Felicity Huffman Built a Duplicate of Her Childhood Home in Snowmass, Colorado: See Inside https://t.co/YQB8uamCCX
— People (@people) June 14, 2018
My parents are moving to Florida next week. In the process they have taught me the value of downsizing, of getting rid of things, and getting over sentimentality to reduce clutter. I’ve been able to get organized as a result, although there is still more to do. (I got help from Clutterbug’s YouTube videos, podcasts and books, which are practical and easy to follow.)
So while I have some wistful memories of my childhood home, my parents sold it over ten years ago and I got over it. I’m not going to have to discard a lot of stuff when my parents pass (which I hope is a very long time from now) and there’s a growing awareness that this is an issue. Some people love to hold on to cherished memories though, which is a lead up to this story that Felicity Huffman had a slightly bigger replica of her childhood home built on the property where she grew up. The home wasn’t habitable anymore so they tore it down and had it copied down to specific details. Then they added a bunch of cool upgrades. Felicity and her husband of over 20 years, William H. Macy, have a new spread in Architectural Digest describing the process. Celebrities do that when they want to offload real estate, but Felicity writes on Instagram that she hopes the property stays in her family. Here are some excerpts, with more at the source, including photos of the home.
Huffman and Macy were married [at her parent's home] in 1997, as were most of her six older sisters. Her parents’ ashes are even buried under the rose bushes. But after her mother’s death, the house was put up for sale. Then, recalls Huffman, “My wonderful husband, Bill Macy, said, ‘Hey, why don’t we try and buy it?’ And then my wonderful family said, ‘We’ll help you.’”
The actress was ecstatic. “I went, Oh my gosh, I’m going to get my childhood home. I’m so happy! I’m so happy!” Of course, there was a twist. The post-sale inspection elicited this verdict: “‘This house is falling apart. You should wear a hard hat when you’re in it,’” Huffman recalls hearing…
Huffman’s dream pivoted into a teardown, but not before the couple took photos for the architect—they wanted him to replicate it on a slightly larger scale—and spent plenty of time inside with the third-generation builders, as well as interior designer Lonni Paul. “It had a very particular feel,” says Huffman, “and I think everyone sort of got the zeitgeist of that house.” In addition, the artwork of family members was Paul’s primary source of design inspiration…
When Huffman entered their completed home in Colorado, she first felt relief, “because I loved everything about it. There wasn’t a catch. It’s nostalgic,” she says. “The smell of the area, the sounds of the brook, the trees. It’s a little bit of a time machine because I do go back to being 8 and 10 and 15 and 20, on the lawn where everybody got married.” For Macy, the memory-packed holiday house with strong family ties is “so indescribably beautiful in any direction you look, just magnificent.” But for Huffman, it’s not just about her past. It’s about her family’s future, too. Being in the home they’ve built—or rebuilt—together “is like mainlining memories while you’re making new ones.”
OK she got me with that last part about sensory memories bringing her back to her childhood and blending old memories with new ones. That was poetic and beautiful. There’s something enchanting about stepping back into the past, which usually seems more romantic than it was. At the same time if I had that kind of money I would build a house that was uniquely my own, with just subtle nods to my family’s style. My taste is much different than theirs. Still I took many things that they were going to donate or sell. I get the same nostalgic feeling from seeing pictures and objects that I had as a child.
Photos credit: WENN and AD/social media