Inside John Mellencamp’s Cozy Montecito Home: ‘I Don’t Want a Great Big House’

A pretty piece of real estate that sits “above the clouds” in Montecito, California, is home to John Mellencamp. According to the musician, the house has an intimate feel because it’s relatively small, and there was a reason behind that choice.

Read on to learn why the “Jack & Diane” singer didn’t want a “great big house,” why he thinks his mountaintop hideaway is perfect for “romantic” entertaining, and which of his other homes became his refuge for retreating with family and friends.

John Mellencamp, pictured at a press conference at Farm Aid 2018, said he didn't need a great big home in Montecito.
John Mellencamp | Taylor Hill/Getty Images

John Mellencamp has a ‘romantic’ Montecito home that sits above the clouds

Mellencamp is a musician, artist, and father to former Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Teddi Mellencamp. And his Montecito hideaway is a mountaintop retreat that’s not for the light-hearted. “You get this thing, particularly at night when the winds blow . . . it takes a certain kind of colorful person to want to be up there [at the very top],” he told Architectural Digest.

The three-bedroom house sits on six private acres overlooking the Pacific Ocean, and Mellencamp reportedly paid about $2.5 million for it. He said he didn’t want another “great big house” since he’s “got enough of those.”

He remodeled it in three weeks with help from his road crew and a designer. It illustrates his rugged taste, and he said, “Quite honestly, I see it as a place for me to go with an invited guest. It does have a very romantic feel to it.”

The home is decorated in a rustic motif and boasts vintage decor, like old motorcycles and mannequins. It also features a wooden deck for taking in the spectacular seascape. “I’m above the clouds,” Mellencamp offered. “The view is like, wow.”

John Mellencamp treats his homes like art projects

Though it’s a relatively small space, Mellencamp converted a storage room in his Montecito home into an art studio. He’s a painter — as in a Bob Ross kind of painter — and displays his art around the home. He also views each of his abodes as a new creation.

He told Architectural Digest, “All my houses are art projects.”

“I’m a singer-songwriter, that’s my real job, but I paint every day,” he offered. “I’m very lucky, I’ve lived an artist’s life.”

John Mellencamp has a church-inspired refuge in South Carolina

Mellencamp’s mountaintop home in Montecito is far from the only one he owns. He has a home base in Indiana and told People his art studio in the state is his “favorite place to be in the world.”

But a custom-built home on Dafuskie Island, South Carolina, is his refuge (per Architectural Digest). He hired an architect to design and create a church-inspired house on a chunk of land on the Atlantic Ocean he’d owned for over a decade.

Then, the house was used for storage until his ex-girlfriend Meg Ryan asked, “Why don’t you make it as beautiful as it can be?”

Mellencamp’s Dafuskie dwelling is much larger than the Montecito hideaway, now boasting a library and a movie room, and it has five guest rooms that he uses to host friends and family. The home’s interior designer told Architectural Digest Mellencamp “really uses” the house, and it’s taken as a compliment.

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