Inside Ellen DeGeneres' Former Santa Barbara Villa

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Ellen DeGeneres isn't just a comedian or talk show host that many have come to know and love. Yes, there's a lot more to the witty host of The Ellen DeGeneres Show than her dance moves and impeccable fashion style. She and her wife Portia de Rossi spend a chunk of their time buying and selling real estate, too, according to the online real estate database Zillow. In fact, Ryan Seacrest bought a $37.5 million Coldwater Canyon property from the couple in 2013 and, in 2015, they sold Napster founder Sean Parker an A. Quincy Jones-designed house in Holmby Hills for $55 million, Curbed reported.


DeGeneres is also the author of Home, a beautiful coffee-table book in which she shares her love of home design. In the book, she spills her secrets from decades of renovation and decoration experience, giving readers a look inside her lavish homes. One of those homes is her former Santa Barbara estate, which is seriously the stuff of dreams. According to Zillow, the Italian-inspired villa sits pretty atop a grassy crest, boasting panoramic views of both the blanketing mountains and the azure ocean. Here's a peek at DeGeneres' one-time Santa Barbara villa. Note: You may have a hard time preventing your jaw from dropping.

Ellen DeGeneres' former Santa Barbara villa was designed by architect Wallace Frost

When Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi first set eyes on this 1930s Tuscan-inspired estate, they were absolutely taken aback by its sheer elegance and peaceful surroundings, according to Sotheby's International Realty. The two-story villa was designed by acclaimed architect Wallace Frost. Frost had spent ample time living in Italy, endeavoring to bring the classical 17th-century Italian style back with him to California, where he'd go on to marry the Old World and the New World styles. He had tiles, light fixtures, and other pieces shipped over from Italy to achieve his dream. Then, some years later, the renowned interior designer John Saladino embarked on a five-year restoration of the property as well, according to Curbed.


The 10,500-square-foot home boasts six bedrooms, eight bathrooms, and even a guest annex, according to the publication. The stone villa still emulates the baroque style that's reminiscent of Italy's storied history. Read: white-washed stone, wide-plank hardwood floors, a terra-cotta barrel-tiled roof, wood-beamed ceilings, a Juliet balcony, vine-swathed walls, et cetera.

DeGeneres bought the villa in 2013 for $26.5 million, according to Curbed. Although she eventually sold the property, in her 2015 home renovations book, Home, Degeneres wrote, "I really do hope we live here forever."

Ellen DeGeneres' former 16-acre estate boasts plenty of privacy

When you're Ellen DeGeneres, you, uh, sort of need your privacy. DeGeneres is an Emmy Award-winning comedian, best-selling author, and massive television personality, after all. The Ellen DeGeneres Show has been around since 2003, and the show's YouTube channel has tens of millions of dedicated subscribers. Meanwhile, DeGeneres' wife Portia de Rossi has starred in shows like Arrested Development, Santa Clarita Diet, Scandal, and more. It only makes sense, then, that their home be kept as private as possible to keep the paparazzi and super fans (hi) out of their hair.


Fortunately for DeGeneres and her talented wife, the 16.88-acre property has plenty of privacy. That's largely thanks to the 18th-century Spanish gates and long driveway, according to Sotheby's International Realty. The driveway winds through lush green trees that hide the house and eventually pulls up to a stone parking court. The court is also surrounded by stone walls with an opening that's topped with classic statues. It's quite the gorgeous entrance into this one-of-a-kind mansion.

Ellen DeGeneres' former Santa Barbara villa boasts an alfresco dining area

Given that both Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi are professional entertainers, we assume that they have regularly hosted many friends, family, and famous faces in their Santa Barbara villa. And entertaining, of course, calls for at least one alfresco dining table. The villa features a wealth of outdoor eating areas, but one stone balustrade-enclosed area is particularly romantic. It features a fire pit and a pergola just beneath the cool shade of century-old olive and eucalyptus trees. The lawn is sprinkled with statues and fountains for that classic Italian feel as well.


"The surrounding gardens and olive trees are almost as wonderful as the interior," DeGeneres said of the home, in her renovations book, Home. We definitely don't disagree with her. The paradisiac setting is ideal for catching Californian sunsets with some good food and probably some even better (perhaps Italian) wine. Dining in DeGeneres' former yard probably feels a lot like vacationing in Europe. After all, according to the home's since-defunct listing, Santa Barbara is often referred to as "the American Riviera" because of its similarity to the region in Europe (via Business Insider).

The ample green space at Ellen DeGeneres' former estate includes grassy terraces and colorful gardens

Ellen DeGeneres' former majestic Montecito mansion has a breathtaking backyard. It's surrounded by lush greenery with grassy terraces and verdant gardens teeming with life, according to Sotheby's International Realty. The Italian baroque-style home looks as if it was meant to be right there in the middle of all that nature too. Simply, the home's pastoral ambiance uniquely matches its serene surroundings.


"The house truly feels like it was built out of the landscape," DeGeneres said in her home decor book, Home. She put it into perfect words. "It feels ancient, like it's been there forever, like that hill was never without the house. This is a home that honors nature, and I love that."

Plentiful olive and eucalyptus trees pepper the landscaped grounds while an array of aromatic plants color the garden. Fountains and sculptures abound throughout the property. And there's even an antique Italian column on one terrace that dates back to 200 B.C. Whichever way you look, there's a curated garden or a view of greenery (or water).

Ellen DeGeneres' former Santa Barbara villa features two kitchens

Ellen DeGeneres' former kitchen features modern, stainless-steel cabinets with marble countertops and state-of-the-art appliances. There's a double oven and a large refrigerator. This kitchen is perfect for DeGeneres who is an avid vegan. We imagine that this kitchen used to be stocked with DeGeneres' delicious, meat-free delights. One of her favorite foods is pasta arrabbiata, she told Elle.


"Food used to be really important to me — I loved steak, I loved hamburgers, I loved all that stuff," she told Shape, (via PopSugar). "I can't believe how irresponsible I was, eating what I ate ... I want to be on my toes; I want to have energy. And as much as the [vegan] diet seems like a sacrifice, it's helping me." She went on to explain that her food choices "come from a place of nurturing" and "being good to [her] body."

Her former kitchen definitely has plenty of space for all of those choices. Oh, and there's also a spare kitchen with its own outdoor dining area (and stone-fired pizza oven), according to Business Insider.

Ellen DeGeneres' former master bedroom boasts a cozy fireplace and terrace

Bedrooms can say a lot about someone's personality. They can show someone's fun flare and, equally, they can spill just how much of a mess someone is. In Ellen DeGeneres' case, her former well-kept bedroom pretty much sums up who she is as a designer.


"I think I wanted to be an interior designer when I was 13," the celeb told The New York Times. "I remember one specific moment in this one house. Setting up my bedroom, wanting to do it in a certain way." Well, DeGeneres is certainly adept at decorating bedroom.

Double wooden doors open up to her former cozy sleeping space, replete with a wood-burning fireplace and two double-doored closets, according to Sotheby's International Realty. The room's pitched ceiling with exposed beams gives it that coveted 17th-century Italian touch, as do the ensuite bathroom's custom leather — yes, leather! — cabinets.

The luxe bed proves DeGeneres has seriously upgraded from the waterbed she told Elle she used to sleep on as a kid. The room also looks out to one of the pool terraces and a pergola covered in climbing vines.


There's plenty of lounge rooms for entertaining at Ellen DeGeneres' former Santa Barbara villa

According to Sotheby's International Realty, Ellen DeGeneres' former Montecito mansion has many spacious lounge rooms for entertaining, which is what DeGeneres does best. There look to be quite a few spaces with comfy couches, fireplaces, and floor-to-ceiling bookshelves.


"I love books and collect them," she told Elle. "Art, architecture, design, and photography — I'm inspired by them all." The living room features 18th-century Italian floor tiles, exposed wood-beam ceilings, glass-paneled doors, and an expansive window to let in the coveted California sunshine. French doors open up to another sun-lit media room that has stunning skylights and yet another warm, wood fireplace. In that TV room is perhaps where DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi used to binge-watch all of their favorite shows, like Orange Is the New Black.

A patio to the side offers guests a space to enjoy a cup of coffee or listen to the surrounding nature just outside the rustic, arched iron windows. It's like there are enough rooms in the house and comfortable corners of the estate to entertain all of Hollywood. And, yet, DeGeneres and de Rossi had the place to enjoy all to themselves.


The bar in Ellen DeGeneres' former villa is absolutely dreamy

It's no secret that Ellen DeGeneres likes her cocktails. Once while hosting Martha Stewart on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, she expressed just how much she loves tequila — stealing laughs from her audience while sneaking sips throughout the show. In fact, she once partnered with her favorite tequila brand, La Casa Dragones, according to her one of her tweets.


During the 2019 tequila shortage, DeGeneres joked that she was responsible for the lack of liquor. On her talk show, she went on about just how much Don Julio tequila and her A-list celebrity friends (ahem, Oprah) consumed at her birthday party, which was reportedly held at her Santa Barbara home. "I came into work on Monday after my party and I saw [the headlines], and I was like, 'Oops, I think I'm responsible for that; I think that's my fault,'" she laughed.

It's a good thing the home's bar was able to store plenty of bottles. Yes, the antique-looking bar, complete with gold display cases, are perfect for showcasing spirits and the modern bar is great for entertaining.

Panoramic views of the ocean and Santa Barbara Harbor surround Ellen DeGeneres' former mansion

California, and Santa Barbara in particular, is largely known for its beautiful landscape. The Santa Ynez Mountains line Santa Barbara's horizon and the bustling Santa Barbara waterfront is home to the historic working harbor. And don't forget about the Pacific Ocean, which is full of marine life, that hugs the shoreline. Ellen DeGeneres got to take in all of those views from her former villa, according to Sotheby's International Realty. The Santa Barbara estate sat up high in the hills, giving it panoramic views of the mountains, the harbor, and the ocean. Many of the rooms in the house feature expansive windows and glass-paneled French doors that open up to the stunning scenery outside.


The terraces, patios, and courtyards also look out to either the mountains or the waterfront. Whichever way you look from the property, guests are bound to be amazed by all that Santa Barbara, California has to offer.

Ellen DeGeneres' former Santa Barbara villa has a charming interior courtyard and sunroom

Ellen DeGeneres and her wife, Portia de Rossi, had their choice of fresh-aired indoor spaces at their former Montecito mansion. Whether they wanted to sip some coffee in the morning sun, kick back with a good book in the ocean breeze, or entertain some friends and family in the shade, the villa offered them plenty of nooks and crannies. One particular spot, the interior courtyard and screened-in sunroom, has our heart.


The covered veranda is framed with ornamental ironwork that lets in the breeze; there is a cushioned bench and a trickling fountain to add to the ambiance. It actually looks like the perfect place to sit and crack open DeGeneres' book about her many flipped homes.

Meanwhile, the sunroom has plenty of lounge chairs, couches, and tables for relaxing on a warm day. It overlooks the lap pool and ocean just beyond the green hills. While the room certainly gets plenty of sun thanks to the floor-to-ceiling window screens, it's also protected from the California elements with a rustic tin roof. We bet it sounds lovely in the pattering rain.

Ellen DeGeneres' former Santa Barbara villa has its own entertainment pavilion

Ellen DeGeneres' one-time Santa Barbara villa had its very own entertainment pavilion — but are you really surprised by that? DeGeneres is a world-class entertainer, after all. While the original property didn't have this space, DeGeneres and her wife Portia de Rossi added it, according to CurbedThe entertainment pavilion, which was named Jordan Hall, features a luxurious swimming pool, Japanese soaking tub, full bar, comfortable lounge room — complete with a pool table and fireplace — and a screened-in sunroom. 


We just wonder what A-list celebrities have gotten to enjoy Jordan Hall with the comedian and talk show host. Some of DeGeneres' closest friends include Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon, according to their chats on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. But there's no telling what famous faces have hung out at the pavilion with DeGeneres and de Rossi in the past.

Roman-style pools can be found just outside Ellen DeGeneres' former Santa Barbara villa

In the summer season, California's Mediterranean-like climate sits around 70 to 80 degrees, according to California's tourism board. And what better way to find a refreshing respite from the heat than to plunge in a Roman-style pool? The villa actually appears to feature more than one of these styles of pools, according to Sotheby's International Realty. Because why have one when you can have two, right?


One of the lap pools seems to peer out over the hills to the ocean, and the separate guest annex has a pool of its own. It extends out from the furnished patio and is surrounded by white-washed stone to match the rest of the villa's style. We're not sure when Ellen DeGeneres would've even had the time to enjoy either of the pools, though. In between filming The Ellen DeGeneres Show, flipping homes, and writing books; however, we're certain that she deserves some relaxation.

Ellen DeGeneres' former Santa Barbara villa even has a tennis court

The Santa Barbara villa that once belonged to Ellen DeGeneres and her wife Portia de Rossi even features its own sunken tennis court, according to Sotheby's International Realty. If you're a fan of the celeb, you know that she enjoys tennis, so it's only fitting that she has her very own court. In the past, DeGeneres has played with tennis star Melanie Oudin and some table tennis with Matthew Perry on her show. Back in 2012, tennis player Victoria Azarenka gifted DeGeneres her very own racket. DeGeneres has even managed to play tennis on her sound stage with the Ellen show's former DJ, Tony.


We wonder if any of them ever made it around to the house for a game or two. Regardless, it sounds like DeGeneres and de Rossi get around to the court often, though perhaps more for pickleball than tennis these days, according to a video she posted on EllenTube.

Ellen DeGeneres sold the Santa Barbara villa for a cool $34 million

Althought Ellen DeGeneres wrote fondly of her Santa Barbara villa, she listed the home in 2017 for $45 million, according to Curbed. She ultimately sold the property to Netflix executive Ted Sarandos for $34 million, Business Insider reported. While the selling price was $11 million under than the asking price, she still likely made a profit on the home that she put so much time and energy into perfecting. Since procuring the property in 2012, she bought two adjacent properties to turn the single home into an entire estate.


"If you think of your home as a canvas, you can put anything on it," DeGeneres wrote in her book Home. "I tend to keep painting and painting until it's so done, there's nothing left to do. That's when I sell the canvas and buy a new one." While DeGeneres once pictured living in the estate forever, she ultimately decided to sell. "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 Sotheby's spokesperson told Business Insider.