The Paramour Estate is a true Hollywood star

Paramour is a 1920s Silver Lake mansion making an elegant escape from one’s fans in Los Angeles

Paramour estate aerial
(Image credit: Simon Berlyn)

Los Angeles has no shortage of icons; still, the historic Paramour Estate is on another level. Nestled in the hills of Silver Lake, with unreal views of the Hollywood Hills and the San Gabriel mountains, the epic, five-acre estate is a true piece of Hollywood history, having been commissioned by the petroleum heiress Daisy Canfield for her silent movie star beau, Antonio Moreno, and completed in 1923. 

Over the last century, the estate has served myriad purposes: as a boarding school and academy for orphan girls and young women during the Great Depression and as a convent and home for girls from 1953 after being gifted to the Franciscan Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate Conception, ultimately becoming a historic cultural landmark in 1988. In 1991, the interior designer Dana Hollister came across the property and ultimately acquired it in 1998 with the aim of preserving it, carefully restoring it and opening it back up for limited use. 

Paramour estate long swimming pool

(Image credit: Simon Berlyn)

Check into the Paramour Estate

Encompassing an 18,000 sq ft mansion, three staff cottages, a 65ft swimming pool, stables, a greenhouse, garages for five cars, rose gardens, terraced fountains, a citrus orchard, and a wishing well to boot, the fantastical estate has appeared in movies, music videos, photoshoots, and hosted events. It is also quietly available for overnight stays; guests can choose from six suites in the main manse or one of the cottages.

As the story tends to go, however, the estate has been in survival mode in recent years due to financial difficulties and a host of prospective buyers angling to own such a valuable piece of real estate. Enter the interior designer Ken Fulk and his business partner, property developer Clark Lyda, who together have a successful track record of breathing new life into historic properties. The duo first joined forces on restoring the Commodore Perry Estate in Austin, and have similar projects in Massachusetts, New Orleans and San Francisco in the works.

Paramour entrance

(Image credit: Simon Berlyn)

‘I paid a visit [to the Paramour] about a year ago, and was gobsmacked that this place existed,’ Fulk says. ‘As someone who loves California, and the glamour and folklore of Hollywood, it so often doesn’t really exist. Suddenly I was standing there and just taken back by this glorious estate. That began a conversation with Dana. We’ve had a history of trying to save historic places so this idea of preserving the stories and histories of the people that created and made the, in a world where there is so much standardisation and homogenisation in order to reap profit, we have a belief that what makes these places unique is what makes them valuable.’

Rather than planning a grand makeover, Fulk’s aspirations for the Paramour are quite simply to ‘help it literally be the best version of itself,’ he says. ‘It has been a vibrant part of the artist community there. It’s an extraordinary place that is totally intact and has been lovingly maintained. For the foreseeable future, we’re just helping to stabilise it and have it continue operating as it has. The goal for it is to go forward and be the best shining example that if they’re loved, taken care of, believed in, supported and well run, these places can be successful.’

paramour estate colourful interior

(Image credit: Simon Berlyn) 

Book now

A version of this article features in the August 2023 ‘Made in America’ issue of Wallpaper* – complete with the Wallpaper* USA 300 – on sale 6 July, available in print from 6 July, on the Wallpaper* app on Apple iOS, and to subscribers of Apple News +. Subscribe to Wallpaper* today

Pei-Ru Keh is a former US Editor at Wallpaper*. Born and raised in Singapore, she has been a New Yorker since 2013. Pei-Ru held various titles at Wallpaper* between 2007 and 2023. She reports on design, tech, art, architecture, fashion, beauty and lifestyle happenings in the United States, both in print and digitally. Pei-Ru took a key role in championing diversity and representation within Wallpaper's content pillars, actively seeking out stories that reflect a wide range of perspectives. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two children, and is currently learning how to drive.