My current TV-house obsession is with the wonderful painted Victorian on the Lifetime series Witches of East End. It reminds me of an updated Halliwell Manor from Charmed, and maybe the nod to it is intentional since this is another story about a family of beautiful witches battling evil…
The House on “Witches of East End”
I was excited to find a video tour of the sets that aired on Entertainment Tonight.
Daniel DiTomasso, who plays Killian, says the porch was recreated on a soundstage for close-ups:
For those of you who haven’t seen the show, it’s about an artist named Joanna Beauchamp (Julia Ormond) who lives with her grown daughters Ingrid and Freya in a secluded seaside town on Long Island. She’s been keeping a secret from them, though — she’s a witch, and so are they.
Mädchen Amick, Jenna Dewan-Tatum, Julia Ormond, and Rachel Boston
Her sister Wendy (Mädchen Amick) helps her break the news to the girls and teach them how to practice magic. She can turn into a cat and therefore has 9 lives. Too bad she’s already used up 8 of them by the end of the first season…
Wendy doesn’t appear in the book series the show was based on, written by Melissa de la Cruz.
Producer Maggie Friedman says they added her for the pilot and planned to kill her off “to show that bad things happen” on the show. “Then Mädchen came along and we realized we couldn’t kill her.”
The Dining Room:
The glass pocket doors always have me reaching for the “pause” on my remote!
Lots of great fireplaces in this house. They have one in just about every room.
There’s a sitting area off the dining room:
In the second season they added some ceiling detail:
The Living Room:
The main living room looks a little lighter and modern than some of the other rooms in the house.
Another fabulous fireplace:
Ingrid is a librarian and researcher who is determined to learn about her past lives (the girls always die around around this age and are reborn, over and over).
The sets have changed since the pilot. For example, this is how the kitchen looked in the first episode.
It had cream cabinets and a generally warmer look to it than it does now.
The kitchen in the pilot reminded me of the one from the movie Practical Magic:
The pilot was filmed in Wilmington, North Carolina. After the series was picked up, they moved to Vancouver.
Starting with the second episode of the series, the kitchen was much more blue and gray.
Free-spirited sister Freya is played by Jenna Dewan-Tatum, who’s married to Channing Tatum in real life.
For some reason they never spend much time in this sunny eating area off the kitchen:
There’s a big stone fireplace in the kitchen that I’m always trying to get a better look at. I was able to pause the frame and get a shot of that wall when an evil shapeshifter got thrown across the room:
Daniel DiTomasso gives us a great look at the kitchen set:
There are some other amazing sets on the show, like of the beautiful old two-story library that Ingrid works at and the Gardiner family mansion called Fairhaven. Wish I had time to feature them all.
Starting with Season 2, they began shooting the sets more dramatically. The lighting is darker and moodier.
And they added beautiful ceiling details that they pan up to show us in a lot of the scenes now.
The tagline for Season 2 is “Darkness Rising,” and the sets seem to reflect the darker tone.
It’s amazing the difference that lighting can make, isn’t it?
This set photo from Lifetime.com shows what the room looks like with the lights up:
Behind the kitchen is a room where Joanna paints and works on spells, potions and other witchy stuff:
Pilots are often shot in real houses and then sets are built if the show’s picked up, which makes me wonder if at least some of the rooms in the first episode belong to a real house. I haven’t been able to find any information about the exterior or interiors they used, though, so if anyone has any insider info, fill us in!
While the kitchen from the pilot reminded me of Practical Magic, the exterior resembles Halliwell Manor:
The “Witches” house has a great wraparound front porch, though:
I was sad when this show was canceled, but you can get Season One and Season Two on DVD:
It was based on a popular series of books by Melissa de la Cruz:
2016 UPDATE: A reader found the house for me! It’s an historic home known as the James & Elizabeth Phillips Residence in New Westminster, British Columbia (Canada). She lives in the area and says, “It is a private residence, but a lot of the houses in the neighbourhood allow filming to be done inside and outside (it’s an old neighbourhood full of beautiful Victorians).” Mystery solved! 🙂
P.S. Visit Houses Onscreen to see more, including Practical Magic:
(Amazon affiliate links are used in this post — thanks!)