Ellen Pompeo is an award-winning actress and producer. She is one of the world’s highest-paid actors since 2017 and is most recognized for her role as Dr. Meredith Grey in ABC’s popular medical drama Grey’s Anatomy has swept the world from its feet. She got married to music producer Chris Ivery in 2007 and has had three children since. 

1. Treehouse in Hollywood Hills | Ellen Pompeo

Located in the Cahuenga Pass area of the Hollywood Hills, this mid-century modern-styled treehouse was designed by architect Harry Greene in 1957. Enclosing 1889 square feet, Ellen bought the house in April 2008 for 1,226,000 USD and is now worth almost 2M USD. (Ellen Pompeo’s Cool Houses, n.d.)

This Ellen Pompeo house was conceptually designed to be upside down with the main living and gathering spaces on the top with the entrance on the ground floor. The three bedrooms are split into two levels with the guest bedrooms on the lower floor and the master bedroom on the upper. The property encompasses a pool and a spa amidst lush grounds and trees that surround it to give it a sense of a treehouse. The outdoor shower and sunken bathtub within the forest-like setting further add to the sensation of a treehouse. 

The concrete structure with huge full-length windows accentuates the feeling of being amidst nature. There are stone accents throughout the residents, from the fireplace to the outdoor fire pit in the courtyard that adds a dynamic quality to the property. (Barragan, 2017)

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2. Whitley Heights, Hollywood Hills

The actress purchased the 16,000 square foot Mediterranean style villa in the Whitley Heights enclave of Hollywood Hills. Initially, it was designed by architect Paul Revere Williams for Antonio Moreno, a silent-film Matinee idol. Ellen acquired it in 2009 for 1.3M USD and collaborated with decorator Martyn Lawrence Bullard to orchestrate a dramatic transformation and the villa is now worth 2.8M USD. (Halberg, n.d.)

By then, the villa had lost most of its original charm due to the several renovations that had taken place earlier. Hence, Ellen and Bullard stripped the building down to its studs and seized the opportunity to rethink everything from configurations to finishes. Existing polished wood floors were swapped out for vintage limestone pavers, reclaimed terra-cotta for textured French oak, and antieu moldings were added.  “The house was scrubbed of patina over the years, so we went to great lengths to revive a sense of age and dignity,” Bullard explains.  (Rus, 2021)

The area behind the house was transformed from a haphazard wilderness patch into a beautifully landscaped terrace with a stone staircase leading down to a pool. It also includes an outdoor kitchen with a pizza oven and a kitchen garden for vegetables, fruit trees, and a chicken coop. The front of the house was transformed into a Mediterranean-style garden with 50-year old olive trees, and a 19th-century French fountain. The entire house was flooded with ample sunlight through the french doors that also provided for a view through a spacious terrace. 

Being a movie star designing her “palace”, Ellen wanted an iconic feature that would add a dynamic quality to the property. Hence, she added a lower-level lounge designed to be a sultry lair with exotic Moroccan accents along with a hammam clad in veined Turkish Marble. Ellen expresses, “It’s exactly what Martyn and I were going for: classic L.A. luxe with a contemporary twist” and added that it felt “right for our family”.  (Rus, 2021)

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3. Hamptons Home in Sag Harbor, Long Island  

Ellen Pompeo describes her house in the Hamptons as a modern take on a barn. She purchased the property for under a million USD and designed it herself in 2003. Spanning 2,400 square feet over eight acres it now has the market value of 3.8M USD. The initial plan was to turn the cabin into a guest house and build a larger main house adjacent to it. However, Ellen bought a house in Malibu and abandoned the plan of building the main house. The construction of the guest house was completed by then and had to function as the main house. 

She hired Estee Stanley along with Stanley and Romanek to help work on the house. Since it wasn’t their main house it was clear that it had to be light, breeze, comfortable, and not too complex. The house had its challenges because they were working with a fraction of the area that they had in mind for the main house. The kitchen is not a large space in the house but it was a focal point that is viewed from many directions and hence was intended to be sleek and beautiful. They treated the walls by adding bead-board and painted them black. The cabin had three levels with a media room and storage space on the lowermost level. The main floor has the living room, master suite, and a dining porch overlooking the pool and lawn. There is a private staircase tucked away that leads to the third story with the guest room. 

The outcome of the house was completely different from any other house she owned. “I was looking to do something modern and hip and young, and I wanted to do something you don’t see out there—I wanted to do something different,” she explains. (Griffith, 2017)

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4. Malibu House 

This Malibu house is the one that altered the plans for her Hamptons house. Ellen purchased this property from Marta Kauffman, the writer of the popular TV show Friends, for 6.3M USD. Spanning over 2,130 square feet, the property enlists three bedrooms with a deep overhand and covered porch facing the ocean. Wide steps lead down to a bluff side dating area with a fire pit and exhilarating views that sweep up and down the coastline. The building was built in 1980 and surrounds a gated central courtyard with a pool and a spa. (2017)

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Bibliography | Ellen Pompeo

Home Stratosphere. n.d. Ellen Pompeo’s Cool Houses. [online] Available at: <https://www.homestratosphere.com/ellen-pompeo-home/> [Accessed 20 May 2021].

Barragan, B., 2017. Grey’s Anatomy star selling glassy treehouse midcentury in Hollywood Hills for $2M. [online] Curbed LA. Available at: <https://la.curbed.com/2017/9/25/16363316/greys-anatomy-ellen-pompeo-hollywood-hills-modern-for-sale> [Accessed 20 May 2021].

Halberg, M., n.d. Ellen Pompeo Just Listed Another Hollywood Hills Home. [online] Observer. Available at: <https://observer.com/2018/04/greys-anatomy-ellen-pompeo-house-for-sale-hollywood-hills/> [Accessed 20 May 2021].

Rus, M., 2021. Actress Ellen Pompeo’s Mediterranean-Style Villa in Los Angeles. [online] Architectural Digest. Available at: <https://www.architecturaldigest.com/story/ellen-pompeo-los-angeles-villa-article> [Accessed 20 May 2021].

Griffith, C., 2017. Ellen Pompeo’s Sag Harbor Home Is a Modern Take on a Classic Barn. [online] Architectural Digest. Available at: <https://www.architecturaldigest.com/story/ellen-pompeos-sag-harbor-home-is-a-modern-take-on-a-classic-barn> [Accessed 20 May 2021].

Variety.com. 2017. [online] Available at: <https://variety.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/f0fda-mkauffman_mal2_pics1.jpg> [Accessed 20 May 2021].

Author

A fourth year architecture student from CEPT University, Nechal uses the literary world as a medium, to delve into every nook and cranny of architecture.

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