Back in September, my dear friend Dee Murphy and I went to Brimfield Antique Show with California Home & Design (issue is currently out now!). Dee and I met years ago through blogging and after spending some time together in Palm Springs, we were itching for another getaway. We travel so well together – we both go with the flow, we enjoy a glass of wine at the end of the day (plus a cheesy romantic comedy), and we both need our nightly FaceTime session with our babes. We chatted up fellow vintage lover, Lindsey the editor of California Home & Design and the trip was planned!
Brimfield Flea Market Guide
This was our first time going but it’s been on our list of flea markets to attend for some time! For me, the sheer size of Brimfield and the volume and variety of vintage pieces is unparalleled. Brimfield has a bit of everything that appeals to antiques lovers to mid century modern enthusiasts. Plus, all of the items are vintage unlike other flea markets which have expanded to include new merchandise and markets.
Keep reading for my Brimfield Flea Market Guide…
For starters, we found the COOLEST house on Airbnb and booked it before we had anything else finalized. The Edmondson House is a concrete and glass mid-century modern home nestled on a hill and surrounded by beautiful trees. The owners, Nick and Jess, also own an antique shop called Chamonix Antiques – the home is furnished/designed by them. Dee and I loved every nook and cranny of this place! If you’re going to Brimfield, be sure to check out The Edmondson House!
If you’re thinking of heading to the ultimate flea, check out my Brimfield Flea Market guide and tips:
- Early bird gets the worm! Some vendors and shoppers arrive on Monday and although you can’t buy on Monday, some eager shoppers get a first peek at all the goods. Arrive early on Tuesday so you’ll get first dibs. Same with the daily markets: stop by right at opening so you can snag the best pieces because they will sell fast!
- Rain, rain don’t go away! The rainy days are the best shopping days. Vendors will try to offload items and will make you a deal you can’t refuse. Grab a poncho, rain boots, and your cash and get ready to buy.
- Everything is negotiable…if you have cash. Having cash on hand gives you an upper hand when negotiating the price on a piece. Bring smaller and larger bills and always negotiate respectfully. I always ask: “What’s the best you can do on this?” and the vendor always gives me a great price. If you’re a newbie to shopping the flea market, check out this guide.
- Have a strategy. Any flea market can be overwhelming, but Brimfield is even larger and you’ll likely only have a few days to shop. Don’t do it without a list. Hit up the daily markets when they open first thing in the morning and then go to the free markets in the afternoon. Sticking to your shopping list will keep you on track when shopping and exploring (and you won’t feel like you’re lost in a maze).
- Shop big, then small. Always start with furniture as it’s the first to go and you want to get your big stuff purchased and checked off before you start looking for accent pieces. It will also give you an idea of how much it’ll cost to ship so you can start filling in the gaps in the shipping container with smaller items.
- If you love it, then buy it. I have left the flea market not buying pieces I loved only to find myself tossing and turning in my bed wondering the fate of that beloved piece. So my mantra is, if you love it, then buy it. You’ll only regret the pieces you didn’t buy, and you’ll love the pieces you did buy!
- It’s fashion! Brimfield is filled with lots of furniture and decor pieces, but it also has a lot to offer in the fashion department. Don’t miss the Fashion Tent for great vintage tees, dresses from the 60s and 70s, and tons of jewelry. If you’re shopping for clothing, wear layers you can easily slip on/off as there are no fitting rooms.
What did I come home with?
- Two vintage persian rugs. Thanks to Dee for buying a chair that required shipping, we were able to stuff a lot of our finds in the shipping container to send home!
- A cool sketch. If you follow me on Instagram, then you know the drama behind these sketches! I thought Dee packed them in the shipping container. Dee thought I had them in my suitcase. When Dee received the shipping container, no sketches! We freaked out, but after calling everywhere, the rental car company had them!
- Lots of baby/toddler clothes for Harlee. I couldn’t pass up the cutest pieces that were only $2 each!
- Vintage Disney tee. It was $15, you guys and it’s so good.
- Trikents and more trinkets. I picked up a brass jewelry box for Harlee, and some other cute little trinkets for myself and friends.
Favorite daily markets:
Brimfield Flea Market is the larger market, but there are daily markets, similar to pop-ups that have the best stuff (like Milo Baughman chair for $100):
- Dealer’s Choice
- New England Motel
Where to eat:
We didn’t go for the food, but we had a lot of it! Here are our favorites:
- Cedar Street Grill for breakfast
- Lobster Roll (at the flea market) for lunch
- The Duck for dinner
- Ice cream at the flea market
What to wear:
Dee and I packed really well for this flea market (we were practical, plus some readers gave us tips). This is not the place to worry about looking super cute since the weather is so temperamental and it’s muddy. all. the. time. The first day was so hot and humid, Dee and I were so glad we had lightweight pieces on hand. The second day, it poured and poured so we were so glad to have our hats, jackets, jeans, and rainboots. We looked cooked, but were most importantly comfortable!
- Rainboots and sneakers
- Lightweight jacket that is waterproof
- Light layers
- Casual dress in case if it’s sweltering hot
- Hat (for hot days to block the sun and for rainy days to cover up a bad hair day)