This fall, I took my first trip to one of the BIGGEST (and oldest) outdoor flea markets around… The Brimfield Flea in Massachusetts.

Annette Vartanian from A Vintage Splendor and I had approached CA Home + Design with a proposed trip and story when we visited with editor Lindsey Shook at Modernism Week in Palm Springs.

Annette and I have been friends for a while, and while bopping around the desert as I worked on the Christopher Kennedy Show House, we realized we would make great travel partners!

So we hatched our plan… Lindsey approved… and away we went!

The story turned out beautifully, and I suggest you go pick up the issue because the entire edition is superb…

… but we have even more to reveal!

And I’ll start with The Edmondson House!

The Edmondson House is a concrete and glass midcentury modern home built in 1964 by New England architect Donald Jasinski.

As you pull up the long wooded drive surrounded by New England colonials… the house appears like a space ship that was dropped out of the sky!

Our jaws literally dropped. We could not have been two happier mamas enjoying this truly unique space. We would happily retreat here after a day of shopping, drink our wine… and maybe take a nap (or two) (because that’s what mamas do when they are away 😉 ).

Our hosts, Jess and Nick, are vendors at the flea, and it’s obvious why the home is curated so perfectly. They furnished the house with their own art and vintage finds.

If you are traveling to Brimfield… book this house WAY in advance. The word is getting out (everyone was jealous of our architectural gem)!

Annette and I decided to take the red eye on Labor Day, to arrive EARLY Tuesday morning, and to head directly to the flea and hit the ground running!

We spent this first day taking it all in and learning about our surroundings. We did hit up the vintage clothing tents (Annette’s specialty) and purchased a few items for our kiddos, though, because of COURSE they were first and foremost on our minds.

Another thing we did that first day was EAT. We were so tired and mind-boggled by our red-eye flight that by mid-day, food was all we could think about (as well as that nap back at the house).

Grab a lobster roll like we did… it was divine!

After an incredible rain induced nine hour slumber… Annette and I headed back out in a torrential downpour for day two!

The rain kept some buyers away, but we discovered that vendors were more willing to give us a deal.

Heja Home was one of the most beautiful stalls, with vintage moroccan rugs, poufs and pillows…

… and our friends from Chairish had a booth, where they held get-togethers and meet-ups with designers and editors like Domino Editor-In-Chief Jessica Romm!

I might have snagged a few items that you will see later in my future home tour…

… although one has already made its debut!

Surprisingly enough… we made most of our purchases on our final day, when we decided to go all in and ship pieces home in one large box. Once we committed… we raced around making last minute buys!

There is some serious deliberation happening right here…

Before I finish up with a complete run down of our tips (because all of them could not make it into the magazine)… I have to tell you a story about our sketches… which include the one above!

Anna Brockway, the co-founder of Chairish gave us some insider info about a table full of large scale drawings that hardly anyone knew about.

Annette and I raced over to snatch a few (they are SO good… I have two of them framed and can’t wait to show you!).

The vendors haggled with us and gave us even better deals, and I think we were more excited about these beauties than any other pieces we had found!

When I received our big box of goods about a week after we returned home… I opened it, so excited to see what we scored from our first big flea adventure…

I surveyed everything and noticed that the sketches weren’t there…

I called Annette and told her our box had arrived, but she had the sketches, right???

No YOU have the sketches, right Dee?

Oh F***!!!

We called the AirBnB and our rental car company PRAYING.

Luckily… they were found at the rental car company, and we could dry our tears!

Moral of the story? Just put everything in the box!!!

Now here are the rest of our tips (but make sure to read the ones in CA Home + Design above, as well as where to eat and stay)!

Know Before You Go…

1. Bring a wingman: Whether it’s someone to talk you in to something, or OUT of something… it’s great to have a second opinion (and share a glass of wine with)!

2. Rush (but don’t sweat it): Getting to the fields as they open is at the top of everyone’s advice list, but if it doesn’t happen… don’t sweat it! I found a very unique sketch after the Chairish team and some eagle-eyed designers had already pilfered through the “secret” pile (and they weren’t happy about it either!).

3. I said it up above, but it’s worth repeating! Wear your rain boots… and score some deals: The rain will scare many buyers away, but the dealers still want to make some sales. Grab your umbrella and prepare to bargain without much haggling involved!

4. Eat a lobster roll: No one makes a better lobster roll than East Coasters.

5. Come with a list, but look out for surprises: It’s a great idea to come with a list of items to search for (I scored in the bookshelf styling and sketch departments), but always be open to life’s little surprises! I sure as hell didn’t need another chair in my house, but I’ll be damned if one didn’t make it back with me!

6. Buy big so you don’t sweat the small stuff: The chair mentioned above? I almost didn’t get it (because of the shipping cost), but Annette and I realized that we could pack a BUNCH of smaller items in the same box without adding to the cost, and we wouldn’t have to lug these items home on the plane (which left us even more inspired to shop for additional items… and we DID).

7. Just do it: It was the popular vote among editors, designers and buyers… You will always regret NOT buying something. Absolutely no buyer’s remorse here!

8. Score an amazing AirBnB: We somehow found the most ridiculously amazing house to stay in (only the second visitors to the space), and although there weren’t many available during our stay, I BET quite a few will open in the next year or two (including one directly on one of the fields!).