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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 (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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
To discover additional real-life filming locations from the original Sound of Music film, check out this website.
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.
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:
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!”
The cozy home is perfect for the new family and they fall instantly in love with it.
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.
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:
You can read more about Miracle on 34th Street filming locations and sets at Hooked on Houses.
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.
The naive locals were a bit much to handle, but I loved their colorful, disproportionate houses – so much fun to look at!
In the more recent 2000 remake of the cartoon classic, the set designers obviously had fun making the fantastical houses of Whoville…
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.
Just looking at these happy Who houses makes me want to eat lots of cotton candy and sing Kumbaya!
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…
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.
But still, the furniture and decor are wonderfully elegant and seem to suit this house perfectly – don’t you think?
The agent touts this property as a “landmark in a Historic District”.
Everything in the home from the chandeliers to the floors is impeccable!
The kitchen is modernized but has a small exposed brick nook in one corner, giving us a hint of the historic origins.
The feature that sets this property apart is the rare side solarium which runs the length of the house overlooking an alley courtyard:
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.
There are four levels to this house – bedrooms on the upper floors.
In the upstairs master bedroom there is an enclosed porch which has been cleverly converted into a 3/4 bathroom:
Apart from the potential for neighbor peep-shows, I think this is the coolest use of space!
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.
Please see the link for more information on this beautiful one-of-a-kind row house:
And thanks to Laura for the link!
Thatched roof cottage in a village in the English countryside? For sale and fully renovated? Rose covered?
Here you go!
The dark exposed beams bring that wonderful weighted period look into an otherwise, light and bright decor.
The grounds are also a huge selling point:
Perfection in the English countryside.
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!
Somebody had fun with this house.
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:
(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.
Inside, parts of this home are totally normal. Then there are the windows…
And the angles of the walls…
And the ironwork….
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?