brimfield: the final fireworks display

by Grace Bonney

Today is my final post about our fantastic trip to this spring’s Brimfield Antique Show. It’s my favorite part of every year, and I’m always sad to see it go. My final post is inspired by that last part of a fireworks show. You know the finale section where they seem to light every last sparkler they have left in their kit at once? Well, these last 25 photos are my design version of that finale. These are choice moments, pieces and ideas from the show that didn’t fit into our previous posts’ themes but deserved to be celebrated just as much. From bedding and bird cages to ebony boxes and industrial shelving, these were the last pieces that stuck out in my mind and still hold a place in my design-loving heart. xo, grace

There’s more Brimfield coverage here (what we bought), here (recreation trend), here (textiles), here (equestrian trend), here (lighting), here (leather), here (diy/decorating ideas), here (travel), here (oddities), here (tables & chairs) and here (wicker/cane)

Image above: I loved this set of milk glass shakers. They were too pretty to break up — I wanted to leave them in this colorful set and frame them.

Image above: I wanted to wrap myself in these overdyed rugs forever. Seriously. The color was so rich and saturated, I felt like I could taste it.

Image above: This green chenille blanket was a total steal. Affordable, soft and in such a fun color.

Image above: These sweet matches were such fun colors. They felt like a tiny box of candies.

Images above: See why I wanted to live tucked inside these rugs? The overdyed rugs were my favorite part of the show’s textile collection.

CLICK HERE for 20 more Brimfield favorites after the jump!

Image above: I loved the vivid blue green of this little tin. Had it been under $5, I would have taken it home just to display. So pretty.

Image above: I have a real thing for tiny powder and makeup boxes. These little black boxes had the most beautiful inlay.

Image above: This mirror was stunning in person.

Image above: Francis, our favorite dog at the show.

Image above: I loooved the detailing on this metal bed frame.

Image above: Gorgeous birdcages

Image above: Kate and I totally got a kick out of these. I guess Mom needs her own set of special tools?

Image above: Damn you, J.Crew! I wanted this piece soo badly. It was my perfect display case. They always beat me to the cool stuff.

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  • Thanks SO MUCH for the amazing coverage of Brimfield! For years I’ve been lusting to go and reading your posts with all the wonderful pix makes me feel like I was there, kinda… In two years, I’ll actually get to go myself, so excited! Till then, I love visiting via D*S :)

  • Ah, that display case. I understand. And those flower pins. But for some reason, best of all, the bedspread. Like someone turned a gazebo into a coverlet…

  • It is so exciting to see something so close to my home featured here! It is less than an hour from where I live now, and only about 15 minutes from where my fiance grew up. We usually go to the flea market there, and though we rarely buy anything (our tiny apt. can’t hold much) we spend hours just walking around and enjoying looking at everything. So glad you enjoyed it! (and as a side note, I totally have that green flower pin! Love them!)

  • Grace-I loved those carpets too! I couldn’t get over how beautiful they are! It’s nice to see all your posts. Almost like you were my camera seeing everything I saw. And those caramel leather moustache chairs at Big Daddy’s -unreal! Hope you guys had fun! Thanks

  • As I looked through all of you amazing finds, I was wondering which fields you go to? I went this year and you saw much more interesting things than I did! Thanks!

    • hi liz! we were there tues/wed and went to all of them that were open there. our favs were in “heart of the mart” though. we found a few good things in the new england motel section, but heart of the mart was our fav. that said, mays and j&j RULE, we just weren’t there when they were open :(


  • I can’t quite embrace those over-dyed rugs….I keep thinking about how beautiful they might have been originally, even if they were old and worn.

    • fay

      these overdyed rugs are originals. they used to be considered cast-offs, but now they’re popular. these rugs were actually “mistakes”- they weren’t dyed to look that way. that said, the patchwork ones are sewn together from over-dyed remnants- so they’re another example of salvaging “mistakes” that might have been thrown away.


  • I snatched up a chenille blanket in that EXACT color (bit of a different pattern) for $10 at a flea market in San Francisco just the other month. Such a great find!!!

    … Now if only I could find one of those rugs that for such a great deal…

  • I loved the old tool/spindle boxes…if only we had a place for them. Determined to go back in July and get a big bird cage – maybe to use as a planter.

  • This is one of my favorite DS posts each year. Some year, I just have to go to that show myself. It reminds me of the way the Santa Fe Flea market used to be!

  • These pictures are to-die-for. That green and white chenille? Love.
    Ok. That’s it. I need someone to go antique-ing with ASAP. Anyone in the Middle Tennessee area up for an adventure!?!

  • I have a rug I brought back from Morocco years ago and is now in pretty bad shape. I have been thinking of over-dying. Just a bit nervous about ruining it. Anyone tried it?

  • Here, here! I would love a tutorial on over-dying an existing raggedy rug. I’m tempted to try it, but I’m afraid that I don’t know what kind of dye to use, if it would stain my bathtub (where else would you dye it?), and how to make the dye colorfast, how much dye to use, etc. Anyone want to give it a try at home and report back?

  • Athleta sells a dress that looks like the over dyed purple rug. Stunning. Also the coke crate full of Bakelite flatware is such a wonderful, colorful nostalgic picture. My mom and aunt go to Brimfield frequently, even if you buy nothing it is so inspiring to see such beauty and great ideas. Thank you.

  • Now I’m confused. I always thought that oriental and middle eastern rugs where just woven with different colored thread to make the patterns. It so, then how could they mistakenly be over dyed creating this type of cast-off?

    Not that I know anything about such rugs. All I really know is my mother-in-law is threatening, um planning to send us 2 when our brownstone renovation is done. I’d love to try dying one of those instead of using as is.

  • The milk-glass shakers are my fave.

    I really enjoyed hearing an honest appraisal of the show…sounds a bit out of my budget (good to know) but I loved seeing your photos. Thanks.

  • I used to be a D*S addict when I had a desk job several years ago; then I took off leading wilderness trips for a few years with no internet access. Now I’m back in the “real” world and I’m so happy to see that D*S is better than ever! The Brimfield posts are my absolute favorite; I love going to the show with my mom because it usually falls right around my birthday. This year was especially exciting because I finally had an apartment to decorate again, and I kept running into things (like the leather wine rack) that I’d seen on D*S – it was like celebrity spotting! Thanks so much for cheering up my days and putting so much thought and energy into satisfying my daily design cravings.

  • Hi there – you know I have been an interior decorator for more years than I care to mention, but this I have to tell you – I find your blog so inspiring and exciting. I cannot wait to open it and get stuck to see what there is in store for me. thanks you so much. You have helped me to once again get back to looking at ‘old stuff’ with new eyes.

  • Yes, rugs are usually woven with the fiber already dyed, otherwise you wouldn’t get the pattern- I was surprised to hear you say they were originally over-dyed. I think it is something new being done to old rugs. I think ABC Home started the trend. meanwhile looking forward to the tutorial. Thanks Grace.

  • It feels like i’m repeating myself but yet another fantastic post! Those rugs are to dye for, ahahhaha!!! Sorry i had to get that out.

    Grace, I was wondering if you could give a bit more information on those incredibly multi-coloured flower pins.

  • It was terrific to see you at BEA. Can’t wait for the book to come out. And next year I’ll be hitting Brimfield on Tuesday instead of Friday!

  • grace, do you have any info on the vendor of the rugs? they are what i have been looking for! there is a vendor from turkey on etsy, but the prices are still a bit steep.

    i am creative & have some rugs, but there is the problem of where i’d actually do the dying. so i might just want to purchase one already made.

    any info would be appreciated!

  • what is the price range on items at brimfield? i love this post and cant help but wish we had something like it in arizona. any az readers know of any good places to find classic antiques?? :)

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