Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi Gussy Up and Flip Montecito’s Historic Porter House

Ellen DeGeneres Montecito House
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  • Location: Montecito, Calif.
  • Price: $6.9 million
  • Size: (approx.) 5,500 square feet, 2 bedrooms, 2 full and 2 half bathrooms

Never ones to hang on to a multi-million dollar home for more than a hot minute, Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi DeGeneres, two of Hollywood’s most prolific and successful flippers of architecturally significant high-end homes, have hung a $6.9 million price tag on a quirky, postcard-perfect English Tudor residence in the deceptively low-key but seriously high-toned seaside community of Montecito, Calif., just east of Santa Barbara and, on a good day, about an hour-and-a-half drive out of downtown Beverly Hills. Not counting carrying costs, refurbishment expenses and real estate fees, all of which are considerable by any account, the couple, who own other, even more expensive property elsewhere in Montecito, hope to just about double their money on the pretty property they acquired about four months ago for a small amount above $3.6 million.

Originally built as two barns, in England in the 1700’s, the carefully maintained and extensively updated antique structures were gingerly dismantled and carefully shipped to California where they were faithfully reassembled and linked together by an orangerie, a glassed-in solarium traditionally used to store climate sensitive plants and citrus trees during the winter. According to listings held by Riskin Partners Group at Village Properties, the undeniably attractive and unusually configured residence is entirely concealed from view amid thick woods with just two bedrooms and two full and two half bathrooms in roughly 5,500-square feet.

While preserving the integrity of the architecture, the real estate and design savvy de Rossi-DeGenereses, and their discerning team of experts, went in and lickety-split cleaned everything up, installed a snazzy new kitchen (or two), added a sleek new laundry room, brought the bathrooms up to date and filled the rooms with a museum worthy trove of vintage furniture along with an eye-catching variety of delicate, paper lanterns and light fixtures. There are at least five fireplaces throughout the sprawling, Old World meets new fangled home, including in the cavernous, double-height living room. In an obvious nod to current trends in home design, the adjoining dining room is open over a casual snack bar to the clean-lined, organic-modern kitchen.

There’s also an octagonal study lined with stunning, 28-pane casement windows, a small lounge with a massive corner fireplace and a lofted den that overlooks the living room, In another wing, a lofted bedroom with fireplace overlooks a second living room that is anchored by an asymmetrical brick fireplace painted bright white in its most recent overhaul. The house spills out to several brick terraces surrounded by lush and romantically sun-dappled fairytale gardens laced with stone pathways.

DeGeneres and de Rossi’s other holdings in Montecito include a lavish, Balinese-inspired compound they picked up in early 2019 for $27 million — later in the year they dropped another $1.9 million for the one-acre fixer-upper next door — and, in Los Angeles, their current home is a baronial, 1930s English Tudor manor house they also snapped up last year, for an eye-watering $42.5 million, from Adam Levine and Behati Prinsloo, who had only bought the imposing manse the year before from “Will & Grace” co-creator Max Mutchnick and entertainment attorney Erik Hyman for close to $34 million.