A big Montecito estate has just sold; lo and behold, the new owners are not Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi for a change! The latest denizen to put down stakes in the posh Santa Barbara County seaside enclave is beauty mogul Vicky Tsai.
Records show the founder of the Asian-inspired skincare brand Tatcha — acquired by Unilever in 2019 for a reported $500 million — doled out just under $13 million for a striking Italianate mansion designed and built in 2005 by architect Robert Senn and Becker Construction.
Hidden away behind gates, at the end of a lengthy gated driveway that empties out at a motorcourt and three-car garage, the stucco and terracotta-roof structure rests on a 2-acre parcel overlooking ocean and mountain views.
Inside, six bedrooms and eight baths are spread across nearly 7,000 square feet of living space boasting 18th-century antique fireplaces, soaring vaulted ceilings, radiant-heated French limestone and walnut floors, and light fixtures handmade in Murano, Italy.
Especially standing out are a grand double-height foyer displaying a wrapping staircase and limestone-columned gallery, plus a formal living room sporting a wood-beam ceiling, stone fireplace and French doors spilling outside.
Other main-level highlights include a gourmet kitchen outfitted with a marble countertops, an eat-in island, Thermador appliances and a butler’s pantry, which connects to a sitting room and wet bar, along with two offices, and several areas suited for both casual and formal dining.
Upstairs, the opulent master retreat features a couple of walk-in closets sporting built-in cabinetry and private balcony, and a massive tile-clad bath comes with a sauna, soaking tub and separate shower. Additional sleeping quarters include an ensuite guest bedroom with its own entrance, a wet bar and large walk-in closet, as well as a one-bedroom guesthouse.
Outdoors, the lushly landscaped grounds are laced with mature oaks and fruit trees, and host a sprawling grassy lawn spotlighted by a pool and spa flanked by an open-air cabana, an upper garden with a waterscape and fountains, and plenty of spots ideal for al fresco dining and entertaining.
In addition to her newly acquired Montecito spread, Tsai and her longtime husband Eric Bevan also maintain a primary residence just north of San Francisco, in the California city of Tiburon.