For husbands David Lee Walker and Clark Underbakke, art is a shared language. It goes beyond David’s talent for interior design and Clark’s lifelong catalog of artistic friends, and it encompasses elements of their shared experiences, family histories, travels together, friends made through art and art made by friends — visual suggestions of themes threaded throughout their relationship. It is quite literally the intersection of where their souls meet, with art even appearing as a central component of their wedding day. The couple tied the knot in the Islesford, Maine, cottage of their dear friend and renowned American folk artist, Ashley Bryan, whose work is proudly displayed in their home.

"I like the generosity of the space," says Clark. "It suits our needs very well. It's just big enough. I love the openness and the natural light."

“I like the generosity of the space,” says Clark. “It suits our needs very well. It’s just big enough. I love the openness and the natural light.”

Recently, David and Clark hosted the original homeowners' grandson, who hadn't seen the space since he was a boy, when the space featured his grandmother's shag carpet, baby grand piano, drapes and traditional chandelier.

Recently, David and Clark hosted the original homeowners’ grandson, who hadn’t seen the space since he was a boy, back when the space featured his grandmother’s shag carpet, baby grand piano, drapes and traditional chandelier.

To put it plainly, for David and Clark, art is more about relationships. “My love of art is a result of my work, being exposed to beautiful things over the years,” says David, an interior designer at Richard Tubb Interiors. “I’ve built a collection from meeting these local artists and falling in love with their art, but also the artists themselves.”

RELATED: Dreamy Design at Richard Tubb Interiors

Clark agrees, saying that creative people have always been a part of his life, adding, “Then, when I met David — it is something that he and I share and enjoy. We really enjoy supporting artists’ work, especially local artists, and then getting to know them as people.”

David, a longtime Avondale resident, discovered the house on a Sunday walk about 13 years ago, when the original owners were holding an open house. “I loved the lines of the house and was impressed with how simple it was. I felt like I could do a lot with that,” says David. The home was designed and built in 1950 by Chicago Bridge & Iron engineer John Mummert, and it embodies straightforward functionality with high-quality elements meant to stand the test of time, such as the commercial-grade concrete-and-steel foundation — a foundation that happens to offer a top-of-the-line storm shelter. David promptly purchased the home from the Mummert’s estate and moved in from his home down the street, becoming the second owner of the home.

This fabulous chrome and leather Mars chair by G & J Styles accented with a metallic hair-on-hide pillow is a perennial conversation piece in the Walker-Underbakke home.

This fabulous chrome and leather Mars chair by G&J Styles accented with a metallic hair-on-hide pillow is a perennial conversation piece in the Walker-Underbakke home.

This mirrored coffee table by Bernhardt Interiors atop a gray sisal carpet by Billy Brown Flooring features a magnolia bowl by Juanita Alexander-Walker, as well as petrified wood stumps and a petrified wood fish.

This mirrored coffee table by Bernhardt Interiors atop a gray sisal carpet by Billy Brown Flooring features a magnolia bowl by Juanita Alexander-Walker, as well as a petrified wood slice and a petrified wood fish.

A black crow made of chicken wire and rubber tire by artist Randy Gachet is perched atop a petrified wood stump in front of a banquet, above which three vintage brass rubbings lend a stately, Old World air.

A black crow made of chicken wire and rubber tire by artist Randy Gachet, from Gallery 1930, is perched atop a petrified wood stump in front of a banquet by Bernhardt Interiors, above which three vintage brass rubbings lend a stately, Old World air.

In the background more of local artist Randy Gachet's singular works hang on the wall in a striking installation of three tortoise shells made of chicken wire and rubber tire.

In the background, more of artist Randy Gachet‘s singular works hang on the wall in a striking installation of three tortoise shells made of chicken wire and rubber tire.

An architectural print by now-deceased Birmingham artist Steve Skidmore offers a focal point, while the clay vessel by Vuyise Potina from Cape Town, South Africa, and ring lamp by Mr. Brown add lovely decorative touches.

An architectural print by now-deceased Birmingham artist Steve Skidmore offers a focal point, while the clay vessel by Vuyise Potina from Cape Town, South Africa, and ring lamp by Mr. Brown add lovely decorative touches.

Selenite towers lit from behind with candles offer a fabulous alternative to firewood and ashes.

Selenite towers lit from behind with candles offer a fabulous alternative to firewood and ashes.

A Lee Industries chair and apothecary floor lamp from Visual Comfort are flanked by local art — Spirit Sticks by Birmingham artist Xander Booker on the wall and a sparkly collage face sitting on floor by New Orleans artist Chris Lawson.

A Lee Industries chair and apothecary floor lamp from Visual Comfort are flanked by local art — spirit sticks by Birmingham artist Xander Booker on the wall and a sparkly collage face sitting on the floor by New Orleans artist Chris Lawson.

The spirit sticks are comprised of records, receipts and plans from the home's designer, engineer and original owner, John Mummerts.

The spirit sticks by Birmingham artist Xander Booker are composed of records, receipts and plans from the home’s designer, engineer and original owner, John Mummert.

A closeup of this tabletop vignette features a traditional Indian vessel for holding colored powders for Holi, or the festival of colors.

A closeup of this tabletop vignette features a traditional Indian vessel for holding colored powders for Holi, or the festival of colors.

After a couple of years, when Clark moved in with David, the duo set about completely renovating the home. They modernized the master bathroom, then gutted the kitchen, where they took out a wall with a ’50s-style swinging door in order to create an airy, open floor plan with a simple, functional, clean kitchen. The space from the new kitchen flows into the keeping room, where a hidden flat-screen TV emerges from a gorgeous vintage cabinet, for when the couple is in the mood for news or entertainment.

“I like the integrity of how the house is built,” says Clark, who collected historical documents to gain the home’s status as a Historical Birmingham Landmark. “We tried very hard to keep things as historically accurate as possible. I feel that we are the current stewards of the home, and with that, comes responsibility.” Last year, when they were repainting the exterior of the home, they needed to replace a window pane. So, putting their proverbial money where their mouth is, they worked to find glass that was the thickness of 1950s glass in order to maintain the home’s historical accuracy.

As the renovation of the home evolved, so did the couple’s art collection. Pottery by David’s mother, Juanita Alexander-Walker, is sprinkled throughout the home, an ode to her journey as an artist. A grandfather clock built by Clark’s grandfather chimes on the hour in the long hallway beside a striking display of Clark’s mother’s blue-and-white Royal Copenhagen collectible porcelain Christmas plates. She bought her first of the traditional plates while on a trip to Denmark with her parents, and collected them every year following. The plate collection, installed by David, had two extras which offset the display from being a perfect rectangle: the year of Clark’s birth in 1969, which was the year she began collecting the plates, and the year of his mother’s death in 2002. “It’s a perfect representation of me and my mother,” says Clark. “Everything in here has meaning. It’s part of the good karma and good energy.”

A Moroccan rug by 18th Street Orientals is topped by Lee Industries chairs. David's mother's earlier, more colorful pottery is displayed on a tower in the corner.

A Moroccan rug by 18th Street Orientals is topped by Lee Industries chairs. David’s mother, Juanita Alexander-Walker‘s earlier, more colorful pottery is displayed on a tower in the corner.

This vintage TV cabinet by Vanguard Furniture is topped with brass lamps by Visual Comfort and anchored by a central round mirror with quartz by Modern History.

This vintage TV cabinet by Vanguard Furniture is topped with brass lamps by Visual Comfort and anchored by a central circular brass mirror with quartz detail by Modern History.

This two-tone wood sideboard table features a vintage nail statue from the Bakongo Tribe circa 1930, a Kudu horn lamp by NGALA Trading an d a mixed media artwork of sheet music and acrylics on salvaged wood by Birmingham artist Clay Stembridge.

This two-tone wood sideboard table features a vintage nail statue from the Bakongo Tribe circa 1930, a Kudu horn lamp by Ngala Trading Co. and a mixed-media artwork of sheet music and acrylics on salvaged wood by Birmingham artist Clay Stembridge, a.k.a. “Kunkle.”

A view from the kitchen into the keeping room and living room displays the openness of the space.

A view from the kitchen into the keeping room and living room displays the openness of the space.

A corner of the kitchen is brightened by a minimalist painting by Jon Coffelt of New York City entitled "Amber Waves of Grain," a small colorful spirit stick by local artist Xander Booker, a dramatic magnolia pot by David's mother Juanita Alexander-Walker and a generous bowl of citrus.

A corner of the kitchen is brightened by a minimalist painting by Jon Coffelt of New York City, entitled “Amber Waves of Grain,” a small colorful spirit stick by local artist Xander Booker, a dramatic magnolia pot by David’s mother, Juanita Alexander-Walker, and a generous platter of citrus.

These "Tangled Hair" paintings by artist Chiharu Roach of Birmingham are among the couple's favorites.

These “Tangled Hair” paintings by artist Chiharu Roach of Birmingham are among the couple’s favorites.

The Avondale neighborhood has a vibrant energy — and a rich history with longtime resident David — that makes the home even more lovely to the couple. “It’s very close to work, and I’ve always loved the neighborhood, the tree-lined sidewalks and the proximity to everything,” says David. “And it’s not just the character of the historical homes, it’s the character of the people. We have such a wide range of interesting, fabulous neighbors — older people, children, people of different socioeconomic backgrounds, different ethnicities and different beliefs.” David and Clark have enjoyed seeing Avondale experience its own renaissance and evolve into a hip cultural center of downtown Birmingham.

RELATED: What To Do In Avondale, the “Ham’s” Hippest Haven

“You have to let things happen over time. There’s a delicate line between tastefully placing collected items versus having so much stuff that it looks like a garage sale,” says David of thoughtfully editing a space.“Beautiful homes are an evolution. You can have a home that really represents you and speaks to you, but it is something that organically happens.” Clark agrees, adding, “It’s layers of our lives. As our lives evolve, the layers of our home also come together.”

As the hip Avondale neighborhood has evolved, so has this beautiful historic home filled with meaningful art, elegant style and unique personality. In a beautiful display of interior design at its best, David and Clark have filled their home with beautiful, personal items that also fill their souls.

The couple inherited this striking mirror from a friend. The dresser by Vanguard Furniture anchors a smart arrangement of coffee table books, cologne, and a custom beaver hat by Orlando Palacios for Worth & Worth.

The couple inherited this striking mirror from a friend, and it is the perfect piece for their dressing room. The dresser by Vanguard Furniture anchors a smart arrangement of coffee table books, cologne and a custom beaver hat by Orlando Palacios for Worth & Worth.

Silvered gray sisal carpet from Billy Brown Flooring is topped with a zebra hide by NGALA Trading, and the sofa by Lee Industries offers an elegant assist to the gorgeous plein air painting by Ashley Bryan.

In the dressing room, a silvered gray sisal carpet from Billy Brown Flooring is topped with a zebra hide by Ngala Trading Co., and the sofa by Lee Industries offers an elegant assist to the gorgeous plein air painting by Ashley Bryan. And on the acrylic waterfall coffee table is a driftwood carving by Jody Gunn Phelps of Fayetteville, Arkansas.

A black shagreen end table and lamp by Mr. Brown enjoy artistic company in the ceramic chameleon box by Kevin Irwin and three Tangled Hair paintings by Chiharu Roach — both local Birmingham artists.

A black shagreen end table and Mr. Brown lamp enjoy artistic company in the ceramic chameleon box by Kevin Irwin and three Tangled Hair paintings by Chiharu Roach — both local Birmingham artists.

The closet system by Elfa, from the Container Store, offered the couple an organized system that perfectly met their closet needs.

The closet system by Elfa, from the Container Store, offered the couple an organized system that perfectly met their closet needs.

The Christmas plates by Royal Copenhagen, from 1969 to 2002, are flanked by a vintage Norwegian chair, also from the Underbakke side of the family.

The Christmas plates by Royal Copenhagen, from 1969 to 2002, are flanked by a vintage Norwegian chair, also from the Underbakke side of the family.

This mixed-media painting by Dan Bynum and Doug Baulos of Birmingham, Alabama, is entitled “Wise Old Owl.”

This mixed-media painting by Dan Bynum and Doug Baulos of Birmingham, Alabama, is entitled “Wise Old Owl.”

These three faces, which David and Clark refer to as "The Children," are an artistic collaboration by "Dirgus," a.k.a., their good friends and artists, Merilee Challis, Chris Lawson and Doug Baulos.

These three faces, which David and Clark refer to as “The Children’s Portraits,” are an artistic collaboration by “Dirgus,” a.k.a., their good friends and artists, Merilee Challis, Chris Lawson and Doug Baulos.

Among their most treasured pieces are these linoleum cut prints by their good friend, artist Ashley Bryan of Islesford, Maine.

Among their most treasured pieces are these linoleum cut prints by their good friend, artist Ashley Bryan of Islesford, Maine, a 93-year-old artist, whose works will be the central focus in an exclusive exhibition entitled, Painter and Poet: The Wonderful World of Ashley Bryan at Atlanta’s High Museum from April 1, 2017, through January 21, 2018.

A snapshot of the art-filled hallway

A snapshot of the art-filled hallway

The guest bedroom includes a simple yet striking bed by Ann Gish of New York City, bedside lamps by Natural Light and a large, gorgeous feather painting by Ben Carlisle.

The guest bedroom includes a simple yet striking bed by Ann Gish of New York City, bedside lamps by The Natural Light and a large, gorgeous feather painting by Birmingham artist Ben Carlisle.

Antique carved wooden fragments, perhaps once used as shades, serve to give the bedside vignette height and an Old World elegance, while warm wooden elements, leather, woven fibers and sculpted clay elements lend a soft, comfy feel.

Antique carved wooden fragments, perhaps once used as shades, serve to give the bedside vignette height and an Old World elegance, while warm, wooden elements, leather, woven fibers and sculpted clay elements lend a soft, comfy feel.

These remarkable metallic-painted wooden nesting dolls are authentic pieces from Russia, given to Clark as a gift from a friend.

These remarkable metallic-painted wooden nesting dolls are authentic pieces from Russia, given to Clark as a gift from a friend.

The sleek, white master bathroom was the first room to be renovated in the house.

The sleek, white master bathroom was the first room to be renovated in the house.

The masculine, plush bedroom features a custom upholstered bed, which was made to cover a window revealing a wall of the neighboring home. This design solution offered privacy, as well as large, clean, elegant lines.

The masculine, plush bedroom features a custom upholstered bed, which was made to cover a window revealing a wall of the neighboring home. This design solution offered privacy, as well as large, clean, elegant lines.

Hammered metal night chests by Noir Furniture are topped with glass lamps by Robert Abbey Lighting and a pair of decorative horns.

Hammered metal night chests by Noir Furniture are topped with glass lamps by Robert Abbey Lighting and, on this one, a pair of decorative horns.

The smoky mirrors allow for a soft, glowing reflection from the lamps, perfect for nighttime reading.

The smoky mirrors allow for a soft, glowing reflection from the lamps, perfect for nighttime reading.

The pillow is from vintage Vietnamese textiles custom-made by Lily Koi of Saigon.

The pillow is from vintage Vietnamese textiles custom-made by Lily Koi of Saigon.

Thank you to David Lee Walker (right) and Clark Underbakke (left) for sharing their beautiful home, art and stories with us!

Thank you to Clark Underbakke (left) and David Lee Walker (right) for sharing their beautiful home, art and stories with us!

Thank you to Beth Hontzas for today’s beautiful photography!

Thank you to David Lee Walker of Richard Tubb Interiors and his husband, Clark Underbakke, for sharing their gorgeous home with us!

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