October 19th, 2014
'Cause eating is important, guys. From rectangle to square to oval to circle, we're breaking it down to the basics to help you choose the perfect dining table for your space. Ya ready?
Most importantly, you need to pick the right shape. Do you host a lot? Or do you like to have small dinner parties and keep it more intimate? That, along with the size of your dining room (or dining room/kitchen/living room in one for us city folk) will determine what shape you should choose.
After that, the fun begins! Here’s where you can customize lighting, chairs, rugs underneath the table… the list is endless! Here are 5 tips to remember when sprucing up your space.
1. TO LEAF OR NOT TO LEAF?
A drop-leaf table has a fixed section in the middle and a hinged section (the leaf) that can be folded down or dropped. This is perfect if you have a small space and want to be able to host more people. Make sure to use a tablecloth runner to hide the unsightly seam. Party on.
2. STATEMENT LIGHTING
Always a yes. However, remember that the bottom of the statement light should hang at least 30”-36” from the top of the table.
3. PERSONAL SPACE
When eating, each person needs about 2 feet of space. Consider this when setting the table. Give people room to throw them ‘bows out if needed.
4. MATCHY MATCHY, THAT’S SO 80’s
Live and let live and steer clear of matchy matchy dining sets of the 80s. Enjoy yourself. Mix it up. Try an industrial table with modern chairs or a formal, wooden table with casual chairs in a fun upholstery. Heck, just get all sorts of different chairs or even a bench.
5. DON’T BE LAZY…
Get a lazy susan. If you’re going with a round or square table and eating family style, that lazy susan will definitely be a lifesaver! (or a food saver?)
What table are you going to go with?
October 17th, 2014
You may not hear about them in Entertainment Weekly or People Magazine, but set decorators and the buyers are pretty much VIPs when it comes to TV land. They’re the ones creating a magical land (Central Perk ring a bell?) that feels authentic, lived-in and most importantly, believable. Set decorators and buyers are the people behind the scenes, searching high and low for all the perfect pieces to fill a set. Shopping for a job? Sounds pretty fab.
But how do you become one of these secret buyers? Well, we tapped seasoned Hollywood set decoration buyer and Chairish customer, Kami Laprade, to give us an insider’s look at her world. With a robust portfolio including snazzing up the sets of The OC, Cougar Town, and most recently American Horror Story, you know an “ordinary” day in her life is probably not very ordinary at all!
A Ralph Lauren window display
First of all, how did you become a set decoration buyer?
When I was in high school I worked for Polo Ralph Lauren setting up window displays and really enjoyed it. I liked the idea of using furniture and props to set a scene, or to create a look. I started working backstage doing theatre, making the props for the actors and setting the furniture during the play. After college I worked for Disneyland in their Resort Enhancement Dept, where we made and put up all the Christmas decorations in the whole park and all the hotels. At the same time, I started working on smaller movies in the art department, working my way up until I was able to quit Disney to work full time in the movie business. I’ve been doing it for over 10 years now, and have done various positions in the art department.
We know that it’s probably different for every show, but what’s your process for creating and buying for a set?
It always starts out with a script. It tells me what the story is going to be about, what time period it takes place in, where and what type of people the characters are. Then, the production designer designs the overall look of each set. Next, the decorator and I talk in more detail about the look— what type of furniture is needed, the color scheme, what does the character do, what kinds of things might they have, patterns, that type of thing. Then it’s my job to start finding it all.
Being a buyer for set dressing encompasses all kinds of things. From buying couches, to picking out material to have drapery made, or furniture recovered, to finding artists who will allow you to put their work on the show. My job definitely involves a lot of shopping; whether it is scouring the Internet for different things, to running around town buying more basic items. Everything from the couch, to the sheets, to the dishes, to the clothing in a closet, to the art on the walls and the flowers in a vase are part of set dressing, and I’ve bought it all. I’ve had to shop for all kinds of sets, including surf shops, toy stores, hospitals, coffee shops, trailer parks, expensive homes, pharmacies, CIA interrogation locations, western towns, even a traveling circus!
Spill the beans. How and where do you source all these items?
It depends on where you’re shooting and what kind of show you work. In Los Angeles, there are a lot of prop houses that specialize in renting all sorts of items. Some are specific to a particular genre; medical items, vintage items, lighting, that kind of thing. Antique stores, estate sales, flea markets, are fabulous resources. Websites like Chairish are fantastic because they specialize in different eras of furniture and furnishings in general. At the end of the day, it’s just about knowing where to go to find what it is you are looking for.
Shameless plug…. But how did you find out about Chairish?
I got so lucky! I was searching the Internet, trying to find vintage and different looking pieces of furniture, and just happened to come across it. Ebay and Etsy can be frustrating if you don’t know exactly you are looking for. That’s why I love Chairish; you can browse under “chair” and just come up with all kinds of pieces, from high end modern pieces, to unusual and funky pieces. Perfect for someone who has to buy for any and every different type of set. Also, there are real people who work there. Everyone I’ve ever dealt with there has been so nice, unbelievably helpful, and completely understanding when I crazily tell them I need that couch to come across the country in 3 days.
What do you like most about your job?
Shopping with other people’s money! But seriously, I love my job because it’s always different, always changing, and I’m always learning new things. You meet and work with all types of people on each job; it’s never the same. I’ve also gotten to go to places and see things that normally the public doesn’t have access to. We shot in this old, closed down clothing store in downtown LA that’s only used to shoot for movies. It was so beautiful inside and still had all the original fixtures and cabinetry. Plus, you get to know all kinds of random yet useful facts, and you help put together a great set that you can be proud of. I’ve been lucky enough to work with all kinds of amazingly talented people, and have learned and done so many fun things.
When you spot your work on TV or movies, can you relax and enjoy it, or are you always looking at it from a buying perspective?
Well, I do enjoy it, but I am definitely paying a lot of attention to how everything looks. I don’t always get to see it fully dressed, so it’s interesting to see how it ended up. Also, how it’s dressed and what they show are two very different things. It can be incredibly frustrating to spend a week or so finding everything for a room, and then they only shoot part of one wall. But that’s just part of how it goes, so you have to try not to take it too personally.
Amen sister. We’d love to know— how do you find inspiration for sets?
I take from real life situations. We think about what types of things the particular character would have. If it’s a set that reminds me of someone I know or a place I’ve been, I think about what was there. We do a lot of research, especially if it’s a period piece. Also, sometimes when you are just wandering around a store, you see things that you just think will work in a set. I love watching movies, seeing what other people have come up makes you want to do great things too.
Thanks so much for your time, Kami! Shop her professionally curated finds here.
October 16th, 2014
Zomg! We one of the FIRST apps to integrate with Apple Pay, a new service that will transform mobile payments. Can you believe it?? Now, shopping is as easy as 1, 2, thumb.
More details here!
October 15th, 2014
Bold and beautiful, the copper pendant lamp by Tom Dixon is one hecka of a piece of statement lighting. Made of pure copper and only microns thick, the curves on these baby are bound to stop anyone in these tracks.
Not completely sure how it would fit in your house? Don’t fret, my pet. Here are 10 beautiful and different rooms that feature a copper pendant lamp.
We love the splashy mix of colors and patterns in this vibrant living room— and the lamp acts as the cherry on top!
Grouping together multiple pendant lamps makes for quite a dramatic statement in the dining room.
Elle Decoration UK
This bright, light filled dining room gets even more sparkle with the reflective surfaces of the lamps.
Yowza! That dining room is on fire!
A double whammy from A House in the Hills. She uses it as a statement piece in her beautiful white kitchen.
Ooooh lawdy this moody bedroom looks absolutely sensual with the copper lamp.
The copper pendant is particularly striking against the muted background of this dining room.
A little reading nook is not complete unless there is ample lighting. Especially if it’s beautifully designed lighting.
Jon Oron’s open studio in Elle Decoration UK
Black, white, and copper. A winning combination that can’t be beat.
Swooning over Tom Dixon yet? Get his lamp at a discounted price on Chairish!
October 8th, 2014
Have you ever strolled past the windows of Hermes or Kate Spade to be stopped dead in your tracks by the elaborate, delicate, paper cut art adorning the windows? We certainly have. With a precision that looks like it must be a machine, we were shocked to find out that they’re all singlehandedly crafted by 2 amazing creatives, Amy Flurry and Nikki Nye.
Photo: Rinne Allen
So of course, we were bursting with excitement to have Amy as one of our Atlanta City Guide tastemakers, as well as featuring her amazing paper cut art on Chairish. As we got to know her better, we also realized how perfect for Chairish she really is.
Not only does she work on the Paper Cut Project, she’s also the new creative director for Parlore, a personalized app for design professionals. Can you say soulmate?? Amy generously took a few minutes out of her schedule to chat with us about all the things she cherishes— from fave city in Greece to her favorite designer!
Photo: Rinne Allen
My design motto is…
Buy art you love, not for decor. Everything else will follow.
My favorite trip I ever took was…
Syros, Greece. We were there one summer for seven weeks while my husband wrote a book. While he was working, I walked the island with my kids and swam at every beach and every watering hole we could find. I’ll never be the same.
If I didn’t own a store, I would…
Move to Florence, Alabama and work for Alabama Chanin. Designer Natalie Chanin inspires me. I’d ask to spend half of my day dying fabrics.
I can’t live without my…
Walks in the woods.
My favorite season is _____ because…
Fall, because I get back to the woods. I love documenting the decay.
Pick your poison: go-to type of beer, wine or cocktail:
Wine. A beautiful Languedoc-Roussillon red will do
Favorite fictional character?
Fanny Price, from Mansfield Park
The film whose aesthetic most closely resembles my store is…
Trois voleurs: white by Krzysztof Kieslowski
If I could go back in time, I’d go to…
One of Yves Saint Laurent’s parties in Marrakech with his disparate group of friends.
Shop Amy’s paper cut art and her favorite picks on Chairish here!
September 29th, 2014
Saddle up y’all— Chairish is hitting Round Top to take YOU shopping at one of the biggest and oldest flea markets round these here parts.
On Saturday, October 4th from 7am-10pm PST, we will be hosting a live sale on Instagram, and YOU’RE INVITED! Be the first to comment #sold on any item we post on Instagram during our sale and it’s yours to purchase! Yep, it’s that easy.
Want more info? We’ve got the skinny below.
How do you pay?
We’ve partnered with Pay With Penny, a service that helps you easily shop Instagram. Once you comment “#sold” on a photo, you will be prompted by Pay with Penny via email to enter in your payment information.
What can I buy?
You can purchase any item listed as “FOUND” on the Chairish instagram account on October 4th between the hours of 7am-10am PST. Be the first to comment #SOLD with your handle and it’s yours! See the example below:
How does shipping work?
Shipping is included in the listed price and will be shipped SAME DAY on October 4th.
Have more questions? Leave ‘em in the comments and we’ll answer them!
September 24th, 2014
Samantha Jones, Demi Moore and Mrs. Robinson… What do they all have in common? Well, they don’t let age stop them. And we’re thinking, why should they have all the fun? We’re taking a page from their book and tackling the love affair between old and new, vintage and modern.
Above room design by Rachel Laxer Interiors
We’ve partnered with Dering Hall, the Ashton Kutcher to our Demi Moore, to bring you the ultimate old and new coupling. As an online marketplace selling high-end home furnishings and accessories, Dering Hall’s fresh, modern twist complements our seasoned vintage wares.
Get this sophisticated, mid-century look with a combination of Chairish and Dering Hall products.
1. Illusion 2. Abstract Acrylic Painting 3. Maple Framed Golden Gate Bridge Photo 4. Charles Pollock Sling Lounge Chairs (Pair) 5. Serge Mouille Three-Arm Rotating Floor Lamp 6. Dorain Sofa 7. Reclaimed Vintage Dark Blonde Mink Fur Pillow 8. Vintage Kantha Pillow 9. Rattan & Abaca Rope Clover Stool 10. Rug (N10270 13’×13’) 11. Vase 2530 by SIGMA L2 12. Canoa Coffee Table - Salvaged Tree Trunk
Drooling for more? Here are 5 more beautiful, old + new pairings that will make you rethink the term “cougar.”
Pairing 1: A cozy, vintage chair with a modern lamp. Together, this cushy couple creates the perfect reading nook for nights where you want to curl up with a great piece of literature (or 50 Shades of Grey, no judgment here).
September 22nd, 2014
We think that the advice “Be ok with your work just sucking to you, because it will for a while,” pretty much sums up the genius, inspiring artist that is Michelle Armas. As one of our newest Atlanta City Guide sellers, Michelle brings beautiful paintings as well as a unique point of view to Chairish. After a year in the New York branding world, Michelle gave it all up to try and make it as a painter. #Inspiration, much? We chat with Michelle to get learn more about taking risks, motivation, and pretty much how she stays so badass.
You took a huge leap of faith when you left the corporate world to pursue a dream of living off your art: what in particular was missing from your old work-life?
What was missing from my old work life? Everything good: No control over my time, no control over my environment, or the people I worked with, no creative freedom, no down time. It was very hard to be motivated about doing grudge work for big companies whose products I really felt dubious about. There was so much competition between the designers, and so many office politics. I mean, eye roll!
What do you enjoy most about being an artist?
Being alone with my paints and my paper. Being able to create all the time. I have a strong memory of being a small child, and I would have “nap time”, where I was alone in my room with my crayons and the play easel that my dad got me. The lights were dim and it was a rainy afternoon. Suddenly I was really aware of how magical it was and I have been chasing that same feeling ever since.
Where do you find your inspiration?
All over the place. Anything I look at could be inspiration. Right now I have a coffee cup next to me that’s white china with burgundy paint on it, next to a purple oxalis in a terracotta pot. The rich brown of the coffee next to the reds in the burgundy and the blues in the oxalis and the creamy white….I expect that will subconsciously appear in a painting soon.
Any advice to people who want to change careers?
Freaking just do it! 1. Figure out what you need to save up to give yourself at least 3 months of no income. Ok, say that’s $5k a month, so save up $15k. 2. Have an emergency back up plan, like my “go live at home” last resort. 3. Write a list of goals for yourself that have to be met for you to have “made it.” For me, it was a certain amount of income, a certain amount of sales per week, certain amount of exposure. This way you have something to work on every day. You wake up and say today I need to get my work on a blog, let’s do that all day until it gets done. 4.You have to be willing to work at it all the time, and you have to be ok with the idea that you may fail. This seems to me to be the hardest hurdle for most people— that and believing that they have the power to change the direction of their lives. So many people feel like work is just supposed to suck, but if you stay in a job because you are scared to leave the security it offers, then maybe you’re just the kind of person who chooses security over freedom. That’s ok. But suffering all the time because you keep making that choice, and it isn’t what you want, is silly and robs you of your true potential.
You’re currently in the process of remodeling your home. Are you getting any help with that or doing all the design yourself? Where do you find the decor for your home?
I am making all of the design choices myself, but I do have a contractor who is great at working from my sketches and paying attention to the details that I care about. I’ve always had this fantasy that I would find each item meticulously, scouring flea markets and stores for the most unique and perfect item, but the reality is that I am too busy for that. I honestly would rather paint so I have a few stores and sources that I always turn to and choose from there. This process has taught me a lot about what my style actually is because I just choose what I like best from each category, rather than try to copy a look or create a certain effect. So in the end my home doesn’t reflect my taste range as much as it is a reflection of my personality.
I have bought a lot of things from Charish, including cool art, a pair of moulded wood and cain chairs, moroccan floor pillows and a rug. I recently re-did both bathroom in our home and Rejuvenation was my first choice along with DWR (for lighting and a Vipp trashcan), I like eBay for rugs, and vintage textiles, but then I get tables and most lighting and such at vintage stores around me.
Any advice to people who want to explore finding an outlet in art?
Just create all the time. Be ok with your work just sucking to you, because it will for a while. For every perfectly composed piece of art you make, there are 20, 50 or 100 crappy ones that you threw away or painted over. Just buy more paper or paint when you run out, even if you don’t like anything that you made. You have to just keep going and going and going.
Now… for the lighting round!
My design motto is…
Just start creating and it will come to you if you let go.
My favorite trip I ever took was...
I lived in Spain for a year when I was in college, and I traveled all over Europe on my own or with friends. It was kind of super romantic to be so poor in a time when cell phones didn’t have maps on them. We’d get lost and hitch rides with locals. It was a blast.
If I didn’t own a store, I would…
Run a catering company for super fancy parties and stuff.
I can’t live without my…
Family! But I know you mean in a design sense so then it would be soft pastels.
Photos by Paige French
My favorite season is _____ because…
Autumn, because the light changes, it becomes brighter and clearer and I love to bundle up and take long walks in the cool weather. I love the leaves changing, I love a roaring fire. It’s a good excuse to cuddle. I loves scarves… I could go on….
Pick your poison: go-to type of beer, wine or cocktail:
Ohhh slightly dirty Grey Goose Martini, blue cheese olives, very cold, up. Repeat.
Favorite fictional character:
Miss Fisher from Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries. Were you expecting something more high brow?
The film whose aesthetic most closely resembles my store is…
Woooo, no frigg’n idea. But I can tell you that any Wes Anderson Movie inspires me, very much.
If I could go back in time, I’d go to…
Ancient Egypt! But only if I could be invisible. Otherwise, too scary.
Shop Michelle’s colorful art here.
September 19th, 2014
For anyone starting a business, heck, for anyone with big deals but no idea how to begin executing them, having a mentor is not only a godsend but arguably, a necessity. After all, one of the world’s most powerful women and CEO of a little company called Yahoo, Marissa Mayer, openly stresses the importance of having guidance throughout your career.
So for budding designers in San Francisco, Krista Coupar and her team at Coupar Consulting are like a secret weapon and guardian angel all wrapped into one. Coupar, with her background in design, has been through it herself and has already developed many of the connections and relationships in the industry necessary to grow your business. Not only does she offer consulting, marketing and PR assistance, her office is an open resource for all her clients to either work from or host meetings in.
Whether you need a quick break while sourcing from the showrooms in the San Francisco Design Center (SFDC), or need to spend hours using the complimentary AutoCad programs on the shared desktops, or need to meet with a client and want to do so in a professional and design-related setting, this is the space to get work done. It has all the resources you might not have at home (hey, Cad is expensive!) or get advice from Krista and her team about the countless ups and downs of running a business.
The Coupar Consulting office and co-working space is chic and well appointed. Eye catching art fills every wall and seating is plentiful- from a green velvet chaise, to a leather daybed, to practically equipped workstations. No matter how you work- bolt upright at a task chair, standing, or splayed out on a cushy couch- there’s a space for you to do your thing here.
Photo: Christopher Stark
One of our chief joys at Chairish is when we see a piece we sold in a happy new home. This marks the first of many “Where Are They Now” posts, where we check in with our old Chairish friends and see what kind of fabulous life they are living post-sale. The Coupar Consulting office has not just one, but three Chairish graduates! A becoming yellow velvet armchair sits in Krista’s office for guests, the above mentioned leather daybed welcomes visitors in the reception area and, best of all, a pair of formerly drab cantilevered accent chairs got an epic makeover with a stunning Kelly Wearstler fabric we may or may not have seen running though our dreams at some point. We love seeing these transformations taking place. Knowing that our pieces are serving such a splendid purpose in a place that fosters the growth of new design talent gives us that warm fuzzy feeling inside.
Photo by Christopher Stark
We got Krista to give us the scoop on how she started this consulting firm and what it’s like working in the most tempting place any design obsessive could think of.
Tell us about your business: how did you get into the world of consulting with up and coming design professionals?
Working in showrooms and as an interior designer, I noticed the design industry had a lot of pain points for both the designer and the client, and I thought to myself, “There has to be a better way to run these businesses.” As synchronicity would have it, right when I began to look at business consulting as a niche business in the interiors industry, I got an amazing job revamping a prestigious interior design and retail firm alongside a dream team of Fortune 500 consultants. I worked with a venture capitalist that had 10 years of Wall Street experience, a Fortune 500 CEO and CPA, a marketing and PR guru, and a web designer that was dabbling in content management platforms (which was very cutting edge at the time). I worked at the firm seven days a week for close to three years, because I knew this opportunity would never come across my desk again! It was that experience that basically taught me everything I needed to know about running a design and luxury/lifestyle business. After that, I had the foundation I needed to launch my career as a consultant.
Over the course of my 15 years in the industry, I have endeavored to find ways to make the business of design current, efficient, and a positive experience for both the designer and the client. The way designers obsess over interiors is how I obsess over their businesses - I am always researching latest trends and what’s new and hot for running a premier luxury brand. I get inspiration from technology start-ups, luxury fashion house and labels, and any brands that are innovative and forward thinking.
What is one piece of advice you would give someone hoping to start their own design-related business?
When launching and operating small, luxury businesses like interior design companies, two things are always at a premium: time and money. I always look for low-cost, high impact solutions, and it’s important to analyze what the gain is from each bit of time and money spent. So for designers, one of the best tools they can take advantage of is the prevalence of technology available to streamline their business. Instead of reinventing the wheel, always see if there’s a free or low-cost technology platform available, like Asana, SketchUp, Hootsuite, and Chairish. From organizing office communication, managing finances, creating meaningful marketing and PR campaigns, and selling product, there are incredible tools out there, so learn to use them and make them a part of your daily business strategy.
How did you hear about Chairish?
I found out about Chairish from a designer, who heard about Chairish from one of her clients! Our industry is changing - many resources for products are being discovered by designers and their clients via social media, online magazines, and blogs. Technology and social sharing has definitely changed the way designers approach design, and I think it has lead to better design, better resources, and more innovation. For me, Chairish was love at first sight. I adore anyone who’s passionate about finding homes for previously loved furniture. (My husband and our garage thank you as well. It has lightened the burden of my plight to save all the little gems I come across!)
Did you know when you purchased these pieces that they would be getting an updated look from the beginning?
Yes. I am always on the look out for old pieces with great lines that I can reinterpret with a fresh coat of paint or a new fabric. But some of the pieces came in and I ended up loving the patina of the velvet or the wood finish on the frame, so they remained as is. A little age in a fabulous piece of furniture can be a beautiful thing. I think velvets always look better with age as long as you stick to the natural fibers: linen, cotton, mohair and silk.
This mid century chair from Chairish gets an updated look.
The chair in its new home at Coupar Consulting. Photo: Christopher Stark
How did you choose the fabrics to recover these pieces?
I wanted to keep the office fairly neutral since so many different designers use it, and I didn’t want the office to compete with their aesthetic that they’re selling to clients. It needed to be stylish and benchmark well with the showrooms that surround it, but it needed to be a bit quiet as well. If I choose a print like the velvet on chrome chairs, I kept it neutral with black and white.
I like fabrics with movement in the print or design and I am inspired by nature, so anything that is a bit meandering and organic in pattern usually finds its ways into my design. In my own personal style I love color, so I couldn’t resist throwing in a pop of color like the green in the sofa or side chairs, but overall I aimed for an finished product that was “quiet luxury.”
Photo by Christopher Stark
These pieces live in your (totally stylish) office space. What factors are important to consider when decorating an office? Do you think you have to consider different factors for this office in particular since it also doubles as a communal workspace for your clients?
I really was looking at it from a cost perspective first, followed by comfort and functionality. Many of the pieces were pulled from my preferred vendors that I use when I designed residential interiors. The one thing I did differently was choose fabrics that stand up to the elements better, like an outdoor fabric. Our office is flooded with light, and I have found that the fabrics fade more quickly than I would have expected.
Photo by Christopher Stark
Which is more fun- finding a piece that’s perfect as-is or giving one a makeover?
I love a good makeover. Nothing beats finding the perfect frame and then adding your own twist to the design through an unexpected or luxurious fabric or paint.
A leather daybed that Krista purchased from Chairish
The leather daybed happy in its new home.
To learn more, check out Coupar Consulting!
September 18th, 2014
We recently hit up the Brimfield Antiques & Collectibles Show, which is one of the biggest antique shows in Massachusettes, if not the US! Chock full of vintage finds and crazy knick-knacks, you KNOW that when you go, you’re bound to find something good.
However, if you’re not used to some intense flea market shopping, Brimfield can be pretty intimidating. With 20 fields and barns full of goodies, Brimfield can definitely be overwhelming for a novice shopper. But fear not dearest reader, we’re here to help. Our very own flea market pro/Chairish buyer is here to share 5 pro-tips to help you successfully shop Brimfield!
Remember the basics.
My first day at Brimfield was nearly 90 degrees with 500% humidity. Can you say outdoor shower? Between the sporadic showers, downpours, and sweltering heat, I definitely had to take breaks in the car and revel in the AC. Luckily, my mother taught me to always wear sunscreen, stay hydrated and carry a snack. Remember, you’re out in a field ALL DAY. There’s a few tents here and there, but let’s be real, it ain’t a fashion show. Wear your most comfortable sneakers and ridiculous hat. You’ll thank us. Also, while we didn’t need our mud boots, it’s always a good idea to pack them too.
Get there early and on the weekdays.
If you want the cream of the crop, be there waiting when the doors are going to open. It’s also wayyyy less crowded on the weekdays, so if you can, we’d definitely encourage you to go during the week.
Bring a buddy.
With the plethora of barns filled with treasures, oddities, and well, junk, the show runs about a mile long down Main Street. Having a friend with you will keep you focused and rational (I needed to be talked down from buying a working GameBoy with over 30 games for $200, I’m still thinking about it).
And c’mon, what’s better than giggling over something from your childhood or scoring an amazing stained glass lamp with your favorite pal?
I found my dream dresser! But it doesn’t fit it into my Jetta….
If you’re planning to furnish your house/apartment or even a room… Rent a U-HAUL! Many shoppers show up at 5am in their rented van or truck, with a wad of cash to make it rain (although some dealers do accept cards). For standard shopping, it’s best to bring a wagon or ‘granny cart’, some bubble wrap and bungee cords. There’s a UPS shipping center on site for items that can be shipped. ‘Porters’ (angel people equipped with wrapping blankets and hand trucks) are available for hire. They have on-site blanket wrap service, but only from point of purchase to your car. Most dealers are kind enough to hold your item for a bit, but keep in mind cars are not permitted everywhere.
Go in with an open mind and realize that it’s physically impossible to see everything.
What’s helpful is making a schedule. This year, Brimfield launched an app: The Brimfield Flea Finder. Vendors can register to have their booth listed on the app. You can search by the category you want to shop and map out your route on the field map, which is incredible (did I mention how overwhelmingly HUGE this show is?).
Some fields specialize in artisan crafts, furniture, military garb, fashion + jewelry, etc. If you have an idea of what you’re looking for, map out your plan of attack before because YOU WILL BE OVERWHELMED. Some fields charge admission fees on their first day, but will be open for free the next. This is all outlined in the schedule. You can also save your favorite dealers while you shop or as a reminder to hit up later. The majority of fields open Tuesday morning through Sunday, but some have later openings. Each year, the show is open for a week in May, July and Sept.
Know when to haggle.
A polite way to ask the cost of something not marked is “What’s the best you can do on this?” Yes, everyone is negotiating pricing and trades, but keep in mind that for some people— this is their livelihood. There are professional vendors who have shops and websites, and some sellers who live in their RV with all of their treasures, traveling to shows around the US! Some dealers attend Brimfield just 3 times a year and that’s the only time they sell their finds. They are all deeply passionate, super knowledgeable, and excited to share their expertise.
And last of all? Happy hunting and have fun!
Brimfield pros, did we miss anything?