The Brimfield Antique Market is the ultimate Green shopping experience. From furniture, to clothing and accessories, to repurposed works of art, there is something for every type of design connoisseur, and 95% of what’s offered is ‘antique’ just waiting to be up-cycled into a new home. Stylists, magazine editors and designers all brave the elements searching for new trends and inspiration to keep them ahead of the curve. If you keep your eyes pealed, you can spot fashionistas and their entourages digging deep for what will end up in catalogs and chic boutiques in the months ahead. The treasure hunt is part of the experience, and uncovering an undiscovered gem is what keeps the crowds coming back year after year. The fall market wrapped up last week and during it, I had the pleasure of taking part in the 2nd Brimfield Tweet-Up. I am a regular attendee at the famous Antiques Market and was excited to have the opportunity to connect with so many design friends and put an actual face with their Twitter avatars I have come to know. It was pouring rain when I left Boston, and since a predawn start is critical to the experience, staying in my cozy bed did cross my mind. But I knew how much work Cynthia Bogart from The Daily Basics and Gretchen Aubuchon from Gretchen Aubochon Designs had put into this event, so that thought quickly faded.
The devastation that previous weather had left along the roadside on Rt.20 was shocking to say the least. Trees were snapped in half like matchsticks, houses were underwater, and I could only imagine what this latest round of rain was doing to the fields where 6000 vendors were setting up and housing their wares. Everything was behind schedule, but as I started to walk the fields, the rain let up and the atmosphere took a turn for the better.
Vendors started to lay out straw to absorb the water, and there was a definite sense of camaraderie amongst everyone who had been brave enough to get this far into the show. A sense of humor was in the air.
First on the agenda that afternoon at the Tweet-Up was an exclusive unveiling from Benjamin Moore. Listen up color enthusiasts! John Turner, the Director of the Architecture and Design Segment announced the unveiling of their new paint line, Color Stories. This full color spectrum of low VOC paints will be made without a drop of black and will feature 5-7 colors in the mix to give a richness we are not used to seeing in the paint world. Their color decks will be made from actual paint swatches, insuring clients will know exactly the color they are getting; the base will be the same as their Aura paint line. These are complex artists colors. 200 strong, with dreamy names to match the deep colorations.
The VIP tent designed by Kelley L.Moore, lifestyle expert and frequent contributor to Nate Berkus and The Today Show, gave everyone a place to regroup and start tweeting. She and Brian Kelsey, host on Martha Stewart Radio, repurposed antiques with Benjamin Moore paints and Company C fabrics.
The next day, media partner Traditional Home gave away 3 shopping sprees, and I was one of the lucky winners! I found a lovely rocker from a farm house in upstate New York, which I decided to repurpose with an antique linen feed sack from Pan de Balthazar and some Hungarian trim and antique buttons. Here I am discussing my find with Michael Diver, Managing Editor of Traditional Home. We had sat together at dinner the night before and his laid back style quickly puts you at ease. Finally, after GE Monogram had a drawing for a shiny new grill, Better Homes and Gardens gave away two copies of their hot off the press: New Decorating Book.
More Finds from the Fields
Pandora and I inside her exquisite ‘tent’
Biggest takeaway from all of this? Personally, I think I had a bit of an epiphany about sleeping and the importance of your bed after talking to the ambassador herself, Pandora de Balthazar(featured in a post here). And professionally, I have to admit I’m feeling a little smug with all those naysayers who pooh poohed the idea about getting involved with Twitter in the first place. This event reached a total of over 10.5 million-YES MILLION-impressions and made the obvious point that the design world on Twitter is a force to be reckoned with. Congratulations again to Gretchen and Cynthia!