Spaces With Stories: A Refined California Ranch
As a modern day treasure hunter, Jennifer Maxcy, sources the most unique, vintage goods for her online marketplace, The Ranch Uncommon. When it comes to her personal abode, it’s no wonder Jennifer infused her personal design aesthetic into every aspect of the space. Having renovated this 1959 California ranch into what is now a modern-day home, it’s received attention from sites like Apartment Therapy — and for good reason. The bright, contemporary interior contrasts against its rustic background, giving the ranch a very unique feel.
When Jennifer isn’t using this space to style shoots for her online marketplace, she welcomes in guests to shoot their creative projects. Flooded with tons of natural light, it’s no wonder photographers, filmmakers, and creatives of all kinds are drawn to this uncommon ranch.
Read about how listing this space has helped Jennifer connect with the community as well as give her a taste of the hospitality industry.
Why did you decide to call the ranch “uncommon”?
The name came to mind once we discovered this was not your typical ranch property. When someone approaches the property, it’s set into the hillside surrounded by oak trees. We kept the exterior aesthetic complementary using deep green with cedar accents to speak to the oak trees and rugged natural hillsides. But once you come inside, you’ll find a white bright contemporary space, uncommon of most ranch properties. It is casual, rustic yet simple and calming.
Take us through your journey into owning the Ranch Uncommon and starting your own business. How did you get into styling and interior design?
I’m not formally trained in design but I’ve always been very creative. I opened a brick and mortar shop six years ago, “Hoot N’ Anny Home” selling vintage goods and recently transformed the store into an online business instead. It made the most sense to shoot and style vintage goods at home in our bright space. The online store also helped me reach a broader base and show people there are other options besides mass produced decor.
The Ranch Uncommon has a unique history to it, can you tell me more about how you renovated this space?
This 1959 post and beam ranch house was nearly 100% original when we found it. It’s nestled into the Santa Monica mountains and offers a striking view with room for horses. Only 45 minutes north of LA, we really feel like we’re in the country. We wanted to keep the original country-like charm that initially attracted us to the property but add a modern feel.
Everything got a bright white coat of paint. The majority of the 1143 square feet is a great room that consists of a large kitchen, family room, sitting area, and breakfast nook. There is a ton of natural light that floods in from all directions making it great for production teams. The space is also versatile, where guests can remove furniture and transform the big room into whatever they may need.
What are some of your styling secrets for making your environment both inviting and creative?
Scale, space, and light. Pieces should be shown in their best light without unnecessary clutter. We kept all the furniture below 32”, as the ceilings are open but still low. We incorporated a cohesive natural color palette with occasional pops of color, sneaking in elements of texture throughout. Most people would expect a bright white space to come off cold but having light wood floors, textiles, wall treatments, art, and even the lighting help to complement and contrast the space.
How would you describe your design aesthetic?
Simple, textured, clean, and natural.
What are the most frequent bookings you receive on the ranch?
So far, we’ve received a ton of bookings for photo shoots focused around fashion, products, print, and web-based companies. Some photographers have brought in additional lighting to the shoot but never end up using them because of all the natural light the ranch receives.
What’s your favorite thing about owning the Ranch?
It’s incredibly peaceful and beautiful where we live — opposite of a cookie cutter neighborhood. We worked really hard to get here, and I never imagined we’d have something like this property, especially, in Southern California.
What are the challenges with owning your own live/work space?
I feel lucky that I get to work from home, yet it can be difficult to define find separation. Whenever I receive a booking, it enables me to get out and about away from the daily grind. It’s also exciting to see how other creatives utilize the space for their project. It’s inspiring to see their unique perspective.
Why do you host?
I love creating an environment for people to enjoy and create. When someone chooses our space for their project, it’s exciting to see creatives see the space for the first time. By hosting, it helps me get a taste of the hospitality industry, which might even be my next venture. Hosting also helps offset ongoing improvements and projects on the Ranch.
What’s the most rewarding thing about working for yourself?
I love not knowing where the day will take me and that I get to do something different each day. This freedom is such a gift.
I love to start the day: With coffee outside
My favorite room in the house: The Great Room
The best way to unwind after a long day: Wine, fire pit, and the sunset
Life motto: We all fit in differently, accepting it makes life less stressful.