Rita Ora is the epitome of a modern woman. Born in what is now Kosovo, the singer of Albanian heritage moved to West London as a baby with her family, and from there, catapulted herself to fame. Today, the 31-year-old has had numerous hit singles; starred in the 50 Shades of Grey trilogy, Detective Pikachu, and other movies; and has appeared as a judge and coach on singing competition shows such as The Voice UK, The Voice Australia, The X Factor, and The Masked Singer UK.
She’s one of those 21st-century celebrities who seems to do it all—her Instagram followers know that she’s likely to post from Paris one day, Los Angeles a few days later, and New Zealand the following week. She’s even got the requisite high-profile romance, with director Taika Waititi. All of this outward glitz is what makes it so surprising—and delightful—that her home is absolutely nothing like the modern mansion with an infinity pool you may have pictured for her.
Instead Ora resides in a charming brick dwelling in North London’s Primrose Hill neighborhood. Built in 1877, it was once home to the illustrator Arthur Rackham, whose work includes Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens, and more. It is Grade II listed, meaning that although Ora renovated it a bit after purchasing the home in 2021, she was not allowed—nor did she want—to make any major changes. “I’ve always had an attraction to homes with an old spirit,” says Ora. “I knew this house specifically has been [home to] a lot of creatives, so I thought it would have a really special energy.”
The renovations mainly consisted of restoring the floors and roof, redoing the bathrooms, pipes, and electricity, and upgrading the kitchen. In another down-to-earth move, Ora furnished the home mostly with vintage finds from London’s famous Portobello Road Market; most of the items she’d already owned and used in previous homes. “I love to be cost-efficient when necessary,” she says. Her sister and manager, Elena Ora, is responsible for arranging the furniture collection in the home, and interior designer Joanna Plant was brought in to add “little bits and bobs” to tie everything together.
Her furniture also brings a taste of her West London roots into her new neighborhood. “I made a conscious effort to leave my safety zone,” says Ora of purchasing a home in an unfamiliar area. “All my friends are in West London, my go-to coffee shop, my café. I wanted to expand.” Her new area has more parks and greenery, and her home has multiple fireplaces and a lovely garden, all amenities that help her better unplug from her fast-paced life. “I would walk down the street in West London and people would be like, ‘Rita, what’s up?’ And then I would not get home for six hours. I would sit and have coffee and then I’d grab a drink, and then I’m like, ‘How am I not home yet?’”
The social butterfly is, of course, finding her niche now. “I’ve made friends in the local Pilates, and they’re all gorgeous mums of three kids, and I’m sort of like, ‘This is how you guys live out here. Okay, cool. I get it.’”
As she works on her third album, Ora couldn’t be happier with the calm and grounding home base she’s created. “Everyone comes to my house and says, ‘I can’t believe you live in a house like this,’” she explains. She understands why people might be confused: “My exterior self is super flamboyant, colorful, and I’m really proud of the decisions I make. Internally, my interior self is the opposite. I wanted my inner self reflected in my home.”