After nearly a decade out of the spotlight to “focus on motherhood,” singer Ashlee Simpson has recently returned to the public consciousness. Along with her husband, Evan Ross — the actor son of legendary diva Diana Ross — she’s made a brief foray back into reality television with E!’s “Ashlee + Evan.” The pair have also recently expanded their horizons in a more domestic manner, shelling out $4.5 million for a sprawling Encino estate.
With a new baby on the way, the couple were seeking a spread with a substantial bit of elbow room — and they certainly found it. True to Encino’s reputation for large houses, their new home measures in at a mansion-worthy 6,250 square feet with 5 bedrooms and 6.5 bathrooms, surely enough to accommodate the couple and their growing family.
The vaguely modern farmhouse-style manse is sited on a .44-acre lot in a particularly posh part of Encino, and is sequestered from the street behind an imposing concrete gate and an embankment covered with decorative Mexican feather grass. For privacy, the property is completely surrounded by towering hedges and tall coniferous trees. Clad in natural-colored brick and stucco, the home’s exterior illuminated at night by several barn-style sconces, while the driveway provides plenty of space for vehicles and is paved with interlocking stone tiles, offsetting the adjoining two-car garage.
Stained hardwood floors, brick and stone accents, recessed lighting and sky-high ceilings can be found throughout the home’s interiors. Listing materials loftily describe the abode as being similar to the exclusive SoHo Club, a multi-location, members-only restaurant and workspace popular among young creatives and entrepreneurs.
Through its wooden front door, guests are immediately swept into the residence’s tiled foyer, which faces the home’s first formal sitting room. The den’s ceiling is chicly coffered and a large fireplace with a floor-to-ceiling marble mantle centers the room, while two steel-framed windows flank it. A small wet bar is located on the left side of the room, sporting an ample amount of racks for wine storage and plenty of countertop space for mixing cocktails.
The private theater is located directly to the right of the entryway behind another heavy wooden door. The screening room is soundproofed and painted a dark shade of eggplant purple, while two plush leather chairs with ottomans sit in front the screen while a large black velvet sofa brings up the rear.
Besides the sitting room, there’s another den/family area in the great room that also houses the kitchen. In this space, a fireplace with a jet black mantle serves as the room’s visual focal point while two equally black built-in shelves flank it on either side. Sunlight streams in through a series of disappearing Fleetwood doors.
The couple’s new kitchen perfectly marries utilitarianism with modern aesthetics. Two hanging lanterns hang directly over the substantial island, with its handy farmhouse sink. The chef-grade gas range is built into the kitchen’s wall of wooden cabinetry, as is the refrigerator. If one needs a bit more prep room for a particularly special dinner, there’s an additional countertop and sink located directly across from the center island. As a bonus, the formal dining room is located adjacent to the kitchen, so chefs and hosts won’t need to trek far when serving up the night’s dishes. A large barrel chandelier hangs overhead and a black, wall-to-wall cabinet can be used to display the family’s finest heirloom china., while other fun amenities in the home’s lower floor include an exercise room and an office.
But it’s the upstairs master suite that is arguably the estate’s showstopper. The principal bedroom is large enough to accommodate a king-sized bed with plenty of room to spare, while a fireplace with a floor-to-ceiling white marble mantle certainly adds some visual oomph to the space. The master bath is every bit as roomy and offers travertine wall tiling, wooden floors, a large soaking tub, a walk-in shower and Jack-and-Jill sinks. The suite also has a dual walk-in closet, perfect for the fashion forward couple, who famously share their unisex wardrobe.
Outside, there’s plenty of patio space to host a dinner party al fresco; however, if it’s too nippy at night, the dinner table can simply be moved over to the linear fire pit. Thanks to the colony of leafy trees surrounding the property, the backyard has a pleasant, park-like ambiance, amplified by the gracious swimming pool and its built-in spa. An adjoining poolhouse could potentially be used a second home office for ultra-secret meetings or as a children’s playroom.