A chirpy birdie recently got in touch to let the proverbial cat out of the bag, and property records do indeed now suggest, that New York City-based film star Meg Ryan has put down some serious West Coast real estate roots with the slightly more than $5 million purchase of a newly rehabbed residence sequestered behind electric gates in California’s exclusive, celeb- and tycoon-favored seaside enclave of Montecito. The mountain-view idyll sprawls across 1.5 gloriously private acres and the stylishly appointed, roughly 4,300-square-foot modern farmhouse-style residence evokes the relaxed serenity of a high-end boutique hotel with three ample bedrooms and 3.5 deluxe bathrooms.
In the voluminous great room, which is anchored by a rustic, rough-cut stone fireplace, there are dark brown hardwood floors, muscular wood beams on the vaulted ceiling and a row of impressively tall French doors that allow for an easy transition to the outdoor living spaces. Casually open to the living and dining space, and arranged around a large island, the open-concept kitchen offers top-grade culinary equipment, a Moroccan tile backsplash and a peninsula breakfast bar sheathed in the same ochre-colored stone as the fireplace. A refrigerated walk-in pantry is designed to hold 300 bottles of booze and certainly no expense was spared in the enviably spacious laundry room that luxuriously sports marble floors, marble countertops and sleek, dark wood cabinets.
A couple of rooms are well suited as studies and/or home offices, guest bedrooms are generously proportioned with vaulted ceilings and custom built-ins, and the master suite, which opens though a bank of metal-trimmed windows to a lush garden of sculpted hedging, is replete with a marble-lined bathroom, an indoor-outdoor shower and a spacious dressing room that includes a garden- and mountain-view soaking tub.
The back of the house has stunning, over-the-treetops mountain views and flows out to a massive red brick terrace with an outdoor fireplace and a custom-designed grilling and food-prep area. Rough-cut stone steps flank an eye-catching tiled fountain and lead to a sparking swimming pool and spa alongside an exceptionally long, vine-draped pergola. The effortlessly casual yet fastidiously maintained grounds additionally offer a secluded patio for al fresco dining amid ancient oak trees, raised bed gardens and a variety of fruit and avocado trees.
Ryan, who made her directorial debut with the little seen 2016 film “Ithaca,” in which she co-starred with her “Sleepless in Seattle” and “You’ve Got Mail” co-star Tom Hanks, once owned a stunning home in a plum pocket of L.A.’s tony Bel Air area that was previously owned by Diane Keaton and has been owned since 2016 by in-demand film and television writer/director/producer James Wan. However, the semi-retired rom-com icon, once one of the most bankable stars in Hollywood, who has in recent years pulled back from acting but is scheduled to topline the upcoming Epix comedy series “Picture Paris,” long ago decamped Los Angeles for New York City. In 2013 she paid Hank Azaria $8 million for a loft-style co-operative apartment in Soho that appeared in the glossy pages of Architectural Digest before she sold it in 2017 for a smidgen under $9.9 million. And, around the same time she sold the Soho co-op, she plunked down not quite $9.4 million for a loft-style condominium in a converted factory building in Tribeca that is famous for its many showbiz residents who include but are far from limited to Jake Gyllenhaal, Harry Styles, and Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively. Ryan, who reportedly broke off her engagement to rock and roller John Mellencamp last fall, also maintains a relaxed, picture perfect hideaway on Martha’s Vineyard that she scooped up in 2006 for $6.5 million and had photographed in 2010 for Elle Décor.