There's a certain expectation that celebrity homes will be three things: grand, expensive and overlooking a stunning view. The Santa Barbara villa belonging to Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi checks off each of these boxes, but it also comes with a rare, quiet sense of grandeur, emulating the classic style of a 17th-century Italian villa with precision.
The couple just listed the 10,500-square-foot home for $45 million, and it's apparent it was designed to awe. Sitting on what was once two adjacent properties (now a 16.88-acre piece of land), the villa overlooks the ocean and is surrounded by mountains. It has six bedrooms, six full bathrooms and two half bathrooms, a fitness room, library, sun room and home office, .
Perhaps one of the most stunning features is the home's seamless integration of outdoor and indoor living — typical of California design. An alfresco dining area is nestled below mature trees that provide cool shade on hot summer days, a Roman-style pool is surrounded by lush expanses of grass, and olive and eucalyptus trees line the twisting quarter-mile drive to the entry's 18th-century Spanish gates.
"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 honors nature, and I love that."
DeGeneres and de Rossi purchased the villa, which was featured in DeGeneres' book "Home," in 2012 for $26.5 million, according to . The estate was built in the 1930s by famed American architect Wallace Frost, who had just returned from living in Italy, entranced by the villas there. Decades later, the home was given a five-year restoration by architectural designer John Saladino, who was captivated by its "mix of grandeur and modesty."
"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 cozy at once."
Other Italian influences include a classic barrel-tiled roof, wide wood flooring planks, rustic exposed ceiling beans, terra-cotta surfaces, 18th-century Italian tiles, vintage light fixtures and walls of locally quarried stone. Nine fireplaces lend an air of regal warmth to the villa worthy of any royalty — even Emmy-winning Hollywood royalty.
DeGeneres has made an impression as an incredible house flipper and decorator, with her own home lines ranging from bedding to dining tables. Where she and de Rossi are headed next, we're not sure, but it can only be predicted that it will be as intricately designed and beautiful as this home.
Itching to see more of the estate? Take a look at the video below and swipe up for more photos.