My kids joke that I choose movies based on the houses that appear in them. What's wrong with that? Lots of people go to see a movie just because their favorite actor or actress is in it. Why can't I go to a movie because I like the set designer? Perfectly normal, if you ask me. My love of great interior sets began when I was a child. I was obsessed with Mary Tyler Moore's studio apartment. I used to draw the floor plan and imagine that it was my apartment and I could rearrange things, like Mary often did. That sunken living room with the bookshelf along the floor was so cool! And that little kitchen with the opening and closing window- so cute. The vaulted beamed ceiling, that gorgeous window, and a fireplace! I couldn't wait to grow up and have my own apartment.
I also thought that the Stevens' house in Bewitched was really interesting- loved that staircase that came down into the living room. And just look at that mural on the wall.
But I liked the movie set of Nicole Kidman's cottage in Bewitched even better. The scene where she just twitches her nose and a white picket fence appears and roses bloom all over the yard kills me. Oh imagine if it were that easy. All the things we could do!
I vividly remember going to the theater to see Out of Africa and being stunned by not only the beauty of the African landscape (not to mention Robert Redford), but also the beauty of the way Meryl Streep's character overcame almost insurmountable hurdles to create an elegant, comfortable home in the middle of nowhere. It was even more beautiful to me because she cared so much and refused to let her circumstances dictate how she would live.
And then there are the Nancy Meyers sets. The woman is a genius. The houses in her movies are as memorable (sometimes even more so) as the stars or the plot. Something magical happens when interesting characters with a great story are set in the right place.
The kitchen, pre renovation, in Meryl Streep's Santa Barbara house in the It's Complicated is perfect as it is! Love the open shelves, the pendants over the island and the black metal casement window over the sink.
My girls loooooooved The Parent Trap. We must have watched it a hundred times. Thankfully there were plenty of rooms for me to drool over when Lindsay Lohan's antics got a little tiresome. Like the hall in the Mom's London townhouse. That color! That staircase!
Those twins really hit the jackpot in the real estate lottery, didn't they? The father's Vineyard in California was equally stunning. Just look at how amazing this living room is. That painting!!!!
Then, of course, there is The Holiday. We watch this every Christmas and I NEVER will get tired of looking at these two houses. One, a chic chic chic LA house and the other, an adorable cottage in the English countryside (within commuting distance to London). And it comes with Jude Law.
I adore this room. The neutral palate, the french doors, the white slip covers, the art- it looks really cool and put together but also homey.
One word for this room. Charming!
This is the living room from It's Complicated. I love the furniture arrangement. Those chairs don't even need people in them to have an intriguing conversation, it looks as if they are already having one, doesn't it?
And then there is the Something's Gotta Give Hamptons beach house. Nothing more needs to be said about the perfection of this house. Everything that could possibly be said, has already been said.
Nancy Meyers gave us another memorable house (and office) in her latest movie, The Intern. It is practically a love letter to Brooklyn. If you haven't seen it, you really should, if only to see that amazing office! I went home and immediately set about trying to figure out how to strike it rich with an internet company just to get an office like that! I'm not going to spoil it for you by posting a photo of it. You will have to see the movie.
As much fun as it is to look at these incredible onscreen homes, it is even more fun to think about your own house set. After all, isn't your house simply the stage upon which you play out your life story? Why not make it fabulous? Why not use the good china and the real silver everyday? Make it memorable.