“Mr. Mom:” Michael Keaton’s Cape Cod in Michigan

Cape Cod from Mr. Mom movie | hookedonhouses.net

Who could forget the classic 1983 comedy Mr. Mom? Or that cute cape Michael Keaton and Teri Garr lived in? You can always count on a John Hughes movie to feature memorable houses. Despite the early ’80s decorating, it’s easy to imagine how beautiful this traditional Cape Cod could be with a few updates.

Cape Cod house from Mr. Mom movie | hookedonhouses.net

This is one Hughes movie that doesn’t take place in Chicago. Instead, they’re in the suburbs of Detroit, Michigan.

Cape Cod house from Mr. Mom movie | hookedonhouses.net

Michael Keaton plays Jack Butler, an engineer at a car manufacturer who is laid off. Teri Garr is his wife Caroline, who gets a job in advertising and becomes the breadwinner. She has to adjust to working at a high-stress ad agency, and he has to figure out how to take care of the house and kids.

Cape Cod house from Mr. Mom movie | hookedonhouses.net

The movie was called Mr. Mum in the U.K. Mister Mama in Greece. And Perfect Daddy in the Philippines.

Cape Cod house from Mr. Mom movie | hookedonhouses.net

Martin Mull was hilarious as Caroline’s smarmy boss Ron. I love the scene where he comes to pick her up in a limo, and Jack (Keaton) walks into the house revving a chain saw.

Cape Cod house from Mr. Mom movie | hookedonhouses.net

When Jack, holding the chainsaw, tells Ron he’s planning to work on some home improvement projects, Ron asks, “Are you gonna make it all 220?” Jack shrugs. “220, 221, whatever it takes.”

living room

The living room is the scene of Jack’s soap-opera fantasy sequence, in which divorcee Joan (Ann Gillian) shows up at his house wearing little more than a raincoat. Caroline comes home early to discover them together and pulls out a gun. After she shoots Jack, Ron (Martin Mull) asks her, “Did you use a .38?” To which she replies, “A .38, .39, whatever it took!”

living room 2

The dining room, where Jack eats alone while Caroline works late. Again:

Cape Cod house in Mr. Mom movie dining room
Cape Cod house from Mr. Mom movie | hookedonhouses.net

I always wanted a swinging door that led from the dining room to the kitchen. You don’t see those much anymore, do you?

Cape Cod house from Mr. Mom movie | hookedonhouses.net

The kitchen is an homage to the ’80s. Remember those country oak chairs so many people had then? And the pale wood cabinets–classic!

Mr. Mom kitchen-wide shot

Those tile countertops were really popular for awhile. Then I guess we all realized what a pain it was to keep them clean.

Mr. Mom kitchen-island

Mr. Mom kitchen-mess

The “housewives” get together each week to play poker with coupons instead of money. Did you notice how there’s a light fixture over the table in this scene that was conspicuously absent in others? (Scroll back up to see other photos of the eat-in area.)

playing poker

The family room has an entire wall of windows. Today they wouldn’t be quite so covered up:

Cape Cod house from Mr. Mom movie | hookedonhouses.net

And a big brick fireplace:

Cape Cod house from Mr. Mom movie | hookedonhouses.net

I think the movie on the TV in this scene was Cary Grant’s I Was a Male War Bride.

Cape Cod house from Mr. Mom movie | hookedonhouses.net

Cape Cod house from Mr. Mom movie | hookedonhouses.net

Remember when those race car beds were the new, exciting thing for kids’ rooms?

Cape Cod house from Mr. Mom movie | hookedonhouses.net

The master bedroom and bath:

Mr. Mom movie set design 1980s bedroom

If you had these light fixtures in your bathroom when you were growing up, raise your hand:

Mr. Mom movie set design 1980s bathroom

Whenever I watch movies from the ’80s, it reminds me how things weren’t as staged and styled then as they are now. Decor was more casual and things were kind of thrown together over time. I don’t think people agonized over decorating their coffee tables and mantels and dressers like they do now. These sets reflect that with rooms that look lived in.

Mr. Mom set design 1980s bedroom 2

Although the story was set in Detroit, the house where they filmed the exteriors was in California.

Cape Cod house from Mr. Mom movie | hookedonhouses.net

Robert at Movie Locations and More managed to track down the house where the exteriors were filmed in the Westwood neighborhood of Los Angeles, California:

"Mr. Mom" house today

According to Redfin, it was built in 1941 and has 3 bedrooms, 3 baths, and 2,400 square feet. Here’s how it looks now via Google Streetview — still charming after all these years!

152 Greenfield Ave Los Angeles CA Mr. Mom House Today

P.S. John Hughes died in August ’09 but left behind some wonderful comedies that are like time capsules of the ’80s and ’90s. I’ve written about a few others that have memorable houses in them, too:

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation house in lights

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

Home Alone movie house Winnetka Illinois

Home Alone

Ferris Bueller's house in the movie

 Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

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  1. says

    1. I’m pretty sure that this is Kate Jackson’s house in “Scarecrow and Mrs. King” too.

    2. I have the maple windsor chair set in storage that matches the style of those kitchen chairs…the rocker too. I believe the chairs at the head and foot of the table are Hitchcock. I have a different design of Hitchcock chairs (and a rocker) IN my house now.

    3. Awesome cast…but Teri Garr had a major wedgie in the kitchen photo…how does that not hurt?

    4. I love Cary Grant. Do you suppose that he was one of the inspirations for the movie?

    : )

    Julie M.
    .-= The Little Red Shop´s last blog ..Hope and Blessings… =-.

  2. Kim says

    There are alot of John Hughes Movies that I like. Some I like are : Dennis the Menace, Beethoven, Beethoven 2nd, Home Alone 1 & 2, and Christmas Vacation.

    I love the sets of this movie. John Hughes had a great eye when it came time to designing his houses. He may be dead, but his movies will never be forgotten.

  3. Andrea Zastrow says

    I love Michael Keaton, too, and think he’s very underrated. Whether it’s comedy like this or “Multiplicity,” or drama like his scarey role in “Pacific Heights” (there’s a house movie!) I think he’s great.

    I love the scene In “Mr. Mom,” where Teri Garr gives a little speech about how she did a good job when she was the one at home because she took pride in making a nice home for her family, etc. A good moment in film for those of us who value our homemaking skills.

    Julia has a very interesting point about the lack of formal set decorations in the 80’s. I sort of take it for granted these days. My favorite movie for it’s sets is “Far From Heaven” and the DVD’s “extras” include a long section about the wonderfully stylized retro sets.

  4. Theresa N says

    I love John Hughes movies and I think the main reason is because of the houses
    he uses.

  5. says

    The thing that caught my eye first was the fireplace screen in photos #5 & #6. It seemed like everyone had one of those! And when I bought my house 12 years ago, the previous owner left that exact same screen in front of the fireplace. It just made me laugh.

    And I love the Rocky poster in the kid’s room. Priceless!
    .-= Lesley @ TheDesignFile´s last blog ..Giveaway: Inspirational art from Red Letter Words =-.

  6. says

    Julia-I loved this movie!! (and think I might have lived in this house :). I think these sets reflect more of the way people really live. By the way, I have lived with one of those swinging doors –you’re not missing much. Did everybody have the same fireplace screen in the ’80’s ?

  7. says

    I loved this movie! I haven’t seen it in a long time though. I actually just watched a John Hughes movie last night … Some Kind of Wonderful. Thanks to your blog, I now notice SO much more about the houses in movies. :)
    .-= Carmen´s last blog ..Just a Little Something Pretty =-.

  8. says

    I loved that movie! My Mom and Dad have those kitchen chairs right now! LOL! They had an old table and they were the only ones that matched. We found them at Grandpa’s when we moved back in 1998! LOL!

    My Aunt has a swing door from the kitchen to the dining room, but she keeps it open all of the time.
    .-= Jenny´s last blog ..stART: Care Bears Special Delivery =-.

  9. Cori Heffernan says

    I have to watch this again. What a great movie. There is alot I would keep in this house. I liked the tile on the kitchen floor. I would probably take up all the carpeting though.

  10. says

    What a lovely home. It has gorgeous details, but WOW decor was so cluttery in the 80s. The bedrooms and bathroom scenes really show a lived in look. Oh, and ick to the bedside lamps- the one with the pleated lampshade and the other one a metal reading light.
    .-= The Tiny Homestead´s last blog ..Starting the New Year with a Splash =-.

  11. says

    I saw Kim mentioned that “Denice the Menace” was one of John Hughes’ films. Have you done a Movie Monday post about that one? It’s a cute little movie with some droolworthy homes (plus, it has a TREEHOUSE!). 😉

    I liked this little house. It was fun to think of ways it could be updated. Now, for a very embarrassing reveal: I think my kitchen table/chairs are identical to the ones in the movie. Don’t ask. All I can say is that if I tried to paint them, T would have a conniption. I’m holding out for a new DR set…then move the DR table into the kitchen. Some day….

    .-= Amanda @ Serenity Now´s last blog ..The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly =-.

  12. says

    I’ll have to see this movie. The house is so cute and it sounds like a fun movie. I wish we could have put our swinging door back on. When the kitchen was remodeled, they put the pantry where the swinging door would have rested so it would be in the way if we put it back. I do love them though!
    .-= Michelle´s last blog ..BHG loves me =-.

  13. says

    I have those kitchen chairs or ones really similar to them. Also a swinging door from the kitchen to the dining room can be a real pain sometimes.
    .-= Blakely´s last blog ..Stocking? =-.

  14. says

    Oh thank you for taking me back. I first saw this movie about the time we found out we were expecting our first baby and my hormonal nesting instincts were in full swing. I am one of those people that watch the house as much as follow the plot and this was my dream house back in the 80’s.
    .-= Pamela Rosenberg´s last blog ..Hope for Haiti at iTunes =-.

  15. says

    There’s something very comforting about this movie house. I wouldn’t want to live with all the extra stuff, but it does say “home”. It’s where our memories live. It makes me wonder if all the constant change in decorating that we feel we must keep up (guillty) with leaves our families with that memory of home that a place like this does? I’m sure that if your first design element is love…however you decorate (within reason!) memories are made.
    Interior design is really personal, isn’t it?
    .-= Pat´s last blog ..Dutch Doors & Dad =-.

  16. Kate says

    I love this house! The arched doorways, the stairway, the sunken living room, and the cozy family room. Thanks for doing this movie!

  17. Nita says

    I just loved this movie and the house and watched it over and over to get ideas for my own house. I just loved the early 80s beige decor. All the plants. Just love it, and love the bedspread. Hated the jungle theme they did for the bedroom. But, just love this house.

    Another Michael Keaton movie I watch all the time for the house is Pacific Heights! How about featuring that one?

    • hookedonhouses says

      I’ve never seen Pacific Heights! I’ll have to check it out. -Julia

  18. Nita says

    Oh, and another thing about this movie, it shows Michael Keaton’s character watching Young and the Restless, and I remember the show he was watching! This house is wonderful, and I want to think it was a real house because when you see the upstairs hallway, there is a division between the parents’ room and the wing where the kids are. I think this is a real house somewhere, and I’d take it……with an elevator.

  19. kristina says

    One of my favorite movies! I grew up with the swinging door between the kitchen and the dining room. The only time my mom ever closed it was when she wanted to keep a new puppy (or now that we are adults, grandchild) out of the living room/dining room. She still never closes it. I don’t think you have missed out.

  20. Karen says

    This was SO fun to see! My heart will always be with older houses . . . .

    I just ordered the movie, “The Good Son” (1993) w/Macauley Culkin, because I love the house featured in it! Set in various locations in Massachusetts, the scenery is gorgeous. The movie is spooky, but I love the house:) And also am a fan of Wendy Crewson (who plays the Aunt).

  21. says

    I loved this movie. Old as it is, but still the room looks neat. It even looks vintage and classic.

  22. says

    We had a swinging door between our kitchen and dining room in the house I grew up in. It even had a porthole in it, and people didn’t run into each other coming and going nearly as often as you’d think.
    .-= Jessica´s last blog ..Finally started =-.

  23. Stephanie says

    I love this movie but haven’t seen it in ages! I’ll have to check it out again. :)

    The funny thing is, looking at these pictures, it is like looking at my grandmother’s house with all of the then-on-trend pieces: the rag rug under the dining table, the wall sconces, the oak furnishings, those dining chairs.

  24. Donna Johnson says

    Believe it or not…this is my favorite movie and I have seen it a bazillion times. I love the decor……20 years later! The recurring beige is so calming and homey. I especially love the living room (I love the cluttered look!) and the master bedroom with it’s iron bed. Love seeing the old brand name toiletry items in the bathroom…brings back memories. Thanks for posting!!

  25. Khiori says

    Just went to an Open House this past weekend (Huge and gorgeous inside!) and there was a swinging door (all ivory woodwork) with a tiny brass plaque between DR and kit.

    Does anyone else think the inside shots are a different house than the outside? It seems WAY too big inside for a pretty standard cape to me. The entrance and staircase looks like it belongs in a center hall colonial, and the ceilings look too high. Maybe capes are smaller where I live?

  26. j says

    I can’t believe you didn’t mention the vacuum cleaner! That is the best scene! And the mom jeans are awesome.

    I am surprised that you think there aren’t lots of dads out there that are as clueless about typical “housewife” chores. Now it’s probably less common than it was in the 80s, but there are still lots of guys out there who don’t have a clue how or why to separate laundry, scrub a toilet, or change a diaper.

    • hookedonhouses says

      The men in my life are all competent in those areas, I guess! Heck, my husband’s better at a lot of those things than I am…. -Julia :-)

  27. says

    I just came across your awesome website. I can’t wait to check out all of the houses that have been featured.

    This is one of my favorite movies. I am such an ’80s comedy fan. John Hughes films are the absolute best, with Ferris Bueller topping my list.
    .-= Missie´s last blog ..Happy Valentine’s Day =-.

  28. Hobbs says

    What about the big company race at Ron’s mansion? That is a huge, stately tudor mansion that is actually located in Pasadena by CalTech. You should have included some images of that house – it is amazing.

    Great movie – takes me back.

  29. says

    Going back and reading some of your older posts, too funny! Loved that movie.

    You said: Whenever I watch movies from the ’80s, it reminds me how things weren’t as staged and styled then as they are now. Decor was more casual and things were kind of thrown together over time. I don’t think people agonized over decorating their coffee tables and mantels and dressers like they do now. These sets reflect that with rooms that look lived in.

    AMEN! Doesn’t it seem like movie houses now are picture-perfect, with perfectly placed pillows, that match the lampshades, that match the perfectly-ironed curtains? you are right about how decor was more “casual.” I think that decorating back then used to be getting a set of matching bedroom furniture, or getting some new (ruffly ’80s!) curtains. And maybe putting up some totally 1980s striped wallpaper, lol!
    .-= Handy Man, Crafty Woman´s last blog ..Boy Card for a Baby Shower =-.

  30. Lisa Stevens says

    I just watched the movie “Date Night” (2010) with Steve Carrell and Tina Fey. The house their characters live in is very similar to this house from “Mr. Mom”. I love both houses, and will keep them in my inspiration files. By the way, I love this blog. You combine to of my favorite things, movies and design. Thanks for all your hard work.

  31. Meg says

    *clicking through tv homes*. I noticed 2 dishwashers?! Out of place for that home.
    Then it dawned on me- on is a trash compactor. Forgot those ever existed!

  32. Jay says

    I’m pretty sure this was shot in Glendale CA. There’s a house on Allen Street above Glenoaks that I believe was the location.