Nature Inspired Interiors by Jeffrey Dungan
Discover the unique spaces created by interior designer Jeffrey Dungan, and explore his clean and modern approach to traditional vernaculars and classical architecture. Thanks to a deep passion for arts and his countryside upbringing, Jeffrey designs intimate and familiar projects made for luxury and intentional living.
Founder of his eponymous architecture and interior design firm, Jeffrey Dungan discovered a love for drawing and art at a young age while growing up on his family farm in rural Alabama. Being immersed in the powerful natural countryside would become inspiration for a life designing beautiful architecture and interiors, carrying the intimate feelings of a family home in all of his projects.
Dungan’s creative work can been seen in his native South, and throughout North and Central America. Recognized for his clean and modern approach to traditional vernaculars and classical architecture, he is a fresh voice in the industry. In addition to his architecture, he brings passion, depth and an endless enthusiasm for the people he works with.
Discover his interview on Artemest and read all about what influences his style, how he first approached the world of interiors and his favorite décor pieces.
How did you first become involved in the world of design? Tell us your story.
I fell in love with painting and drawing at a young age and through that discovered mid-century art and eventually even the old masters. This began was all when I was perhaps 10 years old, I studied painting taking lessons in watercolor and oil painting. I also enjoyed my studies in math and found that these all intersected in some ways with architecture and design so I in some ways one thing led me to another.
How would you describe your personal style and what’s the personal signature that makes your projects unique?
I think my style has its roots in history and building traditions of English origins- but I am not interested in historical replication. So my process involves always the interplay between modern thinking and things that feel more familiar because they are from the past. This blend apparently creates something that is viewed as unique but I leave the style definitions to others.
Where do you draw inspiration for your projects?
I draw inspiration from so many sources, some are historical references like Palladio and Charles Voysey or Carlo Scarpa. But the main and central inspiration I have always drawn from is nature itself. The Spanish architect Antonio Gaudi said it best “the tree outside my studio taught me everything I need to know about architecture”
What’s the decorative piece you enjoy selecting or designing for your clients and why?
I love designing details and some things are decorative like gates and stairs especially the railings. Front doors also are wonderful opportunities to make a statement and you can experiment with almost every material- cut limestone around the door and then of course wood that is carved or inlaid into panels and also metals for ornamental door openers or pulls.
In a hyper-digital world, do you often turn to social media and online mood boards for inspiration?
Of course I love all the online locations for inspiration and these days especially staying connected with my friends and colleagues. I would say the one I use the most is Instagram because it is mainly lets be honest, pictures! I have been introduced to many amazing creative people all over the world through this medium, and enjoy inspiring people with some of the images of our work as well. This is very fulfilling to me, because inspiration is the fuel of the creative soul.
What is your favorite project you have worked on and why?
I love working with our clients in various parts of the world, and even really wild places like California. I think what keeps my interest is how different it is to work in Canada where the design has to relate to things such as it gets very cold obviously, and then at the same time be working on a project in Costa Rica where nothing could be much more different. The common thread is people, and yet that also is frequently surprising at the variety of thinking and wants and desires. A person’s home is a very intuitive and idiosyncratic thing, the psychology of which I find particularly fascinating.
What do you think is going to be the next big trend in interior design?
I think the next big thing actually I will change the question to what I hope it is, would be just a renewed awareness and focus on home. This world is not getting any less complex and difficult to navigate through life as we know it. The lessons we are learning and the circumstances of working from home, for example will force us to reimagine what it looks like and the experience of home. Home is so critical to our lives but it is also sometimes easy to take it for granted- I think that questioning what it is and how it can give us a sense of wholeness and peace and what that looks like to each of us is an important thing to do. I hope the answers we discover- but just as much, the questions we begin to ask- will make us all better versions of our current selves.