Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi seek $45 million for charming Montecito retreat

Daytime talk show host Ellen DeGeneres, known for her love of renovating and selling homes, has put her latest offering in Montecito on the market for $45 million.


Daytime talk show host Ellen DeGeneres, known for her love of renovating and selling homes, has put her latest offering in Montecito on the market for $45 million.

DeGeneres and wife Portia de Rossi bought the property in 2013 for $26.5 million and spent the better part of four years restoring and updating what has been their weekend retreat. The couple are selling because they don’t spend as much time at the property as they used to, according to listing agent Suzanne Perkins of Sotheby’s International Realty.

Set among towering eucalyptus trees, the hilltop estate centers on an Italian villa-style home reached by a winding driveway. A cobblestone motor court, statuary and creeping vines contribute to the sleepy, romantic ambience of the stone-walled house, which was designed by Wallace Frost and built in the 1930s.


Beyond the decorative iron front door, living spaces boast exposed beams, broad wood floors, built-ins and nine fireplaces. The home’s solid stone walls are softened by DeGeneres’ collection of modern artwork. Contemporary fixtures, such as a wiry chandelier in the entry, provide a subtle contrast to the Old World interior.

The 10,500 square feet of living space include a media room, a grand living room, a formal dining room, six bedrooms and six bathrooms. A lofted office/creative space is accessed by a secret door in the chef’s kitchen. An art studio used by De Rossi sits below the lofted space and has a kitchenette.

The grounds — often frequented by bobcats, owls and other native fauna — include an agave garden that overlooks a 2nd century column, lawns and Roman-style plunge pool. In another area, brass ornaments are suspended from olive trees, adding decoration and whimsy above an alfresco dining area.

An indoor-outdoor pool house was built using stone excavated from the property and has a sunroom, a wet bar, an outdoor kitchen and a lap pool. Called Jordan Hall, the secondary structure was designed after a pavilion DeGeneres and De Rossi had hoped to build on their former Thousand Oaks property.

A sunken tennis court, a badminton court and an ocean-view lookout complete the setting.

DeGeneres, 59, has won multiple Emmys for “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” which premiered in 2003. Last year she co-created and produced the show “Little Big Shots” with Steve Harvey.

De Rossi, 44, has television credits that include the legal drama “Ally McBeal” and the sitcom “Arrested Development.” She currently appears on the series “Scandal.”

Trying out a new playing field

As a new baseball season approaches, Atlanta Braves outfielder Matt Kemp is set to make another kind of play: He’s putting his mansion in Poway up for auction.

Found in the gated Heritage community, the estate will hit the auction block on April 20 without a reserve, said listing agent Kofi Nartey, who is working in collaboration with Concierge Auctions. The property, acquired by Kemp three years ago, has been on the market since December for $11.5 million.

“[The auction] is going to be a better route for bringing legitimate interest to the property,” said Nartey, the director of sports entertainment division at Compass. “It’s an opportunity for someone to get an asset for less than it’s actually worth.”

The “asset” in question includes a 15,884-square-foot main house, a tennis court and an infinity-edge swimming pool on about 4 acres of grounds. A separate pool/guesthouse holds a gym and a Roman spa.

Features of the home, which Kemp has spent about $3 million to update, include custom travertine floors, a cigar lounge with a humidor and a 1,200-bottle wine cellar with a tasting room. A custom home theater is outfitted with tiered seating and a snack bar.

The master suite has two showers, two walk-in closets and an auxiliary laundry room for a total of five bedrooms and five bathrooms. Views from the master balcony take in the greens and fairways of the Maderas Country Club.

Kemp, 32, was traded by the Padres to the Braves last season and finished the season with 35 home runs and 108 RBIs in 156 games. The slugging outfielder originally began his career with the Dodgers, making two All-Star teams in nine seasons with the team.

He bought the property for $9.075 million, records show. Morgan Trent of Compass is the co-listing agent.

Style expert looks to button up a sale

TV host and fashion expert Brad Goreski and his partner, writer/producer Gary Janetti, have put their home on the Westside of Los Angeles up for sale at $3.8 million.

Sitting high up from the street in Westwood, the gated two-story has steps that lead through the terraced front yard and end at a red-painted front door.

Inside, the updated home includes formal living and dining rooms, a family room, an updated kitchen and two dens. Dark hardwood floors pair with white walls and modern fixtures for a sophisticated vibe throughout the 4,542 square feet of interior space.

A second-story sitting room takes in views of the golf course through a wide expanse of glass. The master suite has a custom closet with a soaking tub, for a total of four bedrooms and 3.5 bathrooms.

Outdoors, a waterfall feature surrounds a patio in the backyard. Nearby, a vine-wrapped trellis provides shade for an alfresco dining room.

Barry Dane of Keller Williams Realty has the listing.

Goreski, 39, has been a co-host on the E! series “Fashion Police” since 2015. As a style expert, his clients include such celebrities as Jessica Alba and Rashida Jones.

Janetti, 50, was a co-executive producer on the sitcom “Will and Grace.” His other television credits include the animated series “Family Guy” and the British sitcom “Vicious.”

They bought the house in 2012 for about $2.33 million, records show.

Cutting ties in Santa Monica

Veteran actress and producer Meredith Baxter has sold her longtime home in Santa Monica for $4.589 million.

Set among trees on about a third of an acre, the leafy property includes a rustic contemporary-inspired home and a guesthouse, for a total of five bedrooms and four bathrooms in about 4,500 square feet.

The main house, with a wood-paneled exterior and interior, was built in 1972 and features vaulted ceilings, walls of irregular windows and brick fireplaces in the living room, eat-in kitchen and master bedroom. The upstairs art studio opens to tree-topped decking and patio space.

Outside, a wood-plank pathway leads to the swimming pool. Various sitting areas, lawns and mature landscaping fill the canyon setting.

The property came to market last year for $6 million and was listed at $4.995 million at the time of the sale, records show.

Isabelle Mizrahi of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties was the listing agent. David Offer, also with Berkshire Hathaway, represented the buyer.

Baxter, 69, gained fame in the ’70s and ’80s for her roles on the TV shows “Family” and “Family Ties.” More recently she appeared on the series “Finding Carter,” “The Young and the Restless” and “Code Black.”

He’s ready to knock out a sale

Former UFC-fighter-turned-analyst Kenny Florian and his wife, actress-model Clark Gilmer, have put their home in Hollywood Hills West on the market for $3.1 million.

The English Country-style residence, built in 1923, was once home to silent-film star Claire Windsor. More recently the property was owned by Jet drummer and vocalist Chris Cester, who sold it to Florian and Gilmer two years ago for $2.75 million.

Remodeled by Cester during his ownership, the 4,028-square-foot house mixes period details with a range of contemporary updates. Of note are the white-painted barrel vault ceilings in the great room, eye-catching wallpaper in the dining room and an updated cook’s kitchen.

There are master suites on the first and second floors, including one with a custom closet and a bonus office/loft space reached by a spiral staircase. In all, there are four bedrooms and four bathrooms.

Brick terraces extend the living space outdoors and overlook a swimming pool with a cascading waterfall feature. A built-in barbecue, hedges and formal landscaping fill out grounds of about a third of an acre.

Gene Bush of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage holds the listing.

Florian, 40, retired from competitive fighting in 2012. A former contestant on “The Ultimate Fighter,” he currently co-hosts Fox Sports 1’s “UFC Tonight” and is an analyst for “UFC Fight Night,” also on FS1. He also provides commentary for the ABC show “BattleBots.”

Gilmer, 28, was a contestant on the 11th season of “America’s Next Top Model.” Her acting credits include the shows “Brothers & Sisters” and “How I Met Your Mother.”

Twitter: @NJLeitereg


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