Interior designer based in Houston Denis Brackeen is constantly on the lookout. As his eyes roam spaces, stores and markets, he documents conceptual inspiration, though he can’t help but lay claim to a physical object from time to time (and again and again). Not a strange situation for someone in his field, Brackeen came to amass a large collection of antiques that may not have been a perfect match for a client project at this particular time. “While running errands for customers and myself, I ran out of places to put things,” he says. “The next thing you know, you have warehouses or storage rooms full of furniture.” About ten years ago, Brackeen turned it all into a store that gives us a whimsical glimpse into its mind.
With the help of three friends and partners, he called this portal Moxie and filled it with all the treasures he had accumulated over the years. “I’ve always loved hunting, finding things,” the interior designer says over the phone as he browses an Oklahoma City antique store. Luckily for anyone who enters, he didn’t stop there. Now both buyer and seller, Brackeen has staged the whole thing in a fluid way that continues to evolve as parts are found, purchased and then replaced. French wall coverings dress rooms full of curiosities, ultra-modern sculptures clash lavishly with sculpted wall shelves and life-size (and rather realistic) ostrich eyes all who cross the threshold.
Moxie is Brackeen’s play space. There is no customer to guide him, no dog to follow his muddy paws along a white sofa, and no guest to spill red wine on a marble counter. Constantly on the border between the fantastic and the strange, he gives viewers the opportunity to imagine what their spaces could be-something that’s hard to find outside of a magazine or Pinterest board. Naturally, the self-taught curator is a wealth of information. Below, he shares more information about the store’s outfitting process and tips to help you in your own antique hunt.