Elizabeth Gilbert, the Oprah-approved bestselling author of Eat, Pray, Love, lives in a yellow Italianate Victorian in Frenchtown, New Jersey.
She calls it her “beautiful, perfect” house and asks, “Why would anyone ever leave this place??”
But she’s doing just that, as she explains in a video she posted on her website. (I took these screenshots from it.)
Gilbert created a website about it called Eat, Pray, Crib: “One woman’s journey to sell her house.”
On it, she writes, “Dear Ones, I’m selling my beautiful, perfect house. Why? Because I’m a restless person and I need to move all the time. Otherwise, there is no sane reason to sell this exquisite and lovingly renovated ‘four-over-four’ Italianate Victorian house that was built in 1869 by the great-grandson of John Reading (the first governor of New Jersey and a hero of the Revolutionary War).”
The New York Times wrote about the house:
There are two reasons Ms. Gilbert and her husband, José Nunes (the Brazil-born importer she met in Bali on her “East, Pray, Love” odyssey and married in 2007), have decided to sell their house and move, with their dog, Rocky, to a smaller Victorian in the heart of Frenchtown near Two Buttons, the Pan-Asian emporium they own.
“The rational explanation is that we’re downsizing, that this lovely house is bigger than we need, especially because we travel so much,” she said.
“The irrational but accurate explanation is that I have to move after I finish a book. We poured a lot of work and love into this house as if we were going to stay forever, but the truth is, neither of us stay anyplace for very long. Now that we’ve made everything perfect inside and outside, it’s time to go.”
They’re moving to a smaller place down the road, so you’d be neighbors!
For photos and information about the property,
which is on the market for $999,000: The NYT article and Oprah.com.
You can learn more about Gilbert and her books on her website.
tricia @ littlecottageonthepond says
I can so relate to what she is saying! We feel the same way about our houses once we finish them 🙂 Love it!!
i thought i would be the only one to notice that! 🙂 we always close ours as our cats take an open toilet as an invitation to have a water party.
Nice house. But why don’t people close the potty when they’re taking pictures?!
I always wonder that, too, Peggy! Ha.
Yes! I agree. I hate it when I see pictures with open toilets. And in our house it is dangerous to leave them open- the cat might jump in. ha It’s happened…
I was going to post the same thing. The House Enthusiast says CLOSE YOUR TOILET SEATS!!!! 🙂
Otherwise, I want to take a nap in the “napping nook” !!!!
Ha. You’ll notice if you go to the NYT article the professional photographer made sure the toilet seats were down for the pics! 🙂
Alie B says
This home is lovely, but I can’t shake the feeling that this woman is a bit full of herself. I realize she has had great success, but I think great writing speaks for itself, as beautiful homes speak for themselves. People don’t need to be told how “beautiful and perfect” a home is. Beauty, after all, is subjective. I also think almost a million bucks is a bit thick for this place. just MHO. 🙂
Carrie S G says
Beautiful home. I love the exterior, the porch and the grounds. Great bones. I’d remove every single item of furniture and decor that she has (it’s waaay too busy for me) and start from scratch with some simple, elegant decor.
I didn’t care for the furnishings and décor, either….
maddie may says
I am in total agreement with Carrie & Jessica. The interior furnishings & styling of the rooms just didn’t do a thing for me. I really got a cold feeling viewing the rooms & although they want to seel the home furnished I wouldn’t want any of it. The exterior & gardens were lovely but absolutely not lovely enough for me to even dream of buying this property.
I must be missing something…not seeing “6 years work” on this home. And it’s so mis-matched and cluttered.
She could really use a stager!
Frenchtown is a neat little town that seems to have had a recent revitalization and it is sort of on the way to New Hope, PA. There are some lovely old homes there. If you ever get to visit, the restaurant at The National Hotel is choice.
I really enjoyed the post and tour through the house. But I’m kind of turned off by Elizabeth stating that the house is perfect and the new owner must buy it with all of their things and ideas.
‘Full of herself’ . . . .gosh – ya think:)?
And that ‘skybrary’ . . . that ceiling would make me feel claustrophobic. Certainly not worth the asking price.
Eat, Pray, Move.
I went ahead and viewed the link for the video tour. Oh my. I was cringing and LOL throughout; not sure if she was nervous or trying to be funny- not in a good way- she seemed very distracted and at one point forgot where she was and forgot the word for ‘countertops’ and i kept wondering why the realtor wouldn’t have hosted the tour instead! I’m not a realtor, but sometimes it’s best to let the realtor do their job! I once viewed an open house with the homeowner leading the tour ‘of the most beautiful home on the planet’. Well, can’t remember what the home looked like but I do remembering wanting to argue her point!! Thanks, Julia for showing us the most ‘beautiful, perfect house’!! Had no idea it was in Jersey!! Ha ha!
Love the house – the tour, not so much! Elizabeth Gilbert is a bit hard to take. I imagine the asking price has something to do with her celebrity, hence the “personalized” tour. I can imagine those rooms with some beautiful wallpaper, and slightly more traditional furnishings. I’m all for eclectic, but maybe not quite that much. And as a Jersey girl, I must stick up for my state. Frenchtown is in a beautiful area, and there are many more lovely places in the Garden State!!
As a young girl, I would have dreams (yes, multiple) of house full of secret compartments to discover. I think those young at heart could really enjoy this home. I really do like that kitchen.
Aren’t those cool? I’d love to have a hidden door to a back staircase like hers, too. So fun! 🙂
I had totally forgotten who Elizabeth Gilbert was until I read your post. I tried to read her book (Eat Pray Love) years ago, but I could hardly get through it. Putting that all aside, I will say that her home is very lovely and I love that hidden staircase. It’s my dream to have a house with hidden rooms. I hope this home falls into the right hands of people who appreciate this place so it can be well taken care of.
I think I would buy it for the ‘skybrary’ alone. I loved that room, I loved the secret stairs, all the little secret drawers and so on. It is a lovely house but I didn’t care for the decor either. I certainly wouldn’t want all her furniture and tchotchkes. I also thought that video might make it harder to sell (kind of odd to have her being so casual/flippant with her friend doing the recording and chuckling and so on). It makes it very much ‘her’ house and flies in the face of just about every realtor’s advice about staging I should think. I guess they are betting on her star power selling it I guess. Anyway, it is a lovely house regardless and I certainly wouldn’t knock it back if someone wanted to give it to me! 🙂
This is a beautiful house and property. I haven’t watched the video yet, but this strikes me as a very personal house designed with meaning, beauty, and comfort for the owners, not to any decorating trends. Since they have an import business, I’m sure that many of the accessories and textiles are Indonesian inspired and crafted and don’t necessarily appeal to everyone. Personally, I think if I’d found the perfect house in the perfect place and poured myself into it making it everything I desired, I’d never want to leave. I’d want to enjoy it. But, obviously, there are many who enjoy the project and the making more than the resting on one’s labors. I don’t know of many writers who have to move because their house has become associated with a character from their book! Having read her last book, I can see how it belongs to Alma. I absolutely love that ‘skybrary.’ I have seen Elizabeth Gilbert in person in a small gathering and she was very warm, friendly, and funny.
How cool that you had a chance to see her in person! She strikes me as a friendly and fun kind of person. I love going to book readings and signings and collecting author autographs. I hope to have a chance to go to one of hers someday. 🙂
Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com says
I don’t love the decor but the house is lovely. I love that soft pinkish color.
I’m surprised no one else was bothered by the placement of the Emily Dickenson quote on the risers of the staircase. It only makes sense if you are walking down the staircase, in which case you cannot see it. But if you are walking up the stairs and reading the words one by one, then your are reading the quote backwards. D’OH! I don’t mind eclectic when done well, but the decor in this one was just off. I liked the gardens, but I would insist they remove the buddha wall that they are leaving as a selling feature. No thank you!
I’m with you Maryrose-I would not want to look at that buddha wall everyday. UGH! The house is very nice, did not care for her decor at all. It really didn’t seem like a million dollar house to me either. I did love the secret door and the screened in porch! Thanks Julia for sharing!
Elizabeth Sagarminaga says
Good looking house.Thanks for sharing this.
The Country Girl says
Two thumbs down on the house, the tour, the author, the book and the movie, all of which seem equally ditzy and self indulgent. “Skybrary,” lol.
Belle Green says
I wonder if its haunted?