Your portfolio is extremely diverse, and each project seems to have a spirit of its own. What are some of your personal favorite architectural styles?
My projects are diverse in style because my clients are all unique. And even with one client, they may want a Classic Colonial in Connecticut and a Modern-style home in Palm Springs. I’m very happy not to have been pigeonholed into a signature style. I always keep in mind that I’m designing for my client’s taste, not my own.
For my own personal style, I like the architecture that came out of the Renaissance. To me this represents some of the highest ideals and aspirations for humankind, and a sophistication rarely matched since. So whether it’s an Italian villa, a French chateau, or an English country house from about 1500 to 1700, I’m all in. Some people would consider my personal home to be formal, but I’m quite comfortable lounging around in Carhartts and a T-shirt, having an IPA.
Which styles are most commonly requested by clients?
For clients in the Pacific Northwest, the style most requested is either Craftsman or Modern. My Southern California clients prefer Spanish Colonial Revival or Modern, while my clients in the Northeast like Colonial and Tudor styles for their homes. For clients in Kansas, we designed a “modern farmhouse,” and for clients in Portugal we’re designing a classical villa. The variety of work always keeps it interesting!
I understand that your travels influence your work as an architect. Where are some of your favorite places to visit?
My first trip to Europe was with Syracuse University’s program in Florence. Italy will always hold a special place in my heart and mind– besides the long tradition of great architecture– you’ve got wonderful people, food, and wine!
Closer to home, with our weather, it’s always nice to escape to Palm Springs in the winter. In Palm Springs, there is such a great tradition of Mid-Century Modern homes– homes that really capture the ethos of the times. I’ll usually take in a few open houses to tour the best homes on the market at any given time.
Can you give a few examples of ways that you incorporate international design elements in your work?
I enjoy working on revival style homes: Italian Renaissance Revival, Spanish Colonial Revival, French Norman, and English Arts and Crafts. If you’re going to get the project right, and not look like some cheap knockoff, it is important to study the real examples that exemplify the best of the style. The only way to do that is to look at the European or American originals. I try to incorporate the forms and details of the best buildings when designing my own. Plus it is a good excuse to travel!
Looking ahead, what are you most excited to work on in 2022?
Clients of mine just signed a contract with Pearson Construction for the building of a new Modern-style house off Chuckanut Drive. It’s going to be a stunner! It’s perched on a shelf of land between a rock face and views of the bay. Per the client’s direction, it will be very sophisticated, yet relaxed and low-key.
Besides that project, I always love the challenge and possibilities of each new project. The best next project is probably just around the corner!
Bellingham, 360.922.2000, davidfalkdesign.com