For and , nothing compares to getting back to your roots — the place where you grew up. Dating since Ellen was in high school and Matt in college, the couple both grew up in Birmingham, AL. After college, they moved to Los Angeles, where they lived for eight years. While there, Ellen worked for , a stationery line, before starting her interior design business and Matt was a working actor, recording audiobooks on the side. The couple became certified foster parents while in Los Angles, taking in twin boys first. The boys were reunited with their biological family, but then Irene came into their lives. After the adoption of Irene was final, the couple felt the pull to get back to Alabama, and back to raising their daughter around family and the hometown that they missed.
Now Matt and Ellen both work from home in the 1928 bungalow they found during a whirlwind trip to Birmingham to look for houses. They made an offer the same day they saw it and the next day, it was theirs. After a three-month renovation, which involved redoing the kitchen and bathrooms and adding millwork that kept with the style and time period of the home, they were ready to move in. “As an interior designer who always lived in a rental, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on a space of my own,” Ellen recalls. “I had seen a green kitchen that had designed ages ago and knew that if I ever had the chance to do a kitchen of my own it would be dark green. That color really has a through line in our house as there is something in a dark, rich green in each room. I also took design cues from several British cabinet companies (Humphrey Munson, deVOL, Plan English Design). We love to entertain so I [also] wanted to create several hangout areas and wanted to make sure there were plenty of spots for people to have a seat and get comfortable.”
With still a few projects down the road — like a proper third bedroom, a landscaped yard, and building a garage — the couple has enjoyed reconnecting with family and friends, and falling in love with their hometown all over again. Scroll through below to get a sense of their beautiful home, and how they have worked in that deep green from room to room. Enjoy! —
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Image above: “I have wanted a dark green kitchen ever since seeing one Gregory Mellor designed ages ago. The cabinet color is Dunn Edwards Black Spruce. The counters are a black honed granite,” Ellen notes.