The “Home Alone” House for Sale in Winnetka, Illinois

by hookedonhouses on May 8, 2011

The Real Home Alone movie house Winnetka IllinoisThe 1990 John Hughes movie Home Alone made both Macaulay Culkin and the red-brick colonial Georgian house his character Kevin lived in famous. It remains one of the most popular and beloved movie houses ever, and–luckily for fans like us–it just went on the market in Winnetka, Illinois, for $2.4 million.

I was excited to see how the house looks now compared to when it appeared in the movie over 20 years ago. Here’s how the foyer looked in the movie as Kevin prepared to sled down the stairs:

Home Alone house entry and staircase

And here’s how it looks today:

A couple of years ago I posted photos of the house that were taken in 2004, when the runner on these stairs was still red like it was in the movie. (You can see those photos here: Inside the Real Home Alone House.)

Despite the close resemblance between the actual rooms and the ones in the films, only a few of the interior scenes were shot inside the real house. Director Christopher Columbus talks in the DVD commentary about carefully recreating the interiors on a sound stage in a high school gymnasium, which made it easier for them to perform all those crazy stunts without, you know, burning the house down or anything. (More info here.)

These French doors in the movie led to the home office:

Home Alone movie house piano

There’s still a piano outside the home office today:

It’s amazing how different it looks without the red and green and the patterned wallpapers it used to have. The gray makes it look understated and elegant, and the great bones of the house are what stand out now. It no longer looks like a warm and cozy “Christmas house.”

The kitchen may be the the room that looks the most different. Here’s how it looked in Home Alone, with green tile countertops, dark wood cabinets, and wallpaper on the walls:

Home Alone movie house green tile counter kitchen

Even though the decorating in the movie looks dated now, there’s something warm and appealing about it anyway. I still think, “What a great house!” every time I watch it.

Home Alone movie house kitchen

The kitchen is almost unrecognizable as the same one after being updated and modernized, and it has a totally different vibe than the movie version did:

The kitchen eating area in the movie was one of my favorite rooms of the house, chiefly because of that wonderful back staircase:

Home Alone movie house kitchen back staircase

But according to the floor plan provided in the listing, it looks like there’s only a staircase behind a door off the kitchen going down to the basement. Bummer.

Here’s how the eating area looks, with doors that lead to a screened porch:

The house has 3 stories and 5 bedrooms. Kevin’s parents had a big master bedroom in the movie with a four-poster bed and a fireplace:

Kevin in his parents' bedroom Home Alone

The real master bedroom has a four-poster bed and red accents, too, but there’s no sign of the fireplace (but it may just be out of view):

Looking from the foyer into the dining room in the movie, you can see all the different wallpaper patterns that were used for the sets:

Home Alone movie house looking into dining room

The dining room is much lighter and brighter in the real house, but still very traditional, with walls hand-painted by artist Sydney Barton:

The listing agent, Marissa Hopkins of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, says, “The $2.4 million isn’t just because of its cinematic history. It really is a residential masterpiece.”

Home Alone movie house in the snow

P.S. Can’t get enough of this house? More photos: Inside the Real Home Alone House.

Visit my Houses Onscreen page to see more, including…

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation house in lights

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Jenny Allworthy May 8, 2011 at 9:40 pm

Seems kind of cold and sterile now. And boy, in hindsight, I bet those parents wish they had kept their daughter away from Macaulay Culkin!

Karen Ho Fatt@outdoor fire pit reviews May 8, 2011 at 9:58 pm

Awesome home, the grey palette is quite popular right now. This palette gives it that understated elegance worthy of a home in that price range.

Kim May 8, 2011 at 10:21 pm

What a gorgeous house! I would buy it in a heartbeat if I had the money. I’m glad all of that wallpaper isn’t in the actual house it’s self. It would be a pain to remove.

I like the kitchen in the movie much better than the one in the actual house. It’s warm and inviting.

Karena May 8, 2011 at 10:27 pm

Julia I really love the light and bright version! I don’t see it as cold or steril although I would love to see more art on the walls.

xoxo

Karena
Art by Karena

Patience May 8, 2011 at 11:37 pm

It’s a nice house, but I agree with your first commenter that it seems cold and sterile now. The movie house looks dated today, but it is cozy.

Maria May 9, 2011 at 3:06 am

I’m in the cold and sterile group. Kinda sad to see the warmth gone from the place, but mostly easy to fix except for the kitchen: hardware, backsplash, counters need to change and cabinet color needs to be cream (and not gloss like here) to go with the warmth/tone of the floor, but I’d sure take it. It’s a beautiful house – great bones. :)

(Doesn’t look like it has back stairs — I think these go down to a basement not shown. Too bad – loved those in the film too.

hookedonhouses May 9, 2011 at 7:07 am

You’re right! Thanks for pointing that out.

etta May 9, 2011 at 4:21 am

Hello Julia!!
Home alone house is one of my favourite… I loved it before, but I have to tell they did GRATE… I love this stile, colour.. everything…
Beautiful!
Kisses
Etta

Stefanie May 9, 2011 at 4:51 am

The company I work for makes stair rods (Zoroufy) just trying to tell on the staircase if those are ours! (good chance they are-always exciting for me)

Luciane at Homebunch.com May 9, 2011 at 5:27 am

Oh! How cool is this, eh?

I think it would amazing to live in this house not only for the “history” of it, but can you see how beautiful it looks now?

I’m loving this post!

Have a Blessed Week!

xo

Luciane at HomeBunch.com

Mary May 9, 2011 at 6:21 am

It’s a beautiful house, I think I liked it better in movie, it looks a little cold and sterile now. Of course I always had a bit of “thing” for the kitchen, it looked SO inviting, it made my want to start whipping up a hearty stew !
Mary

Suzann May 9, 2011 at 6:36 am

A friend of mine works around the corner from this house and we were all half-joking about how many of us it would take to buy it. LOL

Emily@remodelingthislife May 9, 2011 at 6:42 am

Wow! What a beautiful house. I really love how it is now, even though I loved it in the movie too. The house I grew up in had a navy blue tiled counter in the kitchen so I always think of home when I see the old kitchen. The new one is nice, too :)

Happy Monday Julia!

Renato Alves May 9, 2011 at 7:04 am

Well it’s been 21 years! Looking to the old pictures, the house was a little busy for me now but when I saw the movie, I remember thinking that the house was fantastic! Now it looks clean and pretty but it lost its character. I think it is a little cold and unpersonal now. The right person, or the right designer (don’t forget me!!) can make it beautiful again.

Sharon May 9, 2011 at 7:12 am

I love the redo! So much cleaner and uncluttered looking. Before it looked like the walls were closing in on you. When I look at the old photos I kind of think ‘mold’. LOL!

I would also guess the reason it looks so sterile is because the home has been staged so people can see the house and it’s structure instead of all the ‘stuff’ inside.

ShabbyChick May 9, 2011 at 7:38 am

Oh, Julia…you are a girl after my own heart! I ADORED this house and the movie, I watch H.A. 1 and 2 every Christmas as well as many times throughout the year. I would absolutely buy this for $2 mill, this is a house that’s WORTH the asking price. What a fabulous, timeless exterior…I would stick a little bronze statue out there and order Little Nero’s Pizza (do they exist?;) ) just to see them knock it over…lol! I loved the wallpapers, they add a depth and warmth that paint can’t match in such a grande dame of a house. The french doors and wide mouldings….amazing, but while the choice of paint color is nice, the house just looks cold and stark now. I find the new kitchen to be absolutely dreadful, it looks completely out of place in a house of this magnitude (I know, don’t hold back, Shabby, tell us how you REALLY feel…lol!). The furnishings were so much nicer in the movie, too. Overall, I’m disappointed in that the house as it is now, doesn’t live up to the movie….but the potential is there to make it a wonderful, cozy home. Wouldn’t you love to be able to say “Go to the 3rd floor and don’t come down until you can behave!” Personally, I’d have sent uncle Frank up there……. ;)

Deb May 17, 2011 at 11:53 am

Your sentiments mirror mine. My realization (mentioned in a previous posting) that the kitchen stairs were fake, along with many other aspects, is quite shocking.
The wallpaper and furnishings used in the movie are timeless. If I had the means to purchase the house, I’d make it look as it did in the movie.
As far as Uncle Frank goes, I can’t imagine talking to a child as he did to Kevin. The fact that parents Kate and Peter did nothing to deter it still baffles me! I wonder what was going on in the head~space of the screenwriter on that day.

susie May 9, 2011 at 8:23 am

I have always loved this house since seeing it in Home Alone. The style of the outside is gorgeous. I’m not loving the interior decorating but it has great bones and the possibilities are endless. If I had a few million, I would buy it in a heartbeat. The neighborhood that it is in is absolutely beautiful with so much character. Some streets are still brick. It’s one of my favorite places to wander around, looking at all the beautiful homes and well manicured yards.

maureen May 9, 2011 at 8:35 am

I grew up down the street from this house.
My parents live just across the bridge from it and my sister lives down the street from it.
It is a nice house as are a number of houses in Winnetka.

Jessica May 9, 2011 at 8:39 am

Wow, I really like today’s version. I still love the cozy feeling of the Home Alone decor too. It is simply a great house. Sadly, I don’t have 2.4 million in the bank. Oh well?

Heatherly May 9, 2011 at 8:57 am

I do not like the new color scheme or gray-scheme as it seems. Do you think it is staged? It is so sparsely decorated. I do not like the new kitchen. I love white but the cabinets look cheap.

kathy May 9, 2011 at 10:44 am

Is it just me -but I think the house now looks very cold and sterile. I was fond of grey years before it was in fashion. Now it’s just become very ho hum …one more grey room imagine that. It seems when something is nice it gets over done and then I get sick of it.

Kathy

Maaike Quinn @ Life with FlyLady May 9, 2011 at 11:33 am

OMG, you even have the floor plan of the Home Alone house!! I love floor plans!! I am going to stare at this post for the next three days. Thanks, Julia! :D :D :D

Amanda @ Serenity Now May 9, 2011 at 12:17 pm

I’ve always adored that house! You’re right…even though it looks dated to us now, it still looks like a “cozy Christmas home” every time I watch the movie (it is my guilty Christmas movie viewing pleasure each year). ;) I like the new gray walls, but it doesn’t really feel homey to me anymore. But I am assuming that’s because it’s been staged to sell…no personal effects.

Bre May 9, 2011 at 12:26 pm

That truly is a spectacular home and a cinematic piece of history. I have zero desire to live in Illinois, but with a house that beautiful I could definitely be persuaded. It looks so dramatically different from the movie (kitchen especially), but I like the more contemporary color palette and upgrades.

I still quote Home Alone-often. “Buzz your girlfriend, woof!”

Cordelia Dias May 9, 2011 at 12:45 pm

Absolutely cold and sterile. What a shame.

Deb May 17, 2011 at 11:54 am

Touche’!

Nathan May 9, 2011 at 12:48 pm

Where to start? I love the updated decor! It is beautiful. I especially love that sliding door that leads from the eating/breakfast room to the porch. While I’m not a huge fan of the red items in the master bedroom, I love the rest. The carpet and the wallpaper are so beautiful. The only room I don’t actually like is the dining room. I’m not a huge fan of the wallpaper or any of the furniture in that room. The kitchen is one other room that I’m not the biggest fan of, but it’s still beautiful. I just don’t really like white cabinetry as much and I’d have used a different tile on the backsplash. The best thing about the house though, in my opinion? Okay, the best two things? The floors – they are AMAZING – and the staircase. I love the staircase but I’m surprised they don’t have any sort of furniture at the landing. And is it just something with the camera, or is the staircase in the movie (soundstage/gym) actually built wider than the staircase in the actual house?

Deb May 17, 2011 at 12:08 pm

I think most, if not all, of the shots used in the foyer were done on a set.

That is not the houses’ actual staircase that is used throughout the film. The stairs in the movie are most definitely wider. Note how wide the upstairs hallway is in the movie still when compared with the real estate photos. Other features that don’t add up are the much higher pitch of the ceiling (hall floor) above the kitchen door and (this is key…something I’ve always been aware of) the portion of banister on the landing in front of the window (real estate photo) is curved and much shorter than the banister shown in the movie.
Ya, I’ve watched this movie A LOT! ;-D

cherylk May 9, 2011 at 2:00 pm

Love the new look although I might have chosen warmer colors…still neutral, but warmer. I think the old decor is pretty, too, and it did suit the house at the time. I lived in the far west suburbs of Chicago for several years. It’s an awesome city and I loved the whole experience.

Stitchfork May 9, 2011 at 4:20 pm

Great house, but since there is no back staircase (which I love!) then I’ll pass so you can make an offer!
xo Cathy

Pat May 9, 2011 at 5:07 pm

I love the exterior of the house. I think my heart would sing everytime I pulled up to it! I remember the first time I saw that wreath thing hanging over the bed in the master bedroom, I went right out to get a duplicate! I love the re-do, but the kitchen is not my taste, but what fun it would be to buy it and redo it!

Susan May 9, 2011 at 5:20 pm

Hi Julia,
This still has to be my fave movie house. I know the interior in the movie was dated but I sure did love the “feel” of the home in the movie. So cozy and just felt like a family home.

Dorthe May 10, 2011 at 12:15 am

I loved the house before, I also love what it’s become now. It’s such a lovely home!

Robin May 10, 2011 at 6:38 am

Julia,
What a great house. You can’t beat the Christmas version, tho. It would be so fun to have the house and recreated it again!

Pat May 10, 2011 at 8:26 am

I loved the old and new house theme because the house is really elegant and inviting. The old is warm and inviting while the new look exudes class and formality. Anyway, if I have the money, I will buy it because it is really beautiful.

Julianne May 10, 2011 at 2:27 pm

OK, my favorites:
1. The floorplan (thank you for including it! It’s great…but I agree, where’s the awesome staircase like in the movie??).
2. The colors are better in the old house (I agree again…the movie is dated by certain elements like the wallpaper and the green tile in the kitchen, etc., but it is SUCH a warm and cozy house!). The colors of the old (movie) house are so warm and happy.
3. The commenter ShabbyChick, above. She sounds like she’s watched the show as much as I have…which is at least 2-3x/year since it came out! I have that whole thing memorized! Now I watch it, partly for the funny dialogue and mostly for the lovely house!

polly dove May 10, 2011 at 2:40 pm

I agree with you completely Julia … this really is a “residential masterpiece!”

Melissa Hirsch May 10, 2011 at 2:51 pm

No Jockey statue? No deal!

Jen Geisinger May 24, 2011 at 5:02 pm

Too bad this isn’t in my market- I’d LOVE to take a buyer through that!

dustin June 2, 2011 at 7:47 am

i love the house its very pretty im a fan of home alone i got the movie of home alone

Bonnie June 3, 2011 at 9:01 pm

I liked it the way it was before, down to the wallpaper and the tile in the kitchen. It seemed more like a home. Sad!

Marisa August 3, 2011 at 2:03 pm

I don’t like it now. It seems cold and barren. I much prefer the warm reds and greens from the movie… ;(

Franz August 19, 2011 at 12:08 pm

The interior from the movie is just a film setting. You can see it when you consider the staircaise. The staircase from the film setting is a little bit larger than the original one. I guess, that the original house never had such wallpapers.

Janell Beals September 9, 2011 at 8:49 am

What a great neighborhood north of Chicago, great schools, near the lake, a dream location and great house! Janell

jess October 3, 2011 at 1:14 pm

Hi!
So glad I found your site while lusting over “Somethings Gotta Give -”Kitchen”‘ Then I found all my favorite movie houses, AND NOW IM HOOKED!lol, I was just asking my husband “how come in California they don’t make builder-track- homes with garages in the back of the house or on the side in the back like all the beautiful movie houses?” /Of course my home has a garage in the front { sooo ugly}! /
This Home Alone house is one of my top ten houses , even as a child I loved this house, I sometimes paused it just to admire the decor. Now Im 30 and decorate to my liking and, Im in between Father of the Bride and H.A. house! ha, If that is even possible!
Happy house hunting!
Love this site!
jess

sarah October 19, 2011 at 4:43 pm

Im so glad I came upon this website! I am very very familiar with the famous “home alone” house because My Aunt and Uncle have owned it. They were approached about having the movie filmed there and declined at first, but changed their minds when asked again. I hear a lot of you ask about the stairs in the kitchen as well as thoughts that the foyer in the movie isnt the actual one in the home… well it is! The foyer does look a bit smaller now in present day then in the movie. That is because of a number of reasons. The first being that my Aunt has had the stair rug changed twice since the movie was filmed. The width of it now is much shorter then the original version. Giving it a shorter look all together. The second is that it has a lot to do with the angle they held the camera for scenes. But believe me, that same staircase was used by all of the cast, the same wallpaper in each room, for years!! It has just recently been painted within the last couple years. I have to agree, I miss the old way, because not only did I love the movie, but it reminded me of my childhood. Family Christmases and Thanksgiving were always held there. Now, the secret to the kitchen stairs. They exist, but not going up. They actually go down, to a basement. They covered the opening going downstairs and made flooring for the film, and put a fake staircase going up. If you notice in the first movie, shots looking towards the staircase in the foyer, you can see to the right in the back, the opening to the kitchen, as well as the “fake” staircase. BUT in the second movie, looking in that same direction, up the foyer staircase, towards the back to the right, you clearly see a door with hinges that lead into the kitchen. With no visible staircase. My uncle did not want another floor put over his basement opening for the 2nd filming. They didnt push for it because not much was going to be filmed there anyways. There is also no entry way to the basement from outside. The production dug that and put it in for filming only, then buried and covered it back up afterward. You have to remember, the kitchen has been remodeled. But unlike a lot of people, Ive been in the home millions of times and can still make out where everything used to be. Looking towards the oven, that would be the wall where the original refrigerator was,right in front of the famous (fake stairs)
the wall to the right of that, would be the length of the long counter, where you can see the bar stools in the movie. The famous door with doggy door, would be up against the glass windows and doors. It is true, a lot of filming took place on a soundstage, but that is ONLY for the upstairs scenes. All scenes that took place on the bottom floor, were most certainly filmed in the actual home. I can guarantee. The whole crew actually stayed in the house for months with my Aunt Uncle & cousin. Even Mac stayed there. It was an amazing experience. The photos that were taken recently, have been staged because the house is now for sale. My Uncle just moved out so I can no longer go to take photos, but I can dig through some holiday photos and show you what the house looked like with a real family there for the holidays if you would like? You can email me sann19900@yahoo.com :)

hookedonhouses October 20, 2011 at 7:50 am

I am beyond thrilled to hear from you, Sarah, and get some answers to our burning questions. And I’d love to see any family photos you have of the house. Thanks so much!! -Julia

sarah October 20, 2011 at 9:16 am

no problem! Its so funny that so many people are in love with this home, I cant name a day where people are not parked across the street taking photos. Its truly iconic. Im sad to see it leave the family, but it is a very large place for just two people to live. I have heard the rumors of a Home Alone 5 staring Mac as an adult with his son being left behind. I have no idea how true these rumors are, Ive read about it a few times online. I joked with my uncle about how maybe he should keep the home just a little longer in hopes that they might bring the 5th movie back to the home. He chuckled, but I dont think he is ready to deal with that amount of energy around again. It was very hectic, yet fun. Im in college now, I wont be back home until the Holidays. I will look through my Mom’s albums and get back to you next month :)

Brianna October 20, 2011 at 9:19 am

I absolutely love this house, but I have to say, it looked so much more warm and cozy before the renovations. I probably wouldn’t say that about any house, but this one will always remind me of my childhood, so thats probably why I feel this way. Great pics! thanks for the article !

natalya January 8, 2012 at 10:17 am

Tell what price? Where exactly you are, the matter is that I live in Belarus, nearby to Russia. and How many years to the house?

brianna May 4, 2012 at 5:35 pm

ok I think I have it figured out! The screen porch off of the kitchen is actually what was used as the kitchen in the movie. The Kitchen was never actually used. In an interview with the owners they said that their screen porch was covered with fake brick walls for the shots of the back of the house. They also said a fake basement stairway was dug underneath the screen porch for the basement stair scenes. The basement scenes were all filmed on a soundstage in a gymnasium. I know this because I watched the extras on the dvd. It shows Macaulay Culkin next to the furnace in a huge gymnasium set. I have taken screenshots two photos. One was from a video showing the house on a reality website. Its shows the screen porch. The other is a screen shot from the movie which clearly shows that the “kitchen door” in the movie was actually built in their screen house. There is also a paved little sidewalk up to the screen door which is scene in the movie going up to the “kitchen door” The same step can be seen as in the movie where he drops the pizza off. If you look at the windows and stuff in the pictures, they add up evenly. In the interview the couple also states that all of the insides were redone for the movie. Although they did have wallpaper at the time, it is not the wallpaper you see in the movie. They wanted the movie to be very Christmas themed so the film crew covered their walls in a styrofoam board and then wallpapered on top of that. This is how they were able to have the exact same wallpaper used for the scenes filmed in the gymnasium. Also stated is that while filming home alone 2 they came back and wallpapered again for that 2nd movie to make sure everything matched up. Noticed in Home alone 2 there is no 2nd stairway in the kitchen. That is because the real kitchen was filmed on a soundstage. I read Sarah’s comment saying everything filmed on sounstage were only the upstairs scenes. Not true. On the dvd special edition there is a thing called “mac cam” where macaulay culkin was handed a small camera to walk around set with. You can clearly see some of the downstairs stuff built right onto that gymnasium. The owners say that the only scenes filmed in the house were 1. The dining room scene 2. the fireplace livingroom scene 3. the stairway scene where mac is yelling over that he will live alone when he grows up and 4. the sled scene (somewhat) They layed a flat surface for macaulay culkin to slide down (slowly) and then edited it and had a stunt double on soundstage do the rest. Sarah have you found any family photos we could check out?

Here are the photos I took…

screen porch
http://i755.photobucket.com/albums/xx200/briannalovesaustin/Screenshot2012-05-04at111323AM.png

Screen Porch covered with brick acting as the “kitchen”
http://i755.photobucket.com/albums/xx200/briannalovesaustin/Screenshot2012-05-04at112155AM.png

Also note that in the movie the floor of the kitchen was tile.

hookedonhouses May 4, 2012 at 5:42 pm

Wow! I love your attention to detail and dogged determination in figuring this out. Thanks for the photos, Brianna. This is great!

franky May 29, 2012 at 9:48 am

This is so beautiful……there is such a big difference when it comes to design from 90′s to now….a wonderful change I’d say!

Daphne23 June 23, 2012 at 11:59 am

I really love the look of the original; warm, cozy and full of character. So pleasing to the eye and the soul. Guess I am old fashioned, maybe need to update with the times, but given the choice between the two the original would win hands down. I came across this site when trying to look for a site that would give me ideas on how to make my home look like the home alone house! I wish the originally owners happiness in their new home and I wish the new owners that too; even though I’m rather green round the gills ;0) xxx

Michelle September 5, 2012 at 12:56 pm

One of my favorite things about the house was the kitchen. So sad to see that it is completely different. And, as dated as the interior is in the film…I still prefer it over what it has become. I miss the warm, cozy house in the film!!

chris w November 3, 2012 at 3:38 pm

I have been “in love” with this house since the movie came out! The new renovations are nice, but I prefer the way the house looked in the movies. Even though it is outdated and cluttered, I love every bit of clutter and out dated decor in the house! I love the wrapping paper in the master bedroom, all the little chiatchkes on the shelves, the gingerbread house in the kitchen, all the games in the family room, the 80s decor in the master bathroom, all the wallpaper–especially the kind in the entryway/ stairwell and master bedroom! Do you know where I can get that same wallpaper? ^_^ Thank you for showing us this beautiful house!

Vanessa August 3, 2013 at 9:40 pm

Well this one is definitely in my top 10..Probably #1.. I absolutely LOVE the kitchen ( the listing one). It’s perfect from the flooring go the backsplash.. Just beautiful. I’m not a fan of carpet but the carpeting in the master bedroom is GREAT.. And I love the bedding and curtains.. Maybe not with the red accents but it’s very pretty, and that wallpaper!! It’s gorgeous. Obsessing over the dining room, although I could kind of do without the mural or whatever it is.. Maybe just on one wall or something but I’d take the entire house as is.

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