Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Brimfield bargains

I went to the Brimfield Antique Show yesterday and I cannot tell you how much I love that place!  I wish I lived closer so I could go back for two or 3 days out of the week, since some of the fields are open Tuesday through Sunday and others only open later in the week.  I got up at 5am to be parked around 7am.  I took the old wood-sided Jeep - which kind of terrifies me and which doesn't like going much over 60mph - because I wanted to be able to haul back larger finds.  Dealing with its quirks and worrying that it would break down or cause an accident added an extra frisson of excitement to the excursion.

My main mission was to find an antique chest to serve as the vanity in our guest bathroom.  It's a mission that's becoming pretty urgent since the finish plumbing installation needs to start within the next 2 or 3 weeks and all the materials need to be on site by then, including the undermount sink, which needs to be ordered after the vanity is chosen to be sure it will fit.  Also, some sort of waterproof countertop would be necessary and of course the fabrication takes time.  I was looking for something in a very dark wood to go with the dark gilded mirror that I'm planning to hang above it and to contrast with the stark white of the rest of the room.  (This is the room we're planning to finish with white tadelakt in the tub alcove, on the tub skirt and also on the floor.)  I guess you could call part of my difficulty in finding the vanity a moral one: I'm really bothered by the thought of cutting up a good quality antique in order to retrofit a sink into it.  At the same time I don't want a totally boring/ugly chest of drawers in there.  Under the gun, here's what I got yesterday:

It's a bit of a heavier/more Victorian piece that what I had in mind, but it does have some nice features:  I love the modified bow front and the marble top is a beautiful color (it's dark in the garage so you'll have to trust me that the white is brighter than it looks here):

It was hard to argue with the price, too: $125.  I quadruple-checked the measurements at the red brick building this morning and it looks like it should have plenty of room.  (The toilet's not in yet, so that makes measuring a little less precise.)  My biggest concern now is practicality: I wish there were three separate drawers running across the width of the chest: a big one where the bow is, and two smaller one on each side where the handles are.  There might be a way to do some judicious cutting there, though).  My next task is to choose an undermount sink and then get a hole cut to fit in the marble.

My other large purchase was this armchair:

We need more chairs in the living room and this one is well-made and extremely comfortable (down-blend cushions) so I couldn't resist picking it up for $150.  Though I'm sure there are many people who would adore the lattice slipcover fabric, it's too modern for me and the black doesn't go with the room's color scheme.  The upholstery underneath is beige but in rough shape. so my plan is to reupholster it with one of my growing collection of fabrics.

Speaking of that collection, my third, final, and I think best purchase was two partial bolts of this fabric:

It's a woven damask that feels amazing.  I'm virtually certain it's a silk background (the silver) with a cotton raised pattern (the gold/mustard) - that's what it looks and feels like anyway.  I didn't unroll to count the yardage but conservatively I'd say it's 10 yards, maybe as many as 20 yards.  Guess what I paid for it.  $35!  Total!  Not even per yard!  Is that the steal of the century or what!  So was a pretty thrilling day.

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