Pick up your copy of the November 2011 issue of Architectural Digest featuring the breathtaking home of Ellen and Portia. “Labor of Love: Design-savvy stars Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi transform a Beverly Hills estate into a home that is perfect—if perhaps not permanent.”
Residential compounds are nothing out of the ordinary in Beverly Hills, where privacy, security, and exclusivity are the sine qua nons of daily life. But even in this more-is-more city, there can’t be too many properties that take up the better part of a street. The lane in question proceeds through a series of forbidding gates and winds steeply up a dramatic hill before arriving at the main house—a modern pile with stucco walls and a steel pitched roof. Given the approach, a visitor can be forgiven for expecting an armed reception committee or a pack of snarling Dobermans. Instead one is greeted by Mabel, a self-possessed black standard poodle, and Wolf, a shy white rescue dog, accompanied by their owner Ellen DeGeneres.
Dressed in a button-down shirt and shorts, the comedian-cum–talk show host leads the way through her lofty living room to the kitchen, where her wife, actor Portia de Rossi, has been preparing a vegan casserole to take to the couple’s 26-acre farm north of Los Angeles. It’s hard to imagine a place more enticing than their three-acre base, but De Rossi, an avid dressage rider, keeps her German warmbloods in the country, and for DeGeneres the second home provides an extra outlet for what can safely be described as an obsession with real estate and interior design.
“We never had a house when I was growing up,” DeGeneres explains, settling into an armchair on one of several terraces with panoramic views of L.A. “We always rented. But my father would dream, and we used to look at houses all the time. I’d pick out which bedroom would be mine and get all excited.” Born in Metairie, Louisiana, she dropped out of college and worked as a housepainter and a bartender before developing a stand-up act that launched a rather more durable career in the entertainment industry. (The Ellen DeGeneres Show, recipient of 36 daytime Emmy awards, began its ninth season this fall.) “The first thing I did when I made money was buy a house. And then—”
“Another one,” De Rossi says. “And another one and another one and another one…”
Pick up a copy of AD’s November issue to see more photos and to read the complete story. In the meantime, click here for a sneak peek inside Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi’s home.