Thursday, March 29, 2007

Warrenton Bound

Off to the small towns of Warrenton and Round Top, Texas for Antique Week. Back next Friday. Full report and photos will be posted next Saturday. Now I'm off - so much junk, so little time.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007


Monday, March 26, 2007

Print or Digital?

Chris' new book "Crack Heads", a collection of vintage doll heads will be released in June. But how? That's where you come in. A Urban Prairie {Survey}...How should the book be released? In a traditional print form, or in digital format? Do you like to curl up on the couch and turn the pages of a actual paper filled book, or would you like to sit at your laptop and drink a cup of java while clicking through a colorful cd? We'd like to hear your thought. Every person who casts a vote will be entered in a drawing to win a FREE copy - in what ever format prevails. Please comment below or email, subject: Print or Digital?

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Urban Prairie "Collector Profile" Series (4)

Ultra hip blogger and ad exec Victoria Smith describes her style as "bohemian modern", a phase that admittedly caught the attention of Urban Prairie's Chris Brown. Chris says "Victoria mixes new items with vintage finds in her 900 square foot San Francisco apartment. That's the vibe of Urban Prairie." Her most talked-about possession is "Rico Suave," an unsigned portrait of a young man, dated 1954 (pictured above).

Name: Victoria Smith
Location: San Francisco, CA

Influences: Wary-Meyers Design Team, Design*Sponge's Grace Bonney, Kelly Wearstler, Amy Butler

Philosophy: Things to be admired and loved don't have to be expensive. Flea marketing and yard sale hunting is a way of recycling and not being caught up in too much consumerism. I like buying from local artists and small mom & pop businesses as much as I can. Trust what you like and reflect your own personality in your home. Try not to be a chain-store clone.

Favorite Collection: I like Amy Butler's work a lot, because it seems to blur the lines between comfortable, colorful homey pieces and a fresh, clean modern feel. It's not a look that's cookie-cutter or defined and very eclectic. I like that.

Favorite Piece from Collection: I love her quilted pillows.


Saturday, March 24, 2007

A Day of Clutter

Twice a year, kind of out in the middle of nowhere, this pretty wonderful thing happens. People come from far and wide with their treasures and wares and all weather gear. They set up their goods to sell in fields and yards and barns and on porches and in big circus-sized tents. And this sleepy pastoral countryside is transformed into a bustling marketplace. So goes the Warrenton/Marburger Farms Antique Show in South Texas, March 31 - April 7. CLUTTER, a show in the show itself, is one of the not to miss stops. D'Ette Cole started Clutter 12 years ago. In that time she has gathered a huge following. Eager to pursue larger scale projects and work in a broader, more far reaching design arena, D'Ette recently announced her departure from Clutter. While Clutter will continue by a close friend, Staci Schwantz, D'Ette's vibe and direction will be missed.

On April 2, Chris and D'Ette will meet at Clutter and set out on the fields of the show and bring you a "junkhunt" like never before. Stay tuned to these pages for pictures and a blow by blow account.

Photo by D'Ette Cole

Thursday, March 22, 2007

A True Fan (5)

From Carolyn Peeler:

If there are any of you out there who also love doll heads you may want to check out this link. This site has the most awesome vintage doll head wallpaper for your desktop. It's the image on my laptop and desktop computer. Makes me happy every time I look at it. If doll heads aren't your thing, this website still has some great inspiration and is definitely worth a look. Urban Prairie is a site that all lovers of country antiques should visit. Note: This is not your grandmother's country. Chris Brown is a designer/stylist and founder of Urban Prairie and he has an incredible eye. His refreshing and modern interpretations of country style are not to be missed. Definitely worth getting a cuppa java or tea and clicking through his whole site.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Forward with Butler

David Butler; designer, author, a guy who use to produce super cool sections for Country Living magazine as a contributing editor and owner of one of the hippest multidisciplinary design studios around, Art of the Midwest, is getting "Cracked". David has agreed to write the forward to Chris' upcoming book "Crack Heads". David and Chris have long been fans of each others work - they share a lot in common. So it was a no brainier when Chris was thinking of just the right person to introduce his book about cracked and faded, vintage doll heads. Check out David's book "Found Style" and his wife Amy's Midwest modern site "Crack Heads", the first in the Urban Prairie ODDITY series, is scheduled for release in June.

Monday, March 19, 2007

What's On My ipod

Waylon Payne, "The Drifter"
The music of "The Drifter" is anything but aimless. It's vignettes play like an unexpectedly gripping first indie film -- rough edges, raw nerves, emotional train wrecks and all, as in the wasted, enraged and obsessive “On and On.” In conversation, Waylon makes constant intuitive connections between a life lived and the music that comes out of it, attesting to the hard-won personal discoveries reflected in his album. Payne says, “My Aunt Yvonne and Uncle Bob raised me in Dallas, Texas, from the time I was about four months old, till I was 17 or 18. Every summer when I was out on tour with my Mama, was the only time we used to hang out. Music’s just always been there for me -- it was the only real thing that I remember. My mama’s record albums, Barbara Mandrell, Willie Nelson, Connie Smith, George Jones, and then there was the Allman Brothers, Lynyrd Skynyrd.”

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Never Heard of Him.

Okay, so I'm not really sure who Chris Brown is other than it says he's a designer/stylist/collector. Something about the next generation of country design. Whatever, his Urban Prairie web site is beautifully designed. This page took my breath away. I love the typography, layered illustrations and the gritty handmade feel. Very cool.

Bottles Are Back!

Back by popular demand! Available in April. The official "Urban Prairie" vase; crusty bottles from Chris' home state of Texas are adored with vintage and some times rare pins and brooches. Alone on a counter with a single white rose or clustered in a group of twelve for a bold statement, these bottle vases have been a standard in Chris' home for years. Check the SHOP section at in April to purchase yours.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Down Under with Urban Prairie

From DESIRE TO INSPIRE {}, a Australian design blog:

Chris Brown is the genius behind Urban Prairie. A man with a finely tuned eye for the found and forlorn, Chris' edgy out of the box country style is inspiring the next generation of "found" collectors. Probably the funkiest looking site I've seen in ages. Chris says, “I’ve found that the people that are drawn to my style, my design sense are more than just collectors. They are people who want to live a simple life with things they love around them - in an interesting way.”

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Urban Prairie "Collector Profile" Series

Third in a series - Elizabeth Maxson

Name: Elizabeth Maxson
Company: Elizabeth House
Location: Saint Louis, MO

Crew: Elizabeth, God, Ara, Tara, Patrick, and any unsuspecting male figure who wanders into my store just as I need to move, hang, or take down something very heavy and I am working alone. Believe me, I will ask!

Influences: Having lived in Europe for six years plays a part. Another part? My rules over logic. It ignores opinions. And it saves me from the mundane. But it can cost me sleep....for it never stops.

Philosophy: Use what you love and love what you use. I truly believe in using everything in my home...nothing is for show. I have no room in my home (or my life for that matter) for things that are just for show. I believe in "livable elegance." Who said "elegance" means all glitter and glam? There is something very elegant about the curve of a tarnished tea pot. There is something elegant about a single rose bud soaking up water from an antique lab beaker or test tube. Just shift your paradigm.

Favorite Collection: Furniture! Yes, furniture. The epitome of recycling is taking something that is ready for the junk yard, and breathing new life into it. My recycled furniture is painted with love, upholstered with care, and used with enthusiasm. Nothing makes me happier than to hear a visitor squeal with delight as she enters my bathroom and discovers an antique baptismal font refurbished into a sink.

Favorite Piece from Collection: My dog bed made from a vintage television set circa 1950. My little pug, Monty, hops through the "screen" and curls up on his custom cushion and Ta Da! I now have HDTV! (Happy Dog Television)


Wednesday, March 7, 2007


For true cultural relics, visit Owners Mike Miller and Karen Linder offer up mysterious and wonderful objects that fall through the cracks of everyday life. An excellent source for oddity collectors, beginners to odd pros.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

{ Style Tips } New or Used?

My boyfriend and I just moved into a loft in the city and have a question. We have beautiful brick walls and a concrete floor. I love your Urban Prairie style and would like to create that in our new place. Should we purchase a new sofa or a used one? What would work best in a loft like ours? Thanks for your help.
Holly B.

Sounds like you've got a great Urban Prairie start already. I love exposed brick and concrete floors. But the question is new or used...There is something about furnishing a home with secondhand pieces. They just seem more lived-in. In a urban loft there are certain pieces that will best suit the hard edges of industrial chic. In a large space, long, low sofas work well. Look for flea markets or stores that offer a nice selection of new and secondhand furniture. Choose colors that best suits you. For a more modern look, consider neutrals. For a funkier presents, look for bolder colors or vintage fabrics. Urban Prairie style is about giving things a fresh twist. Follow your heart. If you love it you can't go wrong.


Sunday, March 4, 2007

Crack Heads Coming in June

"Crack Heads" the first book in the oddity series from Chris Brown will be released in June. "I've been collecting vintage doll heads and parts for about 3 years now" said Chris, "Their cracks, scratches and faded colors all play into the many displays I create with them. I think people are going to be surprised to see just how beautiful, interesting and modern they can be." "Crack Heads" can be pre-ordered by emailing

Saturday, March 3, 2007

Dignity in America

Music has and does play a big part in Chris Brown's life. In a recent interview, Chris was quoted as saying "Music is every bit an object like a rose or a painting. A song or a sound can touch you in the same way as a old family photo can, or finding an vintage, timeless object in a attic. Songs and objects all have a soul to me". Visit - musician John Mellencamp has created not only timeless country and rock songs but also beautiful paintings that speak volumes. "Dignity in American" (60"x60" Paint on Canvas, pictured above) is a example of John's work using religious images, written words and beating hearts.