If you had to articulate Dita Von Teese’s style, it would definitely include goth, punk, and glam all with, of course, her signature modern burlesque twist. The aesthetic of her house would be no exception. In the ’90’s, Von Teese re-introduced the world to the provocative entertainment and style of burlesque that was so popular before the turn of the 20th century, and she made it into a fashion staple. She gave Architectural Digest a peek at her glorious abode, a Tudor-Revival style house nestled in the Hollywood Hills that perfectly reflects her aesthetic and cements her status as a fashion icon.
With rich jewel-toned walls, and lush velvety furnishings, Von Teese has created a haven of eclectic pieces that somehow seamlessly blend into a glamorous and yet invitingly cozy comfort. The setting begs you to don your fanciest satin robe and high heeled slippers while snuggling up on the couch.
Although still a work in progress (as she put it, she enjoys “having projects”), Von Teese cheekily revealed to Architectural Digest that when she moved into the 3,200-square-foot estate five years ago, “All the walls were painted white. And I have a phobia of white walls in houses. I am a maximalist. My first order of business was going through room by room and adding color and excitement to the room.”
Dita Von Teese is more interested in preserving than modernizing her home
While her signature style is certainly reflected in the home’s decor, think hand painted gothic murals and a variety of antiques that might be considered kitschy in any other home, like a pink phonograph that doubles as a standard record player, the real draw for her was in preserving the home’s original structure. She explained, “I like feeling like I am living in this house in a very similar way to the way somebody did in the ’20s or ’30s.” And that includes her kitchen. Deceptively modern with its rich green tones and copper accents, a closer look reveals an AGA cast-iron stove in British Racing Green and very few modern appliances, save for a mint green KitchenAid mixer. She explained, “I bought this house [in part] because the kitchen wasn’t overly renovated. I like to keep things as historical as possible.”
Her bedroom, which features Mae West-inspired art Deco bed, may seem minimalist with its monochrome color scheme at first. But then you see the vintage 1920s vanity, mirrored lingerie drawers with matching nightstands, and hand designed drapes which adorn all the original window moldings. Even the artwork in the house reflects her love of history and revival style. As Von Teese shared in the Architectural Digest tour, the walls of her basement “woman cave” are decorated with vintage prints from men’s magazines of the ’30s and ’40s, and a modern TV set is hidden behind a painting.
Dita Von Teese decorates with a lot of vintage taxidermy
Dita Von Teese may not condone hunting or hunting trophies, but she really loves vintage taxidermy. Throughout her Architectural Digest tour, you can spot stuffed animals all over her house, including a tiger wearing a crown in her living room and a real bear skin rug in her basement lounge. Stuffed swans and a bright peacock greet guests as they enter the home’s foyer, a glass case filled with vintage feathers, and her prized possessions, Victorian-era glass encased bird taxidermy that she doesn’t let anyone handle but herself — there is some manner of stuffed bird, animal or once living thing in nearly every room of her home adding a hint of the macabre to the overt girly-glamour of much of the decor. Von Teese doesn’t argue that her love of antique taxidermy isn’t for everyone, but while unpleasant to some, it fits in perfectly with her design style. She explained, “I’m sure people will be disturbed by it, but it’s something from the past and I am just fascinated with the way things used to be done.”
Her style might not suit everyone’s taste, but there’s no denying that Von Teese has a talent for combining her pinup flare with just enough modernity to create an undeniably beautiful patchwork of design. Even if you wouldn’t want to live in her house, it would be a pleasure to visit and explore all itss idiosyncratic charm.
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