Last week we took a look at Kate Winslet’s charming cottage from The Holiday. Today we’re taking a peek inside the much more contemporary home that Cameron Diaz’s character Amanda lived in. This is a real house in Pasadena, and it happens to be one that the architect Wallace Neff built for himself in the 1920s. It has that distinctive, Mediterranean-influenced “California Style” that he became known for.
The interiors were elaborate sets built on a soundstage, which reportedly cost a cool million to construct (keep in mind, that’s without exterior walls, plumbing, a roof, or electricity!).
The movie premiered in 2006 and gave us a look at a lot of trends that would really take off in the years to follow: the color gray, seagrass rugs, and lanterns, to name a few. What other trends can you spot in these rooms?
I love how we get a tour of Amanda’s house when Iris explores it for the first time. And it’s fun to see how excited she gets about it. That would totally be me, jumping up and down and squealing.
Whereas Iris has a “book room” in her cottage, Amanda has a media room lined with every DVD imaginable. Which would you rather have?
The house looks more welcoming and at ease when Iris moves in. Even the lighting is warmer and not as harsh. The night of her dinner party is a perfect example. The house takes on a mellow kind of glow:
Rufus Sewell plays Jasper, the “bad boy” in Iris’s life who keeps breaking her heart. I’ve been a fan of his since he played Will Ladislaw in the “Middlemarch” miniseries years ago. Anyone remember that one?
Rufus and Kate actually dated each other in the ’90s. No word on whether he was this big of a jerk to her in real life or not, though.
I really thought Jack Black was miscast as Kate Winslet’s love interest in this movie at first, but he won me over by the end. The movie was reportedly written with him, Kate, Cameron, and Jude Law in mind for the roles.
We get the feeling that the kitchen was never really used much before Iris moved in.
The Living Room:
Notice how minimally Amanda has decorated for Christmas, with a simple garland on the fireplace…
One of the set decorators was Cindy Carr, who also worked on Life as We Know It and Failure to Launch.
I personally would need more color if I lived in this house, but I thought that it suited Cameron Diaz’s uptight character perfectly. This looks like the house where someone with a need for perfection and control over her surroundings would live.
Remember how she would have those esophageal spasms whenever she got too anxious about something? Nancy Meyers says she’s had those herself, so she wrote that in for her.
For more information:
- Cote de Texas has more photos and thoughts about this movie from a design point of view.
- Iamnotastalker tracked the house down and has photos of how it looks today.
- The Movieland Directory lists the locations of all Wallace Neff-designed houses.
(Set stills via Columbia Pictures.)
What do you think? Would you rather take a holiday in Amanda’s house or Iris’s cottage?
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