Ellen & Portia’s Horse Ranch in the Santa Monica Mountains

Ellen and Portia cover of Elle Decor

After I showed you an historic house in Vermont that Michael J. Fox once owned, a couple of you asked why some celebrities move so often. Designer Cliff Fong says, “Ellen DeGeneres has moved more times than any person I know.” When Elle Decor featured the horse ranch she shares with wife Portia de Rossi in Santa Monica, they asked her about it, and here’s what she said…

Ellen DeGeneres and Portia DeRossi's ranch fireplace

“I can only change the furniture so much and I get bored,” Ellen explained. “Then I need a new structure to work on.” She insisted that it’s not about “flipping” houses, but the creative challenge each house brings.

This unusual property came with multiple buildings on it, including 8 cabins and 2 barns. They decorated each of the cabins to have a different mood, from “very much like Belgium” to “more contemporary.”

Ellen DeGeneres and Portia DeRossi's ranch cabin 6 kitchen

Ellen told the mag she was going for “a feeling of country and yet a relaxed sophistication.” Portia adds, “Ellen likes things to be a little more natural and rustic.”

Ellen DeGeneres and Portia DeRossi's ranch bedroom

The 26-acre Hidden Valley property was owned by the actor William Powell back in the 1920s. By the time they bought it, it had become a run-down professional horse facility that needed a lot of work.

There are two old barns on the property that are “the heart of the ranch.” The all-white “Art Barn” serves as a living and dining area:

Ellen DeGeneres and Portia DeRossi's ranch in Elle Decor

They love animals, including horses. Portia has one she named Maeby after her daughter on Arrested Development.

I loved that show and can’t wait for the new episodes to stream on Netflix at the end of May. I’m re-watching the old episodes right now to get ready for the Bluths’ return, and they still make me laugh just as hard as the first time I saw them.


I also love Ellen’s show and DVR it every day. Some readers have submitted my Bad Real Estate photos to her over the years that she’s featured, and it’s always fun to see her talking about them. :-)

On her show this week she mentioned the wildfires in California and how her farm became the firefighters’ headquarters so they’d have a place to sleep and eat and shower.

Ellen DeGeneres art barn farm table

Check out the article in Elle Decor to read the story written by Ian Phillips and see the rest of the photos by William Abranowicz.


P.S. Visit Celebrity Houses to see more, including…

Matthew Perry's house in Los AngelesThe house Ellen’s pal Matthew Perry just sold in L.A.

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This "coastal cottage" featured in Better Homes and Gardens belongs to an active family of four. They wanted to create some vintage beach style with…
Grogley farm-artist's stone farmhouse
Grogley Farm is home to the mural artist Janet Shearer, who lives in a converted barn on the property. You can rent this "typical Cornish…

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  1. Maddie May says

    Love Ellen’s style. She & Portia have a magnificent home & property. Absolutely love the style of furniture & rustic feeling throughout. I’m in awe.

  2. 65andcounting says

    This is awkward to say, but the house seems so masculine to me. Not an ounce of softness, not any warmth or curves. All very straight lines (no pun intended). Portia has always struck me as the feminine of the two yet I don’t see any of her influence in this house. And maybe the structure itself dictates that stark decor, since it was a stable, but I couldn’t possibly live in something so sterile. Ellen strikes me as so warm so that this interior doesn’t match what I see as her on-screen personality. Not that it should have chintz curtains, mind you, just something. Something!

  3. lilkunta says

    ellen is lying. she DOES move alot bc she FLIPS. aint no shame in that. She is a smart businesswoman.

    They arent having kids, so I wonder who is going to get all there wealth when they kick the bucket? LBGTQ organisations?

    what i want to know is if celebs crave privacy why feature your home in mags?

  4. says

    H o l a
    Okay, I couldn’t love anything more than these interiors, + I blogged about them! I’m inspired to include a couple of my huge vintage sorters in our next house. YAY. Ellen + I are kindred spirits, as I decorate (+ dress) in a ‘masculine’ way + LOVE new projects (a.k.a. ‘moving’). I think those rooms are as warm as toast! My friend, Alan, told me that a lot of Ellen’s stuff is from the majorly cool shop, Obsolete, in Venice, CA. http://www.obsoleteinc.com/ . The next time anybody’s in L.A., a trip to Venice for shopping is a must! Road trip! I’ll drive!
    K A Y

      • says

        This shop is A MAZ ING + definitely worth a trip.
        Under the dictionary entry for “curated”, this place is pictured.
        It’s more like a museum than a store.
        I couldn’t afford a single thing, but I LOVED IT.
        K A Y

  5. says

    My inner Psychiatrist wonders why she bores so easily. I have a hard time just chalking it up to excessive creativity. I also believe she does do it for the profit of the flip which I have absolutely no problem with. She is a generous woman, the more she earns the more she has to share – be proud of that gift!
    I agree that there doesn’t seem to be a “warm” feeling to the decorating, but it is done beautifully.

    • says

      No no, inner psychiatrist!
      People like “us” (Ellen + me) get a huge “high” when re-doing!
      We drive around town + re-do every house + yard we see.
      We’re re-doing a Dutch colonial foreclosure, + I’ve never been happier!
      K A Y

      • says

        No judgement intended. I guess I just get more sentimentally attached to my home, and the memories made here.

  6. says

    I love everything about Ellen’s house! very rustic, yet soothing.
    I think it’s great that she moves often and fixes up each house… that’s exactly what I would do if I had the $$$$!
    She probably doesn’t make a profit on every property she has owned, but good for her in that she views it as a creative process rather than a money-making venture.

    • says

      The worn wood, the vintage metal, the leather, the striped throw . . . etc.
      Very warm!
      Oh, and ditto again!
      On the ‘Arrested Devlopment’ love!
      That show RULES!
      K A Y

    • lilkunta says

      house crazy sarah; ellen doesnt fix the house. she writes a check and has it fixed.
      so her saying she ibored , well if you actually ripped out the fireplace or laid the floor perhaps your view would be different.
      and she DEFINITELY DOES make huge profits. She sold 1 of ehr houses to ryan seacrest for alot alot alot.

  7. Cheryl in Wisconsin says

    I loved this style when Kay (above) featured it in her blog, and I love it now. Ellen & Portia themselves are such works of art.

  8. Laura says

    I think Ellen has great taste! Personally, I’d add more color with things like oriental rugs and oil paintings, but I pretty much like all of the furnishings. If you have a hobby you love and can recoup the money you spend on it, more power to you!

  9. says

    I truly love what they have done. I think I could exist in those interiors very comfortably. I understand the changing houses. There are so many styles of house and decor that I like, if I had the cash it would be fun to experience them all.

  10. says

    I think these interiors are gorgeous. Personally I would add a bit of colour but that is my preference. I love just about every piece they have in these rooms though. I agree with a couple of others. There are so many different styles I love that I would happily move and redecorate if I had the means (and didn’t have children in school of course!).

  11. says

    I picked up the magazine issue when I saw them on them cover – I love Ellen and Portia! Their house is beautiful- a casual rustic retreat. Lucky firefighters! I am stoked about the new episodes of arrested development, too!

  12. says

    Hidden Valley was our “must drive through” every weekend growing up, being from Newbury Park right over the hill. Gorgeous green fields, white fencing and huge oak trees. (Something us Cali girls didn’t see as often as say, someone in Kentucky!) So I love that she was able to help out the VCFD to save so many peoples homes this month. Her style is a bit cold to me, but I can see where it suits her. Thanks for the great pictures Julia!

  13. Cindy says

    I love the vibe this property has! It does read a bit masculine, but that didn’t bother me. I probably would add some more color, but it ‘feels’ nice just like this. I do think she flips, but I have no problem with that. Hey, if I could afford such an awesome hobby, I would flip this way too! 😉

    I have often wondered about celebs who buy properties, redo them and then sell them again so quickly. Since we own just this one house and all projects are as DIY as possible, I am so emotionally attached it’s a little scary. Maybe if I could afford to buy multiple houses and not live in them for very long I wouldn’t develop that connection and the act of flipping them wouldn’t seem so foreign/uncomfortable to me.

    Whether they are flipping or just scratching a creative itch, I love what they’ve done with this place (and I love them), so more power to them! :-)

  14. Jane Susan says

    Not my taste, but well done. Surprised two vegans would have leather furniture, though. I would like to hear their reasoning for that.

  15. says

    Like the use of vintage wood pieces…The cover table is my favorite… Ironically about to release a makeover of a dining room I just redesigned – with a salvaged wood farm table and white-washed clapboard walls! So was very fun to see that cover and the whole spread!

    Have a great weekend… And Happy Mom’s Day to All the Moms Out there :)

  16. Jennah says

    Love Ellen and Portia’s style. The houses are beautiful, serene, tranquil and welcoming. If I had her bank account, I could more than satisfy my “wanderlust decorator” inner vibe.

    I have a very realistic leather-looking chair that is “vegan”. Most who sit in it are shocked to find out it is not leather at all.

  17. Rebecca C. says

    While I normally like more color, I just the pieces that she used in this house(s). It’s all very inviting and soothing. Remember, these are staged photos. She might have more colorful things that the stagers took out. You never know.

  18. Kim says

    Although I don’t like how white this house is, adding color would be an easy fix. Other than that, this house is nice and I especially love the wood beams and walls. They’re very nice.

  19. The Country Girl says

    Lovely— and it seems to suit them. Ellen is a wonderfully interesting, creative and intelligent woman, seemingly very focused on both work and a vocational interests. I admire the energy and enthusiasm she brings to every project.

  20. Julia says

    I am never jazzed about the celebrity houses when featured. I have the same feeling when HGTV does those kind of shows, seem detached from reality. But I always enjoy reading other people’s comments!

  21. Laura says

    It needs a bit more color for me, personally. But I love the rustic style and think there’s plenty of texture to give warmth….as for the leather pieces, it doesn’t bother me so much as I’m assuming they are antiques as opposed to new pieces. So there’s no main house? Just a series of cabins? I wonder if they rotate staying in them.

      • John says

        Really, no main house? Well whatever.. seems kind of weird to ‘cabin hop’ lol, all week. At least if there was a main house then the option of taking a cabin whenever you want would be there but a main hse would be the “central” place, if ya get my drift.
        The place is cool looking w the beamed ceilings & all. Yeah could use a touch of Portia in there, seems to me the interior would fit Ellen, she’s always dressing like a guy & all but Portia isn’t as masculine & a woman’s touch does a lot for the interior of a home (I think so anyway)
        It’s awesome that the place has so much land, plus since this is an older constructed property the feel of being there for a good chunk of time is a good feeling since so much in the LA area is relatively new, I like the feel of having some history, some roots to the place.
        That’s my 2 cents, interesting to read you folks thoughts! I love real estate.. and I’m not the only one for sure!!

  22. Hoyt Clagwell says

    Every inch of the place looks EXACTLY like a Restoration Hardware catalog from two years ago. Not unique or original in any way.

    Still, very glad to see we’ve moved far enough along that Elle Decor no longer is consigned to making oblique references to the owner’s “partner” in the text, but can now picture gay couples right on the cover.

  23. Christina from Dallas says

    What a cool idea to own a bunch of cabins and sleep in a different one every night .I’m sure she will sell this one too. So nice of her to let the firemen stay there. She really seems like an nice person and she gives away a lot of money on her show.

  24. says

    Aaaahhhh, the joys of being rich and working without the confines of a budget. I have to wonder though, I found moving and buying a house to be incredibly stressful and nerve-wracking. Maybe it’s different when you’re so rich.

  25. Alie B says

    Wow….this place is amazing! This would be an incredible resort/dude ranch. I love the decor. The worn surfaces and materials in contrast with the bright, new white is wonderful. So what if Ellen makes some coin when she decides to sell? I say power to her. As someone mentioned, she is very generous with her wealth. She is also doing something that a lot of people wouldn’t be able to do…wealthy or not…she is saving places like this one from ruin and renewing their life; for people to enjoy for a long time. This kind of project takes vision, which she obviously has in spades. I believe she is in large part responsible for the design. She doesn’t actually have to swing the hammer and wield the paintbrush herself to take credit for the transformation of this beautiful property.

    • lilkunta says

      alieB; I disagree. Is this ellen’s vision or her design team’s vision?
      How do we know she is saving houses from ruin? unless you know this house was in danger or rotting ?

      • says

        The article says it was in bad shape when she got to it. It also talks about what her vision was that she imparted to the team.