How Much Wood Would a Woodchuck Rescue …

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A table and benches made by Roberto Romano from Rescue wood.

First a relevant story about success, being lucky and being good.

William Wrigley Jr. went to Chicago in the spring of 1891. He was 29 years old, had $32 in his pocket, and possessed unlimited energy and great talent as a salesman. He started out selling soap. As an extra incentive to merchants to carry Wrigley’s soap, he offered them free baking powder. When baking powder proved to be more popular than soap, he switched to the baking powder business. Then he promoted his baking powder with this thing coming out of Mexico called chicle.

If you have ever been over to Catalina Island, then you will know, as they say, the rest is history.

I met a local, Roberto Romano. immigrant, with the old school artisan work ethic. Like Wrigley, he came to the US to seek his fortune, and he plied his trade as a high-end interior architect. Since the age of 14, Romano has focused his passions and educated himself all over the world. He points out that an interior architect is different than an interior designer. Romano tailors the home around people. As an architect, he considers human needs and personalities, and he has several psychology classes under his belt. Romano has many satisfied customers from Newport Beach.

Romano believes that things do not happen by accident, they happen by choice. Like Wrigley, Romano has made some choices in he calls his “Poetic Journey.” Along the way, he has built relationships and expanded passions. One such passion is a love of Italian vegetables, so he sought land to explore organic farming. Romano found an opportunity for peaceful coexistence at Bella Collina Towne and Country Golf Club in San Clemente where they shared his vision, and some raw land so that he could realize his dream of growing and enjoying fresh Italian vegetables. He called it VR Green Farms.

Now, any good farm needs some farm furniture. And Romano picked up a lot of expertise in building furniture in his poetic journey. In 2010, there was a fire at Palomar Mountain that blackened scores of 200-year-old pines. The damaged trees were culled and their wood was destined to be firewood, until Romano came along and transformed the wood into functional architectural features, such as an Italian arbor. To grow basil you need a raised bed, so Romano used the rescue wood to form an Italian Basil Boat.

As the attraction of VR Green Farms has grown, so has the popularity of his work with the rescue wood. People are always saying that they love the arbor and inquire if Romano can make one for them. In a Wrigley moment of inspirational choice, Romano decided to produce and sell Rescue wood garden furniture. The work is meditative for him, and the piecare he produces is amazing.

When asked what his favorite Rescue wood piece is he replied “Intimate Nourishment.” It is a long and thin table and bench in the style of a farmers table. Narrow intimate nourishment, close to each other, the total experience to eat and celebrate.

Romano has formed an entity to fulfill this passion, called Inspired Space Design Inc. (

Although Romano also has Old World skills with stone, another natural material, he says, “My passion is wood, so that is where I focused.”

Romano has several rescue wood pieces that he has crafted and are available for sale. You can visit some of his pieces in fine art galleries like DeBilzan Gallery in Laguna Beach

Or, Newport Beach, Romano will take custom orders for lovingly created pieces with lots of energy. He cares where the materials come from, and if you do also, then he will source materials from within 50 miles or so. You could have a room, with floor, walls and furniture – all from Rescue wood. As customers enter your law office, they could be greeted with an entry that makes them think they stepped outside into nature.

Lastly, a proverb, “The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”

What is on your green mind? [email protected].


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