26 February 2011

Found: The REAL It’s Complicated House!

 

 

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Something’s Gotta Give:  The REAL house!

 

Almost everyone interested in interior design, knows that the movie Something’s Gotta Give sparked a huge interest in set decorating.  Was there anyone who didn’t love the Southampton interiors designed by Beth Rubino, Jon Hutman and Nancy Meyer’s personal designer, James Radin?  Something’s Gotta Give ignited such devotion, that I suspect if a class was given on this house hoards of blog readers would sign up for it.  I know I would.

 

 

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The timeless living room with its blue and white dhurri rug.   The interiors still seem fresh and current despite the movie being made almost nine years old!

 

 

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I know I could look at the movie and pictures of the house over and over again and still never get bored.

 

Of course, Something’s Gotta Give wasn’t director Nancy Meyer’s first great movie house.  She has also given us Private Benjamin, Baby Boom, Father of the Bride I & II, The Parent Trap, and What Women Want – all of which featured beautiful houses. But it was her last three movies that labeled her the director of “architecture porn.”  Something’s Gotta Give and The Holiday houses caused a huge expectation for her next movie - It’s Complicated.  Many of us were more interested in seeing the house rather than the movie.

 

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Google:  The REAL Southampton house from Something’s Gotta Give.

 

 

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And its back view right on the beach.  The house’s interior is nothing like the movie set.  The movie house is U shaped with the pool located in between two wings.

 

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The set of Something’s Gotta Give, built on a sound stage, shows the swimming pool that sits between Jack’s bedroom and Diane’s bedroom.  You can see it looks nothing like the “real” house.

                                  

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The precious cottage  in The Holiday was built for the movie.    Because of this, the exterior matched the interior perfectly.    The interiors were, again,  shot on an L.A. sound stage.  The road, the wall, and the trees were all put in by the movie crew.

 

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The inside of the cottage matched the outside.  The fireplaces and windows were in the same place inside and out since the house was created expressly for the movie.

 

 

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The other house in The Holiday is Wallace Neff’s own home built in 1928.   Of course,  only the exterior was used.   The interiors were created on a sound stage.

 

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The back of the Wallace Neff house.

 

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The interiors of the LA. Holiday house.   Just as with the Something’s Gotta Give house, the interiors do not exactly match the exteriors.

 

 

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The dreamy Santa Barbara It’s Complicated house was found in Hidden Valley, California – not Santa Barbara.

 

The last Nancy Meyers movie, It’s Complicated, was widely anticipated for its Santa Barbara house.   Of course, the house was used only for the exteriors – the interiors were shot on a NY sound stage.   Stalkers tried to locate the “real” It’s Complicated house without much success.   What threw people off the trail was they were looking for the house in Santa Barbara.   Instead, the REAL It’s Complicated house is located in Hidden Valley – not Santa Barbara.    The cute adobe ranch house is off Ventura Freeway in Thousand Oaks, 45 miles north of L.A.  It was built in the 1920’s and was once the home of W.C. Fields.   Meyers chose this particular house because it had an “almost identical” look to a house she had lived in for many years.   “If I’d searched forever, I couldn’t have found a house that duplicated my own house more.  It was definitely the environment I’d imagined Jane would live in.”  Also, the house was surrounded by acres of land that allowed for the massive amount of equipment and trailers that would be needed during filming. 

 

STALKING THE REAL IT’S COMPLICATED HOUSE:

 

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A famous stalker of Hollywood locales “I Am Not A Stalker,”  blogged about trying to find the It’s Complicated house.   She was clued into its location by the presence of the white wooded fence that surrounds the property.  About her hunt, she writes: 

Potrero Road is an extremely long, meandering street that cuts through numerous ranch-style properties in the Thousand Oaks, Hidden Valley, and Westlake Village areas and, as you can see in the above photographs, is bordered on each side by low, white wooden fences just like Jane’s.  So, I decided to begin my search there.  And sure enough, about ten minutes into the hunt, I located Jane’s house!  As it turns out, it is situated less than half a mile east of JMJ Ranch, which was featured in fave movie Win A Date With Tad Hamilton and the more recent Back-Up Plan with Jennifer Lopez.

 

Actually, though, I Am Not A Stalker could have spared herself the long search.  On IMDB, under It’s Complicated filming locations, the address for the house is plainly given:   714 West Potrero Road, Hidden Valley, California.  For movie devotees, the house was recently sold, and lots of delicious photos are available to study and contrast between the REAL house and the movie house!!!  So enjoy!!!

 

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Here, in a scene from the movie, is the house with its lush landscaping and vines.  To the left, behind the gates is the garage courtyard and a tower.

 

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And here, is the REAL house.  You can see that the landscaping and vines hanging from the movie house are absent here.  The landscaping was probably not real, or was removed because the house certainly does not have that  magical, lush look anymore.   The gate and tower are visible here.  But the famous hanging swing is missing – probably a prop from the movie.

 

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A close up of the REAL house, showing the absence of the flowering bushes and vines that made the movie house so romantic looking.

 

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The property is located on over 100 acres that is shared by three lots.  All three lots were recently packaged together for sale, but apparently, three different families bought each separate lot.   Here, you can see the white fences that surround the house, just like shown in the movie.

 

 

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The tower and gate to the REAL property.    The house is not visible from the street. 

 

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The front porch of the REAL house.  Here you can really see how barren the landscaping really is.  I wonder why the owners didn’t keep the bushes and vines?  Notice the fancy chandelier on the left side of the porch.   In the movie, that was exchanged for a more rustic one.   The rocks around the beds were also removed during the filming.

 

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In this scene from the movie, you can see where woven window shades were added along with a lantern.  Inside the door is the kitchen where the pendant lights were added to the REAL house.  Remember though, the interiors were actually shot in on a NY soundstage.  But when Meryl walks out the house, it needs to look the same as the interior sound stage.    Thinking about it, that must be hard to film.   You do the scene inside the kitchen in the NYC sound stage.  Then a month later, you continue the same scene – walking outside – in California!!  Must be so strange!!!

 

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In this shot, you can see how the landscaping beds with the large rocks were removed for the movie.   Also, notice how they changed the front door.  It looks like they added fake white brick to make the door smaller and then they added the two lanterns to make it prettier.  And notice the hanging iron chandelier instead of the owners’ more dressy one. 

 

 

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The REAL house – here you can see the wide front door that wasn’t used in the movie.   In the picture below, you can see how they dressed up this front porch for the movie. 

 

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From the movie:   In a night time shot, here is the front porch dressed up with great furniture, lanterns, and fruit trees.  The ceiling fan is gone too.  I wonder why the owners didn’t keep this furniture?  It looks so pretty here – I love this!  Do you think the movie offered to sell it back to them at a discounted price?  

 

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The gorgeous vegetable garden was built in the grassy area across from the house.   After shooting, the garden was donated.   In real life, vegetable gardens are not usually this beautiful and manicured!    Nature is not quite as cooperative.

 

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A close up shot of the beautiful garden.    I love the fence with the vines and flowers covering it. 

 

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In this shot from the movie, you can see where the tower and the garage and the wing off the house meet to form a courtyard behind the gate.

 

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In this important scene, the area is set up to review the floor plans.  There are no pictures of this area in the REAL house, but I’ll wager it doesn’t look anything like this!  I would guess they added all the gravel and maybe even added the white brick against the back wing.  

 

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A close up of the back building in the garage courtyard.  I wonder if the arch is real and if the gate came with the house or the movie?

 

 

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In this picture of the REAL house, you can see the garage is not quite that charming!   It’s amazing what a little gravel and paint can do.

 

 

 

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The back of the REAL house with the swimming pool.  The house is a square, built around a central courtyard that you can’t see in this picture.

 

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Close up of the REAL house shows the pool area with the stone terrace around it.    In the photo below, you can clearly see where the film crew covered up all the stone with grass. 

 

 

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This was taken in the back yard.  You can see the large tree behind Meryl that is in the REAL backyard.  The movie crew added all the lush plants around the tree.   And of course they added lots of furniture to make it much prettier than it really is. 

 

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Here you can see where they added all the hanging vines and landscaping to the back of the house.   It’s amazing how much more romantic the house looks like with those hanging vines.   I hope the new owners plant some – they look so pretty!!!   This  scene is where the architect takes Meryl “upstairs” to see the view from her new bedroom.  The view is of the ocean, but you can see that you can’t really see the ocean from here – it’s all Hollywood magic.  To the left is her new kitchen.   Since her old “kitchen” is at the front of the house by the garage, it makes no sense why the new kitchen would be added all the way to the back of the house!   A plot flaw of the movie that critics mentioned in reviews is why she would be adding a new kitchen any way.  Her kitchen as it is now,  is considered the focal point of the house and seems more than adequate.

All the extra landscaping and vines created a very lush and soft appearance to the house.   Production designer Jon Hutman recalled that during the editing process of the backyard “a water view was created where none existed.  Nancy wanted all the dead trees edited out. Then it was on to the spiky plants. ‘Every plant that is spiky is removed from this movie,’ she announced, a note of hard-won triumph in her voice. ‘You have no idea. Keep it all soft.’”

 

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In the REAL house, the entrance leads to the courtyard that is surrounded by the house on all four sides.  Pretty doors lead into the living area.

 

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The movie house:  the main hall leading from the front door into the living area.    Since the interiors were done on a sound stage, they don’t have to match the REAL house’s interiors at all.  Interestingly, they used wood and similar terra cotta tiled floors as found in the REAL house .  And note that the arches found in the REAL house are repeated in the movie house. 

 

 

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The REAL house’s living room has a beautiful beamed ceiling and overlooks the central courtyard.

 

 

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Looking the other way, the room is large enough for a piano and different seating arrangements.   Several different Fortuny light fixtures illuminate the space.

 

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In the movie house – the living room has a similar beamed ceiling, but it is arched here while it is flat in the REAL house.

 

image                                 The movie set living room:  Nancy explained that she wanted the design to relate to the warmth and sunshine of Santa Barbara.   She chose the color orange as an accent because it reminded her of all the terra cotta in that region.   I love the décor – the slipcovered furniture, the seagrass rug and all the Belgian touches – the coffee table, and the painted armoire.  I just noticed something I never saw before – the stacked baskets by the side of the sofa.  Cute!

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I  personally never really cared for the orange and the blue touches though.  I think the accents were too jarring.   Beth Rubino the set decorator listed her sources for this room.   The two arm chairs in front are from 1st dibs and wear Calvin fabric.  The coffee table came from Lucca Antiques.  The back chair and ottoman are George Smith (only the finest for Nancy Meyers.)   The various antique accessories came from such well known shops as Joseph Stannard Antiques, Berkshire Home & Antiques, Treillage, Dessin Fournir, and Cupboards and Roses Antiques.    The blinds came from American Screen & Window Coverings.

 

 

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Off the living room and dining room is this patio.   This is actually a set created on the NY soundstage.   In the REAL house, there is a courtyard off all the rooms in the house.

 

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The REAL house:  here is the four sided courtyard in the middle of the house.  You can see the one wing on the right that was enclosed at one point.  You can imagine if the movie had used this courtyard as part of the set – how beautiful they would have made it!  I wonder if they would have put down gravel or left the mismatched brick exposed.   I’m sure they would have put up all the hanging vines and plants and pots full of flowers.   There would be fabulous new furniture, like on the front porch.   And lanterns would have been added on the brick walls. 

 

 

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The porch that was enclosed in the picture above.   Again, I would love to see see what Beth Rubino would do to this space if the movie had used the REAL house for its interiors!!!  I love those high, beamed ceilings – and that lantern is so exotic.

 

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There is no dining room shown for the REAL house – so let’s look at the movie house dining room.   The dining room lies between the living room and the kitchen.   These three rooms all face the front porch and this setup coordinates with the REAL house.   It’s apparent that the person who designed the set house used the REAL house layout as inspiration so that the exterior shots would line up.   Here you can see the son in the kitchen looking into the dining room.  I always loved the French windows that separate these spaces.  

 

 

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Facing the other direction, you can see the back porch on the right.   Notice the antique shelf on the right.   I love those so much and wish I had the space for one in my dining room.  It’s great to use when you are out of cabinet space.  Notice the attention to detail the Beth gave the room – the shelves are filed with extra plates instead of left bare. 

 

 

 

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In this view, you can see the beautiful kitchen, although this is the room Meryl wants to demolish and rebuild on the other side of the house!!!   Notice the darling vignette on the left side with the limed table and lanterns and tall lamp.   So cute!   Rubino designed the dining room chairs herself and had Berkshire Home and Antiques make them.  The oval table is from Lucca  Antiques.    In the kitchen the island’s iron table is by Robert Ogden.  The  marble top was custom made.   Plates are the very beautiful Astier de Villate.  The light fixture over the table is by Paul Ferrante.

 

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I love this side of the dining room which overlooks the back patio.  The large stacked baskets, the unstained table and chair, the lamp, the sconces, and the unlined sheer linen curtains.

 

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The REAL House:   the kitchen in the REAL house is so pretty!  I think it’s my favorite room.   What’s interesting is it is in the same exact spot as the kitchen in the movie house.   The window and door to the left lead out to the front porch and the side window over looks the garage courtyard. In the scene mentioned previously, Meryl walks out of the kitchen on the soundstage through this door onto the front porch.  Because the door is opened and the movie goer gets a glimpse inside, the homeowner’s chandelier was removed and the same pendant lamps in the movie house were placed in this kitchen.  Also, they added the same textured shades to the REAL house to match the movie house.   The attention to detail is amazing and so intricate.

 

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Looking from the dining room into the kitchen.  Another difference in the two houses is the windows.  In the movie house, the windows are black steel.   In the REAL house, they are mostly white.    I assume they painted them, then repainted them when the movie was over.   What a mess.  Why would anyone want a movie filmed at their house?    I wonder if they pay a lot?   That must be the only reason you would put up with all that destruction to your house.   I wonder how much they do pay??  hehe.

 

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The garage doors that are seen through the kitchen window are so cute.  They look like carriage doors.  Everything about this house is so cute!!!    Do you think her kitchen is too small for a professional cook that it would need to be totally replaced?

 

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The marble top was custom made for the iron base.  Beyond the French doors is the laundry room.

 

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This side of the kitchen is so cute with the linen curtain instead of cabinets.

 

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Meryl’s bedroom is small, so I can understand why she might want a new one, especially one that would be on the second floor with a view of the Pacific ocean.  Again, the colors are taupe and sand and orange – influenced by Santa Barbara.  I love the way Rubino added the antiques – such as the chest and the Louis Philippe mirror.

 

 

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A larger view from movie of the bedroom – right before the funniest scene.  When the movie came out last Christmas, I was disappointed in it and didn’t like it all that much.  Certainly not anywhere near as much as I liked The Holiday or Something’s Gotta Give.  But, since then, after watching it a few more times on cable TV, I actually truly like it a lot more!  I think I was just so excited about the moving coming out and probably expected too much from it to be objective about it.   I would definitely recommend seeing it if you haven’t yet. 

 

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Her bathroom is so pretty – with the claw foot tub, antique mirror and marble countertops.   According to Hooked on Houses, Meryl is actually not sitting in water.  They built a wood shelf for her to sit under.  On top of the shelf was a pan of water where she kept the wet washcloths.  This allowed her to sit in the tub for the many days it took to film this scene without turning into a prune.    Notice how the floor is subtly checkerboard by using a lighter and darker marble. 

 

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A larger view of of the bathroom.  Here, it looks like the floor is actually painted wood, not marble.   Remember in Something’s Gotta Give how the kitchen soapstone countertops were actually painted plywood?   I love the linen shower curtain too!

 

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The REAL House:   The master bedroom is pretty with its fireplace and arched doorways.   Again, I would love to see what this room would look like under Beth Rubino’s touch.

 

 

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The REAL House:  I like the sink and the floor.   I love terra cotta floors with wide, white grout.     The wider, the better!   Ben and I built in a house in Ft. Worth and we had terra cotta floors.   The builder made the grout extra wide for me.  To me, it makes it look older – but some people prefer tiny grout.  It’s a personal preference.

 

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The REAL House.   The daughters bedroom actually has more charm than the master bedroom because of the vaulted beamed ceiling!   I think this room is so architecturally pretty.   I would love to decorate it!   How would you decorate it? 

 

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The daughter’s bedroom in the movie.   Meryl’s oldest daughter is living in a darling cottage where they have a garden party for her brother.  But it is bedroom that really caught my eye.  I love the carpet – which you get a quick glimpse of when Meryl enters the room.

 

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The room is so cute because of the wallpaper – a taupe Farrow and Ball paper called Melrose.  The paper goes so well with the Indienne bedspread. 

 

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Melrose by Farrow and Ball comes in many colorways.   It is a charming paper – I wish it also came in a fabric!

 

 

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What it looked like filming outside the REAL house in California. 

 

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And this amazing picture is of the house built on the NY soundstage.  It looks exactly like the REAL house.  Notice the fake trees in front.  And notice the hanging mural of trees to the very right of this picture.   Hard to believe they built the entire house on a soundstage.

 

 

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So, where exactly IS the REAL movie house?   Located in Thousand Oaks off the famous Ventura Freeway, the house is north of Malibu and south of Santa Barbara.   The actual house is where the orange lollypop is.

 

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The original property is over 100 acres divided into three estates.   The REAL house is at 714.   Recently, all three properties were available for sale.  Each was sold to three different owners.   You can see the house on the map where the red square is, right above the blue swimming pool. 

 

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Here is a Bing picture of the REAL house – here you can see how it is a square surrounding a center courtyard.  The swimming pool is behind the house.  Extending off to the left of the house is the garage courtyard where Meryl and Steve Martin looked over the floor plans.   In front of the house, past the trees and the street is a patch of grass.  This is where the vegetable garden was.  Horse pastures are to the left of the house. 

 

 

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Here is where you turn onto the property off Potrero.

 

 

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The gate house at Potrero where you gain entrance into the estate.

 

 

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The long drive up to the house.

 

 

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The riding arena.  You can see the gate house in the back, right.

 

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The area is known for its white fences which keep the horses corralled.

 

 

 

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On the property is a large stable.   Too bad Meryl didn’t ride horses in the movie!  The three properties are filled with miles of trails to ride on. 

 

So, what is Nancy Meyers working on now?   There has been no notice of what her next movie is going to be.   Last November there was a press release that she had left her long time agent ICM and a few days later it was announced she was now at WME.  (Whatever THAT all means!!!??)   It’s been over a year since It’s Complicated was released and usually by this time, we would know what new script she is working on.   Perhaps with the change of agents, she isn’t writing one now.  It was reported that she was building her dream house, though her present house is pretty dreamy itself.  I wrote a story about her house HERE.  To read I Am Not A Stalker’s account of her stalking of the REAL house, go HERE.     Read Hooked on Houses account of It’s Complicated HERETo read Cinema Style’s story on It’s Complicated, go HERE.  AND, to listen to Beth Rubino on the Skirted Roundtable (it’s a good one!) go HERE.   Interesting too is that It’s Complicated is the last movie that Beth Rubino worked on.  Jon Hutman worked on The Tourist and another movie that hasn’t been released yet.   I can’t wait to hear about Nancy’s next movie!!!!!  Something tells me that soon she will be writing a movie about grandparents.  Finally, to see all the real estate pictures of the REAL house, go HERE.

 

 

 

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114 comments:

  1. I was soooo in love with the cottage in The Holiday & was sooo dismayed when I found out it was not real.
    I actually just watched Its Complicated...gave it to my parents for Valentines Day & I too spent more time relishing the desings than the script, but I do love the real home too.
    Now if only I won Powerball...

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  2. I drive on Potrero Rd and had no idea this famous house was there! Great post!

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  3. Cote de Texas is my favorite blog, because you take the time to write informative essays.

    Love your blog!!! Highlight of my day. I look forward to your posts,and try to figure out how many days it will take you to come up with your next topic. Keep up the good work.

    Karen

    Love, Karen

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  4. Oh...I loved this movie and THIS house! This was fascinating. Yes, why would you change back the landscaping after the movie crew has made it so magical? There must be a reason, like they are fake plants or they are all still in their plastic pots just stuck in the ground or something like that. Or perhaps the owners just don't like the overgrown look. (or maybe it's a requirement the movie company that it cannot stay like they have it) I know I was so disappointed when I read on Hooked on Houses that large portions of this were shot on a sound stage in the middle of Winter in New York..

    I don't buy DVD's very often but I have this one...I really loved the movie but of course I also wanted to look at those interiors over and over again.

    If I were the owners of the house I would definitely implement all the decor changes they did on the porch and the garage doors. I would never want my house to be on HGTV to be made over but if Nancy Meyers called and said she wanted to use my house for a movie, I'd say get on over here and lets sign a contract that I get to keep whatever you do.

    I'd love my house to have the magical Nancy Myers touch.

    Great post....as always!!!!

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  5. Wow! What a post, fabulous! It exhausted me just thinking how long it must have taken you Joni. It's a real keeper for us movie buffs who love, love, love the movie sets you have shown. Thanks for the peak into this...I really enjoyed it ;)

    Jeanne xxx

    A Twitter follower :)

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  6. Love this post - so interesting. They recently filmed some scences of the movie "Company Men" in my neighborhood! It was fun to see the trasformation to winter with fake snow, etc - The magic of the Movies is amazing. Great post, Joni!
    xx-Gina

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  7. As far as the rocks outlining the garden beds I have to differ with you. I don't believe they removed the rocks but just covered them over with plants. You can see a bit of them peeking out from under the leaves.

    I enjoyed the movie but love your take on the design of the house. With a movie one focuses on the plot so I missed many of the details you've provided us with. Thanks and great post.

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  8. This was such a fun post!! Really great... and, I also loved the Skirted Roundtable podcast with Beth Rubino! I am crazy about the Wallace Neff house from The Holiday. I think WME might be William Morris Entertainment?! Thanks Joni ; )

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  9. Please tell Nancy my house would be perfect for her next movie !!! That would be a dream to see what she would do with it. I don't say that about many people. Loved this post.

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  10. Joni- I really enjoyed this post. It makes me realize how much work goes into the sets for these movies. And I really enjoyed The Skirted Roundtable discussion Beth Rubino did.

    This post went on and on! (In a good way!) Since I read the "In Her Shoes" post on Camila's blog I imagine you out on the porch in the Texas sunshine writing it into the night...

    Loretta

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  11. I'm so excited to finally see photos of the real house. It's beautiful, too, but it really does highlight the "movie magic" when it comes to set design. I wish that team would make over MY house.

    This is fabulous, Joni. I'm linking to it from my blog so my readers will see it, too. You rock!

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  12. Great post! I never saw the movie in theatres but have watched it several times on cable and LOOOOOVE it. The house fascinated me-- so warm and beautiful. I always thought she wanted a new kitchen due to her restaurant and catering business, that maybe she wanted something more expansive and professional at home.
    Thanks for such fun content!

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  13. Fabulous! Well if you ever decide to give up designing you can always get a job as a researcher for Nancy Meyers! Of the real houses, I love the back of the Wallace Neff house and the kitchen of the Thousand Oaks house. And I'm with Julia - I'd love Beth Rubino and Jon Hutman to come here and work their magic!

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  14. Do you sleep at night girlfriend??? Twenty-four hours a day detective work? It always amazes me what you manage to find! And I’m amazed at what movie sets can mimic. I love all these homes so much fun reading and seeing this post since I’ve also seen all the movies. Have a wonderful weekend!

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  15. Great post! The real houses are pretty, but Nancy Meyer's versions are soooo much better, aren't they? What a dream it would be, to have her transform one's house!

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  16. Oh, my, thank you for sharing the delicious details of this awesome house and the "make-believe" studio reditions, too! I, too, absolutely fell in love with that house and the entire vibe of the movie was perfection! xoxo Beth

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  17. What a lovely way for me to spend my Saturday morning, Joni and a cup of coffee. thank you this was so well written and researched. Thank you for always taking the time for such thoughtful well written post, Kathysue

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  18. I loved all of those films. Interesting to see the comparisons of the real and Movie houses....I needed two cups of cofffee for this one!!!Maryanne xo

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  19. Between you, Nancy Myers and Beth Rubino, my life is very enriched. I agree that though the real house has some beautiful elements the finishing touches that were added in the movie truly transform it. To me, this post is such a testament to the importance of those finishing touches! I would LOVE to live in the movie house with all of its considered layering. It feel SO welcoming!!! The real house--not so much. I will be taking a hard look at my home after your post to think about which of the set design elements I can add. That would be a wonderful follow up post for you to do (if you are so inclined....).
    BTW, my heart skips a beat when I see your email address on my new mail list. Just a GIGANTIC fan saying thank you for your efforts.
    xoxoxoxo, Anne
    ps We had a big wind storm yesterday here in the DC area and lost power all day and through the night. We burned the candle that you sent me after I won a giveaway on the Skirted Roundtable. Thanks again for that!!!!!

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  20. this post just makes me Happy!! I love all the images. Ahhh, the magic of movies! (Can not believe they removed the shrubs and the vines from the house... crazy)
    Like you, I recently watched the movie again and liked it even more than I did the first time I saw it. I totally agree, we were all soooo excited to see the interiors that the movie itself took a back seat!

    xjoan

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  21. Great post! About a year ago I remember staying up for a couple of hours one night and reading through your blog (I was new to blogging back then). Your posts about the Something's Gotta Give house had me hooked! I read and read until my laptop battery died! I always enjoy reading your thoughts and commentary on design. I see photos of homes and think, "That looks so beautiful.", and then I read your blog and you explain in ways that I can't why it is beautiful.

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  22. no doubt about it...set decoration must be a fanTAStic job!!! Love this post Joni!!

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  23. Great post! What a difference between the exterior of the house in the movie 'It's Complicated' and the "real" house. I loved the lush landscaping and the vegetable garden. Both were to die for!

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  24. Thanks for sharing all this. Movies are all about the art of the illusion, and a lot of the beautiful interiors are just that: an illusion, as your post has so aptly pointed out. My son is a filmmaker and when it was all new, he would tell me things about something was done. Finally I said, no, leave me to my illusions -- I don't want to know!

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  25. Joni, my goodness! What a marvellous post!!! So interesting to see and read about these movie houses! You putted a lot of work in this post, that is for sure!!! I really want to thank you for sharing this post with all of us! Incredible!! Thank you so much Joni!
    xx
    Greet
    PS I think I am going to look at the pictures over and over today!!

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  26. Your blog really is unique Joni, what a great post, I really enjoyed it! Always fun to read your comments an analyzing points of view. I just directed a client to your Somethings gotta give post as she is building a house in Maui. (that post needs to have Somethings Gotta Give in the headline though Joni, I ended up finding it on a link from someone else's blog, because it didn't come up on a google search for yours).
    xoxo
    maria

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  27. Ok. Just kill me now. I just KNOW that heaven has that great living room from the cottage in "The Holiday".

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  28. There is no doubt in my mind one of the reasons your blog is so successful is due to the detail and length of each of your entries. I hate to guess how long this incredible post took you, though I loved every bit of it! Cameron Diaz's LA home in The Holidays has always been one of my favorite set designs, so I was glad to learn a little bit more about it. I can remember as a child seeing Southfork in person and thinking how different it looked from the television show Dallas. Thanks for sharing, Joni, as it is fascinating to see these talented individuals' touch on these incredible homes.

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  29. Real life is always a disappointment compared to the movies. I noticed that about the kitchen too. Why on earth would she want a new one especially one that seemed so disconnected to the rest of the house. Plus she is only one person living in that already big house. Why would she want to make it bigger? I have read in Kitchen Mags. that real cooks prefer smaller kitchens because they are more efficient. Everything within arms reach. I guess it is personal preference.
    Great Post Joni!!
    Bethany

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  30. Well,
    FABULOUS as usual Joni!
    I am sticking with the Nancy Meyer version though. Loved this set, bought the film and love to refer to it!
    What a great job, and what great fun to create!
    Thanks!
    :)
    Leslie

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  31. A post as only you can do, Joni! Fabulous.
    That cottage in The Holiday is still the one that makes me swoon!

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  32. Thanks for a great post. I've enjoyed following Nancy Meyers' career since Baby Boom.She is amazing!

    It appears that all of the photos of the acreage around the REAL house were taken in spring after the winter rains, OR that the property is heavily irrigated (definitely a no-no here). In California all of the surrounding pastures and fields would be golden brown by mid-to-late June as we only get rain from Nov - May and our summers are dry as a bone.

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  33. Thank you so much for that. Now, can you do a similar post about the FANTASTIC Bakery/Cafe in the movie? I understand that it too was nothing more than a movie set and does not exist. Sure wish it did! I'd love to dine there.

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  34. Ok this needs to go in the CDT Post Classics (although it would be so hard to choose). Loved the movie and the peak inside was a huge treat. Thanks so much!

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  35. Nancy Meyers has long been one of my favorites and I follow her and her work, the house in Somethings gotta give is just the utlimate beach house for sure..the bakery in Its Complicated stole my heart and still is the main inspiration for a future business I may one day get the guts to open...and the cottage in The Holiday was just too cozy for words...it was fun to see all these fabulous spaces all on one page!

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  36. Wonderful stuff! I too am a big fan. That part of the California country side is really beautiful and serene yet very close to Los Angeles. That makes it perfect for movie locations!

    You really make it hard to compete Joni! Your posts are so great and full of info.

    Definately a favorite post of yours, to date!

    xo kelley

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  37. Loved, loved this post. These are all favorite movies of mine partially because of the settings. It's so fun to have all the pics to study and analyze. I bet you had a ball putting this together.

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  38. A perfect testament to the magic woven by someone with a good eye - it doesn't even look like the same house. I want them to come do MY landscaping. (LOL)
    I wonder why they dug it all out instead of leaving it? Crazy.
    I wish, too, that they had filmed the barn and horses -- what, oh what they could have done with that barn... mmmmm.
    Great, great post.
    xo isa

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  39. All time favorite movies. Love, love.
    I did a post on It's Complicated, and they were talking about how Meryl Streep was in on all of the decorating because everything had to be perfect for her.
    It's Gotta Give has got to be one of the best movies ever.
    Thank you for sharing this, with the real and the set homes. Great post.
    Teresa
    xoxo

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  40. What a fantastic post!! I'm a huge Nancy Meyer fan, the interiors play as big of a role in her movies as the main actors. Being an actress as well as designer it was entertaining to have you walk through the sets. You can film a beginning of a scene in one country, then the rest of it in another. The set designers are genius. It's all imaginary and conveys such feeling!!

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  41. Joni,

    Thank you from another huge fan of your blog for this post. I love Nancy Meyers' movies and this is such great information.
    My daughter was an extra on the movie It's Complicated and worked for several days on the bakery set. It was filmed in Prospect Park in Brooklyn's Picnic House. She was so excited about how beautiful the set was and excitedly described it to me and told me how much I would have loved it. I listened to NM's commentary on the movie and she mentioned how she wished more of the story in the bakery had ended up in the movie because she loved the set as well. I think she said (or I read it somewhere else) that the set was based on City Bakery in New York. Thanks again Joni!

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  42. OH MY!!! all of my favorite houses in one place... this was such a treat to read on a cold dreary Texas day.
    You know I was also a bit disappointed in the movie the first time... but have watched it a couple of times again... to see the house of course... but also really enjoyed the banter in the movie much more the second and third time around. Another winner Joni! Boy ... this could be an ad for landscapers... what a difference vines and flowers and pretty pots make! Love Janes kitchen... small but perfect... everything is within a few steps..and those french doors to the laundry room..luv!

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  43. Wow! Thanks, Joni for sharing these behind-the-scenes photos & info with us. The Holiday is my all time favorite movie!

    Karen T.

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  44. Joni, you asked how we would decorate the little girl's room. Upon closer inspection, I wonder if 2 or more girls share this room or if they just wanted to have plenty of room for lots of spend the night company. I guess it really doesn't matter.
    To answer your question, I would put a canopy bed on the right wall where a desk is now, and if it would fit (and I think it would), I'd put a day bed where the middle one is now. I'd add a BIG, happy rug, big lamps on end tables by the canopy and one at one end of the day bed. The left wall could hold a desk or possibly a BIG antique armoire to balance the canopy bed. Finally, I'd do long, pretty, breezy drapery. AND all of this has to just be feminine....NOT little girlish.
    Thanks for a great post!!!

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  45. Some good real estate staging could leave the REAL house looking more like the movie set - and I'll bet there would be buyers fighting to buy the property!

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  46. Love this post! It's a saver!

    BYW; the rocks in the front weren't moved....if you look closely at the "movie" house..the beautiful shrubbery is spilling out over them!! Good question why on earth take out all those divine plants!! And the pool looks about a hundred times better without all that hardscape!!

    Lots to learn in those pictures!! Windows much better black!!

    Thank you!!! Great post!

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  47. OH JOY! what a detailed post on some of my favorite movies with before, after, where, when images!
    But one thing I can add...the artist of many paintings is Mitchell Johnson, see my post:

    http://brillanteinteriors.blogspot.com/2010/01/movies-art.html

    Ha Ha, gotcha, Joni!

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  48. You must have been exhausted after finishing this post!! i had so much fun going through it.I have to share an anecdote...I am working on a client house in Long Island, and during the first meeting, they gave me a one liner for inspiration: go to this website, check the link to the house on "something got to give"...and go ahead. When I looked at the site, I replied: i don't believe this and almost said "but this my friend's blog"..of course Joni, it was Cote de Texas...can't wait to show my version...and get your opinion.

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  49. great post! I truly love your blog!

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  50. you are an investigative wizard

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  51. this is my fav post of yours! great!

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  52. Leigh B:
    thanks!!!

    you know - you could float a big canopy bed in the middle of the room. i just thought of that. like the one from PB or anthropologie.

    ReplyDelete
  53. Love this post - what a fun journey...i wonder if anyone has stalked the Beale sets that were used outside Toronto...i tried to find but not to this degree of perseverence. I might have another go when i return this summer after reading this. x Colette

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  54. Joni-
    I've been thinking about this room all afternoon. I think the desk idea will have to lose to using an armoir and I DID think about floating the canopy bed just like you've shown lately. If the canopy went against the wall, there could possibly be room for a smaller rectangular rug at the foot of the bed (not up against the bed but floated) with 2 small sofas (with fun pillows if something has to be little girly) that face each other and either a fun ottoman that opens for storage or a great coffee table. I don't like t.v.s in children's rooms, so that's a non issue.
    Oh, to dream a dream!
    Leigh

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  55. My favorite movie house of all time is "Something's Gotta Give." Love Nancy Meyer's movies, especially for the set decoration. Glad to hear I am not the only crazy one out there. Thanks for your blog. One of my favorites out there in the blogosphere....keep up the great work, Joanie.

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  56. Joni -
    These Interior Detective posts
    are where you really shine -
    well done !

    jjj

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  57. Dahling, you have outdone yourself with this post. Truly. I will need to get a glass (bottle?) of wine and re-read and soak it all up. I love all the compare and contrast shots, and, of course, all your lovely commentary. Fine job.

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  58. Joni,

    How fun is this? I am a HUGE fan of "It's complicated" and all of Nancy's movies. This post is such a treat! You did a really great job with this post!

    I'm impressed!

    Have a wonderful weekend, Joni. Drop by my blog if you have some time, ok?

    xo

    Luciane at HomeBunch.com

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  59. Oh my goodness. Joni you really have outdone yourself. What a fabulous post. I loved looking at the comparisons. I must say I love love love Nancy Meyer's and James Radin's work but, as clever as they are in the transformation of this house, I didn't like it at all. I found it too dark and drab. I think they could have used alot more "mediteranean flair" which would have really suited this style of house rather than go for what I thought looked like a very dated "Mexican" look. I can appreciate their efforts though.
    Also I do agree on moving the kitchen, the outlook would be so much nicer. Thank you Joni, I really did enjoy this post. How long did it take you to make? Sxxx
    p.s. it is raining here in Melbourne Australia - a perfect day to go over all your older posts that I very much look forward to.

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  60. Well, I'm going to watch It's Complicated ASAP. The reviews weren't that good but I didn't know about the house. The house in Something's Got to Give is my ultimate dream house so I've got to see this one too. Thanks for the in depth analysis.

    I wonder what the real owners of the house think about the re-decorating.

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  61. HI.. First time commenting on your lovely blog. Love movie sets and Tv sets as well. Thanks for all the wonderful details. I've been looking for the double handle basket that Maryl was carrying in the garden. Any ideas?? Hope it doesn't end up like my long term search for the letter "C" on a past TV show..New Adventures of Old Christine. Can't find that either!!

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  62. Joni let me first say I soooo appreciate the exhaustive amount of work and effort you must have had to put into this post (and so many others as well)so that we can be taken along on a perfectly laid out journey.
    Secondly if that were my house I would spend every dime and minute I have to bring it up to the movie standard! Quelle difference! Why oh why would they NOT want the front of the house to look as it did in the movie?? It just goes to show ya that I great decorator is worth their weight in gold. *winks* Vanna

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  63. Thank you for the stills of the daughter's room. I have been looking for that paper--so I owe you one! Next, please post about the gorgeous white bakery (which I know was just a set, but divine!)

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  64. Years ago, our home was used for a television series .. the exteriors only.
    I am now thankful that we had no "house stalkers" lol

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  65. Leighb:

    no tv? thank God you didn't have my daughter!!!! she sleeps with her tv on!

    it is such a beautiful space - i would actually make it the master bedroom - it's much prettier. i only wish i could afford a house like this - with all the yard. my lot is 100x50 - tiny. we don't have a backyard, just a courtyard. :( i want a view!!!!!! hehe

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  66. Joni- I think my daughter's "t.v." is her ipod :)
    You and I have a mutual friend in Jenny Johnston. The Rosemary Beach house you featured last year as a before and after is my beach house, but we're friends here in Shreveport. Thank you for all of your kind words regarding it! If you're ever in that area in Florida, I'd love to show it to you in person. Jenny and I had more fun with it. She's and incredibly talented designer, but she's an even better friend :)
    BTW- I thought the same thing about making the little girl's room the master. I'm sure there's a bathroom situation that makes the master have to be the master.

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  67. I love going to the movies just to see the sets and homes in them. This one was so wonderful, thanks for putting up for us all to enjoy!

    Debby

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  68. Good grief Joni. My brain exploded about 2/3 of the way through - in a good way mind you. From your most unworthy fan.

    ReplyDelete
  69. I loved this home when I first saw the movie.
    Steve has seen this home in person, and I was so mad that he hadn't taken any pictures. You may have just saved our marriage LOL!
    I'm also having a love affair with horse properties lately. What is happening to me? First chickens, now ponies?
    Thank you again for another inspiring post Joni!
    xo xo
    Brooke

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  70. Thank you!.... a pilot for a Showtime series was filmed in my neighborhood recently,,,,would be wonderful to see how it looks on the small screen...smiles.

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  71. i loved all three of these movies. what a great post. awesome!!

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  72. Fabulous post! I had to see "It's Complicated" twice with a friend so we could ogle the sets. I had seen the set pictures on "Hooked on Houses" blog, but it's great to be able to compare the real with the fabricated. What a transformation! I think the 'landscaping' was probably all temporary installations - and not really planted. I thought the vegetable garden in the movie looked too perfect and unreal - like something from a chemical company's ad. However, I had no problems with the staging of the house, porches and garage area. Just yummy - and very California. (Though, like you, I wasn't all that fond of the orange accents.) And like Pamela, my all time favorite Nancy Meyers' movie house is "The Holiday" English cottage. So cozy and romantic and more suitable to the climate I live in. Thanks for all the great work!

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  73. I fancy that cottage from The Holiday -- its interiors are very cute. Nancy Meyer's got great choices in houses for her films, as I noticed. The architecture from Something's Gotta Give snatched my attention from the storyline. Haha! We're planning to renovate our house next month and started looking for some floor stores. The dark ceramic floor tiles from the bathroom scene matched the walls, very pretty.

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  74. Joni,

    I just want to thank you for your comment! It's wonderful to have you on my blog! :-)

    Have a blessed week, my friend!

    xo

    Luciane at HomeBunch.com

    Post of the Day: A day at the Ranch.

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  75. Joni,

    Excellent post I always admire Nancy Meyers for the movies, the sets the properties she chooses!!
    Always eyecatching and dreamy!

    Join my Artfful Offering and Read a great Interview at my site.

    xoxo
    Karena
    Art by Karena

    ReplyDelete
  76. Joni fabulous post, lots of great pictures and your voice! I love your voice!!

    xoxo

    Kit

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  77. LOVED the complicated house!!!
    LOVED her bake shop too!!!
    Not a baker... but suddenly I wanted to open a bakery!
    Hope all is well with YOU!!!
    I started a NEW site dedicated to the love of reading... stop by...
    http://ReadingisFashionable.com
    Perhaps you could contribute a photo of YOUR favourite place to read? YOUR bookcase?
    LOVE to hear from YOU!!!
    ENJOY!
    Fifi

    ReplyDelete
  78. Hi,
    Thanks for the shout out! :) Wanted to let you know that at the time I found the "It's Complicated" house, the information was not yet on IMDB. Someone added it there after I wrote my post. :)
    Happy Stalking :),
    Lindsay

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  79. As always, thank you for such a thorough post! I love the movie house - I like to think that it was the real house. So pretty!

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  80. I am a huge fan of your blog and loved this post. I realized that movies sparked some of my first inspirations for home design... Father of the Bride, and an old Chevy Chase/Goldie Hawn movie... I think I was in 6th grade! I remember being in awe of the warm and beautiful rooms that were different than what I had been exposed to at that time. I vowed to remember them and make my home as lovely some day...
    Also, I love the orange in the room that you didn't care for! I just did a post on the color orange and included photos of orange throughout my house...
    Thanks for the continued inspiration.

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  81. Nice house and like that arrangements,I love design,I would only say perfect house for live beautiful life.You done a marvelous job over here.

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  82. What a fun tour! I love all of the movies you mentioned and, like so many of us, fell in love with the interiors. Wouldn't it be wonderful to live in any one of these homes!

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  83. Thank you for posting! I love all the Nancy Meyer's films, but am especially obsessed with Something's Gotta Give and It's Complicated.

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  84. Joni, I rarely comment, but had to say how much fun your blog is! LOVED this entry in particular. But MY stalker question is...where did Meryl get that straw gardening hat!??! I have stalked all sorts of blogs to find out and so far, no luck! LOL The house wasn't bad either! :) Rosie

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  85. You share such a fantastic picture over here.Really heart breaking pictures you share with us.It is likes dreamy house.

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  86. Wow. You really do a lot of research for your posts! I loved the post and all the pictures, but after all the gushing about the movie house I feel like a heretic for saying that I much prefer the style and decorating of the real house. I'd live in either though!

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  87. Such a very interesting read Joni. I am devastated to learn that the wonderful Eng. cottage in The Holiday is not real. (I was making plans to stay there some day! LOL) I loved reading about the house from It's Complicated. A lot of the photos never did load for me, but the commentary was so interesting. It's incredible to realize all of the little details that have to be considered in this kind of filming. In its "real" state, I probably wouldn't give that house a second look, but I loved the house in the movie! Incredible! Thank you for such an interesting read. laurie

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  88. The Holiday is one of my favorite movies of all time, I love the cottage, would love to have a place just like it... I have all three of the mentioned movies and watch them often just for the homes and end up enjoying the stories over and over again.
    (best house in a movie? Practical Magic!!! oh and my favorite actress Sandra is in it)
    Great Post, Joni, Thank you for all your hard work. Regards, CarolAnn x

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  89. In response to your wondering how much you might be paid for having a movie filmed at your house, our friends had a scene recently filmed at their house for the upcoming movie, "Contraband." They were paid $15,000 plus their house was put back in its original condition (which was a good thing in this case) and they were given other accommodations during filming.

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  90. Joni,

    I'm here to invite you to drop by my blog today to take a look at my first interview! Do you remember that great email you sent me before? I was listening! :-)

    My interview is with the very talented Paloma Contreras of High Gloss.

    Please, come take a look and let me know what you think, ok?

    Thank you again for your support. I truly appreciate it!

    xo


    Luciane at HomeBunch.com

    ReplyDelete
  91. Hi Joni, I love your blog and hope it's ok to leave a comment about a different topic here. I've taken a lot from your blog and have a lot to thank you for! We recently ordered a seagrass stair runner and we're having some issues... because it's not at all common to use seagrass in Ohio I'm having trouble getting help with my question. If you have time can you email me your email address? Thanks for all your blogging generosity! Best wishes, Kim

    ReplyDelete
  92. thank you for all the time and effort you put into this.. i loved looking at all the houses and reading all the things you pointed out that i might not have noticed. keep it up.

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  93. Great job! Super detective work finding this house. And thank you for haring this article is full of great detail and rich information to satisfy any interior design and house junkie. Frenchie.

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  94. Superb! How long did it take before you finished doing this post? Houses from movies can really be complicated, especially if one needs some remodeling. But if you take a look at these houses, you'll see that somehow they are not complicated at all. =)

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  95. Wow! This can be my dream house. It looks so wonderful and amazing. For me it was a perfect property to have. Hope I could have this kind of property someday. Thank you and keep sharing.


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  105. I too have been enamored with all of the movie houses you have covered. And seeing the differences between the real & "movie set" houses was an interesting peek. However, I think you might have missed something concerning the transformations made in the shot with Meryl asleep on the chaise by the pool. The pool shown in that shot is obviously very angular, whereas the pool shot both from the "back yard view" and the "bird's eye overlook of the entire lot both show a strictly oval shaped pool with no angles in the edges curved or sharp. Don't know if the angular pool was part of the movie set with the "movie house" in the background, or whether it was shot at some other real pool somewhere with the real house background CGI'd in or how the combination was achieved, but I can't see how the pool Meryl is snoozing next to could be the "real house" pool, unless...maybe they made some sort of angular insert (to make the pool more modern and pristine looking) and the disquise of the junction of that insert structure is part of the reason for the thin fake sod layer shown around the edge of the pool in that scene(?) Don't remember how many scenes featured the pool. What do u think?

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