Food Fantasy: A Hollywood Kitchen Makeover

The Father of the Bride.

This casting call notice for a kitchen makeover show got my heart racing:

Do you have a friend or loved one who has a real passion for cooking but is trapped in an outdated, nonfunctional or just plain ugly kitchen? Now’s your chance to nominate him/her to receive a kitchen worthy of a gourmet chef for free! We are currently casting dynamic homeowners who love to cook but are in desperate need of a completely new kitchen.

Um, hi. Too bad I’m a renter  — but it set me thinking about my ultimate dream kitchen. This probably says something about how much time I spend with Netflix, but my kitchen daydreams are pretty squarely centered on deciding which TV/movie kitchen (equipment aside) I’d most want to live with.  If, you know, I was directing a crew to recreate it in my Capitol Hill rowhouse.  Am I the only one who watches every blockbuster movie and thinks — damn! I want that kitchen!? If so, indulge me while I take a look back at my ultimate dream Hollywood kitchens:

Father of the Bride

The first one that comes to mind, of course, is George and Nina Banks’ kitchen from Father of the Bride. This is basically the fallback fantasy house for an entire generation of movie watchers, right? The New York Times even mentioned the “bourgeois splendor of the Banks house” in its movie review. But the kitchen looks so cozy and usable, which you rarely find in houses put together by a set designer. It’s like the platinum version of the kitchen you grew up with…copper pots hanging over the butcher block island, floral curtains, fruit baskets filled oh-so-properly, KitchenAid mixer (swoon!) in the background.

Something’s Gotta Give

Slightly less cozy but still inviting is the airy Hamptons kitchen from Somethings Got to Give (like Father of the Bride, a Nancy Meyers-helmed project). It’s clean and classic, with a splash of color from the potted plant and warm touches like the wooden bowls. On the down side, it seems like plenty of folks are already co-opting that one. If I’m going to copy a kitchen, I certainly don’t want to be copying the same one as everyone else.

Something's Got to Give

Something's Gotta Give

Brothers & Sisters

On the other coast, Nora Walker’s breezy Pasadena kitchen on Brothers & Sisters, complete with tall ceilings and a walk-in pantry perfect for storage and for eavesdropping, looks exactly like the kind of space a crowd of friends and siblings might actually perch and chat for an evening. Doesn’t it just make you want to start plotting a dinner party?

Brothers & Sisters

Brothers & Sisters

I want to pull up a stool for a glass of Ojai wine and some family gossip with the Walkers, like, right now. And let’s not even talk about their lovely dining room and that backyard table that sits 16.

Practical Magic

Or maybe I should opt for rustic. I can just picture myself standing with a mixing bowl in hand in the spacious farmhouse kitchen from Practical Magic, apothecary jars of herbs tucked into nooks and mismatched plates piled in the cabinets. That’s a kitchen begging for waffles.

Practical Magic

Practical Magic

The Family Stone

Ditto The Family Stone, actually. The Stones have a sort of charmingly cluttered kitchen, with books stacked in piles and artwork squeezed into any free space on the wall. There’s even a desk for Sybil.

Mr. & Mrs. Smith

Or we could go modern, with a combination of stainless steel and ceramic tiles like the kitchen in Mr. & Mrs. Smith. This kitchen is sleek but not exactly cold. Sort of like Jane and John, actually. Subtext!

Mr. & Mrs. Smith

Mr. & Mrs. Smith

Tell me I’m not the only person who lusts after the kitchens that comes with a Hollywood budget. Which ones did I miss?

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