Ellen DeGeneres's mid-century modern living space masters an 'enduring trend' that designers love

The 1950s villa plays with a future trend that's rooted in the past – and experts are impressed by its ageless aesthetic

Ellen DeGeneres
(Image credit: Getty Images)

If any space has the potential to showcase mid-century modern design in all its glory, it's Ellen DeGeneres's home. 

The 1950s villa, located in Los Angeles, originated from the same period when mid-century modern design first rose to popularity – so it's unsurprising that, architecturally, it's a fine example of this style of home. However, the presenter and her wife, Portia de Rossi, have carried this aesthetic into the way they decorated, too. 

With the help of Clements Design, Ellen and Portia curated an open-plan living space worthy of their modern mid-century home – comprising smooth circular furniture, an abundance of rattan, and, of course, a statement light fixture. With the textures, shapes, and colors combined, the room celebrates the property's heritage – but designers say this enduring design trend has a place in every home, whether built in the twentieth century or not. 

'An enduring trend, mid-century modern design is having a resurgence. Vintage pieces in solid wood, boasting clean (and often curved) simple lines, in warm-toned teak or oak wood hues are all reminiscent of the design zeitgeist,' explains Fishe & Lilly's founder, Stephen Young.

'Design that evolved as a response to a post-World War II environment, where mass production was matched with optimism, giving way to more functional furniture - the trend was a rebellion against the ornate traditions of previous decades.' And today, that ideology stands strong. 

Ellen's open-plan living space offers lots of inspiration for tapping into the modern mid-century look, starting with her large table and discreet, sleek wooden storage. 'When designing a mid-century modern dining room, a large wooden table that boasts clean lines and tapered legs is a great place to start,' emphasizes Denver-based designer Andrea Schumacher. 

'Pair the table with vintage upholstered armchairs that have a unique silhouette to inject personality and charm into the space.'

white kitchen diner with tulip table in mid-century style

(Image credit: Andrew Frasz)
Interior Designer
Andrea Schumacher
Interior Designer
Andrea Monath Schumacher

Andrea founded her Denver-based interior design studio in1999 after completing a bachelor’s degree in interior design from the CIDA accredited Colorado State University. She also earned a certificate in Universal Design from the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University and has furthered her design studies with courses toward a Masters in Architecture at the University of Colorado. She also has an office in Santa Barbra, and works on projects across the country.

Alongside the table, Andrea suggests replicating Ellen's statement light fixture by choosing something that 'flaunts an iconic bulb or structure to elevate the mid-century vibe even further.'

'With inventiveness and a sense of detail, constructing a marvelous mid-century dining room featuring vintage touches will bring an enriching, collected look to your home.

To round out the overall appearance in a way that differs from this villa, Andrea recommends adding a layer in an animal-printed rug with contrasting colors, like black and white. 'This will add depth, texture, and intrigue to the space while also highlighting the vintage feel of the furniture.'

These three finds are perfect starting points and worthy investments, as we're sure this look will continue to stand the test of time. 

Ellen's home of course already lends itself so perfectly to the mid-century style as it has all the original charm going for it. However, one of the huge advantages of mid-century decor, and why it's perhaps such an everlasting trend, is because it's so malleable.

You can adapt it to suit any style of home and replicate the look without the need for the mid-century backdrop. It's an approachable, easy style that's already stood the test of decades and we can't see the love for mid-century fading any time soon.

Megan Slack
Head of Celebrity Style News

Megan is the Head of Celebrity Style News at Homes & Gardens. She first joined Future Plc as a News Writer across their interiors titles, including Livingetc and Real Homes, before becoming H&G's News Editor in April 2022. She now leads the Celebrity/ News team. Before joining Future, Megan worked as a News Explainer at The Telegraph, following her MA in International Journalism at the University of Leeds. During her BA in English Literature and Creative Writing, she gained writing experience in the US while studying in New York. Megan also focused on travel writing during her time living in Paris, where she produced content for a French travel site. She currently lives in London with her antique typewriter and an expansive collection of houseplants.