“You’re either in or you’re out. Right now.” Making his acting debut in 1978, George Clooney rose to prominence in the mid-1990s as the dreamy and charismatic Dr. Doug Ross on the hit NBC medical drama ER. Quickly becoming a household name in Hollywood, Clooney turned his attention to the silver screen where his suave good looks, wry sense of humor, charisma and intelligence paved the way for ongoing success in blockbusters like Batman & Robin, Syriana, Michael Clayton, The Descendants and the popular Ocean’s Eleven franchise.
Now, after a lengthy and acclaimed career as an actor, screenwriter, producer and director, the Kentucky native has taken home two Academy Awards, countless nominations and dozens of starring roles in films ranging from political and legal dramas to comedies, musicals and thrillers. So, what’s Hollywood’s favorite (and now former) most eligible bachelor’s favorite role? According to the 55-year-old heartthrob, it’s playing house with his wife of two years, British-Lebanese lawyer, activist and author Amal Alamuddin, at their remodeled home in England.
Tying the knot during a lavish four-day ceremony in September 2014, Clooney and Alamuddin wasted no time in splurging on their first home together when they spent over $13.2 million on a 17th century manor in the English countryside in Sonning-on-Thames, Berkshire. Already an exquisite and sprawling property nestled on four acres and marked by elegance in every room with high ceilings, chandeliers and numerous fireplaces across nine bedrooms, the newlyweds still wanted more for their first family home and immediately hired a designer to carry out their dreams of adding a cinema, pool house, terrace and more.
After months of grueling construction and many outcries from the neighbors for creating chaos in the otherwise quiet village, the Clooney’s English manor was officially finished in April 2016 and has proven to be a stunning mix of old and new. Feeling more like a convenient getaway on their own island in the middle of the Thames River and with London only 40 miles west, the home is everything one might imagine a manor to be with lush green gardens, an ivy-covered façade, stately columns and a gravel drive that add to the manor’s English charm and storybook feel.
Once inside, the Clooney’s manor offers a wealth of classic details like herringbone hardwood floors, intricately designed crown molding and wood-burning fireplaces that are perfect for snuggling in and relaxing after a long day on the movie set or in the courtroom. Offering more than enough space for their family and friends to relax, the drawing room sits just off the sitting room where a neutral color palette accented by red and gold give even more life to the sun-filled space. Moving on to the formal dining room, the Clooneys have every intention of hosting parties in this exquisite room with grass cloth wall covering, floor to ceiling windows and an oversized wood dining table centered under a stunning crystal chandelier.
Moving into the kitchen and eating nook, the room is incredibly spacious with French doors opening onto a patio and plenty of windows to let in natural light. While the kitchen’s focal point is the oversized island and center sink, it’s hard to miss the canary yellow stove that adds a splash of modernity to the 17th century abode. Sharing a central fireplace, the kitchen opens to an informal dining area where a rustic wood table and small chandelier complete the cozy space.
With nine bedrooms and just as many (if not more) fireplaces, it’s no surprise that the guest rooms are just as spacious and elegant as the master suite and bathroom. Featuring its own fireplace (no surprise there!) as well as a sitting area, the master bedroom is fit for a Hollywood king and his queen as is the master bathroom that is lined in floor to ceiling marble and glass with a free-standing tub and oversized walk-in shower.
Among the millions of dollars the Clooneys spent on upgrades, the first priority was installing 360-degree security cameras around the entire property to give the couple and their security detail a complete view of the entire manor from any angle, at any time. Aside from that, they pulled out all the stops to transform the greenhouse into a private 12-seater cinema perfect for late night movie screenings in addition to adding a tennis court as well as a 60-foot swimming pool and pool house surrounded by a stone patio, pergola and hot tub nestled inside the manor’s landscaped four acres. But, was it all worth it?
While the Clooneys are more than thrilled with their renovated England manor, it might have come at the cost of staying friends with their new neighbors—and no, we certainly don’t mean their high profile neighbors like Home Secretary Theresa May, Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page or Israeli illusionist Uri Geller. Amid months of construction involving hundreds of delivery trucks, construction workers and absolute chaos, many residents weren’t thrilled with the Clooneys for disrupting the peace. One neighbor even said, “I have lived here for 20 years and never seen anything like this—there is a total lack of respect and disregard for us other residents and there is a really bad negative impact on our village.”
Then again, having preserved the home’s stunning interiors and manicured grounds, there’s no doubt that the Clooneys will eventually win over the hearts and minds of those in the neighborhood once they’ve settled in. After all, could anyone really resist the age-old Clooney charm?