Though it was less than three years ago, much has changed since August 2019. That’s when veteran Hollywood producer Brian Robbins paid $7 million to Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi for their 10-acre estate tucked into the scenic foothills just east of Santa Barbara, near where the villages of Montecito and Carpinteria meet.
Since then, Robbins has become CEO of both Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon, positions he holds to this day. And the COVID-19 pandemic arrived, sending demand for semi-rural and (relatively) big ranches like this one skyrocketing. That’s part of the reason why, though it’s been less than three years since he bought the place, Robbins is now looking to sell the spread for $13.5 million, or very nearly double what he paid less than three years ago. The listing is held by top Los Angeles agents Branden and Rayni Williams of the Williams & Williams Estates Group at The Beverly Hills Estates.
What hasn’t changed much in three years is the Santa Barbara property itself. Originally built in 1917, the century-old estate is fully gated and includes two structures: a three-bedroom ranch house and a separate barn, which DeGeneres converted into a “creative work studio” during her ownership. The former talk show host also fully renovated the main house, upgrading it with modern amenities and trendy design details throughout.
Robbins has kept DeGeneres’ decor intact, including a blacked-out kitchen with a trove of expensive appliances, bathrooms tiled in mod black-and-white patterns, and walls and ceilings painted a crisp white. The barn also retains its own full bathroom.
However, though he didn’t do much construction, the listing indicates Robbins did obtain permits for a new 1,200-square-foot guesthouse and a 900-square-foot addition to the existing main house, potentially saving buyers a great deal of additional time and money.
But at the heart of the estate are its sprawling, majestic grounds, which include acres of rolling lawns, native plantings and wildflowers. Behind the house, atop a grassy knoll, lie a swimming pool and in-ground spa. Ancient oaks add gnarled drama to the already breathtaking scenery, which flaunts views of both the mountains and Pacific Ocean.
In addition to the pastoral Santa Barbara estate, Robbins and his wife Tracy also maintain a $16 million mansion in Beverly Hills’ Trousdale Estates neighborhood. Designed by architect Paul McClean, the house was recently overhauled by interior designers Nate Berkus and Jeremiah Brent, and photographed last year for Architectural Digest.
As for DeGeneres and de Rossi, while they’ve moved on from this particular property, the couple still owns at least six homes in nearby Montecito, including an 1880s horse ranch and a decidedly esoteric, Moorish-influenced mansion acquired last year for $21 million.