It was past midnight, and Jeremy Bauer, of the award-winning Bauer Clifton Interiors in Juneau, Alaska, was spinning his wheels.
He was racking his brain trying to design a wood floor for a wealthy client and could not figure out which way to orientate the floor in the round entryway to the home. Pointing this way, that way, it didn't matter; it all felt forced, he says. That's when he found inspiration in an unlikely place—the bottom of an antique woven basket he had brought from the client's home. He decided then and there to create a circular floor 18 feet in diameter that appeared to weave in and out of itself until reaching a 3-foot-wide circle in the center.
"It was like a lightbulb," Bauer says. "I looked at the bottom of the basket and decided that was going to be the crowning piece of the design."
Bauer's design partner, Jason Clifton, got on board, and after planning everything in CAD and choosing American walnut flooring reclaimed from an 1880s factory in West Virginia, the team hired local craftsman Thom Grogan of Forget Me Not Carpentry to put the plan into reality. The "slath"—center—of the basket features 16 22.5-degree triangles. The center is surrounded by six 3-inch-wide rings. From the seventh ring onward, Grogan installed 3-, 4- and 6-inch-wide flooring at random. The boards in the rings were cut into trapezoid shapes, which made the floor weave instead of spiral, Bauer says. The outer edges of the pattern run up against the doorway and walls surrounding the entryway, and opposite the door the pattern flows into a curved stairway.
Looking down from the second floor mezzanine, the symmetry is impeccable. Or, like Bauer says, business as usual: "This is indicative of the level of customization we factor into our designs. If our clients are down for it, we can take it from zero to 60, by all means."
Editor's Note: Updated June 7 to clarify the size of the floor pattern.