If you’ve seen any of Nancy Meyers’s films, you’ll have noticed that powerhouses such as Helen Hunt, Diane Keaton and Jack Nicholson aren’t the only stars of the show. In Meyers’s work as a film director, she has created interiors built up of light, linearity and elegance.
Just look at Meyers’s oft-discussed films What Women Want (2001) and Something’s Gotta Give (2003)—the set design Meyers has created for each of her films (and there are more) excellently reflect the personalities of her characters. In an interview with the Hollywood Reporter, Meyers shares that she believes “set design can add backstory to a film that may not be apparent to an audience but that deepens the experience of making the movie.” In designing the interior spaces for her characters, Meyers, the cast and the crew all learn more and better understand the character arcs and storyline. And here’s the thing: our own spaces can do that too.
“Copying is the Sincerest Form of Flattery”
One way to tell if you’re watching a Nancy Meyers movie is if you’re taken by the interiors. They’re just so beautiful, so elegant, so chic—you can’t not notice them. To capture Meyers’s sophisticated style, let’s examine three of her films interiors to see how we can replicate it in our own homes.
What Women Want
In this film we follow ladies’ man Nick Marshall, (played by Mel Gibson), who is passed over for a promotion for a woman named Darcy Maguire (played by Helen Hunt). Working late one night, Nick suffers an accident and is given the gift to hear what women are thinking. During the film we learn that contrary to what Nick believes about himself, that he’s God’s gift to women, the women in his life find him to be chauvinistic and tiresome. We follow Nick on his journey to better respecting women and [SPOILER ALERT] falling in love with Darcy.
In the same interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Meyers discusses how they added touches of blue in the furnishings of Nick’s apartment to match Gibson’s baby blue eyes. Because Gibson’s character loves Frank Sinatra, accent walls were painted orange, because orange was Sinatra’s favorite color. You can do this in your home too. In painting your interiors or getting accents in your favorite colors, you will have a space that feels like it belongs just to you. Adding color to your space will personalize the room and make it more inviting.
Something’s Gotta Give
Starring Diane Keaton and Jack Nicholson, we see playwright Erica Barry (Diane Keaton) have an unexpected and unpleasant run-in with her daughter’s much older Casanova boyfriend, Harry Sanborn (Jack Nicholson). After Harry suffers a heart attack, Erica is left to care for him at her house in the Hamptons until he can get back on his feet. After rooming together for a couple of weeks [SPOILER ALERT] Erica and Harry begin to fall in love.
Probably the most well-received of Meyers’s interiors, Erica’s kitchen is frequently discussed in articles and op-eds as Meyers’s best interior space. In an interview with Elle Decor, Meyers said, “The kitchen is what everybody talks about. It’s about the bountiful kitchen, the hearth, the mother.”
Erica’s kitchen features dark plank floors, dark countertops, and white cabinets with silver hardware on the cabinetry. To get this look, apply a fresh coat of white paint on your cabinetry and replace the hardware. To offset the silver finish handles, get a brushed aluminum and silver
Minka Aire ceiling fan. This will help balance the aesthetic of the kitchen. For the counter tops, gray stone marble and stainless steel appliances will round out the kitchen and help it to look as sleek and timeless as Erica Barry’s.
We all want to live in a beautiful home filled with things we love. All we have to do is look for inspiration.