Podcast, Ep. 245 Modern Approaches to Classical Architecture with Jeffrey Dungan

Architect Jeffrey Dungan on the How to Decorate Podcast

Architect Jeffrey Dungan

Award-winning architect and author Jeffrey Dungan joins us on the show today to talk all about bringing joy to home design. He founded his firm, Jeffrey Dungan Architects, with a focus on creating private residences with lasting beauty. He’s known for his clean and modern approach to classical architecture. His accolades include numerous awards from the American Institute of Architects, Veranda, and ADAC’s 2017 Southeastern Architect of the Year, being named a Shutze fellow by the Institute of Classical Architecture, and a prestigious Palladio Award. His work has been featured in The Wallstreet Journal, Garden & Gun, Southern Living, House Beautiful, and many others. His highly regarded book, The Nature of Home, is available now and he’s also working on a second book. We talk all about Jeffrey’s creative process, his playfulness and childlike approach to design, why he thinks a house should “wink” at you, an in-depth look at natural light, and much more.

What You’ll Hear on This Episode:

  • How Jeffrey’s journey to architecture began on his family farm in rural Alabama.
  • Why Jeffrey likes to create ethereal homes by focusing on natural light and materials.
  • Using visual interest to create an inviting, intuitive flow in a home.
  • Jeffrey likes to be playful and have “zingers” in a home design; what is his favorite zinger?
  • How Jeffrey accomplishes his ultimate goal in his work: to bring joy.
  • The trick to bringing in the right amount of natural light and materials.
  • How geography and topography play a big part in architectural design.
  • How Jeffrey’s personal home build with his wife is coming along.
  • When does Jeffrey recommend bringing in a team of professionals in the home-building process?

Decorating Dilemma

Hi McKinley,

Some of the best interior decorators never went to interior design school, so you don’t have to necessarily go to a specialty program. That said, it’s not a bad idea either! Anecdotally, I went to architectural school with Ray Booth who now spends most of his time doing interior design, but he had a strong foundation from his education. If you have interior design firms in mind, I would say go ahead and reach out to them. You could certainly see if they have an internship or summer program so you can get your feet wet and decide if it’s really what you want to do. Family ties can always be helpful, but there is SO much work out there right now that I don’t think you’ll have trouble finding a place that would be happy to bring you on. Never underestimate the power of a handwritten note! My best advice would be to follow your heart. If you’re at architectural school and you still feel interior design pulling at you, I would explore it. Even if you spend some time doing it and decide it’s not for you, it’s better to know now than always wonder. It’s a true gift to be able to do something you naturally love and are passionate about. Good luck!

Mentioned in This Episode:

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Happy Decorating!

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Abbey Nolte

Abbey is a homegrown Georgia peach who loves a fresh take on Southern design. When she’s not working behind the scenes of the How to Decorate blog and podcast, you can find her cheering on the Appalachian State Mountaineers and spending time with her wheaten terrier, Charlie.