“I am entering a very exciting phase of my life, if I do say so myself,” Ellen Pompeo says at the start of her feature Architectural Digest. Spotlighting Ellen, 53, and husband Chris Ivery‘s “teak-sheathed modernist structure” in Malibu. The couple bought the home, designed by midcentury architects Conrad Buff and Donald Hensmanfrom Friends co-creator Marta Kauffman a decade ago, but Ellen tells AD“I like to say I manifested this house.”
The house is called “modestly sized” at 3,000 square feet. It was “designed more as a machine for living than a mogul’s mansion,” per AD, but makes up for intimacy and drama “thanks to its central courtyard and phenomenal ocean views.” Because of its proximity to the ocean, the property was damaged by all the sea salt and moisture. “It had to be rebuilt,” said Ellen in the corresponding AD video. “So I took the house completely to the studs and redid it.”
The exterior was recloaked in fresh teak and replaced the weathered doors and windows for black powder-coated metal ones. Most, if not all, the existing walls were replaced with glass, allowing for some breathtaking views no matter what room you’re in. “Some people want a sterile home that makes them feel like they’re at a spa. But I love design that tells a story,” says Ellen.
Ellen scoped out the house when it was originally up for sale Grey’s Anatomy was just starting out. “I knew I couldn’t afford it, but I didn’t tell anyone that,” she said. Despite it being “perfect,” she had to walk away due to the price tag. When it came back on the market in 2013, she was one of the highest-paid actors in television. And her husband, an executive at sportswear company Sergio Tacchini, was making bank as well. One transaction later, the house was finally hers.
“We get into lots of trouble together,” Ellen says of her friend and “partner in crime,” Martyn Lawrence Bullard, in the corresponding video about her home. Pompeo and Bullard worked together to revamp the property and make it a home suitable for her, Chris, and their children – Sienna, 8, Stella, 13, ad 6-year-old Eli. “We’ve been in each other’s lives for so long we know what the other will like before even showing it to them,” says Bullard, saying that this is their fourth project with the Grey’s Anatomy Star.
The walls of the living room, dining room, and primary bedroom are sheathed in “a richly veined rare Brazilian marble known as Blac Agatha,” per A.D. The swimming pool is also lined with pristine white marble.
Expect more from Pompeo and Bullard. Ellen and her husband purchased the property behind their house, and Martyn is already designing a tennis court.
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