Grey’s Anatomy actress Ellen Pompeo and her husband Chris Ivery hired decorator-to-the-stars Martyn Lawrence Bullard to “reinvent” the Mediterranean-style villa they share with their two young daughters.
The house was designed in the 1930s by architect Paul Williams for Antonio Moreno, a silent-film matinee idol, in the Los Feliz neighborhood of L.A.
It’s the cover story in this month’s Architectural Digest magazine. Take a look!
Ellen Pompeo’s House Featured in Architectural Digest
Bullard designed the globe light fixture for the space.
The kitchen was very green before, from floor to ceiling (literally):
Bullard used reclaimed terra-cotta tiles in her new kitchen “to suggest age and add character.”
It also has a La Cornue range, Carrara-marble backsplash, and a custom-made pot rack he designed for the space.
Here’s how the dining room looked when they bought the house:
The original hardwoods were replaced with grayer-toned white oak on the walls and floor, and a larger picture window was installed to take advantage of the views.
Bullard told AD, “The house was scrubbed of patina over the years, so we went to great lengths to revive a sense of age and dignity.”
Ellen and her husband Chris recently welcomed a second daughter via surrogate and named her Sienna May. There are photos of her nursery in the magazine, too.
For all the photos and information, pick up the November issue of Architectural Digest
(article by Mayer Rus, photos by Roger Davies).
Ellen’s former home in the Hollywood Hills was featured in Elle Decor in 2010.
That was decorated by Martyn Lawrence Bullard, too. You can see it here.
FUN! — is scrolling back + forth to compare + contrast the befores + afters! Wow, that Marty Lawrence-Bullard was at the top of his game, wasn’t he? Everything is total perfection, but you’re right about the hotel lobby vibe. It kind of looks like nobody lives there. But back to the kitchen — this is the 2nd time this week that I’ve seen terra cotta tiles. Is that going to be a thing again? — because I love them!
We’re definitely seeing more terra cotta tiles lately, aren’t we? It does seem to be trending!
We have terra cotta (or terra cotta-ish) tiles in our home…which is not something I’d pick (too small, too “grouty”), but they are tough and I’m not sure getting a new floor is practical. So…seeing more of it might help me learn to love them.
Yeah, just keep telling yourself how trendy they are and maybe you’ll like them better, Debbie. Ha. 🙂
Alie B says
What a beautiful home! I must say, I prefer the living room before the reno, but those new, huge doors are pretty nice. I love the new kitchen as much as I disliked the old one. Anything terra cotta is cool with me, and these floors seem to suit the Spanish vibe of the place. Along with terra cotta, copper seems to be making a big comeback, which is lovely but not cheap! The new dining room is pretty, but I think all that greyed-out wood would wear on me eventually. Martyn Lawrence Bullard is such a talented designer. I saw a program which featured an old pub which his sister and her husband had purchased, and his complete make-over of the space. It was incredible to see this transformation. His sister seemed a bit horrified by his decadent taste in materials, but she was thrilled with the results.
I saw that pub makeover he did for his sister, too, Alie! That was a fun one. It was literally falling down around them when he got to it. Talk about a challenge!
I like the before kitchen better, but it wouldnt flow as well with the rest of the re-done house. I have a friend who is remodeling her house, and she just had over 1000 sq. ft. of gorgeous terra cotta tile removed…..I was sad!
I was very drawn to the before picture of the living room. It seemed so open. My first thought was I need to go home and get rid of almost everything in the living room to have space.
I like the changes to the doors in the after living room and dining room.
The immense amount of wood in the after dining room is overwhelming to me.
I liked the before living room better, too. The rest of the afters were an improvement in my opinion, especially the kitchen. Thanks Julia!
Katherine @ Grass Stains says
I wonder how much they paid the designer for that “custom” pot-rack. Um … 😉 Oh, and if by chance you have an iPhone, Julia, I’d love for you to send me a screenshot of your home screen for my upcoming post. It’s kind of a “social experiment” of sorts. It was so much fun last year that I’m doing it again. 🙂
Yeah, I bet that custom pot rack wasn’t cheap. Ha.
I’m afraid I don’t have an iPhone any more. I traded it in for a Samsung last year. Sorry I can’t contribute to your social experiment! 🙂
Carrie S G says
It’s a beautiful home. The renovations are a bit masculine in my opinion – I wonder if her husband had any say in the choices? Did the article mention him?
They do mention her husband in the article. The rooms do look pretty masculine, don’t they?
Except for all the green in the kitchen, I like the “before” rooms much better. Okay, I do like the new kitchen terracotta and the copper pots, and the La Cornue range is pretty spectacular. But they’ve La Cornued the entire kitchen! They took out the round stained glass windows in the living room! And don’t even get me started about the dining room – yuck. This was a beautiful 1930s Spanish-style California house and it’s been turned into an anonymous upscale hotel.
I agree. The only improvements were the oversized doors in the living room and the LaCornue range. However, turn the entire room into the range and it looses its impact. Ellen Pompeo and Bullard ruined this house but then again, I’ve never been impressed with Pompeo or Bullard so this in no surprise.
Hmm, mixed feeling about this one. The designer says it had been scrubbed of patina and they wanted to give it age and dignity. If that had been the case, I think I would have researched what it was like originally and studied other houses by the architect or similar Spanish ones of the time and tried to bring back some of those materials, details, and styling. This doesn’t look of its age and era to me. But then, I’m more of a preservationist. That said, the kitchen is a vast improvement, though it looks like it could win a most expensive kitchen remodel contest, and I like the tall doors in the living room (too much of a gap between the previous ones and the round windows above) and the accented height of the long curtains. The living room looks well balanced, where the before did not, though it does have a bit of a hotel lobby feel, as you said. I don’t care for the gray limed oak look of all the wood, and it doesn’t seem to fit a Spanish house, though the orangey tones of the before didn’t either (I think originals of the period had more contrast with dark woods and white plaster walls). Certainly well designed, but not my style.
I do prefer the after (mostly), except I don’t like the floor covering in the living room. I prefer the original wood. The proportions of the design are so much better. There are a lot of key trends represented here: the brass accents in the dining room, the limed woods, industrial meets Moorish, navy blue — so maybe you are right on with terra cotta being right on trend.
Although I admire the fact he kept the ceilings intact, the kitchen to me looks underlit for the nighttime, especially in the prep areas along the wall. Although I guess all that wonderful La Cornue cabinetry, Grand Palais stove and the La Flamberge rotisserie won’t actually get a lot of use.
Alie B says
Actually, it seems that Ellen enjoys cooking. Please see…..
What a nice story! I love that she did that.
Oh that’s great! What a great cause. The phrase “aged out of foster care” just guts me. No kid should suffer that.
I am LUSTING over that White Oak dining room!! WOW.
It’s a crying shame they got rid of the Arched window in the living room and the wood in the dining room. I really think the entire dining room change is ugly.
Barbara H. says
I like the living room “after” better, even though I do miss the round stained glass windows. The furniture and windows look much more in proportion to the size of the room and height of the ceiling.
I’d really like to see the article in Architectural Digest that you linked, but when I click on the link it takes me (over and over) to an ad for something unrelated. This happens to me from time to time on your site. Am I doing something wrong? Or is there a fix for this?
Whenever that happens, try refreshing the page. It’s like all the links on my blog get mixed up sometimes and have to “reset.” I have asked several “tech people” why that happens sometimes and no one can ever replicate the issue or tell me what’s causing it. Sorry about that! It’s annoying, I know. :-/
Here’s the AD link if you want to try this one instead: https://www.architecturaldigest.com/celebrity-homes/2014/ellen-pompeo-los-angeles-villa-article
Other than the dining room, which looks like a page from the Restoration Hardware catalog, the rest of the house is – as Martyn would say – DELICIOUS!
I like your Martyn impression, Tricia!
Laura S. says
I like her first home alot!
If those stained glass windows in the great room were original, I’m crying right now….
leslie H. says
I have to say while the remodels are great to look at, I am not a fan of original flooring and casings being torn out. The homes story is sometimes lost, and I think this house is an example of that.
Kim Blair says
I don’t like it Before or After particularly.
I am sad too about the stained glass window, the bookcase and the arched window in the before picture. This man ruined a classic, IMO.
Yes! Why, oh why, do people buy historic homes only to bastardize them? They should buy an empty lot and design/build their own.
Bob Bies says
Regardless of what others think, I still find the house cute and very spacious now. I also love the color combination that makes the house cooler than it looked before.
This is what happens when you have too much money…I’m sorry to say that I think the remodel took the soul out of the house…sad.
I love this. I absolutely adore the kitchen but it seems much too large and unusable, like there is too much space between stuff.
maddie may says
I know that MLB is a designer to the celebrities but I have to be perfectly honest he just doesn’t do it for me. I’ve seen many of his clients homes featured on TV & in magazines but have not personally warmed to any of them.
Unfortunately….. if the price tag is “enormous” and the work is “custom made” …… you’re suppose to be impressed. Not in my opinion…..
Shame. It doesn’t look remotely mediterranean anymore. It’s nice modern interiors in a mediterranean house but zero mediterranean about that house outside of the bones.
Country Girl says
I don’t like either iteration of the house. That renovated kitchen is industrial ugly!
I like the new kitchen. Otherwise they ruined a Paul Williams house in the name of “modernity.”
I would have asked for my money back! I don’t like anything. The kitchen is better, but I still don’t like it.. Hopefully, the designer didn’t “break” any of the wonderful bones of the house. Bad job…
The pot rack should be closer to the stove! But it is wonderful.
Good point about the placement, Becky. It would be a bit of a walk to the stove. Ha.
This house did not acquire dignity. No, it just did not.
I like the tall windows. But the rest leaves me in shock.
Hi, Julia! I just wanted to say how much I appreciate your weekly newsletter, and I’m sorry it costs you so much to send it out. I recently started my MA program and I work full time, so having the newsletter is a great way to keep me in tune with your blog now that I can’t check it every day.
As for this remodel, I’m not a huge fan, however, I love the new, tall glass doors in the living room. All of that space was wasted before and the doors really fit the grandeur of the space now.
Hi Holeigh! It makes me happy to hear you enjoy the newsletter. That makes the time & money I spend on it worth it, really. 🙂
Thanks! Hope you’re having a great weekend!
While I do not expect people to always design according to the style of the home , this just seems like too many styles all at once. The three main areas do not appeal to me at all. You have an MCM looking dining area(no thanks), the high end boutique hotel living room and French Industrial type of kitchen. I do love La Cornue stoves but all of it everywhere with terra cotta tiles just does not work for me. Yes the original kitchen was dated, but it was also original looking.
Clearly this interior designer and I would not work well together. LOL
Blasphemy ripping out that stained glass!! Hopefully they have found a new home and are happy in the sunlight.