A child’s drawing of a house is the inspiration behind this totally zen home!

What happens when one of the most sought-after architectural photographers in Texas decides to build their own home? A simple, honest home with an attention to detail that elevates that home to complete zen space. Known for photographing the best Texas homes, Casey Dunn had a clear image of what he wanted. When it was time to implement his idea, Casey reached out to his longtime friend Arthur Furman to bring that image to life. “Casey had an image in his mind of a house he had photographed early in his career in a wooded area of Maine. The house was a basic shape—as one would draw as a child—just a box with a gabled roof,” says Arthur.

Externally, the house presents itself as a raw concrete structure shaped like the simple house we have been drawing since school days. A visual poetry of contrast, the concrete exterior, burnished stucco, and the douglas fir front door – together create a nature-inspired warm color palette that is reflected in the interior of the house as well. Casey’s exposure to architectural design was instrumental in this design, but the main inspiration came from the Maine gable along with the architecture of Marfa (the West Texas town) where Casey began the journey of shooting interiors for his first photography book, Marfa Modern. The interiors of the house feature an open-floor living room with an east-facing window that allows the early morning dappled sunlight to play on the floor. The theme established in the exterior of using natural colors is continued within the house, reflecting the harmony Casey wanted to feel within this home.

“I have developed an appreciation of a lot of different styles of architecture over time,” he says. “This house project was a reflection of what we were inspired by and our values during this time of our lives. I was working on Marfa Modern during the design process, and while we didn’t aim to plop a Marfa house down in East Austin, we were certainly inspired by a style of architecture that is warm, minimal, and efficient, with natural, honest materials. We wanted it to be beautiful, but the style of the house was less important to us than having a project that was true to our values, that we could really live in, and that we could enjoy as it aged.” After looking at the images of this home, we can see it is a haven for all its inhabitants – allowing them to grow and prosper in that zen-filled space.

Designer: Arthur Furman and Annie-Laurie Grabiel for Photographer Casey Dunn