Daytime talk show host Ellen DeGeneres, known for her love of renovating and selling homes, has put her latest offering in Montecito on the market for $45 million (Dh165.2 million).
DeGeneres and partner Portia de Rossi bought the property in 2013 for $26.5 million and spent the better part of four years restoring and updating what has been their weekend retreat. The couple are selling because they don’t spend as much time at the property as they used to, according to listing agent Suzanne Perkins of Sotheby’s International Realty.
Set among towering eucalyptus trees, the hilltop estate centres on an Italian villa-style home reached by a winding driveway. A cobblestone motor court, statuary and creeping vines contribute to the sleepy, romantic ambience of the stone-walled house, which was designed by Wallace Frost and built in the 1930s.
Beyond the decorative iron front door, living spaces boast exposed beams, broad wood floors, built-ins and nine fireplaces. The home’s solid stone walls are softened by DeGeneres’ collection of modern artwork. Contemporary fixtures, such as a wiry chandelier in the entry, provide a subtle contrast to the Old World interior.
The 975-square-metres of living space includes a media room, a grand living room, a formal dining room, six bedrooms and six bathrooms. A lofted office/creative space is accessed by a secret door in the chef’s kitchen. An art studio used by De Rossi sits below the lofted space and has a kitchenette.
The grounds — often frequented by bobcats, owls and other native fauna — include an agave garden that overlooks a second-century column, lawns and Roman-style plunge pool. In another area, brass ornaments are suspended from olive trees, adding decoration and whimsy above an alfresco dining area.
An indoor-outdoor pool house was built using stone excavated from the property and has a sunroom, a wet bar, an outdoor kitchen and a lap pool. Called Jordan Hall, the secondary structure was designed after a pavilion DeGeneres and De Rossi had hoped to build on their former Thousand Oaks property.
A sunken tennis court, a badminton court and an ocean-view lookout complete the setting.
DeGeneres, 59, has won multiple Emmys for The Ellen DeGeneres Show, which premiered in 2003. Last year she co-created and produced the show Little Big Shots with Steve Harvey.
De Rossi, 44, has television credits that include the legal drama Ally McBeal and the sitcom Arrested Development. She currently appears on the series Scandal.