“The Holiday:” A Tale of Two Houses

by hookedonhouses on December 11, 2008

I’m a sucker for romantic comedies, especially around Christmas. The Holiday wasn’t the best rom-com I’ve ever seen–I mean, Kate Winslet and Jack Black? It was hard for me to buy that. But the sets they used for Cameron and Kate’s houses in L.A. and England more than made up for any issues I had with the plot or casting.

I thought it would be fun to compare some things from the movie and vote on which rooms we’d prefer.  Here’s the house that Kate’s character, Iris, owned in the English countryside:

And here’s the house that Cameron’s character, Amanda, owned in L.A.:

Iris’s house wasn’t real, I’m afraid. But the exterior of Amanda’s is. The California home was built by architect Wallace Neff.

Here’s the entry hall to Iris’s English cottage and her living room:

When Amanda arrives, the mantel has been decorated for Christmas:

Here’s Amanda’s California living room and fireplace, also decorated (barely) for Christmas. We get the feeling Amanda doesn’t spend a lot of time working on her house. It all appears to have been professionally designed for her, and she’s almost like a visitor there, whereas Iris’s home looks personal and personally decorated.

The English kitchen (I love the fireplace with the shelves above it!): And the California kitchen (they couldn’t be any more different, could they?). Amanda’s screams “I have a personal chef!”

Iris’s home has a small library, which has to be one of my favorite rooms in her house: The California house has a media room with CDs and DVDs instead of books:

Iris’s cozy cottage bedroom: Amanda’s spacious master bedroom: You’d better not be too tall if you’re going to take a bath in Iris’s tub: There’s a lot more space in Amanda’s bathroom:

Whose love story would you rather have? Kate’s with Jack Black:

Or Cameron’s with Jude Law?

If you loved Jude Law’s Mill House in the movie, you can see it here. In that post I also show you production photos of Iris’s cottage being built, and snow being added to the village streets for wintry effect.

Photos were found all over the Internet, including Cote de Texas, Silver Screen Surroundings, and Pink Daisy Cupcake. Go to Cote de Texas to see many more interior photos and learn more about the designers behind them. Visit Silver Screen Surroundings to learn how to get these looks in your own home.

Visit my TV/Movie Houses page to see the others I’ve featured, from Something’s Gotta Give to Father of the Bride.

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Emily@remodelingthislife.com December 11, 2008 at 8:28 am

I haven’t seen this movie but oh my gosh, that London home makes me want to go rent it!

Your button just reminded me I have to get a house tour ready. Eeek!

Tracy December 11, 2008 at 8:55 am

That was fun, thanks! I haven’t seen this movie yet either, but if I can vote on the actors (not their characters), I say “ew” and “ick”. They’re probably the most likely reason for my avoidance of the movie, even though I’ve always been so intrigued by the interior shots I’ve seen. One of these days soon, I’ll watch it for the houses.

Devita December 11, 2008 at 9:28 am

I love almost all of Irish side.. I like the house and the library and the kitchen, except for the bathroom…:D:D

Pat December 11, 2008 at 9:38 am

Just saw this movie again, not long ago. I love to see the movie, just to have another look at the sets!

bungalowbliss December 11, 2008 at 10:04 am

Totally agree, Devita! That tub is just a little *too* cozy for me! :-)

Mia's Pearls December 11, 2008 at 10:05 am

I love oldy-worldy houses, but I actually voted Amanda’s house on all votes but the library. Very tasteful, light and airy.

I would also prefer Jude’s character (not actor!) to have a relationship. Regarding houseing, I would say it’s probably her aunt’s house or she is renting it. 😉

Carla December 11, 2008 at 10:12 am

I have to go with the cottage completely. I love it. I wish I was there this weekend. We all wouldn’t fit so it would have to be a get
away home just for husband and me. I liked this movie, Not the best piece of film but I love Christmas feel good movie and this one is that. I actually just bought it this year on black friday, and have yet to watch it this year.

Liz@VioletPosy December 11, 2008 at 10:19 am

Trust me the village where this is set is called Shere and it’s in Surrey. You can’t get anything under £400,000 there is no way a writer could live there unless she was JK Rowling 😉 It’s stockbroker belt land. Have a google – the houses there are AMAZING! The Wedding Date was also set there.

Deanne December 11, 2008 at 10:50 am

Iris’s house reminds me of the little cottage used in Sense and Sensibility. Something inside me says that it’s not the same one, but still…..they look sooo similar!!! But if it were the same one, then that would mean that Kate Winslet was in two movies with the same house.

Lisa December 11, 2008 at 10:56 am

this was one of the greatest movies! I love jack black, though.
thanks for moseying on over to my property for a little looksy yesterday. Hope all is well with you and yours!
coastal nest

mercedes December 11, 2008 at 11:02 am

Great pictures, I saw this movie for them, there is also some scenes in the house of Jude Law character, thar are amazing too. Specially the front of the house-
Thanks Julia

Mom in High Heels December 11, 2008 at 11:08 am

I am drooling over Iris’ cottage. It’s so cosy and warm. Amanda’s is nice, you know, if you’re into space and modern conveniences and all, but it’s a little cold. I just want to grab a book and a cup of strong tea and curl up at Iris’ place.

Wingnut December 11, 2008 at 11:08 am

I want both houses, Jack Black’s character, Jude Law’s looks, and and I’m guessing Iris’s house was her parents’ before her, and that’s how she can afford it.

Mike December 11, 2008 at 11:09 am

I’ll just take Jude Law, please. 😉

Diane@A Picture is worth.... December 11, 2008 at 11:57 am

Hi Julia,
This is a fun post! I love that movie! Looks like the cozy home of Iris is the most popular with your readers! I like her style too.


Natalie December 11, 2008 at 12:10 pm

Wow! My favorite post of the bunch :)

That was hard…I needed a both button a couple of times. I’d need to watch the movie again before I could pick Jack or Jude’s character. I take your polls way too seriously, huh?

– Nat

Amy from Texas December 11, 2008 at 12:43 pm

This was one of my favorite movies! One reason being for those houses. I love them both, but Cameron’s California house was to die for! I even painted my media room chocolate brown after seeing this movie. I love all the photos you found. I’m coming back here for more decorating ideas later.

I think I’m in the minority according to the votes about the favorite houses. I want to live in the big one and vacation in the cottage. If I’m remembering correctly, Iris inherited that house from her parents or Grandparents. It’s why she travels so far to get there from work, it’s been in the family for generations.

Oh and Jude Law (the character) is to die for also! yum. I love the girl’s room. Where is that here???

Joni Webb December 11, 2008 at 1:10 pm

Hi – thanks for the shout out! These two are my favorite house movies ever! I can not wait for her new one to come out next year!!!! Can’t wait!!!!!!


Angela December 11, 2008 at 1:26 pm

LOVE how you did the voting on this blog! I’m totally in love with the English cottage!

Heather December 11, 2008 at 1:29 pm

The cottage makes me want to curl up and read a book, but I can’t imagine cooking a big dinner in the small kitchen.

j December 11, 2008 at 1:40 pm

I like the English bedroom and the contemporary bathroom – can I split my vote?

Ms.Tee December 11, 2008 at 2:19 pm

Iris’s house is so warm and cozy! I love all of it – except the tub is a little different for me! lol

Krista December 11, 2008 at 2:51 pm

I watched this last night! Even though the acting is not the best, I really love this show. It has some pretty redeeming qualities and has been added to my list of “must watch every year” Christmas movies. I love the homes, the two little English girls (Graham’s -Jude Law’s character- daughters), Graham himself (sorry, I can’t help but think he’s pretty!) and Arthur and his friends. Cute show, perfect for this time of year.

hookedonhouses December 11, 2008 at 3:02 pm

Thanks, guys, for explaining how Iris got that house! I apparently was too busy staring at the sets to catch crucial plot points like that. Ha.

To those who asked about Jude Law’s house, well, no photos of it popped up during my Internet searches. I’ll try to rent it and take photos of it myself one of these days for you. I do remember loving it, too! -Julia :-)

laney December 11, 2008 at 3:56 pm

oh my goodness..iris use to spend her summers with her darling grandma… she was the only relative who gave this sweet person the time of day..when she died she left the house to iris…of course the grandma had squirreled away quite a bit of money which also went to iris…much to the greedy dismay of other children and grandchildren…after taxes iris was able to decorate the house in the amazing style we all love…i have never seen this movie so all of this might not fit at all with the character…but this is what the house tells me when i walk through those wonderful rooms….

Billy December 11, 2008 at 5:01 pm

Amanda’s house, looks great but if your sit down in any of the furniture and are not the stature of a Tolkien elf you feel like Emily-Ann. And I have to disagree about the kitchen to me a it screams “The decorator picked all this out, put it on the shelves, I haven’t touched a thing since because I go down to the Taco shop on PCH to eat.”

I’m with all those on how Iris got Rose Cottage: family.

emily December 11, 2008 at 5:02 pm

I haven’t seen this show and now I want to if for nothing more than to die over that cottage house. Love the pictures.

The Decorated House December 11, 2008 at 5:10 pm

It’s one of those movies you could watch again, with the sound off and the fast forward just to see the houses! :)

Loved the cottage.

Tam December 11, 2008 at 5:14 pm

Fun post-thank you! I never did see that movie and after your review don’t think I will either. I always enjoy my visits to your blog! Hope you are having a nice day!

le December 11, 2008 at 8:17 pm

this was such fun – I love how you have embeded the voting into the post – clever you :)

also I am with you in the queue for Jude baby …. have a lovely holiday time le xoxo

Amy December 11, 2008 at 9:39 pm

I wanted to see this movie but my usually sensitive hubby doesn’t like chick flicks. I’m renting it though because I want to see more of these houses- even if they’re not real.

angela | the painted house December 11, 2008 at 10:42 pm

Girl, I need to get Netflix or something because I’ve only seen one of these movies this week. I’ll blame it on having kids. :)

But at least I get to see the good parts here!

Jan December 11, 2008 at 11:52 pm

I love the little quizzes…and all the answers were IRIS!!! I love the comfortable feeling of those better.


Robin December 12, 2008 at 12:05 am

I love both houses, I guess it’s my Gemini nature!

And the new button for the House Tour is adorable. I can’t wait until it stops raining here so I can go out and take my pictures!

sandra/tx December 12, 2008 at 6:04 pm

I like both houses, too. I love the coziness of the cottage, but I like the style of the newer one, especially the bedroom and bath.

Sue December 12, 2008 at 10:43 pm

I am SO happy to see that I am not the only one who loves the London cottage SO much. I have seen this film many times and I am always dunbstruck over that precious house. I always imagined that it had belonged to her parents or another family mamber who left it to her…or I like to think that. : )
I first saw the movie with 2 friends who thought I was mad NOT to have wanted Amanda’s house! No way…I WANT the one Iris has. It is glorious!!!

Thank you for this Julia!!


Suzann December 13, 2008 at 9:23 am

I have never seen this movie, but now I am going to buy it because I am in love with that cottage!!!! Oh my!!!

Melissa Lewis - Off The Wall December 13, 2008 at 10:19 pm

I am a TOTAL Iris!

Kellye December 15, 2008 at 8:27 pm

Oh my, I’m so late to this post.

I’m not sure I’m in love with either of these houses. Each is just too extreme for me.

Paula Powell December 23, 2008 at 1:45 am

I love Iris’s cozy home and appreciate all the effort you went to to give us a side by side look and a chance to vote. Just a quick thought on how Iris afforded her home. Did you notice that her brother’s place wasn’t too shabby either? Book editors don’t make that much unless they are truly high-powered. I think the answer was implied by Jude Law’s character when he mentioned coming from a family long involved in writing and publishing — there’s a bit of “old money” floating around to help with the expenses of daily life.

Maria Killam March 22, 2009 at 9:42 am

I have been browsing your blog this morning, it is wonderful! I’m hooked!

Alpaca Farmgirl April 19, 2009 at 2:39 pm

I love this blog! This is one of my favorite posts. This was a great movie too.

Alpaca Farmgirl’s last blog post..7 Reasons To Invest in Alpacas in 2009

Dani July 7, 2009 at 2:20 pm

I am a new viewer to your website and I was browsing the “Housesitter” page when I realized that stairs reminded me of Amanda’s House in The Holiday and I am so excited that you have this on here!

Helena July 15, 2009 at 4:29 am

Hi! I found your blog when I was searching for pictures from the movie The Holiday, and was thrilled when I found your blog. I just love the movie, I have of course bought it and can watch it over and over again. I love the interior design and have plans to copy some of them, but I have unfortunately not such as big house as Amanda. I live in Sweden in a apartment in Stockholm. Do you by any chance know anything about the painting in the hall over the sidebord, the beautiful dress? Thank you for a very nice blog, Helena.
.-= Helena´s last blog ..Have2Have =-.

hookedonhouses July 16, 2009 at 9:01 am

Sorry, but I don’t know anything about the painting. Does anyone else? -Julia

Cristy September 20, 2009 at 10:55 am

I originally saw this movie because I absolutely love Kate Winslet and Jack Black but I fell in love with that cottage and watch it over and over again, just for the house. Now I just come back here to enjoy it. I’m trying to evoke that feel in my own home but I’ve only got about 1200 square feet to work with. Do you know any websites for help with extremely small house decorating?

secretfragileskies November 24, 2009 at 8:18 pm

Love this site!

Joel December 19, 2009 at 11:55 am

Both houses are truly amazing but the English cottage is the winner!

House Painting Tutorials December 31, 2009 at 10:49 am

Sooo glad I found your blog and this post!

.-= House Painting Tutorials´s last blog ..Home Color Design – Home Color Scheme =-.

Northerngirl January 11, 2010 at 10:55 am

Ok, I can see I am posting this really late…..I just love this site! Happened to find it when looking for photo’s from this movie, how fun! Nice to know I’m not the only one who watches this movie over and over. I love the Cottage, it is simple and adorable. I dream to have a fireplace like the one in Iris’s cottage in my next home…..

“dreams are nothing more than wishes, and a wish is just a dream wished to come true”….
I’ll keep dreaming:)

Cheryl January 15, 2010 at 7:16 am

Iris’ cottage, Amanda’s bathroom, and Jude Law! 😉

Bianca January 29, 2010 at 2:08 am

Jude Law, Jude Law, Jude Law!

Darlene T. April 21, 2010 at 12:23 pm

Anyone know who painted the white dress with the dark red background that hangs in the foyer of Cameron Diaz’s house in The Holiday? Many thanks!

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com July 14, 2010 at 8:19 pm

This little cottage is BY FAR my favorite movie house. I want it! I love all the stone and homey touches!
.-= Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com´s last blog ..Contest- Superhero Needed =-.

CharmingDinnerGuest November 7, 2010 at 5:22 pm

I am late to the party. I just saw this movie today, 11/7/10.
I can’t believe they cast Jack Black in this part. What a mismatch.
All I could think of was that Kate Winslet must be a great actress!
I keep trying to think of someone who would have been a better love match for her but I guess I don’t know the young actors.
On another note, you may disagree but Amanda’s morality seems to be lacking.

Grace December 17, 2010 at 8:56 pm

Gosh, where did you find all your photos?! I wish I’ve found this blog sooner because I’m totally obsess with romantic comedy’s houses. My fave is Sandra Bullock’s character, Lucy, apartment in While You Were Sleeping. Have you blog about it? If not please, please, please do. Meg Ryan’s character, Kathleen, apartment in You’ve Got Mail is nice too. So was It Could Happen To You. Oh, I love this blog!

hookedonhouses December 17, 2010 at 9:00 pm

I love “While You Were Sleeping.” I covered it here: http://hookedonhouses.net/2008/12/09/while-you-were-sleeping-christmas-in-chicago/.

I also have Kathleen’s apartment from “You’ve Got Mail,” another favorite. You can see it here: http://hookedonhouses.net/2009/06/28/meg-ryans-brownstone-in-youve-got-mail/

I get most of the photos while watching the movies and snapping pics. The rest are stills from the movie companies themselves. -Julia

Bree M Niblack April 24, 2011 at 4:15 pm

I love Amanda’s house.. I would Love to live in it ….. Sadly I cant :(

Cabinetry Los Angeles July 28, 2011 at 12:40 pm

Iris’ cottage, Amanda’s bathroom, and Jude Law!

Gwynneth August 14, 2011 at 1:34 pm

Tough call (on the guys anyway). Jude Law’s character is more attractive and just as sensitive as Jack Black’s, so I’d just LOVE to mix the two (Jude’s looks and Jack’s raucous sense of humor). As for houses, I’d go with Iris’ cottage. Those who mentioned how expensive Surrey is are right. I looked into it, as I’d like to retire to England (maybe not after the last couple weeks, though!) but it seems my price range would be in Devon or Dorset (not bad spots either).

For a GREAT LA house, try Adam Sandler’s and Tea Leoni’s gorgeous yet homey Westwood place in “Spanglish” (have you ever covered that one here?).

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