“Marley & Me:” The Grogans’ Charming Starter Home

by hookedonhouses on July 26, 2009

Since Marley & Me came out last year, I’ve been getting requests for photos of both the charming starter home that John and Jenny Grogan (Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston) lived in and the beautiful stone farmhouse they later moved into.  When I saw the movie, I understood why. Okay, so the dog was cute, but the houses were what really made my heart melt.

Before the Grogans move to Pennsylvania and buy that amazing old farmhouse, they live in a starter home in West Palm Beach, Florida, so let’s start there.

The house actually belongs to the Bondy family in Hollywood, Florida. According to an article in the Petoskey News, homeowner Tim Bondy said, “When they brought the director and the cinematographer in, it was immediately said that this was the house,” adding that about 12 other cities were looked through before deciding on the house.

“They used our house for the exterior shots, the patio shots,” Bondy told the paper, adding that a larger duplicate of the home was built in Coconut Grove, Fla., for the interior shots.

The cabinets turn what could have been a nondescript little kitchen into something special:

The dining room:



Love the detail on the fireplace in the living room:




Their blue bedroom:


The new nursery:



A peek into the sunroom from the dining room:


The backyard:


There were some changes that needed to be made, including a new patio, new fence and new landscaping. “It’s like a park now. The lawn is now perfect, the sprinkler system is fixed, and it’s a wonderful windfall,” the homeowner said.

(Hmmm. Where can I sign up to have a movie made at my house??)

I was disappointed when the Grogans left this cute house for a bigger, but less interesting home in Boca Raton. Nothing wrong with it–just didn’t have as much personality:


But they weren’t there for long! Come back tomorrow to see photos of the greeting-card perfect stone farmhouse that the Grogans moved to next, in Pennsylvania. Someone from behind the scenes sent me some amazing photos that were taken during the production, and I’m excited to show them to you! Trust me–you won’t want to miss it.

UPDATE: You can see the post about the farmhouse here.


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Liberty Post Editor July 26, 2009 at 11:41 pm

Hello from Canada! There really is something about a ‘first home’. It can never be duplicated.
.-= Liberty Post Editor´s last blog ..Writers’ Fee Guidelines =-.

NHiltner July 27, 2009 at 1:25 am

What a blessing this blog is on all who enjoy it.

Suzann July 27, 2009 at 5:55 am

As someone who left her quaint and tiny home behind (thanks to my darling hubby) to move to a new and over-sized home, I can honestly say that a small home is a more wonderful home (to me anyway). Great pics. I will have to pull this movie off the shelf and give it a watch – but gosh I want to read the book first. what to do, what to do.
.-= Suzann´s last blog ..H is For… =-.

The Blushing Hostess July 27, 2009 at 6:12 am

The first house had a beautiful kitchen and it seems like an ugly old fridge was slapped in there to make it less adorable… and the last house looks magnificent – yes, they can film a movie in my house if they also move me to a house in Bucks County! :)
.-= The Blushing Hostess´s last blog ..Entre nous =-.

Marcy July 27, 2009 at 6:32 am

Thank you so much for showing the houses from Marley & Me! I can’t wait to see that stone farmhouse!! I didn’t appreciate the first house til you showed it here. It had more charm than I remembered from the movie. Fantastic.
.-= Marcy´s last blog ..I should have known… =-.

Astrid July 27, 2009 at 6:39 am

Cute, cute house! I LOOOOVE those cabinets!

I admit…I have NOT seen this movie. Perhaps I should put it in my rental queue.
.-= Astrid´s last blog ..Mr. Sunflower & the Oobleck =-.

Eileen July 27, 2009 at 6:45 am

Great post! I love the house too! And I totally agree about the character of a house, I’d much rather have a small house with lots of character than to have a big, boring, blah house!
I guess you can create your own ‘character’ in any house you inhabit, but the bones have to be there first!

JoEllen July 27, 2009 at 7:45 am

Are there secret cameras in my house? I just watched this movie last night!!!
I love the details on the fireplace in the first house too. Although it’s rare to find a fireplace in a South Florida home!
Have a great day!!

Deidra July 27, 2009 at 7:50 am

I wondered if they needed to make changes to that first house. I thought maybe the producers had painted the kitchen cabinets. And I know this is about the house, but that scene with Marley’s head in Jennifer’s lap makes me melt every time.
.-= Deidra´s last blog ..Camera Shy =-.

Emily@remodelingthislife July 27, 2009 at 8:48 am

Oh my gosh, I haven’t seen the movie but it appears with a little squinting that the sunroom has the same tile floors as I have in my house! How fun!! Now I will have to rent it :)
.-= Emily@remodelingthislife´s last blog ..Beach! =-.

Susie July 27, 2009 at 9:11 am

I can’t wait to see the photos of the home in Pennsylvania.
.-= Susie´s last blog ..Friends and Family Event at the Gap =-.

MaryBeth July 27, 2009 at 9:21 am

I got a letter a couple of years ago that someone wanted to use my house for a film. They would need the backyard and pool also. I never called them. If I had known they would fix it up I would have begged them. Oh well my loss. MB

Lauren July 27, 2009 at 9:38 am

How funny. I watched this movie for the first time just yesterday and noticed their first house. I would love to have a home right now with all that character and color. We live in a planned community where most of the homes look alike, so I can’t exactly have a funky home quite yet. Can’t wait to see your post tomorrow!

Britt July 27, 2009 at 9:51 am

This was such a great movie and I loved the farm house. I can’t wait to see it!
.-= Britt´s last blog ..Mini-Blinds to Roman Shades =-.

desiree@lookiloos July 27, 2009 at 9:52 am

I love that cute bungalow. It reminds me of my neighborhood. So much charm…Do you know when it was built? I’m thinking late ’30′s to ’40′s. The movie was cute too.
.-= desiree@lookiloos´s last blog ..CSN Stores Table Lamps Giveaway! =-.

Janet July 27, 2009 at 10:00 am

I don’t think I could bear to leave that first house; so much character. I would have stayed and stayed, maybe an addition if more space was needed! Ah, you make living vicariously so easy for us.

.-= Janet´s last blog ..PLANTAIN BREAD???? =-.

Struggler July 27, 2009 at 11:12 am

Oh, here I go again, another movie I haven’t seen, but definitely will after this post!

Thanks, Julia. How nice to see a ‘normal’ house in a movie. Nothing against Diane Keaton and the gorgeous places she hangs out, but it’s lovely to see something more within average reach!
.-= Struggler´s last blog ..Irrational desires =-.

bungalowbliss July 27, 2009 at 11:34 am

Totally agree with Libert Post Editor. I left my first bungalow for a Cape Cod when I got married, and I regretted it from the moment the moving truck pulled away. I should have taken that as a sign that it would be a doomed relationship–seven years later, I’m finally back in a Craftsman home, but I still fondly remember my times in that first place. A piece of my heart is still in that old house!

As for the Marley and Me house…totally adorable! I looove the Tiffany-blue cabinets!
.-= bungalowbliss´s last blog ..Missing the Forest for the Trees =-.

PamperingBeki July 27, 2009 at 11:46 am

I wasn’t super interested in their first house, but I adored the one at the end! LOOOOVE it. Commented to my hubby while we were watching it that it was the perfect house for me.

Can’t wait to see more details of it!

(by the way, I have before and after pictures of our flip house on my blog today!)

Tracy July 27, 2009 at 12:12 pm

I have not seen this movie… had I known it was a HOUSE movie, I’d have been more enthusiastic! Thanks, Julia, for extracting the “most important” parts of the movies! ; )
.-= Tracy´s last blog ..Let me tell you what I think… =-.

SoBella Creations July 27, 2009 at 1:44 pm

I haven’t watched the movie yet! The book kept me in tears. Look forward to seeing the farmhouse.
.-= SoBella Creations´s last blog ..Big Announcement Time =-.

Kristin July 27, 2009 at 2:26 pm

Can’t wait to see the pics. I just bawled my freaking head off through this whole movie. I knew I would so I waited until it was out on video. There was no way I was going to be ugly crying myself to death in a movie theater. Having moved from FL up north with two aging German Shepards and having them both pass away a year after we moved, I knew this was a movie I had to watch at home. Loved the PA house, feeling like I can relate to that house with my new MA one. Back to unpacking.
.-= Kristin´s last blog ..I’m Back… Moving Sucks! =-.

Darla July 27, 2009 at 3:20 pm

I watched this movie on the way to Kansas and as we pulled into a convenience store, I was bawling so hard at the end of the movie I’m sure people thought there’d been a terrible brawl in our vehicle. oy

I wasn’t crazy about THIS house but you know I loved the one the moved to later (no brainer).

Melissa July 27, 2009 at 4:11 pm

Thanks for this post! I STILL haven’t seen this movie. My dog died in Nov & I can’t bring myself to see this movie. I think I would really cry my eyes out! It would sound like I was being choked in my Living Room! I’m happy to see the interiors of the homes! I can’t wait to see tomorrow’s post too.
.-= Melissa´s last blog ..Eye Spy Lilly Reading Glasses =-.

Courtney July 27, 2009 at 5:38 pm

I loved their starter house at well. It seemed so comfortable and fun, the perfect place to start a family.
.-= Courtney´s last blog ..Vintage Chic =-.

Amanda @ Serenity Now July 27, 2009 at 6:47 pm

I like the white built-ins, and I love the fireplace! Can’t wait to see the farmhouse. I’ve never seen the movie! They could film some sort of disaster documentary at my house right now…looks like a tornado hit it!
.-= Amanda @ Serenity Now´s last blog ..Teaser {from 200th Post Giveaway!} =-.

Michelle July 27, 2009 at 9:02 pm

Can.not.wait! I just said to my husband last week that when we leave this house it will be for the Marley and Me farmhouse.
.-= Michelle´s last blog ..My Weekly Finds =-.

Amy July 27, 2009 at 9:17 pm

I really wanted to see that movie but I keep forgetting about it. It’s really, really on my list now. The kitchen is fantastic and I love that fireplace. Beautiful!
.-= Amy´s last blog ..Stuff… =-.

Linda@ Restyled Home July 28, 2009 at 6:02 am

Fun post! I love that you do this for us. I often admire homes in the movies I’m watching but the details can be too difficult to catch, so it is great that you show us them. I saitll haven’t see this movie, but you have given me a new reason to!

.-= Linda@ Restyled Home´s last blog ..Take a Bow Tuesday =-.

Tara July 29, 2009 at 10:26 am

**sigh** love the kitchen in this home, the color of the cabinets is my favorite and all that glass does make this ordinary kitchen perfect. I loved this house probably more because it was the starter house, I could relate to it…and there I go again loving this movie more then I should…it is just a movie afterall! great post…! So glad I found you!
.-= Tara´s last blog ..Learning~ =-.

christy July 29, 2009 at 1:03 pm

What a cute little house. Love the blue splashes of color everywhere. And that fireplace is beautiful.

I have friends in the movie business out in California – and they just built their dream home — and made it specifically large enough (room by room) to host production crews! How cool is that?!
.-= christy´s last blog ..Truth? Or a big fat lie? =-.

Sally Cunliffe September 27, 2009 at 5:17 pm

I loved lookin’ thru your blog! Found it when I was googling for the “Marley & Me” house in Pennsylvania – Read the book, saw the movie – such a classic labrador tale – sniff sniff… Thanks for the shares (0:
.-= Sally Cunliffe´s last blog ..wicked confessions of a tomato stealer… =-.

HopeB January 9, 2010 at 5:16 pm

Does anyone know what color(s) the set designers used on those kitchen cabinets? So cute!

Janessa January 21, 2010 at 11:13 am

I loved the starter home in this film but I must admit that I am a little sad that there isn’t interior shots of their second home. I loved their first home but for me the second home in the film was my favourite!

hookedonhouses January 21, 2010 at 11:55 am


You can see my post about the farmhouse here:


It really is beautiful! -Julia

Hali January 23, 2010 at 8:17 pm

I LOVE the color in the nursery of their first and second house. Anyone have an idea to get the info on the paint color?

Tammy February 10, 2010 at 10:38 pm

I know this has been asked before but no one answered – does anyone know the color of paint used for the cabinets in the starter home on Marley & Me? Its a pale green color but the lighting makes it look different in each scene….Any help would be greatly appreciated. LOVE THIS BLOG!!!
.-= Tammy´s last blog ..Family Fun =-.

Mildred February 13, 2010 at 8:53 pm

I must say I love the house in Boca. Their first home was a good starter home, but for my taste the Boca home was better and who could resist a pool in south Florida :)
I’m trying to find the location or the name of the community the Boca house is in cause my husband and I are looking for our new home and after watching Marley and Me, we both felt that that house is the perfect house for our family.

Megan. March 29, 2010 at 12:24 pm

im trying to make this house on the sims 2.
this really helped :D
thank you.

tudds September 11, 2010 at 12:29 am

I think that the second house looks nice but it would half to have a bit more detail in it, oh yeah can you please send me the floorplan for all the houses i really want them thank you.!!!!!!!!!!!!!
please reply

hookedonhouses September 11, 2010 at 8:55 am

Sorry, tudds, I don’t have the floorplans. -Julia

Rene January 4, 2011 at 1:42 pm

Can someone please tell me where in Boca is the second home they live in?
I want to relocate to Florida with my family and a house like that would really
be lovely.. Thank you in advance..

carrie March 28, 2011 at 9:29 am

anyone know the name and make of the Grogan’s kitchen cabinet color in their starter home?

inventory turns September 12, 2011 at 10:50 pm

Thanks for spending the time to discuss this, I feel strongly about it and love reading more on this topic.

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