Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi's Italian-inspired estate is unbelievable – and that’s not just because of the price tag
Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi have listed their 10,500-square-foot Californian home for £36 million. The Santa Barbara villa is everything you’d expect from a celebrity home; lavish, luxurious and eye-wateringly expensive. But that’s not to say that it’s without taste. Far from it!
Emulating the classic style of a 17th-century Italian villa, the 6-bedroom property is perched on a crest with breathtaking views of the ocean and harbour. It’s a prime spot, nestled among the mountains of Santa Barbara, which actually emulates that of the Tuscan countryside adding another layer of authenticity to the villa vibe.
One of the best features of the property is the seamless connection of outdoor and indoor spaces – typical of Californian design. Numerous glass double doors throughout the house lead to outdoor terraces and alfresco dining areas. A canopy of olive and eucalyptus trees provide some much welcome shade on hot summer days. There is also a Roman-style pool, a sunken tennis court and a stately guest house located in the 16 acres of grounds.
Other Italian influences include rustic exposed ceiling beams, terracotta surfaces, 18th-century Italian tiles, wide wood flooring planks and a classic barrel-tiled roof. There are also vintage light fixtures and nine fireplaces, which add to the regal atmosphere of the villa.
‘The surrounding gardens and olive trees are almost as wonderful as the interior,’ DeGeneres told Sotheby’s International Realty. ‘The house truly feels like it was built out of the landscape, rather than plopped on a plot. It feels ancient, like it’s been there forever. Like that hill was never without the house. It’s a home that honours nature, and I love that.’
The estate was built during the 1930s by famous American architect, Wallace Frost, after he returned from living in Italy, hence the Italian influences. Several decades later, the property underwent a five-year restoration by architectural designer John Saladino. The couple bought the villa in 2012 for £21.25 million. The villa was one of many of DeGeneres’ home projects that featured in her book, Home, after the couple bought the villa for £21.25 million in 2012.
Other features include a library, home office, sun room and fitness room, according to the listing.
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‘The house is always surprising,’ DeGeneres told Sotheby’s. ‘It reveals itself to you in new ways every day. It’s not overly manicured or tidy. It’s not overly precious or perfect. And it’s a home that manages to be both spacious and cosy at once.’