3 little Miracles

3 little Miracles

Saturday, January 16, 2010

A passion for houses, house plans, and decorating started . . . .

I remember very clearly when my love for design began, it was while I was watching a VHS tape of the 1961 movie, The Parent Trap.

There was something about that house and it's floor plan that I fell in love with.  In later years I did some research and found out the house wasn't real, that it was all part of a set, but I didn't know that then and I carefully sat down and watched that tape over and over again sketching out the floor plan  I carefully watched the movie for each and every door way the actors walked through and what was in the space beyond.  Somewhere in our storage unit I still have my large sketch book that I used to sketch floor plans from my favorite "house" movies. I can't seem to find any great still shots taken from the movie to show you what I loved about it, it wasn't really the decor, it was the layout that I loved then and still do today.

Another Hayle Mills house I mean movie that drew my attention at a young age was the movie Pollyanna. 

I love the wide porches that surrounded the home, the elaborate flower beds, the conservatory space, kitchen, and huge entry space of the grand Victorian architecture style home depicted in the film (actually Stick-Eastlake style a type of Victorian architecture).  In reality the house was only one floor and the second and third floor were painted on to make the house look grander. 

This is actually the house that was used for the film.  It is the McDonald Mansion and was built in the late 1870s by Col. Mark Lindsay McDonald, owner of Santa Rosa’s water company.

So with these two houses my love for drawing floor plans and working out the details of how a home functioned and flowed for daily life began.  Ever since then I have been obsessed with houses, I sketch floor plans in a small sketch book I keep in my purse, I sketch in my journal, I sketch in my bible note pad, I clip out images from magazines that inspire me to design a house around it, and I pick up For Sale house fliers all the time so I can map out the house plan and critique its functionality. BUT, I am inspired all the time by houses I see in movies and on TV.  Most of the time the decor doesn't do much for me, its the actual floor plan and details of the house that inspire me to sketch it out.

Here are some of the houses that have moved me to sketch over the years:
The Connecticut Inn in the movie Holiday Inn
The house and barn conversion to a Country Inn in the movie White Christmas


I love each of these houses along with many TV houses (another post) for many reasons.  Several of the houses in movies over the past decade are homes that I also like for their decor, top on that list is the Hamptons beach house from Something's Gotta Give and the California cottage in Bewitched.  I am posting about this because I plan to review for myself, and maybe for your reading pleasure, the things that inspired me to take architecture classes in high school instead of homemech classes and eventually lead me on a path to get my degrees in both architecture and interior design in my college studies.  For now God has lead me to be home with my children in their younger years, but I do hope to one day return to my career in Interior Design and Architecture once they are in school full time.  For now I plan to look back at each of these houses in a little more detail and share what I loved about them, and in some ways the design flaws that I thought were not functional, that inspired me to make the changes within my own designs.  I fully believe that design should be beautiful and unique, but for me it also HAS to be functional, otherwise what is the point.

One of my favorite blogs Hooked on Houses,

loves to blog about movie, TV, and celebrity houses and many of the houses that I have loved in films are also on her page.  However,  I am doing this tour for myself so that in exploring what influenced my career path and greatest passion outside of my family, I can also begin to tie together many of the actually elements that drew me to the building or house that I sketched in my books.

I hope you have enjoyed my little tour of movie houses that have inspired my designs tastes and direction and hope you will come back and read more as I blog about them over the coming year.  If you have time, comment or link a blog post back to me that tells me about the things that have directed or inspired your designs tastes.


  1. Love the architecture of all of these houses, and I have always been fascinated with floor plans too. You should have been an architect. My dad was a builder and I was always revamping his floor plans. Great fun. Hugs, marty

  2. I did work for an architecture firm right out of college, but my degree does not qualify me to take the architecture license board, I would have needed another year or two of studies. I think that when I do return to my career, I will more then likely pursue a career path in Interior Design, or work for an architecture firm as their ID consultant. Glad you enjoyed the post.