There is no doubt the rich and famous can spend top dollar on their home interior designs. Hiring professional designers and applying the best material and equipment leads to wildly admired – and often copied – results. It is perfectly fine to look at the home designs of the rich and famous for inspiration, but why do they push boundaries for luxury homes?
The motivation for a grand design
A few rich and famous people choose to live modest lives, but many opt to flaunt their wealth – or at least choose to enjoy it. The house they live in is often chosen as the best place to do so, representing their personalities and offering the opportunity to actively enjoy the money being spent. It is not just a matter of money of course: many people who earn well and who can afford to live well take the time and the effort to appreciate the finer things in life, building an appreciation for quality and good design.
Some wealthy individuals and celebrities are in fact very passionate about design. The popular comedian Ellen DeGeneres has almost made a second career of it, and she is building on that by hosting her own TV show called The Design Challenge. Another example is telecoms entrepreneur Donald Burns who is a major investor in Razor House, a one of a kind estate designed by Wallace E. Cunningham, which is now often used as a film set.
Classic design or modern home?
In the age-old battle between classic design and the most modern efforts, Sir Evelyn and Lady de Rothschild’s Martha’s Vineyard home is a stunning advocate of the classic. There has been a home on the site for two centuries, with the Rothschild’s purchasing the property over a hundred years ago. Decades of enhancements and improvements have kept the island’s architectural traditions while allowing available space to grow.
On the other hand, the modern design of Ryan Murphy’s California compound, designed by Mark Singer, is bound to become a classic in the future. It started when the man behind Nip/Tuck invested the money from the pilot show in a first home, acquiring adjacent properties over time to merge into a larger estate. It is minimalist in design, with a lot of glass and concrete, but the modernism is not overbearing – plantings of olive trees and natural colors give the site an organic feel.
Not just interiors, but architecture
Much of the money spent on grand homes gets directed towards interior design, but truly magnificent homes will feature exceptional custom architecture. Top dollar spent on expensive interiors can get you only so far – celebrities who care the most about their showcase homes will find one of the world’s top residential architects to draw up plans for a truly unique building. Alternatively, a once award winning design is likely to stay a classic, and will come up for sale at some point – for example the Staab Residence, by Chen + Suchart Studio, is destined to become a celebrity hideaway in the future.