The Anatomy of a Nancy Meyers Kitchen

These family-focused spaces follow a pattern in all her movies

Nancy Meyers' kitchen set in The Intern

Warner Bros.

There's something comforting about a Nancy Meyers movie. Wherever you watch, it feels a bit like coming home. Sure, it could be because the cast is always stocked with familiar, beloved faces. It might also be because Meyers’ writing is how we all wish we bantered with our loved ones. But most of all, I think it's because, just like in our own homes, every kitchen she features is the heart of the family home. And just like she does for her characters, she punches up the drama in each kitchen to make them somehow both accessible and next level. 

I did some digging, and, by digging, I mean I binge-watched all the greats: It’s Complicated, Something’s Gotta Give, Father of the Bride, The Holiday, The Intern, and The Parent Trap. Every single kitchen in the Nancy Meyers universe follows a pattern, and here’s what I’ve discovered are the must-haves.

An Island Large Enough to Gather Around

A Nancy Meyers island is not your typical kitchen island. It’s not full of to-be-opened mail and post-it notes between family members rushing out the door as they barely cross paths--even though this is often the dynamic of a Nancy Meyers family. There’s no stack of dishes that anyone forgot to put away. 

A Nancy Meyers island is surrounded by stylish high-top stools that people may or may not sit on as Mom sets out a full, hot breakfast before school, only to have her kids pass by and grab an apple from the sleek and always-full fruit bowl. The Nancy Meyers island is for sharing a bottle of wine while you stress about the love triangle you’re accidentally in. 

Most importantly, a Nancy Meyers island is designed to look like a much-loved worktop, yet also appears to never have been used before.

kitchen island
Roam In Color / Unsplash

Pendant Lights That Could Be Works of Art

Above the large island, you’ll find stunning pendant lights. Nancy Meyers does not rely solely on recessed lighting, or big, airy windows--though you’ll find both of these in her kitchens, too. Pendant lights are the primary source of ambience, and they must be eye-catching enough to basically serve as their own characters. 

artful pendant lights in the kitchen
Sidekix Media / Unsplash

A Farmhouse Sink

I know, I know. The farmhouse sink has its downsides, as we’ve already explored. But Ms. Meyers makes me forget these disadvantages and consider them once again as a priority. I can’t think of a better place to wash my wine goblets, rinse my fresh flowers, and wring my hands over life’s latest stressors.

farmhouse sink
Alabn / Getty Images

Lush and Living Accents

No Nancy Meyers kitchen is complete without something alive and green. Potted plants that look well cared for but never overly pruned or shaped, a windowsill herb garden, a vase of fresh flowers. All are welcome here, and at least two are required.

greenery in the kitchen
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Open Shelving

I have a thing about open shelving and glass front cabinets, and that thing is that they give me hives. It’s because aside from Nancy Meyers, I don’t trust anyone to treat it with the respect it deserves--and that respect is order, organization, and regular dusting. Nancy Meyers, however, understands this. Her open shelves and glass-front cabinets are always perfectly stocked with just the right amount of neutral-yet-mismatched plates.

open shelving
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A Softer Side

As the heart of the home, Nancy Meyers kitchens are warm and inviting, and the edges have frills. Added touches like area rugs, thoughtful table linens, and vintage plates with scalloped edges keep the space from ever appearing utilitarian or cold. Every Nancy Meyers kitchen shows that love lives here--or at the very least, someone who deserves love.

kitchen counter accessories
Becca Tapert / Unsplash

A Color Palette That Goes With Every Outfit

Most importantly, in all of Nancy’s kitchens, you’ll find a color palette that most closely resembles Diane Keaton’s closet in interior design form. Warm neutrals, crisp whites, cozy beige. In some cases, earth tones might be added--think rusty oranges or calming navy.

But, for the most part, color is not what draws your eye to the Nancy Meyers kitchen. They are, after all, mere backdrops. Nancy Meyers kitchens are set pieces above all else, and they’re meant to offset the characters and make their own personalities pop. 

Just, you know, ideally while they’re baking bread and making you wish you could smell their home cooking through the screen.  

neutral and navy kitchen
Space_Cat / Getty Images

Best, and least surprisingly, of all, as Nancy herself proved to us all via her own Instagram--the dream kitchen is a reality. Her reality.

And maybe--just maybe!--someday mine, too.