Where does drag superstar RuPaul lay his head? In a four-poster canopy bed — or velvet claw-foot daybed — in the Beverly Hills mansion he shares with husband Georges LeBar. The property is more than worthy of royalty, with grand airy rooms and neoclassical details dressed up in bold colors and maximalist glamour.
RuPaul and LeBar bought the European-style estate in 2019, and enlisted interior designer Martyn Lawrence Bullard — a longtime friend — and architect Christopher Hatch McLean to work their magic.
They opened the doors to their newly decked-out home for the June issue of Architectural Digest. Visitors enter through a sumptuous soft-pink foyer with a marble staircase and neoclassical black railing, and the tour only gets more extravagant from there: luxe, eye-catching rooms fill the home’s interiors, while outside there is an elegant outdoor dining space and pool that feels plucked from a summer home in Italy.
“This is the house of Ru, a mansion of style designed as the center stage… I could not imagine a more appropriate place for the universe’s drag mother to hold court,” Bullard told AD in the cover story. And RuPaul had no limits when it came to the vision, according to AD, telling Bullard, “I can go as far as your imagination will take us.”
That directive saw Bullard bring together punchy jet-black and white interiors throughout the home: opulent marble, graphic wallpapers and mind-bending geometric patterns. Indulgent details abound, from striped Corinthian pilasters and custom fireplaces to elaborate gilt leaf light fixtures and crystal chandeliers.
The ground-floor ballroom is a glittering sanctuary in particular, with monumental disco balls — fitting for the couple, who met at New York’s legendary hotspot Limelight in the 1990s — and photographs of musical icons including Billie Holliday, Grace Jones and Diana Ross.
Against the black-and-white backdrops, bursts of color can be found throughout in jewel-toned velvet seating, lacquered furniture and, of course, RuPaul’s vibrant rainbow-coordinated wardrobe. (The home has two enormous walk-in closets, each with full-length mirrors and sitting areas. One is dedicated solely to his drag costumes.)
“It feels like you’re skipping into Bergdorf’s, the chicest boutique you could dream of,” RuPaul said.
RuPaul’s closet isn’t the only hint of his influential drag empire within the home — one powder room is outfitted in a green silk and gold leaf wallpaper in the style of Victorian-era silhouetted cameos featuring his own profile in a variety of wigs.
“The house is a touchstone to remind me to inspire people to feel the magic that’s seemingly so elusive these days,” RuPaul explained. “It’s meant to be whimsical and fun. None of it is to be taken too seriously.”
But for all the glamour of the space, the couple prefers intimate gatherings to lavish fêtes, he said, meaning it’s the rarest of treats for a guest to experience their home in person.
“I entertain on television, not at my house,” he said. “When you live such a public life, you need boundaries.”