A Tale of Two Religions

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image Last year Hanukkah and Christmas collided:  Elisabeth lights the Menorah in the shadow of the Christmas tree. 

Marrying someone from a different faith certainly has its advantages.  Although Ben converted to Judaism before our marriage, his family most definitely did not.  Growing up, Elisabeth celebrated Passover with matzo balls and gefilte fish – and a few days later, at Meemaw Webb’s house she hunted for Easter eggs in a pretty pastel dress.    During December – after lighting the menorah and reciting the prayers in Hebrew, a week or two later, at her aunt and uncle’s ranch, she would put out cookies and milk for Santa Claus.   Was it confusing for a young child?  Perhaps.   But even when our future children were still an abstract thought, Ben and I made some decisions.   Our children – if we would be lucky to have any (and in retrospect, we were lucky only once) – would be raised Jewish.    Ben felt deeply there should be only one religion in the family, so his conversion came easily to him – though not to  his mother who ended up on a psychiatrist’s couch over it (which we laugh about today, 22 years later.)    Another decision we came to in the early years of our marriage, was we would send our children to a Jewish day school.   Hopefully, their immersion in their religion would be intense and they would never have any doubts of “what” they were.    Elisabeth’s first day at a Jewish school was when she was just 10 months old, and her last will be this May after spending a month in Israel with her senior class.  In between those 18 years, she has never stepped foot in a public school.  Sheltered?  Probably.   Assured of her religion?  Of that, there is no doubt. 

 

  image  The invitation to  Elisabeth’s Bat Mitzvah.   I loved the colors and the bow – with hydrangeas petals! 

 

But, having a Catholic grandmother is fun.   Jewish holidays are mostly morose and serious.   Passover is the story of the Jewish people escaping from the Pharaoh and slavery – wandering through the desert for 40 years, surviving plagues – locusts, lice, boils and even the killing of their first born – so festive!  Hanukkah is the story of  the destruction of the temple and oil miraculously burning for 8 days.   On Yom Kippur we pray to God that he will forgive us our sins of the past year and let us live for one more year, but only if he writes our names in his Book of Life for another 365   days.   We don’t have lovable symbols like an Easter Bunny, all pretty and fluffy with pink and lilac eggs filled with chocolates and pennies.   We don't have Santa Claus, a jolly fat man with a white beard and cute elves who brings us toys through the chimney on a sleigh driven by reindeer.  No, our holidays aren’t filled with candy canes and gingerbread houses, we eat kugel and  Hamentaschen and corned beef.     So getting to celebrate both faith’s holidays is wonderful  - serious and fun at the same time.  In the end, holidays are really about one thing, spending time together with your family. 

 

batmitzvah 007Elisabeth, 13, at her Bat Mitzvah luncheon.    My mother and father sent her this beautiful urn of roses, peonies, and just about every other pink flower for the center table.   

 

 

The Webb Family Hanukkah:

hanuk09 019 My Living Room:

In December we get to celebrate both holidays.  First, I host my family’s Hanukkah dinner.  It’s basically the same menu each year, beef tender, salad, potato latkes and some kind of vegetable casserole and a pie.    The only thing that changes from year to year is the color of roses.   Here is my living room, the first room you see when you enter my house.

 

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My only festive decorations I added in this room were a new orchid and a few votives. 

 

 

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Past the entry hall and living room is the dining room on the left and the stairs on the right.   Since my dining room is relatively small – I have to set an extra table here for six.   Our immediate family is growing!   One nephew is now married with a little daughter, and my other nephew’s new girlfriend goes everywhere he goes.  Once we get a few more babies and Elisabeth starts her own family, I will have to set up another table in the living room.   For now, this arrangement works perfectly.  

 

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On Hanukkah, I always use my wedding china and mix it with my Pottery Barn green glasses.  This year I added white roses in mercury glass vases. 

 

 

hanuk09 002 Right across from the smaller table is the dining room – set exactly the same way. 

 

 

 

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A close up.  I liked the white roses against all the white linen and creamware.  But my first choice were pink roses – unfortunately the flower shop was out of them.

 

 

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In the family room, where everyone hangs out and we exchange gifts – I put out more votives and another orchid.   No one really decorates for Hanukkah.   The only time you might decorate is when your children are really young,  and even then, it’s all very subdued, not anything like Christmas decorations.  

 

 

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I was busy getting the dinner ready so I wasn’t able to take too many pictures. 

 

 

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Our Hanukkah gift giving is very civilized.    On Thanksgiving we exchange names – one gift for one person.  There’s not really a limit, but we all stay within a reasonable price range.  Of course the little ones get gifts from the whole family.   In this picture - my nephew gives his niece and my great-niece a new tricycle.    She is such a cutie – I could just eat her up!!!     

 

After Hanukkah is over (occasionally Hanukkah falls during Christmas which makes it an exceptionally hectic time)  we start working in earnest on Christmas.   We spend days wrapping all the gifts, packing up the cars (one car isn’t enough to hold all the loot) and head out to Chappell Hill, Texas, a teeny tiny town a hour (and a world’s) away from Houston.   Ben’s brother Kirk lives there on a ranch called, originally enough, the KW.    Almost all the Webbs come for Christmas at the KW – and all the Wills are there – Kirk’s wife Shannon’s family.   And, there are an assortment of other families that join in.   It’s an extravaganza, from the food to the presents to the wine to decorations – all of it is very over-the-top and tons of fun.    We don’t exchange names with this family – instead everyone gets everyone a gift.   Close family members get more than one gift – two, three, sometimes four!     Each year we swear to each other we didn’t go overboard, yet everyone always does.  Ben, Lizzy and I stay in Chappell Hill way past Christmas, sometimes even past New Years – it takes that long to get over the excitement. 

 

The Webb Family Christmas:

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Recession?   What recession?    Christmas Eve, 2009. 

 

 

 

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Just remember – these are all for three families with children, plus a few more families that stop by.    My gift wrapping theme this year was Breakfast at Tiffany’s with Tiffany Blue bags in polka dots or black houndstooth.

 

 

Xmas09 025We open the presents on Christmas day.   Ben, his mother, and Elisabeth – along with one of the five English Springer Spaniel dogs take a moment to breathe.   My nephew got the talking, electronic globe on the coffee table.   What will they think of next?

 

 

 

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Santa left archery equipment for my nephew and his cousin.

 

 

 

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My niece got her own personalized Snuggie in hot pink.

 

 

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So did Elvis Costello – I mean, Ben’s brother Kirk – and my nephew.   They can have their own Snuggie party now!

 

 

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Awwwww!!!  Look who else got his own Snuggie!  AND it’s in University of Texas burnt orange.    Awwwwwwwww.  He’s so sexy!   The beard is a whole other story (it has to do with UT being in the BCS championship game.)    My sister in law Shannon is responsible for all the Snuggies – of course she didn’t get herself one!

 

 

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The Princess cleans up.   After 8 days of Hanukkah gifts – she got Christmas gifts too.   Santa went Louboutin’s just for her, I’m sure.

 

 

 

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Two terrorists invaded our peaceful Christmas.    Their first real rifles!   That’s my nephew on the left.   He literally followed me around asking for his picture to be taken with his new rifle.   I was too scared to tell him “No!!!”    The cutie on the right is his first cousin.

 

 

 

Xmas09 040The Country Girl:    My niece Caroline got the best present of all – a new horse named Surely, a two year old very frisky paint.    Isn’t she a beauty?   They both are!

 

 

Xmas09 066 The Galleria Girl:      My niece isn’t all country.   The Louie bag was her second favorite gift!   

 

 

 

Xmas09 059 And her parents built her a new tack room for all her horse accessories – blankets, saddles, brushes, etc.   She painted it bright turquoise with hot pink accents.  Of course!

 

 

Xmas09 068 The two terrorists switched from their guns to their arrows during Christmas afternoon.

 

 

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We had a green Christmas!  All the boxes, ribbons and wrappings that couldn’t be reused for next year’s festivities were burned in the fire pit rather than go in the garbage.  

 

 

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Plotting their next move, the terrorists switched their attention to the Christmas tree pinata! 

 

 

Xmas09 096 New rifles in tow, the tiny terrorists head out to try their guns:   target practice down in the river basin.  They are in their camouflage jackets, which actually work – you can just barely see them on top of the jeep. 

 

 

 

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The sweets:   well, what can I say?   Shannon made the two gingerbread houses which are adorable.  

 

 

 

 

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Everywhere you look, there is candy!  

 

 

The Day After:

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All cleaned up.  Everyone’s gone except for immediate family.  Now the fun really begins.  Meemaw will start sweeping the floors and Shannon’s mom will do the laundry – excessively.   The rest of us will eat.

 

 

xmas2 005Meemaw Webb tries on her new Christmas gifts:  the outfit and the necklace.  Looking great Meemaw! 

 

 

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Shannon shows off her two new purses!    She couldn’t decide which one to use first.

 

 

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Aww- hahaha.  Gotcha!    Caught in our warm pjs – Meemaw and me looking at blogs together one morning.  Quiela (who is my dog Georgie’s litter mate) keeps us company.   It’s all over for another year.   Next holidays will be so different.  My child will be in college, home for winter break.  Hard to even think about that and what other changes there will be – hopefully all great changes.  

 

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday – no matter what you celebrate!!  And here’s to everyone  - wishing you a happy and healthy New Years!!!!

Uncomplicated Nancy Meyers’ Own Home!

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This year, Christmas Day is meaning one thing to me it seems – It’s Complicated finally arrives in theatres!    The newest eagerly awaited movie from Nancy Meyers has gotten early so-so reviews.   But what’s new?    Most of her movies don’t get raves from the critics, but the audiences love them.   Maybe this one will be the one that gets Nancy Meyers the respect she deserves.   It was recently nominated for Best Comedy by the Golden Globes and its star Meryl Streep was nominated for Best Comedic Actress for blogger favorite Julie and Julia AND It’s Complicated.   The buzz, despite early mixed reviews, is huge.   And of course, the 1920’s Santa Barbara house where Streep’s character lives is getting a lot of attention.  Traditional Home featured it in their latest magazine and recently added more pictures on their web site.    Even the New York Times has gotten into the act with a lengthy cover story of Meyers in its previous weekend magazine  HERE.   Right now, Nancy Meyers is hot – for once.

 

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The youthful looking Nancy Meyers with her trademark glasses.   Does she look like the most powerful woman in Hollywood?    Maybe more like a friend or  a sister?   I am a huge fan of the woman – reading in the NYT story of how she was booted out of her “power booth” in a trendy LA restaurant in favor of lawyer to the stars, Howard Weitzman, makes me admire her all the more.    The list of movies she’s either written, produced or directed includes so many blockbusters – it’s shocking she still can’t get a “good” table at restaurants – yet I’m not surprised.   She doesn’t look like a major Hollywood player, yet the author of the NYT article postulates Meyers is THE woman in Tinsel Town – the most powerful female working in film today.  

 

 

Private Benjamin:   One of the funnier scenes in the movie.   Eileen Brennan almost steals the movie from Goldie Hawn.

 

Nancy Meyers’ first screen credit was in 1980 with Private Benjamin – which she co-wrote and produced along with her partner and now ex-husband Charles Shyer.   I was a single, 26 year old when I saw that movie and related tremendously to Judy Benjamin, the spoiled Jewish princess who finds herself stuck in the army (well, ok.  I didn’t exactly relate to the Army part!!!)   One scene contains what I still consider a genius piece of comedic editing:    meeting the hopelessly gorgeous Frenchman, Henri, Judy is aloof.    A romantic Frenchman for a Jewish princess?   Not going to happen.     She ignores the handsome Henri’s attentions as a “lost cause” – he obviously is not marriage material, so why bother?   When in conversation he softly utters the words “I’m Jewish” – the scene immediately cuts to the two of them in bed together.    So funny, yet so true!   My friends and I howled over that scene.   It’s no wonder I related to Judy – Nancy Meyers was another Jewish princess, only five years older than myself.   But at that time, I had no idea we shared another quality – a love of interior design.

 

 

Meyers and  Charles Shyer on the set of “Irreconcilable Differences” in 1983.  Once her partner and husband, Shyer is now remarried with young children.   That hair!    It looks like they even went to the same beautician!

 

On the heels of the success of Private Benjamin, other hits followed:   Irreconcilable Differences, Baby Boom (with wonderful set design, a hint of things to come), Father of the Bride, Parts I and II, I Love Trouble, The Parent Trap, and then came the blockbuster hits – Something’s Gotta Give, and The Holiday.   While she produced and directed What Women Want, she didn’t write it, which probably explains why it’s not a favorite of mine.   It’s Complicated is sure to be another huge hit.    Helping fuel the excitement is “the house” – the silent star of Meyer’s latest movies.  She is becoming known more for her set design than the script itself.      Father of the Bride was her first movie where the house upstaged the actors.  I remember a friend bragging that her own new George Smith sofa was featured in that movie.  A George Smith sofa?   In a movie?  Seriously?     It really is no surprise that Meyers’ films would feature beautiful interiors when you learn her background - she grew up around antiques and good interior design.  Her mother was a decorator and other close relatives were in the antiques business. She spent her childhood traipsing through the fields at antique shows with her parents.   Her love of interior design spills over to her leading ladies, especially since the characters seem based on herself.     Meyers own house is a beauty that rivals any she has created for a movie, and indeed, her designer James Radin helped create the decorating themes for SGG, The Holiday and It’s Complicated.    Touring Nancy Meyers own house, the line is sometimes blurred between reality and cinema.  

 

 

image Architectural Porn 

Father of the Bride, Part I and II were the start of Meyer’s career as the Interior Designer Movie Maker.   The house featured two slipcovered George Smith sofas and other expensive furnishings.   Steve Martin remembers thinking it was all a bit too fancy for audiences to relate to.  He couldn’t have been more wrong – Meyers interiors are a huge part of her appeal.   

 

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Father of the Bride – The Living Room.

Looking at the Father of the Bride living room from the opposite direction, this fabulous slipcovered wing chair is covered in an expensive tea-stained English linen fabric.   In the recent New York Times article, Meyers discusses and defends her reasoning behind using good fabrics and expensive furniture on her sets:  it’s part of the narrative.  The characters, women who resemble Nancy Meyers herself, are successful and independent.  Of course they would have fine furnishings – Meyers does herself.  If this movie was made today – the walls would probably be painted white, not yellow.  There would be very few pillows on the sofa, instead of the dozen there now.  The rug would be seagrass, and there would be a more important coffee table.  The lace curtains would be banned, the framed prints would have white mats, not dark ones, and the accessories would be larger and fewer.   The Father of the Bride was released in 1991 – 18 years ago and it’s amazing to see how much interior decoration has changed since then.

 

 

 

Father of the Bride Filming Location

The wonderful white Colonial in the Father of the Bride series.   With the picket fence and climbing ivy – how more American apple pie can you get?   One criticism of Meyers  is  her films have all white casts with very few ethnic minorities showing up in her world.

 

 

image Father of the Bride Part II revolves around the remodeling of the house with the addition of the baby nursery.   The gorgeous nursery was revealed with much fanfare by Franck – the wedding planner turned interior designer played by Martin Short. 

 

 

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The remake of Disney’s The Parent Trap featured two important houses – one for each twin.   The California house was filmed at the Staglin Family Vineyard.

 

 

 

The Staglin Family Vineyards – here is how the living room looks furnished by the owners.  Meyers replaced all the furniture, it appears, but the glorious and important painting – Fischmarkt.   Painted by Thomas Schindler in Berlin, 1989, it depicts the “common man” in 1970s Europe.   The poor worker is buying his dinner at a local fish market – just a few small sardines - yet he is surrounded by the much larger, whole fish.  Art plays an important role in some of Meyers movies.   In particular, the art used in SGG was an outstanding choice.

 

 

image In the Parent Trap, this is the London townhouse where Annie’s mother and Annie live.  Meyers said that she wanted the background to play up Lindsey’s coloring.  In It’s Complicated, she chose the cream and peach palette to make Streep’s complexion glow.  Matching paint colors to the owner’s complexion is a good trick to use – I’ve done it a few times and it really is wonderful.

 

 

 

Meyers and Shyer coaching the young and innocent Lindsey Lohan in The Parent Trap – London location.  This scene where Hallie tries to make the guards move didn’t make it into the final cut.

 

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Meyers on the set of the Something’s Gotta Give – the master bedroom.   This house is her Oscar winning performer – none before or since is as wonderful as this Southampton beach house!

 

 

 

Produktionsbild: Sets zu The Holiday

The Holiday, her last movie, featured two houses.  This one, Amanda Wood’s L.A. house, was more cold feeling than most of Meyer’s interiors.  Or course – this matched the owner – Amanda had emotional issues.

 

 

Produktionsbild: Sets zu The Holiday

Iris’ Cotswold tiny cottage was the favorite – the living room filled with Robert Kime fabrics, suzanis, lanterns, tickings, bamboo, and all sorts of wonderful clutter – was cozy and charming.    Everyone wanted to move in here!

 

 

image  The long awaited It’s Complicated.   Meyers takes a year off between movies, then spends two years making one.  It’s three years between her films – too long for interior design aficionados to wait!!!!    Meyers says she removed the walls between the living room, dining room and kitchen to make it all one big space.   Here – in a scene reminiscent of SGG, a lively meal is shared by friends.      Meyers is a casual dresser – seen here in what seems like a uniform, a sweater and a scarf - her own interiors are as casual as her clothing. 

 

In 2004, on the heels of the success of Something’s Gotta Give, In Style Home magazine visited Nancy Meyers at home in the Pacific Palisades.  At that time the house was five years old – its construction started during her marriage, but Meyers was single by the time it was completed.   At first she wanted an East Coast shingle styled house, similar to the SGG version, but a trip to France changed all that, along with Cote Sud magazine.   She attacked the design the same way she does movies – with great attention to detail and much research.    In the end, the house’s architecture was very French inspired, with a tiled roof, thick walls, stone fireplaces and floors, and beamed ceilings.    She and James Radin, her interior designer,  went back to France to shop for the furnishings.     The interiors are more similar in decorating style to the Father of the Bride house than the SGG house.   It’s yellow walls and toile, while French inspired, actually lend  an English vibe.    There are similarities in rooms to different movies of hers:   her kitchen is said to have been an inspiration to the famous SGG kitchen.    And similarities exist between her real life study and Erica’s workspace.    Her sunroom shares elements of the  Cotswold cottage from The Holiday.   Meyers bought the house for her two girls, but she is now an empty nester.  She claims no deep attachment to the house and instead is ready to pass it onto a younger family so they can raise their own children there.   She is moving on.    Armed with more notebooks of pictures and clippings, she is planning her new house and hopes to purchase some of the furnishings in the It’s Complicated house for its interiors.  I wonder if she will be changing from French to Belgian.  Will life imitate art?    After all, there is a distinct Belgian feel to the Santa Barbara house that Jane lives in.  

 

Nancy Meyer’s Personal House in the Pacific Palisades:

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The living room in Nancy Meyers’ Pacific Palisades house is casual – done in gold chenille with orange accents.  The fireplace has a limestone mantel.   This room reminds me of the living room in It’s Complicated. 

 

 

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It’s Complicated Living Room

The casual, cluttered and cozy living room in It’s Complicated resembles Meyer’s living room – though here the furniture is covered in white slipcovers.  Where Meyer’s living room has a French feel to it, this living room is more Belgian inspired.  Despite these differences – it isn’t hard to see that the same woman is behind both rooms.   Both are “living rooms” but both seem more like casual family rooms.   Meyers is definitely not one to live with fancy, “no touch” interiors.

 

 

 

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Nancy Meyer’s Office

Meyers’ home office is off the living room and the octagonal library (not shown in the magazine.)   The ceilings were copied from a house she saw in France and the wood desk in front of the windows is eerily similar to Keaton’s writing area in Something’s Gotta Give.   The beautiful chintz covered chair and ottoman are English styled, giving Meyers a spot to nap while writing – something she likes to do.  I love the wicker magazine holder and in-box on her desk.  The brass lamp is great, as is the lantern.   The ergonomically designed desk chair needs to go, though!   Maybe she could slip cover it????  I have to say I am in love with that chair and that fabric!  It reminds of the fabric used in the dining room of SGG.

 

 

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Something’s Gotta Give:  Erica’s workspace resembles Meyers workspace.

While both desks look antique, Erica’s has turned wood legs and Meyers’ desk legs are straight.  Isn’t this desk from the movie fabulous?  Poor Erica – she looks so unhappy here!!!!  

 

 

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Something’s Gotta Give – Erica Berry’s work space

Erica, unlike Meyers, has a charming chair – an old fashioned office chair - probably from Pottery Barn.  What a beautiful room, what a beautiful house!  One day I would love to write a book about it and how it influenced houses across America!!!!

 

 

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Nancy Meyer’s Dining Room

The casually elegant dining room in Meyer’s house is my favorite room.   The chairs are covered in Bennison’s toile in charcoal.   The mirror is a reproduction - velvet framed – a copy of one Meyers found in France that couldn’t be restored.  The mirrored and crystal sconces are charming and the wonderful antique chandelier is perfectly reflected in the mirror.  I’m not sure where that fireplace seen in the reflection is located – perhaps the octagonal library has a fireplace?   I covet her blue opaline goblets!    Of course some type of textured rug is used here – it looks like a sisal.    The dining room really doesn’t remind me of any of her movie houses.   Though the SGG house has patterned covered chairs, the rooms are totally different. 

 

image Nancy Meyer’s Kitchen

 

The kitchen in Meyers house is said to have been the inspiration for the famous SGG kitchen.  A major difference is the white marble used here versus the black slate used in the SGG house.    Meyers says she loves kitchens – she wrote It’s Complicated around a kitchen remodel after all!   She spends a lot of her time here along with her two daughters - the younger one Hallie is pictured here.   Though some of the cabinets have glass fronts like the SGG kitchen – I don’t think the two are all that similar, do you? 

 

 

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Something’s Gotta Give – the famous kitchen inspired by Nancy’s own.

Similar in some elements, but mostly different.  The black countertops make a big difference, as does the subway tile.  Meyers’ kitchen has the marble slab backsplash.  The stainless hood is similar.  Today – six years later – a more decorative wood or stucco hood might have been used in both kitchens.   But one similarity is the second island with the wood countertop!    Those are exactly the same in the real house and the movie house.

 

 

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Nancy Meyers – The Sunporch:

Another wonderful room is upstairs  - the sunporch, which Nancy reports is also a much used room.  Again, this room has an English feel though the house was modeled after a French country home.   The furniture is cushy down English styled upholstery.    The ticking on the chair is wonderful – as is the antique drum doubling as a table.   The walls are yellow, the curtains toile.   The tufted ottoman doubling as a coffee table is very similar in size and function to the SGG living room coffee table.    But – surprisingly, this room resembles The Holiday’s Cotswold cottage the most.

 

 

 

imageA full view of the sunporch – from the magazine In Style Home – pardon the missing portion of the picture!  I love this room!

 

 

Produktionsbild: Sets zu The Holiday

The Holiday:  The Cotswold cottage

In The Holiday’s Cotswold cottage, there is the tufted ottoman and similar curtains to Meyers’ own sunporch.   And, the antique drum is a dead ringer for Meyers.    Both rooms, though so different in their architecture, share many similar elements:   tickings, patterned fabrics and rug, and a general cozy, cluttered feeling that is prevalent in both houses.  I’d bet Nancy would love to have the Cotswold house for a second home.  Like some of her movie houses, the exterior was built for the movie and the interiors were filmed on a sound stage.  

 

 

Film-Szenenbild zu Something's Gotta Give

In SGG, the tufted ottoman makes another appearance, although a throw covers much of this one.  I love this shot from the movie!

 

 

 

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Nancy Meyers’ Master Bedroom:

 

Meyers’ bedroom has white walls and light blue fabrics used throughout.   This room is the most French in feel -  the headboard is French, as are the yellow silk bergere and end table.

 

 

scan0017-1     Nancy Meyer’s Master Bedroom:

Two vintage styled armchairs in blue velvet sit in front of a fireplace  - the curtains are cream with a blue vine running through them.  The bedroom was inspired by London’s Dorchester hotel.  Not sure if their furniture is French too?   The blue bedroom doesn’t resemble any of her movie bedrooms that I know of.   None come close.  But the blue and white decor theme is found in the SGG house – it’s famous living room is a vision in the same colors!

 

 

 scan0022-1 Hallie’s Bedroom:

 

Hallie’s bedroom is a typical teenager’s room – with a canopy bed, white linens and a red toile chair.  Her father, Charles gifted her the poster of her favorite movie, Audrey Hepburn’s Funny Face.  

 

 

The teenaged daughter’s bedroom in It’s Complicated.

This bedroom is much different from Hallie’s– colorful and textural, there is no really no similarity between these two rooms.   Nor does Hallie’s bedroom resemble the twin’s bedrooms in The Parent Trap, either.

 

 

image Hallie Meyers-Shyer. 

Now 21 and living in New York, she is collaborating with her father Charles Shyer on scripts.  She is going into the family business she quips.  A bit of trivia – Hallie’s older sister is named Annie.   The twins played by Lindsey Lohan in The Parent Trap were also named Hallie and Annie!  And both the real Hallie and Annie had bit parts in the movie as girls at summer camp.  

 

 

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Nancy Meyers back porch.

The porch leading off Nancy’s office is French inspired with its wicker furniture, French doors, and lanterns.  In the doorway, you can see into the office, with its chair and ottoman and lantern above.    The house is painted yellow, with blue shutters in true French Provence fashion.    Similarly, the movie It’s Complicated has several outdoor locations similar to this:

 

 

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It’s Complicated:  The Porch.

It’s hard to believe the It’s Complicated house was actually built in New York for the movie – though it’s supposed to be in Santa Barbara!   Here the porch is not French like Nancy Meyer’s house, but the outdoor space has a similar feel.   Wicker and lanterns are similar elements. 

 

 

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Another sneak peek at It’s Complicated.   This porch looks into the living room and the brick is painted red here, not white – I wonder why?

 

 

It’s Complicated.  

I can’t wait to see the movie!!!   What a charming work space!! 

 

 

Here you can see the red tiled roof of the Santa Barbara house from It’s Complicated.    Meryl Streep’s character owns a bakery and apparently she is a avid gardener too, judging from the pictures. 

 

 

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The Master Bedroom from It’s Complicated.  It’s nothing like the light blue master bedroom Nancy Meyers sleeps in at night. 

 

A very special thank you to a Cote de Texas reader who graciously mailed me the pages from In Style Home of Nancy Meyers’ house.   It is so interesting to compare her private house to her movie houses.   I definitely see a commonality between the interior designs – mostly casual, cluttered, warm and cozy, lots of wicker and linen, slips and sisal, the houses are all welcoming and inviting – spaces you would love to spend time in.   It will be fascinating to see what her new house will look like – will she go Belgian like the It’s Complicated house, or will she go East Coast like the SGG house?   Perhaps she’ll go Colonial like the Father of the Bride house.

And while anxiously awaiting Christmas day to hopefully sneak off and go see It’s Complicated - I remember well  Christmas night of 2003.   I received a call from a client – she was hyperventilating.   She had just left the theatre after seeing Something’s Gotta Give:  “That’s what I want my house to look like, exactly that!!  The dining room, the living room – that’s what I want.  OMG, you HAVE to go see that movie asap.”     A  few days  later, I dragged Elisabeth with me to go see it – though on reflection, she clearly was not old enough for the subject matter.    Of course I had the same reaction to the movie that most who saw it did.     I’m hoping it’s repeated again with the It’s Complicated house, but I’m not convinced.   The SGG house was special, so very special – even the two The Holiday houses couldn’t touch it.   I don’t have high hopes that the It’s Complicated house will knock SGG off its throne – but who cares?   The movie itself looks fabulous.

Here’s wishing everyone out there (not sure anyone is reading blogs though!) a very Merry Christmas!!!  Be safe, no drunk driving please, and stay warm!!!   It’s going to be freezing here in Texas so that means it’s probably freezing where you are too!!!!