What you might not know about the house from the 1998 movie ”Practical Magic”

Victorian house from the movie Practical Magic

The charming white Victorian from Practical Magic is one of my favorite movie houses. Producer Denise DiNova says that the house where the Owens family of witches lived played such an important role in the story that they knew they’d have to build it themselves: “I don’t think we could ever have found a house that could have matched our needs.”

orange-line1 (1)

The “Practical Magic” Victorian

white victorian house built for practical magic in WA

The story takes place in New England, but the house was built on an island in Washington State.

Practical Magic Victorian house on the water

Practical Magic Victorian house on the water

It took them months to build this “architectural shell” that was later demolished after filming was over.

Practical Magic movie house-white Victorian

Even the flowers in the garden were fake, but you couldn’t tell, could you? 😉

Practical Magic Victorian house on the water

Sisters Sally and Gillian live here with their aunts Frances (Fran) and Bridget (Jet).

Practical Magic Victorian house on the water

The house is framed by a white picket fence and a wraparound porch:

Practical Magic Victorian house on the water

There are differences in the book. For one thing, the girls don’t live with their aunts like they do in the movie.

Practical Magic Victorian house on the water

The side porch overlooking the garden and water:

Practical Magic Victorian house on the water

Entry Hall and Staircase:

front door of Practical Magic house

The interior sets were all created in a studio in Los Angeles.

Practical Magic movie house staircase

The Potions Room:

Evan Rachel Wood in Practical Magic

The pantry is where the Owens women store ingredients for their magic potions. The props department reportedly filled hundreds of bottles to put inside these glass-fronted cabinets.

Nicole Kidman and Evan Rachel Wood potions room

Sally’s Bedroom:

Sally's bedroom in Practical Magic

Sally’s Shop in Town:

Coupeville Whidbey Island WA-Practical Magic

The town they used was Coupeville on Whidbey Island in Washington.

Sally's shop in Coupeville-Practical Magic

They painted everything in the town white for filming.

Sally's shop in Practical Magic

The Attic:

Practical Magic movie house-attic 1

The stairs go up from the attic to the lighthouse-like tower:

Practical Magic movie house-attic 2

Looking down the staircase:

looking down staircase in Practical Magic house

After they accidentally killed Gillian’s boyfriend Jimmy (played by Goran Visnjic), the sisters cast a spell to bring him back to life. Unfortunately, he came back as a kind of zombie who was way creepier and even more evil than the original Jimmy had been. I hate when that happens…

Goran Visnjic and Aidan Quinn Practical Magic

Practical Magic movie house-attic 3

The Parlor:

Practical Magic parlor 1

They tie possessed Gillian to a chair and plan a kind of exorcism for her in the parlor. They round up women from the town (via the school’s phone tree, of course!) to help them.

Practical Magic parlor 2

Production photo behind the scenes:

behind the scenes of Practical Magic-parlor 1

The Kitchen:

Practical Magic kitchen set 2

“The Aga is almost like a shrine,” production designer Robin Standefer says of the gas stove that is the focal point of the kitchen. “This is the place where they do their work; it’s where they place the cauldron.”

Practical Magic kitchen AGA

Practical Magic Victorian House

The back stairs off the kitchen:

Practical Magic kitchen-back staircase

Bullock, Quinn, Kidman Practical Magic Kitchen
BTW: A reader told me about a kitchen inspired by the one in Practical Magic. You can see it here:

A Kitchen Inspired by the one in "Practical Magic"

The kitchen in the movie:

Practical Magic kitchen 3

Double doors leading from the kitchen out to the conservatory:

Victoria magazine article on Practical Magic 2

The Conservatory:

Practical Magic Victorian House

overhead view of conservatory in Practical Magic

“The house itself has a certain magic to it,” production designer Robin Standefer says. “There is a whole world in this house and garden. These women are outcasts and this place is their sanctuary.”

Aidan Quinn in the conservatory-Practical Magic

Director Griffin Dunne says he was enchanted by the script:

Practical Magic Victorian house

Dismantling the House After Filming:

taking down the Practical Magic house

A reader named Derek tells me that the exterior set was built on an old burial ground, so they weren’t allowed to dig there or disturb the site. The entire house was built on a giant platform instead. He sent me this photo of it being taken down, and you can see that it was “empty” inside.

witches on the roof with umbrellas practical magic

Practical Magic Victorian house on the water

 

Practical Magic Victorian wraparound porch

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