Home Alone House – Bold to Bland to What’s Next

The Home Alone house has the honor of featuring one of the most famous movie houses in recent memory. The gorgeous Georgian Colonial style brick house, built in 1921 in Winnetka IL, was the scene for much mayhem in grand old movie style. Premiering in 1990 the house was decorated in a holiday themed green and red with classic furnishings.  The actual house interiors were nothing like those in the movie and most of the interiors were shot in a local high school gym turned into a makeshift soundstage. Below I have some images of the Home Alone house interior from the movie, interiors from an interview with the homeowners who loaned their house to the production, shots from a 2012 sale of the house, and then fast forwarding to 2022 when it was staged for a promotion on AirBnB to look similar to the movie set and then to just recently in May 2024 when the house was put on the market (and under agreement within weeks) for millions of dollars. Was the most recent “update” a good one? You will see below.  One thing I will say – decor is rarely if ever timeless – but architecture is.

Home Alone house movie set design and decoration

Production Design by John Muto
Art Direction by  Dan Webster
Set Decoration by Eve Cauley  and Daniel B. Clancy

Home Alone movie foyer and stairs

Home Alone movie enfilade living room foyer dining room

Home Alone movie kitchen

Home Alone movie kitchen with Kevin

Home Alone movie kevin sledding down stairs

Home Alone movie living room with kevin

Home Alone movie bedroom with kevin

Home Alone movie upper hall

Interestingly – the Home Alone house movie set designer Eve Cauley noted that the prevailing color palette for interiors of the mid/late 1980’s was blue and pink – so doing this house in bold and Christmassy red and green seemed almost too shocking. I don’t really recall what was popular in the 1980’s but just today as I’m writing this, a friend sent me a photo of a spread from Colonial Homes in 1987 showing famed New England decorator Richard FitzGerald’s house on the Cape Cod (which I later showcased in this blog post) and it features blue and pink furnishings!

Richard FitzGerald Cape Cod house Colonial Homes 1987

It’s now coming clear to me that the Home Alone house movie decor helped usher in the popularity of red and green interiors in the 1990’s to early 2000’s.  I mean – who wasn’t doing red dining rooms back in the day?

Home Alone house – the real thing

These pics are from an interview done with the homeowners who owned the house when the movie was shot when they were selling their house in 2012.

Home Alone House 2012 decorations foyer stairs up

Home Alone House 2012 decorations foyer stairs down

Home Alone House 2012 decorations dining room

The hand painted mural is lovely in the dining room.

Home Alone House 2012 decorations enfilade

Home Along House 2000 decorations living room

Home Along House 2000 decorations kitchen 1

Home Along House 2000 decorations kitchen 2

Home Along House 2000 decorations kitchen 3

Simple and classic – probably not professionally decorated – though I will say it seems to be on the forefront of the all gray interiors look we’ve been saddled with for the last decade.  In 2012 the house sold for $1.585M (though it went on the market in 2011 starting at $2.4M).

Interestingly – the homeowners talk about filming the stair sledding scene in the house and I have read that while most of the house interiors was recreated on a sound stage, some scenes were shot in the actual house. Which means that they had to have redecorated some spaces at least temporarily to match the movie interiors. According to this article in the Chicago Star Media: “During filming, slight modifications to the home were made, such as new festive wallpaper, a treehouse rigged to a zipline, and an exterior stairway to the basement that robber Marv (played by actor Daniel Stern) slides down in the movie.”  In this article in Vanity Fair “Its first brush with fame came in 1974, when the house’s newly renovated kitchen (think: rust-colored mosaic floor tiling, track lighting, and kelly green director chair seating) was featured in the September issue of Better Homes & Gardens. ”

 

Home Alone movie kevin sledding down stairs

Home Alone House 2012 decorations foyer stairs down

Home Alone house as AirBnB in 2022

According to the real estate listing – the house was sold in 2012 and then not again until 2024. In December 2022 there was a weird little promotion with AirBnB where for $25.00 one lucky group of 4 people could stay for one night in the house. It was only available for one night and it wasn’t a contest. For instance – it would have made sense as a fundraiser where entrants could donate $25.00 and one lucky winner would be selected – with the proceeds going to charity. But this wasn’t that. This was – reservations open on this day (December 18th I believe) and the first one gets the spot. AirBnB did apparently make a donation to a children’s charity as part of the event. But – it’s a weird little promotion. I suppose maybe for the homeowner it started to pre-promote the house for a potential future sale. They partially decorated the house in the Home Alone movie set style (the kitchen was apparently off-limits).

Home Alone House 2022 AirBNB exterior

Home Alone House 2022 AirBNB foyer

Home Alone House 2022 AirBNB living room

Home Alone House 2022 AirBNB bedroom

You can read more about this promotional event here.

Mockingbird Lane Design has an excellent post about the movie set complete with 3d renderings.

Home Alone house in 2024

And so this brings us to today. The house went on the market again in May 2024 for $5.25M and is already sale pending. So my guess is it went for at least that much if not quite a bit more. But there’s a shocking and disappointing twist (at least to me)

Home Alone house 671 Lincoln Ave, Winnetka, IL 60093 foyer and stairs

I mean – couldn’t you just cry? It’s a big ole bland white and gray box. Gutted and staged to sell? They did add a large addition off the back which you can see past the stair case. Per the real estate listing they did a major remodel in 2018.

Home Alone house 671 Lincoln Ave, Winnetka, IL 60093 living room

Home Alone house 671 Lincoln Ave, Winnetka, IL 60093 bedroom

Home Alone house 671 Lincoln Ave, Winnetka, IL 60093 kitchen

Home Alone house 671 Lincoln Ave, Winnetka, IL 60093 upper hall

I guess the best we can say is that it’s a literal blank slate for the new owners. More photos on the real estate listing here.

So – the question is – how would you update this for today? Do you see mixing contemporary furnishings with such as a classic home? Would you want to see it returned to it’s Home Alone house colorful glory?

In a post coming up I will share some of what I would do if hired to decorate this gorgeous home. But in the mean time – feel free to share what you would do or a recommendation for a designer whose work you feel would do this house justice!

(Pin for future reference)

Home Alone movie house pin

5 thoughts on “Home Alone House – Bold to Bland to What’s Next”

  1. What a journey this home has been through, and I feel like reading your post we went through the journey together. It does take my breath away seeing it so colorless in the recent photos, I am hoping the new owners are creative with the design of their new home!

    Reply
  2. Hi Linda, I would love to be hired as the interior decorator of this home! Sadly, my firm is just a little bit “too boutique” to handle such a large job. There is a firm called Park and Oak in Glen Ellyn, IL, not terribly far from Winnetka. I know none of the designers personally but I’ve learned a lot from them at design conferences. The owners are two best friends and they seem so down to earth and they have a beautiful portfolio. I really admire the ladies as designers and I think that their aesthetic would do this home justice! I can’t wait to see your designs for the home. This was a fun post.

    Reply
  3. Linda, what a choice of topic! I never knew I’d learn so much about this Winnetka home! When the home was stripped down…wow, just wow. Like Janet said, it really was stripped down to its underwear! What a fascinating look at this home’s changes.

    Reply
  4. Hi Linda ~ What an interesting concept for a post. Thanks for sharing all of these iterations of this home.

    Honestly, I don’t like the Home Alone interiors…. and I sure don’t like the gray and white empty box look, either, but it’s amazing how much the home appreciated in value during all of these years!

    I will look forward to seeing how you would re-design it in your next installment!

    Reply
  5. I think I already responded to your posting of this on FB that it looks like it’s been stripped down to its underwear! Now seeing the rest of the pictures, the kitchen is the best room in the house at the moment and it’s a pretty low bar as I’d still tweak that a bit to give it some elegance and warmth! The house has such ‘good bones’, it would be a pleasure to get to work on it. I’m looking forward to seeing what you would do with it!

    Reply

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