Lacey Brooker knows what she likes.
“I like salvage, I like farmhouse chic, I like industrial. I’m not a huge fan of cottage and I try to go easy on the rustic or the primitive because I don’t want it to look too cabin-y or lodge-y. I want it to keep a really urban feel to it even though it’s this vintage style,” the Piccadilly Prairie proprietor said.
Take one step inside her shop, the new addition to the 50th and Xerxes corner, and you’ll see what she means. With neighbors like , and , Piccadilly Prairie is the new kid on the antique block. But with a worn dining room table sawed in half and refinished to become two-legged entryway stands, vintage frames holding chalkboards instead of pictures, and burlap bust forms as makeshift necklace holders, Piccadilly Prairie seems to be the collector’s Island of Misfit Toys. In other words, it’s not where you’re going if you’re looking for antique china sets.
“What I do is different than a traditional antique store,” Brooker said. “It’s a little shabby, a little salvage. It’s not like the fine antiques, so the stuff I’m looking for a lot of times is really different than what everyone else is looking for.”
Brooker’s been looking for interesting items to work with since she discovered architectural salvage shops in her early 20s and began building and reworking her own pieces. Eventually, her garage became her workshop and her hobby became a passion.
Calling her store a byproduct of her storage, Brooker said she never would have guessed a year ago that she’d be a shop owner today. But when her break-it-down-and-make-it-something-new work outgrew her garage, she found herself looking for a studio and ending up with a storefront.
Thinking of it as a cross between a boutique and a junk shop, Brooker handpicks Piccadilly Prairie’s pieces–an eclectic mix of authentic vintage, artisan consignment items and repurposed furniture and housewares–with a focus on the remarkable and distinctive.
“I like things that have age and have character and tell stories instead of just coming off the production line,” Brooker said.
Originally opening as a one-weekend-a-month occasional shop in July, Piccadilly Prairie–by request of the public–is now open every Thursday through Sunday and will remain so at least through the holiday season. The current schedule still leaves Brooker a few days a week to seek out new items and keep the store fresh.
“My two favorite things are the going out and finding and the coming back here and setting up,” Brooker said.
And while style is central, Brooker also keeps a focus on affordability.
“That’s purposeful,” Brooker said, “partly because I want everybody to be able to shop here and also because I get bored quickly. The big thing that I want for this store is that the look is constantly changing and evolving–and that’s not going to happen if pieces are expensive and people have to think about it for a month.”
Find Piccadilly Prairie online and each weekend at 50th and Xerxes.