Frank Spotnitz
July 30, 1993 AT 04:00 AM EDT

After months of experimenting with exterior color schemes, Castillo del Lago, Madonna‘s villa in the Hollywood Hills, is finally showing its true colors. The new paint job could be described as electric mod (or Renaissance Italian): Alternating red and yellow stripes cover the compound’s huge retaining wall and bell tower, while the rest of the nine-story, $5 million mansion is a deep red. All of which is a far cry from the muted tones Christopher Ciccone, the singer’s designer brother, had promised concerned neighbors. Ciccone had declared that the bright red and yellow patches mottling the mansion were merely test colors for an undercoating that would be suitably tasteful (EW #170, May 14). In a statement condemning the villa’s detractors, he said, ”I don’t hold their bad taste against them. I’m sure, in time, they’ll get used to it.”

The 10,000-square-foot structure, reminiscent of the villas of Tuscany, which often sport similar color schemes, has been a regular topic of conversation for joggers at the Hollywood reservoir. While some dismiss the new look of the house — formerly a virginal white — as ”bizarre,” one man defends it as ”stylish.” Adds his companion, ”It’s a lot less boring than the way it was before.

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