Update: This version has been updated to include the names of the listing agents.
She had been traveling for her "Bridget's Sexiest Beaches" TV show, which launched in March on the Travel Channel, while intermittently house hunting for about a year.
"I had a big list of all the things I wanted," she said, and "I wasn't ready to settle."
Her patience paid off. The new 5,922-square-foot home "literally had everything plus," she said.
High among her priorities was enough room to store all the costumes and clothes for her work on the show "The Girls Next Door" and the parties she attended during her seven years in residence at the Playboy mansion. "I need a lot of closet space, and the older homes I looked at didn't seem to have that."
Although the master of the five-bedroom, 4 1/2 -bathroom house has what Marquardt described as an "enormous" closet, she also is making one of the bedrooms into a wardrobe.
Other items on her must-have list: a fireplace in the master bedroom and a swimming pool. She plans to add a fire pit, a rock wall and a water slide to create a grotto-style pool.
But no doubt the most personalized touch she'll be making to the two-story home is the installation of swing trapeze and a lyra, or aerial hoop, in the soaring main entry hall.
"Trapeze is a great workout. It got me in the best shape in my life," said Marquardt, who trains at Hollywood Aerial Arts in Inglewood. The equipment, she said, will be "old school circus -- vintage-style -- with velvet on the ropes and shiny silver balls on the ends." The apparatus can be tied off along the ceiling should she care to move it out of center stage.
Marquardt considered homes near the beach and in Beverly Hills and Los Angeles but found more for her money in Sherman Oaks. "I could get a much bigger house with a pool," she said. "I love the location."
She'll be sharing the home with her boyfriend, Nicholas Carpenter, who directed "The Telling" (2009), a horror film anthology, and has been a music video director. He worked as a set production assistant on television shows including "Ghost Whisperer" (2005) and "My Name Is Earl" (2005), as well as the movie "Thank You for Smoking" (2005). His father, Scott Carpenter, was one of the original Mercury astronauts.
Despite having a dad who once defied gravity, Marquardt said Carpenter is "worried I will fall off the trapeze."
When she's not enjoying the home and its private backyard as her personal retreat, Marquardt said she plans to throw theme parties, barbecue and have friends and family over to watch football games on Sundays.
Marquardt, 35, co-stars in the E! cable network series "Girls Next Door" (2005-present) as one of publisher Hugh Hefner's girlfriends. The show will start its sixth season in October. She appeared in the February issue of Playboy.
Lisa Sockolov of Coldwell Banker, Beverly Hills, represented Marquardt in her purchase.
The listing agents were Harriet Cameron of Prudential California Realty, Sherman Oaks, and Andrew Spitz, Prudential California Realty, Encino.