double take: monster-in-law.

Yayyy— Kylie’s back with another Double Take feature! Go for it, dearie…

Before we delve into the set design of this movie, we must take note of Jane Fonda’s brilliance at playing the merciless mother-in-law (Viola) that we all hope to never have. Fonda definitely stole the show and we may just have to do a second installment of Double Take to cover her palatial Wallace Neff estate in the movie. But for now, let’s ooh-and-ahh over Charlie (Jennifer Lopez) and Kevin’s (Michael Vartan) Craftsman style home.

Missy Stewart, production designer of Monster-In-Law, explained that it was important for the set design to reflect the architectural elements common in the area. So this Craftsman house in Pasadena became the home of Charlie & Kevin. You will notice that the interior palette is rich in orange — purposely vibrant with hints of pastels and limes to cue Charlie’s character.

To recreate this look, we might as well start with the guava colored sofa in the living room, similar to the fenton sofa from Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams. Toss a couple of Thomas Paul’s silk pillows to add even more color. And now soften the scene with an iconic 1950s Akari light sculpture by Isamu Noguchi. These illuminated sculptures epitomize the simplicity of Japanese aesthetics and cast a soft glow on the neutral grey walls. Benjamin Moore’s seattle grey would be a good paint option for your walls. As for that striped chair by the fireplace, why don’t you join us by designing your own Monster-In-Law inspired chair on the Norwalk Furniture site. I could play all day long.

Let’s proceed to the master bedroom. I’m a huge fan of Sarah Richardson (and can even hum the tune of her show, Design Inc.) so when I searched for a simple headboard it didn’t take me long to find the Nicola upholstered headboard from her collection. A simple wooden bench stands at the foot of the bed while a cowhide covered chair sits to the right. If I had the budget, I would probably go for Le Corbusier’s iconic LC1 sling chair. This sleek upholstered cowhide seat is set in polished chrome — such an interesting juxtaposition of materials but I guess we could expect nothing less from such a talented architect and designer.

And now to my absolute favorite part of the entire house (I bet this is Erin’s favorite too)…drumroll, please…the framed subway roll signs. Did you know that you can score your very own vintage NYC subway roll signs on eBay? Thanks for the tip, IMDb readers. They are placed in the living room and kitchen, alongside racks and shelves of Le Crueset cookware.
[editor’s note: that is TOTALLY my favorite part, Kylie!!!]

Image credits: New Line Cinema, Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams, Design Public, Norwalk Furniture, Benjamin Moore, Noguchi Museum Store, Sarah Richardson Design, Design Within Reach, Golden Teak, House of Memories, & Bed Bath & Beyond.

  • Oh, you guys are just way too sweet. And Erin, glad you liked those vintage subway roll signs :)


  • i love these segments, too! do you think you’ll do you’ve got mail or something’s gotta give?

  • what a fun feature! i loved it!

    oh, and something’s gotta give…the only reason i watched that movie is because SO many people raved about that house to me!

    and it was gorgeous!

  • Oooh, I just read your AWESOME suggestions, cindy k & lizzyl. Hmmm…let’s see what we can do…

  • Love this segment! I am in love with this house. Any idea where the paintings above the bed (teal abstract) and in the living room (cherry blossoms?) are from?

  • I love the subway signs too! I found some in L.A. that are similar yet different: from UK busses, from the 60’s I was told by the salesperson at the store I saw them at. Their website is – I hope i spelled it right – the store address is on there if you want to go check it out. They had also done something very cool too : they are using the fabric for upholstery on a sofa, ottoman, pillows, etc…lots of other vintage/salvage stuff. Not cheap though!…but I guess not crazy expensive either…? I thought maybe I could use one of these signs as a window shade, but they did not have a wide enough one…

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