The new Ron’s in Grover Beach has an equally new philosophy: take something familiar, and reinvent it.
This can be said of the store itself. The former Ron’s Nursery closed last summer due to financial woes, after 27 years in business. The new, downsized shop opened in September with an abbreviated name and a different focus.
“It’s what I call the three r’s,” said owner Ron Carlock. “Reusing, regrouping and reimagining items from the past.”
Inside the modest storefront, you will find much that is familiar: a good selection of houseplants, along with gifts and home accents. But the atmosphere is less upscale, more comfortable and much more approachable.
The new Ron’s offers vintage furniture and home accents that Carlock finds at estate sales and flea markets, primarily in the San Diego and Monterey Bay areas. Most of the vintage items are rustic, such as weathered and distressed buffets, hutches and tables. Demonstrating his knack for composition and display, Carlock uses these pieces to showcase gift items, ceramics and pottery. The interplay of textures and the juxtaposition of rough-hewn and refined offers inspiration for others aiming for a similarly eclectic look.
Shoppers can also pick up on clever ideas for creative repurposing. You’ll find vintage petticoats turned into lamps, chandeliers made from old burlap sacks and rusted iron, old license plates used as novel wall art, and a weathered ladder transformed into display shelving. The shop showcases several local artisans, including Arroyo Grande’s Steve Bewley who turns recycled odds and ends into fashionable lighting.
Other pieces at Ron’s have a decidedly organic feel. Many vignettes are coastal-inspired, incorporating twisted branches of driftwood, fish netting, sea shells, and colorful glass floats. There are vases filled with pheasant feathers, baskets, and even woven bee skeps which can be hung for textural and sculptural interest, indoors or out.
Behind the store, a small nursery department sells mainly succulents in the winter, but will add bedding plants, vegetables, herbs, shrubs and trees in the spring. Carlock also plans to increase his inventory of houseplants, which includes everything from common begonias, African violets and ferns, to oddities such as the carnivorous pitcher plant with its slender, red-tinted, prey-trapping vases.
Carlock recently completed an indoor greenhouse to showcase small trellises and pottery. It was made from reclaimed materials such as old doors and windows. He plans to share similar ideas when he offers classes in the future, teaching others his new specialty: how to take something from the past and give it a new life.
Ron’s is located at 850 West Grand Avenue in Grover Beach, 489-4747.