Celebrity life may be associated with glitz and glam, but it’s not uncommon for big names to opt for a decidedly different look when it comes to their homes. Specifically, Spanish-style spaces—whether they’re in California or elsewhere—clearly resonate with the starry set. And while the arched doorways, exposed beams, and thoughtful tile work of these residences might not always be scene-stealing on their own, these elements can combine to create a distinctly sophisticated environment. Below, we share seven Spanish-style homes with celebrity inhabitants that have been featured by AD.
Producer Mark Ronson’s Colorful Pad
“I must have looked at 20 places that day,” says Mark Ronson—the music world’s modern-day Merlin, not to mention 2019’s highest-paid musician-producer—of his search for his first legitimate Los Angeles crash pad. It was the winter of 2016, post the release of the money-printing megahit “Uptown Funk” but long before anyone had heard the awards-sweeping power-ballad “Shallow” that he would cowrite with Lady Gaga. “I had been spending so much time in L.A. working, going back and forth between London and L.A., it was just time to bite the bullet.”
“Of course, the one house that was far and away the nicest was the one I saw in the beginning of the day,” recalls Ronson. “I couldn’t get it out of my head. It was a little bigger and a little more than what I had planned—but isn’t that always the case?” Yes, especially when the place in question is a spacious and secluded Spanish Revival four-bedroom, five-bathroom 1930s hideaway that comes with a bonus two-story guesthouse, Edenic gardens, and a pool area that is the definition of Hollywood glam.
Given his highly idiosyncratic aesthetic, it made sense for Ronson to turn to his friend of 30 years—actually, his first high-school girlfriend—interior designer Mandolyna Theodoracopulos. With a shared history, she was best prepared to translate Ronson’s visual tears and design-speak shorthand into the precise pieces and textiles he would love to live with. —Ariel Foxman
Model Jessica Hart’s Bohemian Hideout
Often, friends make the best collaborators. So for Australian model and Luma Beauty founder Jessica Hart and seasoned interiors editor, stylist, and designer Carlos Mota, a decorating partnership was a long time coming. “I’ve just always really admired Carlos’s taste and love for all things colorful and amazing,” says Hart.
The pair rolled with the same social circles for years in New York City and even traveled to India. But it wasn’t until Hart geared up for a cross-country move that their stars aligned for a project together. When Mota caught wind that she was giving up her glamorous Gramercy Park apartment for a Spanish-style house in the Hollywood Hills, he immediately offered up his services. “I said, ‘When you move to L.A., I would love to help,’ ” Mota recalls.
Things quickly fell into place. Hart decamped from New York to create a home with now-fiancé James Kirkham, a creative entrepreneur and former race-car driver, and his young daughter Wren, who lives with the couple part-time. She and Mota set up meetings to discuss the vision for the layered, bohemian home. —Carly Olson
John Stamos’s Subtly Disney-Inspired Space
The residence that John Stamos shares with his wife, Caitlin, and son, Billy, has style—but it also has soul. Stamos purchased the two-bedroom pad in 2005, and the house has, since, transformed with him for over a decade. “This place is more ‘me’ than any other house that I’ve lived in, starting with the bones of it, which are grounded and old-school,” says Stamos. “I was able to start as a bachelor and, then, marriage and the kid. I even got married on the property, so it just represents a lot of changes throughout my life. It started out as a party house, and then I straightened my act out and it became a healing house. And then, all of a sudden, Caitlin came into my life, and that was joyous and it took a turn there.”
Inside, the feel is classic but rustic, decorated with earth tones and reclaimed materials. Stamos is a romantic, so the home is intimate and scattered with pictures and other personal items (such as framed letters from his late parents). From the start, Stamos has collaborated with Chris Barrett (of Chris Barrett Design)—whom he met on the set of Full House—to create interiors that were distinctive to him and his interests, including playing music. She describes: “John added the stone to the fireplace wall and we took it from there. Knowing he loves old Hollywood and, of course, Disneyland gave us a starting point. I knew we needed to add a bit of humor whenever we could. We added small moments here and there. Our mission was to create a feeling of comfort and approachability.” —Elizabeth Quinn Brown
A 1930s Update from the Creators of HBO Max’s Hacks
When they started scouring redfin.com for a potential new home, comedians Paul W. Downs and Lucia Aniello already knew what they were looking for. It seemed possible: a historic home with lots of light. A quiet location, but not tucked too far up on windy streets. A large living room where they could entertain friends. A mature garden. Well, these were Downs’s must-haves. “My one true need was a bathtub,” Aniello says.
But they were searching in Los Angeles’s red-hot housing market, where the “finds” have foundation issues and the dreamboats go to all-cash contests. So it took more than three years and 150 viewings to pin down their 1930s Andalusian-style gem. While its previous owners entertained multiple offers, they were charmed by Downs and Aniello’s passion for the place. “It’s our Hollywood dream house,” Downs says.
They directed the renovation and furnished the entire house themselves. “That was a big undertaking,” Downs says. While the house was in good shape, it needed some updating and, as they were moving from a smaller place, they needed plenty of new pieces. The fireplace had to be rebuilt for safety reasons, so they called on local craftsman Mike Casas, aka “the Plaster Master,”who used the structure and lines of the bottom of the stairwell’s Juliet balcony to inform his design. “[The fireplace] isn’t original, but it looks like it’s been here since 1930,” Aniello says. Other choices were purely aesthetic; for instance, they wanted to strip the paint off the beams in the living room, while maintaining the wood’s original grain. “Our painter had planned to sand them. So it took eight days, but really three weeks,” Downs says, laughing. And the 1940s-style kitchen got a top-to-bottom overhaul. —Melissa Batchelor Warnke
A Sprawling Hacienda for Rainn Wilson
Alfred “Hap” Gilman may not be one of the boldface names that quicken the pulses of design junkies and real estate agents, but the Chicago-born acolyte of Frank Lloyd Wright left a string of distinguished houses across Southern California. One of those homes—a Spanish-style hacienda planted on five-and-a-half acres of gardens, macadamia trees, and citrus groves, with distant views of the Pacific Ocean—cast a siren spell over actor Rainn Wilson and his wife, writer Holiday Reinhorn. “We visited the house three or four times, and each time we found ourselves lingering, not wanting to leave. It kept drawing us back,” Reinhorn recalls. Tammy Randall Wood, the couple’s decorator and principal of Interior Archaeology, puts a finer point on the subject: “I told them straight out, ‘If you don’t buy this gem, I will.’”
Wilson and Reinhorn bought it. “We were looking to get a little farther away from Los Angeles, somewhere close to the ocean but still in striking distance of the city. We looked up and down the coast. The first time we saw this place, we fell in love,” Reinhorn continues, citing the house’s romantic indoor-outdoor Saltillo tile floors and its collection of authentic antique wood doors and grilles from Guadalajara. Since moving in just four months ago, the couple have crafted their own magical Green Acres story, complete with two pigs, Amy and Snorty, who are considered members of the family, much like the ’60s sitcom’s favorite porcine son, Arnold Ziffel. —Mayer Rus
Actor Jamie-Lynn Sigler’s Austin Spot
Jamie-Lynn Sigler and Cutter Dykstra were ready for a change of scenery. “During the pandemic, we started to think about our life and what made us happy,” says the actor. “We were in the mood for an adventure and wanted to try someplace neither of us had ever lived before.” Their home in Los Angeles made practical sense: Sigler is an actor known for her work on The Sopranos and the ABC drama Big Sky, and Dykstra’s business, Therabody, is based in L.A. But when one of Sigler’s best friends moved to Austin, the wheels started turning. An October 2020 visit to do a little real estate exploration ended in a signed contract on a Spanish-style house with great bones and an amazing view, yet still in need of significant aesthetic upgrades.
Sigler used the winter months between the purchase and her relocation to connect again with L.A. designer Erin Fetherston. “The new house was very Texas country and I wanted to bring a cool California vibe to that style,” Sigler says. “I’ve been a fan of Erin’s work, and so we started imagining how we could transform this house while honoring its beautiful architecture.”
The team started by removing some of the more overly ornate elements, painting the walls white, and buffing the glossy dark floors to a more matte finish. Fetherston defined the living and dining areas with twin large sisal rugs and ring chandeliers, then layered in furnishings that added texture and color. The living room’s cognac velvet sofas by Lulu and Georgia were an easy decision for both designer and client. “From years of doing fashion, I know that certain people look good in a certain color,” Fetherston says. “Jamie just looks so good in that room. The color palette is perfect for her.” —Laura Hine
A Family Project for the Lead Guitarist of Fall Out Boy
A proem, the dictionary tells us, is an introduction, a preamble, a preface. When Marie Trohman (wife of the lead guitarist for Fall Out Boy) and Ashley Drost founded their Los Angeles–based design practice in 2017, they named the firm Proem Studio as a tip of the hat to new beginnings. “A lot of clients come to us looking for a fresh start after some major change in their lives. Proem felt like the right message—the beginning of a new chapter,” Drost explains.
As so it was for Trohman and her husband, Joe Trohman, when the couple relocated from New York to L.A. in 2013. The renovation of the Trohmans’ home in Los Feliz—a classic L.A. Spanish-style abode built in 1929—was one of Proem’s first major collaborations. “There were specific things Joe and I wanted, like a pool and a music studio, but we also wanted to connect the house to the land in a more meaningful way. In everything we did, we tried to tie the DNA of the late-1920s and ’30s to more modern touches,” Trohman says. —Mayer Rus
Nina Dobrev’s West Hollywood Wonder
Nina Dobrev has been working in Hollywood since the 2000s, when she began starring in hits like Degrassi, The Vampire Diaries, and The Perks of Being a Wallflower. But her four-bedroom L.A. home is not your typical West Hollywood pad. Dobrev, who is Bulgarian and spent some of her childhood in the south of France, leaned into her heritage when conceiving the interiors. While an airy sense of California cool is evident in sleek brass details and locally-sourced art and furniture, her careful preservation of the residence’s late-1920s Spanish-style architecture provides a sense of European elegance.
“I used to say that I lived most of my life on planes, because I’m constantly traveling for work and pleasure,” Nina Dobrev says to AD. “But the pandemic was the first time that I was in my home for an extended period of time,” she says, explaining that the very first thing she did was paint the entire exterior of the house herself.
This isn’t to say that Dobrev is a minimalist when it comes to color: “Oh no, Nina wasn’t scared of color,” says Charlie Barstein, who—under his eponymous firm, Charlie Barstein Interiors—worked with Dobrev during the pandemic to remodel her abode. His biggest challenge, and the home’s focal point, was Dobrev’s kitchen. With olive green cabinets and textured terra-cotta floors, it’s reminiscent of a beautifully decorated country cooking area that’s truly meant to be used. —Sangeeta Singh-Kurtz