My friend Debbie moved here from Texas last Summer. She loves to paint furniture and beautify her home on a budget. We bonded quickly over our shared hobby. She was disappointed that her new state of Ohio didn’t have flea markets and antique shows like they did in Texas. For years I have lived vicariously through blogger’s photos (most of them living in the South) going to amazing looking outdoor antique shows. I always wished I could have that experience!
Well, Debbie was not convinced that Ohio was a antique show-less state so she did some research and asked around and sure enough we have “one of America’s Best Markets”, according to Country Living, Country Home, Martha Stewart Living, and CNN.
The event occurs in Springfield, Ohio twice a year, in May and September. I’ve been wanting to go since I learned about it in October and was finally able to go this past Saturday!
Here are some of the things I saw and my take aways from the experience!
The first thing I saw was a lot of this!:-) The show was only 1 hour away and between Columbus and Springfield I learned there is a lot of farm land. I loved it. it was a nice break from suburbia! There were some pop up heavy showers off and on during the drive (like the kind where you can’t see what’s 10 feet ahead of you) but I prayed my way through them. I was a woman on a mission!
There were lots of people there but you could tell they have been doing this show for over 25 years because they had parking down to a T. I didn’t have to walk far at all from where I parked.
I first saw and fell in love with one of these vibrant green light fixtures on a Young House Love’s House Crashing post. The owner of the home had gotten it at an antique show and surprisingly there were a lot of variations of the light below at this show too. This beauty was priced at $200.
I thought these were some cool vintage letters! I had fun thinking up ways they could be used. Unfortunately they were a steep price of $25 a letter. Another vendor also had letters like these but in different colors colors. HIs were more reasonably priced at $5 a letter.
I LOVE the pattern, colors, and the texture of window panels below. They were long, heavy drapes that I pictured hanging perfectly in a white planked, cozy guest room. They were priced at $125. I wasn’t sure if it was $125 for 1 panel or both panels. I didn’t ask because quite frankly if it was $125 for 2 panels it would have just been way too tempting and right now I just don’t have a place for them.
I really loved the vase on the bottom left, it’s slate blue/gray color and earthy feel. I also thought the lantern behind it would bring a nice coastal vibe to our back patio ambience. But due to prices I resisted (can’t remember their prices just that it was too much).
Right now I’m in the brainstorm stages of re-doing my boy’s room. As I browsed the show I had my eye out for items for their room. This green vintage bookshelf caught my eye. I want their room to be neutral with pops of color and I thought this piece would make a good accent statement. One thought was to add drawers to it and make it a dresser which they could use. But at $175 I just couldn’t pull the trigger.
I like the look of wooden dough bowls but the one on the table below I LOVE. It’s inside is a tin metal material and most of the outside is a lovely light worn wood. I am a huge sucker for the mix of metal and woods so this a tempting piece. But at $200 I couldn’t do it. If it was $50 then yes I would have bought it.
These were some neat lamp bases. I was SO close to buying the smaller one on the right. I love the textured base combined with the wood on top. She was asking a very fair price of $10 but for the life of me I couldn’t figure out where I would put it or what kind of shade would go well with it (which would add at least another $15 to the price). My practical side won out but I do have tinges of regret.
It reminds me a lot of these lovely lamps.
Lastly, I saw large collections of window panes. Several vendors had them priced very well at $10 a window pane. There are a lot of cool ways you could use these in decorating. I will share one or two ideas with you later this week!
So, did I take anything home with me on my first outdoor antique/flea market Show??? Nope, nothing tangible but lots of valuable intangible take aways.
My Take Aways
1. I learned that if you are looking for a steal or even a good deal that Antique Shows are typically not a good place to find them. I was surprised that these old, used items were often being charged at retail store prices. I am use to shopping for used items at places like garage sales and thrift stores where the prices are considerably lower than what you would find for the item new at a store. Not my experience at an Antique Show. The more I’ve thought about it the more I understand why the prices are higher. In many cases the vendor has had to put in time and money going to auctions, dumpster diving, thrifting, salvaging old spaces, painting and distressing pieces, etc. It makes sense why to me now I just didn’t know it would be that way coming into it.
2. If you are looking for a one of a kind, unique item to put in your home chances are you will find it at an Antique Show. I loved the variety and peculiarity (peculiar in a good way) of the items there. My legs and eyeballs got a workout taking in all the interesting elements. Sometimes I had to look at something 3 or 4 times to even figure out what it even was. I knew it looked cool but what the heck was it! Looking for some cool, unique décor items for your home? Check out an Antique Show!
3. This was a large antique show done at the city’s fairgrounds. I learned that at shows like this you could spend 2 whole days. I was there for 3 hours and probably got to about 70% of the vendors, however, I moved pretty quickly and at the end I was achey and exhausted! This would have a made a fun girls’ weekend trip where you would go down for the first day, stay a few hours, go out to eat, and then relax at one of the many nearby hotels and then go back again and finish up the next day fresh and rested! Need a girl’s night/weekend location? Try a large Antique Show.
4. What to bring? Bring a light weight purse or even better a back pack. I don’t know what I was thinking bringing my big mama purse. My back hurt SO bad after 3 hours of lugging that thing around. Also, I saw several people pulling around luggage like shopping carts. I’m not sure where they found them but it looked like a good solution for carrying bought items and purses. Be sure to wear sunscreen and wear layers as temperatures change quickly throughout the day in May and September. Make sure to use the restroom before you start shopping and pack your own food if you don’t want to eat overpriced super unhealthy food. If you think you will be buying furniture make sure you bring a tape measurer and a method of getting it home.
5. My last take away was that it does a mom good to get out and spend several hours without her children. It had been a long time since I had been away from my kids for 5+ hours and towards the end I was homesick for them, especially my baby. I came home exhausted BUT refreshed and recharged in my appreciation and energy for taking care of my family. Lots of thanks to my thoughtful, supportive husband who realizes how intense mothering is and encourages me to get out and do something for myself once in awhile.
Have you been to big flea markets and antique shows? If so, which one(s)? Did your experience differ in anyway? Would you have bought any of the times pictured above? I would love to know!