Tuesday, January 24, 2012

"The Ghost and Mrs. Muir" House, and Other Seaside Inspirations

The movie "The Ghost and Mrs. Muir" is one of those films that haunts me for reasons other than plot:  The house is its own character, like the ghostly sea Captain (Sir Rex Harrison) who is far more refined than I would imagine a real sea Captain should be, although I am not complaining.  Lucy Muir (the beautiful Gene Tierney) falls in love with the house, "Gull Cottage," before she does the architect, who is also the deceased Captain.  The house reminds her of the lines in the poem "The Nightingale" by John Keats: "magic casements opening on the foam of perilous seas and fairly lands forlorn." Even the musical score is hauntingly beautiful, and so the movie is pure magic.  Here is a closer look at the house and a few rooms that I would consider a modern day version of this seaside treasure.

Images from "The Ghost and Mrs. Muir" courtesy of hookedonhouses.com...thanks again!
The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, house.

The backside of the house not used in filming. You can see the greenhouse.
Gull Cottage
What's not to love? The entryway of the house.
The living room off the entry. The doors lead to the office.
Check out that collection of ship paintings! To die for...
Cottage kitchen

The upstairs hallway and solid rail stair cases.

The Captain's bedroom
The deck off the Captain's bedroom.

Bay windows (doors) that lead to the deck with a full ocean view.
View of the ocean (notice the lack of neighbors) off the front lawn.
A Few Things Inspired By "The Ghost and Mrs. Muir."

My new (old) ship painting that my mom got for me from "The Barn."
It will eventually go in my son, Britton's room, but for now I am
going to enjoy it over the mantle.  I love all the ship paintings in the movie,
and this is as close as I will probably ever get to owning a seaside cottage.

Beautiful Federal style mirror.
I really love these mirrors.  I know some people think they are ugly, but this is exactly the kind of piece that gives a room personality.  I think it would be perfectly suited to "Gull Cottage" or my entryway.

Rooms For A Modern "Gull Cottage"
The difficult thing to mimic, in a house like this one, is the collected- over -time appeal.  There is nothing "decorated" about it, so it is hard to duplicate.  I think the best homes have this in common.  The houses, even empty, are beautiful because the craftsmanship and quality stand alone.  The collected pieces are good and sparse; they serve a function and are not only decorative.  There is so much to be learned from an "honest" house.

Classic kitchen with minimal fuss. The lantern is perfect.
Simple and masculine study/sitting room. I think the captain would be comfortable here.

Corner of a breakfast room. The dark walls contrast beautifully with the white and nautical details.

This bedroom has a similar feel to the captain's: very simple, with only the necessities present.
Again, simple.


  1. I'm really loving the feel of the photos you chose to pull contemporary ideas from to recreate the feel from the film.

  2. Thank you very much. I think that it is important to find inspiration in the classics, but always keeping in mind our modern lifestyle. A room shouldn't look as though we have stepped off a time machine into the past; it out to be current, yet pay homage. Thanks again for your comment!


  3. I have always LOVED "The Ghost & Mrs. Muir" & I have always ADORED "Gull Cottage". When my older sister, Linda, & I played with our paper dolls, I recreated Gull Cottage for them to live in.
    Have always tried to emmulate the cottage, where I could, in my own homes.
    I did not know there were others that felt as I did! Thank you!
    (Also love the house in the 1947 movie, "The Uninvited". Ray Milland, Ruth Hussey.)



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