The Lautner House from “A Single Man”

by hookedonhouses on January 16, 2011

The Lautner House from Tom Ford movie A Single Man

Tom Ford’s award-winning 2009 film A Single Man featured Colin Firth as George, a gay man who is grieving the death of his partner Jim (Matthew Goode) in 1962. Every scene was so beautifully filmed that I was kind of mesmerized by it. It certainly didn’t hurt that they shot a lot of it in a John Lautner-designed modernist house in California.

A Single Man-house in movie

It’s known as the Schaffer Residence, built by architect John Lautner in 1949 for the mother of one of his employees. It’s on the market right now in the Montrose area of Glendale for $1.495 million.

A Single Man-Colin Firth kitchen

The lighting in the movie was so dark that it was difficult to get good screen shots from it.

A Single Man-built-in sofa

The movie was based on a novel by Christopher Isherwood. Ford says it’s a story about isolation, and the isolation we all feel.

A Single Man-desk

The house is smaller than it looks with only 2 bedrooms and 1.5 baths.

A Single Man-Colin Firth in bedroom

Colin Firth was nominated for an Oscar for this performance.

A Single Man-bathroom

Here are some photos of the house from the listing:

A Single Man-Lautner House 1

The listing says:

Hidden in a wooded valley at the foot of the Verdugo Mountains, the redwood, concrete and glass residence opens to the oak forest that influenced the form and orientation of the design. This world-class architectural treasure incorporates open-plan living, dining and den areas, two bedrooms, one & a half baths, laundry and attached two carport.

A Single Man-Lautner House 2

The house was also used in the movie Happy Endings.

A Single Man-Lautner house 4

A Single Man-Lautner House 3

Here’s how the open living area looks now:

Lautner House 1

And how the same area looked several decades ago, with a floral sofa and big yellow rugs that really didn’t suit the space as well:

Lautner House 2

I love the openness of the bedroom with all of the windows:

Lautner House 3

The kitchen, with green countertops that make me think of a Ping-Pong table:

Lautner House-kitchen

This was fashion designer Tom Ford’s first film (he wrote and directed it), and he brought his eye for style to every scene. The Art Direction was by the “Mad Men” production designer Dan Bishop and set decorator Amy Wells.

Lautner House-kitchen yellow

BTW, fans of Tom Ford can check out his mod London townhouse with the stainless-steel walls and ceiling here:

Tom Ford photo

For more photos and information: Crosby Doe, LA Times, Zippercut, and Triangle Modernist Houses(Some photos via Tim Street-Porter.)


P.S. Visit Houses Onscreen to see more, including…

Sleeping with the Enemy Beach House

The Contemporary Beach House from Sleeping with the Enemy

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Vicki January 16, 2011 at 9:23 pm

I only recently saw this film on DVD. I guessed the ending about half way through. I was hoping for a happy ending and was starting to think it may happen but alas it did not happen. I think the ending fits the mood of the film. And I love Colin Firth (even as a gay But not much of a fan of the house.

The2Seasons January 16, 2011 at 9:40 pm

Enjoyed the movie. Love Colin Firth in every film I have seen him in. The house is not my style but was a good backdrop for this movie.
.-= The2Seasons´s last blog ..Preparing for Week-end Guests =-.

Amanda @ Serenity Now January 16, 2011 at 10:20 pm

Haven’t seen the film, but I think Colin Firth is brilliant. Not sure about the green counertops, but I love the open fireplace! :)
.-= Amanda @ Serenity Now´s last blog ..Come Link Up Your Best Post of the Week! =-.

Desiree @ chic coastal living January 16, 2011 at 10:29 pm

Hi Julia! I nominated you today for an award!
.-= Desiree @ chic coastal living´s last blog ..Stylish Blogger AwardThank You Mary Ann of ClassicCasualHome =-.

Karena January 16, 2011 at 11:10 pm

I adore Colin Firth and the move was just a bit dark (in more ways than one) for me.

The real estate listing shows the property in much better light!


Art by Karena
.-= Karena´s last blog ..230 Designer Necklace Jewelry Giveaway by Blydesign =-. January 16, 2011 at 11:46 pm

This was my favorite movie of last year. I hated the ending but it was fitting for the movie and just right. I cried and cried in this movie. Starting when he smells the dog…I lost it. I loved this movie so much that I went back and saw it again the next day. I have not bought it on DVD although I plan to do so….and I did not watch on Cable because I was just not up for a crying fest at my house. I knew I’d be hugging the dogs and crying. Still this movie was beyond gorgeous. I can’t wait for Tom Ford to do another although I know this story was very personal for him and a movie he wanted to make for a long time.

I really do need to watch this again soon…the movie got criticized for being too beautiful and the scenes between George and his partner for being to idealized….but I think that is just how they were suppose to be. They were George’s memories of how they were together and he remembered everything as beyond perfect and beautiful.

I’m so glad you featured this…..

Annie@A View on Design January 17, 2011 at 2:21 am

well normally I don’t like a house with that much timber, but that place looks gorgeous! a bit masculine, but nothing that some floral cushions wouldn’t fix!
.-= Annie@A View on Design´s last blog ..Benchmark Balmain =-.

Kim January 17, 2011 at 3:36 am

Your Welcome! I haven’t seen the movie yet, but it sounds interesting.
I’m not a big fan of the house. It doesn’t have much privacy with all of those windows. Especially in the bedroom. That’s why I couldn’t live there.

Elaine January 17, 2011 at 6:05 am

I never got to see this movie will have to hire it out, hopefully Colin will get his
Oscar for his latest roll in the kings speech off to see it next week I hear its fantastic! :)
.-= Elaine´s last blog ..My Auction for the flood Appeal =-.

Luciane at January 17, 2011 at 8:37 am

Wow! I love the architecture of this house, Julia! Isn’t it so unique???

I haven’t seen the movie yet, so I can’t say much about it, but now, seeing this place I might look into renting it.

COME take a look at ONE OF THE MOST BEAUTIFUL HOUSE I’VE SEEN IN MY LIFE! I’m dreaming with this one! :-)

Wishing you a Blessed week to you and your family, Julia.


Luciane at

Liz@VioletPosy January 17, 2011 at 8:40 am

I’ve not seen the movie yet, but I look forward to it now having seen that beautiful house!
.-= Liz@VioletPosy´s last blog ..The Dresser is here =-.

Mike January 17, 2011 at 9:17 am

We watched this a couple of months ago on DVD. It is a fantastic movie. I was not surprised that so much of the set design was done by the team that did Mad Men. You can really see the common aesthetic.

Mike January 17, 2011 at 9:17 am

Woops sorry – incorrectly closed that italics tag.

Lesley @ TheDesignFile January 17, 2011 at 9:32 am

I have not seen the film (don’t I say that every week). But the house looks truly amazing. I love smaller but incredibly stylish homes like this. So cool. Thanks for sharing this.
.-= Lesley @ TheDesignFile´s last blog ..Must-Have 16- Functional- stylish toy storage =-.

Nichole January 17, 2011 at 9:37 am

We missed this one. I guess I need to watch it so I can see this house better. And of course, any chance to watch Colin Firth can only be a good thing.

Amy Button January 17, 2011 at 10:50 am

I haven’t seen that movie but I love the house. I grew up in a town that had several buildings on a college campus that were designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. Houses like this always remind me of that and I have a bit of a weakness for them. And even though I usually love southern style homes with big porches, I could see myself living here. I’d have to paint though…don’t hate me :)
.-= Amy Button´s last blog ..Locked Out =-.

Tiffany S. January 17, 2011 at 12:08 pm

I loved the movie, and I love this house even more. It’s so beautiful and the lines are so gorgeous. Can you imagine over a million dollars for 2 bedrooms! Yikes.
.-= Tiffany S.´s last blog ..Lift those spirits… =-.

Bonnie Morscher January 17, 2011 at 1:11 pm

Loved the movie, love the house and also loved the eye candy of a round sofa that was at his friend Charley’s (Julianna Moore) house in the film.

Jane January 17, 2011 at 2:04 pm

Although it isn’t my style, I can appreciate it’s beauty. Love the fireplace and the way it looks when the lights are on at nights. I used to live in a town that had a lot of Alden B. Dow homes that looked like this. They were pretty impractical for Michigan however, the roof lines weren’t meant to handle such heavy snow loads. People that owned them always had to shovel their roofs. Looks like an interesting movie, but very sad.

Bre January 17, 2011 at 2:41 pm

This house is beautiful, sleek and modern is not usually my cup of tea, but it is gorgeous in it’s own right. The openness and the glass windows and natural lighting make it really special. I haven’t seen this film (yet) but with Tom Ford at the helm I know it will be stylish. Colin Firth and Julianne Moore are both ridiculously talented, so I’m sure it’s a fantastic film. I’ll have to rent it. Her makeup looks gorgeous for the time period.

P.S. Those counter tops DO look like Ping-Pong tables!
.-= Bre´s last blog ..Golden Globes Hair and Makeup Winners =-.

carrie leskowitz January 17, 2011 at 3:22 pm

I just saw the movie Sat. night coincidentally. I kept commenting on how much I loved the house could see myself moving right in. I was very disappointed at the ending -it left me cold and questioning why reasons to live abounded and for what??
.-= carrie leskowitz´s last blog ..Design According to your your Sign Nevermind =-.

Carmen @ Life with Sprinkles on Top January 17, 2011 at 3:25 pm

I have not seen this movie, in fact, I hadn’t even heard of it until this post. I guess I need to add it to my Netflix list. I love Colin Firth! :) I think this house is cool but definitely NOT my taste AT ALL.

Maaike Quinn @ Life with FlyLady January 17, 2011 at 4:31 pm

I’ve never seen any of these movies, but the house sure seems intriguing! I love all the wood and the awkward design. Nice to see what a difference the rugs make! The round ones make the room look completely different then the square ones! I also adore the fact that the house is in the woods. Lovely!
.-= Maaike Quinn @ Life with FlyLady´s last blog ..Do your New Year’s resolutions need a re-boost =-.

Caron White January 18, 2011 at 10:00 am

Good morning! Have not seen the movie…. LOVE this house!


Paul Byron Downs January 19, 2011 at 6:44 pm

It’s the quintessential California modern home. LOVE IT! See there also being a surfboards throughout.


Barbara January 20, 2011 at 5:35 am

I just watched the movie on DVD last week…visually amazing! And fell in love with that house.

Laura January 22, 2011 at 12:00 am

I love that house, the organic elements which blend with modern lines, how the boundary between interior and exterior is blurred. But more than this house, I love this film; looking at the stills from the film brought tears to my eyes all over again. When I saw it last year, it was in the middle of a Wednesday afternoon and only a handful of people were in the theater. Everyone in the theater was weeping when it was over: old, young, straight, gay, everyone.

Alisha January 23, 2011 at 1:15 pm

I thought the film was fantastic. A little slow in some parts, but it was one of those movies which actually makes your heart ache with the character…but my heart was also aching for this house. I am so glad someone else appreciated it as much as I did! I love the kitchen and his bedroom – so often now we see bedrooms which are overwhelmed by fancy duvet sets and pillows and artwork etc…but I loved the way his bed was made so perfectly in the movie, with the pillows stacked up and the night tables un-cluttered. And I have to say, I actually dislike the way the house is decorated in the listing photos, I think it really needs some warming up, maybe not with a flowery sofa…but it definitely needs something. In the listing photos it almost looks like a waiting room in an office or something.

d July 16, 2011 at 1:01 am

The house is great. BUT I LOVED JULIANNE MOORE’s HOUSE SOOOOO MUCH MORE!!!!! A friend told me its by Architect Garrett Van Pelt built in the 40s. Its impossible to see from the road but its on Old House Road in Pasadena. Still Drooling over the living room!!!!!!

Rachel August 6, 2011 at 10:13 am

I loved this house too. From the opening scene to the last scene, I was taken by how gorgeous everything was. I would have moved into this house or Julianne Moore’s house without changing a thing. Even though I thought the movie was well-done, I was also disturbed by the ending. Not so much uplifting… but Colin Firth was amazing. And seeing the young boy from About A Boy all grown up was shocking (in a good way). Thanks for sharing!

Edwina@FASHION+ART October 17, 2012 at 11:27 pm

Loved the look of this film. Every scene was sheer perfection. One of my favorites was George laying out his funeral wardrobe. Colin Firth was sublime.

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