In the past year alone, the Montecito real estate shenanigans of Ellen DeGeneres have included the re-acquisition of Rancho San Leandro for $14.3 million, the first-time acquisition of a modern at $2.9 million, the $55 million sale of the compound she purchased from comedian Dennis Miller, and the listing of a newer Spanish/modern hybrid with an asking price of $13.9 million. Does Ellen DeGeneres own Montecito? To a certain degree.
In the last month of winter 2022, the comedian and talk-show host settled on a 2.45-acre estate in the Hot Springs area of the enduringly popular and perennially fashionable corner of Santa Barbara County. She tossed down $20.95 million to close on it, according to Dirt.
The postmodern property is titled Villa Tragara, and it’s deeply Moorish in its architecture and details; the U-shaped house is designed around a unique two-story courtyard living area with an indoor-outdoor lower level and an open upper section. Oddly, listing information indicates there are only 3 bedrooms throughout the property’s 12,000 sq. ft. But the craftsmanship evident in the details is extraordinary, even at a cursory glance.
Highlights of the engaging property include the kitchen — which incorporates timber and stone in its design, and is built around a French-style center island cooking area in blue and silver, complete with massive vent hood — and the hammam, where the Moroccan atmosphere reaches its zenith. Craftsmanship details include herringbone-pattern floors, ornamental ceilings, and a master bath with a lavish marble soaking tub set against a colorful tile backsplash.
A tour of the grounds reveals a cabana, moving water, a fire pit, pickle and bocce ball courts, lawns, and an expansive, lush, oasis-like garden inset with a very convincing desert swimming hole and populated by various plantings, including olive trees and a few date palms.