't open the day before.
Tip #3: Wear shoes you don't care about because they will get trashed!
Tip #4: It was so hot the day we went that public schools closed early. So yeah. Prepare your pits accordingly.
Tip #5: We don't have any solutions for the best days to go, because some fields are open some days and some aren't. We usually go the first day because you don't want all the good stuff to be gone. But ultimately, not everyone is looking for the same stuff and some vendors don't show up until later in the week. So this one isn't really a tip.
Tip #6: Make a list and bring swatches!!! I was pretty proud of my shopping capabilities up until my first and subsequent Brimfields. I thought I was the energizer bunny of shopping but NO. Not here. It's so much to look at and you forget everything you wanted to keep an eye out for. So make a list of everything you'd like to leave with and glance at it throughout the day for a reminder.
Tip #7: Write down booths that you like and their location for next time. We spent probably an hour trying to remember where one booth was from our last visit and never found it!!! (Probably in an unopened field.) Get the app for your phone if you want to be all legit.
Tip #8: Miscellaneous. Bring lots of cash and your own cold water! Wear sunscreen and sunglasses. Bring your own reusable shopping bags to avoid carrying everything in a plastic grocery bag from the vendor. And go early.
Tip #9: Avoid mid-day tantrums with Dell's Frozen Lemonade and Faddy's Donuts. IT WILL GET YOU THROUGH!
Sometimes, you just get tired of looking for that perfect piece at the same places over and over and over, you know? So you can assume our uncontrollable excitement when we had the pleasure of being inspired at the AD Home Show. Particularly, from the Made section, which features independent designers and makers with impeccable taste. We thoroughly enjoyed wandering the booths pretending all the handcrafted, premium quality, custom designed pieces were totally affordable and within all our clients' budgets. And we certainly weren't worrying about costs, lead times, minimum orders, or whether or not this particular shade of navy was "too navy" and if it needs a hint of green to truly flow with the rest of the space, etc, etc, etc. It was mostly just a good ol' time appreciating some good ol' talent.
So, we wanted to share some of our favs from the event. Specifically, the artists, designers and pieces that stood out to us because of the unique designs, their responsibly sourced materials, or their way ahead of the game sense of style. (Like this rug to your right!? I die.) Click through to read exactly what we love about each piece!
Well we finally made the trip to Brimfield. It was HOT. And there was a lot of STUFF. And we walked A TON. Thank goodness for those apple cider donuts that got us through the tough times of antique shopping. Honestly, I was a little tiny tad bit disappointed. The prices were very reasonable but there was so much weeding through country rustic New England real antiques for some slim Mid-Century / Hollywood Regency pickins. Is it really true that all the funky, modern, cheap finds are in LA? Don't let us down, September Brimfield. Click through to hear how we envision each piece.
It's not a difficult thing to find some beauts at either of these places, (maybe cheap beauts, but not beauts), alas we were shopping, so we might as well share our favorites, right? We're seeing some recurring themes in these pieces - natural mid-century, color (always color!), brass lighting, and geometric shapes- just to name a few.
We are always on the hunt for something new . . . This was the best discovery today: unique design, reinvented materials, and functional pieces with a REAL purpose. Don't you love them? Pivot is a non-profit company who redesigns discarded furniture, while training and educating those experiencing homelessness in the art of constructing the pieces. This is truly beautiful, functional furniture, in more ways than one.