Another Nancy Meyer's kitchen set, another design win
Take a tour of Nancy Meyers's newest film The Intern starring Robert De Niro and Anne Hathaway.
The phenom behind your favourite sophisticated comedies, Nancy Meyers, is at it again with her new film The Intern. Written and directed by Nancy herself, you can rest assured it is not only witty and heartfelt, but also serves up her signature stylish set designs that we all covet scene after scene.
The storyline follows the working relationship of Ben Whittaker, a 70-year-old retired widower, and Jules Ostin, a young, successful founder of an e-commerce site, as they learn to mind the generation gap and role reversals between them. The challenge for Meyers was to capture an aesthetic that reflected a digital world with minimalistic contemporary design, while fitting in the appropriate amount of traditional and eclectic touches to balance the two characters.
In developing these sets, even Meyers's adopted a tech savvy approach by creating Pinterest boards for each character and all the main sets. "I love Pinterest," she says. "It was a great way for everyone to just breathe in a little bit of the charcter's essense and the world they lived in." And we invite you to do the same, as Nancy Meyers and production designer Kristi Zea guide us through their design decisions from set to set. Plus, shop the set with One Kings Lane and their exclusive sale of authentic props and products from the set!
Based around an e-commerce start-up company in Brooklyn, writer and director Nancy Meyers researched real start-ups to capture the appropriate look and functionality for the office design. After touring real companies, Meyers came to one conclusion: They were typically "all big spaces with a very contemporary vibe”.
"The most exciting part of our start-up set was building the conference rooms and bringing in all those desks and computers. Once it came to life and the actors were sitting behind their computers it all felt real and truly thrilling for all of us.” - Nancy Meyers
“The start-up work space is an exciting work environment, and a few that I researched were in old buildings or factories. We created Anne Hathaway’s start-up in an old factory in the Bronx that once printed currency.” - Nancy Meyers
The common areas of the office were furnished with budget in mind. Not the film's budget, but the character's. When decorating the set it was important to keep in mind that this is a new company with a young founder so they couldn't bring in pieces that would have been out of her price range. (Hint: Those are CB2 couches we spy).
The office is an open-concept layout - not even Jules, the founder of the company, has a private office. Even with conference rooms and designated work areas, the space is kept bright and open with glass walls and polished floors populated with clean rows of white desks and grey chairs.
Meyers chose this particular space (a photo studio in real life) for its original, expansive windows, aged brick and overflowing natural light. "Its large windows and huge open spaces were even more beautiful than I had imagined," she says.
“It’s eclectic, a mixture of traditional, mid-century modern with found objects as well as procured pieces. It’s reflecting Brooklyn, e-commerce, start-up, fashion…it’s crisp, hip.” - Kristi Zea, production designer
“We wanted Jules’s place to be the home of a young family with the kinds of furniture and belongings young families might have: some mid-century pieces, black-and-white photography, Moroccan rugs, and lots of toys! And in her kitchen, open shelving, no upper cabinets. I love that look—feels very modern.” - Nancy Meyers
“I always imagined Jules had a friend who was an interior designer who helped her out. I know starting an e-commerce business is very time-consuming, so I imagined someone had to give her a hand in pulling it all together. Our set decorator found a great Lindsey Adelman light fixture, which sits over the dining table.” - Nancy Meyers
"All of Nancy's movies have a kitchen everyone wants for their own. This one is no exception." - Anne Hathaway
From making pancakes in Something's Gotta Give beach house kitchen to casual family gatherings around the kitchen island in It's Complicated, there is one thing Nancy Meyer kitchens have in common: Everyone wants to live in them.
Even The Intern co-star Anne Hathaway states, "I was thrilled to get to live in a Nancy Meyers kitchen even for a little while. Let me tell you, you could cook in there."
While the company headquarters has a clean, bright and white look, the home, a renovated brownstone in the Clinton Hill neighbourhood of Brooklyn, has an overall palette that leans towards darker charcoals with pops of colour.
There was one important detail made when it came to the set decor: artwork. Much thought was put into the art chosen for each character's home. Jules's home showcases a collection of prints and black and white photography with Paige's colour drawings thrown into the mix. Fun fact: Ben's home is decorated with artwork by Robert De Niro's own father who was a figurative painter.
“The spaces were all really good, fun spaces to create, and all were challenging in a new way for me. All of the houses in my movies have been sets constructed from scratch. But in The Intern we were in real locations 100% of the time, so the most exhilarating part was finding what I had imagined or, in some cases, even better! It took some time, but once we found the right locations it all got very exciting very quickly.” - Nancy Meyers
“I wanted both Jules’s home and office to feel authentic to her character. However, at home, there’s more colour, and the architecture is, of course, warmer as well. Jules lives in a brownstone in Brooklyn, with big beautiful trees lining her street. And inside, there are lots of toys belonging to her five-year-old daughter, Paige.” - Nancy Meyers
All items available at One Kings Lane. 1 Black & Brass console, $2,599. 2 Barcelona chair, $1,299. 3 Coit Tower Hill & SF Buildings prints, $499. 4 Lacquer and rattan trays, $185 (set of 2). 5 Black wicker chair, $379. 6 White chair with dark turned legs, $379. 7 Brass cart with glass shelves, $599. 8 Round milk glass lamps, $299. 9 Marble-top table, $699. 10 Brown wood box, $325. 11 Double-candlestick wall sconces, $899 (per pair). 12 Dresser accessories, $199 (set of 3). 13 Indigo throw pillow, $199. 14 Glass & brass display box, $65. 15 Chinoiserie porcelain lamp, $425.
One resourceful designer creates a cozy space for her family.
One resourceful designer creates a cozy space for her family.Credits: Ashley Capp
A resourceful designer with a knack for all things DIY creates a cozy and contemporary space for her family of four.
For the design inclined, recognizing beautiful pieces is easy enough, but the real decorating challenge comes from knowing how to fit all the elements together in a harmonious way. Designer Sarah Walker has this down to a science. Last year, the reno expert transformed her Oakville, Ont., home’s uninspiring family room into a sophisticated space boasting symmetry and style. “I wanted a modern yet classic room that balances the masculine and feminine qualities of our family,” she says, referring to her husband, Graham, and two boys (Noah, 13, and Tate, 2). Having already installed the hardwood flooring and built-in wall unit with her husband five years prior, Sarah’s next order of business was the furniture layout. “I always pictured this space having a pair of sofas facing each other,” says the designer. “I love the conversational quality the set-up brings to a room.”
So she traded in her existing brown sectional for two handsome black velvet sofas and added a geometric-print rug to further delineate the sitting area. This design choice drew her toward a timeless marble herringbone tile treatment for the fireplace, which echoes the graphic quality of the rug but on a smaller scale (with budget top of mind, Sarah and Graham even installed the tile themselves). Other subtle additions to the fireplace like the contrasting white mantel and the curved screen enhance the unit’s bold and beautiful aesthetic. Next up was deciding what to make of an empty alcove set in the wall opposite the fireplace. In an act of creative daring, the deft DIYer transformed the space into a stylish office nook. Sarah began by making an elegant-meets-edgy pin board out of embossed reptile-patterned velvet fabric and then punctuated the look with antiqued brass nails before adding a floating desk and shelf. “The pin board blends in well with the room’s ikat wallpaper but still makes a visual statement that anchors the work area,” she says. After mastering the layout, the designer reinforced the room’s romantic and rustic feel with tasteful details like luxurious sheepskin pieces and natural wooden elements, ensuring each family member feels equally at home. “We spend just as much time here as we did before,” says Sarah, “but now we enjoy it 10 times as much.” That’s all the evidence we need that this master curator has done it again.
Since this family of four has a penchant for the outdoors, the designer incorporated nature-inspired finds, such as the large print depicting a foggy forest hanging above the fireplace. “The image reminds me of being in the woods and escaping the everyday,” says Sarah. She had the piece stretched onto canvas and then resined to deliver more of an ethereal effect.
Sarah and her husband upgraded their fireplace with a striking custom herringbone tile treatment.
The custom white oak coffee table lends an organic vibe to the family room and calls attention to the tall stack of logs tucked into the wall unit. “With a wood-burning fireplace, you want the logs to be close by so you’re not dragging bark everywhere,” says designer and homeowner Sarah Walker. “The display also has visual impact and adds warmth.”
For Sarah, a beautifully styled bookshelf relies on meaning just as much as placement and scale. “It’s important to tell your story through your space,” she says, referring to objects she added that were collected over time, from a sea urchin found in a quirky San Francisco shop to a sepia sketch purchased on the streets of Paris during her first trip there with her husband.
Playing with contrasting shapes, Sarah created a chic coffee table vignette using curved accents, including a vintage silver tray and a faceted black vase, to temper the sharp edges of the surface. “Bringing in round, soft elements is really important when you’re working with a room that has a lot of hard geometry,” says the designer.
Fashioning an inspiring and orderly work area came easily to Sarah thanks in part to location. “When a communal workspace is integrated into a kitchen, it winds up becoming a clutter collector,” she says. “But in the family room, it’s a bit more removed from that initial drop of mail and keys.”
Learn how to add art to your space on a budget.
Art is always in style, no matter the season. Here are 10 simple ways to add art to your home on a budget.
Individuality is in, cookie-cutter is out. Need a surefire way to add personality and verve to your home? Original art is the easy and enjoyable way to do it. But if the recession’s given you the blues -- or put you into the red -- here are 10 simple ways to add art on a budget.
1 Get 'em while they're young
The most affordable artwork comes from emerging artists, often for three figures or less. If you want your collection to include "name”"artists, expect to pay more -- a lot more -- due to supply and demand, and because costs must recoup expenses like a dealer’s cut, studio maintenance, assistant salaries etc.
If you're keen to buy art you love, which is the approach you should take because your chances of making a future killing on "investment" pieces aren’t great, truth be told, browse the local gallery circuit to see what’s on display at the independent galleries.
Check the websites of galleries in your city and subscribe to their e-newsletters so you’ll know whenever a group show is coming up. Bring your cash or checkbook and strike if you see something you love: it may go fast.
2 Buy art books
Art books are another option. If you love browsing, keep your books in an accessible spot on the coffee table. Or if you're not averse to a bit of slicing, cut out a page and frame it so you can enjoy it all the time. Carte Blanche, V.2: Painting came out in 2008 and features a juried selection of work from Canada’s top emerging, mid-career and established painters. (Volume 1 focuses on photographers.)
3 Turn your vacation shots into wall art
Print your digital vacation snapshots onto photo transfer paper and transfer them onto a canvas. Mount the canvases onto the wall, unframed.
4 Enlist the kids
Frame your kids' paintings. Or give them a canvas or board and glue gun (if they're old enough), and let them go nuts on a mixed media project. Who knows, maybe Jr.'s the next Marla Olmstead, a child prodigy artist featured in the doc My Kid Could Paint That. Olmstead's abstract canvases, compared by The New York Times and BBC to Jackson Pollock and Wassily Kandinsky, have sold for thousands of dollars!
5 Skip the canvas and button up
Toronto's Gallery TPW offers a set of 10 buttons featuring the photo-, text- or found-art based designs of 10 up-and-coming artists in Button Glutton 2006. Mount them inside a shadow box, or take a more creative approach by pinning them onto cushions or upholstery. The cost? A mere $50 plus $5 shipping.
6 Make like Andy Warhol
The Pop Art provocateur was right: commercial packaging design can be beautiful. The next time you find yourself admiring some packaging, mount it. Or take a cool can (Chinese water chestnuts, Italian pasta sauce, artisanal coffee) and use it as a cool, recycled flower pot.
7 Buy student work
Many art and design colleges and universities have end-of-the-year studio sales. They're a great way to pick up paintings, prints, mixed-media and textile pieces from the next generation of emerging artists at cut-rate prices. Search your local institution’s website for details.
8 Frame your old LPs
CDs and digital music files are convenient. But the golden age of album-cover art definitely was during vinyl’s heyday. (This may be one of the reasons why vinyl's currently undergoing a resurgence among music fans these days.) Got some great album covers kicking around? Display them in custom frames.
9 Rent before you buy
Ultimately, the best way to support living artists is to buy their work. But if you're not sure you can live with an expenditure in the up-to thousands of dollars, consider "testing" the goods by renting them first. The Art Gallery of Ontario, for instance, rents pieces for as little as $20/month. A portion of rent can usually be applied towards the purchase of a piece if you realize you can't live without it. And if you're commitment-phobic, renting lets you enjoy art while supporting your local gallery.
10 Give some, get some
And now for something a bit different: If you're thinking now's the time to bust some taboos or confront your body-image issues, consider signing up to be a nude figure model. (Journalist Emily Yoffe of Slate.com did it to humourous effect here). For safety's sake, only work in a studio setting at an established art college or school. See a sketch of yourself that you like? Speak up: chances are you can either buy it cheap or get it for free from the student artist. Bonus: getting paid to hold those poses!
Can you tell which bathroom is high and which is low?
Can you tell which bathroom is high and which is low?
We designed a luxe bathroom using two different budgets. Can you tell which is the high and which is the low?
We designed a luxe old-meets-new bathroom using both a flood and a trickle of cash flow. Can you tell the difference?
1 Brass Colebrook 1041 pendant light in Aged Brass, Universal Lamp, Hudson Valley Lighting, $375.
2 Gold-leafed carved wood Empire-style mirror, Barrymore Furniture, $4,730.
3 Unisex cotton Antiochia bathrobe in Grey & White, Au Lit Fine Linens, $139.
4 Carrara marble and antique-brass-finished iron Darcy side table, Pottery Barn, $399 US.
5 Hand-carved oak and linen Louis sidechair, Art Shoppe, $699.
7 Hammam-style cotton Antiochia hand towel in Grey & White, Au Lit Fine Linens, $34.
8 Brass floor-mounted Traditional tub filler in Champagne Bronze with cross handle, Delta Faucet, $2,425.
9 Framed Harmony artwork by H. Kalisher, 24" x 24", Barrymore Furniture, $400.
1 Polished brass-plated steel geometric pendant light, CB2, $120.
2 Gold-leafed metal and MDF Valonia mirror, Barrymore Furniture, $810.
3 Unisex washed linen bathrobe in Light Grey, H&M, $60.
4 Carrara marble and steel Solo side table in Gold, Shelter, $299.
5 Lacquered oak and linen blend Louis side chair in Beige, Structube, $299.
7 Hammam-style cotton hand towel, HomeSense, $8 per pair.
8 Rubinet brass Raven tub filler in Satin Brass with cross handles, Taps Bath Centre, $2,199.
Harking back to the late 19th century, free-standing cast iron clawfoot bathtubs flooded the decor world roughly a decade ago. The traditional tub has enjoyed a variety of modern manifestations and manipulations. One trend we’re particularly fond of is painting the tub’s exterior black, a clever DIY that adds a dramatic edge. But oceania has done one better: the Milano bathtub replicates the look without the work, and (bonus!) it’s made of acrylic, so it’s lightweight, easing installation.
Oceania Influence free-standing acrylic Milano bathtub in White & Black, Taps Bath Centre, $2,299; Arto handmade concrete Conche floor tiles in Charcoal Gray with smooth finish, Creekside Tile, $18 per sq. ft.
Whatever your style, a set of lush white terry towels is essential to bath time. Don’t let this simple staple fool you: all towels may look alike, but higher quality means a better feel as well as superior performance and durability. So read the fine print before making your pick – regardless of your budget.
1 Double-sided cotton Portofino face cloth, $13, hand towel, $23, and bath towel, $34, all in White, Au Lit Fine Linens.
2 Style at Home Collection double-sided three-ply ring-spun cotton face cloth, $13, hand towel, $17, and bath towel, $26, all in White, Sears.
3 Canadian Living double-sided one-ply ring-spun Egyptian cotton face cloth, $10, hand towel, $15, and bath towel, $20, all in White, Bed Bath & Beyond.
4 Springmaid one-sided two-ply combed Egyptian cotton face cloth, $6, hand towel, $9, and bath towel, $12, all in White, Walmart.
Our luxe loo gets its undeniable grandeur from the large gold-framed mirror. Similar vintage-style looking glasses are popping up everywhere, and we’ve taken the liberty of rounding up a few of our faves. Whether you prefer ornate ornamentation or minimal embellishment, we’ve got an option for you. Good luck picking the fairest of them all!
1 Gold-leafed metal and MDF Valonia, 42" x 59", Barrymore Furniture, $810.
2 Gold-leafed wood louis Philippe Gilt, 34" x 56", Restoration Hardware, $545 US.
3 Iron Gleaming Primrose in Gold, 39" x 39", Anthropologie, $398 US.
4 Made Goods gold-leafed wood Philippe, 30" x 64", The Cross Decor & Design, $1,575.
When a popular piece transcends trendy to become timeless, the decor world benefits. Such is the case with the crowd-pleasing peshtemal, or hammam towel, a go-to that bears all the makings of a classic. With origins in turkish bathhouses, it’s traditionally handmade from organic fibres in muted tones and features tassel edging and decorative stripes for a touch of frill. This towel is also flat-woven and compact but dries fast and wicks moisture well. Best of all, it’s equally at home in the kitchen and in the bath. Hammam-style cotton Antiochia hand towel in Grey & White, Au Lit Fine Linens, $34. Le Bouquet de Lili bar soap, Lothantique, $7.