It’s Complicated

Happy Monday, friends! I hope you all had a great spring break. We’ve been slowing down a bit this past week, which meant me taking a break from work and blogging, and enjoying more time with family and friends, and maybe eating waaay to many goodies….hmmm, but I’m back! And since you’re probably here for an actual blog post, today I’m gonna write about a (recently discovered) movie set that I would not mind having as my real home. It’s Complicated (mom, I know you’re gonna like this one 🙂 ).

its complicated

And yes, I know this was out like seven years ago which makes me the last person to see it, but still, it was so so good, design wise at least 🙂 . Besides the story, which is fun in itself and I won’t spoil it for you in case you’ve waited just like me, what really striked me was the set decor. With a history in creating desirable onscreen houses (who doesn’t remember The Parent Trap, Something’s Gotta Give, The Holiday, to name a few; plus, the kitchen in Something’s Gotta Give was the most copied movie kitchen of all times ), director Nancy Meyers puts a lot of effort into the details of her characters’ houses and the set of It’s Complicated didn’t disappoint. The story is set in sunny Santa Barbara and the main character, Jane Adler (played by Meryl Streep), is a bakery/restaurant owner with a most delightful little Spanish style home.

Now, as I’m trying to hone in my skills as an interior decorator, whenever I see an interior that I like, I try to study the space and break it down to its bits and pieces. It’s a good exercise to figure out why the room works, and most importantly, what can I learn from the design and how can I implement those same elements in my future work. So as you’ve seen before (or not if you’re new to my blog), I will try to do the same with this one. I hope you can bear with me. If not,  just enjoy the pictures 🙂 . Let’s step inside!

its complicate shot

What I love most about this home is how light and at the same time warm it feels. The foyer opens up to the dining room and kitchen to the left and the living room to the right so that they connect into one flowing space that is as modern today as it was 7 years ago. Same goes for the black iron windows and doors (really hot design trend right now).

its complicated kitchen


Bamboo shades layered with linen curtains, wide wood plank floors, open shelving in the kitchen and exposed pot rack make the space feel really cozy and lived-in. More like a real home than a design lab. A linen curtain replacing lower cabinets in the kitchen (on the lower left corner) is a fun feminine touch.

its complicated kitchen hb

house beautiful

For the interiors, set decorator Beth Rubino created an eclectic European inspired style, with a relaxed yet elegant vibe. The house is filled with collected pieces in a multitude of styles that blend together seamlessly.

its complicated house 2

cote de texas

Light touches of blue and green complement the predominant palette of taupe, orange and sand.

its complicated living room

cote de texas

A clever touch in the living room, the armoire hides the TV (not shown in this picture).

its complicated living hoh

hooked on houses

its complicated living

cote de texas

its complicated hall

cote de texas

An interior hallway is lined with windows and a patio door on one side, balanced with a picture filled gallery wall (opposite). Spanish ranch style terra cotta tiles mix with hardwood floors. Arched doorways and a sculptural chandelier add architectural interest to an otherwise design-quiet space.

its complicated patio

cote de texas

{interior patio with the same warm orange/ taupe palette}

its complicated bedroom

cote de texas

{the bedroom continues the palette and that relaxed, collected vibe. Loving that throw!}

its omplicated garage

cote de texas

{pretty potting shed}

its complicated veggie garden

cote de texas

{Jane tending to her dreamy vegetable garden}

It’s funny how set design can add a backstory to a movie that may not even be apparent to the audience. When done right, it offers a new level of perception. Years from now I’m sure I won’t remember much about the story (I can barely remember what I had for breakfast), but for sure I’ll remember Jane’s kitchen.

Untitled Nancy Meyers Proj.

‘If you’ve spent a chunk of your life writing a character and someone puts them in the wrong clothes or in a bed with sheets you know she would never own…it’s like somebody has added dialogue to a scene. Sometimes you pick up more from what you’re seeing than hearing.’ Nacy Meyers

 Have you ever watched a movie with incredible set decor?Then leave a comment cause I want to know all about it 🙂






  1. April 22, 2016 / 5:20 pm

    I just noticed you have a blog! one of my favorite movies, so funny and pure eye candy! We have an original steel window in our kitchen we hope to have restored and not have to replace. If so I will definitely be painting it black like Janes kitchen.
    Have a great weekend!

    • Eva Contreras
      April 22, 2016 / 6:07 pm

      Thanks for stopping by, Londen! I’m glad you like the movie, it’s one of my favorites too. Your plans for the kitchen steel window sound great, you must share the results 🙂
      Have a great weekend!

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