Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Ekster, Ekster, Read All About It

As I mentioned in a previous post, I went to photograph a barn sale for Fifi O'Neill and Romantic Country Magazine a few weekends ago.  It was my first "real" photo assignment, and I was a little nervous about the whole thing.

But I knew, based on what I had seen from previous Ekster Antiques barn sales that it really couldn't be too hard.  I mean, how hard can it be to shoot beautiful things in a gorgeous setting just outside Leesburg, Virginia?  Lots of great vintage items, antiques, ironstone, chippy furniture, and so much what's not to like or better yet, take pictures of?!

Caroline and Jon-Paul Saunier (pictured above) live in a historic home set among rolling hills in the rural town of Hamilton, Virginia.  The same wonderful sense of style they have used to create their own home, (which was photographed for Fifi's upcoming book entitled Romantic Prairie Style), translates to their wonderful barn sales held several times a year.

In between sales, Caroline (a native of Holland) and her sources scour Europe looking for the perfect pieces to sell at each of the sales she and Jon-Paul hold in one of the huge old barns on their property.

Before each sale, they post pictures on their Facebook fan page "Ekster Antiques" to help whet buyer's appetites.  And lines form early each morning during their weekend sales as people eagerly anticipate the event!


Fifi selected her favorite photos from the shoot to use in an upcoming issue of Romantic Country, but here are a few to give you an idea of how truly massive and wonderful each of the Ekster sales are.  It was all I could do to snap photos instead of grabbing everything in sight to take home with me!

Caroline and Jon-Paul work tirelessly before, during, and after each sale...I don't really know how they do it!  And even though these shots were taken in 100+ degree heat, and at the end of the first day of their sale, they were still going strong and looking fabulous!  In the photo above they were enjoying a quiet moment before closing up shop on the day I was there.

If the items alone weren't enough to make you swoon, the way they are displayed is a feast for the eyes!  Just take a look at some of the beautiful displays and unusual wares they have for sale at great prices!

This beautiful old turquoise metal bed was calling my name!

And in addition to 2 stories worth of barn to ooh and ahh over, they also have tents set up outside for even more wonderful things to choose from!

And in case your tastes run a little funky, never fear, there is something for everyone at an Ekster Antiques sale!

I had so much fun meeting Caroline and Jon-Paul and wandering around photographing all of the really cool stuff they had for sale that day!  And just before we left, Mr. Tide and I went downstairs to pick out one of the beautiful old glass fishing floats I had spied earlier.

I loved its deep green color and how someone had apparently repaired the old netting which had finally let go over the years, not to mention how large it is!  And when I took it up to the counter to pay for it, Caroline gave it to me as a gift for coming out to do the shoot!!

I was floored by her wonderful generosity and now this beautiful float is happily living in my front flower bed surrounded by yellow and coral colored lantana!  When I get a free moment I plan to clean it up a bit and bring it inside.  I'll find the perfect spot where it can reflect the sunlight and brighten even the darkest winter days, so thank you again Caroline and Jon-Paul!

I hope you enjoyed seeing a few photos of this wonderful barn sale and to find out exactly when the next Ekster Antiques Barn Sale will be held (sometime in December), be sure to become of friend of Ekster Antiques on Facebook!  Trust me, you'll want to mark your calendars...I will be heading back to get some ironstone which I'm still kicking myself for not bringing home!

And be sure to check out Romantic Country Magazine to see more pictures I took of the Ekster sale!  They will be in one of the upcoming issues!  I'll be sure to let you know when it will be featured!


  1. Oh goodness, the goodies here are in abundance. I want the green cloches. I know you had great fun and your float is lovely. That was a sweet gift. hugs♥olive

  2. thanks for sharing photos of your day with us. That old turquoise bed is calling my name as well! A girl could spend a fortune there!!

  3. These fishing floats are so cool! I wonder if you could make a lantern out of them? You are so talented, I think you have a great future in photography! So happy to find your lovely world and happy to be your newest follower!

  4. Wow...your photos are pure happiness:):)

  5. Beautiful pictures! I wish this place was not so far away, but I would still love to visit it. If you go back, grab those green bell jars for me ok?

  6. GORGEOUS photos, Kat! You had great material to work with but your eye really captured everything so beautifully. Congrats on your first official shoot!

  7. OMG I want almost everything I see in your pictures. How exciting to be able to shoot such beautiful things so beautifully. Lucky you on both ends.

  8. OMG Kat, I would love to go to a sale like that. What great stuff. I loved that huge bird sign and the green cloches are wonderful. Then there was a white bowl with green painted trim on it. Oh, just lots of stuff. How wonderful that you got to do a photo shoot for Romantic Homes. Writing and photographing now. I am so happy for you.

  9. I just love your photography! Beautiful!!!!
    I can't wait to see this article with all of your fabulous images!
    Kim, I am so very happy for you.
    May this be the start of something fabulous!

  10. This looks like such a fun assignment! The sale was full of a great eclectic mix and fun displays! Can't wait to see the article!!

  11. Oh Kat a STUNNING aray of pics for me to LUST over in my lunch break....THANK YOU for showing us these EXQUISITELY beautiful 'stories'....!

    I was ESPECIALLY smitten with the one of Caroline and Jon-Paul though....You've captured a very sweet & tender moment....I LOVE that....!

    Tamarah :o)

  12. Gorgeous pictures!!! What a fun day! How did you not just buy everything there!!!?? What amazing things they have. What a wonderful gesture, the glass float is beautiful!! I can't wait to see all your pics in the article!!! Congrats again Kat!!

  13. That is a fantastic photo of the couple. It really tells a story.

  14. Great pics, and it looks like a great sale!

  15. Kat,
    WOW...that looks like one awesome sale and your pics are wonderful as always!


  16. Dreamy.....except for the heat!
    Nice job friend, nice job.

  17. You did a fantastic job your pictures are beautiful,thank you for such a treat for my eyes,how inspiring?
    Your glass float is dreamy what a lovely thing to do.
    Love Kristina X

  18. Kat,
    Talk about a small world...I have known Caroline for years, through both her shops in Leesburg! We had been trying to find time to get together or via email to do a little interview on my blog. She is so gracious...always and I have had the worst timing and missed the last few barn sales. very excited about your photos with Romantic Country!!!

  19. When you told me that this sale was the BEST, I can see that it was true. WOW!!! My favs are the white cupboard with glass doors (hanging on the wall) and the two drawer white base cabinet ... I'm a sucker for cupboards ... you know that, you've seen my garage.

    December, eh? Sounds like an outing to me. Anyone want to carpool?

  20. Kat, what a wonderful post! I was soaking up all the beautiful items in your glorious pictures!!! What an awesome place. They had so many treasures I would love to have at my house! I'll have to pick up the magazine so I can drool some more-LOL!!

  21. So many pretties here! I so wish there were a place like this closer to me. They have done a beautiful job displaying everything and have so much to offer. I wish them well!

  22. Just beautiful! I love and want just about everything! Your photos are fantastic...great job and congrats!



  23. Congrats!! I am so excited for you and thank you for letting us share in this exciting day! Your photo's are beautiful and I loved that metal bed, too! Cool fishing floats! Beautiful!!

  24. Congratulations on your first official shoot and the wonderful photos - I can't imagine doing that in 100 degree heat! The photo of Caroline and Jon-Paul is the photo of the day for me, with their dear panting dog still hanging in there with them~

  25. These images are all simply wonderful!
    And your first big photo shoot...girl, it looks like you've been doing this for-EVER, that's how amazing these photos are.

    Congrats, I know you're thrilled! :-)


  26. You made me feel like I was there! Your photo's are just stunning!


  27. Well I have to tell you I have photo envy. Your work is beautiful, each of the pieces look so alive as you capture them.

    So many treasurers did you drag home?

  28. Congrats Kat on your first photo assignment! I just knew you'd be doing photo shoots too along with your writing assignments! Particularly love the shot you captured of the hosts. You are so talented Kat and I am so thrilled for you! ~Lili

  29. I'm having beauty overload right now. These are all so so much!!

  30. Oh, my goodness--all of that gorgeous white ware. And lucky you to get that float.

  31. Kat, these photos are fabulous, thank you for sharing them! I love the one of Caroline and Jon-Paul:) I wish we had barns and barn sales here...I am so envious!! Congratulations again on your beautiful photos, they are amazing:) ~ Tina xx

  32. Hi Kat! Congratulations on the photo assignment!!! It looks like a spectacular event, which you captured so well!! I will look for it in an upcoming issue of RC!

    Hugs ~

    :) T

  33. Kat, my pulse was
    racing, just like
    when I'm actually
    at one of these
    sales in PERSON...
    my heart beats faster
    and my eyes take it
    ALL in ~ You've really
    captured it well,
    sweet friend!
    xx Suzanne

  34. My goodness - you have more interesting sales in one corner of one state than we have in the entire country in a whole year.
    One day - just one day at one sale....that's all I ask....

  35. Great tour..., and the light is so beautiful in all of your shots too. Awesome float you got!!!!

  36. I've been out of the loop of late. I can't imagine getting to do a photo shoot at such a grand sale. Isn't that called heaven or something? Love your new banner. I will be catching up on everyone soon I hope!

  37. I can only imagine how easy it would be to spend an entire day sifting through all of the treasures! I love the piece that you brought home - what a lovely way to commemorate the day!

    Enter to win a Gorjana necklace! (prize valued at $95)

  38. Your blog is really cool and good for viewer, you should try to submit your blog in website for free to get your traffic increase.


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