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  • Writer's picturePrinceton North

Furniture Designer Lists Santa Ynez Farmhouse & Colleen Ballinger Buys Yogurt King’s SB Estate

Updated: Jan 4, 2023

Back in summer 1994, furniture designer Hélène Aumont picked up a traditional saltbox-style residence in the quaint village of Ballard, just north of Santa Barbara in the Santa Ynez Valley. She then embarked on an extensive renovation and expansion of the premises in keeping with her French country roots. Now that beguiling French-inspired farmhouse — known as “Pepper Hill Farm” — has popped up for sale, as first reported by Siteline Santa Barbara.

Originally listed for $5.8 million over the summer, the place is now going for a discounted $4.85 million. And though that’s still a whopping $5 million and change over what Aumont and former husband Patrick doled out for the place more than 28 years ago, the couple did add a primary suite, summer veranda and porches, a detached one-bedroom cottage with its own kitchenette and bath, solar panels and a pool. They also had the grounds professionally landscaped, and converted an attic space into a guest bedroom with a full bath.

Tucked away on a hillside parcel of land spanning 5 acres, the main clapboard structure was built in 2008. Featured are four bedrooms and five baths spread across a little more than 3,600 square feet of two-level living space, all of it accented throughout with the original limestone and distressed pine floors, crown moldings, high-ceilings, double-hung windows, Sartre limestone fireplaces and Moroccan tile.

Highlights include a foyer sporting double Provencal doors that lead into a great room holding a living/dining area spotlighted by an 18th-century French corner cabinet and built-in 19th-century bar topped with Italian marble. An ensuite bedroom has been converted into a library boasting custom upholstered walls and new seagrass carpet, while the kitchen comes complete with painted cabinetry, newer stainless appliances and a light-filled breakfast nook.

Vintage Venetian palazzo doors open into the spacious master retreat, which holds a fireplace, seating area, French doors spilling out to two balconies and a walk-in closet, plus a spa-like bath equipped with a relaxing Jacuzzi. Elsewhere in the house is a cozy fireside living room, music room and large screened veranda; and outdoors, the grassy property is laced with olive and oak trees, and hosts numerous spots ideal for al fresco lounging and entertaining amid rose gardens and an orchard. There’s also a restored four-stall barn with a tack room and riding arena.

Colleen Ballinger Buys Yogurt King’s Historic Santa Barbara Estate

Even though Colleen Ballinger just paid north of $6 million for her new Santa Barbara estate, the social media superstar is still deciding whether she actually likes the place. In a YouTube vlog posted this week, Ballinger, 35, burst into tears when talking about the house, noting that “it’s lovely,” but also “a really, really big change” with far fewer storage possibilities and a vastly smaller kitchen than her old residence. “Am I making the right decision? I think I am … but it just feels so weird.”

Judge for yourself, but on paper the Azusa Pacific University alum’s new home looks pretty great. Set on a walled and gated lot that spans more than an acre, the Spanish-style villa was built circa 1919 and resembles an original California mission, albeit one with all the modern conveniences today’s luxury homebuyers have come to expect.

Still, the house is undeniably a dramatic departure from Ballinger’s previous home — an East Coast traditional-style Encino mansion she continues to own. Her old place, all shiny and newly built, featured a two-story living room and an enormous kitchen, plus a butler’s pantry, marble bathrooms and a plunge pool.

The Santa Barbara estate was renovated in recent years, though it maintains a quirkily vintage charm. Mostly single-story, the compound consists of a four-bedroom main house and a separate guesthouse/garage building with two additional bedrooms and covered parking for three cars; altogether, there are more than 6,000 square feet of living space with ample room for Ballinger, husband Erik Stocklin and their young family.

Highlights include hardwood floors and vaulted ceilings throughout, a massive combo dining/living room with an original fireplace and ruby-red chandelier, fully renovated bathrooms with expensive stonework and a wine cellar with space for hundreds of bottles. But arguably the estate’s most attractive amenities lie outside, where the sprawling grounds encompass vast lawns, hundreds of native flora species and one of the biggest blue agave plants we’ve ever seen. Also on tap are manicured gardens, charming pergola seating areas, grape vines and dozens of fruit-bearing citrus trees that include orange and lemon.

One thing the house notably lacks is a swimming pool, though there’s more than enough space for an Olympic-length one, should Ballinger decide to add it in the future. And indeed, this kitchen appears roughly half the size of that Encino kitchen, though it’s been nicely updated with top-of-the-line stainless appliances, newer cabinets and a small island.

Presumably Ballinger’s longtime BFFs, who include fellow internet celebrities Trisha Paytas and JoJo Siwa, will soon visit the property for a housewarming party. And with motorcourt parking for upwards of a half-dozen cars, a courtyard seating area and al fresco dining patio with BBQ, the estate can easily cater a large event. Naturally, the entire place is also walled and camera-watched for privacy, with no part of the house visible from the street.

Records reveal Ballinger bought the property from a co-founder of popular supermarket yogurt brand The Greek Gods, who himself bought the place only last year for $4.7 million. It doesn’t appear the yogurt mogul made any significant renovations to the property before flipping it to Ballinger at a $1.5 million profit before taxes and closing costs — a testament to how property values in the Santa Barbara-Montecito area continue to soar.

Born and raised in Santa Barbara, where her parents and much of her extended family continue to reside, Ballinger shot to worldwide internet fame with her Miranda Sings character. Since then, she’s amassed more than 5 billion lifetime YouTube views, making her one of the all-time most successful creators on the platform. She also created and starred in the Netflix series “Haters Back Off,” appeared in the Broadway musical “Waitress” and has done stand-up comedy tours, with sold-out shows across the country.

Content & images courtesy of


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