We're adept with decorating a room on a budget, but every now and then, we get a glimpse at what our homes could look like if money and resources were no object. With the help of the world's top interior designers, an army of assistants, and endless budget, celebrity home tours showcase the interiors of our dreams: light-drenched, perfectly styled, and bursting with personality.
This year's crop of celebrity homes lifted the bar even higher than 2015. They go beyond beautiful Pinterest images—each enviable tour taught us a new décor lesson and inspired us to update our own home. Lauren Conrad's Cali-cool space showed us how to style open shelves to perfection; Brooklyn Decker's ranch-style retreat encouraged us to take color risks in the kitchen; and Rebecca Minkoff's elevated New York City home proved that family-friendly décor can be incredibly stylish, too.
Browse the most beautiful celebrity home tours of 2016 and draw inspiration to transform your own abode in the New Year.
A glance at actress Brooklyn Decker's Texas-style farmhouse would lead you to believe there was a bevy of experts behind each decorating decision, but when we photographed the space in April, Decker revealed she was the creative force. "I love interior design more than a lot of things in life," she says. "Aside from the construction, we did everything ourselves."
The lesson: Choose items that speak to you, rather than pieces that adhere to a theme. At first, "I tried to make everything go and pick a cohesive feel for the home," says Decker. "Now I go on instinct. It's more emotional. Picking things that you like instead of choosing a strict theme is the way to go. It tells a story."
It's no secret we admire Lauren Conrad's style—we marveled at her feminine office makeover and pinned images from her former L.A. penthouse—so naturally we were excited when the designer and reality star invited us to take a look inside her picturesque Pacific Palisades home. Light-drenched, serene, and expertly styled, this celebrity home was without a doubt one of the best of 2016.
The lesson: Rethink technology in your living room. "I love our living room because there are no electronics in there—just books, instruments, and a Victrola," said Conrad. "When we are in the living room, we aren't watching television or glued to our phones. We are talking or playing board games in front of the fire."
Actress Carlson Young's downtown L.A. loft is every bohemian lover's dream. The space captures Young and fiancé Isom Innis of Foster the People's love for travel and creativity. "Everything has sentimental value," she tells us of the décor. Vintage finds pepper the loft, alongside her own artworks and a lovingly curated collection of coffee table books.
The lesson: If you can't find an artwork you love, make it. "All of the art in the house has kind of a weird story," Young said while walking past the gallery wall. "The painting above the piano is by Isom's sister, Isabella Innis. The big white painting in our bedroom is something I made myself."
There's no doubt Damsel in Dior blogger Jacey Duprie has excellent style, but a glance inside her recently renovated West Los Angeles home reveals her taste extends to decorating. "Our goal was to renovate the space to feel more contemporary California," Duprie told us. "We aspired to give it a Scandinavian feel. After all of the renovations took place, it took a more modern tone, so we went for it."
The lesson: Break the rules when hanging art. "We have a very close connection to [Gray Malin's] photography," said Duprie of the coastal artwork in her living room. "In order to give them a breath of fresh air, we chose to hang them in a new way … closer to the ground near our favorite cacti."
Actress Emmy Rossum affectionately dubbed her one-bedroom Manhattan co-op a "pied-à-teardown," due to the extensive renovations needed to revive the tired space. But she had a clear vision for the apartment and, with the help of decorator Antonino Buzzetta and Elle Decor, was able to see her dream to fruition. The look she wanted was "chic, European, the look of a modern girl who has inherited her grandmother's stuff," said Buzzetta. "I wanted it to have a young energy, but with old-fashioned touches."
The lesson: Observe new rugs in different types of light before styling them. "We brought in tons of rugs," Buzzetta told Elle Decor. "Because the colors are so rich, and they change all the time with the light, you have to see them in place to know if they work." Rossum added, "It's the same reason you paint samples of different colors on the wall. You have to see them."
There's certainly no shortage of natural light in designer Erin Fetherston's immaculately edited L.A. home. Glowing Californian rays reflects off the neutral and powder-tone interior, filled with finds from her debut home décor collection, a collaboration with interior design brand Fragments Identity.
"Everyone else was looking at me like I was crazy when I said I wanted an all-white family home," she told MyDomaine. "Of course, I am only six months into motherhood. I may live to see everyone else was right."
The lesson: Transform a room with textiles. "Textiles are to a room what jewelry is to the little black dress," she said. "You can completely shift a look with that little adjustment of textiles. We based everything in the mud cloth. It's indoors. It's outdoors. It's a foundation that you can continually layer onto all year round."
Tucked away from the chaos of Hollywood, actress Lea Michele's four-bedroom home is nestled in a quiet, forest canyon miles from downtown L.A. "I needed a home that would allow me to recover and breathe and recharge," she told InStyle. "I fell in love with this place the minute I saw it, just being so far from people, and really being in nature and in the mountains."
The lesson: Create a serene space with greenery. Michele said it was important to create a home that was "healing," and it's clear that plants play a big role in achieving that vibe. A large fiddle-leaf fig tree drinks the abundant light in her living room, while almost every tabletop in the house is adorned with a vase of fresh flowers.
New York City mightn't seem child-friendly, but fashion designer Rebecca Minkoff's DUMBO home is a haven for her two children, son Luca and daughter Bowie. "We wanted to make sure everything was chic and comfortable but still colorful and kid-friendly," she told MyDomaine. "The kids' stuff is definitely incorporated into all parts of the home. We wanted it to feel like we could put our feet up and not worry about whether a little wine or yogurt spills on the sofa."
The lesson: Make sure your home reflects your lifestyle. "Decorate in a way that emulates your personality and fits you and your family's lifestyle," she said. "You want to be able to come home and feel relaxed and happy. If you feel like it's an escape then you've succeeded."
When the MyDomaine team visited fitness mogul Lorna Jane Clarkson's Pacific Palisades home, there was a collective gasp as the gates slowly opened. Clarkson, the founder of her eponymous activewear label, says well-being was a top priority when creating her dream home. "It was very important to me that healthy design aspects were incorporated," she said. "I made sure that I had a yoga and meditation area, an outdoor spa, and beautiful gardens and tranquil environment for both working and entertaining."
The lesson: Add personality to your home by styling sentimental accessories and curios. "I think it's important to have pieces in your home that you've collected over time to bring your personality in," she said. "The Eames chair and footstool in the bedroom I bought for my husband a few years ago, and it traveled with us from Australia."