Casey Dunn has a shoulder injury to thank for his introduction to photography: at the age of 16, the lifelong ballplayer found himself on the sidelines. To fill the time (and earn an elective credit), the Austin student joined the high school yearbook staff. He started photographing his friends and classmates riding their BMX bikes and playing in their punk bands and was surprised by how much he loved it—and how he took to being holed up in the darkroom for hours on end. He enjoyed it so much that he enrolled in a photo class. “At that point I was hooked and spent the rest of high school in the darkroom,” he says. He went on to study photography at the Brooks Institute in Santa Barbara, California, and it was there that he found his niche: architectural photography. Since moving back to his hometown in 2006, the 36-year-old has become one of the go-to and most highly respected interiors photographers in the state, capturing the spaces of many a legendary architect (like the Austin Public Library for Lake Flato in San Antonio), taking photos for publications including Texas Monthly, and producing a handful of beautiful coffee table books, like Marfa Modern and the upcoming Texas Made | Texas Modern. When it comes to Texas design, he’s seen it all, so we couldn’t wait to see what style he would choose for a home for himself and his wife, Sarah, on a corner lot in East Austin.
“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.” The end result of this highly thought-out abode, which was designed by Dunn’s longtime friend Arthur Furman and his wife, Annie-Laurie Grabiel, of Side Angle Side, is a a space that feels both modern and timeless.