Our designers are among the best in the business—and we’re always on the lookout for the best among them. When we discover a gifted designer—like Daniel Bauer—who represents the essence of Ethan Allen, we know we’ve found our latest Design Star! Meet Dan in this exclusive interior designer interview. Find out what inspires him, what projects are his favorites, and what he brings to the design table. Take a peek into the life of an interior designer who truly loves his work—and makes beautiful homes happen every day.

Dan is a senior design consultant at the Ethan Allen Design Center in Woodbury, Minnesota. He has a BFA from the University of Wisconsin at Eau Claire, and a master’s degree in Textiles and Design from the University of Wisconsin at Stout. He’s earned a number of accolades during his 30+ years with Ethan Allen, including the Circle of Excellence, Gold Spirit, and Diamond Spirit awards.

Tell us a little about yourself.
I was born in Mondovi, Wisconsin, and grew up on a farm in nearby Strum, where I was one of six children. I served in the United States Air Force and was stationed in Massachusetts and Nebraska as a graphic illustrator. I met my wife, Faith, in graduate school, and we moved to St. Paul, Minnesota, eventually settling in Woodbury. We have two children and three beautiful granddaughters whom I adore. I love to travel, both in the U.S. and abroad; I’ve been to Spain, Switzerland, and Peru where I even took a zipline down a mountain! I have many hobbies, but my favorite is my weekly drawing session with a supportive group called “The Old Town Artists of St. Paul.”

What is the one thing that defines you as a designer?
I am known for not holding back, for telling it like it is with clients. I believe you need to be as honest as possible to set realistic expectations and help them understand where your vision is going.

What is your favorite design tip?
Take a photo of the room you’re furnishing and bring it with you when you meet with your designer. It’s easy to lose your objectivity when living in a space. A photo allows us to see a room with a new eye and from a different perspective. Often, we can pinpoint exactly what’s needed.

What Ethan Allen piece is your favorite?
I love our Anderson sofa. It combines the best of classic design with high style.

Complete this sentence. Every room needs …
Something, even if it is just one piece, that gives it the personality of the homeowner. It’s similar to the way in which one thing—a piece of accent jewelry, a scarf, or a tie—can define the way you dress. Find that piece of art that is meaningful, or the color inspires you, to make every room a reflection of you.

If you could do any project, anywhere, on any budget, what would it be?
I would like to do a European villa that overlooks the Mediterranean!

Tell us about your favorite Ethan Allen project.
I had one special client who gave me the privilege of designing a home here, a new home in Arizona, and a summer home in Duluth, Minnesota—all within a couple of years. To me, it’s the client that makes the project. When you have a great connection with them and you have their trust, then you love the project. It’s that simple.

Find more of Dan’s work on Houzz ( To see more beautiful rooms by designers like Dan, subscribe to The Art of Making Home.

CATEGORY: Design Star

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