Something's Gotta Give has become one of the most talked about in recent years, but I've always thought of Practical Magic's natural light-filled kitchen with adjacent greenhouse as a delight for the Anthropologie crowd.
[Aidan Quinn and Nicole Kidman in Practical Magic.]
Starring Sandra Bullock, Nicole Kidman, Stockard Channing and Dianne Wiest as descendants of a long line of witches (yeah, it was the 1990s), Practical Magic is set in a small coastal Massachusetts town. However, the movie was actually filmed in Washington state. Home base is not a 17th-century dwelling or anything suggesting old Salem, but instead a late Victorian -- what appears to be an "American Queen Anne" by the sea. While the off-kilter, eccentric nature of the architecture suits the characters, the rooms are styled to come across as enchanted rather than spooky, with the kitchen and gardens being the most conventional spaces.
[Production design by Robin Standefer.]
Ask me about the kitchen's appliances and I'll draw a blank. The counters? I think creamy marble but I'm not absolutely certain. Take the expansive room apart piece by piece and I'll tell you which elements I'd never choose for myself. With this kitchen, it's the overall ambiance that is so memorable. It's all about the sunlight streaming through the wavy old glass, the never-ending loosely arranged fresh flowers, the messy pancake batter, the beams overhead and the abundance of copper pots and pretty plates. Again, I have to reference Mary Randolph Carter because the mood is in keeping with her concept of the imperfect house.
[Copper bowl for egg whites available at The Cook's Warehouse.]
[©A Perfectly Kept House is the Sign of A Misspent Life by Mary Randolph Carter, Rizzoli New York, 2010.]
[Large handmade English/Raj copper pot, early 20th century, available through Bittersweet Interiors.]
As welcoming as the kitchen is, though, I think it's the connected greenhouse that steals the show.
Bullock's character is highly skilled with botanicals and, in a very 90s twist, opens a little boutique in town to sell plant-based shampoos, lotions and assorted bath products.
[Plant-based foaming cleanser via Anthropologie.]
What a luxury it would be to have a functioning room like this right off the kitchen. In the movie, tall branches have been styled to twist up against the glass in an ethereal way, and terra cotta pots and glass cloches cover the work surfaces. It's girl-centric set design with a rustic edge.
To learn about architecture original to Salem, Massachusetts, click here.
BTW: If you do find yourself in Salem, don't forget the Peabody Essex Museum is located there too. And another reminder, Carter is scheduled to visit Anthropologie in Richmond, Virginia (9200 Stony Point Parkway #139) on Saturday, October 30th from noon to 3 p.m. Happy Halloween!
Practical Magic production design by Robin Standefer of Roman and Williams.
Related past post: Botanicals of Maria Sibylla Merian.