Thursday, May 17, 2012

Treasures from Brimfield

The anticipated May 2012 Brimfield Tweetup at the Brimfield Antiques Fair drew in an amazing crowd! It was tempting to stray away from the antique fair itself, for the line up of talent and inspiring company of designers, bloggers, and decorators in the Tweetup tent was most engaging. Here, you could converse on all aspects of design, including color, decorating, salvaging, antiquing, and trends of the trade.

But the antique fair beckoned and my friend Joanne Palmisano, author of Salvage Secrets, and I had to pull ourselves away and set off for an afternoon of shopping, as I did have a mission.

The idea of venturing into the endless abyss of an antique fair or flea market may seem overwhelming, so the best plan is to have a shopping goal in mind. Having your eyes set on something specific to shop for is always better than anything goes. It helps you edit out the seemingly limitless options, as you can easily overdose on choices.

Floral arranging is my passion. As a stylist, I am always in need of unique bottles and pitchers to house flowers in. At Brimfield, I made my shopping goal to look for small unusual floral vessels for $10.00 or less. Here are a few of my favorite container finds:

One dealer had boxes full of wooden shoe forms. I adored the child size. On the heel of each shoe lays a small, cork-sized hole lined with metal. The hole is the perfect size to hold a few inches of water as well as a few stems. These would look great displayed on your bookshelf or atop a book on any table in your home.

All in all, if it has holes to hold water, it can hold flowers, right? Bingo!

I saw this old electric lamp and fell in love with the textured glass ball shape on top. The electric cord had already been removed which made it a “ready to go” vase and the perfect flea market find.

These old doorknobs make charming little vases, and when paired in threes or more make a delectable collection for any countertop or table.  The cylinder end on each knob holds just enough water to keep a small bundle of lily of the valley or a stem of bleeding heart happy. Of course, the water needs to be refilled daily. 

Joanne has an eagle eye for the unusual. She pointed me in the direction of these fabulous paper milk containers form the 1940’s.  I can't wait to fill these bright colored, summer inspired cartons with the zinnias, cosmos, and heliantus from my garden.

The shopping was fun of course, but the best part of the Brimfield visit was the opportunity to see old friends and make many new.

I was completely thrilled to arrive at Brimfield to be greeted by the wonderful Chris and Walter Chapin of Company C, a sponsor of the Brimfield event and an inspiring home d├ęcor and furnishings brand that I have grown to love. Even more thrilled was I to see stacks of copies of the new fall catalog that Chris and I styled in New Hampshire this past winter. It is always a great pleasure to see the finished product of your work.

I was also delighted to meet editor Erin McLaughlin and her fabulous crew from Canada’s Style at Home, interior designer Shane Inman who did a remarkable job designing the Brimfield tent, and I finally got to meet many fellow twitter pals like @abcddesigns, @stylesson and @warrenbobrow1


  1. The doorknobs are especially sweet!

  2. Love your vases! It was great fun to talk with you.

    Just got my Country Living today & was thrilled to see that you styled the beautiful cover!

  3. This is incredibly kind of you to include me in your writing. Thank you my friend! wb