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WRJ Design Includes Six Must-Haves in Mountain Homes

Creating homes where connection to nature meets international elegance is at the heart of the designs of Rush Jenkins and Klaus Baer, co-owners of Jackson Hole-based WRJ Design.

The top mountain design team is known for a sophisticated alpine style that seamlessly melds the organic natural world with contemporary European chic in interiors that feel serene and luxurious yet are comfortable and hard-working for everything from stowing ever-present outdoor gear to grand entertaining.

That vision carries through every aspect of WRJ-designed high-country homes, including the six mountain must-have features that follow. 

INDOOR FIRESIDE SEATING. Fireplaces are a centerpiece of mountain home living, and creating comfortable-yet-elegant gathering spaces that enhance the fireside experience is a specialty of the WRJ Design team.

From stacked stone in counterpoint to clean-lined European furniture, and Walter K sofas in Loro Piana fabric that embraces the colors and textures of surrounding nature, to a modern take on European Swiss chalets with a sculptural, Danish-inspired fireplace and plush furniture sourced from European lines including Poltrona Frau, Cassina, Minotti, Molteni&C, and Arpin, in a palette of blues and grays that reference nearby mountain peaks, their designs highlight the importance of the fireplace in the mountain home.

GUESTHOUSE. Those who reside in the Mountain West have their share of visitors eager to enjoy the scenic beauty and year-round outdoor adventures, so it’s no surprise that Jenkins and Baer receive requests to design a range of guest quarters that embrace the natural world while providing all the creature comforts of home on a smaller scale.

In one freestanding 1,000-square-foot guesthouse in Wilson, Wyoming, exterior barnwood siding provides a rustic Western motif, while light and bright shiplap walls and modern furniture indoors bring a Scandi vibe. The two-bedroom guesthouse features an open-plan kitchen, living and dining room combo that’s as functional as it is beautiful, as well as a primary bedroom plus charming bunk room with four built-in queen beds.

LOCAL ARTWORK. The beauty of the wild lands and wildlife of the Rocky Mountain West inspires expression in a variety of media, and Jackson Hole is known for its high concentration of talented artists drawn from around the world.

WRJ Design specifies a wide range of artwork from local artists for its clients that enhance the Western home, helping to root interiors in a sense of place, accentuating a theme, serving as the launching point for a color palette – and offering designers Jenkins and Baer another means of bringing the outdoors in.

HOME BAR. No home is complete without a space for fun and celebration, and since many mountain houses are vacation homes, they are literally built for fun. The always important après is often best enjoyed at home, and a space for merriment and to recount the adventures of the day is a must for many WRJ clients.

This salon space, in a dramatically remodeled log cabin, features a Shaker-style built-in bar with gleaming bronze mesh insets and hardware on black steel cabinets, custom-designed by WRJ in partnership with Brandner Design. The plush L-shaped sofa surrounds an iron and bronze coffee table, perfect for cocktails and board games.

LOCKER ROOM. Keeping gear handy and organized is essential for ski-in, ski-out mountain homes. High on the list of any locker room is space where homeowners and guests have plenty of room to get outfitted, and later shed layers, with skis, fishing rods and other assorted gear stored in stylish, vented lockers that serve as functional space while adhering to the home’s design aesthetic.

HOME GYM. Rounding out the top six must-have features from WRJ Design is the home gym, a necessity for staying in shape through a range of seasons and weather conditions for all of the activities of life in the mountains. The home gym (pictured above) was carved out of an upstairs space in a multi-use barn by CLB Architects, snagging expansive views of the Tetons and the Snake River that make workouts something to look forward to.

WRJ’s design keeps the focus on nature in this project, which includes space for modern comforts such as custom lighting, storage and technology, as well as an adjacent bedroom and bathroom for gym users and guests. 

The team at WRJ Design live at the intersection of nature and culture and are inspired by the world around them. These fall-in-love elements provide a quintessential Mountain West feel to make the homes they design an extension of the world around them.

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