“Twilight” Revisited: The Contemporary House Used for the Cullen Family

by hookedonhouses on July 13, 2009

A few months ago I wrote a post about the movie Twilight. Since then I learned more about Edward Cullen’s contemporary house. According to an interview that architect Jeff Kovel of Skylab Architecture gave to Design Tavern, it was built as a spec house and bought by the director of footwear design at Nike, John Hoke: “Following a cover story in a northwest architecture publication,” Kovel says, “the Hokes were approached by a film location scout, a little film called Twilight.

Twilight producers thought it was the perfect setting for the Cullen family of cool, “we-glitter-in-the-sun and look-like-supermodels” vampires–although many fans have complained that it didn’t look anything like the old white Victorian described in the novel.

I personally loved this house and was thrilled to find more photos of it on the Skylab website, as well as at Home-Designing.com and Design Tavern. Here’s how the house looked in the film:

And “in real life” (minus all the trees that were added in post-production):

The staircase, as seen in the movie, with Bella (Kristin Stewart) and Edward (Robert Pattinson):

And the full view:

A view of the kitchen from the film, with the Cullen family using it for the first time to prepare a meal for “the human” (Bella):

And what it looks like empty:

The eat-in part of the kitchen, which we didn’t get to see in the movie (I assume these are the Hoke children who live here):

We got a peek at the room on the other side of the kitchen in the movie:

I was excited to see a full view of it:

You can read an interesting interview with the architect Jeff Kovel at Design Tavern and see even more beautiful photos of the home there. I’m not sure, but based on the trailer I saw for the sequel New Moon, it looks like the Cullens were filmed in a different house for it. It’ll be hard to top this one!

UPDATE: They did use a different house in New Moon. It’s on the market for $3.3 million, and you can take a tour of it here. To see photos of Bella’s house, check out my original Twilight post.

Visit my TV/Movie Houses page for links to more, from “Father of the Bride” to “You’ve Got Mail.”

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lylah ledner July 13, 2009 at 3:06 pm

Now that’s a cool house…not my style…but cool!
.-= lylah ledner´s last blog ..A Morning Visitor to Our Garden Breakfast =-.

janice | Sharing the Journey July 13, 2009 at 3:08 pm

My mouth has just stopped gaping open in a jealous Wow! Although I wouldn’t find this home practical or cosy and would crave a bit of shabby chic clutter after a while, there are elements here I love and have had scaled down versions of in all my comparatively small suburban homes.

I love
~the spaciousness achieved by sticking to one type of flooring and white for the walls throughout
~the unfussy windows
~ how art work and objects seem to have designated areas that lend warmth without taking over
~the blending of sympathetic materials with the outside location
~the open plan living with different kinds of lighting that highlight and designate different areas.

My only concern as someone who lives in rainy Scotland? The effectiveness of self-cleaning window glass. It would have to work well in a home like this!

Thanks, Julia – this was a glorious fly on the wall treat!
.-= janice | Sharing the Journey´s last blog ..How to Breathe Life Into Your Writing =-.

Amy at The Red Chair Blog July 13, 2009 at 3:17 pm

How interesting! A good reminder about the power of color and lighting–I noticed how much colder the house looks in the film with the blue tones/filter. The house is so much prettier and more inviting with the natural light.
.-= Amy at The Red Chair Blog´s last blog ..Blue-Themed Bargains =-.

AnNicole@OurSuburbanCottage July 13, 2009 at 5:24 pm

Neat post! I actually thought this house was pretty similar to what I pictured in the book. It’s really interesting to see the real thing.
.-= AnNicole@OurSuburbanCottage´s last blog ..Thrifty Decor Tips =-.

christy July 13, 2009 at 5:54 pm

Wow what an amazingly beautiful house! I just love it. I haven’t read the books or seen the movie, but when I get around to it, I’ll be drooling over this house for sure. But I must say, it looks much better with all the trees around it — too bad they didn’t plant them there in real life!
.-= christy´s last blog ..And so week 7 begins… =-.

Suzette July 13, 2009 at 6:21 pm

You know that your original Twilight post was what led me to read the entire series, buy the soundtrack and the movie and basically become a Twilight addict! I loved this post too and was surprised to learn so many trees were added in for the movie. I thought the house looked different, too, in the New Moon trailers. But it’s still contemporary. I love that and am glad they didn’t go with the victorian for the movie :)

Struggler July 13, 2009 at 6:22 pm

I agree with Amy, the house looks so much friendlier in real-life.

Am I the only one who hates stairs with gaps in? I’ve been scared of them since I was a kid. I know it’d actually be impossible to fall through, but I’ve never liked them and could certainly never live with them. Probably just a bizarre phobia!
.-= Struggler´s last blog ..Bastille Day tomorrow! =-.

Amy @ Living Locurto July 14, 2009 at 12:52 am

How fun! It’s interesting to see how dark they made the house for the movie. I’m reading the last book now. So this was fun to see today:-)

Did you notice in the kitchen photo, they left the books and props the same on the shelves, but they painted the columns a dark gray? I just noticed in the Twilight photo, all the boxes of kitchen utensils they bought for Bella are on the floor. I didn’t notice that in the movie. :-)
.-= Amy @ Living Locurto´s last blog ..Cajun Caviar Recipe =-.

Mom in High Heels July 14, 2009 at 2:13 am

I was so disappointed in this choice of house for the movie. It’s a lovely house, but not what *I* wanted the Cullen’s to live in. And you know, what I want is super important. I wanted then grand old white Victorian because that’s what I pictured in my head when I read the books. When they chose a contemporary for the movie, it messed with my vision. Stupid director.
I’m not a fan of the house period. I especially don’t like it without all the cgi trees. It just looks so….blah.
.-= Mom in High Heels´s last blog ..Sangria is the devil. Sweet, delicious devil. Or: Oh my aching head =-.

Jeff July 14, 2009 at 7:43 am

Yeah I agree wit most commenters here that the house looks more inviting without the blue camera filter. Besides the power of lightning, I’m more amazed by the power of CGI. I was surprised to know that those trees were electronically generated. How many more movies used CGI to create mundane objects such as trees.

Bridget July 14, 2009 at 8:24 am

I love this house (but I am a Twilight addict) even though it is ‘not my style’. My favorite decor for it i the movie was the graduation cap picture. Thanks for finding these!
.-= Bridget´s last blog ..NOT hooked on….toddler edition =-.

Nancy July 14, 2009 at 8:28 am

That is so cool that you were able to track down those photos! I think the owners of the house need to notice how lovely their house is with all of those trees and get busy landscaping! It is a very beautiful house, I really enjoyed looking at the “real” one, thanks for the very neat post!
.-= Nancy´s last blog ..Rescue Mission =-.

Kat July 14, 2009 at 8:30 am

OMG, what a beautiful house! Thank you for the additional photos! I want that house!

Tricia July 14, 2009 at 10:28 am

What a beautiful house! I live in Port Angeles, which is close to Forks, and part of the Twilight series. I went to Forks last fall, and did the Twilight tour, and the house that they chose for the Cullens house on the tour was a big old victorian, not exactly what I had envisioned in my mind while reading the books, but neither was this house in the movie. For some reason I had kind of envisioned a more traditional white 80′s style of home…I don’t know why that is where my mind went…: ) I’ll stick with my minds version, but I would love to have this modern home, sitting somewhere in the woods on the Olympic Peninsula….the woods are far to beautiful to not have expanssive windows like that.

SoBella Creations July 14, 2009 at 12:14 pm

Wow! I love the pictures of the house! Although I was a bit bummed out that the house the movie used wasn’t as the book described. It is still a great house.
.-= SoBella Creations´s last blog ..Isabella’s 6th Birthday Party =-.

Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions July 14, 2009 at 12:24 pm

I haven’t seen the movie, but I have to say that I think it looks better with a few more trees around the exterior.

Amanda @ Serenity Now July 14, 2009 at 1:05 pm

I’m not usually into contemporary style, but I really do like this house. I am also just giddy thinking about New Moon. Some of my girlfriends are planning on going Opening Night when all the screaming teens are there, and I plan on joining them. ;) Should be fun!
.-= Amanda @ Serenity Now´s last blog ..Tasty Tuesday: The Cookies Were Brought to You By the Letter "A" =-.

Robyns Online World July 14, 2009 at 3:06 pm

I love this house! How fabulous!
.-= Robyns Online World´s last blog ..Michael Buble Giveaway & Review =-.

Kathy :) July 15, 2009 at 12:28 pm

Hi Julia,

I am just about to start book 3…..I thought that maybe I was too old for this series but I love it !!! I’ve not seen the movies though….

That house is perfect for the Cullen family !!!

Kathy :)

ps if you are looking for a good read I recently finished The Shack….LOVED IT !!!

Misti England July 15, 2009 at 9:14 pm

More, more, more! I can’t get enough of the ridiculous saga! Going to read it right now… I’m finally on Eclipse.

~Misti
.-= Misti England´s last blog ..Fabulous Ideas and Random Thoughts =-.

Jenny July 16, 2009 at 8:42 pm

I’ve never seen the movies or read the books, but that is a neat house. I could never live in a house like that, but the natural light is awesome!
.-= Jenny´s last blog ..Picnic Table Talk: Imagination =-.

Jennifer July 17, 2009 at 10:32 am

I’m been dying to find out where they sourced the bird wallpaper on the wall next to the kitchen. I see it in the movie, but not the actual house pics. Are master of all housiness, do you think you can find out? Thought I would ask :) Love your blog!

Becky @ Farmgirl Paints July 18, 2009 at 3:28 pm

Saw the movie and the house was not at all what I envisioned from reading the book. They call it the white house and I presumed it was old. Very modern and cool though…love all the glass.
.-= Becky @ Farmgirl Paints´s last blog ..Movin’ On =-.

Ryan November 11, 2009 at 4:14 am

I must be a weirdo because I actually liked the movie version of this house much better than the real one. Even with that blue tinged filter they used, in the movie it felt more homey to me…or if not homey, something similar. I guess maybe I liked the CGI’d landscaping that’s sadly missing in real life.

And Struggler, you’re not alone in your bizarre phobia. One house I lived in as a kid had a similar staircase, and I always hated it. In fact I used to have nightmares about those stairs. I was never afraid I’d fall through the openings or anything like that…instead I just assumed that a manaical psycho-killer (who’d recently escaped from a nearby asylum for the criminally insane) might be hiding under there and would be able grab at my ankles as I was descending the stairs. OK, so maybe that’s not exactly a likely occurence, but It COULD happen!

BTW I liked the movie, “Twilight” but mostly because it’s just so easy to make fun of. I think it’s one of those films that’s so bad it’s good. We’ve actually watched it three times already and I haven’t yet gotten tired of goofing on the silly characters, the hole-filled plot, the script, or the, um, “acting”:)

Catherine May 27, 2010 at 8:09 am

This house is spectacular, but completely wrong for the Cullen home. In the novels, the home was a 100-yr-old house…one someone of the same age would be completely comfortable in. In addition, the Cullens had metal barriers that would come down over the windows…something that would not be feasible in this house. This choice was a total disappointment for me.
.-= Catherine´s last blog ..A Constipated Brain =-.

Courney May 21, 2011 at 2:59 pm

I would love to just know who the artist is of the painting above in the Cullins house where Bella n Edward are standing on the stairs. Please help anyone?

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