- Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi have finally sold their Santa Barbara mansion for $US34 million – $US11 million below the original asking price in March 2017.
- The buyer has been revealed as Netflix executive Ted Sarandos.
- The 16.88-acre estate, known as “The Villa,” is modern yet classical.
Ellen DeGeneres is parting ways with one of her homes: a $US34 million Santa Barbara area mansion.
According to the home’s listing brokerage Sotheby’s International Realty, DeGeneres and wife Portia de Rossi simply didn’t have the time to use the mansion. The couple has bought and flipped several high-priced homes in Southern California, but this one is in Montecito, a neighbouring town of Santa Barbara.
The couple originally listed the property in March 2017 for $US45 million.
“Between ‘The Ellen Show,’ Ellen’s new home collection and a new business that Portia is starting, they can’t make it to Santa Barbara as often as they would like,” a spokesperson at Sotheby’s told Business Insider last spring.
The buyers have been revealed as Netflix exec Ted Sarandos and his wife Nicole Avant, former US Ambassador to the Bahamas, according to the real estate blog Yolanda’s Little Black Book citing property records from June 2018.
The house, which is featured in DeGeneres’ 2015 book “Home” and is known as “The Villa,” was designed in the 1930s by architect Wallace Frost.
Frost originally built this two-story home for himself. After spending time in Italy, he wanted to recreate the classical style of a 17th-century Italian villa.
Since purchasing the property in 2012, DeGeneres and de Rossi have bought two adjacent properties to make this a 16.88-acre estate. According to Sotheby’s listing agent Suzanne Perkins, they have completely modernised the house, adding a sunken tennis court, pool, and indoor-outdoor entertaining pavilion.
DeGeneres and de Rossi bought the estate for $US26.5 million in 2012. It was designed by architect Wallace Frost in the 1930s, and its classical style is still intact.
According to the listing, Santa Barbara is sometimes referred to as “the American Riviera” because of its similarity to Europe’s well-known region.
“The Villa similarly brings touches of the Old World to the New World,” reads the press release announcing the original listing.
The garden has a mix of olive and eucalyptus trees.
“It feels ancient, like it’s been there forever. Like that hill was never without the house. This is a home that honours nature, and I love that,” DeGeneres said in the release. There is a Roman column dating from 200 B.C. at the bottom of the lawn.
“The surrounding gardens and olive trees are almost as wonderful as the interior. The house truly feels like it was built out of the landscape, rather than plopped on a plot,” DeGeneres said.
The main house has six bedrooms and six bathrooms.
Inside, the design is classical, yet also modern. The kitchen has rustic exposed ceiling beams and vintage light fixtures.
The 800-square-foot living room has a library, fireplace, and 18th-century Italian floor tiles. “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,” DeGeneres said.
There are plenty of spaces to relax, as well as multiple reading areas.
Most of the rooms have exposed bricks walls made with locally quarried stone.
The formal dining room is simple: “If you think of your home as a canvas — regardless of its style of architecture — you can put anything on it. I tend to keep painting the painting until it’s so done, there’s nothing left to do. That’s when I sell the canvas and buy a new one,” DeGeneres said.
Since buying the property in 2012, the couple has added an indoor-outdoor entertaining pavilion.
Known as the “Jordan Hall,” this extra area has a large living space with a fireplace, bar, and pool table.
There is a sun room with a view across the pool and garden.
An extra kitchen makes this an easy place to entertain guests outside of the main house.
Outside, there’s a large dining terrace with an outdoor kitchen and pizza oven.
The pool overlooks the ocean.
And a sunken tennis court is hidden away on the other side of the garden.
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