Having swapped London for LA, Jake Arnold has become Hollywood’s go-to interior designer. He takes a break
from discussing paint shades with John Legend and Chrissy Teigen to tell Andrew Barker how (easily) he did it
Sitting on the balcony of his first-floor studio on Santa Monica Boulevard in West Hollywood, Jake Arnold, British interior designer to American stars, is telling me how Californian he has become after almost a decade living in Los Angeles. ‘I have a life coach, a therapist, a trainer and an acupuncturist. I meditate, I take a tonne of supplements. I switch my phone on to flight mode at 8pm and I make sure I sleep eight hours a night. And I am still stressed,’ he laughs.
With his shoulder-length hair in a top knot and wearing a long moss green parka he doesn’t look it. Rather he’s a picture of calm as he glides around his office, a dimly lit room the colour of dried blood (the shade is, in fact, called ‘lighthouse’) with twin marble desks he designed himself. It is here that Arnold conceives California homes for actors such as Dan Levy, Aaron Paul and Rashida Jones, plus singer John Legend, and New York residences for Away luggage founder Jen Rubio and Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield.
Despite his elevated status as Hollywood (and the tech world’s) interior designer of choice, there’s nothing lofty about Arnold, who turned 30 in March last year with a Covid-safe ‘dance party’ for three people. He swears liberally, fetches me water twice and is such good company that our 45-minute interview goes on an hour longer than planned.
“I don’t act, I don’t know how to write a script, or sing. I don’t tell them how to do their job. And it’s the same thing [with my job]”
“These last nine years I have said ‘yes’ to everything.
It was a real hustle. There’s
no secret. No shortcut”
“You should never make yourself feel small to make someone else feel okay. I’m so happy to see other people succeeD”