Midwest Living Review
An old bike, sled and architectural salvage festoon the stairway to Refined Rustic, which sets the tone of the store. Owner Philip Sassano is an artist and interior design whiz who gathers found objects, including plinth blocks, primitive chairs, flour sacks, wine barrels, vintage signs and wallpaper rollers, then repurposes them in his workshop. Wallpaper rollers become decorative candle stands, flour sacks cover the seats of old chairs, and the plinth blocks transform into home decor accents.
Philip is best known for his lighting projects. For instance, his shop features an overhead light crafted from an old phonograph horn trimmed with tiny, wooden bowling pins. Another shade: a wire cage cradles clear bottles with red dominoes inside. These unorthodox lights are so popular, they can be seen in Starbucks stores throughout the country and at Simple Cafe (a local eatery).
Most of the Refined Rustic pieces are Philip's handiwork, but he also offers a smattering of work from other artists. Refined Rustic also hosts refinishing workshops that let guests bring in objects to repurpose with help.