‘On The Set’ Design: “The Holiday”


So as I was thinking of the movie The Holiday again, I thought about why it’s one of my favorite movies. I mean, it’s a chick flick, and as much as I love a good “boy meets girl, awkwardness ensues, boy and girl live happily ever after” movie, I usually go for the mystery thrillers, and action movies. So why did I love The Holiday so much? Well, not because of Jude Law, the “I wish that was me” plot or the charming little english children. It’s the amazing set designs and scenery. I’ll share with you why I love this movie more every time I see it.

Set 1: Amanda’s Los Angeles House

I love this set for the reason that this amazing and clean contemporary style of design, usually isn’t what I go for. I’m one that goes for more natural colors, with bright accents, a fresh country look with a modern touch. But the stainless steel and grays of the kitchen, whites of the livingroom and clean lines all over add an organized and fresh look that I can’t get enough of.

Amanda's house outside

The exterior. It has a gorgeous Spanish Villa feel to it with the clay roof, and the central water fountain. Image Credit

Amanda Foyer

The foyer is crisp and fresh, with clean lines and all white walls.

amanda stairs

As she walks up the grand staircase you can see the chandelier, and her collections of books she doesn’t read.

The Kitchen in “Amanda”, Cameron Diaz’s Los Angeles home. It’s bigger than most houses. The cold steel and black cabinets, and stone floors seem industrial, while the cream colors of the chairs, the buttery walls, and red apples warm the place up and add a homey feel.

The fantastic living room was to the left when you walk in the front door. With the off white wing back chairs and matching couch, dark woods with clean contemporary lines, and numerous amounts of lamps, it’s straight out of a magazine.

Amanda’s Bedroom. Remember the blackout blinds that were remote controlled? King size fluffy bed? I do.

Another view of the living room, looking into the front hallway. Check out this blog for many more photos of Amanda’s great house!

amanda pool

And who can forget, the pool. 

Set 2: Iris’s Rosehill Cottage

This set is definitely my favorite in this movie. The charm, the flea market vibe, and the cottage shabby chic of it all is just so very cozy. I love the dual fireplaces, the stone walls, and the wood floors, and most of all, the plush fabrics. A place I could very well see myself settling into.

The outside of the “Rose Hill” cottage. English countryside, stone fence, rolling pastures. What else could you hope for?

iris house 3

Another shot of the outside of the house. Clearly the shell doesn’t match the movie set and the floor plan I created for the house doesn’t match the shell either. There are doors in inside shots where there are windows in outside shots. But hey, it’s Hollywood, the set doesn’t have to be perfect, only the celebrities do.

The entry way of the little cottage. It’s kitschy, full of mismatched collected items, and the walls are full of assorted framed photos and prints, yet it all flows together wonderfully.

This room is kind of overflowing with furnishings, accessories, pillows and books, which may make the room seem crowded, but i’d still love to just curl up on the ottoman with a book in front of the fireplace any day. This set kind of reminds me of the set of the Gilmore Girls. I’ll save that for another day…

Here’s another view of the living room.

iris house

And a shot behind the chairs. Image Credit. 

The beautiful and tiny charming bathroom in the cottage. With the painted floors, stone walls, and furniture style wash area, this room just screams charm.

The tiny kitchen is just adorable with it’s painted cabinets, stone fireplace, and multiple accessories. This flea market-meets-shabby chic look is easily achieved and at a low cost. It does take time, and dedicated collecting though.

iris kitchen

Here’s a warm picture of the kitchen from the movie.

The bedroom in this delightful cottage is bright, and airy. The white ceilings open up the room, and match perfectly with the white trims and metal bed frame, while the natural wood beams keep room in tact with the rest of the cottage’s natural elements.

iris bedroom 2

You can see here that the stairs go right up into the bedroom.

iris bedroom

Another shot of the bedroom.

iris kitchen 2

Here’s a peek into the library.

The little back porch/ book room has just as much charm as the rest of the house. Not a detail was spared with the floor to ceiling books, antique rug and cozy throw blanket.

If I had to GUESS what Iris’s cottage would be like in a floor plan, here is my idea:

First Floor:

Iris House Plan 1st FLoor

Second Floor: (which is the movie version and doesn’t actually fit into the floor plan of what the 2nd floor would look like.)

Iris 2nd Floor Movie Version

And the plan that would actually fit the house:

Iris 2nd floor plan

Set 3: Graham’s Mill House

Jude Law’s character “Graham” has a decent size mill house that’s equal to the stylings of Iris’s cottage. It’s got a beautiful driveway in the front, all stone. He claims to have a cow in the backyard making me think that there’s a barn or a pasture in the back of the home.

The front of the amazing English Mill House.

graham foyer

Here’s a shot of the foyer.

The front entry of Graham’s house. There are even brick stairs to add to the old english style of the home.

A view down the front hall into the sitting room.

A view down the other hall into the kitchen. Original stone floors, french doors, and wood furniture style kitchen cabinets make this set feel like it’s been around since the turn of the century.

A view into the kitchen of this awesome English house. I love the stone cooking area.

The office/ reading room in Graham’s house. The choice of decor is very cool for a single dad.

graham houswe

Here’s a shot from the closing scene where everyone is dancing around Graham’s living room.

sophie and olivia's room

This is my favorite room in the house, Sophie and Olivia’s play room. I mean, this tent is so awesome I want to make one of these for myself and I’m a grown woman.

I think that the designer of the set did an amazing job with every last detail of the room, and I can only hope to aspire myself to be such a versatile designer. I hope you enjoy my little set tour, and there will be more to come! Any suggestions of your favorite movies are welcome, and I will happily “tour” that set as well! Happy viewing!


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8 thoughts on “‘On The Set’ Design: “The Holiday”

  1. what is the name and artist of the poster in the reading/office in graham’s house? Is it an original for the set or can it be purchased?

  2. Hi. I was wondering if you know where you can find a print of the artwork on Amanda’s LA house on the staircase. Its the framed print of the woman in the black dress and heels. I’ve looked everywhere! I would love to have this in my bedroom. I LOVE your blog! Very nicely done!

  3. I’m really impressed together with your writing talents as neatly as with the format on your blog. Is that this a paid theme or did you modify it your self? Either way keep up the nice high quality writing, it is uncommon to look a nice weblog like this one nowadays.

  4. I have to say I completely share your reasons for loving this movie!!
    I became obsessed! Over the years I have had to watch movies over and over because I am to busy studying the set and not paying attention to the story!
    Anyway love your points of view you are right on target.

  5. What a lovely job you have done with those floor plans and I agree that the sets don’t match the exteriors, so what would work in your opinion is the bomb!! The only thing that I noticed is that the way the staircase is on the “set” would make me believe that Iris’s bedroom is over the living room, which would make sense as her bedroom is obviously outside walls and that the bathroom would be over the kitchen, which would tie all of the plumbing together. Just a thought, again love the work you have done on the floor plans!!

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