In AD’s September Style issue, superstar couple John Legend and Chrissy Teigen welcome readers inside their new family home, a Beverly Hills pad designed by AD100 talent Jake Arnold. Arnold shares in the cover story, “My challenge was to take this very contemporary, shiny new house and apply my philosophy to it—to make it inviting and livable, a version of what I do that speaks directly to their personalities.” Indeed, Arnold’s magic is in creating environments with soul. Look no further than the bedrooms of Legend’s kiddos Luna and Miles, which Arnold designed with fantastical elements that suggest their respective dream worlds. “Jake did a good job!” shouts Miles from the trenches of his camouflage-netted cave during the family’s Open Door video tour.
Despite his British roots, Arnold’s style is quintessentially Californian, evoking a leisurely comfort through natural materials and rich, warm palettes that read as luxurious but never uninviting. Attracting an A-list clientele that consists of Aaron Paul, Rashida Jones, Vanessa Hudgens, and more, his work has helped define the elements of today’s warm minimalist interiors—plaster walls and hand-cut Zellige tile included.
Industry brands have taken notice of the talent too: Arnold has product lines with Lulu & Georgia and Crate & Barrel, and in 2021 he cofounded online design consultation service The Expert, which has since expanded into a showroom with an in-house product label.
Just as AD’s September issue dropped, AD PRO asked readers to share their burning questions for the industry force and design cover star. You asked, Arnold answered! Here, the designer shares his biggest career moves, go-to sources, and a hot take on crown molding.
AD: How did you start your design career?
Jake Arnold: I applied for an internship at an LA-based firm I admired via Twitter, and that landed me in the US and in the industry.
What was the first design project that marked a turning point in your career?
Seven years ago, my dear friend and client Julianne Hough took a chance on me to design her LA home, and that project was featured on a cover of Better Homes & Gardens. My career really started from there!
What inspires you to use a rich, elegant, brownish-golden color palette in your design work?
Brown tones really warm up a space, and that’s become a signature word and feeling in our studio work—warm, comfortable, timeless. [It adds] a richness versus a stark, cold feeling.
What’s your go-to source for purchasing art that is original but not bank-breaking?
I love using Creative Art Partners for interesting pieces. We have partnered with them on so many projects, and they’re a great partner of ours on The Expert Showroom.
Is crown molding out of style?
No! Molding styles should reflect the architecture and style of a home. Here’s my trick: Paint the molding and ceiling the same color as the room to add depth and richness to a space.