Celebrities are often pretty eccentric. It makes sense. You don’t seek out fame because you want to blend in with the crowd and go unnoticed. If that were the case, they’d manage a Chili’s in Akron, not play dress-up pretend for a living or dedicate their lives to getting sports balls to go in stick-mounted baskets. So it’s no surprise, then, that celebrities tend to reflect their peculiarities onto their homes.
With the mishmash of messianic and conspiratorial nonsense that Kanye spews, you just know he doesn’t go to bed in a practical 2-bedroom in a quiet, suburban cul-de-sac. No, he would absolutely have to have a home that makes as much of a statement as he does. And even for the celebs not quite at Kanye’s level of oddness, their unique lives of wealth and constant public scrutiny are practically guaranteed to rub off on their home life.
This had led to some truly baffling decisions in design, which force reactions from laughter to gagging. Here are ten of those celebrity homes, homes whose interiors make you question if money truly does buy happiness… or just madness.
10 Dick Clark
The late, great Dick Clark was known to and loved by millions for his time hosting American Bandstand and the decades spent as America’s most popular New Year’s host. But beneath all the charm, the beloved TV personality had a dark side. I refer to, of course, his unbridled love of classic 60s cartoons.
Specifically, “The Flintstones.” Clark had his multimillion-dollar home in Malibu, California designed to be an almost perfect replica of Fred and Wilma’s granite cave-home. For what’s it worth, the designers nailed it. Both the inside and out look like they truly were made for a (cue music) modern stone-age family.
The uneven, wavy furniture, windows, and walls look like they were slowly formed by geologic processes. Though the place would make definitely a fun-themed hotel room for a night or two, the idea of spending decades of your life there does not sound dino-mite. In fact, it sounds ptero-ble.
9 Penn Jillette
Penn Jillette is a brilliant magician, and his numerous other appearances in film and TV demonstrate his intelligence, enthusiasm, and eloquence. He’s also kinda crazy. Outspoken on his political and religious views, Jillette has at times forced audiences to ask the question: is he good crazy or bad crazy? Luckily, his home—nicknamed “The Slammer”—answers the question. He’s just plain, all-around crazy (and it’s good).
The outside looks like an oversized McDonald’s play pit, and the inside, even weirder. Entrance and exit are accomplished by fire-pole. Moving through the house, you’ll encounter fake crime scenes, sex dungeons, and a huge array of odd curios. These range from a mural that reads, “One day, you will die. Get moving!” to actual human skeletons.
Most prominent is the statue in his center room, a giant, pink, four-armed praying mantis in a leather collar, appropriately named “The Atheistic Buddha of Vegas.”
8 Christie Brinkley
I think I can explain this one. At some point, an advanced alien race contacted former supermodel Christie Brinkley and tasked her with cataloging the entirety of human culture for them in one place. She chose her living room.
This house isn’t particularly kooky and doesn’t have some unifying concept like others on this list. It’s just a lot. Brinkley is to wall accents what hoarders are to old stacks of Time magazine. Many rooms of her home are absolutely covered with decoration and furniture. In some places, decorations are stacked atop one another just to fit them all in. And none of them work together. She has guitars next to seashells next to white columns next to cheetah print next to Victorian tintypes next to natural stone next to Chinese lanterns.
The aliens will be pleased.
7 Dale Earnhardt Jr.
NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. commissioned a custom 1800s Wild West town as an extension of his home. A whole town, which he named “Whiskey River.” There’s a chapel, a saloon, an outhouse, a mercantile, a sheriff’s office, and more. That’s definitely unusual, but still—it’s easy to get behind someone realizing an innocent childhood dream. It’s the interiors that lose you.
Some buildings feature authentic, Ol’ Western interiors. Some, like the saloon, use their vintage exteriors to hide modern, functioning recreation spaces. Kinda kills the illusion, but okay. Still some, like the outhouse, are just empty shells, meant (I guess) as a joke. That’s the rub—that someone went to all that trouble and spent all that money to make their fantasy a reality, and then stopped halfway through. At some point, DEJ looked at it and thought, “Nah, half a dream is good enough.” Say what you want about Michael Jackson. At least when he builds a fantasy town on his property, everything actually works.
6 Bella Thorne
Actress, musician, and adult-entertainer(ish) Bella Thorne has a reputation for being a little out there, both professionally and her personal life. Her home does not do anything to refute this. Watch the video, and any other, and you’ll understand. The whole place is bright, loud, and chaotic. I’ve decided to truly capture its essence with a roast. Here goes.
The place looks like Ke$ha ate a whole box of Fruit Roll-ups and puked out an apartment. It looks like the Red Light District in there, if every escort was possessed by Basquiat’s ghost. The place looks like Andy Warhol was forced at gunpoint to design a house, but the gun only shot vape smoke. It looks like the trial run for Sherwin-Williams’s new paint line “MC Hammer Surprise.” You get the idea.
5 Robert Downey Jr.
One of Robert and Susan Downey’s several houses is known as the Windmill House. It does in fact have a built-in windmill, but the inside is what really captures attention. There’s an old proverb that a camel is a horse drawn by committee. Well, the Windmill House is a decent-looking home drawn by committee.
Every room is so close to being tasteful, and then gleefully rips that satisfaction away. It’s the living room that demonstrates this more than any other. The drab, olive-green fireplace lies below a lilac and gold clay mural of fish. To the immediate right of the mural is a clashing yellow Shel Silverstein-esque painting of a child that seemingly collects severed heads; and to the immediate left an equally clashing 70s-comic-book-style painting of a gun-toting soldier relaxing atop a theoretically symbolic wall.
Apparently, Susan uses the room to meditate, and one can only assume the wall helps to clear her mind by being so loud it drowns out her thoughts.
4 Dr. Phil’s Son
Okay, I was too harsh on the Downeys. I’ll make up for it being even harsher on Dr. Phil’s wannabe-musician son Jordan McGraw. His former home greets you with a foyer whose railings are covered in sculptures of snaking tentacles that hang over a mini-bar whose design style can best be summarized as Santorini-meets-Satan. The rest of the house is really no better, with its glittering-gold wallpaper, suede everything, and wall-sized art piece of assorted melting guns. There’s an odd, bronze Mickey Mouse statue; somehow-intentional paint-splatter on the floors; and most creepily, a collection of cutesy bear figures throughout. It gives you the impression that the young man could use a psychiatrist. If only he knew a real one.
3 Jojo Siwa
If I had planned ahead for this one, I wouldn’t have blown all those sweet roasts on Bella Thorne. Teenage YouTuber, singer, and human Lite-Brite JoJo Siwa has her own home that I believe can be found between the Lollipop Woods and Licorice Lagoon.
Inside, the neon and candy-printed walls enclose a treasure trove of childhood fantasy items. These include a life-size, rainbow-maned unicorn; a complete concession stand straight out of a 90s-era AMC; a working claw game; several candy buffets; and a series of glittering mannequins throughout that make it look as if Siwa had captured Jem and the Holograms in carbonite and displayed them as trophies.
2 Donald Trump
This isn’t political. Love him or hate him, the guy just has no idea what tasteful design means. Here are some other words missing from his vocabulary: “accent,” “nuance,” “minimal,” “complimentary,” “warm,” and “comfortable.” His residence in Trump Tower makes the point on its own.
Where a normal human might add gold trim or a smattering of dark marble to select furniture to create an aura of luxury, former president Trump has chosen a different strategy. Several rooms are gold everything with gold accents, gold designs across them, and golden lighting (just in case another color snuck through somewhere). Apparently, Mr Trump modelled the rooms after the iconic Palace of Versailles.
But if the Palace of Versailles is like a painting, Mr Trump’s home is like a canvas covered in a hardened mound of monochromatic paint.
The one and only Oprah used to own a home in Telluride, Colorado. Looking at the beautiful stonework mansion with its stately open courtyard and treetop walkways, it would seem to not belong on this list. Even looking inside gives the same impression. Most of the home’s rooms are minimalist, coordinated, and show off a serious knack for grand-yet-homey design. Then there’s the Wine Mine.
I repeat: the Wine Mine.
Oprah’s home has a wine cellar built to look like an authentic ore mine. The walls are natural stone and square timbers prop up the ceiling. The lights flicker to mimic old flame lanterns. A sound system plays mining ambiance, including the regular clanging of pickaxes. But one feature beats them all: the actual, working mining cart that Oprah can ride into and through the cellar.
When you contrast the Wine Mine with the rest of the house, you’re forced to consider the possibility that, when going over the house’s plans with her contractors, Oprah may have actually been possessed for a minute there by the ghost of an old-timey prospector who died while lamenting his sobriety.