Design inspiration always strikes me at the most unusual times. A big bag of yellow jelly beans may inspire me to redo my bedroom in different tones of butter yellow. A galvanized metal-topped table in a restaurant may spark the desire to change my kitchen to a California casual style with natural wood pieces and white marble – and yes, that table! One of my favorite things to do is to look for design ideas on the silver screen.
I’ve watched some movies over and over again, just to see my favorite character: the house.
I’m notorious for this and I’ve actually recommended not-so-great movies to friends, claiming they are totally worth seeing… but forgetting to mention that they are worth it for the decor, and not necessarily the plot.
From the long-ago “Someone to Watch Over Me” – oh, how I loved her bedroom – to Sofia Coppola’s “Marie Antoinette” in which everything is Le Wonderful, I’ve narrowed my list of favorites to share some ideas in the home.
Nancy Meyers is known for her set design as much as she is known for her great films. The homes her stories and scripts are set in play a huge role – just as much as characters played by Jack Nicholson, Meryl Streep or Cameron Diaz. I’ve picked my all-time three favorite Nancy Meyers films: “Something’s Gotta Give,” “The Holiday” and “It’s Complicated.” My goal is to show updated and alternative ways to bring the elements of these fabulous movie rooms into your home.
And while I’m no film critic, I actually love each of these films and recommend them wholeheartedly. If inspiration strikes, rent and watch the film… and be sure to enjoy the scenery!
“Something’s Gotta Give” – Dining Room
The simplicity of this room is part of its charm. At its core, it’s basically a round dark wood round pedestal table on a seagrass rug – so elegant! Soft and not overbearing are what these walls need. Interior paint colors by Restoration Hardware are hard to beat. I love the Flax Collection, especially the color “latte” in the velvet finish. Yum. I love the idea of updating this room with a different finish on the dining room table and chairs.
Sisal almond rug by Crate and Barrel
The Gage Dining Table by Aidan Gray Home
(l to r) Gustavian Lantern by Sandy Chapman in gilded iron finish from Circa Lighting, Restoration Hardware Flax Collection Latte in Velvet Finish, White hydrangeas are always an elegant option.
“The Holiday” – Amanda's Bedroom
I love the simple color scheme and no-fuss decorating in Amanda’s bedroom. It’s a very modern room that doesn’t sacrifice comfort. The shape of the bed isn’t a hard straight line – a small curve on this winged bed softens the look. While I love the grey, I’ve found a similar bed in a light tan color. Continuing with this color scheme, I’ve added sable-colored shams and a blanket for the foot of the bed. Simple curtains in a lighter tone of the dark shade on the bed are one reason this room has such great balance. Pine Cone Hill has simple panels in the same lighter sable color, but in a linen. Perfect! Roman shades add a sophisticated look and practicality, since the linen curtains won’t contribute much to keeping out the light. A darker shade as well as a dark curtain rod is a must. The bed is flanked by light wood bedside tables with tall lamps sporting drum-shaped shades. I’ve chosen white-on-white for a crisp feel. For the nightstands, I like the modern look in the movie’s bedroom, but love the idea of mixing it up, too, and trying a more traditional look. Succulents are perfect “bedside flowers” of choice – low maintenance and subtle.
(l to r) Utopia sable shams and blanket and classic hemstitch white duvet from Pine Cone Hill, Barley twist table by Soft Surroundings
(l to r) Mirabella Lamp, Bellaire table by Jan Showers, easy-care succulents are the perfect bedside companion.
(l to r) Noah Snow moarble lamp from Arteriors Home, Flat Roman Shade from The Shade Store
“It’s Complicated” – Kitchen
To get Jane’s California-style kitchen you need not only some of the big furniture pieces like the table and chairs, but the details which make this room so great. Some suggestions are actually the same they used in the set’s design, and some are close enough that only you would know! In the movie Jane has a garden right outside her home. Herbs and fresh flowers are on display. It would be impossible to have this every day in our climate, but when entertaining, a great way to have a fresh arrangement that doesn’t cost too much is to buy lettuce, basil and parsley and place them in a shallow bowl of water, then place it in a basket. You can use the fresh greens for serving as well. Glass dome bell jars elevate the most pedestrian items on your countertop into chic art pieces.
French white marble top island by Crate and Barrel
(l to r) Large glass bell jars by Crate and Barrel, accessible fresh herbs inspire culinary endeavors, Goodman Hanging lamps by Thomas O'Brien from Circa Lighting
Mallory slip-covered bar stools by Ballard Designs.