Perched majestically on the corner of Broadway and Steiner in San Francisco’s tony Pacific Heights neighborhood sits a welcoming—and instantly familiar—Victorian home, complete with its two turrets and four stacked bow windows. “What a lovely home you have,” exclaims Euphegenia Doubtfire, a British nanny and the family’s new housekeeper, as she gets the grand tour. “Oh, it reeks of taste…isn’t this lovely, dear.”
Made famous 29 years ago this month when it debuted with a featured role in the Academy Award–winning film Mrs. Doubtfire, starring the late Robin Williams and Sally Field, the house is still just as lovely—even more so in fact, thanks to San Francisco–based interior designer Josephine Fisher Freckmann, who recently updated several of the recognizable home’s main living spaces. For her clients, Janet and Nick Bijur—and their four children, ages 12 to 18—the designer was tasked with reimagining five rooms as well as the front garden. “I think being the Mrs. Doubtfire house, [they] definitely wanted to engage with a designer to really elevate and spotlight it,” says Fisher Freckmann.
Built in 1893 by architect Joachim B. Mathison, the now five-bedroom, four-bathroom, 3,300-square-foot wood frame house was purchased by the Bijurs in fall 2016. But it was more than the home’s cult status that sealed the deal: “What really attracted us to the house were the architectural details,” Janet explains. “My husband was like, ‘What movie?’” As 1993’s second highest grossing film, there are very few people (apart from Nick) who can’t recall Williams’s character doing housework while dancing to Aerosmith’s song “Dude (Looks Like a Lady).” In fact, the home’s entryway was the stage for Williams’s iconic vacuum-and-broom-twirling scene. “It’s fun to have friends over and watch it,” adds Janet. “It’s definitely decorated differently, but for the most part it’s very similar to how it was in the movie.”
From the landscaping around the facade to the family’s favorite gathering spots and the couple’s primary bedroom, the property is still an attention-grabber. “People love to take pictures, and it seems to be a lot of European tourists,” notes Janet. “They appear to have a unique interest in the movie, which is interesting. It’s sweet actually—the home has a really good, warm energy.”
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