European Star Style
Whether they decorate their own homes, such as the industrious and creative Courtney Cox-Arquette, or pay top designers to do it for them, like Cher, celebrities enjoy adding elegant touches to their regal homes. Here are some high-profile examples of how the stars like to shine:
Smokey Robinson's European Elegance
Smokey Robinson lives in a house that reflects his truest passions and represents his inspiration. The antebellum estate was built in 1893 in Los Angeles' Hancock Park and was relocated to its present location in another section of the city in 1912. This estate includes the 6,700-square-foot house, a guesthouse, gardens with a stream and waterfall, a swimming pool and a four-hole putting green on 2 1/2 acres of property.
Before Robinson purchased the estate in 1987, the property was unoccupied for nearly four years. Because it had become rundown, many repairs were required in addition to the redesign that Robinson wanted. Ultimately, almost all the interior walls had to be torn down in order to update the plumbing, electrical and heating systems and to install an air conditioning system. The original hardwood flooring on the first floor was given a cherry finish.
According to designer Ron Dayan of Piccadilly Designs in Los Angeles, Robinson did not want to sacrifice the historical significance of the house, but he did not want only traditional decor either. Robinson preferred classical pieces with a modern feel. "Smokey's travels to Europe, both as a performer and tourist, influenced his decision to hire Piccadilly Designs, a company founded in Europe and established in the U.S. 19 years ago," Dayan says. "So, in fact, he had the best of both worlds."
As the repairs were being completed, Dayan created the furniture plans, which included many custom pieces, as well as finishes. Throughout the house, luxurious, creamy colors are accented with fabulous fabrics. Silk, chenille, suede and leather add texture and richness throughout this already stunning home.
Dayan explains that there are distinct European pieces throughout the house. "The dining room set is Italian design in burl wood, accented by black lacquer," he says. "The master bedroom furniture [pieces] were designed by myself in a neo-classic style, and throughout the home I have adapted many European designs to a more modern living [style] with the use of lacquered, marbleized or metallic finishes."
The living room was designed for entertaining and features a large fireplace that is ringed with jade. A framed mirror on the opposite wall reflects the image of the fireplace, so its brilliance can have double the impact and be viewed from any spot in the room. The two living room sofas are made of embossed leathers and contrasting patterns. This same leather was used along the etched glass tops of the cocktail tables in front of each sofa. A wool rug from India ties together the colors and styles in the room.
"The master bedroom suite has to be my most favorite room in Smokey's home," Dayan says. "We combined four rooms to create this suite where three of them are divided by arched openings, and the fourth features two clothes carousels: one for stage clothes and the other more conservative." There are two bathrooms at each end of the suite with one featuring an environmental chamber that includes spa, mist, wind and soothing music.
On the third floor of the house is the room that is quite possibly Robinson's favorite, including spike-proof turf carpet and walls and a ceiling that are covered in fabric with a bold golf theme. There are golf clubs, balls and every item required for heading onto the green. There are racks of customized golf clothing and top-of-the-line shoes for Robinson to slip on before heading out for a day of golf.
And with a four-hole putting green on the property, the golfing experience is never far from his backdoor.
Cher's Amazing Abode
Cher's 19th home, her spectacular 16,000-square-foot villa in Malibu, Calif., has a distinctive Italian Renaissance flair. Like each of her homes before, longtime friend Ron Wilson decorated it. After creating so many home styles together, Cher and Wilson have a great working relationship that allows her to express herself, according to Entertainment Tonight.
Her beach home features three stories of hammered travertine, hand-carved marble and stamped-copper ceilings. Although there is an Italian feel to her home, she has several fabulous fireplaces from Mexico.
Cher has been eclectic in her decorating and takes pleasure in owning authentic historic pieces. She has a balustrade from San Simeon, the estate of the late William Randolph Hearst, and a tapestry that once belonged to Mary, Queen of Scots.
It took three years to complete the refurbishing and decorating of her Malibu estate, according to Entertainment Tonight. Because her home reflects so much of her passion and personal taste, her home is a place where she can take refuge.
Leanza Cornett's Ocean Retreat
Entertainment Tonight correspondent and former Miss America, Leanza Cornett, resides in her Los Angeles home with her husband, Entertainment Tonight anchor and correspondent Mark Steines.
In 1996, Cornett and her husband built their home in the Marina del Ray community, according to Home & Garden Television. After nine months of planning and construction, the couple moved into their three-bedroom Mediterranean-style house. To make it their dream home, they hired a decorator to add old-world charm to their modern-day abode.
When they first moved in, the couple rarely spent time in the great room because it wasn't comfortable, according to HGTV. To warm it up they added four plump, leopard print chairs and positioned them to make the perfect sitting area. This inviting room is now Cornett's favorite.
The den is adjacent to the great room. Cornett and Steines can often be found at the end of a tiring day curled up on the plump L-shaped sofa, made specifically for the den. A wooden chest doubles as a coffee table and is used to store blankets and movies. The couch is not only a comfy spot for snuggling, it is the best seat in the house for watching movies.
The master bedroom on the second floor is Cornett's haven, according to HGTV. Vivid, luxurious fabrics help the room feel as fabulous as it looks. Cushy velvet and corduroy pillows are piled on the pinewood bed. Many of the furnishings follow suit in subtle pine throughout the room. The bedroom also has a grand fireplace with a mantel from Indonesia. Carefully placed atop the mantel is a gorgeous mirror that the couple brought from Morocco.
Each of these rooms has a unique European style and gives Cornett's home a classy and luxurious feel.