brimfield 2011: what we brought home

by Grace Bonney

After two days of trudging around fields and fighting for great deals, Kate, Amy and I are finally back in Brooklyn and sorting through hundreds of photos from Brimfield. The show was fantastic this year, though the weather managed to be a major bummer again with the sort of wet cold that feels like even your bones are freezing. While we sort through the major trends and our favorites (leather, rattan, industrial lighting, menswear) for posts this week, I wanted to kick things off by sharing the pieces we chose to pull the trigger on and bring home. It’s always fun to wade through rows upon rows of antiques and then look in the back of the car and figure out what made the cut. The back of our mini van (we drove a seriously soccer Mom-tastic red minivan) was stocked with everything from inflatable stools from the 1970s and an antique baseball bat to a curved marble tabletop and giant glass demijohns. Photos of our team finds are below, but feel free to share links to yours in the comment section below! I’d love to see what everyone else who visited the show chose to bring home. Stay tuned for about a bazillion more Brimfield photos tomorrow and next week! xo, grace

Image above: Kate, me and Amy on the start of the first day with our Massachusetts must-have: Dunkin’ Donuts coffee. My favorite.

Image above: Kate bought an amazing set of inflatable plastic stools from the 70s. The interior is filled with a plastic floral diorama, but Kate’s going to try to disassemble them and re-fill them with something cooler, but still slightly kitschy.

Image above: My biggest splurge was this amazing vintage marble tabletop. I’m going to find an inexpensive metal base and use this as an outdoor bar on the porch.

Image above: I couldn’t resist these vintage salt shakers. The shape and texture was too fun. The tops are pretty much rusting off so I plan on using them as bedside (or sink-side) bud vases.

Image above: My other major splurges were these giant antique demijohns and a gorgeous bench from Jersey Ice Cream Co. The demijohns will hold tree branches inside and outside of our apartment and the bench is going to be the start of our new entryway/landing strip. It’s made from a vintage industrial base and a beautiful piece of salvaged wood.

Image above: This gorgeous metal powder tin hopped in my bag right before we left. Affordable, beautiful and perfect for holding jewelry.

CLICK HERE for the rest of our Brimfield haul after the jump!

Image above: Since our house is pretty much empty after selling everything before the move I bought a decent amount of home goods. This runner was a total steal and I plan on turning it into a DIY project for D*S. Stay tuned, it will be a totally different color soon…

Image above: my demijohns came from this set at Big Daddy Antiques. I would have taken them all home if I could.


Since I live on the west coast, I couldn’t purchase anything too massive at Brimfield, although I certainly wanted to. However, I couldn’t resist snatching up a few portable trinkets to bring home with me…and those crazy stools of course :) I love the typography and colors of old drug store packaging and beauty products, so I picked up an old medicine tin to hold my daily vitamins. I also followed Amy’s example and purchased some vintage cufflinks as a gift for my man.


This year was a small haul for me. After just doing my bedroom, I was more looking to be inspired than to bring home too much stuff. Nearly everything I brought back was a gift (except that key chain!). My favorite find were the cufflinks (below). You never know what will strike your fancy and this year, I got completely inspired by menswear. The striped cuff links came from the same dealer who sold me an amazing cameo last year. and in the car ride home, Kate and I came up with an awesome DIY project, that involves inexpensive cufflinks and I can’t wait to get started on that!  –Amy A.

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  • Ahhh! One of my favorite posts of the year…awaiting to see what the Design*Sponge team brought back from Brimfield! I attended on Tuesday and am on a way tighter budget, but still scored some great, great things. Vintage silk scarves, stud earrings, a Pyrex butter dish, a vintage recipe card holder, and some vintage pins made their way into my bag. Just to let everyone know, Brimfield can be expensive, but if you have an idea of what you are looking for ahead of time (even a list is SO helpful!), it makes searching and bargaining way easier! I usually only attend the May show, but am planning on attending in July as well this year. Go Brimfield!

  • So jealous–I went to Brimfield last year and still do a jig when I think about the great things I bought. I agree–not cheap, but loads of fun and a badge of honor for any collector. Hope to see you in July!

  • love the salt & pepper shakers. you may be able to clean the tops with barkeepers friend. i just used it the other day on the chrome on my bicycle and it worked miraculously to take the rust off of some of the metal.

  • This post is wonderful… but I have a slightly random/unrelated question. What did you use to take the photographs of your findings? I’m guessing it’s an iPhone app… but I could be way off and it could be film :) Care to share?

  • omg. that BEE book! I would love to see the inside of it! And those inflatable stools are amazing! I would paint the legs, but leave the amazing kitchery inside ;)

  • A Massachusetts native, you had me at Dunkin Donuts. I must admit, I’ve never had a chance to go to Brimfield, but this beautiful post makes me think I need to plan a trip home from NYC and go with my mother. Great finds!

  • wow! i live in mass and i never knew this existed! i just google mapped it and it’s less than an hour away. i’ll def have to check out the next show in july. thanks for this.

    grace, what film camera did you guys use at the show?

  • Just found out I’ll be going to a wedding in northern CT in Sept. when Brimfield is in session! Do you have any kind of “newbie’s guide” so I can maximize my time & energy on site? Suggestions would be appreciated,thanks!

  • This is totally unrelated, but in the first picture, where is the straw bag with the leather handles from? Thanks!

  • I just love going to Antique & Flea markets too! Those Demijons will be perfect with nature’s branches, I always pick the forsythia & flowering tree blossoms before they bloom, so that I can enjoy an Early Spring indoors. In the summer I like to use flowers of course but also grasses or branches of green leaves look very summery in a bottle or vase. What i really can’t wait for is the cuff link DIY! I seem to be drawn to cuff links too!

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