We couldn’t agree more with Ralph Caplan, influential author, emeritus board member for Aspen’s International Design Conference, and recipient of the 2011 AIGA medal:
“Thinking about design is hard, but not thinking about it can be a disaster.”
EVEN HERE in Jackson Hole where homes have walls of floor-to-ceiling windows that frame views of the Tetons, and where you might catch a glimpse, from the safety of the master suite, of a moose walking through the yard, interiors matter. It could be argued that they matter even more—and are more difficult to do well—when the outside landscape is so inspiring. Good designers are smart enough to know they can’t compete with these views. Instead, they work to design interiors that complement them.
“For us, a ‘well-done’ Jackson Hole home combines the West’s natural beauty and rich history with internationally sourced pieces like Turkish textiles and German furs and a distinctly modern sensibility,” says Rush Jenkins, a principal at Jackson-based WRJ Design. “[Here], we live at the intersection of nature and culture. We find inspiration in the natural world in concert with the world of international design,”
WELL-DONE design is one of those things that you can’t necessarily describe, but you immediately know—and feel—when you see. Well-done design makes a house a home and makes a home a joyful, easy, beautiful, and efficient space to be. For all that it is, well-done design, especially in Jackson Hole, is not over-the- top. Jackson Hole design is sophisticated but comfortable. Luxury homes in Jackson Hole are subtle.
“A luxury home includes quality appointments and furnishings, but those are the easy things,” says interior designer Jacque Jenkins-Stireman, a member of the design/development team at Shooting Star, a golf and resort community near the base of the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort where The Clear Creek Group has several rental homes. “A truly luxurious home is one that is smart and makes life easier and more enjoyable.” For example: Jenkins-Stireman designed a custom piece for what she calls a “king conversion sleeping room” in a Shooting Star home. This room has an iron barn track slide that glides together (or apart) to convert extra-long twin beds into a king-size bed. “Convenience, when well-designed and -executed, is good design,” she says.
Serenity, a feeling you get in any WRJ-designed home, is luxury too. Imagine a chunky cashmere throw on a Ralph Lauren sofa done in a custom Loro Piana fabric whose color matches the sage seen out the window. “A well-designed home has to have a keen balance of space, color, volume, and light, and a sensitivity to all the different elements that must come together to achieve harmony,” says Jenkins, a regular attendee of Paris’ Maison et Objet and Salone del Mobile in Milan.
“I’ve seen clients expand their ideas and understanding of themselves… People think of themselves only one way. Design can show them that there’s more there.”
WHILE WRJ has a definite aesthetic, Jenkins-Stireman says she doesn’t. “First and foremost, is to make sure I’m pairing my design style with the property owner’s,” she says, and then, “If the property is going to be a rental, it also has to speak to the rental market.” Balancing all of this can be complicated, but “If you pair the right design firm with buy-in from the owners at the beginning, it is more than beautiful design or a business decision. It comes out as an end product that truly represents the homeowners’ individual styles while being viable in the rental market.”
Jenkins-Stireman has found the design process can be transformational for homeowners. “I’ve seen clients expand their ideas and understanding of themselves during projects. I’ve also had clients who have stayed in rental homes on vacation that they didn’t think were their style and been pleasantly surprised by how the space made them feel. Furnishings and spaces can do that. People think of themselves only one way. Design can show them that there’s more there.” She says Shooting Star homes are perfect for trying out different styles because, “From the outside, you can’t tell them apart. But once inside, there is such a broad range of design styles that one week you can be super contemporary and the next you can be in a nest-y, cabin-feeling, rustic space. Good design is not limited to a single style.”