Take a Look Inside Oprah Winfrey's Stunning California Mansion
Oprah Winfrey stands alone as a one-of-a-kind celebrity. She remains one of the most successful public figures, with an entire empire attached to her name. Even though she’s constantly in the press, Winfrey has led a mostly private home life.
Not much is known about her Southern California mansion, and she prefers it that way, but that doesn’t mean everything about it is top secret. Here’s an inside peek into the enormous home of one of the most successful women of our time.
The Queen of All Media
Everyone knows Oprah Winfrey. Known as the "Queen of All Media," the television mogul has inspired generations of individuals with her successful talk show, The Oprah Winfrey Show, and her philanthropy work has made her one of the most famous individuals in media. In short, she’s widely regarded as one of the most influential women in the world.
Where It’s Located
No, we’re not going to tell you her home address, but it shouldn’t be surprising that Winfrey’s mansion is located in one of the wealthiest communities in the United States — Montecito, California. Located just east of Santa Barbara, the community is surrounded by the beautiful Santa Ynez Mountains and the shores of the Pacific Ocean.
Mesmerized by the Beauty
Buying a house always comes with challenges, even for celebrities. Of course, Winfrey’s wealth has always allowed her to buy whatever house she likes, but there was a time when the media mogul wondered where she could find the home of her dreams. She kept searching, but nothing made her happy.
Buying It Anyway
At the time, the mansion was owned by aeronautical equipment manufacturer Robert Veloz and his wife, Marlene. Technically, the couple was living in a 2,000-square-foot gatehouse on the property, but they weren’t actively trying to sell the mansion. That didn’t stop Winfrey. As with other obstacles she had faced in her life, she was determined to not give up on her dreams.
What She Was Buying
First built in 1912, the Montecito mansion has undergone various changes and renovations over the past century. Designed in an extravagant Georgian style, the mansion and the surrounding complex covers roughly 23,000 square feet on 42 acres. From Winfrey’s backyard, she can enjoy stunning views of both the Santa Ynez Mountains and the Pacific Ocean. Can you imagine a better way to wake up every morning?
Resembling Gone with the Wind
Once Winfrey purchased the stunning mansion, she knew she wanted to make some changes to make it feel more like her own home. She was amazed at the purchase and couldn’t believe she had finally found her dream home.
Doesn’t Hold a Candle to Tara
Greene felt that, frankly, my dear, the fictional Tara plantation from the classic movie didn’t hold a candle to the gorgeous property Winfrey had purchased. He also warned her to be careful about naming her mansion "Tara II," when she was an African American woman who was born into poverty in Kosciusko, Mississippi. He suggested that naming her mansion after a Southern slave-holding plantation might not be the best move for her.
The Promised Land
Even though her property reminded her of a Southern plantation, Winfrey decided she couldn’t name her mansion after one. Greene ultimately suggested she turn to the Bible to find inspiration for a name. He mentioned the property resembling "The Promised Land," and the name stuck and became the identity of her new home.
Changing the Foyer
The foyer is technically the main entrance hall in any home, but it’s typically huge and especially important in a mansion. Winfrey changed the foyer to feature an elegant banister that graces the sides of her immaculately white main staircase. The staircase curves up above the foyer’s sunshine yellow walls.
About the Kitchen
The kitchen is often referred to as the heart of a home. It’s where you cook your favorite meals and chat with friends and family. The kitchen inside Winfrey’s mansion is well-stocked, logically arranged and breathtakingly spacious. It originally featured a fireplace that occupied much of the space.
A Dedicated Reading Room
Winfrey is famous for starting her own book club, Oprah’s Book Club. She helped re-popularize the trend of book clubs, so when she moved into her mansion, she knew she had to have her own designated reading space. After all, she has always stressed the importance of reading.
For the Guests
Not surprisingly, Winfrey’s mansion features an elaborate guest room for her guests to stay in when they’re visiting. If you thought the room might be less extravagant than the rest of her mansion, you don’t know Winfrey. The guest room is fit for a king and queen as well.
The Gorgeous Dining Room
You might get flashbacks of the elaborate dining room in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast when you walk into Winfrey’s dining room. With candelabras hanging from the ceiling and statuettes on the table, the room is simple yet tasteful. In addition, the wood table is perfectly polished, resembling a glassy ocean reflecting the sky. It’s the perfect setting for a fun dinner party.
Every room inside Winfrey’s mansion is drastically different. One of the most striking differences in each room is the wallpaper. Some rooms feature loud checkered patterns, while others have a soft color scheme — but the fun doesn’t stop there.
The Perfect Tearoom
The average home probably doesn’t include a tearoom, but there’s nothing average about Oprah Winfrey. Opening onto the vast grounds of the Promised Land’s garden, Winfrey’s tearoom originally served a different purpose. When the mansion was first built, it was intended to be a space for gardeners to cut and create floral arrangements. Winfrey decided it was the perfect room to sit and relax with a cup of tea, and you can’t disagree with her.
Even More Living Rooms
There are many rooms to explore in Winfrey’s mansion, including different living rooms. These rooms are furnished with meaningful objects and antiques, including candelabras, framed pictures, mirrors and a variety of furniture pieces. Everywhere you look, you can see something different.
There’s No Place Like Home
Perhaps one of the best things about Winfrey’s mansion and grounds is the gorgeous garden. Outside the tearoom, the entryway to the garden boasts sweet-smelling purple wisteria next to a small copper fountain. In addition, the entrance is lined with roses, lilies, dahlias, daffodils and many other beautiful flowers.
Her Walk-in Closet
Many people own homes with walk-in closets, but Winfrey’s closet takes walk-ins to a whole new level. Her personal closet is completely color-coded, and her clothes are arranged in gorgeous oak cabinets. (No one would blame you if you’re dying to try on her clothes.)
A Lucky Penny
Interior designers Andrew Walker and David Simmons carefully worked to make Winfrey’s Promised Land mansion into the home of her dreams. Winfrey wanted every part of her property to be glamorous and contain some of her personal touches, including the guesthouse. The centerpiece of the main room is an enormous penny on the wall. (You can’t miss it!)
Ellen to the Rescue
Winfrey called Ellen DeGeneres, another famous television talk show host and philanthropist. DeGeneres, also a proud resident of Montecito, was happy to help her friend. Winfrey also called DeGeneres live via FaceTime during the taping of DeGeneres’ show to give her fans a personal look at the damage to the town.
Winfrey’s garden isn’t your typical garden with flowers, fruits and vegetables. Instead, it features many polished statues. In line with the estate’s Biblical theme — Promised Land, remember? — Winfrey named one of the main pathways in the garden "Hallelujah Lane." If you take a stroll down the lane, you’re greeted by a white Greco-Roman statue, set inside a nook framed by wrought-iron arches.
The Four Women
The statues don’t end with the white Greco-Roman statue. Winfrey wanted her garden to feature a plethora of symbolic statues. She couldn’t get enough of them, including a bronze statue piece by Costa Rican sculptor Francisco Zúñiga. The 1974 piece, titled "Grupo de cuatro mujeres de pie," features a group of women.
Providing Enough Shade
Everyone should be lucky enough to have a garden like Oprah Winfrey’s, but that is seldom the case. The trees themselves are gorgeous, with gnarled, wriggling branches. The 12 California live oak trees planted throughout the garden at Winfrey’s request are representative of the local vegetation. She had a specific reason for the significant number.
Winfrey loves the vastness of her property, and she doesn’t hesitate to stop and appreciate her surroundings. She has said on numerous occasions that when she’s at the Promised Land, she can go several weeks without turning on the television. She doesn’t need to watch TV when she has an enormous mansion to enjoy.
Buying a Farm
You wouldn’t think of Winfrey as a farmer, but the media mogul never fails to surprise. After moving into her home, she became close to her next-door neighbor. When the neighbor passed away in 2016, the family hoped Winfrey would purchase the farm property. The idea made sense, as it would allow Winfrey to add more land to her already expansive property.
A Modern Farm
With the purchase of Seamair Farm, Winfrey acquired one of architect Cliff May’s famous California Dream Homes. May is known for designing gorgeous signature ranch houses, and his Seamair Farmhouse is a mid-century modern ranch home unlike any other.
Embracing the Ranch Life
Seamair Farm had previously been used as a horse racing track, which meant it came equipped with its own equestrian area. The ranch features an expertly trimmed riding course and plenty of stables for her horses. It’s so spacious that when you’re out riding, you can’t see anything but the ranch in front of you.
Dealing with Droughts
The state of California is known for its numerous and frequent droughts. Even Winfrey has been a victim of drought. She is proud of her vegetable garden, and she enjoys growing her own produce. However, the environmental conditions in California have become so dire in recent years that her garden has suffered along with many others from the statewide water shortage.
Dealing with Mudslides
In January 2018, Montecito, California, was devastated by catastrophic mudslides. Winfrey remembered waking up around 3:47 a.m. to disaster. Her dogs were barking, so she decided to wake up her partner, Stedman Graham. The couple was surprised to see the sky over the Santa Ynez Mountains appeared to be aflame.
All Her Other Homes
Winfrey doesn’t just own her Montecito mansion. When you’re one of the richest women in the country, you own properties in many luxurious areas. For example, she owns a beautiful mountain lodge in Telluride, Colorado, and she stays in that home when she’s ready to hit the slopes.