Skip to main content

Inside the Mid-Century Masterpieces Owned by Steve McQueen, Frank Sinatra & Gary Cooper

Much more than a mere book on architecture or a celebrity-obsessive's dream come true, Hollywood Modern: Houses of the Stars, recently published by Rizzoli and available on Amazon, is one of the most interesting design books of the year.

Authors Michael Stern and Alan Hess explore the passion for high design that many celebrities exhibited in building and decorating the private houses where they lived their everyday lives. 

From Charlton Heston to Frank Sinatra and Steve McQueen to Leonardo DiCaprio, the authors have uncovered some gorgeous residences that have been rarely if ever, in the public eye.

They portray 24 houses designed by great architects for famous clients, giving an "intimate tour" of their living spaces, many of which have been perfectly preserved by new owners, others still owned by the stars or their families, alongside portraits of the famous names.

The beautiful photography in the book, both new and archival, comes from a number of well-known and highly-acclaimed lensmen including Slim Aarons, Richard Avedon, Julius Shulman and Tim Street-Porter. 

The book begins with the 1930s and runs through the golden age of Mid-Century Modern, our particular favorite and the source of the book's best gems, to the present day.

One of the very best is the Coldwater Canyon masterpiece designed for Charlton Heston in 1959 by architect William S. Beckett, until recently sowned by the Heston family and a monument to manly Mid-Century style as befitted the E-Type driving, gunslinging star of many major Hollywood epics.

So if you're looking for one last Christmas gift – for yourself after all you've done for everyone else this holiday season – add this coffee table beautifier to your cart without delay.