The house used in the filming of The Notebook is located on Wadmalaw Island, near Charleston, SC. It’s on a point of land overlooking the Wadmalaw River.
The house is central to the plot. It’s where the couple comes to be together when they’re young and in love. It’s what Noah spends his time on after he returns from the war. And the house is what brings the two back together again after Noah’s renovations are mentioned in the local newspaper.
How Did Noah Repair the House for Allie?
|The exterior of the house is white with blue shutters, of course. But it needed more than a paint job to bring the building back to life.|
|During renovations, the third-story porch was rebuilt. This high deck has great water views. However, the second story porch was torn off the front of the house. In the movie, it shows that Noah hitched this railing to his pickup truck and drove forward to tear it down. This left the two-story columns on the front of the house uninterrupted.|
|From the main entrance, the foyer leads to a central staircase and two front rooms on either side. This staircase is where, on their first visit to the house, Noah says that the previous owner had proposed to his wife on these steps. The renovations made the stairs safe for walking.|
|One of the front rooms became the dining room after renovations. When the young couple visited the house for the first time, this candlelit room had a neglected piano, cobwebs, and a blanket on the floor. When Allie returns after the renovations, the piano is still there, but now there’s a fire in the fireplace and a handmade dining table where Noah and Allie share a meal.|
|The side porch has the porch swing where Noah reads to Allie on a summer evening after they reunite. This side door leads to the kitchen which is off of the dining room. We don’t see the kitchen on screen, but we know that after dinner with Martha, Allie cleans up the dishes and watches out the kitchen window while Noah says goodbye to Martha.|
|Upstairs, Noah gave Allie the painting room she wanted. The windows overlook the water, and the easel is set up with a canvas. Since some parts of the movie were filmed at other locations, many viewers have commented about the architectural discrepancies of the room. On-screen, the view out of the window shows a covered porch with circular columns where she goes outside to paint.
This discrepancy between what we see on-screen and what we know about the actual house had us guessing where exactly the painting room is located within the house. Even though some “movie magic” was used during filming, this is the location where we’d put the painting room if we were doing the home renovations.
|Upstairs is also the master bedroom. When Allie wakes up after their night together, Noah has left a series of arrows on the floor directing her to the painting room. When she leaves the bedroom, she runs down the hallway and to the left. This told us that the placement of the bedroom was on the opposite side of the house as the painting room.|
|Some of the biggest changes to the house were the structural renovations that Noah needed to do to make the house livable and safe. Years of neglect meant the house had cracked walls, tilting windows, a leaning chimney, and other signs of foundation damage.
With a location so close to the water, the house may have even been flooded at some point. Repairs included a new roof, replacing electrical systems, adding plumbing, stabilizing the chimney, leveling the foundation so the doors and windows work, refinishing the floor, and of course, adding a fresh coat of paint.
|Noah also updated the landscaping around the house. The overgrown brambles and fallen trees were cleaned up and transformed into a tidy yard. Not only does this help give the house an attractive finish, but the updates help contribute to the longevity of the structural improvements and prevent any additional foundation damage or roof problems from fallen tree limbs.|
The Romance of Home Repairs
Jewelry may be the classic Valentine’s Day gift. But when Allie from The Notebook had to choose between two men, she didn’t pick the one who gave her a diamond ring. She chose Noah, who gave her the home of her dreams.
The house was an integral part of Allie and Noah’s romance.
Daydreaming About the Finished House
When they first visited the house, Noah says: “I’m gonna buy it one day, and I’m gonna fix it up. All it needs is a new floor. And new walls, and a roof, and plumbing, electric, and furniture. But it’s right on the water. And there’s a big old barn out there. I could turn that into my workshop.”
Allie replies to his daydream by saying, “What about me? Don’t I get a say in this?” Noah asks, “Do you want a say in this?”
She told Noah, “I want a white house with blue shutters and a room overlooking the river so I can paint.” She adds “I want a big old porch that wraps around the entire house. We can drink tea and watch the sun go down.”
Restoring the House Was a Labor of Love
It was Noah’s dream to rebuild the antebellum-style house from the ground up, and he started the repairs with his dad’s help. Duke’s narration explains: “He got the notion into his head that if he restored the old house where they can come that night, Allie would find a way back to him.”
Noah threw himself into the project, doing everything from demolition to repairs, painting, and finishing the house. When it was done, he wouldn’t sell it and even thought about burning it down. After all, the house didn’t have her in it.
The House Brought Them Together Again
When Allie saw the newspaper photo of Noah and the finished house, she fainted. She took a trip out to see it for herself, and even though she was engaged to someone else, they reunited. The next morning the revelation of the painting room showed how much Noah’s house restoration was rooted in his love for Allie.
History of The Notebook House
The three-story house from The Notebook is a classic old plantation home that was built in the 1850s. The actual history of the home differs slightly from some of the quotes in the movie. Noah said it was built in 1772, calling it the Windsor Plantation.
But Noah was right when he told Allie not to walk up the stairs of the dilapidated mansion because she could fall through. Before Noah’s renovations, the house was in rough shape.
The location of the house changes based on the media type. In the Nicholas Sparks book, the story was set in New Bern, NC, a small river town near the coast. The filming of the house’s exterior was done on Wadmalaw Island, SC, at what’s known as Bears Bluff Plantation or Martins Point. But the town where the movie was supposed to be set was called Seabrook, SC.
Rather than starting with a run-down house and fixing it up, filmmakers used a beautiful house and then modified it to look distressed for the movie’s early scenes.
The house is a private residence that has been in the family for decades, if not generations. It’s a sprawling southern beauty with 4,255 square feet, five bedrooms, four-and-a-half bathrooms, and multiple fireplaces.
The property had a 100-year history of being an agricultural hub. A small ferry carried people and crops to the mainland, and the island had its own post office, telephone system, currency, and school. In 1989, five partners purchased the 900-acre tract to preserve the habitat and create a retreat for their families.
The house used for the movie now lives in infamy, but the plot was inspired by a true story. Writer Nicholas Sparks says the story “was inspired by my wife’s grandparents, two wonderful people who spent over 60 years together.” He clarifies, “Parts were true; parts were made up to benefit the story.”