Childhood memories on the farm inspire this Juneau home’s design
Story by Amy Newman • Photography by Inua Blevins Photography
Phil and Susan Potter’s Juneau home boasted a beautiful exterior and even more beautiful views. But the 1980s’ interior, devoid of architectural detail and personal character, was dull and dated. So they turned to Jeremy Bauer and Jason Clifton of Juneau’s Bauer/Clifton Interiors, with the idea of creating a home that recalled the East Coast farmhouses the couple had spent time in as children. To their surprise, both designers had spent stretches of their childhoods on farms as well.
Reclaimed American Chestnut with wormholes
Rogue Valley Door
Living, media & dining room lighting:
Tech Lighting; Restoration Hardware
stairwell & railings:
Seattle Stair & Design
Absolute Black Honed Granite; Calacatta Statuario Honed Marble
Whitehaus, Newport Brass; Belle Foret; Native Trails
48" custom color range with 4-gas burner & French top, BlueStar
36" Liebherr French door refrigerator with custom front
Custom 48" 1100 CFM
with antique brass accents
& pot rail
Tumbled Marble Subway Tile; Antique Mirror Mosaic
Decorative Ceiling Tiles
Powder room pedestal sink:
Powder room wallcovering:
GP & J Baker
Powder room flooring:
Black Slate; Marble Basketweave Mosaic
Powder room lighting:
Hudson Valley Lighting
“It was a really fun evening,” Jeremy says of their first design meeting. “We spent hours telling stories and sharing memories, and we pulled from (these memories) to create this design.”
Over the next three and a half years, Bauer/Clifton team worked to infuse the home with the Potters’ personal style as well as the architectural details that would bring their farmhouse memories to life, without sacrificing modernity or functionality.
A Grand Entrance
The home was “just a hodgepodge of different styles,” Jeremy says. To evoke the farmhouse feel, the designers began completely from scratch, starting with the foyer floor. The goal was to create “a design that worked with the (foyer’s) circular design and offered a nice transition to the other rooms,” Jason says. Inspired by Susan’s collection of vintage baskets, Jeremy set about trying to recreate their woven pattern in the floor. He arranged the wood – a reclaimed American chestnut believed to be from an old Virginia factory – in different patterns before settling on an octagonal shape. Then, he determined the precise angle at which each plank needed to be cut to achieve the desired effect. With measurements set, general contractor Thom Grogan, of Grogan Construction, was able to build a jig that ensured a perfect cut on every board.
The result is a showstopper.
“It’s one of a kind,” Jeremy says of the floor. “(The homeowners) know that it’s the only one in existence.”
Custom-designed posts at the outer edge of the circular foyer and a custom stair railing add to the space’s dramatic effect. Painted a rich espresso to complement the dark undertones in the chestnut flooring, they stand in stark contrast to the white trim, which mimics the millwork found in traditional farmhouses.
Custom-sized Karastan rugs add spots of vibrant color throughout, and a dark charcoal color on the walls bridges the gap between the dark and light colors, and helps the foyer flow into the adjoining rooms, Jason says.
The home’s generously sized kitchen gave Jeremy and Jason ample opportunity to create a space filled with farmhouse details and modern-day functionality.
The kitchen’s central focus is the custom-designed island, which replaced a more traditional countertop bar and gives the feeling of a more open space. Modeled after an old farmhouse table, the island incorporates a prep sink and lift-up mixer cabinet; a white marble countertop acts as an additional nod to the millwork-like trim that began in the foyer, Jason says.
Wood-paneled appliances help retain the farmhouse feel without screaming modern, and tie into the wood floor, which is laid out in concentric rings. A green, custom-designed hood and range in the island’s center is accentuated by white knobs and antique brass trims, Jason says. And with two ovens and a gas French cooktop, the 48” range is “one hell of a cooking machine,” he adds.
The hood actually provided one of the project’s few mishaps – a second one had to be made after a forklift was driven into the hood’s side as it was being prepared for delivery.
A large formal dining room that abutted both the kitchen and foyer was turned into a butler’s pantry. White cabinetry, tin ceiling tiles, an antique mirror tiled backsplash and a British racing green color on the walls ensured that the room complemented the kitchen, without feeling like an extension of it.
“While every element is completely different, it’s all well-coordinated in design,” Jason says.
Fireplace with a Juneau twist
While architectural details and well-thought out decorative touches helped bring the farmhouse feel to life, a little bit of the homeowners’ Juneau life managed to find its way into the design as well.
Knowing Phil’s love for long beach walks ever since moving into the home, the designers planned to incorporate the grey stones that lined the beach into the formal room’s fireplace. Yet the stone couldn’t be cut in a way that would allow it to be laid out, Jeremy says. So he found stones similar in look and color to the Juneau stones. The result is a beautiful, farmhouse-style stone façade, with custom wood mantel, that extends the full height of the home.
“It’s a feature you can appreciate on the lower level and the upper levels as well,” Jason says.
Jeremy and Jason’s efforts netted them several Interior Design Society awards, including first place in the Entry Way/Foyer category. But the biggest accolade came at finding out just how well their design managed to capture the Potters’ memories.
“To have the (homeowners) go through the house and point out things to us that we didn’t know about and say, ‘This was just like it was at my grandma’s house,’ ” Jeremy says, “it was really fun to see these things come to life.”