Oprah Winfrey, a television mogul who has an estimated net worth of $3.1 billion, remains one of the most successful celebrities in modern history. Despite her frequent media appearances, her home in Southern California has been largely kept private. So what on earth does it look like? Let's take a peek.
Oprah's house is situated in Montecito, fringed by the Santa Ynez Mountains and the Pacific Ocean shores. This area is one of the wealthiest communities in the United States, with houses generally running from $1 million to $85 million. Visitors often come upon celebrities here. So why did Oprah choose to settle down at this exclusive locale?
Oprah has amassed a huge fortune during her nearly 50 years in the media empire. In 2001, she was considering buying a new house when an opportunity knocked. She was invited to a party in a gorgeous mansion in Montecito. Completely captivated by the mansion's beauty, Oprah instantly decided to have it for her own.
The house then belonged to Robert Veloz, an aeronautical equipment manufacturing giant, and it was not up for sale. Still, that could not stop Oprah getting her dream house. She offered Robert an eye-popping $52 million, which at the time was one of the biggest sales of a private home in the entire country. And what Oprah received, in turn, was equally extraordinary.
Built in a sumptuous Georgian style in 1912, the entire complex covers roughly 23,000 square feet and has gone through various changes over the past century. The mansion in its current form was finished in 1959, and is worth roughly $88 million today. It contains a sweeping assortment of rooms. But to put her own stamp on the property, Oprah would go to great lengths.
First, Oprah's mansion needed a moniker. She initially intended to name the house Tara II because it reminded her of Gone With The Wind, but her friend Bob Greene felt that Tara couldn't hold a candle to this incredible property. After seeking inspiration from the Bible, Bob finally dubbed the palatial place the "Promised Land,” which instantly resonated with Oprah.
Now Oprah had her new sanctum, and it was time for the style queen to launch a daunting and massive project to personalize her dream home in her own style. Designers Andrew Walker and David Simmons were the masterminds behind much of the mansion's interior decoration.
This is the main entrance hall of Oprah's home. An elegant, fanciful banister graces the sides of the immaculate white main staircase that curves up past creamy yellow walls. One thing that stands out in the entryway is the framed photos of loved ones on the tables. It reminds us that despite her incredible wealth and status, Oprah is still human at the end of the day.
Oprah's reading room contains an impressive book collection in a carefully-selected order that stretches across the back wall. She's put thought into the room's every corner. See the doll on the couch? It represents progress both socially and personally as Oprah grew up in a time when toys didn't reflect her skin color and she was too poor to have many toys as a child.
Even the guest room is a feast for the eyes. Bouquets of fresh flowers grace the shelves above the fireplace and fill the room with their delicate fragrance. The furniture and decoration has obviously been meticulously color-coded, leaving the room filled with soft lilac and lavender tones. However, other motifs in her mansion are entirely different than the ones seen here.
One of the most unique aspects of Oprah's mansion is that the rooms fluctuate wildly from one another in patterning, color scheme, and decor choices. Just look at the loud checkered pattern in this living room. The green striped couch and the plush pillows coated with peonies and daisies are sold for a tidy $3,000. Of course, it's not the only living room to be explored.
This is another living room in Oprah's mansion. Its first impression on you may be that it's a little crowded as everywhere you look, there are objects, whether it's a picture, a candelabra, a mirror, or a piece of furniture. And Oprah felt that way, too. She likes to play with her design dreams in her own home by constantly mixing things up.
And this is Oprah's sanctum sanctorum, her personal closet. All of her clothes arranged in her oak cabinets are excellently color-coded. And just look at her shoes, she will never be short of choice on what to wear. There are also vases filled with freshly-cut flowers and a seemingly television atop her shoe cabinet. But this is only a glimpse of the whole enormous closet.
The state-of-the-art kitchen in Oprah's mansion is unbelievably well-stocked, logically arranged, and spacious. While having a fireplace in your kitchen is admittedly a pretty neat idea, Oprah opted to remove it, because she wanted the kitchen to have more space to include her guests. Needless to say, the other rooms in her behemoth house are hardly lacking for space.
With all the candelabras hanging from the ceiling and balanced on the statuettes atop the table, the tasteful dining room might give you flashbacks from Beauty and the Beast. The carefully polished wooden table looks like a glassy ocean reflecting the sky. Just as important as the interior is the outside of the home. There's so much garden space and Oprah has given it her personal touch.
Opening immediately out to the vast garden grounds, this tea room was at first intended to be a place for the gardeners to cut and arrange flowers. Now it's used as a space to relax with a cup of tea. In the tea house, you cannot find any digital device as it meant as a place to unburden yourself from electronic accessories. Just sit quietly, be present, and enjoy the garden.
Outside the tearoom is the entryway into the vast garden's sprawling grounds. Steps stretch down from a framework dripping with purple wisteria to a small fountain. Surrounded by roses, lilies, daffodils, and more, the entrance is reminded Oprah of the moment in The Wizard of Oz where Dorothy realizes that she never had to look any further than her own backyard.
In line with the Biblical theme of the Promised Land, Oprah named one of the main pathways in her lush garden Hallelujah Lane. By the lane inside a quiet nook stands this white Greco-Roman statue surrounded with white hydrangea bushes. It's a touching tribute to Oprah's grandmother, who raised her in her Mississippi home surrounded with similar flowers.
Another impressive installment on Oprah's huge garden is this bronze statue called "a group of four standing women," which was bought for $3.1 million. The four women hold guard beneath a grove of eucalyptus, palm, and pine trees, and each represents a stage in femininity: a teenage girl, an expectant mother, a middle-aged woman, and an elderly woman.
With their gnarled, wriggling branches jutting up far into the sky, these oak trees have been planted throughout Oprah's garden. There are twelve oak trees in total, and that number conjures up images of Gone With The Wind. Oprah has christened them her Twelve Apostles and feels that they give her a sense of inner peace. But the tranquility doesn't stop here.
Thanks to the vastness of her mansion and the countless things natural or man-made to appreciate, Oprah can sometimes go weeks without turning on the television, just being present and enjoying the space. She said that when she's sitting on her porch reading a book, she sometimes will drift off into silent dreaming while awake…
This is part of the guest room in Promised Land. The room features the enormous penny on the wall. The colors around the centerpiece follow its cue. The masterminds behind this unique decoration were designers Andrew Walker and David Simmons. They found this extraordinary relief of Lincoln's head at an antique sale in Waukesha, Wisconsin, near where Oprah herself grew up.
After moving into Promised Land, Oprah became rather close with her next-door neighbors. When her neighbor passed away in 2016, her family had hoped that Oprah might purchase the house, and she did so for a handsome $28.9 million. The unique layout property called Seamair Farm expanded her Promised Land even further.
The architect of Seamair Farm is Cliff May, who is best known for forging the concept of the California Dream Home. The 4,750 square feet house of Seamair Farm is a mid-century modern beauty in its ranch style, with five bedrooms and four baths. On an additional 23 acres of the property's grounds, there include an avocado grove, an orchard of fruit trees, and a fish pond with Japanese koi.
Previously used as a horse track, Seamair Farm has its own spacious equestrian area, which contains an expertly-trimmed riding course and stables for the horses. Although the home itself is more compact than the mansion Oprah bought in 2001, it allows her collective design imagination to go wild once more. The property also has two natural wells, which would be important for her soon.
Oprah is quite proud of her vegetable garden and loves to grow her own produce. However, in the past few years, she met an overarching problem - a statewide water shortage in California. Luckily, she bought the Seamair Farm, and it comes with two wells. But when the California drought ended, troubles in the area were far from over.
In January 2018, Montecito was devastated by catastrophic mudslides. Oprah recalled, she woke up around 3:47 AM that night because of her dog's barking and found the sky over the Santa Ynez Mountains appear to be aflame. Her neighbors' homes were utterly damaged. The mud crept onto her property and stretched down to Highway 101. Couldn't leaving, she called a famous friend, another Montecito resident.
It's Ellen DeGeneres! Oprah called Ellen live through FaceTime during her show to give the viewers a personal tour of the damage wreaked by the mudslides. Oprah also gave center stage to the firefighters and rescue teams that had arrived on the scene. She was lucky enough as her mansion had only incurred minimal damage. Plus, she had other houses to head to.
Oprah has multiple homes, and the beautiful mountain lodging in the coveted Mountain Village area of Telluride, Colorado, is just one of them. The 60 acres property was bought completely furnished for $11 million, including five bedrooms, six and a half baths, a fitness room, an indoor hot tub, a home theater, a three-car garage, and more. Smart home tech is installed throughout, including high tech heating systems.
This small gray ranch house in Maui, Hawaii, is the talk show queen's another property. Oprah once considered tearing it down, and fortunately, she didn't. Winfrey's property manager Bob Greene advised her to purchase land in Hawaii. She also called in a designer and architect to renovate the home. As a result, the property becomes a beautiful 21st-century farmhouse.
This $8 million Washington property of Oprah's is a private luxury compound on Orcas Island, in the northwest of Washington state. Constructed in 2007, the estate sits on over 40 acres of land. Its three-story main house includes four bedrooms, three baths, and a powder room. Here, Oprah can enjoy the sunset along the 3,000 feet of west-facing shoreline.
Formerly based in Chicago, Oprah used to have several real estates in the city. In 2018, Oprah sold off her last Chicago property, a 2,250-square-foot Colonial-style house in Elmwood Park, for $375,000. Oprah's other Chicago properties include a duplex in Water Tower Place, which was sold for $4.6 million, and a co-op unit in the Gold Coast, sold for $2.8 million.
The TV screen queen once owned a condo on Fisher Island, in Florida, a place described by the Sun-Sentinel as such: "Peacocks roam free here. So do millionaires, movie stars and moguls." The condo covers 1,838 square feet of land and has 2 bedrooms and 2 baths. However, Oprah listed it for a whopping $2 million in 2008.
Oprah used to own a farm in Indiana from 1988 until 2004. The farm covers 164 acres of land and contains a 9,700-square-feet main residence. There was also a lavish swimming pool and a private orchard. In 2003, the farm was listed for $8.5 million with the real estate agent Jane Field of Koenig & Strey.
Over the decades of her career, Oprah Winfrey has purchased a variety of houses. In addition to those properties we've mentioned before, she also had a $68 million home in New Jersey, a tropical vacation home on the Caribbean island of Antigua, and an $8.2 million wood cabin in the temperate rainforest of Orcas Island in Washington state.
Oprah did have procured multiple homes with her revenues over the past decades, but we should not overlook just how charitable she has been with her money. Her own organization, the Oprah Winfrey Foundation, has given away $40 million of funds. Winfrey is now the most charitable celebrity and beats out her competition by far.
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