Canadian rapper Drake (also known as Aubrey Drake Graham) wowed everybody with a walkthrough of his extravagant Toronto home last week as featured on Architectural Digest.
His 50,000 sq.ft. mansion — built on a plot reportedly bought in 2015 in Toronto’s exclusive Park Lane Circle for US$6.7 million — was showcased in a cover editorial detailing the designs by fellow countryman Ferris Rafauli.
Styled with swathes of “limestone, bronze, exotic woods, and other noble materials,” The Tootsie Slide artist’s new home exudes incredible handcrafted glory from wall to wall. The new high-ceilinged home features one-of-a-kind design touches and pieces such as a bespoke Bösendorfer grand piano created together with artist Takashi Murakami, or a NBA regulation-size indoor basketball court that featured motifs of Graham’s own brand, October’s Very Own.
Like pharaohs and emperors of yore who built physical landmarks to mark their everlasting influence on earth, Drake, now aged 33, also sought to build a physical reflection of his skyrocketing success in a home that would last lifetimes — an empire that began in his hometown, no less.
“It’s overwhelming high luxury,” Drake told Architectural Digest. “That message is delivered through the size of the rooms and the materials and details of the floors and the ceilings. I wanted to make sure people can see the work I’ve put in over the years reflected from every vantage point.”
He added, “I wanted the structure to stand firm for 100 years. I wanted it to have a monumental scale and feel. It will be one of the things I leave behind, so it had to be timeless and strong,”
Yet, with such a public following, the superstar’s home was also quickly the subject of jest among spirited commentators on Twitter, with some laughing off his decorating choices as ‘50-year-old mobster wife’, ‘perfume department at a shopping mall’ or ‘every new boutique hotel’.
Whether you can agree on his taste or not, there are no doubt some solid (and enviable) takeaways that we can all draw from the next time we’re inspired to redecorate. As some may say, the secret to success is to ‘live as if.’ For a slice of the Toronto superstar’s ‘pleasure dome’ in your own home, here are five style cues you can take and easily replicate without forking out for a custom build.
Earth-toned Hippie Vibes
It’s all about the warm, hippie palette in Drake’s retro-inspired studio lounge — steal the look for all your future nights in with a cushy modular sofa in brown or burnt amber velvet, like BoConcept’s Carmo or Hampton sofas. One of the key features in this space is of course the backlit panel of brown agate stones, which lends the whole room a mystical vibe — it kind of reminds us of a painting by Gustav Klimt. Make like Aubrey with a Katherine Pooley decorative agate slice, or mimic those ethereal vibes with a lustrous Tom Dixon Melt pendant or a BoConcept Stockholm table lamp. Connect up your favourite sound system and all you need is to light a Patchouli candle or two to complete the vibe.
The Starburst Chandelier
One of the most staggering features from the start of his home tour were none other than the starburst chandeliers dotted throughout the house, from the foyer to the great room. Lighting up a long dimmed hallway, they almost look like perpetual fireworks in bloom.
While the original was a custom job by Ferris Rafauli, this chandelier from Etsy is almost an accessible replica. Indeed, most of the fixtures in Drake’s Toronto home are custom built, but a classy mirror, like this one from Indigo Living, is another easy way to amplify these intricate golden spheres throughout the house. Don’t want to fiddle around with new ceiling lights? This decorative starburst piece from Katharine Pooley gently brings the unique shape into any space.
Art Deco Geometry
There’s fine veined marble everywhere in Drake Manor, from the floors in the impossibly high-ceilinged great room to his truly enviable walk-in closet (all the better to catch the light from those technicolour Birkins he has lying around). But what offsets the expensive look is the glint of gold geometric touches. Too much though and they may bring to mind a replica from the set of The Great Gatsby, so use at caution. Match the motif with this desk or side table and end table from Katharine Pooley; the Ottaway modular seating from BoConcept in striking mustard; and brass lighting fixtures, such as this one from Indigo Living. Small drops of geometric patterns such as with throw cushions also helps to easily add interest to a living or wardrobe area. This desert rose quartz votive from Katharine Pooley also echoes the ceiling design used in the star’s main lounge.
Solid Marble Kitchen
While not all of us (especially in space-strapped Hong Kong) can have the luxury of a fabulous solid marble kitchen island in our homes, those who can will perhaps want to opt for a lighter, contemporary version instead of the heavy, Beaux Arts aesthetic. We look to Italian specialists Boffi for their Xila Kitchen units, which are prized for their use of complete swathes of marble — cut to showcase fine and delicate craftsmanship — and all customised to your specific needs. The completely handle-less design offers a particularly modern look. Pair it with minimalistic geometric ceiling lights, such as these Scandi-cool ones from Manks, or if you’re looking to replicate the whole shebang, we found these simple diamond-shaped fixtures from Decor8 for inspiration.
A Restorative Bedroom
The rapper’s 3,200 sq.ft. mammoth of a bedroom suite is his self-proclaimed favourite place in his whole home — no surprise there, with its ultra-luxe fixtures such as a custom bed and bed base which “cost more than many people’s entire homes,” according to Architectural Digest, as well as a whisky and champagne bar embedded into the reverse of the headboard. That said, when it comes down to it, everybody sleeps at the end of the day, and the cliche of soft neutrals in the bedroom still manages to work its charm. Here, Ferris Rafauli tempers the heavy black marble and gold of the other rooms into a relaxing and restorative space.
To replicate that exclusive Alexander McQueen hummingbird linen, search for botanical motifs on throw cushions and quilts to add interest to an otherwise beige room — such as with this one and this one from Indigo Living. With pieces such as this Katherine Pooley lamp or armchair, a balance of light hues with natural materials and textures helps to make the space more relaxing, yet also fits the overall theme of the home. Two simple brass pendant lamps, placed symmetrically, ties everything together.