On Ellen DeGeneres’ California ranch, there is no main house — just a complex of lifestyle rooms in cabins and barns.
I finally found something in common with TV host Ellen DeGeneres. We both love building and decorating houses. I don’t know Ellen so I can’t say if it stops there. From my reading of an Elle Décor article about the 26-acre ranch in Hidden Valley, California, which she shares with wife Portia de Rossi, we also share a passion for mid-20th century furniture. Of course, one big difference is that she can afford an antique a Jean Prové desk and I can’t. Oh, to have a Hollywood salary.
Normally I don’t pay much attention to celebrity homes but DeGeneres and de Rossi’s truly merits a close look. It’s impeccably furnished in a restrained but seriously cultured mix that is not easy to do. Perhaps more interesting is the concept of a house that is deconstructed into a series of lifestyle rooms contained in separate buildings rather than one big pile of style. This is more of a property than a home and while it couldn’t be called understated it doesn’t look extravagant either.
After purchasing the property, the couple tore down the dilapidated main house — and didn’t rebuild it. Instead, there are a series of eight cabins, two main barns and a furnished horse barn. Some spaces are whimsical and others more serious. What’s especially intriguing is how the rooms are conceived.
Deconstructing the house into lifestyle rooms is genius for a couple without children. There are many alternate spaces, so moving around is almost like taking a vacation or switching up the mood without ever leaving home (or like moving into the guest room without a divorce on the horizon). The couple have lovely taste, the rooms are casual and countrified, and the décor is the good side of staged but if a jacket were left hanging over one of the industrial style stools in the “art barn” [top] it wouldn’t seem odd. The art barn is white clapboard with a soaring ceiling and appears to be a cooking/entertaining space. There’s a fridge lurking behind the hanging 19th century Swedish chalkboard, and the antique sideboard is stocked with jars of legumes, and several familiar bottles of olive oil.
Somewhat more mysterious is the series of rooms in the horse barn. There’s a rubber tire floor and, in one gated stall, a low iron armchair with grain sack pillow as well as a wall covered with gy prints. What’s less clear from this type of space is whether it’s meant to be a place to read, a place to escape or just a place filled with lovely things and an atmospheric corrugated roof overhead. Portia de Rossi loves to ride keeps horses on the property as well though this doesn’t appear to be an actual stable.
The couple’s “romantic barn” is all natural wood planks and looks like a real barn with some furniture in the corners and is more or less dedicated to games such as ping pong and poker.
Cabin number 6 has a combination kitchen living space, with the kitchen off to the side. I spot a freestanding Liebherr fridge and a Bertazzoni range and please note the argyle pattern on the backsplash, which reminds me of one DeGeneres’ preppy sweaters. Nothing is jejeune about the furniture — where guests can pull up 19th century American Windsor chairs to the antique bluestone table. Chairs near the fireplace are mid-20th century Scandinavian. If these lifestyle rooms are a bit of a fantasy, what fun it must be to move around. And the taste is impeccable.
(Source: Elle Decor)
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