“It’s Complicated:” The Equestrian Ranch Where the Movie Was Filmed Is For Sale

by hookedonhouses on April 2, 2012

It's Complicated Spanish ranch for sale

Who could forget the Spanish hacienda-style ranch that Meryl Streep owned in the romantic comedy It’s Complicated with the tile roof, the wide veranda, the beamed and vaulted ceilings in the living room, or the sumptuous kitchen? Not me! So I was excited to hear that the real house where the movie was filmed is on the market for $12 million.

The Nancy Meyers film co-starred Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin as the men competing for Meryl Streep’s heart. Here’s a shot of her standing in front of the house in the movie:

It was posing as a house in Santa Barbara in the movie, but the property is actually about an hour south of there, on an equestrian ranch with over 56 acres in Hidden Valley.

Here’s how the front of the house looks in the listing today:

It's Complicated movie equestrian ranch for sale

Iamnotastalker tracked the property down in person a couple of years ago. She wrote on her blog:

“Throughout the movie, Jane’s house is shown to be surrounded by a long, white wooden fence. That type of fence pops up quite often in film and television productions and when it does, it is pretty much a dead giveaway that filming took place somewhere on Potrero Road.

“So, I decided to begin my search there. And sure enough, about ten minutes into the hunt, I located Jane’s house! As it turns out, it is situated less than half a mile east of JMJ Ranch, which was featured in Win A Date With Tad Hamilton and the more recent Back-Up Plan with Jennifer Lopez.”

Interesting! You can see her post about it here.

The interior scenes were shot on a soundstage in Brooklyn. Here’s how the movie version of the living room looked (via Elle Decor):

The real one has a similar vibe with beamed ceilings and a window seat:

The real house is larger than the movie version appears to be. It has over 6,000 square feet. Unlike the movie house, which just has an open area between the kitchen and living room with a dining table in it…

…the real house has a proper dining room down the hall:

Meryl’s bedroom in the movie was a bit smaller than the real thing, too:

The real deal:

No freestanding tub in the real master like there was in the movie:

Another one of the 5 bedrooms in the listing:

I kinda feel sorry for the kitchen in the real house, which is perfectly nice but couldn’t stand a chance of competing with the famous film version that Meryl Streep cooked in:

Here’s how it looks in the listing:

The house was built in early 1900s and has reportedly belonged to several celebrities over the years, including W.C. Fields.

In the movie we see a hallway lined with windows that overlook the courtyard:

And the real house has one, too:

I especially love this cozy little sunroom:

Not to mention the built-in dining area on the veranda, which is where I’d want to have all of my meals (cooked by Streep’s culinary character Jane, please):

The amazing cutting garden from the movie isn’t shown in the listing…

…but there is a lovely pool and poolhouse that are:

Another thing we didn’t see in the movie: the front gates that guard the long private drive to the house:

For more photos and information, check the listing by Nicki & Karen. Thanks to Luciane at Homebunch for the scoop! Joni wrote a great post about the real house when it was on the market the last time with photos of how it looked then that you can see at Cote de Texas.

Want to see more photos of how the house looked in the movie? Check out my original post about the sets (including Streep’s to-die-for bakery) in It’s Complicated.

Writer and Director Nancy Meyers has built a reputation for movies that feature houses we’d love to live in. Thanks to her, we also have these other great movie houses to drool over–all of which I’ve featured and are among my personal favorites:

Do you have a favorite Nancy Meyers movie house? I don’t think I could choose. I’ll just take one for every day of the week, if that’s okay…


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CherylK April 2, 2012 at 8:13 am

Well, that was a great tour! I like both versions of the house but the movie version looks just a little cozier.

bermudaonion (Kathy) April 2, 2012 at 8:19 am

It doesn’t look like much from the outside but the inside is lovely.

Julia April 2, 2012 at 8:46 am

Thanks Julia. I always wondered about that house. Even though the real kitchen isn’t as cozy as the one in the movie, did you check out the real stove!!!!

Luciane at Homebunch.com April 2, 2012 at 9:06 am

Good morning, Julia!

Thank you so much for mentioning my blog! I appreciate it.

I have mixed “feelings” about this house. :-) When you compare the real house with the set, it really looses its appeal, but when you look at the house itself, with its history and the respect they kept for its original architecture, then you realize how special this place really is.

Thank you once again!

xo

Luciane at HomeBunch.com

Molly @thewaffler April 2, 2012 at 9:09 am

You might think I’m crazy, but I like the real kitchen better…it’s light and bright and I love that little breakfast nook.

Jennifer April 2, 2012 at 10:00 am

I love this house and I keep watching this mover over and over again just because the house, it’s so lovely. I would also love to eat the specialties made by Meryl Streep’s character Jane, everytime I see the cooking part of the movie I crave for some sweets too :D

I didn’t know that Nancy Meyer has directed most of my favorite movie houses, I love them all but my favorites are this one and The Holiday, maybe because the stories are so good!

Sarah @ housecrazy April 2, 2012 at 10:07 am

I think the set designers did an excellent job of keeping with the feeling of the real house. I just loved that house in the movie but was disapointed to hear that all the interior shots were filmed on a soundstage thousands of miles away from California. However, I am thrilled to see that the sets strongly resemble the actual house!

Katie April 2, 2012 at 10:16 am

Oh, Nancy Meyers! The homes in her movies just add to the charm. I always know I’m going to be inspired when I see her name attached to a film.

Vicki April 2, 2012 at 6:03 pm

I love the movie house and not just because Steve Martin is in it, but that certainly helps!

Londen April 2, 2012 at 7:22 pm

I just love this movie and the movie house is one of my favorties. I didn’t know so many of my favorite movies were directed by the same person. I learned something knew. Now I want to watch the movie again….oh honey….;)

Jodi from New Jersey April 2, 2012 at 7:39 pm

Wow! That is gorgeous. So many nooks and crannies. I love the garden and the veranda. The wicker chairs on the veranda look like the $29 ones in Ikea. Why not, I guess.

Erin April 2, 2012 at 8:55 pm

I love, love, love this understated Hacienda-style home! I grew up in a brick ranch with windows exactly like these, and I would love to own one now! Sadly, too many of these are being torn down for McMansions, so I hope this home is purchased by someone who values this beautiful ranch home with it’s wide porches, courtyard, saltillo tile, and beautifully scaled rooms. I would live in this any day, and don’t even get me started on those oak trees.

Kim April 2, 2012 at 10:13 pm

I like both homes in their own ways. They are both very nice.

Laura April 3, 2012 at 6:32 am

Julia,

So many aspects to love about that house.

Actually I am in Costa Rica as I write this. We are staying in a lovely large villa, and I totally thought of you as I compulsively opened every single door and meandered my way through. I feel like potential buyer on House Hunters International. It’s pretty fun!

Laura
cookiecrumbsandsawdust.blogspot.com

hookedonhouses April 3, 2012 at 8:07 am

Ahhh, sounds wonderful to me!

E. George April 3, 2012 at 7:28 am

Good Morning Julia – I love this movie so much I only watched it las weekend and drooled as usual loved everything about the movie house and I also love the real house. If Only…. Day Dreaming Again… Dining on the veranda I’m with you.. Are there any movies coming up from the brilliant Nancy Meyers it’s been a while. Thank you for sharing this beauty with us. Regards Esther from Sydney. PS hope you have a wonderful day.

Karen April 3, 2012 at 10:00 pm

I like both versions of the home too and would agree that the movie version just looks cozier. This historic hacienda really exudes “Old California”. I hope whoever purchases the home will appreciate that history as well. I grew up in California in an area that once used to be an orange grove. The original ranch home “old hacienda” still existed, although I do not know if it is there now. The ranch home was surrounded by newer “now older homes” which were custom homes, mainly constructed during the 1940′s and 50′s. I loved that old place. I also used to live in Santa Barbara too–I knew this movie home wasn’t located there either. It’s very interested how houses are portrayed in movies.

excitingLA April 5, 2012 at 4:46 pm

i absolutely love this movie – and this house…i think it provided the perfect backdrop for that movie to take place. it gives you such great feelings as your watching – really homey. the house almost becomes a character itself. i also loved your comments on the kitchen in the actual house – it’s a great kitchen, but it’s nothing compared to the set version! great post!

Patti at Worth The Whisk June 11, 2012 at 4:03 pm

Great post, LOVED the movie and that home so much, I whipped up the recipe that Meryl serves Steve (and Alec subsequently nabs) and posted it on my food blog here: Croque Monsieur http://worththewhisk.com/2010/11/18/what-meryl-streep-served-steve-martin-in-its-complicated-croque-monsieur/

hookedonhouses June 11, 2012 at 4:09 pm

YUM!

monica June 29, 2012 at 8:21 am

il film è unico mi piace moltisssimo gli attori e la regista sono il massimo! la casa è meravigliosa ,sono rimasta delusa venendo a scoprire che “non esite” veramente sarebbe la casa dei miei sogni.

Laurie July 9, 2012 at 7:36 pm

Does anyone know which tile they used in the movie in the kitchen and hallway??

kate August 12, 2012 at 12:47 pm

Was the bakery a real place??

hookedonhouses August 12, 2012 at 3:23 pm

No, it was built on a soundstage. I wrote about it here: http://hookedonhouses.net/2010/07/11/meryl-streeps-house-bakery-in-its-complicated/

Bethany August 19, 2012 at 8:24 am

I love this house and I hope to copy her garden someday soon! If I remember correctly, Nancy Meyers said they built the garden just for the movie and afterwards donated all the plants to a nearby school.

Stephen Saint-Onge January 3, 2013 at 2:15 pm

Julia – as always love your site.

Thanks for sharing the news about this house – one of my favorite movie houses! If I had to choose between one or two of Nancy’s film houses – I would say “Somethings Gotta Give” is at the top and the other would be all the homes in “The Holiday!”

All the best to everyone this new year!

Seana February 11, 2013 at 2:55 pm

Thank you for all your hard work and design love! I love all these movie and tv sets as well. You have great taste!!! I wanted to stop and give you my gratitude for compiling this site. Thanks again!

hookedonhouses February 11, 2013 at 2:58 pm

What a nice thing to say. Thanks, Seana! :-)

Hungary Boy May 13, 2013 at 8:59 am

And what’s the address of the house in the film?

appliance repair June 13, 2013 at 10:17 am

Good day! I could have sworn I’ve been to this blog before but after reading through some of the post I realized it’s new to me.
Anyways, I’m definitely glad I found it and I’ll be book-marking and checking
back frequently!

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