My 5 favorite Christmas movie houses

image from:  hookedonhouses.net

image from: hookedonhouses.net

1) Funny Farm – Cap Cod house in Vermont

This is my absolute favorite movie. All the right elements come together for some big laughs, including the adorable Cap Cod style Vermont farmhouse where much of the drama takes place. Although the movie spans several months in the life of Andy & Elizabeth Farmer, the culmination of the movie is the Christmas scenes when the unlucky couple try to sell their house.

image from: highdefnews.blogspot.com

image from: highdefnews.blogspot.com

The day that the prospective buyers show up was supposed to be a snowy winter wonderland, but the area in real life had not seen any snow yet. The production crew was all ready to deck out the house and the surrounding property with fake snow, but lo and behold, the real stuff came pouring down the night before so the film crew had a nice fresh, authentic blanket of snow to work with.

image from: celebrityhomeforsale.blogspot.com

image from: celebrityhomeforsale.blogspot.com

Andy & Elizabeth Farmer impress the potential buyers with their quaintly decorated historic home that looks like it belongs on a Christmas card. Everything is perfect! Too perfect – and shenanigans ensue, as expected in any classic Chevy Chase movie.

image from: hookedonhouses.net

image from: hookedonhouses.net

The Funny Farm house is a real home in Grafton, Vermont and all of the interior scenes were actually shot on location inside the house. The owners rented it out for the duration of filming and the film crew put the owner’s furniture in storage and moved their own set decor in.

image from: hookedonhouses.net

image from: hookedonhouses.net

The home – which is locally called The Hall House – sits on a rise of land with great views of the Vermont countryside. A municipal fire water source pond is located right in the front yard – the “fish pond” in the movie. It was frozen over and made a great ice-skating rink in the snowy day scene.

image from: celebrityhomeforsale.blogspot.com

image from: celebrityhomeforsale.blogspot.com

Fans of the 1988 comedy still occasionally try to sneak up the private drive to catch a glimpse of the house. But beware, it is a private residence and as the movie portrays, there may be some weird characters up in them parts.

(Come on now, I’m kidding about the weird people part…. not so much about the no trespassing thing)

Check out this Hooked On Houses blog post for a very interesting and detailed look at the Funny Farm house in Vermont. For additional information about filming locations in Funny Farm, see this article from Vermonter.com.

 

2) The Christmas Card – Log cabin in Nevada City California

image from: www.chud.com

image from: www.chud.com

This lesser known movie is one of Hallmark’s sappy seasonal gems. Set in a real town in northern California called Nevada City, the movie tells the story of a Christmas card that was sent to the front lines of Afghanistan and then finds itself in the hands of a lonely soldier. The soldier was so moved by the card and the woman who wrote it that he set out to find her and her picture-perfect hometown while on leave from the war during the holiday season.

The Christmas Card Hallmark movie

The Christmas Card (2006) was shot on location in and around Nevada City and the locals helped to deck out the town in its Christmas best. Most of the downtown scenes show Victorian era homes and storefronts which all host an annual city-wide Victorian Christmas celebration.

image from: www.fbcnevadacity.org

image from: www.fbcnevadacity.org

But many of the crucial scenes in the love story take place in a nearby log cabin where Faith – the heroine and love interest – lives with her aging parents.

image from: www.themoviescene.co.uk

image from: www.themoviescene.co.uk

The large luxury log cabin is a stunner. I have read that it is indeed a real house and a family lives there so there aren’t any public images of the cabin other than screenshots from the movie.

The Christmas Card

If you ever get a chance to see this flick on the Hallmark Channel, the wonderful log cabin setting will make it worth your while.

I only wish I could’ve found more shots of the interior!

For more information on filming locations for The Christmas Card movie, see the Outside Inn website.

 

 

3) The Sound of Music – Trapp Family Austrian Villa

image from: www.tripadvisor.com

image from: www.tripadvisor.com

The Sound of Music is always on TV around the holiday season and though it doesn’t specifically deal with Christmas, it is an enduring family saga that evokes that warm fuzzy Christmastime feeling.

image from: juliainbogota.blogspot.com

The real Von Trapp family

The main house where the movie is mostly set is the Villa Trapp located in Aigen, outside of Salzburg, Austria. Just as this movie was based on a true story, so too was the magnificent house.

image from: image from: hotels-globally.com

image from: image from: hotels-globally.com

Although the actual former Von Trapp home was NOT used in the filming, it still exists and is now used as a bed and breakfast. Guests can tour the grounds and stay at the actual villa where the famous singing family once lived. I did an extensive post on the Trapp Family home in Austria a couple of years ago and it is still one of my most popular posts.

image from: www.flickr.com

image from: www.flickr.com

All of the interior shots of the Villa Trapp from the 1965 movie production were filmed on a soundstage. However, some of the exterior scenes from the film were shot at another real house just outside Salzburg which was located on a small lake. This house is called Leopoldskron Palace, a lavish estate that was once owned by famed theater director, Max Reinhardt and is now also a luxury hotel.

image from: redbubble.com

image from: redbubble.com

To discover additional real-life filming locations from the original Sound of Music film, check out this website.

image from: www.ronebergcairnscontinued.com

image from: www.ronebergcairnscontinued.com

 

4) Miracle on 34th Street – Susan’s dream house in the suburbs

image from: hookedonhouses.net

image from: hookedonhouses.net

Another proverbial Christmas favorite, Miracle on 34th Street (1947) is mostly set in downtown Manhattan at a pre-war highrise apartment building and of course, at the historic flagship Macy’s store.

image from: christmas-specials.wikia.com

image from: christmas-specials.wikia.com

The sets for the apartment scenes were very nicely representative of the era, but it is Susan’s “dream house” at the end  of the film that steals our hearts.

Young Susan first showed Santa a picture of the house that she wanted for Christmas:

image from: pinterest.com

image from: pinterest.com

Kris Kringle works his miracles, and Susan, her mother, and mom’s new love interest just happen to come upon the perfect little Cape Cod style house in the suburbs that coincidentally has a for sale sign in the yard.

Stop the car!

image from: internationalcinemareview.blogspot.com

image from: internationalcinemareview.blogspot.com

The cozy home is perfect for the new family and they fall instantly in love with it.

image from: www.cnbc.com

image from: www.cnbc.com

Although the interior shots of the house were filmed on a soundstage, the exterior shots were from a real life house that still stands today.

image from: the Nassau County Assessors website (2007)

image from: the Nassau County Assessors website (2007)

The home is located in Port Washington, New York. According the Zillow, it was built in 1943 and is just over 1,700 square feet. The exterior depicted in the movie is only slightly altered after all these years with new shutters and the addition of a second story dormer window.

Here’s a lovely photo of the famous movie house in the springtime:

image from: www.propertyshark.com

image from: www.propertyshark.com

You can read more about Miracle on 34th Street filming locations and sets at Hooked on Houses.

 

5) How The Grinch Stole Christmas – Who houses down in WhoVille

image from: www.ronebergcairnscontinued.com

image from: www.ronebergcairnscontinued.com

Okay, okay, so it’s not a real house, or town, but who doesn’t love the Who houses down in Whoville?

I watched the original cartoon version of How The Grinch Stole Christmas (1966) many times as a kid and I was always transfixed with the quirky Suessian homes in the make-believe town where everyone was nauseatingly kind and happy.

image from: hellogiggles.com

image from: hellogiggles.com

The naive locals were a bit much to handle, but I loved their colorful, disproportionate houses – so much fun to look at!

image from: pixgood.com

image from: pixgood.com

In the more recent 2000 remake of the cartoon classic, the set designers obviously had fun making the fantastical houses of Whoville…

image from: www.thestudiotour.com

image from: www.thestudiotour.com

According to Universal Studios Tours website, the Whoville houses were built next to the Psycho movie house on the large Universal Studios Hollywood back lot.

image from: www.flickr.com

image from: www.flickr.com

The rest of the scenes were filmed on indoor soundstages. The production of the 2000 version of How the Grinch Stole Christmas used 10 soundstages in total and was one of the largest users of space ever at Universal Studios.

image from: mynameisyeh.blogspot.com

image from: mynameisyeh.blogspot.com

Just looking at these happy Who houses makes me want to eat lots of cotton candy and sing Kumbaya!

 Happy Holidays from House Crazy Sarah!

Cindy Lou

Colorado’s famous Spaceship House

image from: www.forbes.com

image from: www.forbes.com

Beam me up! When I think of Colorado (my adopted home state), I think of mountains, skiing, and the infamous Spaceship House. I have been in love with this beauty since I first laid eyes on her back in 2001.

image from: www.onlycolorado.com

image from: www.onlycolorado.com

While some claim the private residence to be downright ugly (Forbes magazine!) I think the house is absolutely captivating. And its mountain perch is the perfect setting for this UFO-esque thing.

image from: urban-review.com

image from: urban-review.com

Located just west of Denver in Genesee Colorado, The Sculptured House – its official name – is visible to passing motorists heading west on Interstate 70.

image from: www.forbes.com

image from: www.forbes.com

If you live in Colorado, you know this house. If you are a Woody Allen movie buff, you will also know this house from its appearance in the quirky 1973 sci-fi comedy Sleeper.

image from: www.thesun.co.uk

Sleeper movie still from: www.thesun.co.uk

Indeed, science fiction and comedy collide in this one-of-a-kind Colorado landmark built in 1963 by architect Charles Deaton. Locals have long referred to the structure as the “Flying Saucer House”.

Here’s a rare photo of the shell being constructed in the early ’60’s:

image from: www.vebidoo.com

image from: www.vebidoo.com

Interestingly, Charles Deaton also designed several sports stadiums in the US including Kansas City’s Arrowhead Stadium.

image from: www.imfromdenver.com

image from: www.imfromdenver.com

The architect described his inspiration for the home in this way:

On Genesee Mountain I found a high point of land where I could stand and feel the great reaches of the Earth. I wanted the shape of it to sing an unencumbered song.

– Chalres Deaton

image from: www.kontaktmag.com

image from: www.kontaktmag.com

While Deaton was the imagination behind the design, a company called Delzell Inc. was the ambitious builder of the home. Unfortunately, the company’s owners ran out of money before the project was complete. The interior of The Sculptured House was left unfinished for almost 3 decades until a Denver based developer bought the house in 1999. He had Charles Deaton design a large addition and hired Deaton’s daughter Charlee to finish the interior design. It was completed in 2003.

image from: www.moderndesign.org

image from: www.moderndesign.org

The home was sold again in 2006, but by 2010, the new owner had become delinquent on the mortgage and the property went into foreclosure. It sold at auction in November 2010 for $1.5 million

image from: www.denverpost.com

image from: www.denverpost.com

The entire home has five levels – 7,700 square feet – with 5 bedrooms and 5 baths.

image from: www.moderndesign.org

image from: www.moderndesign.org

image from: analiseindiscreta.wordpress.com

image from: analiseindiscreta.wordpress.com

image from: www.ncmodernist.org

image from: www.ncmodernist.org

On the top level is an awe-inspiring master suite.

image from: www.coloradohomesmag.com

image from: www.coloradohomesmag.com

The windows! The VIEWS!

image from: www.vebidoo.com

image from: www.vebidoo.com

It is probably the most iconic architectural landmark in Colorado, and certainly one of the most beautiful homes in a sea of atrociously expensive ski McMansions.

Personally, I’ve always thought it looked like a giant smiling clam…. the Cheshire Cat smile of architecture.

image from: been-seen.com

image from: been-seen.com

The big flip of the finger, wink and a nod.

 

Sources:

ImFromDenver.com

Wikipedia Sculptured House

Roadside America

DenverPost.com article

 

 

Check out another odd movie house in a spectacular setting that I profiled a while ago: Casa Malaparte

Casa Malaparte

 

 

Funky historic row house for sale in Maryland

image from: www.redfin.com

image from: www.redfin.com

A reader sent me this listing for a very unique historic row house in Frederick, Maryland. This home dates back to 1885 and is for sale for $379,900. Have a look inside…

image from: www.redfin.com

image from: www.redfin.com

The description states “RECENTLY painted ~ neutral palette“. I’m guessing there were some crazy colors in this house in the recent past. Which would’ve been neat too see, but I can almost hear the listing agent sucking in his/her breath while crafting a tactful way to tell the sellers that they need to make the house appeal to the most buyers, rather than reflecting their individual taste.

image from: www.redfin.com

image from: www.redfin.com

But still, the furniture and decor are wonderfully elegant and seem to suit this house perfectly – don’t you think?

image from: www.redfin.com

image from: www.redfin.com

The agent touts this property as a “landmark in a Historic District”.

image from: www.redfin.com

image from: www.redfin.com

Everything in the home from the chandeliers to the floors is impeccable!

image from: www.redfin.com

image from: www.redfin.com

The kitchen is modernized but has a small exposed brick nook in one corner, giving us a hint of the historic origins.

image from: www.redfin.com

image from: www.redfin.com

The feature that sets this property apart is the rare side solarium which runs the length of the house overlooking an alley courtyard:

image from: www.redfin.com

image from: www.redfin.com

This brings tons of light into a style of house that is typically known for being dark through the middle and even claustrophobic due to the lack of windows along the sides.

image from: www.redfin.com

image from: www.redfin.com

image from: www.redfin.com

image from: www.redfin.com

There are four levels to this house – bedrooms on the upper floors.

Fredrick MD townhouse12

image from: www.redfin.com

In the upstairs master bedroom there is an enclosed porch which has been cleverly converted into a 3/4 bathroom:

image from: www.redfin.com

image from: www.redfin.com

image from: www.redfin.com

image from: www.redfin.com

Apart from the potential for neighbor peep-shows, I think this is the coolest use of space!

image from: www.redfin.com

image from: www.redfin.com

Out back of the row house there is a small garden area and room for 4 parking spaces – luxuries in a tight urban historic district where outdoor space and parking are both hard to come by.

image from: www.redfin.com

image from: www.redfin.com

Please see the link for more information on this beautiful one-of-a-kind row house:

Redfin/Maryland listings

 

And thanks to Laura for the link!

 

Priory Cottage

image from: http://www.countrylife.co.uk/

image from: http://www.countrylife.co.uk/

Thatched roof cottage in a village in the English countryside? For sale and fully renovated? Rose covered?

Here you go!

image from: http://www.countrylife.co.uk/

image from: http://www.countrylife.co.uk/

The roof has recently been rethatched and the exterior is impeccable for its age.
“Charming”, “Idyllic” and “Quiet” are the descriptive words used in the listing write-up, as you might expect.
Cute little Priory Cottage is for sale in the Oxfordshire village of Berrick Salome for £1,250,000 (1.9 million US dollars). Pricey, yes, but this place has been extensively renovated with careful attention to the historic character.
image from: http://www.countrylife.co.uk/

image from: http://www.countrylife.co.uk/

 This lovely abode is a Grade II listed historic property dating back to the mid or late 17th century.
Have a look at what they did inside:
image from: http://www.countrylife.co.uk/

image from: http://www.countrylife.co.uk/

Old meets new in the spectacular kitchen. Not as charm-filled as my personal taste demands, but beautiful nonetheless.
image from: http://www.countrylife.co.uk/

image from: http://www.countrylife.co.uk/

The dark exposed beams bring that wonderful weighted period look into an otherwise, light and bright decor.

image from: http://www.countrylife.co.uk/

image from: http://www.countrylife.co.uk/

image from: http://www.countrylife.co.uk/

image from: http://www.countrylife.co.uk/

image from: http://www.countrylife.co.uk/

image from: http://www.countrylife.co.uk/

The grounds are also a huge selling point:

image from: http://www.countrylife.co.uk/

image from: http://www.countrylife.co.uk/

Perfection in the English countryside.

image from: http://www.countrylife.co.uk/

image from: http://www.countrylife.co.uk/

Actually, it’s all too perfect.

I own a 17th Century thatched roof cottage in the village of Berrick Salome”, says no one that I’ve ever known.

But in a world where lottery dreams do occasionally come true, we can be hopelessly optimistic!

;)

 

Sources:

Countrylife.co.uk

Primelocation.com

 

House of weird angles

image from: www.redfin.com

image from: www.redfin.com

Somebody had fun with this house.

image from: http://la.curbed.com/

image from: http://la.curbed.com/

This trippy lil’ thing is located in Los Angeles, California. It is up for sale for only $389,900 – a bargain price for LA – no?

The listing says it was built in 1921. I’m going to assume there was an original structure under there somewhere dating back to 1921. But the angular windows and walls we see now are most definitely modern.

No word on why the designer went all Alice in Wonderland/Clockwork Orange, but it certainly has some eye-catching features.

I found this older photo depicting the house before it was painted:

image from: www.weichert.com

image from: www.weichert.com

(Are those lace curtains?)

The listing says the house has been “recently remodeled”. It has 4 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms in 4,000 square feet so it’s a lot larger than it looks from the exterior.

image from: http://www.movoto.com/

image from: http://www.movoto.com/

Inside, parts of this home are totally normal. Then there are the windows…

image from: https://www.redfin.com/CA/Los-Angeles/1323-W-Gage-Ave-90044/home/7271746

image from: https://www.redfin.com/CA/Los-Angeles/1323-W-Gage-Ave-90044/home/7271746

And the angles of the walls…

image from: http://www.movoto.com/

image from: http://www.movoto.com/

image from: http://www.movoto.com/

image from: http://www.movoto.com/

And the ironwork….

image from: http://www.movoto.com/

image from: http://www.movoto.com/

image from: http://www.movoto.com/

image from: http://www.movoto.com/

image from: http://www.movoto.com/

image from: http://www.movoto.com/

Somehow, the brown builder’s grade carpet seems out of place. A black and red speckled pattern or green super-shag would be more in line with the design – don’t you think?

;)

 

Sources:

LA.curbed.com

Movoto.com

Redfin.com

 

 

 





~ House Crazy Sarah ~

Sarah Felix Burns

"So many houses, so little time"






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