The best part about running a vintage business out of your home? “The house is always ready for a photoshoot!” says Jennifer Maxcy, the creative force behind The Ranch Uncommon, a design and style site (and Chairish dealer!) dedicated to sourcing rustic-cool vintage finds. Good thing too, since Jennifer routinely photographs her finds at home and posts them on Instagram, much to the thrill of her ever-growing audience (warning: her feed is majorly addictive).

Based in Newbury Park, California, a picturesque canyon-land located 45-minutes north of L.A., The Ranch Uncommon developed alongside Jennifer’s own move from L.A. and the renovation of her 1959 post and beam ranch house. As the renovation progressed, Jennifer’s interest in vintage grew. Fast forward six years, and Jennifer’s home is an airy vision, complete with soaring ceilings, whitewashed walls and rustic plank floors, the perfect backdrop. We sat down with Jennifer to get the lowdown on The Ranch Uncommon and her tips for nailing that Insta-worthy shot.


Rustic Living Room with White Ceilings and White Walls Decorated with Clay Pots
Along with white ceilings and walls, simple, knotty plank floors create a blank canvas for Jennifer to stage her vintage treasures.

Tell us about how you got started. Where does the name “The Ranch Uncommon” come from?
“The Ranch Uncommon unfolded as we purchased a 1959 fixer and began implementing changes that were not typical for a home in this type of rural setting. While the exterior is characteristic of a rustic and dusty horse property set in a canyon of oak trees, the interior offers a light, bright and unexpected contrast upon entering. While we were doing the home’s reno, I was establishing more of an online presence with my styling business and decided that both our home and business could be more tightly intertwined. Now, I am able to curate goods and use our home as a “set” to display and photograph my vintage finds, showcasing them in the space until they find permanent homes.”

Rustic Kitchen with Green Hook Rack over Countertop and Oversized Glass Jar Containers.
Oversized jars lend mercantile feel, while a hook rack over the counter allows for even more vintage kitchen tools to put on display.

Your Instagram feed is gorgeous! What seems to resonate the most with your followers?
“Thank you! I have a lot of smaller “moments” in the house, but it’s the overalls of the space that people love to see. Sharing the potential in an 1,143 square-foot home with people has been petty rewarding. The feedback from followers is amazing; they love learning simple tips and design tricks to implement in their own small spaces.”

Stone Bust of Maiden Decorating Home Windowsill next to White Clay Pots.
Jennifer sourced this stone maiden from her own home—the home’s last owner left it behind on the hillside outside. Jennifer cleaned her up and adorned her with a brass artichoke candleholder crown!

Any styling tricks you can share?
“Even though it’s a smaller home, I tend to buy big items that trick the eye with scale.”

What about tips for achieving that airy, California-cool look that everyone is loving right now?
“White paint and warm wood floors currently seem to be a staple here on the West Coast, so starting with a clean palette to highlight any architecture in the space would be a start. Whether you’re in an apartment or a castle, a room needs layers and dimension to create interest. In my home, I achieve that with texture, by contrasting surfaces like rustic wood with sleeker elements.”

Tell us about a “Eureka!” moment you’ve had while sourcing vintage.
“I lucked out with our current sofa. I searched high and low for a streamlined leather sofa for our small space. I tried to stay within a budget and wanted vintage, but came SO close to buying something new, as we got tired of sitting on the floor! But then this Mid-Century sofa came along. It was recovered with leather in the 70’s, so it was basically vintage “new” when I found it. Things are worth the wait, and Chairish is such a wonderful resource; it’s easy to search for that something special!”

A bamboo coatrack—one of Jennifer’s recent vintage scores—has the look of a been-here-forever item, a sure sign of a gifted stylist.

What was the one item you bought with the intention to sell, but in the end, couldn’t part with?
“Oh there’s a few…..but my kitchen island was a piece I actually had displayed in my brick and mortar shop years back. I never stuck a price tag on it, as if that would detour people from noticing/asking about it. Finally, when it was time to choose an island for our kitchen remodel, this island was such a perfect fit that I couldn’t imagine using any other piece, so surely it was meant to be!”

Rustic Modern Kitchen with Wooden and White Furniture and Appliances and Metal Barstools.
Lined with open metal barstools, we can see exactly why Jennifer couldn’t part with this spectacular kitchen butcher block.
Bohemian Dining Area with Eames-style Chairs and Decorated with Clay Pots and Cacti.
Jennifer’s eye for styling is on full display when looking from the kitchen towards the dining area. An Eames-style chairs mix with more traditional pedestal table, and bold tribal print pillows share space with Henredon club chairs upholstered in a natty, maritime stripe.
Rustic White Brick Fireplace Decorated with Handwoven Baskets and Plants.
Jennifer’s love for handwoven baskets is on full display in front of the fireplace.

For anyone wanting to start selling vintage, what should they know before they get going?
“Defining your own personal aesthetic and style is important. I know I fail when I buy what I “think” others will want as opposed to buying what I like for myself.”

Mexican chair mounted on Wall with Cow Skull, Hats, Framed Basketry, a Hamper
A gallery wall, done Jennifer’s way. A Mexican chair shares wall space with a mounted cow skull, hats, framed basketry, and even a hamper!

5 Styling Ideas to Steal

The Ranch Uncommon’s feed is full of ideas, and here are a few of our favorites:

  1. Don’t settle for a less than stellar fireplace situation. Jennifer updated hers (for under $500) with just a scrap wood mantel, and some tumbled quartz tiles for the hearth.
  2. Use a mirror to highlight hot ceilings. We don’t all have exposed beams, but if you do, using a mirror above the mantel will give you double the impact.
  3. Knit and crocheted “granny blankets” can be chic. After seeing Jennifer’s collection of these blankets styled all over her home, we’re thinking it’s just what the end of the bed needs.
  4. Wood and white always work. The Ranch Uncommon’s look is pretty much a testament to this classic combination.
  5. Showcase special pieces in Plexi glass. Who says only priceless artifacts deserve this rarified treatment? We love the way Jennifer displays basket collections in this way, and with places like Simply Framed , it’s easy to get in on the Plexi game.


Lead photo courtesy of DACHA Interiors. All other photos courtesy of Jennifer Maxcy. 

August 15, 2017

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