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What I Saw – and Bought – at Brimfield, September 2013

September 12, 2013 01:22 PM  

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These beautiful chairs were brought to Brimfield by Boston-based duo, ModHaus.

Much as I love to shop at the Brimfield Antique and Collectibles Show, I am easily overwhelmed by its size. I tend to wander aimlessly, but I arrived at the September show with a goal in mind: replace my rickety dining chairs with some that are smaller in scale, though solid and hard-wearing now that my 8-month-old daughter Eleanor is crawling and soon will be climbing everything in sight.

Not surprisingly, Brimfield is a great place for finding chairs from across the eras, made of any variety of materials, and in styles from Biedermeier to Bauhaus.

What first caught my eye — four chairs (above) by ModHaus, a Boston-based online retailer specializing in items from the 1950s to 1970s — would blend nicely with my existing black-painted pedestal table, but they were out of my price-range.

Next, a Danish style draw leaf table and chairs (below) drew my attention. I wasn’t planning on replacing the table, but this set got me thinking that perhaps I should.


Is it actually Danish? Is it teak? I don't know. Did I mention as a serial browser I am too shy to ask questions? Price not marked so I assumed this was out of my price range, and since I didn't ask, I will never know.

Oh, look! Anna Bugardi imports (below)! I know the French flour sack look might be a bit overplayed, but I have a weakness for linen, the ultimate neutral.


As a graphic designer, I find stripes irresistible.

Silkscreened letters (below) on raw canvas, displayed so adorably on a ladder! From La Casita Home Decor in Tampa, Florida, the squares of fabric with their broken yet fluid seals are so appealing. I score one with a giant “E” (for Eleanor!).


I imagine that someday, this beautiful monogramed fabric it will become a pillow.

Baby buggies from another time (below) fascinate me, even as the modern stroller I am pushing gets bogged down in loose gravel. Still, I press on. I am, after all, on a mission.





A child-sized rickshaw? Does one kid pull it while another child rides? I am stumped.

But back to the task at hand. I stumble across a solid maple drop-leaf table and four arts-and-crafty chairs from a dealer from Brookfield, Massachusetts! A little worn, but sturdy. I am sold. I make my purchase and the helpful neighbor vendors help to load my car.


This chair with its curved profile just says comfort.


Never go to Brimfield without a blanket to protect your finds in the ride home.


The vendors know just how to pack things into tight space. They do it all the time.


Our packers took extra care to secure all pieces around Eleanor, who seems happy with our purchase.


I will miss the drama of my old table set’s glossy black.


But it’s time to lighten up!

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About this blog

An insider's look at must-have products, fresh trends, and inspired spaces from the team at Design New England magazine.

Gail Ravgiala is editor of Design New England and a fan of both the region's historic architecture and its growing inventory of modern houses and public buildings.

Courtney Kasianowicz is associate editor of Design New England who scouts the area for new design, charming products, and local artisans both innovative and daring.

Jill Connors, Design New England's editor-at-large, is an antiques maven and design scout and will post about trends and discoveries in the field.

Bruce Irving, Design New England's contributing editor for architecture & building, is a renovation specialist who will share his insights on design and construction.

Estelle Bond Guralnick, Design New England's style & interiors editor, will post about interior design and interior designers and her favorite finds.

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