Designer likes collaborative creative process

Atlanta-based architect and interior designer Jeffrey Bruce Baker creates talked-about spaces for his ever-growing list of residential and commercial clients.

Background: Baker grew up in Greenville, North Carolina. As a child, he loved building-related toys, such as Lincoln Logs and Legos. In elementary school, Baker would ask classmates about their dreams homes – and sketch them. In 2001, he moved to Georgia to attend Southern Polytechnic State University (now merged with Kennesaw State), where he earned his degree in architecture. Baker worked with other firms before starting his own.

The company: Started Jeffrey Bruce Baker Designs in January 2009 in Atlanta. He originally thought his firm would focus on classical architecture and traditional and transitional interiors. But his first project was a modern kitchen renovation in a high-rise. Now he has a mix of architectural and interior projects, ranging from renovations of older homes, new construction, residential, retail, restaurant and multi-family communities.

Furniture: Baker works with local artisans to create one-of-a-kind pieces for clients. He also is launching a JBB line of furnishings, home-goods and small occasional pieces – and seeking retailers to partner with him.

First design job: In middle school, he designed and built trellises, trash enclosures, and other garden follies for a local interior design firm that would resell them to its clients.

Known for: A creative process that is truly collaborative, in that he listens to his clients’ ideas and inspirations and creates spaces that are beautiful, functional and unique to them.

Big break: Meeting Ashley and Jorge Ocampo and landing the opportunity to create a modern home for them on a long, narrow lot (with a steep incline) in Atlanta. The home features a second-floor pool and walls of glass that allow access to nature and the house’s amenities. The home’s design has been called the “house of light” by local realtors.

Pet peeves: Design rules. “I make design solutions based on the needs of the client and the conditions of the site or existing space.”

Current design obsession(s): Using lots of glass. Also built-in seating and storage, especially panel systems that conceal storage or passageways to places like laundry rooms.

New (or re-emerging) designs I like: The growing interest in patterns, furniture pieces and architectural elements from the mid-century modern period.

… and looks I am glad to see go: Neutrals as the main fabric of couches and chairs. I am happy to see people embracing strong colors and patterns again.

Most unusual request: Several. One involves converting an antique queen bed, which had sentimental value, into a king bed to make room for two dogs.

Biggest design mistake I have made: Not following his gut and going with a safe design instead of daring one.

… and homeowners make: Hanging art work too high on the wall.

Favorites

- Atlanta-area home/design stores: Thomas Deans Fine Art; Sarah Cyrus Home; Paul +; Dogwood Fabrics; Switch Modern; and Atlanta Made.

- Blogs: Design Milk and Quintessence

- Places for unusual (or great finds): 14th Street Antiques, Scott Antique Market: and Architectural Accents.

My personal style: Casual modern, with clean lines, modern forms and rustic elements, such as reclaimed wood and iron.

Household issues I am particular about: Indoor air quality, including finishes, proper insulation and ventilation.

Favorite pieces in my place: A console I designed and had built named “The Christopher Console” for a dramatic space in Washington, D.C. The bar-height cocktail bar sits in front of a ninth-floor window looking out over the city. Made of iron and glass, it’s functional and elegant. Most of all, it’s a favorite place to relax, think, eat and drink.

What I can’t stop buying: Sheets and bedding, plus white Pyrex mixing bowls.

Latest project: A new location for the Taka Sushi restaurant near Chastain Park.

Up next: Working with my partner on new furniture, bedding for people and pets and a pet line.

Find Jeffrey Bruce Baker at:

- Website: www.JeffreyBruceBaker.com

- Facebook: JeffreyBruceBaker

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