The Brady Bunch House: The Story Behind the Sets of a Classic Sitcom

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The Brady Bunch House The Story Behind the Sets of a Classic Sitcom
The Brady Bunch House The Story Behind the Sets of a Classic Sitcom

If you grew up watching “The Brady Bunch” reruns like I did, then this house is probably as familiar as your own. Who could forget those double entry doors that led to the sunken living room? The mod orange kitchen with the brick wall? The Jack and Jill bathroom? The sliding patio doors that opened to the AstroTurf backyard? And the dramatic open staircase in the center of it all?

The house where the exterior shots were taken for the sitcom back in the late 1960s went on the market in July, so I thought this was the perfect time to revisit an American classic. Read on to see how the Brady Bunch house looked on TV in the 1960s and ’70s, the total makeover the sets were given for a TV movie in the 1980s, and the real house today!

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The Brady Bunch House: Fun Facts, Photos and Floor Plans

The Brady Bunch family on the staircase SSN2
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Series creator Sherwood Schwartz chose this house because he thought it looked like one an architect would design.

Brady Bunch exterior shot SSN2
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The address they used for the show was 4222 Clinton Way, but they never specified the city.
The real house where the exterior shots were taken at 11222 Dilling Street in North Hollywood, California (Studio City).

The Brady Bunch House 11222 Dilling Street North Hollywood
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They say this is the most-photographed private home in the country (I would have guessed this one was).
The homeowners added a fence around the property, as you can see in this photo from January 2018:

11222 Dilling Street Google Maps 1-18
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In July it went on the market for the first time in nearly 50 years (minus the iron fence) for $1.885 million:

Brady Bunch House 11222 Dilling CA
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According to the listing, the house was built in 1959 and has 2,477 square feet.

The Real Brady Bunch House with different windows
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The exterior looks a little different than we remember it because of the windows.
They added a fake one to the TV version to make it look like it could be a two-story house:

Brady Bunch house with fake window
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The exterior and interior sets don’t match. Unlike the two-story Brady Bunch set, the real house is a split level:

Brady Bunch House 11222 Dilling CA
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Like the real house, the Brady Bunch set had double doors and two steps down to the sunken living space:

Brady Bunch house foyer double doors and stone
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The entry usually had a stone wall:

Brady Bunch Entry Living Room Marcia
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But in the 5th season, it mysteriously disappeared:

Brady Bunch entry doors in later season
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In the real house, you step down into the dining room first, and the living room is on the other side:

Brady Bunch House 11222 Dilling CA
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You can see the staircase off to the side of the entry door in the photo above.
The one on the Brady Bunch set was more of a scene stealer in the center of the house (below):

The Brady Bunch Staircase
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It was perfect for those classic Brady Family photo ops:

The Brady Bunch Staircase shot with cast
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The Brady Bunch set was sometimes used for other shows during that era, including “Mission: Impossible:”

Mission Impossible episode in Brady Bunch house
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Robert Reed had a recurring role on “Mannix” and sometimes filmed scenes in the Brady house for it.
Here’s Jessica Walter (aka Lucille Bluth!) from a “Mannix” episode on the Brady set:

Jessica Walter on Brady Bunch set in Mannix
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The Brady living room didn’t have a lot of seating, but they made it work:

Brady Bunch living room stone fireplace SSN1
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The show’s theme song was sung by professional singers in the first season. The “Brady kids” began performing it in Season Two, and the lyrics were changed accordingly. It was re-arranged and re-recorded by the cast each year.

Brady Bunch Living Room Set SSN1
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“The Brady Bunch” never cracked the Top 30 in the ratings during its 5-year run.

Brady Bunch dining room wide shot
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Sherwood Schwartz believed the show has had staying power because they wrote the episodes from the viewpoints of the children. They focused on stories young viewers would relate to, and they showed that a blended family could be a happy and harmonious one.

He said he got a lot of letters from kids over the years asking if they could live with the Bradys.

Brady Bunch House Dining Room
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The Brady Bunch kitchen was an ode to the ’70s with orange laminate countertops and avocado green appliances:

Brady Bunch house orange and avocado green kitchen
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In this shot you can see that even the baseboards were green:

Brady Bunch house orange and avocado green kitchen
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They had a matching green and orange table and chairs in the eat-in kitchen:

Brady Bunch house orange and avocado green kitchen
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Robert Reed became one of TV’s most beloved dads, but he hated the role. He fought with the producers so bitterly and so often that he was actually cut out of the final episode of the series. In the finale, Greg graduates from high school, but Mike is “out of town.” If it had been picked up for a sixth season, he would have been replaced.

Brady Bunch Kitchen SSN2 Mike and Carol
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The kitchen in the real house isn’t nearly as mod. It looks like it was updated in the ’80s with oak cabinets and white tile:

Brady Bunch House 11222 Dilling CA
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Mike Brady was an architect who designed the house for his family.

Brady Bunch Master Bedroom SSN3
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The six kids shared two bedrooms and a bath:

Brady Bunch Girls Bedroom SSN1
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The girls’ bedroom was pink until the 5th season, when it was yellow:

Brady Bunch Girls Bedroom Yellow SSN5
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The three boys shared a room with gray paneling and clown paintings:

Brady Bunch boys bedroom Season 5
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They had bunk beds and a bit of a nautical theme with the wallpaper:

Brady Bunch boys bedroom nautical wallpaper
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Greg wanted to move to the attic in Season 2, but Mike said the ceilings were only 3′ high.
A couple seasons later, the ceilings had magically grown:

Brady Bunch attic before
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So Greg got his own teen hang-out space after all:

Greg's attic bedroom on The Brady Bunch
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You can watch “The Brady Bunch” on Hulu, which is how I got most of these screenshots. Unfortunately, they were unable to secure the rights to some of the episodes, including “Our Son, the Man,” in which Greg moved into the attic.

Brady Bunch Greg's Attic Room
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Barry Williams, who played Greg, wrote a tell-all book about called Growing Up Brady (Amazon affiliate link):

Alice had a room off the kitchen. But first she had to walk through the “service porch,” as they called it:

Brady Bunch service porch laundry SSN5
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She had a great view of the laundry and mops from her bedroom:

Brady Bunch Alice's bedroom
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She apparently didn’t have a bathroom of her own. Does that mean she was sharing with the kids upstairs?

Brady Bunch bathroom no toilet
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They weren’t allowed to show toilets on TV at that time, so you’ll never see one in the kids’ Jack and Jill bathroom.

Brady Bunch bathroom SSN3
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They also never showed a Master Bathroom for Mike and Carol, but I always imagined it was behind that screen:

Mike and Carol Brady's Bedroom SSN4 The Brady Bunch
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The real house has two master suites. This is the one they show in the listing:

Brady Bunch House 11222 Dilling CA
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On the TV show, Mike had a den with a fireplace that was open to the living room on the other side:

Brady Bunch Mike's Den
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The green shutters above the fireplace could be closed for privacy:

Brady Bunch Mike's Den Home Office SSN2
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The Brady house had a Family Room/Rec Room with classic 1970s paneling:

Brady Bunch Family Room with Paneling
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There were upholstered daybeds for the kids to hang out on instead of sofas:

Brady Bunch Family Room Greg Marcia Jan SSN2
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The real house has some paneled walls, too, but it looks like real wood:

Brady Bunch House 11222 Dilling CA
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The back of the Brady Bunch house had three sets of sliding doors leading to the patio:

Brady Bunch back patio doors without glass
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There wasn’t any glass in the doors, though, to prevent reflections and glare from the TV lights:

Brady Bunch house no-glass doors
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This is what the back of the house looks like today, with real grass in the yard and a gazebo:

Brady Bunch House 11222 Dilling CA
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The Douglas Elliman Real Estate listing for the house says:

This iconic residence is reportedly the 2nd most photographed home in the United States after the White House. Featuring perfectly preserved 1970s decor, it boasts one of the largest lots in the neighborhood — over 12,500 sqft.

Enormous, lush backyard gardens & lawn, completely private & serene. Located on a quiet residential block, property also borders the Los Angeles River, which is a unique street-to-river orientation.

Two Master Suites, one up/one down plus generous entertaining spaces that flow uniformly from one to the next and to the outdoors. Gated motor court plus large separate garage provide parking convenience. Whether inspired by the TV family or the real life surrounding neighborhood, this residence is a perfect postcard of American ’70s style and its special culture.

Brady Bunch House 11222 Dilling CA
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A few days ago, Lance Bass announced he’d bought the Brady Bunch house:

Lance Bass Twitter Brady Bunch House
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He said the plan was to remodel the interior to match the sets from the show. Maureen McCormick wrote:

Maureen McCormick Twitter
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But now it seems the deal is off, and Bass says he’s “heartbroken.” You can read about it here.

I think we’ve all got our fingers crossed that the house won’t be demolished, as some have suggested it may be. It would’ve been so fun to see how he would have remade the house to match the one on TV!

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Recreating the House for “The Brady Bunch Movie”

The Brady Bunch Movie Poster 1995
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Because of the fence built around the house, it didn’t appear in the 1995 spoof “The Brady Bunch Movie.”
Producers found a similar house in Sherman Oaks and built a fake front for it:

The Brady Bunch Movie house exterior facade
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The movie imagined what it would be like if the sweet, wholesome Brady family lived in the 1990s:

The Brady Bunch Movie staircase set 1995
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Their attention to detail in recreating the Brady house for the movie was impressive:

The Brady Bunch Movie kitchen set
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The Brady Bunch House Redecorated for the ’80s

A Very Brady Christmas movie 1988
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The Brady Bunch house got a totally new look for the 1980s in the TV movie A Very Brady Christmas.

Very Brady Christmas 1988 living room makeover
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In the movie, the woodwork, walls, and furniture were pale and pastel.

Brady Bunch house 1980s makeover
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The paneled Family Room was turned into an Exercise Room:

Brady Bunch house 1980s exercise room makeover
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And check out the updated, thoroughly ’80s kitchen:

Brady Bunch kitchen 1988
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In the movie, which is streaming on Hulu, the kids are grown and gone, and some of them have families of their own. Carol (Florence Henderson) is working as a real estate agent. And Alice (Ann B. Davis) returns to the Brady household after Sam leaves her for a younger woman, a story line that’s oddly played for laughs.

Brady Bunch kitchen makeover 1980s
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The ratings were so good that a short-lived drama called “The Bradys” followed in 1990.

Brady Bunch house staircase 1980s
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Possible Floor Plans for the Brady Bunch House:

Brady Bunch house first floor plan
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Second-Story Floor Plan:

Brady Bunch floor plans second story
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(Note: I’m trying to find the original source for these because the links led to a site that’s no longer active. They were very small and hard to read, so I enlarged them as much as possible.)

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In the pilot episode of the TV series in 1969, the Brady house looked like this:

Brady Bunch house in the pilot episode
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Once “The Brady Bunch” was picked up for an entire season, the establishing shots of the new house were taken.
They were then recycled throughout the series, which is why the yard always looked the same:

Brady Bunch House exterior final episode SSN5
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Each time the front of the Brady house is shown “at night,” it was just a darkened photo from daytime:

Brady Bunch House first time exterior shown SSN1
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Have you ever noticed the similarities to the movie Yours, Mine and Ours?

Yours Mine and Ours movie poster 1968
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It came out in 1968 and featured Lucille Ball and Henry Fonda as widowers who marry and join their large families. I wrote about the Victorian house from the movie if you want to see how it looks today!

Yours-Mine-Ours-movie-house-Frank-Beardsley-quote
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The producers of Yours, Mine and Ours threatened to sue Sherwood Schwartz for stealing their concept, but he’d been trying to sell the idea for the show for years and had the notes to prove it.

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The Brady Bunch House Then and Now:

The Brady Bunch House Then and Now 1969-2018
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It’s hard to believe “The Brady Bunch” only ran for 5 years, from 1969-1974, since so many of us feel like we grew up with Greg, Marcia, Peter, Jan, Greg, and Thindy. I spent the last few weeks re-watching the episodes while researching this post, and now I can’t get that dang theme song out of my head! 🙂

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P.S. Visit my Houses Onscreen page to see the others I’ve featured, including the sets from Friends:


Are you hooked on houses? More to tour:

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