After spending an estimated $20 million plus improvements on a their new “castle,” Kim Kardashian and Kanye West decided to entertain delusions that they are living in Downton Abbey. The home in Hidden Hills has reportedly been christened “Highclere Castle” after the Victorian home featured on the Downton Abbey television show.
The Kardashian/West castle is on a 3 plus-acre spread that was previously owned by Lisa Marie Presley. The home, which was torn down and rebuilt a few years ago, has 8 bedrooms, 10 bathrooms, a fitness room, paneled library, three-island kitchen and home theater. The land reportedly features two swimming pools, two barbeque centers, a sport court as well as a secluded pool house or guesthouse.
The high profile couple clearly have visions of themselves as the Earl and Countess of Grantham, the aristocrats who live in Downton on what is reportedly one of Kim and Kanye’s favorite television shows. Some Web sites even report that Kanye calls Kim “Lady” and fancies himself as cooler than Lord Grantham. The couple reportedly wants their home to mimic the opulence and regalness of the original Highclere Castle.
The real Highclere Castle has been the family home of the aristocratic Carnarvons since 1679. It too was a teardown, rebuilt over a medieval abbey owned by bishops for 800 years prior. While homes in Hidden Hills have expensive artwork and jewelry inside, the real Highclere Castle has an Egyptian Exhibition celebrating the achievement of and displaying treasures gathered by the 5th Earl of Carnarvon who spent years excavating tombs near Luxor, Egypt, before finding the tomb of King Tut in 1922 along with his friend, Howard Carter.
The city of Hidden Hills is located on the West end of the San Fernando Valley suburb of Los Angeles, near Calabasas and the Ventura County line. The area’s homes are all surrounded with white three-rail fences and horse trails. Outside each home is a white sign announcing the name of the property? Many of the signs reflect the name of the owner; some feature plays on words, while others reflect the fantasies and favorite entertainment of the resident. The Kardashian/West home sign reflects the later.
Since its establishment in the 1950s, Hidden Hills has been a small bucolic equestrian-friendly city hidden away behind guard gates, hills and trees. Back then, a one-acre site would have cost about $8,00 and one with a four-bedroom home would have been about $27,500. Now, $4 million plus will get someone a small fixer-upper. The newer large homes favored by celebs go for several million more.
Hidden Hills has about 2,000 wealthy residents, many of whom choosing the gated community to keep paparazzi out. Those often nouveau riche residents include members of the Kardashian/Jenner clan, Jessica Simpson, Jennifer Lopez, Howie Mandel, Drake and others.
Kim Kardashian, 34, and Kanye West, 37, might fantasize and entertain delusions of grandeur that their home compared with Downton, whether the fictionalized Grantham version or like the real thing in England. However, Kris Jenner at the Hidden Hills Highclere Castle will clearly be no match for the incomparable Violet Crawley, the Dowager Countess of Grantham.
By Dyanne Weiss