Monday, September 10, 2012 8:30 AM EDT
Who lives here? (Hint: not me.) Let’s find out!
Whose home do you want to peek inside? This past Friday saw the HGTV premiere of Celebrities at Home, wherein host Nancy O’Dell is let through the front doors of the private spaces of the rich and famous. It’s a seductive idea, looking into the homes of those who can indulge their every whim. There’s lots of potential here for voyeurship (that’s not a word); speaking of potential, here are a few places I’d personally like to get an inside peek at.
JD Salinger’s Cornish Home (pictured above, via Texarkana Gazette)
The late, famously reclusive author spent most of the final decades of his life holed up in his Cornish, New Hampshire home. Very sporadic reports that would trickle out about visits inside the house would include descriptions of the private, odd (and allegedly pee-drinking!) man who lived there — but they’d always leave out the details I really wanted to know about: what does that place look like? Nice? Ratty? Probably lots of books, sure, but does he own a VCR? If so, what movies? If the author of The Catcher in the Rye had a bunch of black velvet posters on the walls and a boxed set of the Porky’s trilogy, would we think about him differently?
Winchester Mystery House (pictured above, via Geek Tyrant)
The massive San Jose home of Sarah Winchester, widow to William Wirt Winchester and heiress to the Winchester Rifle fortune, was under continuous, 24-hour-a-day construction for 38 years. One legend says that Mrs. Winchester was told by a psychic that angry spirits were hounding her family (possibly the ghosts of the people killed by Winchester rifles) and that once construction of her house was finished, those spirits would move in and take her life. The other theory is that she was just an eccentric rich lady with no architectural training who insisted on designing her own house. In any case, the house is bananas: stairs leading nowhere; windows that look onto walls; teeny doors; giant doors. Oh, and ghosts. Lots of ghosts. It’s supposedly crazy-haunted. That psychic was right!
Mukesh Ambani’s Antilia (pictured above and top of post, via Isismile)
Named after a mythic island that might or not be North America, and costing approximately $1 billion to build, Antilia is home to India’s richest man, Mukesh Ambani, his wife and three children. And it’s less a house than a private skyscraper. It boasts 27 floors, has its own ballroom, a 6-storey garage and 3 helipads. Oh, and lest we forget: the world’s largest collection of antique sewing machines. We’ll probably never see the inside, as Ambani is reportedly a deeply private tailor (seamster?).
Steven Segal’s Scottsdale Home (pictured above, via Celebrity Detective)
Does an aikido master have a walk-in kimono closet? Is a reserve sheriff’s fridge stocked with Steven Segal’s Lightning Bolt™ energy drink? Does an actor-cum-rock star own his own album (never released in North America), Songs from the Crystal Cave? Exactly how many dreamcatchers are we talking about? Does he sleep in a big dreamcatcher? Good news, friends: All these questions and more will be answered when the ponytailed teddy bear himself is featured on an upcoming episode of Celebrities at Home!