Ellen Pompeo’s Cozy Malibu Beach House Has One of the Best Small Kitchens You’ll Ever See

published Dec 6, 2022
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LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 21:  Ellen Pompeo attends the 2019 InStyle Awards at The Getty Center on October 21, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images)
Credit: Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images

If you were wondering how Ellen Pompeo has been spending her time now that she’s winding down her days on Grey’s Anatomy, you’ll be happy to find out that she and her family have been making the most of their Malibu beach house.

The actor and director recently let Architectural Digest into the strikingly designed and decorated home as part of their “Open Door” home tour series. From the home’s teakwood-sheathed exterior all the way through the backyard overlooking the ocean from atop a cliff, the house is a masterclass in gorgeous visual elements.

Pompeo and her husband Chris Ivery bought the house 10 years ago from Friends co-creator Marta Kauffman and spend time there with their three children on the weekends as a getaway from their main residence in Los Angeles. She then worked with frequent design collaborator Martyn Lawrence Bullard to create a surprisingly warm aesthetic around two main features that wouldn’t necessarily inspire warmth on their own.

The first is a black deSade patchwork leather sofa from the 1960s, which Pompeo says was the first piece of her decor puzzle for this home. The second visual element that drives the design around the house are black bookmatched marble walls, standing as the backdrop in nearly every room of the house.

Working from that foundation, Pompeo has filled the house with soft shapes, rich tones and textures, and vivid colors to take the edge off of those two stark design elements.  “Some people want a sterile home that makes them feel like they’re at a spa,” she told AD. “But I love design that tells a story.”

Several spaces throughout the home were furnished with family and company in mind — including a dining area for her children, built around an old cutting table from Yves Saint Laurent’s studio. Ivery also commissioned a special bed for the home’s master suite that allows the family of five to comfortably spend time laying around together watching TV.

When the family is joined by guests, which Pompeo says happens quite often, they take the party to an oasis of a pool area that’s surrounded by the same teak walls making up the home’s exterior and offer the feeling of a ’60s social club. One room in the house, however is reserved for mom only: the kitchen.

Set apart from the house’s open-concept living and dining area by a white marble countertop and bookended by the same wall design that appears throughout the house, Pompeo explained that, due to the kitchen running a little on the small side, no one is allowed in there when she’s cooking but her. Though she jokingly noted that she’s been “kind enough” to line three stools along the exterior of that dividing counter, so that her children can still hang out with her while she cooks, they all know to ask her for anything they might need from the kitchen while she’s in there.

See the full tour video of her Malibu Beach House below.

Want to take a peek into other celeb-owned homes? Kitchn’s celebrity real estate section is your place to be.