January 7, 2010

Nancy's Kitchens

It's not that complicated. Nancy Meyers might know how to direct a good movie, but she also knows her way around a kitchen like no one else. Her attention to every detail makes us drool over her sumptuous interiors regardless of whether we actually liked the movie we were watching or not. Something's Gotta Give, Father of the Bride, The Holiday (to name a few) and now, It's Complicated, are movies filled with absolutely beautiful interiors. And at the heart of all of these homes is the kitchen.

Industrial appliances and fixtures are warmed up with a plethora of fabrics and textures to ward off any chill. Bamboo blinds and stripped ticking add a sophisticated farmhouse look that's all the rage right now. Just open up the current Pottery Barn catalog to see what I mean. Dark wood chairs, painted and stained wood surface materials contrast nicely against the marble island and table.

The one thing her kitchens all seem to have in common? They're all long, U-shaped spaces which allow you to spread out and include many different prepping and cooking stations, as well as a drop-dead gorgeous island. This one is made from marble and is surrounded by square-cushioned stools and separate butcher block table.

She doesn't skimp on the details either. Most of the counters are filled with the newest must-have kitchen gadget, herbs, fruits, dishes and books. The more the merrier.

Lighting is also important. Whether you choose large lanterns, shade-style pendants or a mix of metal and glass, the one thing to remember is - when in doubt, always choose large over small. At first glance, this stream-lined kitchen seemed a little too cold for my taste. But if you've watched the movie (The Holiday), you'd know that Nancy took the edge off by including an upholstered settee and placed it across from the pecan-colored table that serves as an island. Seating is very important in a Meyer's kitchen and fabrics abound on every perch. Stools can be tucked under islands and tables for additional seating when needed. (I bet her next film will include an upholstered sofa or two cozied up next to the kitchen or dining table.)

Sleek surfaces are combined with painted woods and marry together both old and new so you never grow tired of the look. Too much of a good thing, and you've lost the appeal. Timeless kitchen design mixes different periods and styles together. The key is to not go overboard. Choose simple lines and stay away from ornately carved or etched materials.

Of course there is plenty of storage space and she uses both closed and open storage to show off collectibles. No matter what style kitchen you desire, add touches of "life" to the space with organic elements. Don't be afraid to set a country-style basket on a contemporary countertop.

I would be remiss if I didn't include a couple of pictures of one of her dining rooms. These photos, from the movie Something's Gotta Give (which I have watched over and over just to swoon over its interior), features a round polished wood table, slip-covered chairs and a built-in creamy beadboard hutch. Round tables are oh so friendly and work well in small rooms too.

If you're thinking of starting your own china collection, shades of white and cream won't disappoint. Food looks best on white or light-colored plates (never blue!), and having an assortment of different shades of white is both sophisticated and practical. Have fun displaying different shapes and sizes.

Kitchen Design Do's...
  1. The kitchen triangle (stove, refrigerator and sink) should stand no more than seven feet apart from each other in order to maintain a workable kitchen. Make sure you can access each of the appliances without interference. (A U-shaped kitchen will help avoid this issue altogether.)
  2. When laying out your major appliances, think about how you work in the kitchen. Would it be better to move the dishwasher near the dish cabinet? When the dishwasher door is open, does it block the refrigerator? There is no right or wrong, only what’s right for you.
  3. Vary cabinet heights to create a one-of-a-kind look with stock cabinetry.
  4. It's okay to mix surface materials. An island, baking station etc. can be different from the main countertop material.
  5. It’s better to choose two large hanging pendants instead of three-four smaller fixtures over a large island. (Select a minimum of two fixtures regardless of size.) Add under cabinet lighting wherever you can.
  6. You can combine different appliance materials together as long as you choose no more than two different materials for a more cohesive look. For example: A stainless stove combined with a stainless refrigerator and white dishwasher etc.
Okay, I'm exhausted. I think I’ll tell hubby he’s taking me to the movies this weekend so I can check out this kitchen for myself!

Images via NYTimesMagazine.com and HookedonHouses.net


abigail said...

gorgeous kitchens!
makes me want to redo mine.

Tee said...

I know I'm probably the only woman on the planet who thinks this, but I rented Something's Gotta Give just to see the interiors and could not finish it because the movie just didn't sit well with me. I did love The Holiday, though. Maybe I'll give Ms. Nancy another shot and take my mom to see the new movie this weekend.

Love your blog, by the way. So happy to have stumbled in today.

Beautiful Living said...

Abigail - yes, it makes me want to do the same!

Tee - Thank you. I checked out your blog and I think your tagline is great! I'll stop in to read more.

Anonymous said...

Hello, love this post...I came via Linda Merrill, nice to meet you, I don't have a blog of my own...we have a family one though !!!

Happy New Year,
Kathy :)

kitchen islands said...

Right it not that complicated. Kitchen is one the beautiful section of our house. It should be the best.