How to make your kitchen look like a Nancy Meyers movie

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Picture this: you pull a tray of warm croque-monsieurs out of the oven in your modern farmhouse kitchen at the Meryl Streep. Or you put the kettle in the kitchen of your cozy cottage, just like Kate Winslet. It’s quite difficult to watch movies like It is complicated Where Vacations without having a bit of home envy, especially when it comes to kitchens. After all, it’s this aesthetic that inspired the recent “Coastal Grandmother” trend.

“Family-centered spaces are at the heart of everything Nancy Meyers movies, and can even make viewers feel like they’re coming home,” says Marc WoodyattDirector of Tile warehouse.

This ability to create cozy and warm settings is just one of the reasons the filmmaker is such an icon and why countless fans have tried to emulate her style, incorporating textured neutral fabrics, open shelving, soft blues, etc. And if you’re looking to give your kitchen the Meyers beach house chic treatment, we’ve consulted design and architecture professionals for their top tips. Keep reading to learn about 10 kitchen upgrades that will make you feel like you’re in your own Nancy Meyers movie.

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Jules’ kitchen in “The trainee”. Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

A farmhouse sink is an oversized sink with an apron front. They were first introduced hundreds of years ago in Brittany and France. Before indoor plumbing, these sinks had to be large and deep so water could be brought in by buckets.

Over the past few decades, they’ve become a popular way to add “a charming, rustic appeal that will make your kitchen cozy and inviting,” says Kevin Wanginterior designer and co-owner of Inyouths LED Mirrors. “You can find farmhouse sinks made from all kinds of materials, including ceramic, fireclay, soapstone, and even copper.”

And farmhouse sinks feature prominently in Meyers’ films. something must give, Vacationsand Trainee.

Erica Barry's The Kitchen character in the movie
Erica Barry’s kitchen in “Something’s Gotta Give”. Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures and Sony Pictures

“Tiling is often a key element of the [kitchen] overlooked by viewers who can play a huge part in the play feeling so simple,” notes Woodyatt.

For a Nancy Meyers vibe, choose sleek white tiles. “In TraineeJules (Anne Hathaway) has a stunning subway tile backsplash in her kitchen,” Wang notes. “This classic look is both timeless and chic, and it’s easy to install yourself. Plus, subway tiles come in a variety of colors and finishes, so you can find the perfect option to complement your kitchen style.

White subway tiles are also featured in Erica Barry (Diane Keaton) cooking in something must give.

Jane Adler's kitchen character in the movie
Jane Adler’s kitchen in “It’s Complicated”. Courtesy of Universal Pictures.

Sometimes an upgrade as simple as adding a quirky light fixture is enough to transform a room. It’s a tactic Meyers often uses on his sets, adding oversized pendant lights in the kitchen.

You’ll find this in both modern homes like Amanda Woods’ (Cameron Diaz) contemporary kitchen Los Angeles in Vacationsas well as more rustic abodes such as Jane Adler’s (Meryl Streep) California kitchen in Santa Barbara in It is complicated.

For the latter aesthetic, “choose a pewter or brushed nickel cone, both of which match the stainless steel appliances and hardware in this kitchen,” says Raquel Kehler of Favorite for the room.

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Jane Adler's kitchen character in the movie
Jane Adler’s kitchen in “It’s Complicated”. Courtesy of Universal Pictures.

A big part of the coastal granny style is carefully curated minimalism. You don’t want tchotchkes everywhere, but you want certain designated areas to display things like plates, vases, family photos, and cookbooks. Enter Meyers’ penchant for open shelving and glass cabinetry, which is seen in almost all of his kitchen sets.

“Open shelving gives kitchens a more airy and modern look and can be accomplished by either replacing existing cabinetry or simply adding shelving to available wall space,” explains Grace Baenainterior designer of Second-hand sofas Kaiyo.

Likewise, adding glass doors to some or all of your cabinets is easier than replacing the whole thing. They also “let in lots of light and make your dishes look like they’re on display in a museum,” Wang notes.

Iris' country kitchen in the film
Iris’ kitchen in “The Holiday”. Courtesy of Universal Pictures and Sony Pictures.

Another easy but impactful upgrade is to paint your cabinets a soft blue, what Kehler calls “the epitome of cottage comfort.” Perhaps the best example is Iris’ kitchen in Vacations.

“If you already have wooden cabinets, just paint them a shade of pale blue, like Pantone 545 C,” advises Kehler. “If you don’t have cabinets like these, look for cabinets made of wood with framing beads (little grooves cut into the wood), just like Kate Winslet’s character in this movie. Be sure to keep the drawer pulls and knobs wooden too, as metal will make the look too modern and detract from the aesthetic.”

The kitchen in Trainee features darker grey-blue cabinetry that works well with a more modern kitchen. They’re paired with some of the fixes mentioned earlier (white subway tiles and open shelving) to maintain that light and airy feel.

Characters from George and Nina Banks' kitchen in the film
George and Nina Banks’ kitchen in “Father of the Bride Part Two.” Courtesy of Buena Vista Pictures.

The leading ladies in Meyers’ films often wear white jeans, cream-colored sweaters, and lightweight fabrics. This neutral, seaside vibe also applies to their homes.

Start by painting the walls “a bright white or light neutral color,” says interior decorator John Linden. Then you can add textured beige fabrics on bar stools, dining chairs, banquettes or curtains.

To complete the color palette, incorporate “brass fixtures and dusty shades like navy blue or sage green,” suggests Stefan Bucarwriter and editor of house rhythm.

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Iris' country kitchen in the film
Iris’ kitchen in “The Holiday”. Courtesy of Universal Pictures and Sony Pictures.

Wooden accents suit a neutral, textured room and also add a subtle touch of rustic charm. If you opt for open shelves, you can leave them unfinished. You can also incorporate bar stools with wooden legs, a wooden coffee table and, of course, hardwood floors.

For a super simple upgrade, throw in some wooden kitchen utensils, suggests Lily goesfounder and CEO of Never Wallpaperreferring to Trainee kitchen. Teak or acacia wood serving bowls and trays are also nice and come in a variety of price ranges.

Characters from George and Nina Banks' kitchen in the film
George and Nina Banks’ kitchen in ‘Father of the Bride’. Courtesy of Buena Vista Pictures.

To hang on your pot rack, of course. Think back to Nina and George Banks (Diane Keaton and Steve Martin) cooking in father of the bride. The entire room was anchored by the huge pot rack hanging over the kitchen island. In It is complicateda wall-mounted pot rack sits above the stove.

Both of these feature a mix of regular steel pots and pans (which you probably own) and a gorgeous copper kitchen. The latter has become increasingly popular in recent years, so you can find these parts in most home stores.

Erica Barry's The Kitchen character in the movie
Erica Barry’s kitchen in “Something’s Gotta Give”. Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures and Sony Pictures

Most of the kitchens in the Nancy Meyers films have a large center island. We realize that depending on the size of your room, you may not be satisfied with a huge island, but there are ways to mimic the style.

In most cases, islands have marble tops, but “a great way to reuse your existing countertops is to paint them and seal them with an epoxy,” says Bucar. You can opt for a color or finish that looks like real stone.

To pull it all off, pair granite countertops (or a similar shade) with white subway tiles to look like the kitchen of something must givewhich was “acclaimed the ‘most copied kitchen of all time’ by Hollywood journalist after the movie was released in 2003,” according to Woodyatt.

And no matter what kind of island or countertop you have, top it with a bowl of fresh fruit or a cookbook on a display to complete the look.

Screenshot of Amanda Woods' LA kitchen in the film
Amanda Woods’ kitchen in “The Holiday”. Courtesy of Universal Pictures

We’ve saved this for last as it’s probably the most time-consuming, expensive, and labor-intensive, as it’ll likely require you to tear down walls. But for a true Nancy Meyers sensation, experts say an open layout is the way to go.

It has a lot to do with natural light, says Linden, so a simpler strategy is to install a skylight or glass doors. Then just grab your glass of wine or coffee and a croissant and relax in your simple, airy kitchen!

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