Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi list their stunning Tuscan-style US home
You can trust US stars Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi to do it with style, and their Montecito, Santa Barbara house doesn't disappoint.
Despite being on the market for US$45 million (NZ$63.78m) this is not your typical OTT celebrity mansion. For starters, it's not imposing – in places it is two storeys, but it hunkers down into the landscape.
And as you might expect, the interior design of the house owned by the talk-show host and her actor wife is flawless, with plenty of interesting art, natural materials, fireplaces (9) and intimate seating areas.
Listing agent Suzanne Perkins of Sotheby's International Real Estate describes it as having a "pastoral ambience" that's reminiscent of the Tuscany countryside.
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The 975 square-metre house was designed in the 1930s by celebrated architect Wallace Frost, who created it for himself after having lived in Italy. Frost emulated the classical style of 17th-century Italian villas to create "an air of old-world romance and refinement".
"Impeccable attention was paid to every detail," says Perkins. Traditional features include a classic barrel-tiled roof, terracotta surfaces, wide wood flooring planks, rustic exposed ceiling beams, 18th-century Italian tiles, vintage light fixtures, and sturdy walls of locally quarried stone.
The property also features several outdoor living areas, a pool, modern entertainment pavilion and tennis court. And it is surrounded by mature trees that provide shady places for alfresco dining – just as in Italy.
DeGeneres wrote about the house in her interior design book "Home", where she said she was charmed by the "tiny, tucked-beneath-the-stairs rooms", and "strange nooks and crannies and little moments of surprise".
DeGeneres and de Rossi are known for flipping houses. In 2012, they sold their Beverly Hills property to television host Ryan Seacrest for around US$37m. Forbes lists DeGeneres at number 13 on the list of highest-paid celebrities.