Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi are selling this Tuscan-style villa outside Santa Barbara, Calif., for $45 million. (Jim Bartsch)

Ellen DeGeneres might have a successful day job as a television talk show host, but her passion is buying and renovating homes. As she wrote in the introduction to her 2015 book “Home,” “I have had a passion for interior design for as long as I can remember. In fact, interior design is what I would do if I wasn’t a comedian and talk show host.”

One of the homes she renovated, a Tuscan-style villa which was featured in her book, is on the market for $45 million. Suzanne Perkins of Sotheby’s International Realty is the listing agent.

Located on a hilltop in Montecito, Calif., the 10,500-square-foot stone house has views of the Pacific Ocean and Santa Ynez Mountains. The 1934 house was designed by architect Wallace Frost. As DeGeneres wrote in the book, “Frost had spent the preceding decade in Italy and was clearly inspired by both the villas and farmhouses that dotted its landscapes, as the home is a peculiar and wonderful combination of the two.”

Apparently Frost not only admired Italian architects he also prized their construction methods. DeGeneres wrote, “One of my favorite facts from the restoration account is that they had to remeasure the house many times because it wouldn’t add up to the original plans. They eventually figured out that it had been drawn using the standard metric system, but the Italian masons and carpenters who built it roughly converted it to their own system as they went along.”


The pool terrace has views of the Pacific Ocean. (Photo by Jim Bartsch)

Decades later, architectural designer John Saladino bought the home and spent five years meticulously restoring it for his personal use.

DeGeneres and her wife, actress Portia de Rossi, acquired the Villa in 2012. They also purchased two adjacent properties to expand the estate to 16.88 acres.

The main house has six bedrooms, eight bathrooms and nine fireplaces. The living room is 800 square feet. Jordan Hall, also on the property, is an indoor-outdoor entertaining pavilion built from stone excavated on site. Its iron windows are handmade. It has an outdoor kitchen with a pizza oven, a lap pool, a sunken tennis court and a spa bathroom with a Japanese soaking tub.

In her book, DeGeneres wrote she and de Rossi considered the Villa “our forever house.” According to a Wall Street Journal story, the couple is selling because they don’t spend as much time in Santa Barbara as they would like.


The tennis court. (Jim Bartsch)