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BW alumnus finds his forte in interior design

Jeffrey Haines '72 has been causing high-end home envy for over 30 years with his sought-after interior designs. He recently shared his BW story with his Pi Lambda Phi (Pilam) Fraternity.

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Jeffrey Haines '72 has been the cause of high-end home envy for more than 30 years with his sought-after interior designs. He's the owner of Butlers of Far Hills, Inc., a nationally recognized interior design and decoration company with a reputation for high quality and attention to detail.

Baldwin Wallace and Pilam

Jeffrey Haines
Jeffrey attended Baldwin Wallace (BW) as a music major. During RUSH, he met some brothers from Pilam who shared his love for music. And after spending time getting to know the brotherhood, he found the, "right combination of people with a really broad mixture of diversity."

Jeffrey played piano and sang, which was a great fit as Pilam was always a front-runner at the annual Fraternity sing, an a capella competition.

He developed his networking skills at BW when he was named the chair of the homecoming committee for the entire campus. And it turned out to be a moment of serendipity, as he met his future wife, Patty, the runner-up for homecoming queen.

Making music with interior design

Jeffrey's first job out of college was teaching music in Cleveland. He liked it, but didn't really love it. He was always much more interested in architecture and design. So, he began taking classes at Cleveland Institute of Art.

By chance, his college connections helped him change his path. Friends introduced him to Baldwin Wallace grads who owned a successful interior design and furnishings company. He said, "they showed me the ropes and pushed me into the deep end, letting me run their business."

He credits much of his business success to his Pilam experience saying, "Pilam gave me an opportunity to work within a group and find my strengths in a group dynamic."

Building a business

In 1982, Jeffrey took a leap of faith, returning to his home in New Jersey and started his own business in Far Hills with no clients. But it turned out to be a fortuitous beginning as New Jersey was having a housing growth boom.

He started marketing his business and developed trusted relationships with architects, who value the mutual benefit of exterior and interior design. He said, "they want their projects to look terrific."

His company got national coverage in publications including Traditional Home and House Beautiful. He said, the fire "fanned really quickly" and was able to expand his business regionally within five years.

No Flügenheims from IKEA here

Jeffrey Haines interior

Jeffrey believes that his style of interior design is one key to his success. He said his designs are "rooted in the past, but with modern sensibilities."

His personality and love of music are reflected in his designs. His daughter Ashley said, "people have always loved that in almost every designer show house room there is an element of music. Usually a baby grand piano which you could often find dad playing during the tours."

He opened a retail shop in Nantucket, where he and his family vacation. The retail business became a storefront for the interior design business and leads to more referrals.

He still loves his work and is in no hurry to retire. He said, "my job takes me to nice places with great people."

Reconnecting with Pilam

Jeffery said he, "got hooked back in to Pilam recently" after meeting up with a classmate that he had lost contact with. He said, "It was the best, and then we went to a Baldwin Wallace reunion and reconnected with others."

They continue to stay in touch, sharing some old chapter minutes and photos that really brought back great memories.


This story first appeared on the Pi Lambda Phi Fraternity website.

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