In Concert With Context

Dream Homes
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WRJ collaborated with JLF & Associates on a mountaintop residence made of stone, timber, and steel in Big Sky, Montana.?

DESIGNER
WRJ Design

Story By
Katy Niner

Photos By
WRJ Design

Nature is precise: no detail spared, no design unevolved. And eloquent: From soaring spires to minute creatures, nature speaks in strokes both grandiose and subtle. Nature’s range of expression inspires Rush Jenkins and Klaus Baer of WRJ Design. The natural world is the creative landscape where they work.

“Some of the most beautiful places I’ve visited are about discovery and the unfolding of that beauty,” Jenkins says. “Great design does that.”

NATURE NURTURES

Always enamored of the Rocky Mountains, the couple decided to decamp from New York City to Jackson five years ago. Uprooting their thriving careers in design and finance, respectively, Jenkins and Baer dove into their long-held dream of opening a design studio at the foot of the Tetons. They knew proximity to nature would nurture their aesthetics—a blend of refined and rustic, casual and composed, classic and contemporary. Lifelong travelers, they wanted to root their worldly designs in the West.

Instinct proved to be a wise guide. The mountains have contextualized their aesthetics; the Tetons, ever their focus, have anchored their studied style in intuitive expression. Referencing nature’s textures and palettes, they have learned to layer elements to create a multidimensional story of person and place.

?Serene accents, such as a Holly Hunt table and chairs, Loro Piana drapes, and Ralph Lauren rugs, soften a contemporary masterpiece in Teton Valley.

We feel incredibly grateful for the gift we have been given to do what we do, and to work with the talents we have in the Tetons.”
– Rush Jenkins of WRJ

COMMUNITY FOUND

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Just as excursions outside often become explorations of self and setting, Jenkins and Baer’s bold decision to move outside the design epicenter of New York proved pivotal. In Jackson Hole, they have discovered a community of like-minded, creative mavericks—talented professionals already rooted in the region who are forging their own way. Now, they see their design in concert with context, their portfolio elevated by the opportunity to work with world- class regional architects, such as
Paul Bertelli of JLF Architects, Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, and Carney Logan Burke, as well as other talented Jackson architects.

Above all, Jenkins and Baer believe the high caliber of Jackson Hole clients makes for meaningful, magnificent work. No matter how talented the designer, a home is only as hospitable as its inhabitants. Jenkins and Baer feel blessed by the benevolence of their clientele. “They are generous. They are trusting. They are gracious,” Baer says in praise.

PROCESS AS EXPERIENCE

Meticulous in their creative process, Jenkins, Baer, and their talented team pay close attention to every aspect of their clients’ experience, beginning with the careful notes they take of each client’s dreams and desires for the home, then followed by the detailed renderings they draft to give clients a comprehensive sense of each room’s layout. All along the way, their clients are ushered into a space that reflects and respects them as individuals. “We take the time to ensure our clients know exactly what their home is going to look like, what it’s going to feel like,” Jenkins says.

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?Within a rustic shell, WRJ achieves textured sophistication by pairing a Tim Rein sculpture with nail-head leather Ralph Lauren chairs, an Asian antique bench, and a custom leather and linen sofa.

Clients’ connections to their finished homes are tied to their experience of the creative process itself. “For us, the experience is the most important part of our design philosophy,” Baer says. “What is that person’s experience with their house, with our showroom, working with us? As a design team, we are constantly pushing the envelope as we strive for excellence for our clients.”

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SUBTLE DISCOVERIES

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Jenkins and Baer work as they live: They embrace transformative experiences, as evidenced by their careers, as evidenced by their location, as evidenced by their interiors. Passion drives everything they do. Channeling the distinctive voice of their personal journey, they approach design as a way to tell each client’s own story. Every room becomes a new page, a new opportunity for wonder. “The experience of discovering beauty cultivates an earned attachment with a space,” Jenkins says.

Beyond the imprint of the individual, every WRJ-designed home nods to the grandeur of the outdoors. Details express this gesture: a sleek side table sheathed in leather; a fur or cashmere throw casually draped across a woven armchair; an antique deer mount imbued with history. Luxury pieces—produced by world-renowned lines that WRJ exclusively represents—look at home in the casual elegance of their interiors.

WRJ designs harmonize with the architecture and setting. Jenkins and Baer complement nature, rather than compete with it.

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Danish modern chairs and a custom sofa encircle a coffee table made by a local craftsman. The adjacent breakfast table—a WRJ design—shines beneath Holly Hunt pendants, which are siblings to the chandelier above the kitchen island, also Holly Hunt.?
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?A Ralph Lauren chandelier presides over a Carrara marble-top dining table from Belgium, complemented by cashmere/wool, plaid drapes from Loro Piana, and custom mohair sofas.

NATURAL WORLD, DESIGN WORLD

While continually inspired by their mountain home, Jenkins, Baer, and their team do leave the valley to make discoveries elsewhere within the design world. With passports in tow, they travel the globe sourcing singular products from the finest purveyors they can find. From New York City to Paris and Milan, they experience all the high notes of contemporary design while furthering their knowledge of classical traditions.

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They forge friendships with international titans of design—Loro Piana, Poltrona Frau, Herme?s and Ralph Lauren—and then extend these contacts to their clients. Back in Jackson, the team filters its travel experiences into its designs. “Design is born of these experiences,” Jenkins emphasizes.

Tireless in their pursuit of aesthetic excellence, Jenkins and Baer have achieved alignment of profession and passion. Gratitude infuses every aspect of their process: gratitude for their clients, their staff, their consultants, and their collaborators.

“We feel incredibly grateful for the gift we have been given to do what we do,” Jenkins says, “and to work with the talents we have in the Tetons.”

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The experience of discovering beauty cultivates an earned attachment with a space.”
– Rush Jenkins of WRJ

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