When David and Stacy Rolfe were making plans to develop the rolling 30-acre property in West County they purchased in 2014, they dreamed big. In addition to a family home that could accommodate generations to come, they envisioned barn and garage spaces large enough for them to pursue the uniquely individual hobbies that have become passions for each of them. Their Wildwood estate, R&R Ranch, is the realization of those dreams.
The Rolfes share about 7,500 square feet of open and colorful living space with their three adult children, when they’re in town, and a new son-in-law following their daughter Belle’s wedding, which was held on the property in June. Like its gracious and inviting exterior, the home’s interior perhaps can be best described as beautifully eclectic.
“I like a lot of color, and I have very unique taste … I don’t really follow any playbook or design advice,” Stacy explains. “I’m not an antique person, but I do like vintage, so I’ll bring in vintage things and mix them with modern. All of my art is contemporary, but it’s mixed with redone vintage pieces and other types of furniture.”
The spacious lower level includes a bar and game tables, including pool and shuffleboard, and a bunk room [shown at botom right] that Stacy describes as “sleepover heaven, even for the grown-up kids.”
The home’s indoor and outdoor living spaces help to connect it with its peaceful wooded surroundings. R&R Ranch is currently home to 20 miniature and full-sized horses and donkeys, five birds, a cat, a couple of dogs and a house rabbit named Walter. Walter, in fact, has his own room in the house – complete with a tiny four-poster bed and a play castle.
“When I brought Walter home [shown in his room at left], I started keeping him in the office with me, but the two of us could not peacefully coexist … so he ended up getting my office,” Stacy explains.
Stacy will go to just about any lengths for her animals, especially little horses that have health problems or aren’t being treated well by other owners. That’s how her nonprofit miniature horse rescue was born. Unexpectedly, and quite exceptionally, Stacy’s love of animals became love, too, for the local community. On the corral fence that runs alongside Wild Horse Creek Road, the Rolfe family frequently posts banners from The Minis. A variety of sentiments are expressed, including back-to-school messages, holiday greetings and more.
Among the ranch’s newest residents is Martha, a dwarf mini who stands only 24 inches high. Martha was rescued by Stacy and Belle in December 2018, when they saw her advertised on Craigslist as a Christmas present. After she rebounded from initial serious health problems in their tender care, Stacy posted a video of the tiny horse joyfully running and doing the “moonwalk” which has garnered more than 20 million views to date on the animal-themed site The Dodo and others.
“The Marvelous Miss M” now has her own customized transport vehicle; and once Stacy completes the process of getting her certified as a therapy horse, will take her to various appointments and public appearances around St. Louis.
David’s passion resides in the ranch’s expansive two-level garage, where an array of meticulously restored, mainly classic American muscle cars are housed and pampered. He spends many evenings hanging out in this ultimate man cave.
“One of the games my dad and I played when I was really young, about 4 or 5 years old, was with cars,” he explains. “He would teach me about the differences between each make and model of car every year … you know, why is it a ’69 Camaro and how is it different from a ’68?
“We would go to Blues games [at the old St. Louis Arena], and we’d park at Forest Park and walk over from there. It was when Corvettes were manufactured nearby in St. Louis. We’d walk to the Arena, just hoping that three or four would be parked in the street.”
The collection of cars “really brings him joy,” Stacy says. “He’s still just like a little kid when it comes to them.”