Q1. Why should you go to Antiques Fairs to start/grow your antique collection?

A1. Whether you are a complete beginner or an established collector, there are many reasons why Antiques Fairs are the best place to source antiques. Firstly, it's a great place to talk to knowledgeable dealers. They are always happy to talk to you about their goods, and ever eager to offer advice and explain the merits of the items they have. Fairs are also a great place to find a bargain. There is such a huge variety of antiques & collectables available, from: furniture, silver & ceramics; to film memorabilia, architectural salvage, toys, treen and art. From genuinely old antiques, to more modern collectables - the variety is quite mind-boggling. With a similarly large range in prices, you are bound to find something you'll not only love, but also be able to afford! It's also worth remembering that buying antiques from fairs is an incredibly green and sustainable way to buy things, particularly furniture. The carbon footprint of an item made 100 years ago is a fraction of what it takes to make and transport a modern piece, quite apart from the undeniable quality and longevity of the older piece.(See: www.loveantiques.com/blog/2015/04/antiques-vs-modern-furniture-better-environment) You'll also have a great day out, and are bound to meet some friendly and interesting people.

Q2. How should you prepare for going to upcoming Antique Fairs?

The most important thing for the serious antique-hunter is a pair of comfortable shoes. Many of the fairs are spread out across quite large sites, and with the literally millions of antiques on show, you are bound to be spending a lot of time on your feet, covering quite a few miles. However, if mobility is a problem for you, helpers and carers of wheelchair users are admitted free of charge, and Mobility scooters are available at Europe's largest Fair - Newark. Another thing to remember is some cash. Though there are cash machines at all of iacf's fairs, and Bureau de Change facilities at the larger of the fairs, they will charge a small commission for using them. Many of the stallholders will also accept cards, but to avoid missing out on that one antique you love, make sure you have enough money on you in the first place. It's also worth making a list of things you want to look out for, that way you are less likely to be over-whelmed by the sheer number of items on sale, and more able to focus on the things you really want to get. It might also be worth doing a bit of research into the kind of things you are looking for, loveantiques.com would be one place to start, and also you can also download a sitemap for each of the fairs before you come, which are available on the website: www.iacf.co.uk

Q3. Are there any trends for buying Antiques currently?

The trend for industrial and architectural salvage continues, with many items available at the iacf fairs, from industrial lighting and shelving, to sculptural items for the garden. There also seems to be a more eclectic attitude to interior design style, with many interior stylists going for a Magpie-like approach to collecting items for the home. It doesn't seem to be about any one style or era, and is more about individualism than minimalism, with items being chosen because of their quirky character, rather than following a homogenised style aesthetic. Brown furniture is also making a comeback - by this I mean items made of wood with some genuine age to them. On our sister site loveantiques.com we have noticed sales of Brown furniture rise by 30% over the last 18 months. 17th -18th & 19th Century chairs, tables and sideboards are the kind of things that are really attractive, all have a story to tell, have a wonderful tactile appearance with great patina, and are obviously built to last. We've also talked about how good for the environment these 'recycled' pieces are, and so as well as being 'Brown furniture', it might also be rightly considered 'Green'!