Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Kate Winslet’s English Cottage in “The Holiday”


The Holiday-DVD cover

One of the first movies I featured on my blog, back in 2008, was The Holiday, starring Cameron Diaz, Kate Winslet, and several really great houses. But that was before I had learned how to lighten photos from movies that were too dark, or get the ones I really wanted by taking screenshots.

So I’m calling a do-over. I’m featuring the movie sets again but with more–and better!–photos for you this time.

Iris's Cottage-The Holiday-large

Today I’m featuring Iris’s cottage. Next Monday I’ll feature Amanda’scontemporary home in California. Oh, and I already updated my post about Graham’s house, which you can see here (I replaced all the dark and fuzzy photos with clearer, lighter ones–makes it easier to ooh and ahh over the fairytale tent in the girls’ room now!).

Iris's Cottage-adThis is the ad that Cameron Diaz’s character Amanda sees online for the cottage. It’s part of a “house swapping” program, where you stay free at someone else’s place while they’re at yours.

Cameron Diaz-cottage front door-large

The Entry:

Iris-entry still

Living Room:

Iris's living room-still-large

Iris-living room 2

In this photo, the mantel seems to be decorated for summer:

Iris's fireplace-summer

And here you can see it decorated for Christmas:

Iris's mantel-Christmas

The Kitchen:

Iris's cottage kitchen-still

Lovely stills of the sets courtesy Columbia Pictures. They’re wonderful because they show us details in the rooms that weren’t shown in the movie itself, like the raised beamed ceilings in the bedroom.

Iris's cottage kitchen 5

Looking from the Kitchen into the Book-Lined Library:

Iris-kitchen 4

This may be my favorite room in the entire cottage, but we see very little of it in the movie:

Iris's cottage library

Iris’s Bedroom:

Iris's cottage bedroom-still

From this angle, we can see that the stairs lead straight up to the bedroom and are open to it:


It was written and directed by Nancy Meyers, who always delivers sets that we can drool over. Thanks to her movies, we also have the memorable houses from Baby Boom, It’s Complicated, and Something’s Gotta Give (click those links to see photos of them).

Iris-bedroom 2

Iris-bedroom 4

The Bathroom:

Iris's cottage bathroom-tub

It looks charming, but it isn’t very practical–at least not for someone as tall as Cameron Diaz!

Iris-bathroom 2

Producers chose the picturesque streets of Shere (in Surrey) for the village scenes:

small town in The Holiday

They wanted snow so it would look more like Christmas time, so they added it:

adding snowSadly, Iris’s cottage isn’t real. A fake exterior was built within 2 weeks in the middle of an empty field (photos via the DVD’s Special Features):

building the cottage 1

building the cottage 2

building the cottage 3

They did extensive landscaping around the cottage, even though little of it is shown in the film, and most of what you do see is covered in (fake) snow:

building the cottage 4

The film crew created everything that you see in the movie, down to the stone wall that seems to have been there forever:

building the cottage 5

Here’s how it looked in the movie:

Iris's cottage in the Holiday

Cottages don’t get much cozier than this!

Iris-cottage at night

Come back next week to see photos of Amanda’s beautiful contemporary house in L.A. You can see photos of Graham’s Mill House now, though–no waiting!

Visit TV/Movie Houses to see more, like the ones from A Christmas Storyand The Family Stone.

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Cameron Diaz’s California-Style Home in “The Holiday”


Amanda's house-The Holiday-large

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 Entry:

Amanda-entry 3

Another beautiful house that Wallace Neff designed was featured in Monster-in-Law (photos here.) And Reese Witherspoon owns one of them in Ojai, too, that I love(photos of her place here).

Amanda-entry 2

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!).

Amanda's staircase-artwork

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?

Amanda-staircase 2

Amanda’s Bedroom:

Amanda's master bedroom


Amanda's master bath

Home Office:


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.

Amanda-exercise room

Whereas Iris has a “book room” in her cottage, Amanda has a media room lined with every DVD imaginable. Which would you rather have?

Amanda-media room

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:

Amanda-dinner party

The Kitchen:

Amanda's kitchen-set still

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. ;-)

Amanda-kitchen 4

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.

Amanda-kitchen 5

We get the feeling that the kitchen was never really used much before Iris moved in.

Amanda's kitchen-set still 2

The Living Room:

Notice how minimally Amanda has decorated for Christmas, with a simple garland on the fireplace…

Amanda-living rm 2

The Production Designer was Jon Hutman, who also gave us the beautiful interiors in movies like What Women Want, It’s Complicated, and Something’s Gotta Give.

Amanda-living rm

One of the set decorators was Cindy Carr, who also worked on Life as We Know Itand Failure to Launch.

Amanda's house-corridor

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.

Amanda-living rm 3

For more information:

(Set stills via Columbia Pictures.)

The Pool:

Amanda-back of house

What do you think? Would you rather take a holiday in Amanda’s house or Iris’s cottage?

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