Housey Movies: It’s Complicated

Okay okay, stop the presses, I think we my have found it: THE most amazing home ever to appear in a movie, ever! It is, of course, the lovely Spanish style ranch home in the Nancy Meyers movie It’s Complicated.

And I will say, I do have complicated feelings about Nancy Meyers movies. I typically walk out of Nancy Meyers movies feeling frustrated with the dialogue and characters but completely in love with the interiors of every set. This movie was definitely the exception. Not only did I really enjoy the  interiors (really REALLY enjoy them), I even enjoyed the movie as a whole — the characters AND the dialogue (awful “girls night” opening scene aside).

But the set design on this movie, I mean, shoot. This house is mind-blowingly good. MIND-BLOWINGLY GOOD is what I say!

Let’s go let’s go!

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  • KITCHEN 1 of 27
    KITCHEN
    In the movie, Meryl Streep plays Jane, a bakery owner and top notch chef. As such, we shall start in the kitchen.
  • KITCHEN 2 of 27
    KITCHEN
    This kitchen is LOVELY. I love the unexpected pop of copper among the sea of stainless steel, and I love the greenery, and the exposed dishware, but I really really love the linen curtain on the lower left cabinet! What an unexpected bit of femininity!
    How many vessels of fruit? Looks to be five, Meryl.
  • LIVING ROOM 3 of 27
    LIVING ROOM
    Overstuffed? Check. White? Check. Slipcovered? Check. A little unexpected detail comes in the hidden TV/Armoir situation. Clever!
  • LIVING ROOM 4 of 27
    LIVING ROOM
    Also unexpected is that pop of orange. I also love how the orange is echoed in the throw, and how blue pillows are brought in. Somehow those blue pillows keep the room from feeling overly predictable.
  • LIVING ROOM 5 of 27
    LIVING ROOM
    Can you get over that big bowl of artichokes?
  • LET’S GO BACK TO THAT KITCHEN AGAIN 6 of 27
    LET'S GO BACK TO THAT KITCHEN AGAIN
    A major plot point of this movie involves her desire to redo the kitchen. But why, Meryl? WHY?!?
  • IS THAT A FARM TABLE?! 7 of 27
    IS THAT A FARM TABLE?!
    Goodness Meryl Streep, that is one gorgeous wood grain on your dining table!
  • MASTER BEDROOM 8 of 27
    MASTER BEDROOM
    Meryl's character sleeps in a small, somewhat boringly beige bedroom. Well appointed, sure, but boring. It's no wonder she is renovating and adding an extra wing. Dare to dream, Meryl!
    That sawhorse table appears to be purely for looks, unless she makes a habit of draping that lovely russet throw over it at night?
  • MASTER BEDROOM 9 of 27
    MASTER BEDROOM
    This whole movie was especially fun for me because I have a hard time separating actors from my favorite roles of theirs. So, this entire movie for me was Lucky Day and Jack Doneghy fighting over Julia Child.
  • MASTER BATH 10 of 27
    MASTER BATH
    The bathroom features a really great assortment of neutral colors and a wonderful mishmash of tiling patterns.
  • MASTER BATH 11 of 27
    MASTER BATH
    Vintageclawfoottubsaywhat?
  • MASTER BATH 12 of 27
    MASTER BATH
    I love freeze framing shots like this and scrutinizing the character based on what types of bathroom items she has on hand. Meryl likes lotions and potions and creams. Obviously skin care is important to a woman like this, who is in the business of aging gracefully.
  • HALLWAY 13 of 27
    HALLWAY
    Please note the use of (1) hardwoods, (2) terra cotta tile, and (3) carpet.
    That is one particularly rad chandelier.
  • HALLWAY 14 of 27
    HALLWAY
    Along one end of the hallway is a wall of windows, and along the other, framed artwork or photographs of some kind. (My money's on photographs.)
  • DAUGHTER’S BEDROOM 15 of 27
    DAUGHTER'S BEDROOM
    What is the rule for a young heroine's bedroom in a chick flick again? Oh yes. "Florals, stripes, and quilted pillows!"
  • GARDEN 16 of 27
    GARDEN
    Of course, Meryl has an amazing garden and wears fantastically appropriate gardening attire while communing with her cabbages.
  • GARDEN 17 of 27
    GARDEN
    Does it kill you dead?
  • EXTERIOR 18 of 27
    EXTERIOR
    While the movie is set in Santa Barbara, the home itself resides in Los Angeles (big difference?). The actual home is far less green and sumptuous, erring more on the side of desert landscaping.
  • EXTERIOR 19 of 27
    EXTERIOR
    Here is a closer shot of all that amazingly wild greenery.
  • EXTERIOR 20 of 27
    EXTERIOR
    And here is a shot of the home as it actually appears if you were to stop by today.
  • EXTERIOR 21 of 27
    EXTERIOR
    Around back is a lovely courtyard, with a fantastically huge pile of firewood. This is a woman who values a warm, cozy, welcoming home.
  • EXTERIOR 22 of 27
    EXTERIOR
    You can see from this shot of the front yard that Meryl's character lives on considerable acreage.
  • EXTERIOR 23 of 27
    EXTERIOR
    Here is a non-Hollywoodized shot of the road leading from the house in L.A.
  • EXTERIOR 24 of 27
    EXTERIOR
    And here is a shot of the exterior of the home as reproduced on a sound stage in New York City, where all interior scenes were shot. Pretty realistic, isn't it?
  • THE BAKERY 25 of 27
    THE BAKERY
    Meryl's character is, of course, a bakery owner (you can either be a shop owner or a writer in these types of movies--choose wisely!). And what a bakery! We know from earlier scenes that she is an amazing cook and can make a mean pie for girls night, but here we also see that she sells produce, jams and sauces, and has a really nice looking espresso set up.
  • THE BAKERY 26 of 27
    THE BAKERY
    Of course the place is packed! That is a fairly extensive menu, Meryl!
  • THE BAKERY 27 of 27
    THE BAKERY
    Meryl let's Steve Martin choose any item from the menu, and let's face it, I would too. I mean...
    He chooses a croissant. Subtle!
    The end!

Movie stills via Hooked On Houses. Witty commentary via yours truly.

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