How to make your kitchen look like it’s straight from a Nancy Meyers movie

Create a kitchen design rich in nostalgia and character

nancy meyers kitchen
(Image credit: Future / Michael Kaskel)

The Nancy Meyers kitchen aesthetic has long been the go-to inspiration for kitchen remodels and even simple refreshes. We could list all of the iconic moments set in our favorite romcoms, but we would be here quite a while. 

These charming movie sets have not only ignited many a storyline, but they have now become the epitome of a nostalgic look and a 'Nancy Meyers aesthetic' that so many of us want to recreate in our own homes – especially for our kitchen ideas.

There is a reason why we are infatuated by Nancy Meyers-inspired interior schemes. They are timeless, inviting and effortlessly bring people together.

How to make your kitchen into a Nancy Meyers movie set

'It's so funny how people have such a big connection with these kitchens; they really strike a chord with people,' says Rebekah Zaveloff, co-founder and creative director of Imparfait Design Studio. 'The kitchen from Something's Gotta Give is really ubiquitous – it’s the classic timeless white kitchen everyone wants.' 

Nancy Meyers' monochromatic kitchen color scheme defines her space currently, but there is plenty more inspiration where that came from. This is how designers recommend we get the look.

1. Lean into a white but warm kitchen

Large modern transitional white kitchen with wood for wamth and flowers on countertops

(Image credit: Michael Kaskel)

Alongside a crisp white subway tile, for your kitchen space to imbue the warmth of a Nancy Meyers kitchen, neutral tones and woodwork will add charm. 

This look is popular with many a famous face too, we adore the charm of Cameron Diaz's white kitchen for example. 'Embrace white cabinets, natural wood accents in butcher block or shelving, and farm sinks,' continues Rebekah Zaveloff.

White woman in black shirt for portrait photo is Rebekah Zaveloff
Rebekah Zaveloff

Rebekah Zaveloff is the Co-Founder + Creative Director of Imparfait Design Studio, an interior architecture and design firm that celebrates the beauty found in places and things that endure over time. Influenced by her fine arts education, and years spent working in hospitality and set design for film before building Imparfait and its sister brand, Kitchenlabs, Rebekah’s design work can be seen in numerous publications, including Elle Décor, House Beautiful, Wall Street Journal, Food & Wine, Forbes and Domino.

2. Ensure it feels welcoming and 'wrapped up in nostaliga'

Warm-colored kitchen with wooden dining table, large stove and yellow tone rug

(Image credit: Michael Kaskel)

An inviting kitchen space is one that you could spend hours in, cooking, eating, and laughing with friends. For this, a kitchen island adds natural definition and a center stage where engaging conversations will take place.

'Mostly, a Nancy Meyers-inspired kitchen is all in the feeling – they're casual, cozy, welcoming and comfortable,' continues Rebekah. 'People want the life or the experience and that's symbolized in Nancy Meyers’ kitchen designs. It's all wrapped up in a feeling of nostalgia.'

In a Nancy Meyers' movie kitchen, the island or kitchen countertop ideas are not bare. It is uncluttered but certainly not minimalistic. Think Meryl Streep's minimalist shelving, warmed up just a little more. Lived-in elements lighten the mood and make it a vibrant space, ripe for connecting with others in. Good bottles of wine are on show, (as in Napa Valley, with Lindsey Lohan in The Parent Trap), pans will be on display (It's Complicated), and there will be fresh flowers or plants for more life.

3. Make it sun drenched and flooded with natural light

White neutral open plan kitchen space with roof beams and wooden island and table

Magaret Rajic for Kate Marker

(Image credit: Magaret Rajic)

'It's a deep dive into comfort, light, and a sprinkle of Hollywood magic,' continues interior designer Kate Marker. At the design level, letting in as much natural light pour in as possible for an energizing finish is a must says Kate. 

'Wouldn't you say? Her kitchens are the heart of the home, these light-drenched havens where conversations flow and culinary creations come alive. Think sun-drenched spaces that open to the great room and inspire creativity and connection.' 

If your kitchen layout is not naturally as bright, keep a layered scheme with kitchen pendant lighting ideas that look over the island for task and ambiance. 

4. Seasmlessly blend old and new interior design styles

Modern and timeless kitchen with marble countertops and pendant lighting

(Image credit: Michael Kaskel)

Punctuated by the personality of a script and the characters, Nancy Meyers films are multigenerational, layered with classic features and more current interior design trends of the time, many of which we naturally love today. The spaces are transitional in design by default. We explore more transitional decorating ideas in our dedicated feature.

'Transitional kitchens with clean lines are a perfect foundation,' continues Kate. 'But don't be afraid to infuse your personality. Custom details like a statement stone sink or a rustic wood table can add a touch of warmth and lived-in charm. Similarly, coastal elements like woven baskets or pops of blue and white can introduce a breezy, relaxed vibe.' Natural materials will effortlessly blur the lines between old and new for a space that does not age. 

In terms of particular styles to mix, think Farmhouse decor ideas with a mix of both chic and classic elements; 'they're timeless and un-fussy, and yes, mixing is part of the charm,' adds Rebekah.

The Perfect Kitchen, Barbara Sallick | From $21.87/£30.45 at Amazon

The Perfect Kitchen, Barbara Sallick | From $21.87/£30.45 at Amazon

Learn more about the fundamentals of kitchen design in this bestselling book. Find practical advice as well as hundreds of images to inspire your own remodel

5. Let it exude personality and have a little color

Kitchen with yellow cabinets and wooden countertops with large plant

(Image credit: Tim Lenz photography)

For the colorful kitchen enthusiasts, we saw light blue kitchen ideas in The Holiday and indigo cabinets in The Parent Trap

'Something’s Gotta Give and Gosford Park has come up in meetings with clients,' Gideon Mendelson, Founder and Creative Director at Mendelson Group shares with H&G. 'I think of these types of references as great jumping-off points for us to find a unique and personal narrative.'

'I would say, however, a Nancy Meyers-inspired space would have to be comfortable and casual, yet sophisticated and refined,' continues Gideon. 'I love 1930s-1960s decor so I would add some of those elements and a bit of whimsy and color for a personal touch.' We look at the whimsical decor trend in our dedicated feature.

Man smiling in shirt is Gideon Mendelson
Gideon Mendelson

Gideon Mendelson graduated from Columbia University with a degree in architecture and a minor in film studies. Gideon puts function and circulation at the fore of his design process which is reflected through the Mendelson Group’s thoughtful philosophy which Gideon has been solidifying since its inception in 2003.

A neutral color scheme with warmed-up elements through colors and tactile finishes for an inviting feel will help you create the Nancy Meyers kitchen look.

'A palette of creamy whites, subtle taupes, and the occasional kiss of green sets the stage for timeless elegance,' adds designer Kate Marker. 'Natural stone countertops are a must-have – marble or honed soapstone add instant luxury. Warm wood accents, like butcher block countertops or open shelving, bring a touch of cozy texture. Classic hardware in unlacquered brass or polished nickel finishes the look with a touch of understated drama.'

Camille Dubuis-Welch
Contributing Editor

Camille is the former deputy editor of Real Homes where she covered a broad range of topics, including house tours, small space design, and gardens. She studied English language and Italian at the University of Manchester and during a year abroad studying linguistics and history of art in Bologna, Italy she started documenting her adventures and observations in a blog. Camille is always creating and spends her downtime painting, taking photos, traveling, and writing short stories.