This romantic inn with blue shutters from the Richard Gere-Diane Lane tear-jerker Nights in Rodanthe used to sit on the edge of the Pea Island Wildlife Refuge in North Carolina’s Outer Banks. Then it started to wash away.
After I featured the beach house known as Serendipity two years ago, local residents wrote to tell me it was “on death watch” after every storm.
Now I’m happy to report it has since been rescued and renovated — take a look!
Rescuing the Inn from “Nights in Rodanthe”
The house was styled for the film with blue shutters and wraparound decks:
After filming, the shutters and decks were removed and it looked like this:
Not only was it looking bare after the film crew left, it was declared a public nuisance and condemned.
One local wrote to tell me that vandals had been breaking into it and stealing things.
When the beach house was built in the 1980s, it had 400 feet of beachfront, but rising waters were washing it away.
After a bad storm in 2009, the road buckled:
The owners told the Island Free Press at the time that they had “everything tied up in this house,” and didn’t know what to do next.
They had tried to sell it for a couple of years but no one was willing to take it on.
But last year I got an email from Ben and Debra Huss, who described themselves as “extreme fans” of the movie, telling me they had decided to buy Serendipity and move it to safety.
Not only that, but they wanted to “restore it to the original splendor of the movie.”
Moving Serendipity to Higher Ground
In its new location, it reopened for business as The Inn at Rodanthe:
They have also given some of the rooms a makeover to look more like they did in the movie (the interiors were filmed on a separate soundstage).
The Kitchen Before:
The kitchen has been redecorated to resemble the one in the movie:
They even replicated the swinging doors:
The doors in the movie:
The new owners tracked down the same wallpaper used in the movie kitchen, too:
Another room that was replicated was Richard Gere’s blue bedroom:
The new blue bedroom in the inn has a similar antique bed:
See the antique organ in the corner of the dining room below?
Serendipity has one, too:
The newly redecorated inn is now a vacation rental today:
Nights in Rodanthe came out in 2008.
In case you haven’t seen it, here’s the official description of the movie:
When Adrienne Willis (Diane Lane) arrives at the coastal town of Rodanthe, N.C., her life is in chaos. There, she hopes to sort through the trouble surrounding her, while tending a friend’s inn for the weekend.
The only guest at the inn is Dr. Paul Flanner (Richard Gere), a man tormented by a crisis of conscience. As a storm approaches the coast, Paul and Adrienne find comfort and a life-changing romance.
There’s much more to it than that, of course, but I don’t want to spoil it for anyone who hasn’t seen it yet! I will just say that if you do watch, you may want to be sure there’s a box of tissues handy, because you might need them…
Thanks to Ben and Debra for telling us about their inn and sharing these photos.
Check the Inn at Rodanthe’s listing for rental information.
Visit my Houses Onscreen page to see the others I’ve featured, listed from A-Z.
Julia I adore this movie!! Thank goodness for people like this to rescue a special, unique property!
Art by Karena
Exciting New Giveaway from Dr Perricone! Come and Enter!
Luciane at Homebunch.com says
This was such an amazing movie and I cried and I cried!!! 🙂
Amazing property, amazing post! Thank you so much for this!
Luciane at HomeBunch.com
So impressed they took on that project. Love happy endings. sigh…
I would LOVE to see the Lifeguard station and cottage that were used from Popham beach in Maine for the filming of “Message in a Bottle”
What a wonderful project Ben and Debra did.
kelly in georgia says
I would too! We tried to find it when we were in Popham Beach several years ago. From what I understand, the movie folks left the house renovated for the owners. There was a wonderful article about it featured in Coastal Living the year the movie was released.
I would also love to see the precious cabin used in the Hepburn and Fonda film “On Golden Pond.” I have not seen it featured anywhere.
Teacup Lane says
Wow…this is so neat! I love to see homes being cared for and cherished.
We went on vacation this summer to the Outer Banks and rode our motorcycle to the town of Rodanthe just so I could take a peek at the Inn. I got some great pictures of it.
I love that movie.
ashley @ the handmade home says
CRAZY! wow. I didn’t really know you COULD move a house that big! love this. as usual…
Kelly D says
That is so awesome that they went to the expense of making some of the interior rooms to match the movie! I love it!
I remember your other posts about this and am SO happy you updated us with this one! What a happy ending! It’s fantastic how much detail went into their renovation. How cool they found the same wallpaper for the kitchen! Thanks you so much for sharing!!
This place deserved to be saved! I’m so happy to read this. Thanks for the post!
Just got back from rodanthe yesterday, we used to sit next to that house before the movie. We drove by where it was moved to and it does look nice. However we talked to a local resident and were told the number of people who stop by to see it and take pictures is crazy.
How great that they renovated this house. I like how they made it look like the one from the movie.
karen ho fatt says
Amazing that they can put a house so close to the water. Too close for comfort for me!
Lisa T. says
The water came to them, not the other way round.
I remember when you wrote about the building being moved. I even watched some of the actually moving on the internet link. Glad to see how nicely it has been preserved.
I loved th movie as well. I just love the Outer Banks and cant wait to go back and check up on this place. Why would the movie crew remove all of that great decking they built? If I were the previous owners i would have wanted to keep the shutters and the decking. I love your blog spot. My twin 19 year olds love it as well. I told them about it and now they check on it daily. Thank you for sharing!
Wow! How cool is this?! I have countless homes in movies, thanks to your well curated site, that I would love to replicate for my own house. These homeowners took it to a whole other level! I love that they rescued that beautiful beach home. The renovations are spectacular, I love the wraparound porch and the new kitchen. Such a great post Julia! 🙂
Beth @ Free Stylin' says
Wow! What a labor of love! The new owners did a fabulous job!! It looks SO much like the movie!! When I was reading the beginning of the post, and especially looking at the picture after that big storm, I was so sad for this Inn! I’d forgotten that your title said, “rescued and renovated.” SO glad they did! Thanks for the info – I really loved the movie and book!!
I’ve always wondered what happened to this house after that big storm. I’m glad to hear that the house was moved and saved.
Oh my….I “heart” this house! I “heart heart heart” this house!!! I’ve loved it since I first saw the movie! Many kudos to Debra and Ben for putting such thought and effort into restoring such a beautiful home.
Maaike Quinn @ Life with FlyLady says
Wow, I don’t necessarily like the house (anyone else thinks it’s a bit creepy too?), but I love how much effort they put in to rescue it 😀
Amazing. To go to all that trouble instead of building a new place. Well done.
E. George says
Hi Julia – Thank you Ben and Debra two very brave people who rescued this beautiful place, and thank you for sharing with us. I love this movie and love everything about this place. Now don’t laugh at me I watched Nims Island on the new TV and realised the house where Jodi Foster is living in looks absolutely beautiful and wonder if your daughter has made you watch this movie. Till next time regards Esther from Sydney.
I also really loved the movie. Last fall I visited the Outer Banks for the first time and we located the house by asking the owner of a store nearby. What a neat part of North Carolina to visit. I hope to return.
Isn’t it wonderful that there are people who have the will and the means to preserve buildings worth it? Great article, Julia.
Hear, hear for Julie and kelly from georgia’s request for an article on the cottages in the “Message in the Bottle” and “On Golden Pond”, two fantastic movie houses.
What lovely house – and kudos to the couple rescuing it! Would that there were more like them. Julia, I’ve just watched ‘Panic Room’ again, as much for the gorgeous NYC house and atmospheric sets as for Jodie Foster and Kristin Stewart. Any chance of this being a ‘Movie Monday’ hit anytime soon? Thanks as always for your wonderful site.
Not soon–got a long list I’m working my way through–but someday! 🙂
Great story! Isn’t it amazing what a little color can do. The blue shutters create a smile, they stop your eye so one can look and really appreciate what a cool place this is. In plain gray, it was a passable yawn. Congrats to the new owners for their hard work!
Jane Coslick says
Thanks for this post. I love that movie and I have worried about that house. I heard it was destroyed . I live on Tybee Island and hate the hurricane season so very much.
I love love love that they restore it like the movie…… heade to their site.
Handy Man, Crafty Woman says
I haven’t watched this movie yet; need to wait for when hubby isn’t around, he doesn’t love chick movies, lol. I remember when you did that original post. I’m so glad to see someone saved it, what a job!!!
Does anyone know what the wallpaper is that’s in the kitchen of the movie?? It’s amazing!!
Kevin O says
We flew over the house in our Cessna while headed to Hatteras from Manteo a few years ago. My wife couldn’t believe it really was IN Rodanthe!
I don’t live far from Rodanthe, and it was a big deal when it was close to being condemned and then saved. Good thing they moved it–Hurricane Irene washed most of the beach away where the house used to sit, and I believe the house that was next to the old spot actually washed into the ocean. (The storm washed away Hwy 12 on most of the island, and washed two new inlets that kept the locals stranded for a month.)
I hadn’t seen the makeover pics–thanks!!
NJ Cellulose Insulation Contractor says
I am so glad that home was rescued. It truly is beautiful.
Bob Englert says
I really love this movie and I’m interested in the new location and details as how to stay there. Is there a way for you to give me information about a stay at the inn? Thank you for your time and efforts. Thank you also for what you do. Keep up the good work.
In God’s loving service,
Rental rates and more info is on their website: https://www.vacationtraditions.com/vrmgr/rental/DetailPage.aspx?PropertyId=65&WebCode=all&ReturnPath=/vrmgr/search/webgrouplist.aspx
Bob Englert says
Thank you so much for your expedient response……
Pascale Steig says
I’m glad this house was saved… but why that slate grey paint all over the outside?! It was lovely before; it looks strange now, especially with the electric blue awnings. Sad to say, the interior decor also leaves a lot to be desired. The shape of the house is so interesting that it pretty much dictates an quirky decorating scheme, as opposed to the uninspired 80s furniture in the shared living spaces. Nevertheless, these comments are balanced with gratitude for the new owners’ efforts to save a remarkable structure.