The Lautner House from “A Single Man”

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

Sleepless in Seattle movie DVD
Out of the 50 Movie Houses I featured last year, these were the 10 most popular (most searched for and most read). Did your favorite…
Have you been watching the addictive period drama "Downton Abbey" on PBS? It was written by Julian Fellowes (Gosford Park) about a grand English house…

See More


  1. says

    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.

  2. says

    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…..

  3. Kim says

    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.

  4. says

    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

  5. Mike says

    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.

  6. says

    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 =-.

  7. says

    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… =-.

  8. says

    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.

  9. Jane says

    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.

  10. says

    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 =-.

  11. says

    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.

  12. Barbara says

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

  13. says

    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.

  14. Alisha says

    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.

  15. d says

    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!!!!!!

  16. says

    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!

  17. says

    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.