The Hollywood House

Since the 1920's, Hollywood stars have been known as the style setters for society.  This was (and is) true when it comes to their homes as well.  Wallace Neff, the well known architect to the stars in the 20's and 30's, was the architect that many stars hired to design their homes.

Throughout Beverly Hills and the surrounding area, homes were designed in many different styles that the silver screen set desired with Spanish Colonial and Italian Renaissance being the dominant ones (although there were many built in both English and French styles).  Some were quite opulent while others were very simple--I guess depending on the actors lifestyle.

Even in the 1950's, movie stars bought up the houses that were built 20-30 years earlier for former stars.  Most all of these homes are great examples of Period Revival architecture.  Some of today's stars are following suit like Diane Keaton and Reese Witherspoon.

The photographs here are Spanish-style homes that were built in the 20's in Beverly Hills and the surrounding area except for Reese Witherspoon's which is in Ojai outside Santa Barbara.

Rudolph Valentino's Falcon Lair, with a steel pennant with a "V" above the entrance

W.C. Field's house in Encino

Wallace Berry's Spanish Baroque style house

Reese Witherspoon's recent purchase in Ojai

Producer Joe Pasternak's Spanish-style on Beverly Drive in Beverly Hills

Diane Keaton's new remodel

Many of these photographs come from Mark Wanamaker's collection, the Mark Wanamaker/Bison Archives.  He can be contacted at

While there are obviously many more, these are some of my favorites in the Spanish style.  In future posts I'll cover the interior and exterior products that are appropriate for these type of homes, although if you look at my post on lighting for Spanish Colonial houses any of those would be perfect for these houses.  I'll cover appropriate roofs, stucco finishes, tile, furniture, mantels.  Be sure to check back.


vicki archer said...

Fantastic houses and such an interesting history to them - the Spanish style looks wonderful in California, xv.

Velvet and Linen said...

I love Reese Witherspoon's house.
It also looked terrific when it was Kathryn Ireland's home. Wallace Neff was a master.
My husband, Steve was lucky enough to design an addition to one of his homes in Beverly Hills.
Here is a link if you would like to check it out.

Trey said...

Amazing that you came to my blog. I was just looking at your husband's (and/or your's) website earlier Detailio. I love it. I'd love to visit with the two of you sometime.

Anonymous said...

I'm currently renovating a Spanish Mission house in Australia and love your photos as references. So glad I discovered you.

Anonymous said...

thanks for the great pix...we live in wc's home now...that turret is where monta carli would bannish wc to when they were having a fight...