In Depth: The Andy Griffith Show
Updated: Jun 9
A home we all know and love. Well, I thought I knew it. I knew every square inch of it, but when I started researching it to lay it all out for rendering - I discovered that I had the floor plan all wrong in my head. I am not alone in this, I have had others make similar comments. See if it challenges the layout you had in your head as well.
Let's start here - with that beloved, iconic front porch. In this shot, you can see on through the house all the way to the back yard. You'll also notice Andy's guitar resting on the chair, ready for a little round of singing later on.
I chose to go with this front layout, where the porch protrudes out from the house on the right side. And, here's why. As seen in the picture below, the kitchen would not be able to be the way we are shown on TV, if the wall recessed there. So, in order to take us from the outside of the home to the inside, I needed to have the porch protrude out, as it did early on in the series.
Later on, the porch is shown as recessed on the right side on the show. However, that could not actually be possible and still have the kitchen inside the way it is supposed to be.
I had one person comment that they prefer to see the front porch in black and white, so I'll indulge those of you who feel the same. I have to admit - there is something special about the episodes that were in black and white.
Come right on in and sit down for a spell. Raise your hand if you love this home as much as me? I see all of you out there. What is it we love so much about this home? Let's start with that fireplace wall, shall we? Incredible! If you're a big fan of the show, you'll realize why I put a cow painting above the mantel. Let's just say it's compliments of Otis. Now, let's step inside the kitchen and have a look.
Oh, no! I do declare. It appears that Aunt Bee has started a batch of her awful kerosene pickles! You'll notice something else (less scary) in this image - on the show we never got to see the 4th wall - just the back of the stove. So, this shot might be a bit unsettling. But, you don't think Aunt Bee just went without a wall behind that stove do you? We know from the exterior that this window is there. That would allow for a lot of natural light in this small kitchen. Small, by today's standards. But, this show ran from 1960 - 1968 and this kitchen is just about right.
Here's the view Barney would have as he came in the back door. How I wish it was a real house and we could just walk inside. My grandparents lived in a small town in rural Nebraska. Everything about Mayberry has always reminded me of visits to their farm when I was a little girl - the tiny grocery store, the shared party line on the phone, the little church they attended and even this home, right down to the kitchen.
This is what Opie would see, as he ran down the stairs - something we never got to see because of that pesky missing 4th wall. Don't we all wish it had been a real home? That's why I've added the 4th wall, to make it seem like we actually could have lived there. Can't you just about smell Aunt Bee's pie? It must have just come out of the oven. Mmm.
There's just something about this home that makes me want to come in, sit down and spend a leisurely afternoon.
I've had a couple people ask me about the kitchen layout and the double doors in the living room. And, I figure if a few people are asking, there are probably more that are wondering. So, here are some images that show how I derived the layout that I did.
Early on in the series, there was a set of double doors by the fireplace. They were covered with sheer lace curtains. I opted to leave the curtains off, so that we could see the outdoors and therefore the home would feel more real. Later on, the set of double doors was replaced with a window.
And for those who asked about the front doors, here is a shot of the front doors from the show. I removed the sheers so we could see outside and it would look more like a real home and less like a set.
The kitchen changed later on in the series too. But, I chose to do the original kitchen, since it was seen the most often. Here are some stills from the show of the kitchen that I modeled mine after.
We never got to see the wall behind the stove when the kitchen was like this. Later on, when the kitchen changed and was in color, we see a wall there and no stove, as you can see below.
We also see the door to the back porch moved to be beside the china cabinet, as in the picture below.
The Taylor home all dressed up for Christmas.
I had so much fun working on the remodel of this fabulous home. Yes, I love it just the way it is. But, my mind always thinks, "How would this TV family be living now?" This is the first TV home I have remodeled that I took a soft approach to. The Taylors were down-to-earth, as most small town people are. They would not have done any major renovations. So, as I did the remodel, I didn't tear out walls, I kept that gorgeous stone fireplace. I refrained from major changes and, instead focused on good design within the framework of their lives.
This is the first image of the remodel. Can you handle it? One of my favorite comments by someone who posted under a picture of my work was - "I love your work. But, you're messing with my childhood." Ha! I loved it. Does it feel a bit like that to you? Well, fasten your seat belts, because there's more to come!
As always, subscribers to this website get first peek at the rooms as they are finished! Don't worry, I don't send spam.
Tearing down the wall between the kitchen and dining room to open up the space is a modern move - but, one I wasn't sure the Taylor's would make. I felt they would have liked the closeness and comfort of a separate space for the kitchen.
I'll close with a before and after shot of the living room with a kitchen view. I sure enjoyed working on this familiar home. It has always felt like Mayberry was a real place. In recreating this home, I felt like I actually got to spend some time in Sheriff's Taylor's house.
A big shout out to the set decorator for The Andy Griffith Show - Ken Swartz, who also designed the set for The Dick Van Dyke Show. He gave us yet another iconic TV home that we all wished we could live in.
I've had several people request to see the court house, so I will in the future be doing that. What I'd really love to do is eventually make the whole town of Mayberry - all the houses and stores we know and love, from Floyd's barber shop to the little church they attended. Until then - goodbye Mayberry!
To see the other TV and movie homes I've finished, visit the home page here: https://www.mockingbirdlane.design/