Celebrity Renovations That Went Viral For All The Wrong Reasons

Let's face it – we love celebrities. Whether we love to double-tap their photos and chat endlessly about them, or prefer to rail on them, our culture can't stop obsessing about the rich and famous. Laurie Santos, a psychology professor at Yale University, theorizes that our celebrity obsession lies in the fact that "we have always searched for role models, whether those have been the heroes of fictional stories or real life people with these amazing lives," per Grazia. And nowadays, these amazing lives feature amazing houses that we just can't get enough of.

With our zeal for celebrity home interiors being more popular than ever — Architectural Digest's YouTube channel, which profiles the homes of our favorite famous folk, has over 4.8 million subscribers as of November 2021 — we can't help but endlessly share the inspiration we get from these renovated spaces with the world on social media. But what happens when these renovations end up being shared for less ... altruistic reasons? Like the rest of us, celebs aren't immune to renovation jobs that'll make your hair stand on end, for one reason or another. And when the internet pounces on viral renovation mishaps, things can get pretty brutal out there. Let's take a look at some celebrity renovations that did the rounds online, for reasons you might not expect.

Demi Moore's toilet left people confused

Demi Moore's reputation for Hollywood glamour is pretty robust, and you might assume that her home exudes the same sense of style. But when you take a peek at her interiors, you might have second thoughts. When Moore dropped a pair of Instagram snaps to promote her podcast Dirty Diana, people focused slightly less on the hard work that she was clearly doing in the photos and more on the fact that she appeared to have a brown shag carpet ... in her bathroom.

Needless to say, this distinct interior choice (coupled with the fact that she seems to have a vintage-print sofa also in her powder room, sitting opposite a bathtub embedded in the floor, with a Joan of Arc statue standing next to it — we know, we're not sure what's going on either) was seized upon online. News.com.au reported on the reaction that some of Moore's millions of followers had, with one person stating that "this bathroom is most definitely haunted." Another, apparently a little befuddled by the arrangements, asked in Moore's comment section, "why is there a toilet in the living room?" We mean ... at least it's distinctive!

Neil Patrick Harris' bar has some interesting features

"How I Met Your Mother" star Neil Patrick Harris has always had a flair for showstopping moments (if, for whatever reason, you haven't seen his iconic 2011 Tony Awards opening number, drop everything you're doing and watch it now). And when he showed off his Harlem brownstone to Architectural Digest in a YouTube home tour, viewers got to see that he brought that sensibility home with him — with a décor choice in the home bar that he and his husband David Burtka built that is frankly bananas.

As Harris and Burtka sweep into the "parlor" section of their home, Burtka begins to explain his taxidermy hobby, while the camera reveals that, perched upon the top of their bar, are four monkeys. Yep. Taxidermized monkeys. Arranged into the "see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil" poses, no less. The room, which the pair dub their "monkey bar" (get it?), also features another taxidermized primate on top of a wooden telephone box (sure! Why not!) and various monkey statuettes dotted around the place. Predictably, the comment section of the video exploded once posted, with YouTube users rushing to affectionately discuss the home. "​​This house screams: IM RICH AND DONT KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH MY MONEY. and I f-ing Love it," exclaims one highly-rated comment. Fair enough!

Jackie Siegel's house renovation is the stuff of legend

There's "taking style inspiration from another home to lightly influence your own," and then there's what Jackie Siegel did. The American socialite was dubbed "The Queen of Versailles" after appearing in the 2012 documentary film of the same name, and the reason? Jackie, and her husband David Siegel, are profiled in the film in their endeavors to construct a Florida home modeled after the actual Palace of Versailles in France.

The 108,381-square-foot home (per The Sun), which started construction in 2004, has been doing the rounds online for well over a decade now and is due to be completed in 2022. The eventual home will boast 13 bedrooms and 23 bathrooms, as well as a garage that can store 20 cars and several pools, states Fox Business. Not only that, but there'll also be a ballroom, a two-story wine cellar, a 50-seat dining room, and ten "satellite kitchens" in addition to the primary chef's kitchen in the property. Until it's done, Jackie has been busy seeking inspiration from the actual palace itself over in France, posting pictures from a visit on Instagram and promising "yes, I'm still working on it and yes you'll see it soon."

Drake's house had people online abuzz

Honestly, would you expect Drake to have anything but an outrageously luxurious home? If you would, we're here to disappoint, unfortunately — Drake's home is every inch the modern opulent palace, as Architectural Digest shows. In 2020, the musician let the publication inside his staggering Toronto mansion, a 50,000 square foot home nicknamed "The Embassy" of almost unimaginably plush proportions. In one shot, Drake is pictured sitting next to a "bespoke Bösendorfer concert grand piano," with marble black-and-white floors and, behind him, a gold-detailed mirrored wall that stretches up to the cavernous ceilings above.

Honestly, this home has to be seen to be believed — and when it reached social media, a lot of people had a few choice thoughts. One commenter on a popular tweet posted by user @yayaxtonye describes the home as looking like a hotel. Another points out the logistical difficulties of living in a property with such sky-high ceilings, stating that "changing those lightbulbs gotta be a pain in the a**." Others, however, heaped praise on the modern Art Deco-style of the property, calling it "impressive" and "amazing." To each their own, we suppose.

Pharrell Williams' mansion inspired a viral tweet

Anyone who makes a Vivienne Westwood Buffalo hat part of their signature look is no stranger to bold style choices. Unfortunately, when Pharrell Williams debuted the renovation of his 17,245-square-foot Beverly Hills mansion (per Love Property), the internet collectively focused on an aspect that felt bold in all the wrong ways. Williams painstakingly revamped the old interiors of the property that he bought from movie kingpin Tyler Perry, shaking up the surprisingly dark furnishings and replacing them with modern muted tones that served to highlight the abundance of natural light coming from the glass exteriors.

However, those glass exteriors were what set the online world abuzz with comparison. And when Twitter user @jordanfibonacci fired out a now-legendary tweet with a picture of Williams' home accompanied by the simple statement "this man live in a community college," the platform's users couldn't contain their hilarity. The tweet racked up almost a million likes and well over 100,000 retweets, going down in history as a viral moment for the ages. We doubt Williams minded too much, though; he ended up selling the home in 2020 for a cool $14 million, according to Mansion Global, although this was actually a loss on his original purchase price of $15.6 million.

Naomi Campbell's house baffled fans

The words "Naomi Campbell" and "eternal style icon" are pretty much interchangeable. So when Campbell's name started showing up online in association with one of the most distinctive houses we've ever seen, we had to figure out whether this was the ultimate home fashion moment or a wild misfire — and the jury's still out.

The house in question was a property built for Campbell by her former partner, billionaire Vladislav Doronin, and designed by legendary architect Zaha Hadid, per the Daily Mail. The 35,520-square-foot home set tongues wagging for its one-of-a-kind design, a futuristic aesthetic which has the feel of a starship. Built in a secluded patch of Russian forest land, the home's central tower section extends over a hundred feet tall and contains a bedroom and en-suite bathroom. Elsewhere in the property, there's a sports hall, a nightclub, and a 20-meter swimming pool. 

Somewhat predictably, a house as unique as this takes a specific kind of buyer, which is the problem that Doronin faced when trying to sell the property; he had to reduce the price substantially (to a paltry $104 million ... what a shame) when he couldn't attract a new owner.

Cara and Poppy Delevingne's shared house had a surprising aesthetic

Celeb sisters Cara and Poppy Delevingne are mainstays of the worldwide fashion scene, and you wouldn't be unreasonable to assume that their homes follow the standard celeb look of sleek white lines and all-glass walls. However, when viewers got a glimpse of the siblings' shared home, which had undergone a roughly 18-month renovation in an Architectural Digest home tour, it wasn't quite what people were expecting.

In the California house, "the theme is ... jungle," states Poppy at the start of the video — and they do not disappoint. In their guest room, they flaunt a double-bunk-bed constructed out of what looks like bamboo, set against a distinctive printed wallpaper. Elsewhere, the bathroom takes things to a completely different place, with a Moroccan-inspired décor covered in tiles and with a gold-effect sink. Potentially the most bizarre aspect, though, is their "club" space, which features modern disco lighting, velvet portraits, and a pole in the middle on its own plinth. Predictably, when it hit the internet, people had some pretty choice things to say about the home. "The house is ghastly but their enthusiasm and love for it, is cute," states one commenter on the YouTube video.

John Travolta's house has a feature like no other

While most people who enjoy flying simply like the benefits of a free vodka tonic after take-off, John Travolta does things his way. The "Grease" star has such a passion for the skies that he's been known to fly a Boeing 707 jetliner with his pilot's license (you know, the kind of plane on which you drink said vodka tonic on your way to some exotic location), per CBS News.

But despite knowing this, the internet was still agog when Architectural Digest took a look at Travolta's home — which he built on a literal airport with its own 7,500-foot runway, upon which he could land his 135-foot plane, per Architectural Digest. The 8,900-square-foot home, built on eight acres of Florida land, incorporated enormous glass windows from which Travolta and wife, Kelly Preston, could see the aircraft — the tail of which, at 30 feet high, was as tall as the property itself. Travolta's house is so legendary that it's re-viralized (we're claiming that word right now) periodically, with a tweet from user @JoePompliano displaying the property renewing the online attention towards it in 2021. It's somewhat of a shame that Travolta's home is rarely mentioned without the runway, as the retro-futurist-inspired property, complete with a sky-blue pool and adjoining pool house, is simply dreamy.

Dakota Johnson's viral house moment is the stuff of legend

Are you ready for the scandal of the century? It all starts back in March 2020, when actor Dakota Johnson invited Architectural Digest into her midcentury-modern home in Los Angeles, in a video tour posted to their YouTube channel. The house, previously owned by Ryan Murphy, is as cozy as it is stylish, with vintage furniture paired with specially-designed pieces dotted through the property. From the online reaction to the video, however, you'd barely know how stunning the house is, as one specific moment from the video immediately went viral — when Johnson stands in front of a huge bowl of fresh limes in her kitchen, and proclaims, "I love limes. I love them. They're great. I love them so much, and I like to present them like this in my house."

People seized upon the absurdity of the moment, with users speculating that Johnson was low-key shading the publication's tendency to focus on apparently random aspects of their subject's homes. And then? In an interview on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon in January 2021, when the talk-show host picked up on the moment, she dropped a bombshell. "I actually didn't know that they were in there ... It was set dressing. I'm allergic to limes," she stated. "It was hard to just ignore them. So I just lied." We don't know what to believe anymore, other than this moment will go down in viral history.

Gigi Hadid's home renovation had people less than inspired

Of all the people to have a renovation go viral for less than ideal reasons, you wouldn't assume it'd be fashion legend Gigi Hadid. But when the model updated the world on her year-long renovation escapades, "designing and curating my passion project/dream spot" as she put it on Instagram, the world wasn't quite as receptive as she might've hoped.

Her fans immediately jumped on the fact that Hadid's New York house, one of the two units she owns in a building in the Cast Iron district (per the New York Post) was decked out with some pretty eccentric choices. In the kitchen, where most people would have a bowl of fresh fruit on the central island counter, Hadid has a bowl of ... billiard balls. Sure! And below the counter, cupboards of dyed pasta are displayed through glass-windowed doors, in bright, almost garish colors that are reflected throughout the rest of the home. Online commenters didn't go lightly when talking about the property, with one Twitter user proclaiming that the pasta cabinets "ruined [their] day" (per News.com.au). We're not sure we'd go quite that far, but hey, we all have our tastes, right?

Justin Bieber's house had an interesting nickname

With a property history as epic as Justin Bieber's, you're bound to have a misfire now and again. Despite his young age, the Canadian singer has racked up property after property over the years, with everything from a $6.5 million Calabasas starter home, bought at the age of just 18, to a $25.8 million purchase of an enormous Beverly Hills mansion with wife Hayley Baldwin Bieber (per Love Property).

None of these got people talking, however, as much as Bieber's time in a nearby Beverly Hills mansion, a $10.5 million property with some choice architecture. The glass-fronted mansion, built in a circular style and boasting six bedrooms and 6.5 bathrooms, is almost completely transparent from the inside and was dubbed the Salad Spinner by online commentators. And some people went even harder than that, with one Twitter user proclaiming that "Justin Bieber's house looks like if Amazon made a community college," along with a picture of the property, resulting in a flood of likes and retweets. Potentially, Bieber felt the same about the home — he only spent two months in it.

David Dobrik's house is full of interesting items

David Dobrik's YouTube success took him straight to the top pretty much overnight, and with a staggering net worth of $20 million (per Celebrity Net Worth), his house stood to be something that people were salivating over. But when he finally revealed his home on an Architectural Digest video home tour on YouTube, it wasn't quite the house that people were looking at — it was the flamethrower. Yep, you heard us right. In the middle of the video, Dobrik picks up a flamethrower from a midcentury-modern pool table which sits under an orb-like hanging light ornament and fires out a load of fire. We mean ... cool, we guess?

Unsurprisingly, this become a choice moment for many online commenters and did the rounds online almost instantly. "It's like babysitting a kid and he's just showing you his toys," stated one YouTube comment. It's a shame, too, that the house is overshadowed by this moment, as the three-bedroom home itself is pretty beautiful, a mix of contemporary interior and Mediterranean-inspired outside (via Dirt).

Kim Kardashian and Kanye West's sink got people talking

When Kimye were still a thing, they became somewhat famed for their stunning home choices and renovations. But one aspect of Kim Kardashian and Kanye West's California home, almost Cyclades-like in its towering white walls and ceilings inside (per Architectural Digest), caught the eye like no other — and it might not be what you think. Their sink unit, as seen in a Vogue video home tour hosted by Kardashian (and as House Beautiful later picked up on) is quite frankly baffling, looking like a pair of taps just mounted on a flat surface, with no basin. Where does the water go? Like, what?

We weren't the only ones that were confused, either, as the internet naturally converged to discuss the confusing utility. Twitter users collectively tried to decipher the mystery of the sink-unit-thing, with some theorizing (potentially ironically) that it was "absorbent marble stone." And as it turns out, it wasn't just the people attracted by the viral furniture piece that ended up as critics of the celeb's designs. In a segment on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show," Kardashian revealed that her own daughter, North West, will exclaim to her "your house is so ugly!" when they're arguing. We hope that North hasn't been getting inspiration from Twitter!

Zedd's unique house feature was all everyone wanted to talk about

When you need a reliable Top 100 hit, you can do worse than going to Zedd. And the DJ has parlayed his success in the charts into real estate gold, with an ultra-modern 9,400-square-foot mansion in Beverly Hills (per Architectural Digest). But, as always, the internet is a funny old place, and although the house tour that he did for Architectural Digest's YouTube channel featured the $16 million property in all of its expansive, white-walled, Japanese-inspired glory, viewers didn't care that much anymore when they saw the custom Skittles machine he has.

"This is the Skittles machine, that will go to whatever flavor you pick," Zedd states, as the camera lingers on the endless little candies. "Would you like some?" he says, offering the cameraman a cup (for future reference, yes, we would, Zedd). The moment quickly became Architectural Digest house tour legend, with People citing it as one of the strangest things found in a celeb home. Viewers, however, seem to see how much Zedd vibes with the item. "I like how the most important part of this house is its Skittle machine," one states. It would be in our house too, to be fair!