Ellen DeGeneres has always preferred to update historic estates rather than buying land and building anew. Over the years, the former talk show host has remodeled numerous homes, and now she’s got the often challenging process honed to a science. Witness this spectacular estate in Montecito, which she and Portia de Rossi bought this June. In just four months, the couple and their skilled team have already given the 8-acre property a complete renovation and hoisted it back up for sale.
That expertise won’t come cheap; the asking price is $46.5 million, more than double the $22.5 million DeGeneres and de Rossi originally paid. But the scale and historical nature of the estate ranks it among the grandest in all of Montecito.
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Built in 1919 and known as Pompeiian Court, the house and its grounds are hidden behind an enormous iron gate and a quarter-mile-long driveway that ends in a circular motorcourt surrounded by olive trees. Described as a “classic Roman courtyard residence” in the listing, the palatial main structure was fully remodeled circa 2000 before being re-transformed by DeGeneres into a minimalist and soothingly neutral retreat that embodies the current trend of quiet luxury.
In contrast to many of Montecito’s other historic mansions, Pompeiian Court is a rare single-story manor, with all of its rooms opening to a central courtyard laced with Roman columns and warmed by an outdoor fireplace. In addition to the main house, there are four ancillary structures scattered around the 8-acre property: two guesthouses, a poolside cabana and a petite art studio.
The exquisitely manicured grounds include formal hedgerows and lawns, mature Italian cypresses, ancient oaks and eucalyptus trees. Both the swimming pool and full-size tennis court are privately tucked well away from the main house, and there are several large fountains and walking paths on the premises. There’s also a chardonnay vineyard.
Robert Riskin at Riskin Partners Group holds the listing.
Click here for more photos of Ellen DeGeneres’ latest residential project.
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