I’d take the exterior and redo the interior

Ellen DeGeneres and her wife Portia DeRossi are serious home buyers and sellers, regularly putting on the market something they bought and redid.

Their latest project for sale is in Montecito, a 1929 stone villa built by architect Wallace Frost. Yours today, if you call now, for $45million.

Ellen and Portia bought it from designer John Saladino who took several years to restore it to his taste. Here’s a link to a blog post from 2010 on Saladino’s approach to the villa and his interior decor eye. 

It’s reported that Ellen and Portia paid $26.5 million for it in 2013 and set upon recreating the interior to match their sensibilities.

The living room:

The family room:

The Dining Room

The huge kitchen but to me looks very industrial, cold, and unappealing. I can see this kitchen in a very modern home and while I like the juxtaposition of old and modern, this doesn’t work for me.

This is my favorite room so far, called the kitchen sitting room. Almost looks like an old stone house from the 1700s in Philadelphia.

The master bedroom leaves me cold too.

Then you realize the value of the home is in its location location location and view view view. The MBR view looks pretty decent although anyone else notice that the door/window in front of the bed has no deck or railing?

Speaking of view view view – here’s $44 million of the $45 million price tag.

Me, I’d skip living in the main house altogether and beg for the secondary house they call the Jordan Hall. This has me written all over it.



Here’s the listing from Sotheby’s. Are we in or out on this house? I can’t decide. Most of me says no. Not warm enough.

21 thoughts on “I’d take the exterior and redo the interior

  1. Saladino was a master. Ellen not so much. Here are a couple of very pic heavy blog posts comparing his original design and what she did to the property.



    Everything was better (more honest, authentic and warmer) than Ellen. Although she seems to have kicked it up a bit for listing/sale. His kitchen looked cozy in comparison.

  2. it doesn’t look lived in hence it looks unloved. i liked it better when saladino had it, with some color in the rooms. the villa itself is a wonder in stone and remarkable that it stand today relatively unchanged.

    i’d buy it but i’d lighten it up.

  3. I like the neutral interior. I can see their vision – to make the house architecture shine as the masterpiece, not the interior decor.

    1. That is stunning. But so is Rob Lowe. 🙂

      Architectural Digest had a cover story on his home. The interior is as gorgeous as the exterior. Lowe strikes me as a happy person, happy life, happy wife, happy kids, and his home reflects it. Ellen, I’m not convinced all her success has brought her happiness. She seems wrapped up in her gayness as if that somehow defines her and her success. She was a great comedienne back in the day until she went all political crappiness.

      1. Most definitely Ellen defines herself first as gay. I heard this week she talked about the fact that she was the first TV character, back on her Ellen sitcom show, to come out. I have no problem with her sexual preference, but I don’t like that she holds herself up as a better person for coming out so publicly, and that in itself should bring her acclaim.

        1. I don’t want this thread to turn into a commentary about Ellen but I will quickly say I agree with your assessment. She does seem to hold herself up as a champion. I know a couple of gay people who do not choose to make their sexual preference public. Maybe for work or social reasons, it’s not for me to ask why. It’s their decision. Does not coming out publicly make them any less gay? No.
          I find Ellen insufferable and not just because of her politics but because she’s a bit of a broken record these days. Her show is stale, same kind of people on, hawking their films, ragging on Trump. I wish she’d go back to stand-up. Some of her old routines are hysterical.

        2. You want funny? Samantha Bee is a laugh riot at Rikers.

          “I went to Rikers [Island, New York City’s main jail] a couple of weeks ago to shoot something that I think will be really good. It was a really interesting experience. But you’re not allowed to take your phone in because you can’t take glass or anything like that. So they took my phone, and they put it in a lockbox for eight hours. And I felt like I had gone on a Caribbean vacation. I emerged from Rikers, and everyone was like, ‘Your skin is shining.’ And it was because I’ve never been more relaxed. I felt so free just knowing that my phone was safe, but I wasn’t allowed to see it or know what was happening in the world.”


        3. I saw that. Oh Christ. She’s vile. I truly can’t stomach her “humor”. It’s all based on hate. I vote we let her try a month or six there. Let’s see if it still has the Caribbean air. Pfft.

  4. I don’t even think the view is all that great. It’s like a side angle view. The house looks nestled into the land, which is nice if you want to keep the house cool, but not $44million of the view you’d expect from high above Santa Barbara. Look how bright Lowe’s house is in comparison, sitting high above the land.

    1. It looks like we have to convince Jane. She’s the only Yes vote here.

      Thanks for stopping by Never a Dull Bling. Love the name of your blog.

  5. I wouldn’t buy and I frankly don’t like either Saladino or Ellen’s decorating. This is California, and as you say, the value is in the view! Yet inside it’s all dark and taupey in both versions. We need new, historically-appropriate, larger windows to let the light and view in. Then we need California classic casual decoration — bright white slipcovered sofas, warm antique Oriental rugs, natural materials, etc. I’d consider painting the beams and ceilings white, or doing something else to brighten and offset the stone walls. Perhaps they took them out for photography purposes, but mirrors to brighten the walls and reflect light are needed all over the place.

    Ellen’s decorating has nothing to do with the house itself, while also failing to be a nice juxtaposition. Saladino’s is too fusty and musty and trying too hard to be authentically Italian. This isn’t an Italian villa; it’s a California beach house done in the style of an Italian villa.

Comments are closed.