published about 4 hours ago
Forget “turning back time”. If we lived like Cher, we’d be thrilled to stay in the moment.
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The Oscar-winning actress and singer opened up her Malibu home to Architectural Digestand it is an exotic vision straight out of Europe surrounded by the sun-drenched shores of the Pacific.
“Each room has two different views of the ocean,” Cher shared A.D of the home, which she bought in 1998 and spent the next five years transforming. “This house wraps its arms around you.”
Outside the 16,000-square-foot mansion, a pair of vintage bronze bulls, inspired by Cher’s astrological sign (Taurus), sit outside the entrance next to her Bentley. In the grand entry, limestone block walls, custom bronze doors and carved panels from India provide an exotic welcome. In the central courtyard, an octagram-shaped fountain is surrounded by inspiration drawn from Venetian palaces, Renaissance villas in Europe and the Alhambra Palace. The sun shines down on the square under palm trees.
Cher brought in designer Martyn Lawrence Bullard to update the property 16 years ago. She presented him with “hundreds of tear sheets” from magazines to share inspiration for the estate. “Working hand in hand, we reworked every finish with her signature style of opulent comfort, theatrical elegance and a timeless color palette,” Bullard shared A.D.
Now the living room has a ceiling that is hand painted with gold leaf stencils and a tea spot. A large Moroccan chandelier hangs overhead, while hand-carved furniture sits below. Massive windows highlight the stunning scenery outside. Similar windows are shown in the dining room, where the tin ceiling was painted white. Moroccan lanterns and mirrors surround the hardwood floor and mid-century dining chairs. The family room is equally stunning, making one “feel like you’re floating on a turquoise sea,” Bullard said.
One of the most fascinating rooms in the home is Cher’s bedroom, which she calls “my sanctuary, my fortress, really my very special place.” Decorated with a 1920s Syrian bed formerly owned by famous Hollywood couple Rudolph Valentino and Natacha Rambova, it has a sumptuous seating area with sofas upholstered in hemp silk. The walls are draped in silk and sit alongside Moroccan Mashrabiya wood panels that were hand-carved in Fez, Morocco. An atrium off the master bedroom is the ultimate retreat – it features an antique marble fountain sitting next to a chaise longue (aptly named the Cher chaise longue!) in front of six large windows highlighting the beauty of the coastline. As you would expect, the master bath is made of limestone walls, as art deco Egyptian paintings hang on the walls.
One of the most unexpected features of the piece is the casual mention that after 20 years at home, Cher is preparing to move on. Since a home of this size would never be allowed to be built in Malibu these days, it will remain an important piece of history.
“This house has been one of the greatest passions of my life,” concluded Cher. “I’ve enjoyed every moment of its creation and development, but now it’s time to pass this magic on to others.”