New WRJ Design Showroom Opens for Appointments in Jackson Hole

WRJ Design’s new WRJ Rustic showroom includes such unique pieces as a wooden Asian trough used as table centerpiece and a vintage Philadelphia birdhouse shown atop a rusted metal wine rack.

WRJ Design’s new WRJ Rustic showroom includes such unique pieces as a wooden Asian trough used as table centerpiece and a vintage Philadelphia birdhouse shown atop a rusted metal wine rack.

Whether it’s to browse sumptuous samples of exclusively-carried luxury brand lines or to mingle with artists during the annual Palates & Palettes Fall Arts Festival event, our team has always admired WRJ Design’s downtown showroom space. Blending design inspiration with singularly spectacular retail selections, the showroom is a top destination for anyone who is designing, buying, or decorating a home. And now, much to the excitement of these same interior aficionados, WRJ has announced the opening of a new showroom–WRJ Rustic. This expanded space will house antiques, collectibles and rustic design, providing another beautiful venue to absorb the freshest takes on designing for our valley, all while sparking inspiration that truly crosses the globe. Learn more below:

WRJ Design of Jackson Hole has expanded its showroom space with the addition of WRJ Rustic, an additional showroom highlighting antiques, collectibles and more “rustic” design elements and ideas, says WRJ Design CEO Rush Jenkins. WRJ Rustic is now open by appointment.

“Our clients enjoy both contemporary and rustic design – and everything in between,” says Jenkins. “We’ve created the new showroom with a more rustic flavor, giving focus to antiques and collectibles from all over the world – Europe, Asia, the U.S., Turkey and Morocco.” Pieces currently for sale in the recently completed showroom can range from the whimsical – a 20th century German gerbil cage that mimics European houses – to the unusual and unexpected – an industrial-looking rusted metal grid wine rack and a clean-lined Philadelphia birdhouse with “window” detailing on either end and a rich patina.

“Some of our one-of-a kind pieces include wooden troughs from Asia that make wonderful centerpieces on a table, vintage cabinets from the Adirondacks, and very special hand carved stags with original antlers from the late 18th-/early 19th-century royal hunting lodge of the Prince and Princess of Belgium,” says Jenkins.

“Rustic interpretation is in the eye of the beholder,” explains WRJ Design COO Klaus Baer. “For WRJ, we interpret rustic as having clean lines, and not restricted to the styles of the American West. Our take is more global, with both European and American mountain influences – and then incorporating the unique and textural rustic pieces into contemporary clean design.”

The WRJ Showroom in Jackson is known for displaying the work of a carefully curated selection of artists, with a focus on local work. WRJ Rustic will show the work of three artists new to WRJ, whose work offered an intriguing counterpoint to the new showroom’s rustic style: Montana artist Julie Chapman and Havoc and Laura Hendricks of Salt Lake City.

WRJ Rustic is open by appointment only; appointments can be made at the WRJ Showroom, 30 S. King Street, or by phone at 307-200-4881.

About WRJ Design:

Headquartered in Jackson, Wyoming, WRJ Design imparts the special serenity of its local Teton landscape to interior designs in Jackson Hole and across the country. Begun out of a passion for great design by Rush Jenkins and Klaus Baer, WRJ creates experiences and environments through its designs, whether for interiors or exhibitions, that provide timeless reflections of the owners or collectors. WRJ’s exhibition designs for titans of philanthropy, fashion, music and politics offer insight into the lives of these luminaries as they showcase the objects they loved. For more information visit www.wrjdesign.com.

That’s A Wrap! Another Successful Jackson Hole Showcase of Homes

Shooting Star Elegance dining room.For two days of banner fall weather–crisp, blazing with color, and dappled with ideal late season sunshine–troupes of intrigued homeowners, art lovers, and Fall Arts Fest attendees entered the foyers of some of Jackson Hole’s most elegant residences, looked up to the ceilings, and said, “Aaaahhhh.” It’s hard not to, after all, when you encounter some of the valley’s most dazzling residential design.

It was the second annual Jackson Hole Showcase of Homes, hosted by our team at Homestead Magazine, and another runaway success. This time, four generous homeowners opened the doors of their residences to benefit local charities, while the teams of designers, architects, and artisans associated with each one were present to welcome every guest. Couples and groups of friends hailing from Cincinnati, the Bay area, the East Coast, and beyond all remarked on the unique opportunity to see such a variety of homes in an equally diverse variety of valley settings.

JH Builders at the River Meadows Retreat

The self-guided tours could begin and end anywhere, and could also be spread over two days. Many began with the European-reminiscent stonework and glass breezeways of the Shooting Star Elegance property, whose glorious indoor/outdoor living spaces and water feature provide a tranquil escape nestled at the base of Rendezvous Mountain. From there, a natural next stop proved to be the the artistic and superlatively appointed Teton Pines Sanctuary, a family home in one of the Clusters bordered by serene aspen groves and completed with a collection of world-class artwork. The next two stops took guests further into different habitats of the valley, from wooded National Forest-bordered land at the River Meadows Retreat to a snaking drive through the Snake River Canyon and its glowing mountain maples to the Martin Creek Cabin. River Meadows meant a spectacular peek inside a custom-constructed Swedish Cope log home, while the Cabin mixed fresh alpine styling with a peaceful creek-front setting at the Snake River Sporting Club.

Beyond the awe-inspiring settings, furnishings, fixtures, and design elements, however, the real draw of the Showcase events is the way they allow tour guests to meet and mingle with our area’s hardworking, visionary design professionals. It’s also a pleasure for the same professionals to interface with the local community and potentially interested new clients.

Rush Jenkins, who along with his partner Klaus Baer at WRJ Design decorated both the Martin Creek Cabin and Teton Pines Sanctuary, spoke to the singular character of the event.

“It was WRJ’s pleasure to participate in the 2014 Showcase of Homes, hosted by Homestead Magazine. We are grateful to our clients for sharing their homes with the public, which allowed some of our work to be seen for the first time. Having the opportunity to collaborate with professionals and experts in their field was a great honor.”

It is, indeed, rare to leave the showroom and enter spaces that have been envisioned, executed, and decorated by local artisans–to experience them in their fullness is a fantastic opportunity. The conversations between patrons and professionals, however, are what really set the Showcase apart. “The Showcase of Homes was an excellent event for Snake River Sporting Club and for Re/Max Obsidian Real Estate,” noted Fred Harness of the Martin Creek Cabin, “we’ve had several follow-up communications with new clients wanting more details on the next phase of new homes we are building. Definitely a success!”

Throughout each self-guided tour, guests had the chance to get their questions answered. For instance, tracking down the rich green soapstone used in the River Meadows Retreat, or learning about how the smoothly curved walls in the Shooting Star home were crafted by Big D Signature.

While nibbling treats and sipping from glasses of wine, these conversations continued throughout the day, as multiple professionals emceed each home. “It’s great to see the finished product and the excitement of people’s reactions and how they come together to experience our completed homes, from the old materials to the contemporary styles,” said Jon Eaton of Big D. This sentiment was echoed John D. Korhonen, an architect with Ellis Nunn & Associates, who touched on the “positive feedback and conversation,” while Andrew Miller of JH Builders mentioned that “it was great to meet a variety of people from all over the country.”

The generosity of the homeowners in both opening their spaces to the public eye and in selecting the four charity beneficiaries for ticket sales–PAWS JH, The Yellowstone Foundation, Community Resource Center, and Fire Services/EMS–truly capped the event’s success. As Megan Jenkins, who helped organize Showcase, said, “It really is the perfect way to enjoy a great day, see the valley, meet the artisans behind each project, and best of all, give back to the community.”

We hope to see you at the Showcase of Homes during the Fall Arts Festival next year! Until then, stay tuned by subscribing to our blog, where we update our readers regarding interesting artistic happenings and feature ongoing profiles of Jackson Hole’s design professionals.

Design for a Cause: WRJ Design Associates Teams Up for the (RED) Auction in NYC

On November 23rd, Rush Jenkins and Klaus Baer of WRJ Design Associates will be unveiling an exhibit they designed in partnership with Sotheby’s New York. The unique and star-studded affair brings together work curated by two impresarios of the design world—Jony Ive and Marc Newson—in support of Product (RED), an organization helmed by Bono. All of the proceeds from Jony and Marc’s (RED) Auction will then be donated to the Global Fund to provide AIDS relief in Africa.

Past (RED) auctions have been curated by the likes of celebrity artist Damien Hirst. This time, Bono approached two arbiters of minimalist, almost futuristic design–most famous for designing products that we love to covet and use. Jony Ive is the designer responsible for the look of the iPhone, iPad, and Macbook Air, while Marc Newson has brought his trademark sleek aesthetic to everything from airplanes to furniture and clothing. In collaboration, the two have designed two brand-new pieces for the (RED) exhibition—a Neal Feay desk and custom-made Leica M camera. They have also curated a beautiful and wide-ranging collection of over 40 ingeniously designed products, many tricked out with red detailing in honor of the auction’s theme.

Here is a sampling of the one-of-kind pieces from Sotheby’s (RED) catalogue:

The (RED) Desk, designed by Jony Ive & Marc Newson

With such a pedigree of design talent behind the show and such startling pieces to be displayed, WRJ Design Associates drew on their years of exhibition design experience to create the appropriate setting for this special event. As favored designers at Sotheby’s, the team has designed past exhibitions for the private collections of The Kennedy Family Homes, Johnny Cash, and Versace, among many others. This time, working closely with Sotheby’s, they are excited to craft a memorable visual experience for patrons attending the landmark (RED) auction.

“WRJ Design is delighted to be a part of this historic auction. We have a long standing partnership with Sotheby’s as their preferred design firm; creating a variety of high profile exhibitions and auctions. (RED) strikes the balance of cutting edge innovation and high quality craftsmanship and we are excited to participate.” –Rush Jenkins, CEO of WRJ Design Associates

In what is sure to be an event combining the best of groundbreaking design, celebrity flair, and philanthropy, the (RED) Auction is yet another event where local firm WRJ is making its mark. We encourage our readers to check it out and learn more.

Modern Shape, Western Substance at WRJ Design Associates

WRJ Design - Ashley Tutor

WRJ Design Principal Rush Jenkins and artist Ashley Tudor

What sets the aesthetic of the Jackson Hole homeowner apart? It wells from the setting: a love of rustic Western textures melded with the contemporary. Sleek, sharp lines that simultaneously pay tribute to the legacy of place and the outside world.

This blend of collectors with a discerning eye for the au courant alongside a reverence for the wilderness led San Francisco based artist and author Ashley Tudor to mark a mental bull’s eye over the town of Jackson as she considered where next to place her work. A contact connected her to WRJ Design Associates and its dynamic collecting and design team of Rush Jenkins and Klaus Baer – turns out, the admiration was mutual. Both parties knew her work would be a perfect fit for, in Tudor’s words, WRJ’s “modern rustic chic aesthetic.”

Tudor specializes in bronze European game mounts that fuse stylized contours and a high gloss finish with the time-honored tradition of interior display. At home in a show room that also features trophy antlers from the collection of Kaiser Wilhelm II, Tudor’s mounts provide a new twist on a classic collector’s object. More importantly, she hopes her work adds to an ongoing conversation between man and nature, and provokes examination of our participation in a food chain that has become increasingly mechanized.

Ashley Tudor poses with an attendee of the WRJ Design Associates opening

Ashley Tudor poses with an attendee of the opening and one of her pieces — a bronze impala.

During the Wednesday night reception hosted by WRJ, Tudor described her own evolution from consumer to active participant in the system of supply and demand. Galvanized by her first elk hunt in Idaho’s Frank Church Wilderness, Tudor says she “became connected to [her] food in a new way.” A field-to-table chef as well as the author of two books on the benefits of a paleo diet, Tudor views her art as a means to honor the creatures that quite literally add to our lives. “More than pretty pieces that hang on the wall,” the elk, deer, and even African impala that she memorializes in bronze casts are intended to impart just a little of the “soul of pieces and where they came from,” even as they reflect the viewer, caught in the lustrous glow of a high art skull.

The process of turning harvested game into the mounts pictured here is an arduous one to say the least. Beginning with a stripped skull, Tudor adds braces for the original horns before creating a lost-cast wax mold, adding several layers of plaster, and finally dipping the skull in molten bronze. At this point, the individual bronze pieces are painstakingly welded back together before Tudor polishes them manually with pass after pass of a polishing wheel. Then, the animal’s natural horns are re-attached, and Viola! A mount is born.
Elk_Ashley_Tudor

The materials of each mount are an appropriate metaphor for this “collaboration between man and nature.” Bronze and modern metallurgy sinuously curve over nature’s silhouette – rather than overpower nature with ornate decoration, the spare, radiant pieces exhibit “a beauty that magnifies both.” Jackson Hole’s own focus on sharing space with wildlife and gamesmanship means that many a local collector’s interest is likely to be piqued by the thought of introducing a Tudor piece into the intimate exhibition space of the home.

How best to feature a work of art such as Tudor’s? Blair Friedeman of WRJ Design Associates sees the mounts as “very impacting” on their own, and a fantastic focal point for a wall or table space. Tudor also suggests them as accent pieces above the fireplace—a nod to the custom of European mount display—and has even seen homeowners get creative and feature her smaller works as bookends.

A Tudor elk mount affixed over a fireplace at WRJ Design Associates Showroom in Jackson Hole, Wyoming

A Tudor elk mount affixed over a fireplace.

She takes commissions from avid hunters hoping to venerate their trophies in more unique ways, and is scheming to create new whitetail deer and ram’s head pieces for exhibition at WRJ. As has become customary for Tudor, the new works would be a nod to the rootedness of place, an inescapable aspect of owning property in a valley as breathtaking as our own.

Whatever their placement within an interior space, Ashley’s work stands out as an arbiter of the interior style favored by WRJ Design Associates and the Jackson homeowner at large. The mounts’ blend of sophisticated styling within a tradition that honors the great outdoors means objects that are, indeed, much more than a pretty face.

For inquiries on Ashley’s pieces, please contact WRJ Design Associates at 307.200.4881 or http://www.wrjassociates.com.

WRJ Design Associates: Refined Taste Finds a Home in the Tetons

With clients ranging from Sotheby’s in New York to Julien’s celebrity auction house in L.A., and with high-end corporate, residential and landscape projects around the globe, jet setting and city-living have been the norm for Rush Jenkins and Klaus Baer of WRJ Design Associates LTD.

So when the designers chose small-town Victor, ID as the home-base for their first retail store, WRJ Home, this past May, you’d never expect it to feel like such a perfect fit for their refined tastes.
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