Company: Bauer Clifton Interiors
Interesting Fact: This firm has received multiple awards on a local, regional and national level. One of their most prized awards was being named winner of the 2016 Interior Design Society Designer of the Year. We are Jeremy Bauer and Jason Clifton, and together we make up the award-winning design firm of Bauer/Clifton Interiors. We are two Midwest gentlemen who met in Alaska and, in 2006, formed our company that is based in Juneau. We specialize in both residential and commercial in styles and varied as coastal to lodge, to mid-century modern.
Q – Who would you each say influenced you when it comes to your sense of style?
A: Jason – hmm…I believe I was originally influenced by the matriarchs of my family. From their own styles to their appreciation of design and collection of home décor editorials, I soon developed a vast obsession with fashion, design, and architecture overall; resulting in receiving my first drafting table at the age of nine. Even within my own wardrobe, I like to mix & match patterns and bold colors with classic, traditional pieces to achieve a unique style that’s always changing and evolving. Through the years of working with just about every interior design style out there, from traditional to modern – rustic to metropolitan, I’ve grown to appreciate characteristics of each. It’s always thrilling to work with clients who are willing to explore this type of intermixture of styles to achieve designs completely personalized just for them and thus, serving as a continued source of influence; along with nature, of course. You just gotta love the complexities of color, texture, and forms found in our natural world!
A: Jeremy – I would say Frank Lloyd Wright had a huge impact on my design philosophy and style. It wasn’t until I visited Taliesin West in Phoenix earlier this year that this became so evident he was responsible for it. I noticed some of my design traits represented here so boldly and putting two and two together took me back to when I first studied architecture and was subtly influenced by Frank Lloyd Wright, ranging from middle school through college. I am a firm believer of organization in design and that there is a reason behind every space and that spaces should relate to one another in their architectural orientation. I believe entry and exit to be such an important part of moving through spaces. Playing with volume, color, lighting and placement of those elements can enhance that dramatically. Lastly, I’m in love with natural materials and what you can find on this earth. I am amazed at how almost any natural material complements other natural materials. His love for nature has translated into my fascination at photographing scenes here in Alaska weather it be on the beach, in the forest, or on the mountain, the textures, colors and sheens can be a perfect inspiration to any project.
Another designer that is having a growing effect on me is Iris Apfel. Her style is so beautiful in her mixture of colors and textures. She gives that encouraging push to go bold or go home!
Q – People hear the word “trend” and are often scared because they don’t want to invest in an expensive piece that is going to be out of style in a year or two. Any advice here?
A – As with any facet of life, moderation is key and it should be applied to design, too. Just because a client or the designer loves a current trend, it doesn’t mean it should canvas the entire home and overwhelm the design. I mean, too much of a good thing is just that; whether it’s trendy or not. Ultimately, there’s typically a specific feature or characteristic of a trend that will always be considered classic and if not, there’s always a feature that can reference back to other classic details to help that trendy investment extend its relevancy!
The best advice we can give you when it comes to your home, is choose what you love versus striving to be trendy. Then, if something you love now happens to be trending, you are still going to love it even when it’s no longer making a designer’s list of top trends. Also, let’s take the Green with Envy trend as an example. Green can be incorporated within your home in smaller, less expensive ways such as accents! Consider the addition of green pillows, linens, or draperies to a living room, versus an entire green sofa. None of these items break the bank and if you decide to change these out in a few years, there is less guilt. BUT don’t get us wrong, always trust your designer and just go for it if it’s just a matter of nerves and they feel the design requires it without becoming trendy!
Q – What items do you think clients and readers should splurge on in their home?
A – We always suggest investing in quality pieces and finishes where they matter most. Assuring we have suggested a material that is durable and timeless ensures the initial splurge will develop into a wise investment when its longevity is factored in. For instance, don’t skimp on flooring, as it’s one of the highest used items in a home and is the most difficult/costly to replace. While super custom cabinetry and professional grade appliances may not be necessary for every kitchen, durable, long-lasting countertops are. Regarding furnishings, we always recommend investing in quality seating and upholstery, as accents such as rugs & pillows can assist in updating a space over time without having to reinvest in the main pieces; or worse yet, replacing inexpensive seating after only a few short years adds up quickly too!
One area we fully support splurging on is artwork! Great artwork never goes out of style and as long as the client bonds with the piece and the story it represents, it’s well worth the investment and will likely become the piece that pulls the entire design together!
Q – Are there trends you see in Alaska that are specific to your area that might surprise readers who don’t live in your part of the country?
A – Ample lighting and light control are huge, but aren’t really a trend as they are a necessity for Alaskans. From the darker months of winter to the ‘midnight sun’ of summer, we take our lighting conditions seriously! Through incorporating a mixture of lighting sources (task, ambient, & accent) on dimmers, there’s always the right amount of lighting available at any moment; hence our obsession with the new lighting at LV Market! Likewise, our window covering and drapery designs are essential for closing out the midnight sun from bedrooms and media rooms, ensuring they’re comfortable and functional. Oh, and white patent leather is having a major moment right now…just kidding!
Q – Do you leave Alaska often to attend Markets? If so, how often and which ones?
A – Yes, we regularly attend Las Vegas and High Point Markets. Both occur twice a year, and we make it to at least one in Las Vegas and one in High Point each year. As a matter of fact, we are one of the design teams participating in the Instagram takeover for IMC’s DesignOnHPMkt at the October High Point Market. We’ll be sharing our favorite showrooms, products and social events like we did at the Summer Las Vegas Market. Be sure to follow along with @DesignOnHPMkt to see more. We also put together a recap of the 2017 market here: 4 Design Trend Takeaways From An Award Winning Design Firm.
Q – In addition to being business partners, you are great friends as well, and you spend time together outside of the office. So, tell us what a Sunday Funday looks like ala Jason and Jeremy.
A – We both love the outdoors so you can find us outside enjoying the many activities living in Juneau, Alaska has to offer! From camping and landscaping in the summer months, to trekking up mountain trails in the winter months, there are endless opportunities year-round. Most recently, we enjoyed a weekend “off the grid” in the remote community of Excursion Inlet. The scenery and weather was so stunning, that we even went swimming in a glacier fed lake up in the mountain peaks!