What A Hollywood Movie Can Teach You About Building and Remodeling

Mrs. Blandings and her contractor
selecting paint colors

Summertime is here – my favorite season – and I’m supposed to be painting the house, but – doggone it – things keep getting in the way!

Speaking of housepainting, that’s the subject of my favorite scene from my favorite movie – the “paint colors” scene from Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House (Cary Grant and Myrna Loy, 1948).

Muriel Blandings (Myrna Loy) describes to her contractor and painter – in excruciating detail – the colors she wants for the rooms of her house. The contractor and painter listen patiently, but they…well, watch the scene for yourself here.

It’s played for laughs, but wow does it ring true!

The scene is completely accurate in portraying how strongly many of us feel about our homes, and in some ways, the differences between women and men – and how we think about the homes we share.

If you’re a contractor or design professional, you’d do well to watch that scene and pay attention to what Mrs. Blandings is saying, and to what the contractors hear.

(Hint: they’re not the same thing!)

If you’re a homeowner, you might catch on that the picture in your head isn’t always the one that your words paint. Don’t ever assume that you’ve been fully understood.

But whoever you are, and whether or not you’re involved in building or remodeling, you’ll enjoy this wonderful film classic and the very familiar but funny situations that result from Mr. Blandings’ efforts to design and build a new home.

And you might be surprised at what you can learn about building and remodeling from a movie made over 60 years ago.


Need expert Residential Architectural advice for your new home or remodeling project? Contact Richard Taylor, AIA at RTA Studio.

2 Comments
  • That was soooo funny but unfortunately so true. I once had a home builder build a horse barn for me. I described the 12 x 12 stalls but just "assumed" he would know that the upper section of walls would need to be open with bars. You can imagine my surprise when I drove out to the farm to see each stall framed in just like a bedroom – great for humans not so good for horses needing ventilation. As he had never built a horse barn, I only had myself to blame for not being more specific! Don't ask about the corrugated metal roofing that he had no idea how to install! That's another story.

    08/09/2011 at 3:46 am
  • Paula – we could do volumes about building and remodeling "horror stories", eh? 😉

    08/09/2011 at 3:48 am

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