The scene: the Brimfield antique show. The set-up: Collect business cards from among the many designers and bloggers who were enjoying both the antique show and the Brimfield Tweet-Up. (What? You don’t know what a tweet-up is??) The fun: Draw three cards and give each “winner” $200 to spend 5 hours shopping the fields for treasure, with the request they report back to us with their finds.
Photograph: Tara Hartnett (tobeinggreen.com)
Let’s take our shoppers in alphabetical order. Allison Abbott is a designer from West Newton, Massachusetts, who places special emphasis on renovating with smart green practices. (Check out Allison’s lively blog at greenwithrenvy.blogspot.com.) Allison was a perfect match for shopping at Brimfield: What better place than a crazy-big flea market to find old or tarnished pieces just waiting to be repurposed and placed in a new home? Allison said she had no particular plan in mind for her $200; in her words, she just “wandered” the fields and kept her eyes open. And the thing that caught her eye was a small collapsible rocker that had once graced the porch of an old farmhouse in upstate New York. She says she was drawn to it because she loves to use small chairs as decorative accents.
Allison’s plan for the chair: Paint it in a Benjamin Moore taupe (Interlude AF 135) and re-cover it in an antique Hungarian grain-sack fabric that she found at Brimfield in the almost-fantastical tent of Pandora de Balthazár. She’ll also dress up the chair with 1940s-era buttons and Belgian trim—also found in the tents at Brimfield.
Allison actually brought us money back! (Talk about recycling.) She spent only $23 on the chair, about $80 on the fabric, and another $55 on the buttons and trim. She did pass on one rueful lesson from her wanderings: She saw a great little side table that she decided she could go back and purchase later. When she went back to buy it—too late. It was gone. “When you are at a flea market, get it when you see it,” Allison says. We hope Allison will send us a photo of the refurbished chair. If she does, we’ll post it. And we’ll post the fabulous finds of our other two shoppers early next week.