The Truth About Barbra Streisand's House

If you happen to be a Barbra Streisand fan, you know that the movie and music star doesn't just own a house — she owns a $100 million compound in Malibu. This cliffside estate is so gorgeous, it's been featured on "The Oprah Winfrey Show," in Architectural Digest, and in Harper's Bazaar. Any interior or landscape designer would love to get their hands on this place, but it's Streisand who lovingly takes care of the property herself.

"I tried to find people to help me," she explained to Oprah Winfrey, "but no one cares as much about the details as I do." That's exactly what we expect out of the notorious perfectionist; she wants next-level beauty and that's exactly what she's delivered. The "Funny Girl" star has come a long way from her childhood in Brooklyn, where she lived with her grandparents, her mom, and her brother in a tiny apartment. "We didn't have a living room, so we didn't have a couch, which is probably why I love couches now," she recalled.

Once this Hollywood icon started making money and could afford a house of her own, it took a while before she found the spot she would call her forever home. But when she found that idyllic cliff-side spot, Barbra Streisand knew she was finally in the place she could build a place fit for a diva — and you don't want to miss a single moment of her epic estate.

Barbra Streisand's main house doesn't disappoint

The main house has everything Barbra Streisand needs. According to StarMap, the 10,485-square-foot home rests on a lot that clocks in at just under 50,000 square feet, and there are eight bedrooms, 11 bathrooms, multiple guest houses, and ocean views as far as the eye can see. She and husband James Brolin live there together, and would you look at that? Real estate is something they bonded over when they first met. "We started talking about architecture because I was building things and his father was a contractor," she revealed to Oprah Winfrey. Together, they have nested and made the spacious house a home.

During the COVID-19 quarantine, Brolin talked to Parade magazine about how the pandemic made their bond even stronger, and the sprawling estate was the perfect place to settle. "It's brought us closer because we fill the day together," he said. "We sit out reading whatever periodicals are stacking up. This time has been a big gift." According to Parade, the couple also work out and swim in their backyard pool together on a regular basis. Not a bad way to spend the days, eh?

Brolin admitted that he and Streisand have considered purchasing a home in Connecticut, as well, but this Malibu property has everything they need. "So now if we want to go somewhere, we just walk 300 feet and have fun," he said.

The lovebirds got married at home

Why would Barbra Streisand and James Brolin get hitched anywhere else when they have their very own stunning landscaping and incredible grounds? As People reported at the time, the couple invited A-listers such as Tom Hanks, Rita Wilson, John Travolta, Kelly Preston, and Quincy Jones to watch them tie the knot on their property on July 1, 1998. Wearing her now-iconic Donna Karan wedding gown, Streisand married Brolin in their formal living room, where they had spent so much time together — including their first date that lingered on until 3 a.m., per the magazine. 

The reception took place on the ocean-view grounds under a tent, the tables were set with antique dishes, and the pool was covered in flowers and floating candles. "I can't tell you how lucky I am that this would happen to me so late in life," Brolin said to his guests, according to People. "Every night is a new adventure. Sleeping is a waste of time. I can't wait to see her again in the morning." 

The sweet memories they created on their wedding day only make the estate that much more important to them — it's easy to see why they never want to move. 

There's a mall in Barbra Streisand's basement

Who needs a mantle when you can have an entire mall in your home? Barbra Streisand found that the best way to showcase her memorabilia and all of her hobbies was to create a mall in the lower level of the house. 

"Instead of just storing my things in the basement, I can make a street of shops and display them," the powerhouse singer told Harper's Bazaar. It's everything you could possibly dream of in one location — gift shop, museum, candy store, and toy store all in one. If you are ever lucky enough to visit, you might get a trip down to the Sweet Shop after a dinner party, try on some vintage clothing, or perhaps you will have the opportunity to see her two Oscars (best actress for "Funny Girl" and best original song for "Evergreen"). The mall is a Hollywood collector's dream come true. 

The basement is whispered about so often that it inspired the off-Broadway play "Buyer & Cellar," starring Michael Urie. The one-man show is about an aspiring actor who gets the role of his life as the shopkeeper in Streisand's mall. As the Los Angeles Times noted in their 2014 review, Urie reminded the audience that the show was a "work of fiction" every performance because there was no way any of the hilarious scenarios could "possibly have happened with a person as famous, talented and litigious as Barbra Streisand." But maybe there was a little hint of truth in the show. 

Barbra Streisand is a colorful personality, but her home is not

Barbra Streisand was into neutral tones long before Chip and Joanna Gaines launched the modern farmhouse decor aesthetic into the stratosphere. You'll find colorful whimsy in the guest home called "Grandma's house," but not in the main property. In her home, it's all about the monochromatic look (which we often see in her fashion), but she does utilize another decor tool to punch up the look of a room. "I like textures, different textures of the same color," she explained to Oprah Winfrey in 2010. "I find it calming."

Streisand has a reason for her muted tones: she likes the clean lines and crisp colors to speak for themselves. "I don't respond to too many colors, too many prints," she told the outlet. "Then, I don't hear the conversation as easily." The rooms are cool, calm, and full of collectibles — as in antiques — and sometimes brightened with beautiful flowers. "I also have intense relationships with furniture ... probably because we practically had none when I was growing up," she wrote in "My Passion for Design." 

She doesn't mess around when it comes to collecting art

Barbra Streisand is particular about what she collects, and once she was done with her Art Deco and Art Nouveau collection in 1994, she auctioned it off. "It's hard to let go of these beautiful things that I have loved for so many years, but I want to simplify my life. ... I don't want to spend so much time being preoccupied with objects, and I don't want so many anymore," she told Architectural Digest. "That's all." It may seem like a basic idea, but Streisand often starts all over again with a new collection or the renovation of a room because she's simply moved on. 

"The Mirror Has Two Faces" director discovered her love of art early in her career, and let's be honest, way before she could afford it. With her keen sense of style and flair for decorating she had a great idea on how to do it on a very low budget. "I had no money to buy art, so I would buy old picture frames and put them on white walls, just framing space, which I thought was beautiful," she said in AD. And that's where her love of muted tones mixed with stunning artwork began — but remember she's not going to keep it for long (pictured above is artwork from Streisand's collection that was put up for auction in 2009). "It is a good feeling to use these things for a while and then pass them on during your own lifetime," Streisand wisely advised. 

James Brolin has his own man cave

Barbra Streisand might be in charge of most of the house, but husband James Brolin gets his own space to decorate and feel comfortable. "He has his own rooms that he's in charge of: his office, his bath, his workshop," she told Harper's Bazaar. And remember, the main house has a lot of real estate for him to spread out. The former "Pensacola: Wings of Gold" star isn't squished in a tiny room on their compound; there are a lot of areas on the property to noodle around on.

In 2021, Brolin shared with Parade that they had taken "a little concrete block house on our property and turn[ed] it into a nice screening room as well as our offices." As you might have gleaned by now, their $100 million compound really has all they could ever want, whether it be a workspace, staycation location, or spot to just unwind after a long day of being Hollywood royalty. It's an ideal situation for the A-list couple, who value their privacy tremendously. 

There's a cozy cottage on the property called Grandma's house

As the Los Angeles Times wrote in 2001, one of the guest houses on Barbra Streisand's property is "decorated in comfy New England style and filled with the figurines and family photos that grandmothers favor." Harper's Bazaar remarked that the abode is "a cozy cottage filled with quilts." And noted that it's a "Cape Cod cottage-style" home. Naturally, it has been dubbed "Grandma's house." 

Streisand uses the space for guests and for work. According to StarMap, the 2,013-square-foot guest house was built in 1948. This home would be the perfect size for most couples, but it would obviously be too small for the "Evergreen" singer and her art collection. But don't get Streisand wrong — even though she has a beautiful mansion to call home, there is something special about the coziness of the cottage on her property. 

This guest house was a part of a major lawsuit back in 2003, when Streisand discovered a photograph of this building and several others from her property on a website that was tracking coastal erosion, per the Los Angeles Times. She thought it was a major invasion of privacy, but the judge in the case found she had no ground to stand on. The star was stuck with over $170,000 in legal bills, so this was not a big win for our "Funny Girl."

Barbra Streisand uses one of her guest houses as a recording studio

Why use a state-of-the-art recording studio when you could pull a Barbra Streisand and invite Tony Bennett and Barry Gibb over to Grandma's house to record? And hey, the views from the property don't hurt. "I like looking at the ocean when I sing," Streisand told Oprah Winfrey. Can't argue with that. 

As wonderful as the vistas may be, it isn't exactly the most conventional recording studio setup. While pointed out the main house on Streisand's property "tends to stick to one or two colors per room," Grandma's house plays by its own rules. The space is decked out in shades of lavender, mint green, and pink, and there are plenty of ruffles and doilies to go around. Needless to say, Streisand's collection of Art Deco decor would be a bit out of place in this particular house. Or hey, maybe it would only add to the fun?

The Broadway star knows it isn't that sophisticated of a room, but she adores it anyway. "[I] record in Grandma's house — we call it — which has nothing professional about it," she unapologetically explained to Winfrey. "It doesn't even have double-glazed windows on the ocean, and yet it works."

The barn is 'the heart' of Barbra Streisand's compound

"[Barns] feel so American to me," Barbra Streisand once told Oprah Winfrey. And what do you know, the Oscar winner happens to have a barn on her Malibu compound. "But the heart of the property is the barn, a giant U-shaped clapboard structure flanked by a stone silo," Harper's Bazaar wrote in 2010.

If you follow Streisand on social media, you have surely seen the farm building. Take when she released 2018 album "Walls," for example, and she posed in front of the barn for an Instagram announcement. "I've been especially moved by the millions of young people in the United States and around the world who have found their collective voice and are demanding to be heard," she wrote. "They are more interested in building bridges than walls. They are the very definition of hope. They're on my mind ... and I dedicate this album to them."

If you're wondering if it's a functional barn, the answer is a resounding yes. As the "Yentl" star told Parade back in 2009, "I have chickens and green eggs, just like Martha Stewart. I grow vegetables and roses." Pretty cluckin' cool. 

The fish in Barbra Streisand's pond match her barn

Another one of the charming features of Barbra Streisand's massive compound that sits atop a cliff in Malibu? Why, that would be the pond with fish that match the property. "Since the houses are barn red, trimmed with black-and-white, the fish, of course, have to be black-and-white, right?" Barbra Streisand asked Oprah Winfrey in 2010. Right. Of course. Now, that is what we call taking color coordination to the max.

The fish sure do put their feet (er, fins?) up in some sweet digs. In April 2020, Streisand posted several photographs she snapped around her cliffside estate to Instagram and included a quote from director Louie Schwartzberg: "Nature's beauty is a gift that cultivates appreciation and gratitude." There really is something so serene about the use of water on her property, and we imagine it brings her a lot of peace on days when she finds herself faced with chaos or stress.

She even created a fictional storyline for her mill house

In case you had yet to notice, Barbra Streisand can be a little bit over the top when it comes to her home — and we are here for it. Naturally, she cooked up a backstory for the mill house building on her land. As she shared with Harper's Bazaar, she liked to think that her compound got its start when "a postcolonial family that settled on the property in 1790 and built a mill where they ground their wheat." Hey, leave it to Streisand to create whatever fan fiction she wants for her home. As she told the outlet, "It worked for me." 

As the publication noted, the mill house building has a 14-foot-high water wheel that weighs 4,000 pounds. Streisand called both the barn and mill house as "art projects," and she often gives tours to famous friends like Jennifer Aniston and Donna Karan. Speaking with the magazine, the fashion designer best described what it is like to see Streisand's home up close and personal: "It's going on the most extraordinary journey. Barbra sees every single detail, and all the connections between them, so you are able to see into her soul."

The lush gardens overlook a spectacular view of the ocean

Barbra Streisand may prefer muted tones in her decor, but her gardens are a stunning array of colors. And the beautifully landscaped grounds are where she finds peace. "I literally smell the roses," Streisand shared with Oprah Winfrey. "I am so entranced by nature. I live on the ocean. That's an ever-changing painting."

If you follow her Instagram account, you know that her feed is often littered with images from her garden; she's happy to tell her followers when the Dahlias or irises have bloomed in her yard. Any hardcore fan will also tell you that the "A Star Is Born" actor also has a rose named after her — one that she chose herself. The gardening site Breck's describes the Barbra Streisand hybrid tea rose as a flower with "fully double blooms open[ing] to reveal clean, lavender petals and an amazing rose and citrus scent. A superstar in the garden that also performs beautifully in a vase." It honestly sounds like a showstopper, and it's a sweet reminder that Streisand may be a two-time Oscar winner, but she also loves the simple pleasures in life. 

Barbra Streisand sure knows how to throw a celebrity dinner party

Can you imagine sitting down to dinner with John Travolta, Kelly Preston, Lady Gaga, and Ryan Murphy on the same evening? Well, Barbra Streisand and James Brolin do not have to imagine such a gathering because that exact collection of celebrities got together at their compound in 2015. And we know this because Streisand tweeted a photo from the event. "A wonderful evening at home," she wrote. Okay, that's an invite we would want because the night ended in the mall — yes, that mall.

Per Vulture, Murphy recalled what went down during that "jaw-dropping" evening at EW Fest in 2015. "After dinner, she said, 'Do you want to see the mall?' And Gaga and I were out of that chair so fast," shared the "American Horror Story" creator. "We went down to the mall and spent an hour down there. She pulled out her collection of gowns from 'Funny Girl' and 'Hello, Dolly!' And then she said, 'Do you want frozen yogurt?'" Of course, the answer had to be yes because you don't turn down dessert à la basement mall. 

The director added that he could "write a whole book about that night," and we don't doubt it for one minute. In fact, we would love an entire scripted series about Streisand's mall — Murphy better get on it. 

Barbra Streisand wrote a book on home decor

After spending close to two decades decorating her property, Barbra Streisand decided to write a book about it. "My Passion for Design," which was released in 2010, shares hundreds of photos of her dream space. As Streisand shared with Oprah Winfrey at the time, taking on a home renovation project can be incredibly rewarding — especially one of this size and scope. "You have something to really to show for it afterward," she said.

The gorgeous coffee table tome also gives readers an inside glimpse into how her fashion influences her decorating choices, especially when it comes to the monochromatic look and her love of vintage furniture. "I look at fashion today and I don't get it," she explained to Harper's Bazaar. "All those prints. I should have lived in another era. ... Maybe I did. I still like my antique clothes. There are some good things, but it's not really my interest these days." 

The book hit the New York Times' bestseller list, and The New Yorker called it "two hundred and ninety-five pages of magical thinking made real." Leave it to Babs.