Design New England

Brimfield: A Rite of Summer

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An array of colorful folding chairs and painted wooden buoys say welcome to Brimfield.

By Courtney Kasianowicz

Every May, July, and September, we get an itch. It’s almost as if we feel the rumble of the thousands of antiques dealers that tow their vintage goods across the country to the small town of Brimfield, Massachusetts, for the Brimfield Antique and Collectibles Show in our bones and we must go. This year, we took it all in, searched for design trends and treasures, people-watched, and simply shopped. The show runs through Sunday July 13, and will be back September 2 to 7. But what goods were there this week?

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We noticed a staggering amount of church-inspired elements. In addition to your standard crosses, cherubs, and Blessed Virgin statues, these ecclesiastical pieces included actual salvage from houses of worship in the form of pews, choir stalls, holy water fonts, and even pieces from an altar.

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Refurbished pews would make an interesting bench.

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There also were lots of pew-inspired pieces, which though probably from a country restaurant or kitchen, still evoke a reverential atmosphere.

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Large porcelain basins for holy water and baptisms mixed with smaller pieces such as these marble dishes were also heavenly matches. The marble grapevine adds a nice touch.

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Other interesting finds both small and large included, on the small side, vintage cuts of embroidered ribbon. We especially like one we found with a row of little shrubs on one side and a tractor on the other.

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For large items, oversize containers (in front of a beautifully broken-in butterfly chair) would overpower some landscapes, but we like to imagine big.

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This display with its wooden-crate wall caught our attention.
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For the cooks out there, a charming old rolling kitchen rack was in great shape.

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We loved this intricate rattan rocking chair. Perfect for a sunroom or screened porch.

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Then, there are these funky swivel chairs in an odd argyle pattern.

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Furniture and home goods aside, if the charm of vintage jewelry distracts you, you may end up purchasing something like this. Happy shopping!

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Great design is always at your fingertips! Read Design New England's July/August issue online!