Renovations in the Movies #1: Mr Blandings Builds His Dream House

There are times during this renovation process when particular films I have seen about home renovation come to mind. One of my favourites is the 1948 Cary Grant film Mr Blandings Builds his Dream House. Here is the trailer.

New York ad man Jim Blandings (Grant) and his wife Muriel (Myrna Loy) are tired of living in their cramped New York apartment. They decide to move to the country and have Jim commute to the city for work. A Connecticut real estate agent manages to offload the “Old Hackett Place” to them. They plan to renovate (or, in American vernacular, “fix it up”) but it soon becomes apparent that the entire building is on the verge of collapse. They are forced to demolish and re-build. During the build Mr Blandings’ job, marriage and sanity are all tested.

Here Mrs Blandings discusses colours with the decorator (the audio is a little low so you might need to turn it up):

If you search on YouTube you can find the entire film for viewing. I initially saw this film in 2003 when we were building our first house back in Melbourne, Australia. We too had decided that we would move out of the centre of the city in order to afford our own home.

8349483813_2e16942ea2_zThe house going up.

8370790122_e1ea2efcf0_zHow it looked when we sold it. The summer drought had not been kind to the lawn: there were water restrictions so we weren’t allowed to water it.Screen Shot 2014-05-12 at 08.46.47A Google Street view shot from today. The garden we planted is maturing nicely. It was our dream home for a while but then our commutes got worse and worse. Luckily a couple of years later Mark got a promotion and we were able to move back into town much closer to our workplaces. Like many people we had to make some sort of compromise in order to get on the ‘property ladder’.