To dovetail the launch of The Sound of LuxDeco, our very own music channel, we round up some celebrity homes we’ve admired over the years. With LuxDeco’s Chief Creative Officer Jon Sharpe leading the charge, this cherry-picked selection takes you from Rio de Janeiro to LA to indulge in a guilty pleasure so many of us share—snooping at how the other half live. And to be sure you don’t miss new playlists for The Sound of LuxDeco, follow here or below.
We begin with the Californian residence that Kanye West calls home. A big personality like Mr West's, a big brood (there’s North, Saint, Psalm and Chicago to factor in), and an even bigger character on top of that to fit under one roof (this is, of course, Kim Kardashian’s home too) calls for a rather sizeable estate, and that’s precisely what they stumbled upon in suburban LA.
It’s taken them seven years to transform the property from a typical Hollywood Hills mansion to what Kanye dubs 'a futuristic Belgian monastery’ with the help of tastemaker and LuxDeco 100 honoree Axel Vervoordt. Inside, it’s certainly spartan with a celestial colour palette of greys and whites with sort-of-spiritual walkways devoid of ‘stuff’. Though find us any place of worship bedecked with an original Jean Royère Polar Bear sofa and we’ll take our hat off.
Now for something that lifts you out of suburbia and into the Brazilian jungle (almost), courtesy of Lenny Kravitz’s majestic home, decorated by the interior designer musician himself.
This sideline private project has seen him renovate an 18th-century coffee plantation outside of Rio—an area he fell in love with whilst on tour and feels brings him closer to God. Shrouded by coconut palms, many with macrame hammocks hung between them, and a mere 1,000 acres of land to mooch about (in reality, the plot is peppered with Portuguese colonial-style farm houses he’s converted into guest accommodation, a gym, recording studio, and so forth), it’s been a home renovation project and then some.
Within the walls of the main residence, there’s a dynamic clash of colour and print. However, a clear and constant undercurrent of warming, earthy notes—thanks to the abundance of timber, including Spanish cedar wood, Brazilian rosewood and reclaimed redwood furnishings—is there to be lapped up too. Balanced and zen indeed.
Rapper, songwriter, producer and actor Drake’s mansion takes us over to his hometown of Toronto, Canada, where LuxDeco 100 honoree Ferris Rafauli designed him a humble pad measuring, oh, just a cool 50,000 square feet. That’s not a typo. Part of this colossal footprint is naturally taken up by his NBA size indoor basketball court, and the rest is room upon magnificent room that Rafauli describes as having a ‘modern Art Deco’ approach.
Drake’s house is effectively a swoon-worthy showcase of materials coveted for their prestige, their texture and at times, their rarity. Step into his hallway and you’ll be met with two contemporary Kaws sculptures which stand upon a statement monochrome Escarpment Light and Nero Marquina marble floor with a custom bronze and marble chandelier suspended above from the 44 foot high ceiling. Not a bad first impression.
Roam through and eventually, you’d stumble upon his bespoke Bösendorfer concert grand piano, many a custom carpet by The Rug Company and Alexander McQueen Hummingbird bedding in the master suite. It’s no wonder then that Drake’s new house is dubbed The Embassy.
How could Cher’s home not embody the same glamour, the same exuberance and the same stage presence as the singer herself? With a little help from LuxDeco 100 honoree designer Martyn Lawrence Bullard, the singer’s LA duplex is in one of Los Angeles’ most sought-after buildings and subscribes to a brief of being ‘ethnic, spicy and romantic’.
Gone very quickly were the 12 individual rooms in this two-storey apartment, and instead, Lawrence Bullard opened it up into two airy voids, interconnected with a spiral staircase, ripe for filling with 18th-century Tibetan monk statues, carved elephant sculptures, Mashrabiyya lattices (to enclose kitchen appliances), inlaid Syrian chairs and a 16th-century Chinese opium bed (from which she watches the television), to name but a handful of the furniture and objets with which the residence is dressed.
Rumour has it with one push of a button in the bathroom a semi-sheer curtain reveals itself, with Indian motifs embroidered in gold, wrapping around the tub. It’s “very Cleopatra” as Lawrence Bullard puts it.
Here’s a home that so many of us know rather well already, thanks to the behind-closed-doors access granted by singer John Legend’s wife, Chrissie Teigen on her enormously popular Instagram account. Yes, the former home of John Legend is not only filled with what seems like consistently incredible food and frolics, but impeccable interiors taste too. The 1960s Californian home has a Thai temple quality to its architecture which appealed greatly since Teigen is half Thai herself, and is concealed from view thanks to the bronze entry gate onto which there’s an Asian village scene etched.
Chic and tailored, but also earthy and casual is how Legend described celebrity power couple’s united style which was translated into interiors paradise by Don Stewart of Desiderata Design. There was a huge focus on outdoors-indoors living with the various decking areas and terraces dressed as sophistically as their great indoors for the couple to roam. One moment you could have been in the hot tub overlooking the Hollywood hills and the next in an embracing Patricia Urquiola chair below a eucalyptus tree, while the couple’s beloved dogs enjoyed a bath in the freestanding basalt bathtub or napped on one of many, many James Perse daybeds.
We end with Elton John’s house—a place as offbeat and as whimsical as Rocketman’s wardrobe. The fourth LA property on the list, this one boasts an unsurprisingly breathtaking location: high up in Beverly Hills with enviable views, an ideal location for the famed singer and husband David Furnish to raise their two young sons.
Both Elton and David are great collectors of contemporary art so their swanky property is part home, part art installation all set on one single-storey plot in a district famous for its mid-century architecture. The couple specifically decided to relocate a few key colourful, life-affirming works from their other homes in Atlanta, London, Windsor, Nice and Venice (yes, really), including those by Damien Hirst, Tracey Emin, Philip taffy and Keith Haring.
Designed yet again by celebrity designer Martyn Lawrence Bullard, little structural change was needed and so the main transformational detail within the home was all about the decor (and the state-of-the-art sound system). Nothing epitomises the vibe of the property more than key pieces of furniture like the grass green leather sofa, the glossy Willy Rizzo-style pink cocktail table, and azure blue Paul Evans dining chairs. To sum up the interior decoration in one word, you’d have to choose “kaleidoscopic”.
Header Image: Martyn Lawrence Bullard; Photography by Roger Davies for Architectural Digest