Stephen Arnn

ABOUT STEPHEN ARNN

This work that I do is not just a passion of the hand in art form, but it’s a passion for the stories that are born as a result,” says Stephen Arnn, the acclaimed residential designer whose work is as historically precise as it is poetic. Born in Oklahoma City and raised in Dallas, Arnn pays homage to the environs of his past and present through architecture that is of a “complete purity.”

“If it is supposed to be of a specific regional character, I want to stay within that region—whether it’s French, Italian, German—and I want to stay with the sense of the people who live there,” says Arnn. “When I’m designing, I’m not a classicist in the sense that, if it’s Jeffersonian, for example, we have to do a building that’s exactly of that style—I may incorporate elements that are indicative of something wonderful found in a home of the 21st century. We must be pure to the sense of the style while never forgetting the humanity of it,” he adds.

A skilled illustrator, Arnn tells the story of each home he designs through creative, highly detailed hand sketches. “Drawing—it is my tranquility, my anchor,” he shares. “The dear Lord was very good to me in that I can think in three dimensions, so when I’m drawing, I simply see the views and ask myself: ‘What would I want to see first when I walk into the home?’ I begin the design with the most important part of the home: the entry.”

WHAT ARE THE KEY INFLUENCES IN YOUR WORK TODAY?
Being completely visual, my influences are the extraordinary shapes, textures and details of simple structures, palaces and barns seen in my travels. These memories translate into design sketches.

WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE STYLES TO WORK ON AND WHY?
I love Europe, especially Italy. I love sunshine and warmth that gets infused into the architecture, with huge windows, wide terraces, textures, shapes, colors and materials that embrace you.

WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON NEXT?
The best project of my career, I expect.