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  • Writer's picturePrinceton North

Cameron Diaz & Benji Madden Purchase in Montecito

Like a lot of prodigiously financed Angelenos with 12 or 13 million bucks to spend on a high-maintenance part-time vacation residence that’s less than two hours from home, Cameron Diaz and Benji Madden have added a lavish Montecito estate to their already girthy cross country property portfolio.

The retired movie star turned best-selling self-help book author and organic wine entrepreneur and the tatted-up Good Charlotte rocker, who already own at least three homes in L.A., plus a condo in lower Manhattan, ponied up $12.67 million for a recently remodeled mansion that marketing materials tout “pairs traditional Mediterranean architecture with contemporary refinement” in the relaxed and aristocratic seaside town.

Likened to an estate in Italy’s famously gorgeous Lake Como area, the centerpiece of the 1.75-acre spread is the almost 11,000-square-foot three-story villa that sits high on the sloped lot, with peekaboo views of the ocean.

Light-filled interior spaces showcase high ceilings, premium finishes, and liberal use of marble and wide-plank wood flooring. Highlights include the serpentine staircase and gallery in the cupola-topped double-height foyer, the adjoining pair of living rooms that each have a fireplace, the stone-balustraded terrace that offers serene sunset views, and the chef-accommodating minimalist kitchen that’s complemented by a spacious formal dining room and an over-sized butler’s pantry.

The estate’s six en-suite bedrooms and seven full bathrooms and three half-baths include a deluxe junior suite on the main floor. A sprawling homeowner’s suite on the upper level incorporates a sitting room with chateau-style fireplace, an ocean-view terrace, two spa-style bathrooms, and two room-sized walk-in closets.

Other notable spaces include a study/home office with fireplace, a state-of-the-art media room for at-home movie watching, and a spa treatment room. Set well below the main house, on a lower terrace accessed by two curved staircases, a poolside cabana pampers swimmers and/or overnight guests with an open-plan living area, a fireplace and a bathroom.

Tucked into the ultra-exclusive guard-gated Ennisbrook enclave, and hedged and gated for additional privacy and security, the fully landscaped grounds include low native-stone walls and a waterfall that cascades over a tumble of boulders. Emerald lawns are bordered by seasonal plantings and shaded by mature trees, while a couple of raised bed gardens provide homegrown herbs and veggies.

Diaz, who officially retired from acting in 2018, and Madden, who hasn’t released an album with Good Charlotte since that same year, have at least four other residences: a contemporary cottage above L.A.’s Sunset Strip, which Diaz has owned for more than 20 years; a secluded compound in the Coldwater Canyon area of Beverly Hills that Diaz picked up back in 2010 for almost $9.5 from Hollywood icon Candice Bergen; a three-bedroom condo in lower Manhattan’s Chelsea District for which Diaz paid $9.5 million in 2013, about two years before she and Madden married; a seven-bedroom mansion in another area of Beverly Hills the couple nabbed about 1.5 years ago for $14.7 million, just before their creatively named daughter Raddix was born via surrogate.

Cosmetics Mogul Pays $13 Million for Lavish Montecito Estate

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.

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