Power Couples: Chad Falkenberg and Kelly Reynolds

By Aleah Balas

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In a creative industry, visions can be grand and perfection can be subjective. When adding love into the mix, there is plenty of room for things to go awry. For Chad Falkenberg and Kelly Reynolds, their perspectives and synergy are what makes them the incredible duo that they are, building an award-winning west-coast Canadian interior design company, Falken Reynolds Interiors. Together for 17 years and work partners for 10, the couple prides themselves on their dedication to creating authentic and contemporary spaces shaped by the distinct lives and experiences of their clients. 


In this edition of Power Couples, we sat down with Chad and Kelly to learn more about how the duo operates and have designed their studio from the ground-up.

Chad Falkenberg and Kelly Reynolds smiling into the camera together.
Photo courtesy of Falken Reynolds Interiors

Can you share a bit about your personal and professional journeys?


Chad Falkenberg: We’re Chad Falkenberg and Kelly Reynolds of Falken Reynolds Interiors. When we were kids we both loved building things. I loved using simple Lego blocks to create houses and the CN Tower while Kelly used Construx to build skyscrapers. After pursuing other careers—Kelly in the Canadian Navy and Vancouver Police Department, and myself as a marketing professional—we both decided to make a big shift and start studying design. I moved to Barcelona to start design school and Kelly started studying in Vancouver. We met in 2006 and by 2012 we had started Falken Reynolds.


How did the idea of working together come about?


Chad Falkenberg: Kelly had started a design practice with another partner and I was working for designer Robert Bailey when we realized we both loved the industry and wanted to pool our experiences to start our own practice.


In what ways do your skills and strengths complement each other?


Kelly Reynolds: Since our values are the same, we can trust each other to lead different areas of the business. Chad leads the creative and details with the team, while I drive the initial concept and client care. 


You both have such unique experiences prior to becoming interior designers. What do these diverse perspectives bring to your company and your relationship?


Chad Falkenberg: Our past experiences, as varied as they were, exposed us to people from so many different backgrounds with different values and norms—it laid the foundation for how we approach our work by being curious about our clients and how we can craft a uniquely personal home, specifically for them. Personally, we love having experiences that push us a little out of our comfort zone, travelling to places far off the beaten path, like a research station in a remote rainforest reserve in Borneo or, recently, to the Solomon Islands. 

Sun-filled living and dining room looking out on an oceanscape with a tree-covered mountain in the distance. There is a water-glass chandelier hanging overtop a light brown dining table and chairs with large sliding patio doors open.
Photo courtesy of Ema Peter/Falken Reynolds Interiors

Working together as a couple comes with a unique set of challenges and rewards. What are some of the highs and lows you’ve experienced in your professional journey together?


Kelly Reynolds: At the very beginning, we were working from our 580-square-foot loft space in Gastown. The small space made us realize that we needed to get an office so we could separate work and home life. 


In terms of your style as designers, how do they differ, and in what ways are they similar?


Kelly Reynolds: We’re pretty in sync with the range of styles that get us excited and how we go about searching for a design solution. I am more comfortable with our minimalist projects while Chad is a bit more comfortable with layering. Since we develop each project around the client’s preferences, we can both contribute a lot by pulling the project one way or the other. 


In the fast-paced world of interior design, how do you stay inspired and keep your creativity flowing, both individually and as a couple?


Chad Falkenberg: We both recharge by being in nature and being active. Luckily, living in Vancouver, we have incredible access to both. We typically do an adventure trip in December to completely detach from the built environment and let our minds rest. There is nothing like hiking or trekking to remote places to completely unplug and rejuvenate. Most years we also journey to the world’s most important design fair, Salone del Mobile, in Milan so we can understand the direction trends are heading.

Minimalist and serene bathroom with a soaker tub and wooden stool. The windows face a bunch of foliage.
Photo courtesy of Ema Peter/Falken Reynolds Interiors

How do you manage to integrate your work and personal lives while maintaining a healthy relationship?


Chad Falkenberg: We surround ourselves with good people and a good balance of people we can relate to with those who are in the industry or entrepreneurs in some other way. We build in moments and experiences. Since we spend a lot of time together, we’ve learned to build in time apart, going to separate gyms, each getting one night at home alone during the week (we’re both introverts so this is our recharge time.) We try to avoid talking about work tasks or projects when we’re at home, focusing more on trying to understand how each other is doing and if we need support. We really make an effort to do or plan non-work things together, from watching Average Rob to going skate skiing.


Interior design can be a very creative and subjective field. How do you ensure that criticism or feedback from each other is constructive and supportive?


Kelly Reynolds: There is no absolute right or wrong in so much of design. There are so many ways for the design solution to be successful that it’s pretty easy to get excited about things that aren’t our own ideas. We’ve learned to save the ideas that we end up not using on one project for a future one.


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Can you share a memorable achievement or success that you both have celebrated together in your professional journey?


Chad Falkenberg: We had a party to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of Falken Reynolds in 2022, and then in 2023, we won Western Living’s Designer of the Year award. For both, we were surrounded by the people who helped us build our practice and our life together—family, friends, our team, and colleagues. It was emotional to see how much everyone’s support has made our business possible and then a success.


For couples considering working together, what advice would you give to help them navigate the dynamics of a professional partnership while maintaining a strong personal relationship?


Kelly Reynolds: Knowing that it is possible to have both unconditional love and also professional friction that is healthy for any successful business.


What are your future plans and aspirations for working together?


Chad Falkenberg: The beauty of a design career is that growth and learning are endless. We get to work with some pretty incredible people—both clients and professionals in all areas of the industry. It will be fun to see who we work with in the future. We’ve had great experiences working on projects across North America and we’d like to continue expanding our projects outside Vancouver. We have lots of ideas for how to extend the business and we’re excited to start exploring those in more detail.