Today we had the joy of visiting one of our favorite customers, Rick, at his ranch. Rick is a long time customer and our number one advocate. If you ask any ReStore employee, we all know him as the customer with the adorable pug who is always on the hunt for bargains. We’ve always wondered what he does with the items he buys from us, and today we got our answer! Rick is a professional wood worker, and is talented in many other aspects of construction work as well. While he is currently working out of his wood shop in Bonita, he also has another hobby and passion- working on his ranch. Over the last decade, he has turned his 3 acre property into an amazing mini town inspired by the legacy his grandfather and father have left him, which he hopes to leave for his children as well. This amazing mini-town he designed and built from scratch can be described as a collection of eclectic salvaged items and family heirlooms. Similar to Disneyland, each building in this little town is themed- Martha’s Kitchen, the Hansel and Gretel House, Foxx’s Mercantile, Grandpa’s Attic, Rusty’s Saloon, and Blake’s Barbershop. The best part is that most of these construction items he used to build his town were purchased from the ReStore! The amount of detail and vision it took to build this amazing place is incredible, and Rick was kind enough to give us a tour to explain the story behind his creations.
This is where it all started. Rick originally purchased this plot of land from a gentleman who wanted to turn it into a horse ranch. The original owner had built a partial lodge, which still needed quite a bit of work. After Rick eventually acquired the land, he completely redid the lodge using reclaimed lumber logs that he purchased from a logging company. Each log weighs as much as 13,000 pounds, and were carefully crafted on top of each other to create this beautiful log cabin. It has a cozy cabin vibe, and the logs make it truly authentic!
After we visited the cabin, Rick gave us a tour of his mini town. There were several themed tiny houses named after various people in his family. This is Foxxe’s Mercantile, where Rick does a majority of his work. It’s filled with every power tool imaginable, and allows him to craft his vision into a reality. The old oil rig you see depicted in the picture above is a salvaged item Rick and his wife found while exploring abandoned farms. We love how he has such an tasteful eye for unique items, and manages to reuse them for such a creative purpose!
This is the casino, and it is filled with antique pinball machines and vintage slot machines. The rainbow molding you see above is made from little tile samples Rick purchased from the ReStore. There are also little artifacts that line the wall, depicting Native American history.
I was pleasantly surprised when I walked into the guest bathroom. It’s so warm and welcoming! What makes this bathroom truly unique is the gold plated sink, and the fireplace right next to the toilet. The fireplace is automatic, and turns on with the flip of a switch. The gold plated sink and cabin styled vanity were both purchased from the ReStore a couple years ago. My personal favorite is the different kinds of wood he purposely used on the wall to give it a more eclectic look.
This is Blake’s Hair Saloon. This room is dedicated to his wife’s father, who used to be a barber. Inside you’ll find an old fashioned barber’s chair, along with the hair cutting tools Blake used to cut hair.
This beautiful vanity was purchased from the ReStore during one of our 50% sales. He has turned it into a beautiful entryway piece to display his family heirlooms and antiques. Rick tells us that his favorite time to shop at the ReStore is during our sales. Big ticketed items (like this one) that he’s been eyeing for sometime are usually marked down by then, and he’s able to purchase them for an even greater bargain!
Have you ever thought about using flooring as planked wall tiling? Rick has creatively repurposed remnant flooring that we often sell for $10 a box to use for his wall and ceiling. He used a curved band saw to achieve the wavy effects you see on the ceiling.
Grandpa’s attic was possibly my favorite room. We climbed up to the top of one of the houses, and this little white door awaited us. We opened it up to find a small crawl space leading into a spacious room filled with toys, books, and reminders of a sweet childhood. The loveliest surprise was when we discovered that the far wall opened up to another secret room. The sunlight filtered in softly, and reflected against the drawings painted on the ceiling. This was the kind of place every child dreamed of discovering, and it was nostalgic to visit.
My second favorite room was the Hansel and Gretel House. This room was still under construction when we visited, so it was a perfect opportunity to see Rick put his vision into action. The colorful door created a cheerful and welcoming vibe, and motifs of Hansel and Gretel was seen throughout the decor Rick had carefully crafted. My absolute favorite was one of the skylight walls he was working on- the wall pushed out to create an alcove, and would allow whoever was sleeping there to look up and see the stars before falling asleep for the night. Such a dreamy idea, I need one in my house!
The tour ended in front of the Los Zorros Saloon. This wall Rick is standing in front of was recreated after a beautiful masonry wall he encountered during one of his trips. He recreated this masonry mural- depicting Lake Murray, and all the beautiful artifacts that can be found in everyday life. We were so impressed and blown away by Rick’s hospitality and creativity. His attention to detail was amazing, and it was evidenced in his work. Thanks so much for hosting us!