When a movie or a TV show becomes a hit, the locations and sets become as familiar to the viewers as the characters and plotline. In fact, many fans want some representation of a particular chair, couch, or the general setting of a particular show’s set. The orange couch in Central Perk, for instance, is an iconic symbol of the massive hit sitcom ‘Friends’.
Sometimes a movie or show might be shot in an actual house, or they would at least show a picture of a house that was supposed to be the location of the characters. This makes these houses some of the most memorable and iconic ones, drawing a lot of attention from tourists and locals alike.
How many of these iconic film and TV houses do you remember? Walk through some of these dwellings that have been made famous in the movies and TV shows.
The LA Confidential Lovell House
The Lovell House is one of the most important structures in the US. It was the country’s first steel frame house and was also among the earliest structures built with gunite (or shotcrete, a sprayed-on type of concrete).
It was designed and built in 1928 by architect Richard Neutra, one of the most important figures of modernist architects. The home was built in the International Style architecture, which flourished during the 1920s-1930s.
However, many people would be familiar with this structure through its use in several film productions. It was first utilized in the film ‘L. A Confidential’ back in 1997, and depicted as Pierce Morehouse Patchett’s home. The 2010 film Beginner, directed by Mike Mills, also used this house as t depiction of Oliver’s home.
The House in Malcolm in the Middle
‘Malcolm in the Middle’ was a popular sitcom that ran for seven seasons over a six-year span in the early 2000s. The private residence where most scenes of this show were shot is located 12334 Cantura Street in Studio City, Los Angeles, CA. During these years, the house was rented for $3,000 per day of filming.
Many fans of the show will find a nostalgic connection with this simple residence, especially if they watched it during their formative years. The house itself has been remodeled several times since the show was filmed, so one might not even recognize it now. However, the surrounding area is more or less the same as at that time.
The Sleeper Sculptured House
An oddly-shaped house built during the mid-60s, this was the main setting of the Woody Allen film ‘Sleeper’. The house, which is located near Denver, was designed by architect Charles Deaton. The structure is quite unique, with a distinctive elliptical curve.
The inspiration for this house was from the location itself, which is Genesse Mountain. The architect himself is quoted as saying that the high area gave him a connection with the earth. He hence shaped the house in order to give an unencumbered effect.
The Big Lebowski House
This house featured in ‘The Big Lebowski’ is not actually located in Malibu like the film leads us to believe. It is actually located in Benedict Canyon, just near Beverly Hills. The house was designed by renowned architect John Lautner and was constructed on sandstone.
The Psycho House, Universal City
Also known as the Bates Mansion, this famous Victorian house featured in the Alfred Hitchcock’s classic thriller Psycho is located in Tucson, Arizona.
The Christmas Story House
The house where most scenes of the 1983 holiday film ‘A Christmas Story’ were shot is located in Cleveland, Ohio.
The Bladerunner Ennis House by Frank Lloyd Wright
This iconic house was designed and built by Frank Lloyd Wright in the 1920s. It was built in the Mayan Revival/Textile Block architectural style. The Ennis House has served as a location for countless films, commercials, and a television show. However, its most famous usage is obviously in ‘Bladerunner’.
Cameron Frye’s House in Ferris Bueller
This modernist house featured in the 80s teen comedy ‘Ferris Bueller’s Day-Off’ housed the Ferrari of Ferris’ friend Cameron Frye. Its actual name is the “Ben Rose House,” and was designed by architects A. James Speyer and David Haid. The house is located in Highland Park, Illinois.
After the owner (Ben Rose) died, the house was put up for sale in 2009, initially for $2.3 million. However, it lagged in the market for many years before it was finally bought in 2014 for $1.06 million.
Reading Up on Sitcom Homes
While homes depicted in movies might also be iconic and recognizable, the homes in long-running sitcoms are beloved on another level altogether. If a sitcom is successful, it will run on primetime television for many years. The characters and sets hence become very close to the viewer, making room in their hearts for a lifetime.
If you’re a sitcom buff that feels an emotional connection with such ‘reel-life’ homes, you might want to read up on them properly. The book entitled “Sitcom Style: Inside America’s Favorite TV Homes” might be an excellent investment in such cases. Check out this title here:
Authored by Diana Friedman, this book features several of the homes and locations that are so beloved to the viewers. This could be the apartments in ‘Friends’, the Barcalounger that belonged to Archie Bunker, or any other sitcom home. Sitcom Style will give you not just the background of these sets, but also a peek behind the scenes. Your sitcom fervor will gain another level, and you might be able to enjoy those reruns even more!
It’s not just about feeding your fandom, either. These sets are projects in creating statements that go with a certain tone. The furniture and décor are chosen and designed in order to set a particular mood on the screen.
Once you understand the methods behind this, you might be able to use the same techniques for our own home. The set designers share their secrets in these pages, so you can learn from the bets while enjoying the sitcom houses in a whole new manner. There are classic favorites here such as ‘Three’s Company’, ‘Happy Days’, and more recent works such as ‘Friends’, ‘Sex and the City’, etc.
The Brady Bunch House
We can’t talk about iconic houses in sitcoms without mentioning the classic décor in “The Brady Bunch”. There’s even a late-season ‘X-files’ episode dedicated to the recognizable interior of that house. While those fluorescent and bold shades of furniture were part of a studio setting, the exterior of the Brady house was built in 1959.
While the exterior they used in the show had just a single story, the inside set had two floors. This was why there was a fake window in the A-frame of the actual house, which gave it a two-story depiction on TV. The house still stands today and is the property of HGTV. The network acquired in just recently in 2018, paying a decent $3.5 million for this privilege.
There are plans to renovate the house and use it in a TV special in the near future. It’s obvious that this show is still relevant as an American cultural icon, and so is the house connected with it.
Sitcoms and movies have a permanent place in American culture, with everything about them becoming a part of trivia. Reading up on the homes depicted in these works can give us a taste of our favorite movies and shows in a different manner, and might even inspire us to have similar features in our own dwellings. Look around and see what changes you can make in order to make your home décor reflect your personality.
You might also be able to visit some of the iconic houses we’ve discussed above. However, make sure you view them from a distance if they have regular folks living inside. Though the house might be celebrities in their own way, the residents don’t want to be bothered in their personal haven.