Dispatch from Canada | Q&A Falken Reynolds

Westside House - Falke Reynolds

Welcome back to a new post in our series featuring Canadian design. Today we have a Q&A with Vancouver-based Interior Design practice, Falken Reynolds. Designers, Chad Falkenberg and Kelly Reynolds' work centers around private homes and extends to retail, hospitality and product design. We love their global perspective and community-based approach. They work with many local designers and are big supporters of the local design scene.  We caught up with them recently and asked them a few questions about their work.

We're big fans, how would you describe your work/aesthetic?

Our design approach is really client focused so the aesthetic changes from project to project. We want each home to feel authentic for the people who live there and we let their personalities and lifestyle guide the design. Our work definitely has a modern bent to it, but “modern” means something slightly different to everyone so try to define what it should be more specifically for each project. We have a huge range of projects on the go right now - renovations of a heritage house that will have a modern take Vancouver’s westside craftsman architecture, a post-war “Vancouver Special” with a masculine mid-century-modern feel, a new modern house by Randy Bens and Moosehead contracting with a warm minimalism feel as well as a 1970’s post modern house on the water in West Vancouver that we’re treating as a restoration project more than a renovation - think travertine, 45 degree angles and arches.

Where did you train or study and how did your practice form?

One of us grew up on a prairie farm in Alberta and spent time as a cowboy in Texas before becoming a graduate of finance, teacher in Lithuania and design student in Spain (Chad Falkenberg). While the other saw the world as a sailor in the Royal Canadian Navy, with a stint as an officer with Vancouver Police Department, only to jump back into travel with airlines and hotels before settling on design school in Vancouver (Kelly Reynolds). While our stories are different, our values are shared, bringing us together as partners in life in 2006, design collaborators in 2009 and principals of Falken Reynolds in 2012

Yaletown Condo - Falken Reynolds

Do you have a favourite space that you've designed?

That’s like asking a parent if they have a favourite child:) In their own way I think most of them are favourites for different reasons. We get most excited when clients tell us how their spaces have impacted their lives - the parties they’ve had, the ease of getting the kids ready for school in a well planned mudroom, the new morning coffee view a client has because of a well placed window and table.

As Canadians, what part of Canada inspires your work if at all do you think?

Nature. We have this incredible expanse of nearly untouched nature so close to most of our urban centres. We can be out climbing a mountain, cycling down a forest road or skiing within minutes of our home and office in Gastown. This proximity to the great outdoors impacts how we live in our homes and I think has created a much more casual perspective on things like comfort and luxury, especially in western Canada. I think we bring it into our work by using natural, tactile materials, that will change and age gracefully. In nature bold strong elements like a mountain or the trunk of a cedar tree are the backdrop of much more delicate and refined things like the leaf of a fern or the trickle of a stream over a mossy rock. We balance the same things in our interiors so that people experience a space as a whole but also in the smaller touch points of the details.

What Canadian designers/architect/artist do you admire?

Niels Bendsten - Inform Interiors and Bensen
Omer Arbel - Bocci
Lukas Peet & Caine Heinzman from And Light

How do you create best (e.g. do you listen to music while you create and if so what?)

We feel that creative work is equal parts inspiration and concentration. Number one is eliminating distractions. We tend to do a lot of our creative work in the evenings or on weekends when the office is quiet, or even getting away from the office for a bit. The second is to continually shift our perspective and allow ourselves to be inspired. That might mean going for a long ride or a hike or going to a gallery or exhibit. We travel to the Salone del Mobile in Milan each year to make sure we’re on top of how the global design community is evolving and we also do one adventure trip to a place that pushes us out of our comfort zones and heightens our alertness.

We'd love to see a picture of your studio/office/workshop where all the magic happens - if so, do you care to share a photo?

We love seeing people's inspiration boards or something similar - if you have a photo of that - that would be cool.

Our process starts with a lot lot of loose planing and sketching but it really comes to life once the finishes are selected. These are a lot of the hard finishes throughout the house - the next layer is furniture, fabrics, window coverings.

What are you working on currently that excites you?

We’re getting really close to wrapping up a project in a Yaletown heritage warehouse building. Our client purchased two neighbouring condos and we’re connecting them to make a 2,500 sf 1 bedroom apartment, fully equipped with a stainless steel chef’s kitchen, bar, dining room for 10, two great sitting rooms and our most detailed bathrooms we’ve done to date. Even even has a dog shower for the client’s four rescued beagles. We started with the clients in 2012 and completed the work in phases while the owners lived in the suite that wasn’t under construction. We’re so excited to it come together later this spring!

What is new happening for you - anything you'd like us to report?

We’re in Milan for Salone del Mobile and Milan Design Week. Our Instagram will be pretty focused on the new pieces being released that get us excited, some of the most inspiring installations and some of our local friends who are launching new products during the week: BocciNotae Studio, BensenMatthew McCormick.

Thank you Chad and Kelly! Enjoy your trip in Italy!

Visit Falken Reynolds online:
Site: www.falkenreynolds.com
Instagram: falkenreynolds
Facebook: falkenreynolds
Twitter: falkenreynolds
Pinterest: falkenreynolds

Jan Halvarson

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