Yesterday's news of the passing of Sherwood Schwartz, the creator of a few of my favorite classic TV shows, has had me thinking about one of the most iconic houses in TV Land — the Brady house.
When I read that Sherwood Schwartz, the creator of The Brady Bunch, Gilligan's Island, and other television favorites passed away at the age of 94 this week, I was immediately nostalgic. Growing up, I spent many after school hours watching reruns of The Brady Bunch. Even now, I can close my eyes and describe the Brady's house — the layout, the color scheme, and even the vase that got broken when the boys played ball in the house. And I'm not the only one. The Brady's house was #2 in a reader poll of Best Nostalgic TV Homes.
My own homes growing up were always traditional, lower-middle class Midwestern spaces so, even as a kid, I was in awe of the Brady's house. That big staircase that led up to the kids' bedrooms always held a special fascination for me. My family had almost always lived in smaller homes so the fact that the Brady kids got to live in this huge home with a gorgeous modern staircase to ascend on the way to their stylish, color coordinated bedrooms seemed so glamorous. And then there were the bedrooms themselves — the girls' pink room and the boys' wood paneled, blue room, connected by an adjoining bathroom that all six kids shared. Oh yeah! It was my fascination with the boys' bedroom that led me to rally for a bunk bed from my parents. I did get the bunk bed but I will admit that it wasn't nearly as cool as Peter and Bobby's blue and red bed set. Seriously, those Brady boys had the most patriotic color theme going on in their room!
And then there's the kitchen. Oh how I wanted to dine with the Brady's at that little orange table! How I wished that Alice and Mrs. Brady would whip up breakfast for me, surrounded by the dark wood cabinetry, avocado green appliances, and orange Formica! I was also completely enamored with the brick wall ovens in that kitchen — not to mention the little back doorway that apparently led to Alice's room. Poor Alice, relegated to a room behind the kitchen.
I was just young enough when I first started watching The Brady Bunch that the line between fiction and reality was still a bit blurred. I remember daydreaming about walking into Mr. Brady's den and asking for fatherly advice. What a guy! Remember when Mr. Brady let Greg turn his den into a bedroom?
I had many dreams about potato sack racing with the clan in their astro-turfed backyard. I wanted to join the Brady family so badly that I was often unbearable in my judgement of my own home life. So, as you can imagine, when Oliver joined the Bunch in a later season, I was more than a little peeved. I was way cuter than that kid! Why didn't they let me join them?