“Switched at Birth:” The Real Kennish Manor & Guest House

by hookedonhouses on March 4, 2013

Switched at Birth Kennish Manor and Guest House sets collageThe ABC Family Channel series Switched at Birth follows two families that find out that they were sent home from the hospital with the wrong babies 15 years ago. Not only is the premise of the show interesting, but the sets are fun to look at, too. I found the listing for the house where the Kennish family mansion exteriors are filmed, so let’s compare the sets to the real thing!

Kennish mansion on Switched at Birth 2

Former baseball player and wealthy business owner John Kennish and his stay-at-home wife Kathryn have been raising Bay in their Kansas City mansion, while struggling single-mom Regina Vasquez has been raising their biological daughter Daphne in a working-class neighborhood.

Kennish mansion on Switched at Birth exterior side

Daphne is deaf as a result of contracting meningitis when she was 2, compounding the “what ifs” the families face when discovering each other. Would she have gotten sick and lost her hearing if she had been living with her real parents?

bottom of stairs-Switched at Birth

Bay has some things to deal with, too, like the fact that her biological father is out of the picture and Regina won’t give her any info on him.

John's study-Switched at Birth house

Dining Room:

Kennish mansion dining room Switched at Birth 2

According to the ABC Family website, Switched at Birth is the first mainstream TV series to have multiple deaf and hard-of-hearing series regulars and scenes shot entirely in ASL (American Sign Language).

Kennish mansion dining room Switched at Birth 1

The Kitchen:

Switched at Birth kitchen 2

This has to be one of my favorite TV kitchens.

Switched at Birth kitchen 9

Greg Grande, who was the Production Designer for Switched at Birth, worked on other shows with great sets like Cougar Town.

Switched at Birth kitchen 6

The Series Set Decorator is Richard Walker, who worked on another favorite of mine that I’ve featured–Samantha Who.

Switched at Birth kitchen 5

Love all the built-ins in this kitchen.

Switched at Birth kitchen 10

Switched at Birth kitchen 8

Switched at Birth kitchen 12

D.W. Moffet plays John Kennish. If you’re a Friday Night Lights fan like I am, you probably remember him from that show when he was a not-so-nice rich guy named Joe McCoy. It took me awhile to warm up to him on this one just because of that!

Switched at Birth kitchen 11

One thing I don’t quite get about the kitchen is why the table they put with the large banquette is so tiny.

bench seat kitchen Switched at Birth

The Bar and Living Room:

Switched at Birth house-bar

Switched at birth house-living room sofa

Lea Thompson plays Kathryn Kennish.

Switched at Birth house-living room 3

Switched at Birth house-living room 2

Blair Redford played Ty, who briefly dated Bay at the beginning of the series. He now stars as Ethan Whitehorse on another ABC Family series, The Lying Game.

Kennish manor living room 2

John and Kathryn’s Bedroom:

Switched at birth-master bedroom

Switched at Birth master bedroom 2

Bay’s Bedroom:

Bay's bedroom Switched at Birth

The set designers made Bay’s room colorful and artistic like her biological mother Regina’s apartment.

Bay's bedroom Switched at Birth 2

The Frida Kahlo quote on her bedroom wall reads, “I never paint dreams or nightmares. I paint my own reality.”

Switched at Birth-Bay Kennish bedroom

Laundry Room:

Kennish family mansion on Switched at Birth-laundry room

Bay’s Art Studio in the Garage:

Bay's art studio 2 Switched at Birth

The first time I watched the show, it drove me crazy trying to figure out where I’d seen Vanessa Marano (who plays Bay Kennish) before. Then I realized–she was Luke’s daughter April on (my favorite show ever) Gilmore Girls. She’s grown up a lot since then!

Luke's daughter April on Gilmore Girls

(Psst–if you love GG, too, check out my posts about Lorelai’s house, the Gilmore Mansion, and Dragonfly Inn.)

Bay's art studio Switched at Birth

The Guest House Over the Garage:

Switched at Birth guest house over the garage

Constance Marie plays Regina Vasquez, who moves into the guest apartment over the garage on the Kennish estate with Daphne so that they can all get to know each other and co-parent their daughters. Spoiler alert–complications ensue!

Switched at Birth guest house kitchen 1

The guest house is a lot more colorful and is filled with art.

Switched at Birth guest house kitchen 2

Switched at Birth guest house kitchen 3

Switched at Birth guest house living room

guest house round table Switched at Birth

Katie Leclerc plays Daphne and is deaf in real life, as are other deaf characters on the show like Emmett (Sean Berdy) and Marlee Matlin, who plays his mom. (Update: According to her IMDb.com bio, Leclerc is “hard of hearing and suffers from Meniere’s Disease.)

Constance Marie guest house in Switched at Birth

Daphne’s Room:

Daphne's room Switched at Birth

In the same way that Bay’s room is more colorful than the rest of her house in the mansion, Daphne’s is cooler and more muted than the rest of the apartment. It’s one of those subtle cues that they don’t quite fit in with the parents who raised them. Daphne’s room looks more like her biological mother Kathryn’s style.

Daphne's room Switched at Birth 2

View of the Patio from the Guest House:

view of patio from guest house over garage

The sets for the show must be HUGE between all the rooms for the Kennish family house, the garage with art studio, and the guest apartment above it. Not to mention the patio outside the garage where a lot of scenes take place.

close up of garage door

The Real House in Beverly Hills

Although the show is set in Kansas City, Missouri, it’s actually filmed in California. The real mansion that doubles as the exterior of the Kennish family home is in Beverly Hills and can be rented for $100,000 a month. Here are some of the listing photos:

real house used in Switched at Birth-listing photo

Built in 1927, the 6,700 square-foot house sits on 3 acres.

Switched at Birth real house listing staircase

It looks more formal than the interiors on TV.

Switched at Birth house listing-living room

Switched at Birth house listing-dining room

Switched at Birth house listing-kitchen

Switched at Birth real house listing-bedroom

The guest house has 3 separate apartments.

Switched at Birth house in CA-real estate listing

For more photos and information, check the listing with Hilton & Hyland. Thanks to Housekaboodle for blogging about this house, which is what got me interested in watching the show in the first place. You can read more about it there.

garage and guest house-Switched at Birth listing

Tonight they’re airing a special all-ASL episode. Are you a fan of the show? Is the Kennish mansion or the cozy guest house more your style?

You can see the other TV houses I’ve written about on my Houses Onscreen page, including other ABC Family shows like The Lying Game

The Lying Game houses set design collage

…and Pretty Little Liars:

Pretty Little Liars houses ABC Family collage

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brian March 4, 2013 at 9:11 am

This is actually the long time rental home of Tom Cruise. He rented this house after his devorce from Nicole Kidman and stayed their until after Suri was born.

hookedonhouses March 4, 2013 at 9:20 am

No kidding? Wow. I had no idea! Thanks, Brian.

marta March 4, 2013 at 11:04 am

Love this house – thanks for posting!

Erin March 4, 2013 at 11:18 am

How funny! I read this entire post and my first thought after was, “Oh, I miss the Gilmore Girls!” Wasn’t it the best show ever? I still miss it!

hookedonhouses March 4, 2013 at 11:52 am

I do, too! I started re-watching the entire series about a year ago and am just now finishing up the final season. I only have 2 discs to go and am already sad knowing it’s almost over (again). I keep hearing they might do a movie–wish they would!

Jane George March 5, 2013 at 3:04 pm

Yep! A GG movie would be wonderful.
I’m really enjoying Amy Sherman-Palladino’s new show Bunheads on ABC Family.

Sue March 4, 2013 at 12:01 pm

Thank you so much Julia for mentioning me in the post and I am so thrilled to learn more about the show and the house that I have been a fan of since its debut. Between liking the main house or the guest house best, in this case they are both the most wonderful for different reasons. The set decorators did an amazing job.

hookedonhouses March 4, 2013 at 12:26 pm

Sue–you must have told me about it over a year ago now. I’ve been working on this post a long time! So glad you told me about it. Thanks again! :-)

Kelly March 4, 2013 at 12:22 pm

Don’t watch this show, but looking through the pictures I thought, “Who IS that girl??” Dear little nerdy April!! GG is also my favorite show. Waiting until my daughter is just a bit older to share it with her, and then I can enjoy it all over again. (I watched 1 episode of “Bunheads” by GG creator, and it was good, but I didn’t keep watching.)

Suzy March 4, 2013 at 4:14 pm

Daphne is actually played by a hearing actress, who just plays the part very well. She has some interviews on line where she talks about playing a deaf character. I think she is awesome. I really think that this show is bringing ASL to the fore front. You can now take it in some High Schools and most colleges for a foreign language credit. Nice Post, love the show!

hookedonhouses March 4, 2013 at 5:22 pm

Suzy–I read a couple of places that she was deaf, so after I got your comment I checked her IMDb.com page to see what it says. You’re right, she’s not deaf but is “hard of hearing” and has Meniere’s Disease. Thanks!

Suzy March 4, 2013 at 7:52 pm

They currently have a new character that they had an episode about explaining Meniere disease. I like how they bring in the real life struggles of the deaf in their episodes. Tonight’s show should be good, all in ASL.

hookedonhouses March 4, 2013 at 5:23 pm

Suzy–I had read that she was deaf when I was researching the show, but after I got your comment I checked her IMDb.com profile to see what it said. You’re right, she’s not deaf. It says she’s “hard of hearing” and has Meniere’s Disease. Thanks!

Elaine Johnson March 4, 2013 at 4:23 pm

Love this blog–would love to see Dennis the Menace (the first one) and 10 Things I Hate About You.

Mercedes March 4, 2013 at 4:40 pm

I enjoy this post a lot, great interiors and colourful, I love them
thanks for share Julia!!!

Nita March 4, 2013 at 9:12 pm

What night is that on TV???

hookedonhouses March 4, 2013 at 9:27 pm

It’s on tonight! (Monday)

Tracie March 5, 2013 at 1:32 am

Love the movie set so much more than the actual interior. :). Gorgeous from the outside. 100,000 grand/mo is maniacal! Eek!

Kim March 5, 2013 at 3:06 am

I agree with Tracie, the sets are so much more gorgeous than the actual interior. I wish they were real.

Bethany March 5, 2013 at 5:14 pm

Thanks for featuring. I love this show and the houses. Though it drives me nuts that it’s supposed to take place in Kansas City and yet it never snows or even appears cold. The characters barely even wear coats! I guess I just wish it truly represented living in the midwest (since I do). I really like the ASL on the show and it’s made me want to take classes!

Kristen @ Joyfullythriving March 5, 2013 at 8:23 pm

I love this show, because of my interest in ASL. It’s such a unique concept to having signing and speaking on the same show – and so well done. I agree that the sets are prettier than the actual house. Thanks for showing all those pictures! You research these all so well, Julia!

hookedonhouses March 5, 2013 at 9:16 pm

Thanks, Kristen! :-)

lilkunta March 12, 2013 at 6:05 pm

Do you like the show?
We needmroe people watching.
It is such a wonderful show but barely gets 2mill viewers.

I WANT THIS KITCHEN! It is so expansive.
But it is fake, a set? Bc the actual pics def dont match.
So dark, so much pannelling.
Did Richard Walker say if this is a real functional kitchen ?
The cups, dishes in the cabinets are real or foam\pretend ?
I love it…I dont think I’d be able to fill all the cabinets.

100,000 to rent? The budget for this show must be crazy high.

Did say

hookedonhouses March 12, 2013 at 6:44 pm

Yes, the interiors are all sets on a soundstage. The exterior shots are of the real thing. Not sure how functional the kitchen set is, although we see them running water in the sink sometimes, don’t we?

Katye March 18, 2013 at 7:23 pm

I was just watching the movie “Hitchcock” and I believe that his house is the same exterior! Anyone else watched both?

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