Ellen Pompeo’s home in Hollywood Hills has more than a fair share of Californian sunshine. With the help of celebrity home designer Martyn Lawrence Bullard, this 1920s building is now a trendy and luxe home, albeit with a cosy Mediterranean touch.
You probably know American actor Ellen Pompeo from her role as Meredith Grey in the smash-hit TV series ‘Grey’s Anatomy’. Her popular character has earned her a place for nine seasons on the show and made her one of television’s highest paid actors. Equally popular and delightful, though, is her serene Hollywood Hills home, decorated by designer-to-the-stars Martyn Lawrence Bullard.
The property is a classic 1920s Spanish-style building overlooking the Hollywood Hills. Pompeo instinctively chose a Mediterranean style of decor with Moroccan influences, and generous doses of a global contemporary style.
The outside walls of the house still bear the original gunite wall treatment dating back to 1923. The greyish exterior fits perfectly into the lush Californian landscape. Most of the house remains true to the original structure; only the pool and a pool house were recent additions.
Inside, the bohemian-Mediterranean vibe continues. Images of Pompeo’s home are some of the most ‘pinned’ photos on the internet. And with good reason, too.
In the living room, the 22-foot high ceilings are accentuated by corbels and wooden beams. A custom made Mousharbi screen rises up, emphasising the high walls.
Mirrors are elsewhere too. Above the living room fireplace, four Fatima mirrors by Lawrence Bullard create an enchanting focal point. A photograph by Nick Brandt rests next to the fireplace, while an 18th century Italian ebony chair sits on the other side. The tray table from Caravane Chambre 19 in Paris is glamorized by a rare white Picasso ceramic candelabra. The rug is Afghani.
Pompeo’s unpretentious decorating is evident in her display of the living room chairs that the former owners left behind. Along with used furniture, her eclectic collection of art also shows through unobtrusively. Photographs mingle with paintings and objets d’art.
The dining room is rustic yet glamorous. A lazy vibe fills the room with a vintage Guatemalan farmhouse table, Moroccan lights, an antique sign and a large mirror that Martyn Lawrence Bullard had actually designed for Cher, but which fit in better with this space here.
In the kitchen, a gigantic photograph of Churchgate station in Mumbai (1995) by Sebastião Salgado takes pride of place. The photo apparently inspired the final scene in the movie ‘Slumdog Millionaire’. The monochrome rush-hour scene contrasts vividly with the industrial kitchen. Touches of terracotta and shiny stainless steel blend beautifully with the open shelving and vintage French floor tiles.
The master bedroom receives its share of bohemia too. A 20th century Egyptian tapestry gets pride of place on the wall behind the bed. The neutral Calvin Klein bedding offsets the bright tapestry and is also the perfect foil to the lamps on the bedside tables.
The master bathroom is a study in serenity. French terracotta tiles anchor an antique bathtub and a vintage Chinese ladder (repurposed as a towel rack) along with a garden stool, which doubles up as a side-table.
Moving outside, a house on Hollywood Hills is, of course, incomplete without a stunning garden or patio area. The covered porch area is another room in itself, complete with white outdoor fabric curtains, pillows with Marrakesh inspired designs and a view of the hills of Malibu.
The rear of the house has a generous pool with a row of cypress trees shading the area and offering privacy. A ‘Jaipur’ sofa by Lawrence Bullard sits nonchalantly near the pool.
In all, this lovely, unassuming home is thoughtfully put together. The Moroccan and Spanish influences show up throughout the house in the guise of arches, wrought iron and accessories. The decor is inspiring and you can see why the images are so popular – Pompeo stuck to a theme with a simple colour scheme and accented the classic pieces with global touches that speak of a life influenced by the arts, exotic cultures and elegant living. Now that is something that we all could aspire to.
Text By Chryselle D’Silva Dias
Photographs Courtesy Ellen Pompeo and Tim Street-Porter