Tour the Home in the Movie, It’s Complicated
It’s been almost two years now, but I still remember how excited I was when I heard another movie written and directed by the talented Nancy Meyers was about to be released. It’s Complicated was released in December 2009 and since I’m a self-confessed movie house junkie, I wondered if another amazing house would be “starring” in this movie, too. Nancy Meyers has the amazing ability to turn the sets/houses in her movies into full-fledged characters, just as she did with the darling English cottage in The Holiday, the beach house in Something’s Gotta Give and the stately Colonial in Father of the Bride.
In an interview with Indiewire, Ms. Meyers described the house in It’s Complicated as “an extension of character.” It’s so true; often the houses in the movies written and directed by Nancy Meyers deserve top billing along with the stars. They bring so much to the movie, establishing the mood and atmosphere that permeates the entire movie from start to finish.
It’s Complicated is a movie about a couple who were married 20+ years and have been divorced for 10. Jane, played by Meryl Streep, owns her own bakery and Jake, played by Alec Baldwin, is a successful attorney. In the movie, Jake has married a much younger woman, Agness, with whom he had an affair. Agness is interested in having more children, in addition to the child she already has who was the result of a brief romance she participated in when she and Jake were temporarily split up. Did ya follow all that? lol It’s a soap opera life.
During the movie, Jane and Jake find themselves back together again at their son, Luke’s graduation and before you know it, they are having an affair. Jane now finds herself in the role of the mistress to her ex-husband. She is now cheating with her ex-husband on the woman who broke up their marriage. Yep, it is definitely complicated.
The story is told with humor and when asked what “genre” the movie falls in, Nancy Meyers called it a “Relationship Comedy.” The three children of Jane and Jake are played by Hunter Parrish as Luke, Zoe Kazan as Gabby and Caitlin Fitzgerald as Lauren. Lauren’s fiancé Harley, is played by John Krasinski who I read had a small role in another Nancy Meyers film, The Holiday. There’s a great article about the movie and how the cast was chosen HERE.
Now, let’s get to the good part…the tour! Seventy percent of the movie takes place in a beautiful Spanish style (Mediterranean) home in Thousand Oaks, California, although, in the movie, the house is supposed to be in Santa Barbara.
As is so often the case with movie houses, only the exterior shown in the movie was that of a real house. The home is located at 714 West Potrero Road, Thousand Oaks, CA. All the interior scenes were filmed on set in New York.
Don’t be disappointed, though. You can take heart in knowing that Ms. Meyers did use the interior of this home as inspiration for the layout of the set in It’s Complicated. She wanted the interior scenes to make sense in relation to how the real house appears on the exterior in the movie. This pic below shows how the exterior of the home looks in the movie. In this scene, Jane and Jake’s youngest daughter, Gabby, is leaving the nest, heading off to college. A pretty important scene takes place on the tree swing toward the end of the movie.
Another view of the exterior of the home in the movie. Behind the gated area on the left is an interesting courtyard where another scene takes place. You’ll see that area in just a sec.
Here’s how the real home looked (below) prior to the landscaping created just for the movie. It’s pretty bare compared to what we see in the movie. Isn’t it amazing how they can take a rather bare landscape and make is so lush in the blink of an eye? This home is available to purchase now. It’s listed with Sotheby’s International Reality online, HERE. Either, it’s currently on the market or was at some point in the past year or so, because the listing is still online. You can see the actual interior of the home at that link above or view a video at You Tube HERE. It’s quite different in real life than it is in the movie.
We get a closer view of the front door in this scene. The entrance was completely redesigned for the movie with more painted surface/wall showing and less door. New lanterns were added on either side of the door.
In the movie, when the gates to the left of the home open up, we are pulled into a wonderful “working” courtyard. I love the clay tiled roof of this home. The color is just so warm and rich. In this scene, Jane is meeting with an architect, Adam, played by Steve Martin. Jane is interested in completely redoing her kitchen and adding on a master suite to her home.
Inside the courtyard, we see a potting bench and a huge stash of wood (behind Adam). I guess they don’t have termites in CA because you’d never stack wood anywhere near your home in Georgia.
Another view of the other side of the courtyard. I love the climbing rose/vine seen here. This area is so beautifully designed. It’s a bit cluttered, but it’s the most charming clutter you’d ever want to view. 😉
I loved the large pane, steel windows and doors seen throughout this movie home. They feel so open to the outside…really beautiful!
Jane has a vegetable garden that I think most of us would just about die to have. This is definitely my dream garden. A weed wouldn’t dare poke it’s head out of the ground in this garden.
Another view of the backyard…
Let’s go inside. Though this is a movie set, don’t be disappointed or discouraged. It’s just as interesting and comfy as if it were in a real house AND, if you see something you love, you’ll have an example on which to model your own renovation or home. So sets really aren’t all bad.
The vast majority of the scenes in It’s Complicated, take place in the Living Room, Kitchen and Dining Room. We get a great view of the living room in this pic from Set Decor Magazine. The interior of this movie house very much has the “collected” look. Nancy Meyers is a genius at making a movie house feel like it’s evolved over years and years. Though every single tiny detail is completely orchestrated and planned, her interiors feel totally natural.
There’s a mix of styles in this room; Belgian styled pieces play well with the French armoire. Notice how two of the chairs are a matching pair, while the other two do not. You would need a large living room to pull off this layout, but I love what it offers. You have a sofa for stretching out on for some good ole TV watching, as well as a cozy seating group. You could really seat a lot of folks in this room and they would all feel a part of the conversation. There are even side chairs to pull into the mix for larger gatherings. Again, you need a good size space to pull this off, but there is so much to take away from how this has been styled.
A little closer view, from the movie. Love the casual feel of slip-covered chairs. I think that’s a giant bowl of faux artichokes on the coffee table. Umm, interesting choice for that area. The Production Designer, Jon Hutman, worked closely with Set Decorator, Beth Rubino, who also decorated the beach house in Something’s Gotta Give. They closely followed Nancy Meyers instructions and worked to create interiors with a Belgian influence and lots of natural linen.
I wanted to include this pic of the scene where Jane is having her BFFs over because it has such a great shot of one of the “pair of lamps” on the long console table against the wall back behind the sofa. These lamps have such a great architectural feel/silhouette, don’t they? The friends were played by Mary Kay Place on the left, Rita Wilson (center) and Alexandra Wentworth on the right.
Here’s a little better view of the long console table. You can see there are two lamps, one on each end.
We get a view of how the armoire looks open when Jake is over one evening spending time with the children.
You really get a wonderful view of the kitchen in this photo. So many scenes take place in this inviting kitchen. Jane owns a bakery so it’s fitting that she would have a kitchen that looks like a real, working kitchen. In the movie, Adam, the architect is designing a better designed kitchen for her. The only thing that bothered me about the kitchen was the big double oven/stove crammed into the corner near the wall. That just seemed improbable due to how unsafe (fire hazard) it would be. You get a glimpse of the rugged dining room table here, too.
This is kind of an odd view from the movie, but it really illustrates how the Kitchen, Dining Room and Living Room are all tied into each other. At the far end you see the fireplace in the living room. Next room, coming this way toward the kitchen is the dining room and in the immediate scene, Adam and Jane are at the island counter in the kitchen. The rooms literally flow one into the other. Be a great house for entertaining, wouldn’t it?
Back in the kitchen, you get a view of what appears to be a good sized pantry in the movie.
A little closer view of the pantry. We never get to go inside the pantry in the movie, unfortunately. 🙁 I would love to have seen how Ms. Meyers would have dressed that area.
When this stainless steel refrigerator arrived on the set, it had a big ole dent right on the front. It was kept and used in the movie because it made the home feel real. They could easily have placed a photo or something on top to hide it. I love that it was left in the movie, dent and all.
Imagine having these lush views out such big beautiful windows. I love the large containers filled with flour, sugar, etc… You know a serious baker lives in this house. Psst: I was inspired by Jane’s baking station and created a mini version for my kitchen. You’ll find it in this post: It’s Complicated Baking Station
Another detail that makes this kitchen feel so real is the cart at the end of the marble covered island. You can tell that space is an issue for Jane and it makes it all the more believable that she needs/wants a new kitchen. Notice the open shelving at the far left. Hutman and Rubino studied Tuscan, California and French kitchens to pull this look together…talk about eclectic!
Here’s a little closer peek into that area.
We get a broader view of the dining room here. You really don’t have the space for a sideboard or china cabinet in this dining space. But then, who needs those when the dining room is almost a part of the kitchen, anyway.
A close up of the dining room table…very rustic and simply dressed for a meal. The empty spot at the end makes me a bit a sad because it’s obvious that is where Jake (the Father) would have sat. We see the artichoke theme carried into this room, too.
One of the few “family scenes” where they are all together…the ideal in a perfect world.
The dining room opens out to a courtyard in back. I love lit wall sconces.
The hallway is bathed with natural light…beautiful windows overlooking the courtyard let in lots of wonderful light. Interesting how the flooring transitions from wood to tile to what appears to be carpet in the bedroom.
One of the funniest scenes in the movie takes place in the bedroom. Let’s just say web-cams can be a dangerous things. 😉 Wonder how much Apple paid for that product placement? 😉 There is certainly nothing pretentious about Jane’s decorating style. It’s pretty basic and uncomplicated, which contrasts sharply with the situation in which she finds herself in the movie.
Interesting shaped, upholstered headboard. I love that the bedside tables do not match. They aren’t even the same shape, much less matching in finish. It makes for a much more interesting look than if they were just matching bedside tables. Do you like the idea of a bench at the end of a bed? It does provide a great spot for putting on shoes or tying laces.
A view looking across the bedroom to my favorite piece in this room…the English chest.
Another view of the pretty chest….love that piece! All the rooms have a wonderful play of textures, like the woven blinds and baskets in this room.
The master bedroom includes a small “working” desk. An article in Traditional home stated, “Rubino mixed high-end furnishings–Calvin Fabric and Dessin Fournir and George Smith furniture–with antiques from 1st Dibs and items from West Elm.” Rubino was quoted as saying, “My goal was to capture the essence of Meryl’s character as someone who dances to the beat of her own drum.”
A view toward the other end where there appears to be a small dressing/shelving area that leads into the Master Bath.
The Master Bath includes a cast iron tub, great for a good soak at the end of a long day…while your ex-husband joins you, eating a cup of your home-made lavender ice cream. Yep, there are some unusual scenes in this movie. 🙂
A view of Jane’s dressing table in her master bath…
The vanity/sink area…
Jane makes it clear to Adam that she does not want double sinks in the new master bath he’s designing because they make her sad. They remind her that she is alone.
During the movie, Adam has a sweet tooth attack and they make a stop by Jane’s bakery for chocolate croissants.
A view looking across the bakery in the other direction. The bakery is also a set and its design was inspired by London’s Daylesford Organic, New York’s City Bakery and Dean & Deluca. Have you ever been in any of those bakeries? If so, do you see any similarities? I’ve never been in any of those. Wish I could say I had. 🙂
Awww, perfect…a kiss for “The End.”
Love movie house tours?
Click on the titles below to tour other movies written and directed by the talented, Nancy Meyers.
(Pictures for this post were found in Traditional Home and from the movie.)
For additional Movie House Tours, click on the heading, Home Tours, then Movie House Tours at the top of this blog.