The American landscape is dotted with natural relics of all shapes and sizes begging for rediscovery – from fallen trees and decrepit barns to abandoned railroad cars. Forgotten by time, concealed by the environment and engulfed by the landscape, these weathered remnants tell unique stories – but are often dismissed as trash.
Enter Jay Chaikin, master reclaimer, restoration expert and visionary designer with a passion to bring people closer to the natural environment. In the all-new series Restoration Wild, which premieres Friday, November 6, at 9 PM ET/PT,
Chaikin scours the countryside to reclaim abandoned items and transform them into livable, spectacular spaces, helping his clients to reconnect with nature.
Chaikin and his highly skilled Restoration Wild team are not only searching deep into the woodlands for the ruins of yesterday, they’re using them to create environments that look as if they were placed there by nature. In the premiere episode, Chaikin and his Restoration Wild crew head to a trout farm in North Carolina where they’re tasked with creating a rustic retreat that overlooks a breathtakingly beautiful waterfall. The catch: the building must flow seamlessly with the land and appear to be a century old. With limited resources, Chaikin looks to the land to help deliver a jaw-dropping result.
This season, the team embarks on a cross-country renovation road trip, bringing an eye for design and expert craftsmanship to places in need of a facelift. Additional locations and projects by the Restoration Wild team include the following:
· Full transformation of a Silo bar at Chanteclaire Farms in Friendsville, Maryland
· Restoration of an original train car (circa 1800) at Aw Shucks Farm in Monroe, North Carolina
· Construction of a full-scale brewery shop at Buckley’s Mountainside Canoe and Brew.
Buckley’s co-owner Bob Busch said he’s excited to be on the show and thinks the renovations and exposure will not only bring more people to his business, but also to the mid-Michigan area.
“I think when it’s all said and done, we’re going to have one of the premier canoeing destinations in the Midwest, he said.
“It’s going to be a bridge between Grand Rapids and Mt. Pleasant by bringing people to this part of the state and utilizing the natural beauty that is found here.”
Design details are mostly secret, but Busch said he and his wife Liz, who is also a co-owner, have had some say in the project.
“There are certainly parameters that we’re giving,” he said. “It is going to be kind of like an extreme makeover situation but we can tell them we want a canoe and brew.”
The brewery aspect has been in the works for awhile, Busch said, and getting the proper licensing is still about a year away.
However, appearing on Restoration Wild has presented Buckley’s with an opportunity to get brewing equipment before they can legally sell alcohol.
“We’re literally putting the cart before the horse in this situation,” Busch said.
Although becoming a fully operational brewery is not in the immediate future, customers will be the first to benefit from the upgrades.
The new improvements will give people a place where they can get off the river and relax, Busch said.
“It’s still going to be the same great river and the same great people,” he said. “Frankly, for customers, its going to mean better boats and service for everyone.”
The episode featuring Buckley’s is set to appear in December with construction obviously finishing well before that.
· Renovation of a 1940s bus in the Rocky Mountains into a one-of-a-kind guesthouse.