Ideas and inspiration for easy entertaining and a fun home life


How To “Nancy Meyers” Your Kitchen

January 27, 2020

Ah, there’s nothing as dreamy as a Nancy Meyers’ style kitchen (think Father of the Bride, The Parent Trap, Something’s Gotta Give, It’s Complicated to name a few).   Full of light, spacious and welcoming, beautifully stocked in equipment and in pantry, they are the epitome of warm and heart led interiors.

Their layered countertops, replete with appliances, decanted every day goods, cookbooks, plants, pots and pans, always give her movie kitchens a vibrant, lived-in quality.   We have identified some common threads that run throughout her inviting sets so that you can add a touch of “Nancy Meyers Magic” to your kitchen, too!

Nature’s Bounty

Fresh flowers, plants on the windowsill, cut herbs (which keep well in water) serve to bring the outside in and fill the kitchen with life.   See below for some pot recommendations, we also like to cover the roots/soil with moss.

Nancy’s kitchens are plentiful looking, somewhere prominently sporting a large bowl of fruit.  Not just a few skimpy pieces, these are full to the brim with produce washed and presented at its prime (no stickers showing add to the “just picked” impression).    Consider such simple arrangements as a pile of shiny green apples (The Intern), lemons and oranges (It’s Complicated, Something’s Gotta Give, Home Again), grapes, melons and mixed fruits (Parent Trap, The Holiday).   Whatever you fancy, fruit on the counter is a lovely, inviting touch.   And of course, it’s not just a prop so put out fruit to that you actually use.  We have taken to juicing oranges each morning (always a pregnancy craving for me), and so we rotate through them quickly, replacing with fresh fruit every few days.    We also put ‘in season’ fruits that don’t need refrigeration in bowls to encourage visual reminders to make smoothies, pastries and pies.  Speaking of which …..

Yummy Things On Show

Another hallmark of Nancy Meyers’ kitchens are the baked goods that seem to invite everyone in.  Who wouldn’t wish to pull up a stool to Meryl Streep’s counter in It’s Complicated and pour a glass of iced tea to go with that sumptuous bundt cake?   Perfectly presented pastries are a speciality of this film:  croissants and pies sit under pretty glass cloches and the kitchen always seems to be stocked with something delicious to eat.   

The meal scenes in Meyers’ movies are a highlight for me.  I could practically smell the chocolate chip pancakes in Parent Trap (and oreos dipped in peanut butter, anyone?) and the breakfast scene in Home Again lives long in the memory:  pancakes, eggs, croissants, fruit, bacon, orange juice — everything you could wish for… and more!

I’m going through a baking phase right now and have favored these easy recipes (fit for a novice, malted chocolate granola) which are sure to fill your kitchen with yummy treats for family, friends and neighbors. And, not to forget presentation, here are some examples for storage and display before everything is eaten!

Cooking Happens Here

Cookware abounds. Copper pans dangle within an arm’s reach.  Pots of wooden spoons sit stove-side.  Decanted oils and vinegars, spices and salts fill the counters.   Many of Meyers’ kitchens feature open-shelving or glass cabinets that display a phenomenal array of plates, ceramics and glass jars holding pantry items.  Wine, books, dishtowels, wooden blocks: these kitchens are stocked and ready. 

A Full & Busy Kitchen

The bounty & beauty of home is represented in these design-rich films.  What makes the kitchens particularly memorable is their perfect imperfection.  These are rooms that are lived in, used and messy with the hubbub of family life.  They are the opposite of sterile kitchens that have everything tucked away out of sight.   Her movies identify the well-functioning home as a place in which the kitchen is its heart center, where we might catch a character mid-baking project and where it’s ok to spill flour on the floor and to use everything at your fingertips because the important part is to be together, cooking, eating, and generally messing around.