Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi List Santa Barbara Estate

SELLERS: Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi
LOCATION: Montecito, CA
PRICE: $45,000,000
SIZE: (approx.) 10,500 square feet, 6 bedrooms, 6 full and 2 half bathrooms

YOUR MAMA’S NOTES: Property gossip column staples Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi are back on the real estate merry-go-round having hoisted their unquestionably sumptuous and sophisticated but still quite comfortable-looking, art-filled ocean-view estate near Santa Barbara, CA, on the open market with an asking price of $45 million. Property records suggest the real estate-mad couple purchased two of the estate’s three parcels in May 2013 for $26.5 million and concurrently splashed out another $2.3 million for an adjoining vacant parcel that brought their combined outlay to $28.8 million and the total size of the stately, gated estate to 16.88 acres.

The famously design-savvy pair subsequently made substantial renovations to the six-bedroom Tuscan-style main house, which has six full and two half bathrooms. They also made several no-doubt brutally costly additions to the estate, including the installation of a sunken tennis court and a second swimming pool as well as the construction of a luxuriously appointed pool-side entertainment pavilion identified in marketing materials as “Jordan Hall.”

The sprawling, multi-winged main house, a carefully calibrated and decidedly upscale take on an authentic 17th century Italian farmhouse, sits at the end of a quarter-mile long driveway that snakes through thick stands of olive and eucalyptus tress. The approximately 10,500-square-foot residence was originally designed and built in the mid-1930s by architect Wallace Frost as his personal residence and was later owned and extensively renovated by celebrated interior designer John Saladino who sold the estate in early 2012 for $16.5 million to New Zealand businessman Tom Sturgess who pocketed a fortune when he flipped it to DeGeneres and de Rossi just over a year later.

Constructed with locally quarried stone, the photogenic mansion features a barrel-shaped terra-cotta tile roof, elegantly filigreed wrought iron details, a rustic-luxe mix of stone and wide-plank hardwood floors, exposed wood beamed ceilings, 18th-century Italian tile accents, and vintage light fixtures. Public and family spaces include a baronially-proportioned living room, a formal dining room that easily seats a dozen, multiple libraries and reading nooks, and a family/media room. The sleekly appointed kitchen adjoins both a breakfast room with gigantic arched window and a cozy sitting room where one of the mansion’s nine fireplaces is cleverly tucked up under a stone staircase.

The expansive, hillside property, which surely requires a small army and huge amount of money to maintain, additionally includes a spacious guest apartment and the aforementioned entertainment pavilion, Jordan Hall. The cottage-like structure overlooks one of the estate’s two swimming pools and incorporates a tin-roofed screened porch and an open plan interior with vaulted exposed wood ceiling, several lounge areas, a fireplace and a sculptural wet bar. Jordan Hall also includes a huge, high-end kitchen with reclaimed wood cabinetry, a bathroom that opens to a walled courtyard with an outdoor bathtub, and a ramada-shaded al fresco dining terrace with built-in barbecue and pizza oven.

DeGeneres and De Rossi’s typically in-flux residential property portfolio currently includes a low-slung, mid-century era residence secreted down a long, gated driveway in a prime pocket of Beverly Hills scooped up in a November 2015 off-market deal for $15,995,000 as well as two adjacent but uncombined, house-sized condominiums at the fancy-pants Beverly West tower on Wilshire Boulevard, both of which were acquired in July 2014 for a combined cost of $16 million and both of which are currently for sale on the open market, one at $6,995,000 and the other at $7,995,000.

Listing photos: Sotheby’s International Realty

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  1. Dane says:

    It’s a brown/grey matte envelope, and John Saladino, the incredibly talented interior designer who with his wife previously owned this place, imbued it with iridescent colors, often with the sheen of silk. That’s what brought these rooms to life. Ellen’s filled it with neutral colored fabrics and finishes and cool modern lines that create no tension with the structural materials, hence the reason it’s no longer captivating — re. previous commenter.

  2. Me says:

    I like Ellen but this property was much more captivating when she puchased it.

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