Felicity Huffman’s vacation home is a copy of her childhood home built on site

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.”

[From Architectural Digest]

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

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

18 Responses to “Felicity Huffman’s vacation home is a copy of her childhood home built on site”

Comments are Closed

We close comments on older posts to fight comment spam.

  1. minx says:

    I would not have known that was her in the header pic.

    • holly hobby says:

      Yep it is sad she fiddled with her face. I blame this on the stupid Housewives show. She thought she had to compete.

      • DiegoInSF says:

        Hey… I take offense to Desperate Housewives being described like that. It was a great female-led show!

  2. LizLemonGotMarried (aka The Hufflepuff Liz Lemon) says:

    My parents are moving to Georgia be closer to us, and while I’m stoked (they got a brand new house twenty minutes from us), I’ll miss going home, sleeping in my old room, the barns and the fields. Fortunately the buyer is an amazing family, they’ve worked with us for months (they’re building their dream home on an adjacent property and wanted a place for the wife’s mother), and the whole process has just been so easy-Mom and Dad had tons of time to say goodbye to their home of almost 35 years, and they know it will be well-loved. It makes it easier.

  3. heh says:

    this is a lifetime movie…..
    but a good well acted one…..not that leann bs.

  4. Susannah says:

    It would be funny if I had all that money and beautiful land and yet built my childhood home, a basic, suburban split level with wall to wall carpet, linoleum floors in the kitchen and laminated countertops!

  5. Sherry says:

    I read the AD article via her Instagram story this morning. Such a beautiful home and a lovely couple!

    • Jan90067(aka imqrious2) says:

      The home is GORGEOUS!! I would move in there in a heartbeat!

      LOVE that double sided sofa (only other place I saw one was on the old “I Love Lucy” show (where she moved to Connecticut and went with her neighbor Betty to buy new furniture for her early American house).

  6. adastraperaspera says:

    I relate to her so much on this! I remodeled my grandparents little white (green trim) farm house, and it always gives me a sense of comfort and ease when I’m there. Just little things like pieces of the painted wood floor that was long ago repaired with old tin patches and the view out the kitchen window when doing dishes.

  7. lucy2 says:

    Looks like a nice house, and it’s a lovely idea to keep it in the family for future generations.

  8. Birdix says:

    I love my childhood home —1920s California beach cottage. Problem is the town is now so fancy that it’s expensive land, so the cute, small house is now surrounded by and dwarfed by McMansions. 🙁

    • Christin says:

      Isn’t it crazy how much larger an “average” home has become?

      I have come to appreciate homes that are true to a time period. Just driving down the road, I’ll notice an original midcentury front door with fond memories.

      One of my favorite day drives is to a tiny historic town that has early 1900s homes. No home built after 1930s exists on the town’s few streets.

  9. Christin says:

    I still have my parents’ home. It’s a peaceful place with wonderful views. They found the land and built it, so I now appreciate the sacrifices they made to do that when I was a baby. Plus, it’s a little haven for a couple of stray cats that seem to actually own the property. I did not want to displace them, either.

  10. LadyWonder says:

    My husband and I started looking for a house this past winter, and my childhood home was up for sale. Of course I had to go see, and in fact my mother came and both of my siblings asked me to take video. It was also falling apart, and it was so sad to see it like that, but the sensory memories were strong. I would have loved to be able to afford all of the work that it needed to restore it to its former self or build a new version. And I’m not known for being sentimental about items typically. I think this is pretty awesome.

  11. tealily says:

    That’s so sad. I don’t think I couldn’t handle the nostalgia.

  12. OriginalRose says:

    My mum had to sell our childhood home when i was 10 because my dad left and stopped paying the mortgage, the bank was on the brink of repossession. It was all so distressing. If i had all the money i would buy it back in a heartbeat . Good for her. I still dream about that first home.

  13. caffienatedwench says:

    I can get this. My childhood home was a tiny 1850’s farmhouse outside of Asheville. I cried for months when we moved. My ‘win the lottery’ dream is to buy it, move it to a secluded spot by a river, and have the family use it for a getaway.