We have officially decided to rent out the mountain house when we aren’t staying there. Brian booked another play so our weekends will be in LA for a while and it actually makes me sad to know that it’s JUST sitting there. And sure, of course, it could help offset the cost of the world’s most over-budget project. Last week, we had a furniture and decor company rent it out as a location to shoot their pieces and well, it was super easy and just a general win-win (plus, really fun to see how they put their pieces in our space).
So, for anyone wondering the who, what and when, here are answers to what I think might be FAQs:
Q: Who can rent it out?
A: Production companies to shoot film, TV, product advertising or editorial. This could be a one-day or 10-day shoot. We are super open to what makes sense. It can be used as a location for whatever scene needed like maybe someone needs to shoot a fancy ski weekend getaway for a film and need to show their characters in a Scandi home like this.
We are also open to vetted groups for vacation as it can sleep three families fairly comfortable. If that’s interesting to you, here are the details: there are two bedrooms with king beds and attached bathrooms, one bedroom with a king AND a queen bed (so great for a family with small kids that want to sleep near parents), and the kids’ room that also has a king bed. We also have two roll-out twin mattresses. So there are beds for 10 and then you could easily bring a pack’n’play or sleeping bags as the carpet in the kids’ room has memory foam under it. There are a ton of toys and games, an art room in the attic, a (small) climbing wall and it’s just generally very kid-friendly. Plus, the backyard has access to hiking trails and acres of private woods.
Additionally, small companies for retreats or off-sites. The EHD team has done this but of course, this means people sharing king beds which we’re comfortable doing. Maybe a couples therapy retreat?
Q: How much is it?
A: It will vary based on lots of factors. Generally, production companies know the rates (they are in the thousands per day), but it does vary on size of crew, how many rooms they are shooting in and generally how disruptive it is to our lives and the house.
Brian has made it clear, though, that he doesn’t want college parties there because we all know what happens (because we’ve been there). So it will be vetted and with 3,500 square feet and all those luxuries you get (the pebble ice machine alone!), yes it will be a high-end rental.
Q: Are you scared of people trashing it and stealing stuff?
A: Yes… and no.
I’m generally very trusting so I’m the wrong person to ask. But Brian was, and then I had to remind him of this: 1. most people are actually good, 2. Production companies have to have insurance for real damages, 3. Our children will be with us and everything else are just “things,” 4. We designed it to be relatively family-friendly. Sure, the white carpet in our bedroom is getting dirty with traffic to the deck that I didn’t predict, and there is cream wall-to-wall in the guest room that makes me nervous, but otherwise I designed it to withstand a ton of wear and tear. Besides… 5. The little wear-and-tear that often isn’t covered by insurance could be worth the money that we’d get out of the rental of this house.
Q: Why would someone want to rent it out? Why this house?
A: First off, because it’s magical. It’s so quiet, has the best energy, amazing flow and the prettiest light. Secondly, speaking as a producer, it’s very easy to shoot here. Almost nowhere in the house does the sun blaze through and make it impossible to shoot. Even in the master where there are skylights, we can shut them and the windows still light the room beautifully. It’s not chopped up, it has such good flow and really easy access to garage and front door (hey art department, only four steps to walk up in the front and none in the back). The architecture is obviously really pretty, but simple enough to let whatever they bring into it shine.
Q: Can we remove all your furniture, bring in ours and then just put yours back?
A: Yep, that’s the point. As a stylist, I did this for years. We (art department or the styling team) put down layout board on the floor, take pictures of every room, then wrap and carefully remove each piece to store in a big truck or a room that’s not needed for the shoot. Will they accidentally bang the walls with a sofa leg? Probably, which is why it’s expensive. Then we would shoot whatever company’s furniture and accessories and after we wrap, we would have the very fun job of putting everything back. Maybe that’s secretly why I didn’t put a lot of stuff here—less to move and potentially damage (and hey producers, because there’s less “stuff,” loading in and out is fast, which saves on time).
Guys also, hanging out here is fun.
Q: Are you going to put it on one of those rental websites? Airbnb, VRBO, One Fine Stay, Peerspace?
A: Yes, likely. We are currently researching and figuring it out. Back in the day when I did production, there were location agents and really big sites that let you “shop” for locations meant for TV/film online. But I don’t know where those are or who I should talk to so if anyone knows, let me know.
Or maybe you are just a group of ladies who need to get away and have a girls’ weekend, and this house very much feels like a retreat. With three fireplaces, four king beds, a fire pit on the deck, a couple hammocks and a running stream, it’s so peaceful. There is also a surprisingly good spa in town and some decent antiquing. But honestly, it’s the house that you kinda don’t want to ever leave.
The kids’ room now has a king bed that they share with colorful animals on the headboard instead (we are shooting it next week and yes, I typically fall asleep in the middle while reading books).
I’m kind of excited. It’s like a new business venture that I didn’t necessarily think I’d pursue, but after renting it out once, it just seems so crazy to let it just sit there if we can’t be enjoying it. People have always asked if we are ever going to sell this house and our answer is always “no, never (well, unless we leave LA)”, but maybe this is a good way to use it as part of the business, and since I’ve been on the other side so much working in production, I actually really trust and respect how they treat location houses.
If you are interested, email firstname.lastname@example.org for any inquiries.
Have you guys ever done this? I know there are horrific stories about weekend renters stealing or doing extensive damage, which keeps a lot of people from doing that but has anyone rented their house out as a location for film/tv or photo shoots?
Do tell … (and also help me with the rates, we are guessing over here).
***photography by Sara Ligorria-Tramp
Psst…if you think you missed one of the mountain house reveals, head HERE to see them all.