Never miss a BNOTP post...subscribe to have post updates delivered to your Inbox. It's free!

The Proposal, A Movie House Transformed

Have you ever wondered where the house in the movie, The Proposal, is located?  Or, have you ever wondered if it’s a real home, a movie set or a “fake” house built just for the movie?

The House in the Movie, The Proposal

Imagine one day there’s a knock at your door.  You answer and a smiling movie-location-scout is asking to use your home for the upcoming movie, The Proposal, starring Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds.  Sounds exciting, doesn’t it.

ProposalPoster

That’s what happened to the Kaneb family who lives in this beautiful home located north of Boston in Manchester, MA.   In the movie, the house is located in Sitka, Alaska.  In this scene where we get our first glance of this wonderful home, the snow-covered mountains were actually photo-shopped in to give the illusion of being in Alaska.  It’s the magic of the movies!

The Proposal was filmed in February and all the trees were completely bare.  Leaf-covered limbs were shipped in and attached to all the bare trees around the house to give the appearance it was summertime.  Amazing!

The Proposal Movie with Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds

In the movie, The Proposal, this beautiful shingle and rock home is supposed to be very remote and only reachable via boat.

House in Movie, The Proposal with Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds

Here’s an aerial view via Bing showing where this house is actually situated.  Since there’s not much call for swimming pools in Alaska, it was covered with a dance floor in the movie.

House in Movie, The Proposal with Sandra Bullock

Today I’m taking you inside for a tour of some of the rooms on the first floor where the filming took place.  But first, here’s a little background, in case you haven’t seen this romantic comedy.

Sandra Bullock plays Margaret Tate who is the chief editor for a major New York book publisher.  Ryan Reynolds plays her badly mistreated assistant, Andrew Paxton.  Andrew puts up with Margaret’s abuse because his dream is to one day have a book he’s written published.

During the movie, Margaret has carelessly let her visa expire (she’s from Canada) and finds herself about to be deported.  A la “Green Card” (another movie with a similar theme) she comes up with a scheme telling the immigration agent she and Andrew are engaged and are about to be married.  Andrew is horrified but Margaret threatens to fire him if he doesn’t go along with her scheme.  He agrees since she promises to publish his book.  While being interviewed by the immigration agent, to make the whole story seem more probable, Margaret says she will be flying out with Andrew that weekend to meet his parents.  She is stunned when she learns Andrew’s family lives in Alaska!

The majority of the movie is set in Alaska, which is actually Massachusetts, and there are lots of  funny “fish out water” scenes as you might expect when a New York city girl ends up in the wilds of Alaska.  One of the funniest scenes is when Margaret forgets a prior warning and lets the adorable family dog outside.  He is quickly snatched up by an eagle who eventually drops him to take Margaret’s cell phone from her frantically waving hand, instead.  Fitting with Margaret’s cold, unfeeling persona, she runs around the yard trying to entice the eagle to bring back her phone and take the dog, instead.  Fortunately, Andrew comes out about this time.

House in Movie, The Proposal with Sandra Bullock

Since the Kanebs have four children, they initially said, “no” when they heard what was going to be involved if they allowed their home to be used in the movie.  Their children talked them into doing it in the end.   The script called for a rugged, somewhat rustic interior.  Here’s a “before” picture of their home from THIS article in the New York Times.  This is beautiful, but it’s about as “un-rustic” as you can get.  Major changes were made to create the interior of the home for the movie.  I was stunned when I saw this picture below because the inside of the home in The Proposal looks absolutely nothing like this.  Let’s check it out!

House in Movie, The Proposal with Sandra Bullock

In the movie, The Proposal, Andrew’s parents Grace (Mary Steenburgen) and Joe (Craig T. Nelson) throw a “Welcome Home” party for Andrew.  We get a few glimpses into the kitchen but unfortunately we never get to go in for a full tour.  I wonder if the kitchen cabinets were actually this pretty teal color or if they painted them for the movie.

Have you ever wondered if folks are compensated monetarily for allowing their home to be used in a movie.  According to the NY Times article, fees often range from $1,500-$3,000 a day.  The actually filming in the Kaneb’s home was just three days, but there was a good bit of construction time prior to the shooting.

House in Movie, The Proposal with Sandra Bullock

All of the furniture (except for a grand piano) was moved out of the home and put into storage.  New furniture was brought in for the filming.  I love the deep color of the  teal/turquoise-blue chandelier we see in this scene.

House in Movie, The Proposal with Sandra Bullock

Great antler mirror!  You can find faux antler mirrors these days that look just like they are made with real antlers.

House in Movie, The Proposal with Sandra Bullock

See all that stained paneling and wood here in the entrance/foyer of the home?

House in Movie, The Proposal with Sandra Bullock

The real walls inside the home were wrapped in bubble wrap and walls were constructed in front of them!  Is that not amazing?  I never would have guessed that when I saw this movie.

That’s how they took an interior that looked like this….

House in Movie, The Proposal with Sandra Bullock

And turned it into a rugged, Alaskan home that looks like this.  This is the dining room in the movie.  Notice the heavy, rough-hewn trim around the doorways.

House in Movie, The Proposal with Sandra Bullock
Another view of the dining room in a different scene.  This house has the most beautiful cathedral styled windows.  Not sure that works so well for a rustic interior but I do love them!

House in Movie, The Proposal with Sandra Bullock

I never could get a great shot of the family room from the movie so I snagged this one from a promo video on YouTube.

House in Movie, The Proposal with Sandra Bullock

Here’s a view of the other side of  the family room.  (Picture from the NY Times)  The rock fireplace was created for the movie and the rustic ceiling beams were added on top of the home’s normal ceiling.

House in Movie, The Proposal with Sandra Bullock

In this scene we get another glimpse of the kitchen.  You can really see how open the interior of the home is and how one room flows to the next.

House in Movie, The Proposal with Sandra Bullock

Andrew and Margaret are shown to “their” room.  Some of the funniest scenes take place in this space.  Look at that view outside the doors!  Wow!  I wonder if this is the master bedroom of the home in real life.  Again, all the walls have been covered with stained, paneled walls for a rugged, Alaskan home look.

House in Movie, The Proposal with Sandra Bullock

When you first enter this bedroom, a shelving/wall unit is immediately to the right.

House in Movie, The Proposal with Sandra Bullock

A wonderful fireplace was constructed for the room.  Sooo realistic!  Later in the movie, there’s a real fire blazing away and it’s wonderfully cozy.

House in Movie, The Proposal with Sandra Bullock

A view of the room to the right of the fireplace.

House in Movie, The Proposal with Sandra Bullock

The bed feels sort of like of a modern take on the sleigh bed to me.  I adore sleigh beds.  They feel so cozy and safe, the way they wrap around you as you drift off into sweet dreams.  Update:  I recently saw a headboard similar to this one in a catalog and they referred to it as a “wingback” headboard.

In this scene below, the family bursts in on the couple early in the morning, sending Andrew scrambling from the floor where he was sleeping and into the bed beside Margaret since they supposed to be a couple in love and engaged.  Andrew’s parents and his grandmother, Gammy (played by Betty White) have come up with the brilliant idea that Margaret and Andrew should marry right away while they are home in Alaska so the family can all attend.  That explains the distressed look on Margaret’s face in this scene.

House in Movie, The Proposal with Sandra Bullock

Loved this overhead shot from the movie because you really get a good view of the luxurious rugs and bed linens.  The colors in this room are sooo cozy, so rich and warm.

House in Movie, The Proposal with Sandra Bullock

For several years now I’ve dreamed of finding or sewing linens for my bed to create a cozy “Ralph Lauren” look and feel for winter, so I was especially interested in getting a better look at the bed duvet/coverlet.

House in Movie, The Proposal with Sandra Bullock

During the daytime, the coverlet looks a lot lighter in color.  In the movie, the daylight goes on forever since it’s Alaska, so they have to close the drapes to simulate nighttime to get some sleep.

House in Movie, The Proposal with Sandra Bullock

This door on the other side of the room leads to the bathroom.

House in Movie, The Proposal with Sandra Bullock

I thought the full-length mirror was kind of cool.  Doesn’t this make you wish for a cabin to decorate?  I always think of the cabin Charles Faudree once owned.  I used to drool over it in one of my old Traditional Home magazines. I loved how he decorated it.  Okay, back to the movie…quit daydreaming, Susan!

House in Movie, The Proposal with Sandra Bullock

This is the only view we get of the bath on the other side of the door.  I’m sure this was all created just for the movie to continue the rustic theme of the home.

House in Movie, The Proposal with Sandra Bullock

The “almost” wedding scene takes place in the Kaneb’s antique barn.  I loved this beautiful entrance created for Margaret to walk down.  Isn’t it enchanting?!   I’d love to do this on either side of the doors leading from my screened-in porch to the decks for a summer’s eve party. Ummm, the wheels are turning!

Wedding in the Proposal

 

If you enjoyed this movie tour, would very much appreciate a Google +1.   Thanks so much in advance!  ♥

The story-line of this movie reminded me so much of another romantic comedy, Green Card.  Green Card also has an amazing home, as well as a to-die-for conservatory.  You can take the tour of the darling apartment and conservatory in that movie here:  Movie House Tour: Green Card: Tour the Apartment and Greenhouse




Comments

  1. I love this tour – amazing how they can transform a home like that. Btw, this is one of our favorite movies.

  2. Thanks for the tour, Susan! I love this movie and enjoyed getting to tour the house. I am going to +1 it right now!

  3. Lydia Babb says:

    I love this movie and the house! Thanks for the tour- surprised by the interior that was constructed. I really enjoy reading your blog.
    Lydia

  4. Susan, just did the google+1.
    Thanks for the tour. I always enjoy your movie home tours. We were approached about using our home for a movie years age, but declined. It sounded a bit too disruptive and invasive for our comfort zone. I’m always amazed what magic film makers use when filming a movie.

    • Sarah, thanks for the +1! That is so cool about having been asked! It’s definitely disruptive from what I’ve read. It would be so neat though to have a copy of a movie forever and to know it was filmed in your home. Do you remember now what kind of movie it was they had in mind? In the NY times interview, it said they nicked the families piano and broke a light fixture. They replaced/repaired everything that got damaged. The homeowners said they were okay with it but that you probably wouldn’t want to have a movie filmed in your home if you had a lot of valuable antiques.

  5. Sharon McMurray says:

    Loved this tour, cause we love this movie! I wonder why they chose this particular home if they had to do so much changing of the interior? Looks like that would be more costly than finding one they could use as is. But what do I know about movie making? thanks for sharing this!

    • Sharon, I always think the same thing. I guess they are willing to do the work to transform the inside if the house fits the other criteria. From what I read, they seemed happy/amazed to find a house they could make look like it was in Alaska, but without having to go all the way to Alaska. Wouldn’t it be fun to be a location scout! I would so sign up for that job in a skinny minute. :)

  6. Thanks for the peek “behind the scenes” of that incredible home! I never guessed that it wasn’t in AK. I like the movie-created interior so much–that cozy cabin feel in a huge home is so enchanting & inviting. Now I want to watch the movie again!

  7. I knew someone who had a movie filmed in their home (can’t remember which one) and she said she hated the experience. I’ve always wondered why a production company would spend so much money to redo a house like this when they can find something that wouldn’t have to be redone?! Covering walls, adding fireplaces and trees seems like a LOT of work!

    I enjoyed this movie too, but I like almost everything Sandra is in.

  8. I love Sandra Bullock but have to admit I haven’t seen this movie! You can bet I will now! I am anxious to +1 this so that my cousins who live near Manchester can see this! I wonder if they know about it?! The transformation is incredible! Bubblewrap?! Wow, that’s incredible! And limbs on the trees, and the stone fireplaces and heavy wood! Gracious, who would have guessed! I learned a lot, and it was fun! Thanks Susan, you’re so talented and fun to read! Love your posts! Helen

  9. Oh, Susan,
    thank you very much for this post! It made my day and I can’t stop laughing!
    I remember, while watching this movie, I said to my husband: “See, honey, Alaska is beautiful, too… we have to visit someday!” And he replied: ” No way! It’s too cold there! See at the snow on their mountains!” LOLOLOL (He prefers FL! :-) ) But who knew they actually were in MA?! I love, love, love New England, especially Boston, but I really thought they were in AK! Now, I know why some movie budgets are that high and their making cost millions of $$$$$ ! ;-)
    The Kanebs for sure had a blast during the filming of the movie in their wonderful house and Ted Danson’s behavior when he met Mr. Kaneb really was hilarious! lol
    ~Hugs to you~
    Cecilia

  10. So very interesting to see the transformation! The magic of Hollywood, right?
    Thanks for giving us a peek inside this gorgeous home.
    Haven’t seen the movie, but now I’ll have to do it!

  11. I liked this movie a lot! Knowing these details about the home is fun but I’m shocked to know how much trouble Hollywood goes to alter a home like this. It’s a fabulous place – I’d like to see its interior in its normal look too! I can’t imagine having all my furniture removed like that either! Wow… What an undertaking! I did love that bedroom too- the bed itself is awesome!

    • I know! And furniture usually gets damaged in moves. I wish they had shown more pics of how the home looked before in the NY Times article. That was a neat bed! I loved the shape of it…like a cozy cocoon.

  12. I saw this movie at the theatre with my MIL when it first came out. We both loved it so she got me the dvd the Christmas before last. After reading this I think I’m going to pop it in and do a re-watch today:) I’m always pleased when I find out my favorite movie houses are actual houses and not just movie sets, thank you for this wonderful post!

  13. Thanks for the tour, Susan. I haven’t seen this movie, but will put it in the Netflix queue. It looks like the film crew did so much work to get the look they wanted. I think it would have been easier to just construct the house themselves! Many years ago, my sister & brother-in-law owned a production company & used their house for many of the commercials they made for Charlotte’s businesses. I was amazed at how quickly they could transform & redecorate rooms to get the “right” look. I could barely recognize the house I was familiar with when I saw the finsihed product. I’m sorry, but I don’t understand the Google +1. I’m not on Google though so perhaps that’s why, but if I were, I would be more than happy to give you a +2!

    • Google + is just a way to give a post a “high five” if you like it. A lot of folks have joined Google + but it isn’t being used that much, yet. I hope it grows because it’s one way a blogger can let their readers/family/friends or anyone in their “circle” know a new post is up. Facebook has made some bad changes over the last year so I’m trying to use Google + a bit more now. Thanks, Alicia…you are a sweetie!

  14. Goose Grove says:

    Loved that house! I dream of fireplaces like that one. I actually like the movie interior better than the orginal!

  15. What an interesting post! I echo what others have stated; If they can bring in fresh branches surely they can build a home on a soundstage? Seems like a lot of extra work! What do O know? LOL!

    xo

    Andie

    • lol I know they wanted the house to look HUGE because in the movie, Andrew’s dad owns about half the town. Apparently, their ancestors were early settlers, etc… So they wanted a really grand house. The one used for the movie has 9 bedrooms and 10 baths, that’s pretty grand! :)

  16. I had mixed feelings about this movie (which I own and will have to watch again with your post in mind) but loved this post!

  17. I love this movie, it is simple fun. Thanks for the tour of the house. I always admire how they do that for movies too.

    Cynthia

  18. I so love movies in which I play over and over just to see more of the house!….This was a magnificent home!!!

  19. I love it when you do these movie/decor posts! I haven’t seen this movie, even tho I love Sandra Bullock’s movies! Now I want to see it! Great review and info on the decor, etc.

    I also just did a post about “The Proposal” but it’s pictures about my grandson’s romantic proposal!

    Katherine

  20. P.S. – What is a Google +1??? I don’t know how to do it!

    Katherine

  21. Jeannie from WNC says:

    Wow! What an amazing transformation! Sandra Bullock is one of my favorite actresses!
    Thanks for sharing!

  22. Karen Sawyer says:

    We actually had a location scout working for Lifetime TV come our home about two years ago. They were looking for a ranch-style home for an upcoming Lifetime TV series about two divorced female police detectives with one or two kids each and their daily life’s pressures – both personal and career. For some reason – although it IS a beautiful, well-maintained and updated 20-year-old brick home – they liked the look of ours when there are plenty of ranch homes in our area.

    After introductions and a brief run-down of what they were looking for, the scout answered our questions saying they would need the house for about three weeks, we would be put up in a local hotel all expenses paid, our pets would be boarded for us, plus we would receive $1500-$2000 per day for our inconvenience. She asked if she could see the kitchen because much of the characters’ interactions would be filmed there.

    She seemed to like our completely updated kitchen and its amenities … but she was concerned it might be “too nice” for two single police women. (We have granite counters, cherry cabinets, cherry flooring, stainless appliances, etc.) She asked if she could take some pictures, but she was honest with us and said they really needed a more “open” floor plan in the kitchen to allow room for two cameras and all of the film equipment. Ours is about 25′ by 15′.

    Our house wasn’t chosen, but it was still fun to have been scouted.

    • Karen, thanks for sharing that. I always wondered how that type thing happened. I could give up my home for 3 weeks, but Mr. Max would have to come with me so I’d have to find a hotel that allowed pets. :) That’s neat they picked your house!

  23. This post makes me want to see this movie again!! I loved that house and I even thought I’d love to live in Alaska, but recapasitated immediately, lol.. I like that Google+Google +1..how interesting, you are always so up to date on this Susan! Thank you for sharing, I loved this post! Hugs,
    FABBY

  24. I remember going to this movie and chuckling with a friend about how the house and locale couldn’t actually be in Alaska, everything seemed too “New England-y”. We stayed to watch all the credits just to see where it was filmed. Amazing house as was the transformation. (Although I’ve never been to Alaska, I do live on the southern N.E. coast!)

  25. Wonderful tour! Your movie tours are some of my very favorite posts.

  26. P.S. – I’d love to see you do a tour of the house in the movie “Dan in Real Life”. Have you seen it?

  27. This is so neat! What a transformation! I was on a boat tour in Fort Lauderdale once and the tour guide showed us the house where “Cape Fear” was filmed. They had to take out all the palm trees and replace them with other trees since I think they said he story didn’t take place in a tropical location. It was fascinating! Thanks for sharing this! =)

  28. One of my favorite movie houses! I’m fascinated with the lengths they went to in changing the interior…makes me wonder if it wouldn’t be easier to do the interior scenes on a set? With all that “stuff” done to it…I wonder if there was damage leftover?

    • Brandon, the article I read said they nicked their grand piano and broke a light fixture or two. They said everything that was damaged was either replaced or repaired. Don’t think this would be a good idea if your home was filled with irreplaceable pieces or priceless antiques.

  29. Susan, I enjoyed this tour, especially as I have watched the movie twice. I am not sure whether they could pay me enough to change everything in that beautiful home. I wonder what the owners thought of the final transformation.
    I google + you!!

  30. I love this movie and I adore the house! What a wonderful insight–thanks so much for the tour! :-)

  31. I love the house! Its more of like a mansion. I haven’t seen the movie yet but I am about to. :)

  32. I love this movie! I didn´t know of the house makeover which I find very interesting. What a job to transform a house like that! Wouldn´t it be easier (cheaper?) to use a studio, I wonder. Thanks for sharing.

    -Sanna-

  33. Leslee in TN says:

    One of my top favorite movies too! Enjoyed the tour of the beeeeutiful home. That certainly would be a tough decision to allow your home to be completely re-done inside for a movie… I presume once they were finished filming inside that they returned it to it’s original!! Fun to have a look inside these movie homes… thanks so much!

  34. Susan, loved the movie and that home. You do an amazing job with these posts . My favorite is Rosehill Cottage from The Holiday! Thanks, Sandi

    • Thanks, Sandi! I know…Rosehill Cottage and Home Alone are still at the top of my list. The house in Practical Magic was pretty awesome too…especially the conservatory and the kitchen.

  35. Screendoorgirl 3 says:

    I adore this movie! The house is so pretty, no matter where it is! Thanks for sharing this..

  36. Oh my gosh, I loved this show. I thought the home was so beautiful on the outside. So interesting. Thanks for sharing this. I can NOT imagine attaching leaves to all of the trees. Crazy!
    hugs,
    Jann

  37. Thanks for the interesting tour, Susan! I loved watching “The Proposal” and enjoyed the fact that it was filmed in an actual (transformed) home and not in a set, as so many movies are nowadays.

  38. Oh, Susan! What great fun you’ve provided for me!! I definitely g+’d it with a recommendation to you. That was thoroughly enjoyable and very inspirational. And, yes!! i now want to decorate a cabin, too!!
    Thanks so much for sharing, such a great treat!
    Hugs and Blessings,
    ~Theresa.

  39. Wendy Boelter says:

    Great photos and background information on the movie. Interesting behind the scenes. I have worked on two different episodes of Extreme Home Makeover with Ty Pennington and the crew. It was very interesting to see how that television show worked behind the camera. Very organized.
    In the movie The Proposal, the guest room the couple stays in, there is a table lamp with what look to be rainbow trout fish on the barrel shaped lamp with a barrel shaped shade that is a neutral color. My mom has challenged me to see if I can find out if that lamp can be found for purchase. Would you know how I could find out if that fish lamp is one of a kind or can be purchased? I have put in a good chunk of time looking online. Thank you for your help. Wendy

    • I would love the opportunity to do that…ve on a set of Extreme Home Makeover! So neat you were able to do that! I just did a bunch of googling for the lamp…searching a bunch of different ways and couldn’t find anything quite like it. I wonder if they bought a plain, off-white/cream colored lamp and had an artist paint the fish on it. Sure don’t see any online anywhere. If I ever come across one, I’ll will definitely let you know.

      • Wendy Boelter says:

        Thank you for your reply. That is a difficult lamp to find and perhaps it is one of a kind, created just for the movie. I worked in the residential home building industry for 10 years and I know that our model homes had furniture made specifically for certain floor plans. I have several beautiful pieces of furniture from some gorgeous homes built in Newport Beach here where I live in California. My co-workers and worked the model home furniture sales many times because we would get first dibs on everything. At .25 on the dollar-it was well worth the time we put in. Anyway, thank you again. I guess we just keep our eyes open for fish lamps.

  40. Loved the tour. Is it just me or does it look like Sandra pooped her pants in the bedroom scene where you are talking about the bed looking like a sleigh bed? LOL :)

  41. Interestingly, I got to see in real life how the movie folks can “change” seasons to suit the film. In the 2006 movie, We Are Marshall, starring Matthew McCoughnehey (sp?), based on a real life come back story of the football program At Marshall University, Huntington Wv, after a plane crash in 1970 kills 75 people including the entire Marshall Football team, coaches, boosters, flight crew, etc… My husband was actually a member of the real team depicted in the movie so we were asked to be in some of the crowd scenes, etc… The actual film was filmed in April when all the dogwood trees and azalea bushes in Huntington West Virginia are blooming. The movie took place during November which would have been a barren landscape.Warner Brothers brought in huge cherry picker trucks to individually pick off all the dogwood blooms of trees within a particular scene!! Azalea bushes were trimmed of their blooms as well. I have had a fun time watching the movie and looking for the chance sighting of a lone dogwood tree that escaped the slaughter and I have found several way in the background of various scenes.!!
    Gmama Jane

I'd love to hear from you! Please leave a comment!

*