Stepmom

It’s been ages since we toured a well-loved movie house. In the past when I’ve posted a movie house tour, you guys always make some great suggestions and requests for future tours. One tour that’s oft been requested is a tour of the beautiful Victorian house in the movie, Stepmom. The house in the movie is completely amazing!

Stepmom Movie with Susan Sarandon and Julia Roberts

 

The movie stars some great actors. Susan Sarandon plays mom, Jackie Harrison and Ed Harris plays the father, Luke Harrison. The Harrisons are divorced and Julia Roberts is Ed’s girlfriend, Isabel Kelly. Jackie and Luke have two children in the movie, Anna played by Jena Malone and Ben played by Liam Aiken.

Since I avoid sad movies like the plague, it’s taken me a while to get this one pulled together. I had seen enough of this movie at some point in the past to know it’s definitely a tear jerker. Understatement of the world! So guess how I got the pics for this post?

I watched it with the volume turned off. Yes, I did!

I’m thrilled to report, the house in the movie, Stepmom is REAL! It does exist and isn’t a fake house built just for the sake of the movie. I love it when they are real and I know you do, too! The home is called Glenholme and it is located at 501 N Broadway in upper Nyack, New York. It’s been used in several movies including the movie, The Bounty Hunter.

Not sure if it was done intentionally or not, but all the views of the home throughout the movie are a little surreal. It’s always covered in shadows…

House in Movie Stepmom

 

…or surrounded in a mysterious, somewhat eerie mist.

Stepmom Victorian House, Movie House 05

 

It actually looks most beautiful in the movie at night.

Stepmom Victorian House, Movie House 13

 

This wonderful 1854 Victorian home is huge, over 5,200 square feet. It’s built in the style known as Second Empire. According to my book, A Field Guide to American Houses, there are at least five different designs for Second Empire and as best I could tell, this one is an “Asymmetrical” Second Empire Victorian.

One feature of this house that makes it Second Empire is the mansard roof with its dormer windows on a steeped lower slope. Note the beautiful decorative brackets surrounding the home. Just a stunning design, isn’t it?

I thought it was so interesting how the gable on the front of the house is set off to the right instead of being over the steps and the front door where we would expect it.

Stepmom Victorian House, Movie House

 

Here’s another view showing the entrance and front steps.

Stepmom Victorian House, Movie House

 

We get a closer look at the home’s beautiful windows in this scene where Jackie is watering the flower boxes. I have to tell you, this movie makes you a little crazy because you have this absolutely gorgeous home (inside and out) yet the movie is all about divorce and a mom (with young children) who is dying of cancer. Arrrrgg! Hate movies like this. Love the house, hate the movie! Okay, that’s all I’m gonna say about the stinkin’ plot, we’re just going to enjoy the house from here out. Okay? Okay!

Flower Boxes, Victorian Home in Stepmom Movie

 

The front door is beautiful and the entry is just large enough for a bamboo plant stand and a narrow chest. Wonder why they didn’t stick any umbrellas in the stand. Ummm…

Victorian House in Stepmom Movie

 

 

Just inside the front door is a small hallway that sees a lot of action in the movie. It kind of serves as a mudroom for the front entrance. Look at that staircase!

Victorian House in Stepmom Movie 17

 

I was in serious drool-mode over the staircase throughout the entire movie. The balusters are so beautiful! You’ll get a better view of those in a sec. Love the paneling/wainscoting down the side of the staircase. I’d love to add that to my staircase one day.

Staircase in Movie, Stepmom

 

This would be the view if you were standing on the landing looking down. Love how the staircase handrail makes that elaborate turn at the end.

Staircase in Victorian Home in Stepmom

 

I had a little trouble figuring out the shape and lay-out of the living room. This is largest “overall” view of the room that we get.

Stepmom Living Room with Susan Sarandon

 

A view of the area behind the sofa…. See the top of the chair in the bottom right-hand corner? If you could stand in front of that chair and look over it…

Stepmom Movie Living Room

 

…this is what you would see. One thing I noticed about this home throughout the movie is, it isn’t as dark inside as so many Victorian homes tend to be. I’m sure at some point all the woodwork we see was stained and not painted. It certainly does brighten up the interior, doesn’t it?

Victorian House in Stepmom Movie

 

A view of the other side of the room as the Christmas tree is being brought in…

Stepmom Movie Living Room

 

Another view on Christmas Morning…

Victorican House Living Room in Stepmom Movie

 

At one point Isabel walks over to a secretary to pick up her camera and we get this brief glimpse of a gingerbread house created to resemble the home in the movie. Can you imagine making a gingerbread house this detailed and large!  Too pretty to eat! Wish we could see more of the secretary…love a great secretary!

Gingerbread House in Movie, Stepmom

 

In this scene we get just a few glimpses of the kitchen, breakfast area and the home’s wonderful back staircase. I have this thing for back staircases, love them because they are rare and so convenient to have in a home.

Kitchen in House in Stepmom Movie

 

Another view showing the pretty hutch here in the kitchen.

Victorian House in Stepmom Movie

 

Victorian House in Stepmom Movie

 

The only views we get of the dining room is when the Jackie is setting the table for Thanksgiving with her daughter, Anna. Notice the pretty leaded glass in the doorway to the right and the wainscoting on the walls.

Stepmom Movie Dining Room

 

The dining room has a fireplace…love! The candles Anna is putting on the table are made to look like ears of corn.

Stepmom Movie, Dining Room

 

As Ben heads up the stairs, we get another view of this beautiful staircase and the lovely balusters.

Stepmom, Tour the Victorian House with Susan Sarandon and Julia Robert

 

At the top of the staircase, there’s a wonderful little alcove with a sitting area. This is where Jackie does her sewing until later in the movie when she becomes weaker and the sewing machine is moved into her bedroom.

Upstairs Landing, Victorian Home in Stepmom Movie

 

This alcove is the upstairs bay area seen in this exterior photo.

Stepmom Victorian House, Movie House

 

We never really get a good view of Anna’s bedroom but this scene shows her beautiful bed.

Anna's Bedroom in Stepmom Movie

 

This is the best view we get of Ben’s bedroom. Both children have beautiful quilts on their beds, probably made by Jackie since she makes a special quilt for Anna later in the movie.

Luke's Bedroom in the Movie, Stepmom

 

The master bedroom has a lovely alcove area, too.

Movie-Stepmom Master Bedroom, Victorian House

 

The master bed is an antique 4-poster bed. It has a canopy but that gets pulled apart in a cute singing/dancing scene in the movie. Love all the old trunks tucked here and there in the rooms. What a wonderful home this would be to grow up in.

Master Bedroom in Stepmom Victorian House

 

Another view of the master bedroom later on in the movie. That’s a small desk tucked into the corner. You can see Jackie’s sewing machine in the alcove area now.

Victorian House in Stepmom Movie

 

As if the house isn’t gorgeous enough, we are treated to a view of it after a snowstorm.

Stepmom Victorian House, in Snow 2

 

But this is still my favorite view of all!

Stepmom Victorian House, Movie House

 

Has this made you fall completely in love with the asymmetrical Second Empire Victorian house design? It’s really made me love the mansard roof design even more!

Just before hitting “Publish” on this post, I found some pics at trulia dot com of the home when it was for sale at some point. It has a view of the Hudson River. You can see it there in the background.

House in the Movie Stepmom

 

Love its asymmetrical design! Wonderful home!

Stepmom Movie House

 

Love movie house tours? You’ll find tours of all your faves here: Movie House Tours.

Two of my faves are the house in the movie, Something’s Gotta Give

Living Room in Movie, Something's Gotta Give

 

And the real Connecticut home in the movie, The Big Wedding

The Big Wedding House




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Comments

  1. Gloria in Pgh says:

    Thanks for the tour of this movie home Susan! Despite its tearjerker status, ‘Stepmom” is one of my favorite movies. I first saw it on a plane on the way home from Paris! I was on a trip with some of my girlfriends. We were all seated together in the same row. As we all watched the movie (with our individual headsets), I started tearing up as the climax of the film approached. My friend Jennifer, who had seen the film already, silently reached into her purse and handed me a travel pack of Kleenex. I took one and handed it down the row to my other friends. We all had a good cry together and bonded a little more while watching a movie about two women bonding. I will never forget it. Thanks for taking me back to that happy memory and for the tour of that lovely house. Every time I see the movie, I seriously drool over that house and imagine how I would decorate it if it were mine.

  2. Liz Serpa says:

    Reading the sale description of this home, I know it has more like 4000 square feet of living space (not counting porches) instead of the 1300 it had posted in the ad. Beautiful home! I love looking at the tours posted on BNOTP!

  3. The alcove at the top of the stairs would be my favorite–especially on rainy or snowy day. On a beautiful summer day? I’d be out back!

  4. Peggy Thal says:

    Great sad movie! Very pretty Victorian looks homey in a good way.

  5. So many lovely things about this movie, with the adultery offering the mix, the conflict that needs the resolution. Her stress about her husband does really come out and is so heartbreaking as she feels alone…opens her heart totally to her children and like a good mother, takes the hit for them by making the best of an icky situation. (I wish they had written the husband with some sort of spine) The story line has her giving them all purpose which is good! This movie and The Family Stone, are the latest greatest “melodramas” from Hollywood in a long time. That would also be a fun house to see if you haven’t done that yet 🙂 PS I loved that she sewed for her kids and that she loved being a home-MAKER, creating that place we all love to go. When my grandma died, so many people, even the preacher, talked about what a welcoming place, a relaxing place, a delicious place, my grandmother’s home was to all who entered. He talked a good bit about the word homemaker and the safety and tranquility we all felt when we were there. Women uniquely do that. It’s a gift!! I think BNOTP shares all of that with us, your readers. Thank you!!

    • Thanks, Kath! Appreciate that so much! You know, I was trying to remember if they were supposed to have been divorced and then Luke met Isabel or if there was also the issue of adultery in the movie.. I could not remember and didn’t see anything about it the reviews I found, but it did say at Wikipedia that Jackie is angry at the woman she feels played a role in her broken family so that made me think that had happened. Yet another awful part of the story line/plot in this depressing movie. All the sadness in the movie overshadows the beauty of the house. I’d love to see a happy movie filmed there! I wonder how much of The Bounty Hunter was filmed there? It’s a romantic comedy but I never saw that one.

  6. I too have seen the movie Susan, touching but definitely not happy ever after.
    The house is beautiful. Did you notice how the barley sugar spindles on the staircase are only placed every third one?
    I caught sight of the stained glass windows, just love pillars in a room.
    The gable seems a little strange to me but I guess it was an entrance to the side porch.
    So many beautiful touches in this house, wish we had a virtual tour.
    As it is not for sale now, I guess we have to cross this one off the list!! 🙁

  7. Renee Cook says:

    That is a beautiful home and what a surprise to find that it’s on the Hudson. I feel like you do about sad movies. I don’t watch them either. There are so many, like “Beaches” for example, that I have never seen. An idea just occurred to me… I wonder if the deleted scenes on the DVD would show more views of the rooms? Thanks, as always, for all your hard work in creating such a lovely blog!

    • Renee, I just popped the DVD in and all it shows is Bios and Films for the casts, the trailers and a featurette of the movie but it doesn’t show any other scenes from the movie. Great idea, though! I hadn’t thought to look until you mentioned it. 🙂

  8. My husband grew up in Upper Nyack and we both attended the old Nyack HS. A drive down Broadway in either direction is full of these beautiful homes. My grandmother rented a room in one of these homes at the end of her life. I have always dreamed of living in one but they are very expensive. Another famous home on N. Broadway was owned by Helen Hayes who named it Pretty Penny. When Miss Hayes came into the local library she was to be addressed as Mrs. McArther! It is now known as Rosie O’Donnell’s former home. Since the town is a short commute to NYC many theater people live in the area.

  9. LindY G says:

    I loved it, the home is SO beautiful. Thank you bunches for the tour, I’m a big fan of old homes. Absolutely breathtaking inside and out.

  10. Marilyn in Mt. Vernon, VA says:

    I didn’t see this movie because I cannot take movies where someone is ill and then dies; too much of that in my own life — ANYWAY — thanks, Susan, for this post because I get to see this wonderful, wonderful home without crying. Thank you, thank you , thank you. I loved the comments of “Gloria in Pgh” above.

  11. Oh, that front door!! franki

  12. Love these home tours Susan. I didn’t see the movie, and guess I won’t b/c I don’t like sad movies either! but the house is gorgeous!! would love to live there if I could get some housekeeping help! I have missed a whole bunch of your tablescape parties — hope to be back someday soon. thanks for all the work you put into this. I’m going to look at some of your older tours.

  13. bobbi duncan says:

    Hi, Susan. Don’t know what I did, but my comment disappeared while I was writing it, so forgive me if two posts come through. I know this house well as our friends live just north of it, and we pass it whenever we’re visiting. When I first saw the movie, I was so surprised to see the house that I always drool over when we drive by it, or should I say stop traffic by slowing to a crawl as we pass it. It is an amazing home! Our friends live on the Hudson as well, and the views are to die for. I love the staircase, which is very similar to the one my Grandparent’s had when I was a youngster growing up in NJ, and one that my brother and I slid down many a time. The town of Nyack has a small, but charming, downtown with cute little shops. However, the Halloween trick or treating scene was actually filmed in Montclair, NJ., which is another quaint town, and one that is quintessential NJ. Contrary to the bad stigma, that folks think all of NJ looks like Newark, NJ., the state has more beautiful historic towns and villages than any state I’ve thus far toured. The movie is a real tear-jerker for sure, but I love it because it shows the strong bond of families everywhere and the resilience of the human spirit in times of great adversity. I was so fortunate to have had a mother who would do anything possible for her children and Grandchildren, and I think about that so many times and miss her dearly. Movies and music have that ability; to touch us at our very core, allowing us to embrace all the good memories we have about life and those we’ve loved and lost.

    • pam ~ crumpety cottage says:

      Bobbi, you are lucky to have had that sort of mother. I’m glad you have fond memories. And I just wanted to say, New Jersey really is the Rodney Dangerfield of states (doesn’t get any respect). I know that there are some truly gorgeous towns there and in fact, 3 out of 10 millionaires live in New Jersey! So it can’t be all bad. 🙂

  14. This was fun to see…thank you.

    During the 1990’s, we were in California at times for conferences my husband attended. We took the Paramount Studio tour several of those trips, and had such a good time. In those days their tours lasted a couple of hours. One of the things we learned was that you could list your home with them, and if they needed one like yours, they would contact you. If they used your house, they would get your permission to change/blow up/ modify your home according to their needs for the particular movie, and put you up in a hotel for the duration. Your home would the be put back to original status, as in the case of blowing up part of it! I hope they still do those tours!

  15. I love this movie and the house…..I do not ususally watch sad movies for a second time…but loved seeing the house over and over…Thanks Susan for this great post of beautiful rooms!!

  16. Susan this was a fantastic tour. I loved the movie, even though it was sad and I thought the house played a role in the story. Thanks so much for featuring it.
    Traci

  17. Because I lost my Mom at an early age, I’ve never had the courage to watch this movie and it’s possible that I never will. So, I especially thank you for the tour, Susan. The house is beautiful.

    • Judy, I don’t blame you. My parents were both very sick throughout my childhood, my dad died when I was 19 and my mom died when I was 21…so I don’t like these kinds of movies, either. When I watch a movie, I want to laugh and be entertained, not ball my eyes out and feel depressed. I guess some folks see it as cathartic. I thought Roger Ebert’s review (Siskel & Ebert) of the movie was dead on when discussing how the movie manipulates the audiences emotions. Roger said, “The skill of the actors, who invest their characters with small touches of humanity, is useful in distracting us from the emotional manipulations, but it’s like they’re brightening separate rooms of a haunted house.” It’s a beautiful “haunted house” though!

  18. pam ~ crumpety cottage says:

    Wow, what a beautiful home! Susan, now I know how much you love us (and how crazy you are 😀 ) to watch a movie without sound. 😛 But I’m with you. Sad movies – phooey! I’ve not seen this movie, but I do agree the home is beautiful and it’s nice to know it’s Second Empire in design. Isn’t this design often used to depict a ‘scary’ house in a movie? Wasn’t the Munsters’s house like this? Lol. 😀 Anyway, nothing scary about this one, it’s just gorgeous with too many details to even mention. Thanks for the tour! I’m so glad we have houses like this and I hope people will continue to use and preserve them. It would be a shame to lose these beautiful old gems.

  19. pam ~ crumpety cottage says:

    Well I just did an image search but the Munster’s house was different. For some reason I thought it had one of those Mansard roofs. Now I’m not sure which ‘scary’ house I was thinking of. 🙂

    • Victorians are often used in scary movies…they can certainly make them look scary in the movies. I bet you’re thinking of the Bates Motel. It has a Mansard roof, if I’m remembering correctly.

  20. The house reminds me of a happier movie, Meet Me in St. Louis minus the grand staircase. Other than the sadness of the story there was a scene that I think says it all. The step mom character played by Julia Roberts is talkng to her new husband, Ed Harris about relationships. Will theirs last? He tells her he was careless with the other marriage and will not be careless with theirs. This is a story of how to not be careless with those we love. I do love Meyers’ film houses too.

  21. SharonFromMichigan says:

    Susan, Here’s one of San Francisco’s “painted ladies” that’s up for sale. I spied it on Yahoo this morning. Article (with pics) says it belonged to Meg Ryan and Dennis Quaid.

    https://homes.yahoo.com/blogs/spaces/classic-san-francisco-queen-anne-hits-market-for-first-time-in-20-years-191804395.html
    Talk about some gorgeous views of the bay and Alcatraz!

    • Wow, never in a million years would guess the inside of one of the “painted ladies” would look like that! It’s really beautiful…more modern than I would have expected. I will have to feature that one here on BNOTP, Sharon…thanks for sharing the link! That view is completely amazing!

  22. Hello Susan! Awesome post, I too have always loved this home as it feels so cozy and welcoming. 🙂 I was wondering…would it be at all possible if you could post some photos of the cape and quilt Jackie makes her children for Christmas?? I have been looking everywhere for some but cannot find them anywhere!

  23. I am struck by the gardens…. out front, under the porch and the planters on railing…. I watch the movie just to see them!

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