The 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!
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.
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?
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.
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).
This has to be one of my favorite TV kitchens.
Love all the built-ins in this kitchen.
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!
One thing I don’t quite get about the kitchen is why the table they put with the large banquette is so tiny.
The Bar and Living Room:
Lea Thompson plays Kathryn Kennish.
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.
John and Kathryn’s Bedroom:
The set designers made Bay’s room colorful and artistic like her biological mother Regina’s apartment.
The Frida Kahlo quote on her bedroom wall reads, “I never paint dreams or nightmares. I paint my own reality.”
Bay’s Art Studio in the Garage:
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!
The 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!
The guest house is a lot more colorful and is filled with art.
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.)
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.
View of the Patio from the Guest House:
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.
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:
Built in 1927, the 6,700 square-foot house sits on 3 acres.
It looks more formal than the interiors on TV.
The guest house has 3 separate apartments.
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.
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?
…and Pretty Little Liars: