Leonardo DiCaprio just dropped $7.1 million on a new home in the tranquil Los Feliz area of Los Angeles, and he won’t even be living in it. Formerly owned by Modern Family star Jesse Tyler Ferguson (and Gwen Stefani before that), the gorgeous 5,000-square-foot Spanish-style residence is a gift for Leo’s mother, Irmelin Indenbirken. Built in 1928, the four-bedroom, six-bathroom home strikes the perfect balance between historical charm and modern updates. Details like interior and exterior Juliette balconies, mosaic tiles, ceiling frescos, heavy wooden beams, and ornate wrought iron railings might be enough to make you green with envy, but even if you can’t shell out millions on a similar home, you can still apply some of the same design tricks in your own space.
Go Big With Hanging Light Fixtures
First thing’s first – we have to talk about this incredible foyer. Boasting the kind of quintessential Los Angeles glamour that calls to mind classic films of the 1930s and 40s, this circular space is largely defined by its terracotta stairs, curlicue railing, and palatial hand-painted ceiling. But the star of the show is the massive chandelier that hangs at the center, drawing your eye as you ascend. If your ceiling height allows, consider finding your own version of this showstopper that fits the scale of your tallest room, and it’ll do double-duty as functional lighting and striking sculpture.
Balance Dark and Light
Don’t be afraid to venture over to the dark side. Deep hues won’t necessarily make your space feel cramped and claustrophobic, as long as you balance them out with brightness nearby. In Leo’s new home, an office lined in rich mahogany-toned wood is complemented by the light-filled hallway outside, and a dramatic dining room with indigo wallpaper and a coffered wood ceiling oozes cozy ambiance while the airy white kitchen sparkles with cheerfulness and optimism.
Prioritize Period Details
All the little details that root your home in a particular time period are part of what makes it special. That doesn’t mean you have to keep your ugly 1990s orange oak trim or pink 1950s bathroom set if they’re not your thing, of course. But if, like Leo, you’re lucky enough to have built-in cabinetry, arched doorways, terracotta tile flooring, or other original features intact, consider restoring them instead of replacing them with contemporary alternatives, even if it takes some extra elbow grease. The connection to your home’s history will feel more authentic, especially in the decades to come.
Stick to Your Home’s Overarching Style
On a similar note, try not to fight your home’s intrinsic style and setting. Leonardo’s Spanish-style home is brimming with old school Southern Californian elegance – imagine how weird it would feel if you took in the exterior and then walked in to see interiors more fit for a hunting cabin or an ultramodern penthouse. Keep your home’s overall tone in mind as you make big interior design decisions like flooring, cabinets, and furnishings, but do mix in your own eclectic influences and personal style to keep the effect from feeling forced.
Embrace Rich, Saturated Color Schemes
Even if the rest of your house has neutral walls, you should think about experimenting with color in at least one room. Leo’s new formal living area, with its lush blue-green walls and ceiling set against amber and gold-toned furniture, is a great example of how bold color choices can completely transform a space. Not only does the color perfectly set off the antique woodwork and flooring, it also makes all the wall art pop. Scared of the commitment? Try it in a bathroom or even a closet first and see how you feel.
Don’t Skimp on Decorating Outdoor Spaces
California’s perpetually mild climate makes outdoor space just as integral to daily living as indoor rooms, so it’s no surprise that these outdoor sitting areas are so well-appointed. Whether you have a whole yard to decorate or just a balcony, grant it your full attention in a way that’s tuned to your own local weather. Choose side tables, lamps, candles, rugs, and other accents that feel like a natural extension of your living room and an expression of your personal style.