Ellen Degeneres has 18 in her house, Oprah Winfrey 14. One Bel Air home boasts 41 – how bathrooms are becoming the new way to flaunt one’s wealth
I remember feeling mortified on my first night at a new boyfriend’s house on realising he had an en-suite. I might have been ready for him to see me naked, but as for overhearing my matinal evacuations – no way. This is surely why Ellen Degeneres and Portia de Rossi have installed 18 bathrooms in their new house in Los Angeles. Despite being together for nearly a decade, the couple obviously like to ablute in privacy.
Degeneres, dubbed “the royal flush” by local estate agents, is not alone. Her chatshow compadre Oprah Winfrey has a house with six beds and 14 baths, reflecting a new trend among wealthy buyers for two bathrooms for every bedroom. (The LA Times blames it on celebs keen to keep houseguests out of their medicine cabinets.)
Pickfair, the Beverly Hills estate built by Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks, now has 30 bathtubs for its 17 beds. A $40m Bel-Air home holds the record with 41. It’s not just the stars – the en-suite is on the rise in the UK, causing insurance premiums to rise too, as more bathrooms can mean more risk of water damage. Perhaps we should heed the warning of property blogger The Realestalker: he reckons Michael Jackson was doomed by his unlucky 13 toilets.