by Amanda LeBlanc
Photography Beau Gustafson
I have always walked into beautiful homes designed by top architects and marveled at their talent. For some of those same homes, I have wandered into the closets and thought, “Did the architect lose their genius when they started designing storage?” I have spent many a year believing that architects do not know how to marry form or “beauty” and function. To be honest, I still don’t think that for most in the design world, the synergy of form and function is as important as the overall design itself. But there are those exceptions and I may have met one: architect Jeff Dungan.
I first met Dungan when I entered his office in English Village. While I was immediately impressed with the design and feel of the main entrance and office space, it was when I entered his personal office that I knew he got it. Dungan is a creative and, like most who claim that title, Dungan’s office is very visual. He has a desk where he handles the business aspects of his firm, and then there is the drawing room where he creates. Dungan admits he is not the most organized of persons, but just the very nature of how his office is set up shows he understands how to organize himself. If you know anything about me by now, you know my philosophy is that organization is personal and based off your behaviors and habits. Knowing yourself is the first step to really being organized. It’s clear to see that Dungan knows who he is and has given himself the proper space and work environment for each aspect of what he has to do for his business, which helps make him successful.
I asked Dungan what he wishes were more organized in his life. “I am not the most organized person on the planet,” he admits. “I actually like things a little chaotic to keep me energized, but if there was one thing I could have better organized, it would be time.” Dungan knows that the “tyranny of the urgent” can really throw time off track. I would wholeheartedly agree with him on this point. One of my favorite things to tell my employees is that if we are always handling the urgent, we miss the important, and that will kill you.
I have worked with many clients who were building or remodeling, and they stress and struggle through the whole process. I asked Dungan what advice he had for someone looking to build his or her dream home. “I always tell people to hire the person they feel best gets them and that they have the best communication with, because the design process will suffer if the relationship isn’t a strong one,” he says. I think this is excellent advice for hiring anyone that you intend to work with. For me and my business, I find that communication with a desire to really meet and exceed client expectations allows the process of helping someone get organized to be easier and more enjoyable.
All of us have different strengths and weaknesses when it comes to organizing our homes and lives. It’s always fun for me to get to meet and interview new faces and get fresh ideas on organizing from their perspectives.