'Up' House recreated: Kid-inspired home projects

A couple in Santa Clara, Calif., has painted its home to look like the house in the animated film 'Up.' Parents can build kid-friendly elements into home projects to get kids excited to help.

Screenshot from KNTV
'Up' house: This image shows the front of the real life house renovated by homeowners Hosam Haggog and Fatima Rahman to look like the house in the Disney/Pixar movie 'Up.' The home is located in Santa Clara, Calif.

Getting kids to enjoy helping with home improvement projects is easier when parents embrace their own inner children and include a fairy zone in the garden, or paint the house to match the one in the animated film “Up.”

Hosam Haggog and Fatima Rahman of Santa Clara, Calif., are in hot water with neighbors who don’t appreciate the fact that the parents painted their classic Victorian home in sherbet hues in homage to the house from the Disney-Pixar animated film “Up,” reports KNTV, the local NBC affiliate.

Fans of the movie will remember this is the house that gets carried away by balloons.

“Neighbors say the husband and wife spent the last two years renovating their four-bedroom, two-bath home, which they bought in 2011 for $415,000. The home is now valued at around $800,000, according to real estate site Zillow,” reports Yahoo.

The parents decided to paint the home to please their two children, ages 18 months and 3 years old, changing the paint job from classic white to lime green, pale yellow, orange, and pink.

“Our whole family loves the movie,” Mr. Haggog told ABC News. “But when we re-watched it a few months ago with our daughters, we decided we wanted to paint our house to look like it.” 

This couple is not the first, nor are they likely to be the last, to emulate the “Up” house. In fact, a nearly exact replica of the house from the film exists in Herriman, Utah.

My husband Robert has been itching to paint our non-Victorian home (currently a modest shade of blue) in rainbow sherbet colors since long before we ever saw the film “Up.” Now he just has leverage with the kids to get his color choice approved.

Our ongoing color debate is why the story of the “Up” house caught my eye today.

Just to clarify, it’s not that I don’t like the film. In fact, it’s one of my favorites.

However, if we’re going for a film-themed home makeover that’s going to make the neighbors groan, I’d prefer painting it a TARDIS blue, inspired by the contraption used by characters on “Dr. Who” to travel around the universe.

In that same theme, I would also vote to make the entryway look like a British phone box.

My second option would be to go full Hobbit, creating a round front door and using the massive, mushroom-like Osmanthus tree in the front yard as a “part tree” as author J.R.R. Tolkien writes about in his books.

I got both of these ideas from a website called Forever Geek, where there's a photo series on homes that were inspired by movies and television.

It has long been my practice to encourage my sons to build miniature fairy huts, tables, and cottages in whichever gardens I have planted over the past 20 years.

It’s much easier to convince a kid to do the weeding if it means keeping the space imaginary-creature-friendly.

The annual house-color discussion in my house came up a couple days ago as we eyed the peeling paint on the cedar shakes of our three-story home.

It seems it’s finally time to head to the paint aisle and do this thing.

I said to my husband, “How about darker blue with white trim?” 

“How about purple with yellow and orange trim?” he suggested, not because he was thinking of “UP” particularly, but because he’s a designer who, among other projects, has made our kitchen pink and white stripes.  

Our sons gleefully took his side as we spent the next few hours debating the color.

I don’t mind being overruled, especially when it means I will get extra help on the project from willing souls who are invested in it because they got to help plan.

Also, you have to be careful not to let the kids catch a whiff of serious work or nothing will get the job rolling.

We can look to Mary Poppins – another Disney favorite – as a model for turning chores into a game. She introduces her young charges Jane and Michael Banks to the game “Well Begun is Half-Done,” otherwise known as tidying up the nursery.

Parents don’t need to be tricky, so much as keenly aware of what jobs can be motivated by fun, humor, and perhaps a favorite film, book, or TV show.

Therefore, things at our house are definitely looking “Up” when it comes to the big spring and summer home renovation painting project.

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