I feel like I just wrote about Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi buying designer John Saladino’s romantic stone house known as “The Villa” in Santa Barbara, so I was surprised when I looked it up and realized it was actually four years ago (time flies!).
That’s actually a long time for these serial house flippers to stay put in one house, so they must have really liked it there. And who can blame them? It’s a pretty special place.
I pulled up the old photos of what it looked like when they bought the property so we can see how it’s changed since then. Take a look!
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Ellen DeGeneres & Portia de Rossi’s Villa
I first wrote about Saladino’s villa in 2010 when it was on the market for $24.5 million.
It was built around 1930 by architect Wallace Frost, but by the time Saladino bought it in 2001, it was, as Veranda described it, “a romantic ruin.” He said at the time, “Part of the immediate appeal of the house was its mix of grandeur and modesty.”
Saladino spent four years restoring it and wrote a book called Villa about his love affair with the house (Amazon affiliate links):
It came out in 2009. It’s amazing how much hardcover copies of this are going for right now! Wow.
Ellen DeGeneres featured this property in her own design book, called Home:
Here’s where the cover photo was taken in the house:
Architectural Digest reports:
Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi have owned more than seven homes together — including this Santa Barbara, California, villa, which is now on the market for $45 million.
Set on more than 16 acres, amid olive trees and overlooking the Pacific Ocean, the two-story, 10,500-square-foot residence features special touches like a classic barrel-tiled roof, terracotta surfaces, rustic exposed ceiling beams, 18th-century Italian tiles, vintage light fixtures, and walls of locally quarried stone.
Here’s how the living room looked before, when John Saladino lived here:
There are six bedrooms, six full baths, and nine fireplaces in the house.
I believe this is the same bedroom featured in Saladino’s book Villa (photo by Antoine Bootz):
According to AD:
Like all her homes, DeGeneres was deeply involved in the restoration and decoration of the stately stone property. “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.”
The Dining Room Before:
Most of the changes to these rooms seem to be decorative. Which version do you prefer?
I wonder how big this TV is? Looks huge. But seems appropriate since two television stars live here. 🙂
The Family Room Before:
The comedian told Sotheby’s:
“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. 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.”
Ellen said, “The house is always surprising. 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.”
The couple bought the property for a reported $26.5 million and are now asking $45 million (you can see more photos of what it looked like when they bought it — and their former Equestrian Ranch — here).
For more information about The Villa, check the Sotheby’s listing (photography by Jim Bartsch; photo of Ellen and Portia by William Abranowicz for Elle Decor). The only question now is where they’re moving next. If anyone has the scoop, fill us in! 🙂
*Update: Netflix executive Ted Sarandos and his wife Nicole Avant bought The Villa for $34 million.