A growing family allowed its house to be used for the 2014 comedy ‘Laggies,’ then repaid the neighborhood by restoring a rotating Santa display.

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SOME HOMEOWNERS put their houses to work as rentals on VRBO or Airbnb.

Steve and Laurie Brown got theirs an acting job.

“The movie people left a flyer on the porch, and we called the number,” says Laurie, explaining the elaborate selection process.

Lights, camera, action!

The Browns’ Midcentury Modern home in Olympic Manor can be seen in the trailer for the movie “Laggies” at http://bit.ly/1nbIois.

“We were told that Lynn Shelton had Olympic Manor in mind when she wrote the script,” says Steve. However, movie director Shelton, who lives in Seattle, did not write the script to the 2014 comedy “Laggies,” shot largely in the Browns’ split-level in the Midcentury Modern mecca that is the Olympic Manor neighborhood. (People can be so gossipy around a film set.)

What attracted the Browns (architecture and design professionals known as Brownwork) to the mostly unmolested Midcentury, vintage 1958, is probably what also got their house its shot at fame alongside stars Keira Knightley, Chloë Grace Moretz and Sam Rockwell: pink-hued Arizona sandstone on the exterior and, set aglow by a skylight, around the living-room fireplace; vintage bathrooms with a gray-tile floor, pink sink and toilet, and the one in the master green and cream; a mahogany-paneled basement; red oak floors; a big cookout-and-kids backyard; and, not the least, a beefy brick charcoal barbecue in the kitchen. (“I’ve never been brave enough to fire up charcoal in our house,” says Steve.)

The Browns have plans for the home that Laurie sensed was just the right one the moment she walked in four years ago. “The house kind of found us,” she says. “The house next door was for sale, and we were looking at that; we had three little kids all under 6, and the house we were in was too small. We struck up a conversation with the listing agent — apparently they were getting ready to put this house on the market — and they asked us to come in.” Says Steve, “The next morning Laurie said, ‘That’s the one.’ ” (At their previous house, poking their heads out the bathroom window was the only way to talk to the kids in the backyard.)

The living room of the home has a Midcentury vibe that also suits family living. (Benjamin Benschneider/The Seattle Times)
The living room of the home has a Midcentury vibe that also suits family living. (Benjamin Benschneider/The Seattle Times)

The couple’s desire is to restore and refresh, celebrate the home’s Midcenturyness, 2,800 square feet, three bedrooms, three baths and a respectable Puget Sound view from the living room. But for now, while the kids will be kids, it’s a go-ahead-put-your-drink-down-on-the-coffee-table kind of house.

“This is the room where everything happens,” says Steve Brown, in the kitchen of his family’s mostly original Midcentury Modern home in Olympic Manor with sons Eddie, left, and Frankie. (Benjamin Benschneider/The Seattle Times)
“This is the room where everything happens,” says Steve Brown, in the kitchen of his family’s mostly original Midcentury Modern home in Olympic Manor with sons Eddie, left, and Frankie. (Benjamin Benschneider/The Seattle Times)

“It’s family living here,” declares Laurie. Daughter Alice, 8, heads to the kitchen, her arms full of fun: Candyland, Sorry, Battleship. Eddie, 6, and Frankie, 10, await and are game.

Thanks to the acting gig, the Browns, who along with their furniture had to move out for three weeks during filming, got the home’s exterior repainted. The rest of the check went to the neighborhood: The couple paid for the restoration of Olympic Manor’s rotating Santa display at the 23rd Avenue Northwest and Northwest 90th Street entrance.

Laurie Brown felt a sense of connection when she first encountered this Midcentury Modern four years ago. And apparently, so did filmmaker Lynn Shelton, who used the home in her 2014 comedy “Laggies.” (Benjamin Benschneider/The Seattle Times)
Laurie Brown felt a sense of connection when she first encountered this Midcentury Modern four years ago. And apparently, so did filmmaker Lynn Shelton, who used the home in her 2014 comedy “Laggies.” (Benjamin Benschneider/The Seattle Times)

“There was a crew here of about 50 people, a food truck, huge equipment, cords, metal trolleys, late nights,” says Steve, who serves on Olympic Manor’s board. “It would have been selfish of us to put the neighbors through that and not give back.”