When you think of the typical celebrity home, you probably imagine a mega-mansions wedged into a jagged, California cliff, complete with a 3,500-bottle wine cellar, seven-car garage, in-home studio, and wildly sumptuous, modern furniture.
While those definitely exist—see here for proof—the truth is that there are plenty of down-to-earth celebrities out there who prefer practicality and simplicity over brazen, in-your-face opulence. For some great examples, read on—and remember that sometimes celebs really are just like us! And for more real estate coverage, don’t miss our roundup of The Biggest Homes on the Planet.
Before moving into a far more glamorous home in 2014, actress Jennifer Lawrence lived in this quaint townhouse, which she only purchased for a reported $879,000. The most surprising element of this townhouse was the understated way it was designed, with only minimal furnishings and decor—a far cry from the opulence you’d expect from someone with her bank account.
Actress Christina Ricci has since moved on to New York City, but this modest home in Los Angeles was her home until 2014. And, despite her wealth (she is worth a reported $18 million), Ricci purchased the 1,891-square-foot home for an admittedly still-high but—by Hollywood standards—rather pedestrian $1,505,000. And for more on the psychology of home buying and interior design, check out these 13 Things Your Home Can Reveal About Your Personality.
Until 2015, pop singer Kesha lived in this tranquil bungalow in Venice, California, which she purchased for $1.6 million in 2014. This understated and zen retreat is not exactly what we expect from a famous party animal, what with its greenery and calming colors. And if you’re looking to spruce up your home, check out these 30 Ways to Make Your Home Way More Awesome.
Despite the personal touches that fashion designer Charlotte Ronson had incorporated into her tiny Manhattan apartment, it still remained a Manhattan apartment. (You know: Tiny.) Though, since welcoming her first child, Levon, into the world, Ronson and her husband, musician Nate Ruess, have since upgraded to a bigger apartment in the same NoHo neighborhood.
After his relationship with actress Kristen Stewart ended, Robert Pattinson ditched his fancy Los Feliz digs and moved into this far cozier ranch-style home in the Hollywood Hills. The actor, worth around $25 million, spent $2,176,500 on this 1,940-square feet home with only two bedrooms and two bathrooms. And for more ways to make your small home look more spacious, check out these 30 Home Design Tricks That Will Make Any Room Look So Much Bigger.
Though Tori Spelling and her family move from home to home quite frequently (in 2016, they had moved a total of 8 times in only 6 years), this decidedly understated home in Malibu remained their humble abode until Spelling announced that she was pregnant with her fourth child, and with that, it was time to move on to another (bigger) home. The only added luxury in this home (besides the chicken coop in the backyard), was the installation of 100-year old reclaimed oak wood flooring from France.
Though Glee Los Angeles bungalow star Lea Michele has since moved on to a far more glamorous (and expensive) home, this quaint was her home through the beginning years of her burgeoning acting career. The 2 bedroom cottage was sold by Michele in 2015 for only $1.825 million.
Billionaire Warren Buffett lives in this humble home that only cost him .001 percent of his income. He purchased this home in a quiet neighborhood in Omaha, Nebraska for $31,500 in 1958—or about $250,000 in today’s dollars. When asked why he had no interest moving into more glamorous digs, he said, “I’m happy there. I’d move if I thought I’d be happier someplace else.”
Despite being one of the richest men on the planet, worth an estimated $77.6 billion, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg only spent $7 million on his home in Palo Alto, California, which he shares with wife Priscilla Chan and two children. According to NBC News, Zuckerberg, more than any other lush amenities, simply craves a nurturing environment for his family and privacy for himself.
During the height of his fame when he appeared as a star on The Office, John Krasinski lived in this understated bachelor pad, worth around $1,050,010. This two-bedroom, two-bathroom home, only seconds away from Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles, was eventually traded in for a more family-accommodating space in 2011.
This former American Idol contestant and successful musician has since moved on from this home, located in Oak Ridge, North Carolina—but during the height of his fame, this humble home, which he purchased for a less-than-eye-popping $690,000,was all the luxury that he desired for himself, his wife, and their four children.
In 2017, the White Stripes rocker and record label owner purchased this Kalamazoo, Michigan home, formerly belonging to industrial designer George Nelson. Since Jack White’s first foray into the professional world was as an upholsterer’s apprentice, his appreciation for interesting architecture comes as no surprise. However, what is surprising is that the millionaire only purchased this home for a mere $510,000—just a fraction of his wealth.
Chef and television star Michael Symon, until 2017 at least, steered clear of Hollywood with this lush retreat in the suburbs of Cleveland, Ohio. Purchased for around $500,000, this humble home (aside from the spectacular kitchen, of course) boasts five bedrooms and rolling hills of greenery.
The Lord of the Rings star Elijah Woods, despite being worth an estimated $18 million, prefers to keep his living situation modest in this renovated Victorian in Austin, Texas, which only cost the actor $698,750. Not only that, but this change in location from his previous million-dollar setup in Santa Monica is a far cry from the lavish mansion and lifestyle that he maintained. For the music-lover and record-collector, Austin was an easy choice with its diverse music scene.
Though the Big Bang Theory star has since moved on from this Los Angeles cottage, during the height of his fame, Simon Helberg lived in this humble abode. When he purchased the five-bedroom home in 2008, he did so for $950,000—which seems incredibly small when you consider the fact that the actor reportedly makes around $1 million per episode, making him one of the highest paid actors on television.
Musician Pete Wentz may be in one of the most popular rock bands of this decade, but his previous Studio City home didn’t seem to capture the normal overindulgence of other rock stars of his caliber. Though he eventually moved to a bigger home to support his growing family, this understated million-dollar home, surrounded by trees, waterfalls, and exotic plants was the perfect tranquil escape for Wentz.
Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds
Though their net worth is around $90 million, this Hollywood “It” couple only spent $2.3 million on this cozy mansion located in Bedford, New York, located just 40 miles outside of New York City. Their dreamy retreat boasts 1.7 acres of lush gardens, a library, and a sun porch—all providing the perfect escape for this hard-working couple and their two children.
Before he was an award-winning actor, husband, and father of three, Matthew McConaughey was a single bachelor living in his Airstream trailer. The actor purchased and renovated the 2004 Airstream trailer over a decade ago, parking it permanently along the coastline in Santa Monica, and outfitting it with only simple surfer decorations. “The thing about small spaces is that they’re relaxing,” said McConaughey. “You’re limited in your options.” It is reported that he is currently updating two more Airstreams.
Similar to McConaughey, Grey’s Anatomy star Ellen Pompeo enjoys the making the most of small spaces—which is why she has turned her on-set trailer into a miniature home-away-from-home. For this trailer makeover, Pompeo worked with Domaine, a popular home decor site. So, for days when the actress doesn’t feel like making the commute back home to her Los Angeles mansion, this tiny slice of heaven will do just fine.
Though the New Girl star was once bringing in an impressive salary of $95,000-a-month, her notoriously frugal spending is apparent in the purchase of this tiny estate, only setting the actress back $1.69 million. And, even though she sold the Hollywood Hills home in 2015, Zooey Deschanel purchased an equally-understated home in Manhattan Beach with her husband, Jacob Pechenik, for a cool $5.58 million. With the simplistic and understated qualities of this home, like its wooden furnishings and small patio space, it’s apparent that this actress and musician prefers a calm retreat over a statement of luxury.
Before we delve into the rather bland-looking property formerly belonging to Foo Fighters founder Dave Grohl, it’s first important to point out that he’s worth an estimated $280 million—yes, you heard that correctly. Keep that number in mind as you ponder the fact that the musician lived in this surfer’s paradise until 2015—and only purchased the home for a little under $3 million in 2007.
For the normal homebuyer, this adorable Studio City space is not exactly a starter home. But for actress Ellen Page, this humble two-bedroom home, purchased in 2011 for only $885,000, is only a minuscule portion of her estimated net worth of $18 million. Besides the pool and fringe of palm trees in the backyard, the home features vaulted ceilings and minimalist decor.
For over a decade, Mad Men star Vincent Kartheiser lived in this 580-square-foot cabin in Hollywood, until finally selling it in 2014 to move in with his wife, actress Alexis Bledel.
For what the cabin lacked in space, it ultimately made up for in chic ingenuity. (Note the fixture in the back of the room—that’s actually a bed that he simply pulled down whenever he wanted a snooze). When he purchased the bungalow back in 2003, the actor (worth $9 million) spent only $547,000 of his hard-earned cash.
NFL MVP Adrian Peterson, despite being worth an estimated $30 million, purchased this small home in Minnesota for only $665,000 in 2007. Though he relocated to New Orleans in 2017 to play for the Saints, he shared this 4,167-square foot home with his wife and four children for a decade, remaining humble despite his growing wealth.
Though this property is reported to be one of several that the basketball legend, Shaquille O’Neal, owns, its less-than-glamorous curb appeal is nothing close to the level of outwardly-extravagant wealth that we would expect from such a successful (and extremely wealthy) international star.
The athlete purchased the modest Mount Dora, Florida estate back in 2012 for a reported $235,000. It has five bedrooms, four baths, granite counter tops, a wet bar, and an entertainment room—but wait, where are the swanky indoor courts we’re expecting? And for more on celebrities embracing a more modest lifestyle, check out these 20 Celebrities Who Shunned Hollywood for Small Town Life.
To discover more amazing secrets about living your best life, click here to sign up for our FREE daily newsletter!