Once again in 2009 Nancy Meyers (The Holiday, Something's Gotta Give) took her audience into a visual world, that was not only fabulous to look at but also realistic. With time, effort and a lot of attention to detail Meyers and her team created one of my personal favorite movie sets.
Written, directed and produced by Nancy Meyers, It’s Complicated (starring Meryl Streep, Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin) is set in Santa Barbara, California. It creates a clean and simple world in which its characters live.
As a Los Angeles native and frequent Santa Barbara weekender, I fully believed that the film was shot in California. To my surprise most of the film, including a majority of interior shots, was filmed in New York City. My focus though is on Meryl Streep’s home where a lot of the film takes place. To create the look of this home, the beautiful exterior was shot in Thousand Oaks, California and in the Hidden Valley area of California. The interior scenes were filmed at a location in the Pacific Palisades and on various soundstages. Here’s a look at the beautiful front yard and terra-cotta roofing of the “Santa Barbara” home.
The amazing interiors of the home were created by Meyers and her production designer Jon Hutman.
The film has multiple scenes in the living room which is very large and inviting. The neutal colored rug looks great against the dark finished wood flooring. The room accents including the fireplace,artwork and side tables also play off of this idea. The cream colored slipcover linens of the chairs and couches are accented with rich oranges, deep blues and greens, all flowing together for a cohesive look.
Since Meryl Streep’s character owns a bakery in town and food is a major part of her life, the kitchen is really the heart of her home. Exposed cabinets and hanging pots give the kitchen an airy and open feel that flows with the space of the large home..
This dream-worthy kitchen plays off the theme seen in the living room, with its orange colored accents as well as the contrast of dark and light woods. The stainless steel appliances also visually connect to the pots and hanging light fixtures above the marble kitchen island.
Continuing with wood, warm colors, and lots of neutrals the master bedroom looks cozy and very real. I could imagine walking into this room and instantly feeling at home.
In the film, Meryl’s youngest daughter is getting ready to move out for her first semester of college and is leaving behind this great bedroom. If I had this room when I was a teenager I would be thrilled! The set designers got to have a bit of fun mixing patterns and bright colors here. The contrasting patterns surprisingly play off each other from the area rug to the pouf by the chair. This really looks like a teenage girls’ bedroom. Its' bohemian style accented with feminine touches again brings a feeling of reality to the audience and does not feel like a movie set at all.
Moving now to the remarkable exterior of the home, there was a lot of space to play with because the house is supposed to be set on a huge plot of land. The outdoor furniture makes me want to grab a book and a glass of iced tea after walking through that massive garden area.
Vines and lanterns bring a look of whimsy to such a large space. This part of the backyard keeps with the theme of natural colors and the house favorite, orange!
The area they created for gardening storage of terra-cotta pots and galvanized buckets makes for another realistic touch to the very carefully designed movie set.
It amazes me that Nancy Meyers and her team are able to create a lifestyle for her characters through just the visual look and styling of set design. Attention to detail and specific use of colors and materials really do help in building a cohesive looking space within a home. The storyline of It’s Complicated is inspired by real life, but do you ever think that a film can inspire your real life home? And I want to know... what's your favorite room?