Spring is here and with it comes one of my favorite events, the week-long Brimfield Antiques Show, located in Brimfield Massachusetts. For those of you that have never been to Brimfield, it’s quite an experience. Thousands of antique dealers come from across the country to peddle their wares from Tuesday through Sunday. There are numerous fields along a mile-long stretch on Route 20 that host the event. Certain fields are open all week, and others are only open for a day or two. The May show (May 8-13 this year) is actually the first of 3 shows for the year. There will be two others, one in July (July 10-15) and one in September (September 4-9).
If you are a new homeowner, Brimfield is a great way to begin furnishing your home. You can find quality older pieces that often cost less than new furniture at a local furniture store. There is an eclectic mix of time periods. My husband and I love furniture from the 1930s and 1940s. Our friend likes the Danish modern style of the 1970s. Brimfield carries it all. And it isn’t just about furniture. If you are a collector, you can find just about anything; records, dishware, old prints, vintage fabrics, gardening items, etc. It is truly an overwhelming experience the first time you attend. Plan to spend the good part of the day browsing, as there is so much to see.
Here are a few tips that I’ve learned over my many visits:
1. Dress comfortably and in layers. You are going to be walking A LOT and most likely you’ll be hot by the afternoon.
2. Bring a backpack with water and an easy snack. You can also use this to carry your small treasures. Brimfield also has an outdoor eating area so you can get a more substantial lunch or snack if you choose.
3. If you plan on buying furniture, bring or borrow a truck or SUV. Furniture can be shipped to your house, but it will be expensive.
4. If you go on a Saturday and the weather is going to be nice, get there early because parking will fill up. “Early” is before 10:00am. The fields are typically open from 8:00am-6:00pm.
5. Be prepared to negotiate! This is half the fun. You should always be able to negotiate the price down on an item. Bring cash, checks, and credit cards. Some vendors don’t take credit cards, so you need to be prepared with other forms of dough.
6. If you can, make a list of what you’re looking for before you go. There is so much to see that it is easy to get distracted and you’ll never get through most of the fields.
7. If you have an older home, Brimfield is a great place to find replacement items like glass door knobs, antique lighting fixtures, stained glass windows, etc. My husband and I were lucky enough to find a vintage oak door that we needed for a bathroom addition. Total cost was $25! Try getting that at Home Depot!