There’s something addictive about the renovation process for some homeowners. Just look at frequent home flippers Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi, who purchased an impressive Montecito, California, estate earlier this year, and have already put it back on the market following a significant renovation, as first spotted by Robb Report.
DeGeneres and de Rossi paid $22.5 million for the home in June 2023, per public record, and are now asking for more than double the price. The eight-acre estate, which reportedly received a significant renovation in a rather short time period, is now listed at $46.5 million by Robert Riskin at Riskin Partners Group.
It’s a steep price hike, which is perhaps being justified due to the renovation and historic nature of the property. Originally built in 1919, the mostly single-story estate—an uncommon construction in Montecito—was remodeled in 2000 prior to DeGeneres and de Rossi’s ownership.
The Santa Barbara property, known as Pompeiian Court, is nestled behind a tall iron gate touting the property’s title at the mouth of a quarter-mile-long driveway, giving it a secluded feel. A round motor court encircled by olive trees greets visitors at the end of the driveway.
The main house is composed of just two bedrooms, two bathrooms and two powder rooms, and exudes a rustic charm abutted by luxurious modern minimalist features from its renovations. The listing labels it a “classic Roman courtyard residence,” but it has an almost spa-like minimalism in the decor and updates, allowing it to feel contemporary while making good on that lofty descriptor.
Nearly all of the home’s rooms attempt to bring the outdoors into the interior, with many opening onto a central courtyard lined with Roman columns. Entering the home through the receiving room provides an instant view of that architectural centerpiece, ensuring that it’s seen as an integral part of the home and not an amenity.
That courtyard features an outdoor fireplace to cement it as the central gathering space the architecture insists upon. The persistent access to outdoor space brings abundant light into the home and gives it an indoor-outdoor feel, with many rooms boasting a view of the property’s four fountains, including a smaller, sunken one in the central courtyard.
The primary suite is large and luxurious, with a spartan sensibility thanks to stark white walls and arched door frames that lead into an opulent en-suite bathroom with a freestanding bath, dual marble vanities and a pair of dressing rooms.
Much of the interior is dedicated to common spaces, like the living room with its vaulted and beamed ceilings over the home’s original wood floors. A trio of French doors open onto the home’s south-facing terrace, as well as fountains and a temple pavilion further out on the grounds.
The eat-in kitchen is equipped with black stone counters and dark wood cabinets, and revels in the rustic charm, looking out on the estate’s oldest knotty oak tree.
In addition to a library and bar, the home has a dedicated media room that opens onto a canopied terrace through arched French doors. Stairs from the central courtyard lead to a private office with 360-degree views of the grounds and mountains to the north.
In addition to the main house, the property features other structures, including a poolside cabana and a small art studio. There’s also a pair of guest houses, one with two bedrooms and another with just one. There is also what the listing calls a “flex structure,” which is suitable for staff or other guests, with a full private bathroom.
One of the most stunning parts of the estate is the grounds, which feature a mix of topiary and ancient-feeling trees—cypress, oak and eucalyptus—that exude history. There’s also a swimming pool, full-size tennis court, walking paths and a functioning chardonnay vineyard.
DeGeneres and de Rossi have bought and sold a number of homes in Santa Barbara over the years, and while they’ve flipped the majority of those properties, they’re hanging onto their most expensive—the duo paid a record-setting $70 million for a spread in the beach town of Carpinteria, California in late 2022.