The Brimfield Antique Fair & Show kicked off its 2011 season on Tuesday, May 10th, and we were on hand to take in the festivities. Yankee communications manager Heather Atwell and I headed down from New Hampshire that morning to meet up with our senior lifestyle editor, Amy Traverso, who drove in from Boston, and our craft blogger, Christine Chitnis, who came up from Providence. Our goal was to hit the tents in search of treasure and trends, and we managed to find a bit of both.
Brimfield is chock-full of curiosities, and there truly is something for everyone there. The recurring theme we noticed, spanning all décor styles, was “upcycled” and repurposed goods. We saw plenty of lamps, planters, frames, and jewelry whose pieces had been salvaged from items that had outlived their intended use. Even worn doll parts had been combined with other vintage items, such as clocks and old tins, to create mixed-media art pieces. Repurposing is my favorite design trend: I love that old housewares, toys, and car parts are being given new life rather than being tossed into landfills … although I probably won’t be bringing any doll art home anytime soon.
Top Style Trends at Brimfield
Shabby chic: This trend is alive and well at Brimfield. Options range from feminine beaded lamps to new furniture that has been painted and distressed to look aged to old file drawers masquerading as planters. Amy snatched up a decorative birdcage, which she plans on making into a chandelier. This turned out to be the steal of the day, as she couldn’t walk more than a few feet without someone’s stopping to ask where she’d found it and how much she’d paid.
Industrial: If you’re looking to decorate a loft or urban space, you’ll hit paydirt at Brimfield. Lighting runs the gamut from large metal factory lamps reminiscent of the ’60s to new pendant lamps with pipe bases and chunky blown-glass globes. Hands down, the big winners in this category were the industrial-style coffee tables — think wood pallets on oversized wheels — which buyers were snatching up like hotcakes.
Nostalgic: Most of the goods being hawked at Brimfield are vintage pieces, so if you’re on the lookout for classic housewares that make you yearn for days gone by, you won’t be disappointed. Collectors of vintage Pyrex, Corningware, or jadeite will find plenty of patterns and styles to choose from. And if linens or old crates are your thing, they have a vast selection of those, too.
Even though we left the show with room to spare in the car, our visit to Brimfield was a success. This was our first time meeting Christine, and I have to say, she was so much fun and fit right in with the Yankee team. We hope that she’ll be able to join us when we head down to this event again to find out what’s hot next year.
SLIDE SHOW: Brimfield Finds