The Ultimate Flea


Two Southern California style leaders share tips for shopping at Brimfield 

There are flea markets, and then there’s the Brimfield Antiques Show in Massachusetts—a gigantic outdoor antiques fair that features more than 6,000 dealers spread over 23 fields. It’s billed as the largest happening of its kind, and for many it’s a design pilgrimage. Annette Vartanian, known for her blog A Vintage Splendor, and Interior designer and blogger Dee Murphy of Murphy Deesign made the trip to Brimfield from Los Angeles and Pasadena for the first time this fall (it happens around Memorial Day, July 4 and Labor Day) and say that even for seasoned shopping vets, it can be daunting. With that in mind, they’ve shared their expert tips for navigating the event. 


-Early bird gets worms. Some vendors and shoppers arrive on Monday and although you can’t buy on that day, some eager attendees get a first peek at all the goods. Arrive early on Tuesday so you’ll get first dibs (the show’s official days of operation are Tuesday through Sunday).

A mid-century modern booth in May’s Field Market.

The Fashion Tent at Mahogany Ridge featuring vendors specializing in vintage clothing and jewelry.

Make it rain. The rainy days are the best shopping days. Vendors will try to offload items and will make you a deal you can’t refuse. Grab a poncho, rain boots and your cash and get ready to buy.

A vintage Persian rug purchased by Annette Vartanian.

Shop big, then smallAlways start with furniture as it’s the first to go and you want to get your big stuff purchased and checked off before you start looking for accent pieces. It will also give you an idea of how much it will cost to ship so you can start filling in the gaps in the shipping container with smaller items. 




Avoid the mod squad. Show up Tuesday through Thursday for the best mid-century modern pickings. The “younger” crowd shows up on the weekend, and they are usually out to get these pieces.

-Bring cash. Most vendors will accept credit cards, but there are still some sellers that only take cold, hard cash (and certain fields require a cash entrance fee). 



More shots of The Edmondson House.


The Edmondson House

The Edmondson House rented by the duo through Airbnb.

Publick House


Breakfast: Cedar Street Grille

Lunch: You have to get a lobster roll at the market

Dinner: The Duck