From Salvage to Showroom, the Difference is in the Details

Boxcar house

For the past 13 years, I’ve been dining on my husbands’ ex-girlfriend’s table.

To be fair, it’s a perfectly nice piece of antique furniture that actually works beautifully in our french country dining room, but it’s FROM HIS EX, and if you don’t understand my immature and unreasonable reasons for hating it, well…then you probably live a rich life of love, light, and forgiveness, and it’s likely we’ve never met.

ANYWAYS, I’ve been on the hunt for many years and FINALLY found the most perfect, amazing, gorgeous table. 

Boxcar House - HopperLike, change my life kind of table. This table, my life, NOW.

The thing is, it’s a little more than we planned to spend. But, I mean, can you put a price on a soul-enriching surface for our daily family repast?

You totally get it. My husband did not. It kinda went like this:

Me: “Babe, I found the most amazing table ever. I’m so excited! It’s from this place called Boxcar House.”

Husband: “That’s great. It’s about time. How much?”

Me: “Oh my gosh, you’re going to DIE when you see it. I mean, you’re gonna love it so much, you don’t even know…it’s actually made from old trains. How cool is that?”

Husband: (waves his hand) “Yeah, ok, but how much?”

Me: (takes a deep breath and dramatically clutches chest) “It’s the thing that will change EVERYTHING.”

Husband: “Uh huh, how much?”

Me: (Pause)

Husband: (FINALLY looks up from phone) “How much, Morgan?”

Me: (Voice cracks) “$3,200.”

Husband: (Laughs maniacally) “Are you serious?”

Me: (Softly mutters, chin dropping slowly to my chest) “It’s gonna change our lives…”

Husband: “That is absurd. Absolutely not. Keep looking.”

Me: (Best doe-eyed face) “But it’s the most amazing…”

Husband: (Glares)

Me: (Walks away.)

So, it didn’t go how I hoped. But that’s on me. To be honest, as compared to some of our other big box store furniture, it was more than he probably expected to invest in our next significant home decor purchase. I should have prepared a better defense. 

So I went to find one. 

Authentic. Unique. Handcrafted.

The next day, I found myself back at the Rose Lane location, and serendipitously, the Carters (the owners of Boxcar House) were there! Zach and Delisea Carter have to be one of the most charming couples in Frisco. She, the gentle beauty with the eye for design, and he, the amiable leader and co-designer (that I get the impression could also wrestle a bear). 

They notice me basically drooling over the table that I so adore, and kindly inquire about my day. Then, obviously, I just spit out the whole story. 

Boxcar House CarAnd I thank them for asking about my day. “It’s fine, thank you.” They share a smile and I know they probably have this conversation at least once a day, but I don’t get the feeling they’re upset or defensive.

In fact, they begin to light up as they share their story with me. 

Boxcar House Salvage WeldY’all, they, LEGIT, go to rail yards and hand-select boxcar wood and machinery to create their designs. And now I finally get why it’s called Boxcar House.

Eric explains, “The cars have a lifespan of about 50 years. Then they go to the train graveyard where the scrap process begins.”

“So you go physically to each scrap yard to collect materials yourself?” I ask.

Eric, “Yes. Chicago, Alabama, Tennessee, Virginia are where we go most.”

Boxcar House SalvageI assume there must be nearly an unlimited supply, because I’m not a hobo, but I do notice new trains when I’m caught at a crossing, so I know they’re still being built. 

But Eric tells me that to cut cost, boxcars are now built with metal, NOT wood, so their materials will soon be in short, and eventually, nonexistent supply. I’m invited to look at some of the most recently procured wood, and I notice they’re all numbered. 

“Why is that?” I ask.

“Each board is numbered so that we can precisely match up planks – everything we do is carefully matched and intentionally constructed,” he reveals, and I quickly notice how expensive and labor intensive just that task alone must be on their end. 

boxcar_fb_productOnce they have the materials, the design process happens organically, with Delisea, Zach, and their team working together to create one-of-a-kind timeless pieces. Pieces I learn that sometimes take months, to complete. 

“Can you also customize with a client?” I inquire? 

They nod and acknowledge that they often, and happily, collaborate with clients to create something truly personal. 

“Wow,” I whisper. “I should have brought my husband with me…”

They sweetly nod and explain that they completely understand; In fact, they prefer to have the opportunity to tell their story and explain why each piece is priced to account for the countless time, labor, and love, given to each piece.

I take a deep breath, “Will y’all be here tomorrow? I have a man with a checkbook I need to you speak with.”

We say our farewells, and I take one last look at my beloved table, “Game-changer,” I sing softly.

You can check out the Carters stunning showroom at their Rose Lane location, or drop by their Rail District location on Main in Frisco. The difference truly is in the details, and every piece tells a story.

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