DESIGNER INSIDER : JEFFREY DUNGAN ARCHITECTS

CitrineLiving-Jeffrey-Dungan-ArchitectsI’m so excited to introduce you to Jeffrey Dungan, of Jeffrey Dungan Architects, one of North America’s premier architects, who’s body of work consists of upscale architecture; combining classic elements, modern lines and natural materials. All with an incredible sense of restraint, enabling his spaces to almost speak to you. When I discovered Jeffrey through Instagram, I was blown away by how compelling his work is – like a carefully curated collection of art, I was immediately drawn in. I reached out to see if Jeffrey would be interested in an interview. His down to earth attitude and gracious, positive energy truly inspired me, as much as his portfolio does. Keep reading to find out more about Jeffrey’s vision behind these spectacular interiors. I’m sure you too, will be immediately drawn in!

CitrineLiving-Jeffrey-Dungan-ArchitectsCL: There’s an incredible sense of drama in your spaces, yet they’re calm and quiet at the same time. How do you achieve such a perfect balance?

JD: I believe that life is too short to live a dull existence – and dull spaces don’t help us live the life we all dream we can. I think our environment is critical to the goal of living an inspired life. So yes – I would actually say what we try to do is create emotion in our rooms – in our designs… I’m an emotional person, so I think it probably is just a natural outflow of what I think about life and living. I also am what I quasi-jokingly call a “closet modernist” so I think if you can say in a few words what you mean, it’s always more powerful. Thus, the quiet part of what you perceived in the work.

CitrineLiving-Jeffrey-Dungan-ArchitectsCL: Your work clearly draws on nature and the use of natural materials. How important is that to you and where is that inspiration drawn from?

JD: I think of all the places that inspire us, nature is one of the biggest and most roundly agreed upon resources… There is not much we do that can’t also be traced back to nature – be that pattern, shape, form, color, light – we are animals and react to these things in a ubiquitous way. I think for me personally, nature has a very real and palpable meaning because I grew up on a farm and was steeped in nature at a very young age throughout my childhood and it just got inside my soul.

CitrineLiving-Jeffrey-Dungan-ArchitectsCL: This kitchen is a cloud-like dream! I love your use of space and that there are so many bold statements, yet they don’t compete with each other. Tell me how you were able to attain that.

JD: Well, there is a lot that goes into any successful space – when I look at this, I see many elements – and color and light and shape. Any good composition has a place for the eye to go and rest, a focal point like the hood – where the eye returns to again and again but ventures out to look at the other details from that location. There is also balance – not always by symmetry but in this case, a powerful symmetry. What you don’t see in this image, is the very broad cased opening that frames it in a wonderful way – which I loved about this kitchen.

CitrineLiving-Jeffrey-Dungan-ArchitectsCL: The windows in this space are the focal point, allowing the outdoors to take centre stage. Yet they act as the perfect backdrop to the beautiful pottery and art! What was the driving force behind this concept?

JD: I would say light. And some views – but mostly in this kitchen I wanted to get rid of all the cabinetry. Many kitchens look like “ode to cabinets” and while I love a great piece of millwork as much as anyone, I get tired of too much. So, we found other places to store stuff. There’s not a cabinet that can compete with light and looking out into the trees (where the material for the cabinets comes from to begin with).

CitrineLiving-Jeffrey-Dungan-ArchitectsCL: I love how the appliances in this kitchen are mostly built into the stunning, marble-wrapped island, rather than on the walls, allowing the windows and views to sing. Was this design concept an ‘easy sell’, considering the smaller footprint of the space? Correct me if I’m wrong in thinking this is a smaller space! Also what was your philosophy behind using this amount of wood here?

JD: No, you are pretty much right on all accounts – the house was on a piece of property, that was, wait for it, 40×40. So, the house was small-ish but there’s not a room in there that doesn’t work, or feels cramped. This house is in Luxe magazine in this issue. On the wood, I wanted a kitchen that just felt simple without being overly rustic, yet I was hoping to make it just planked-like walls and let the materiality come through in a simple and natural way. When the light hits it, there is a magical feeling inside there.

CitrineLiving-Jeffrey-Dungan-ArchitectsCL: This bathroom is clearly a nod to the past, yet is so current. It reminds me of a European hotel from the turn of the 20th century, I’d never want to leave! Was that the objective with this design?

JD: You are very insightful. My inspiration for most of what we do comes from the 1890s to the 1920s and many periods as it did here – it just exudes that time gone by feeling. I loved this bath, it feels very spa-like, but as you say, in a very old school way. There is a way to honor the past that does not become a pastiche, or a cartoon, nor is it an exact replica. Those are the kinds of spaces I love.

CitrineLiving-Jeffrey-Dungan-ArchitectsCL: There’s something almost ethereal about this stunning space, it’s all so fresh and light and I love contrast of the punctuation of that black door and railing! Can you tell me more about this space and what your intentions were?

JD: I love steel windows and doors and their thinness – also, you can almost never go wrong with black and white. It’s just a crowd pleaser. I still have no idea why, but it works on me the same as it does anyone. I love to do a simple space and then do ONE detail in it that creates some sense of wonder – I call it a zinger… In this one, it is the stair and the railing. Much of my inspiration comes from travels over the world, like France… If you go into the service stair in the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, you will find a railing that inspired this one. Happy travels!

I am incredibly honored that I had the privilege to speak with Jeffrey Dungan and get to know more about him as well as learn about the thought process behind design his work. I hope you enjoyed learning from him in this brief interview, as much as I have! xo

29 Comments on DESIGNER INSIDER : JEFFREY DUNGAN ARCHITECTS

  1. Kelley Nan Lopez
    February 26, 2016 at 10:17 AM (2 years ago)

    I am swooning. I am so excited to see more of his spaces and look forward to learning even more. Tamara, thank you for this insightful interview; I am such a big new fan!! Wow!!

    Reply
    • tamaraanka
      February 26, 2016 at 10:24 AM (2 years ago)

      Kelley! Thank YOU! I’m so happy you like it and thrilled that you are as inspired as I was! Thanks for stopping by my friend! xoxo

      Reply
  2. Tracey
    February 26, 2016 at 10:25 AM (2 years ago)

    how beautifully designed everything is..
    Modern and clean and bright and spacious, with an “older feeling” from other eras. Every room is exquisite without overdoing anything..just beautiful!

    Reply
    • tamaraanka
      February 26, 2016 at 10:29 AM (2 years ago)

      Thank you Tracey!! Isn’t it all amazing! I am so excited to have the honor of featuring this incredible body of work! Thanks for visiting! xo

      Reply
  3. Tracey
    February 26, 2016 at 10:28 AM (2 years ago)

    I forgot to mention that in each room there is something to grab my attention..the windows, the airiness, the backsplash in bathroom, shelving along windows, even the alcove above the refrigerator!!

    Reply
    • tamaraanka
      February 26, 2016 at 10:39 AM (2 years ago)

      You hit the nail on the head – so many incredible details!!

      Reply
  4. Brittany Hayes
    February 26, 2016 at 10:28 AM (2 years ago)

    Oh my goodness every single image is jaw dropping! I love his attention to detail and how he lets nature take center stage through all of the windows. What an amazing talent!!! XOXO

    Reply
    • tamaraanka
      February 26, 2016 at 10:31 AM (2 years ago)

      Thank you for reading Brittany! I’m so happy to hear you love this so much and that you’re inspired as well! You couldn’t be more right about everything being jaw dropping! Thank you so much for stopping by my friend! xoxo

      Reply
  5. Mollie
    February 26, 2016 at 11:15 AM (2 years ago)

    I have been following him for quite some time and am always blown away by his talent!!! Love this feature and interview! And steel windows and doors are my fave too!! If only they weren’t so dang expensive! Good work on this Tam! Xoxo

    Reply
    • tamaraanka
      February 26, 2016 at 11:21 AM (2 years ago)

      Mollie, I discovered Jeffrey because of you, through our DreamHome challenge! Thank YOU!! I’m so happy you like the interview! Thank you for stopping by! xoxo

      Reply
  6. Randi Garrett
    February 26, 2016 at 11:33 AM (2 years ago)

    First of all, Jeffery you are an amazing talent! I love how you mix classy time periods of the past with a nod to modern design! Brilliantly done. I learned so much from your interview and feel so lucky to have stumbled across your talent on Instagram. Tamara loved your insightful interview! You are such a pro!!!! Have a lovely weekend!

    Reply
    • tamaraanka
      February 26, 2016 at 11:43 AM (2 years ago)

      Thank you, Randi! I’m so happy you like it and I couldn’t agree more at how brilliant Jeffrey’s work is! Thank you for your wonderful feedback and support! xoxo

      Reply
  7. Shauna
    February 26, 2016 at 11:36 AM (2 years ago)

    What an incredible interview Tam! I am a HUGE fan of Jeffrey and his work! His attention to detail is superb and I love how his upbringing in a farm made him the amazing architect he is today! Well written!
    xo

    Reply
    • tamaraanka
      February 26, 2016 at 11:45 AM (2 years ago)

      Thank you, Shauna! Jeffrey is a such an amazing talent and such a down to earth, humble person. I was pretty blown away. Isn’t it amazing how our childhood influences so much? Thank you for stopping by and for your thoughtful comments, my friend! xo

      Reply
  8. Jeff Dungan
    February 26, 2016 at 12:51 PM (2 years ago)

    Thanks so much kind lady I so enjoyed the interview and it inspired me answering your wonderful questions! Thanks to all the kind words and this is very encouraging to me!

    Reply
    • tamaraanka
      February 26, 2016 at 2:08 PM (2 years ago)

      I thank YOU, Jeffrey, for taking the time to answer my questions! I’m so excited for my readers to get to know you more! I’m thrilled to have you here and I enjoyed every minute of our meeting! You’re very welcome, the pleasure was all mine! xoxo

      Reply
  9. Haneen Matt
    February 26, 2016 at 1:28 PM (2 years ago)

    Ok, first of all, these images and the work behind them are truly stunning and inspiring! Jeffrey, you are amazing! Tamara, I loved your questions as much as I loved his answers! Xo

    Reply
    • tamaraanka
      February 26, 2016 at 2:09 PM (2 years ago)

      Haneen, isn’t this some of the most incredible work you’ve ever seen? Every bit of thought and detail couldn’t be more perfect! Thank you for reading and taking the time to comment! I’m so happy you liked it! xoxo

      Reply
  10. Susan
    February 26, 2016 at 2:12 PM (2 years ago)

    Well done Tam! I am impressed…XX

    Reply
    • tamaraanka
      February 26, 2016 at 7:28 PM (2 years ago)

      Thank you, Susan! That means the WORLD to me! xoxo

      Reply
  11. Laila
    February 26, 2016 at 10:17 PM (2 years ago)

    Jeffery has such an amazing talent, all his architectural designs are a work of art. Beautiful interview! xo
    Laila

    Reply
    • tamaraanka
      February 26, 2016 at 11:07 PM (2 years ago)

      Thank you, Laila! I couldn’t agree more! I’m quite amazed by his work and so honored to have been able to interview him! Thanks so much for stopping by my blog! xoxo

      Reply
  12. Jennifer
    February 27, 2016 at 2:06 AM (2 years ago)

    Fabulous interview Tamara!!! You asked great questions and I am so glad to know a little about such a talented architect! What attention to detail he has! I adore his use of finishes and natural light. Thank you for sharing his work with us!!! xoxoxo

    Reply
    • tamaraanka
      February 27, 2016 at 7:53 AM (2 years ago)

      Hi Jennifer! Thank you so much for visiting! I’m thrilled you like the interview and that you find Jeffrey’s work so inspiring. I honestly think it’s some of the best work I’ve ever seen! Thank you again, my friend, come back any time! xo

      Reply
  13. lidia
    February 29, 2016 at 7:56 AM (2 years ago)

    Incredible architect, incredible designs, incredible interview….Very inspired! Thank you

    Reply
    • tamaraanka
      February 29, 2016 at 2:25 PM (2 years ago)

      Thank you so much Lidia! I LOVE that you’re inspired and enjoyed the interview! Miss you! xoxo

      Reply
  14. Tracey
    March 2, 2016 at 5:28 PM (2 years ago)

    Just a quick note to mention that Vanessa is very intrigued with his architecture and design…it’s so clean and sleek, Thanks for this, Tam!

    Reply
    • tamaraanka
      March 3, 2016 at 8:30 AM (2 years ago)

      Awesome! I’m so happy she liked it too – she’s got an eye for it, we all know that! Maybe this will inspire her to keep following her dreams :)

      Reply
  15. Camellia
    January 4, 2017 at 3:31 PM (10 months ago)

    Do you mind sharing information about the light fixture that is featured in the picture with the brick fireplace and beamed ceilings? It is stunning.

    Reply

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