What Is Your Favorite TV Show House?

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One of the things I love about going to the movies on the weekends and watching certain TV shows is to see the set decorating.  I have received a lot of decorating inspiration from watching many movies and shows over the years.

Most recently I got major inspiration for my kitchen. If you recall it is pretty much brown top to bottom.

Open kitchen cabinet dishes

I dearly would like to gut it, but those plans will have to wait since we spent our money for that on a boat. Living on a lake, the boat ranked higher and since I have tackled painting two kitchens, I knew I could transform what we have into something that makes me smile with a little DIY and paint. I could not build a boat.

Even if I paint the kitchen cabinets, I am still left with a brown Formica countertop and backsplash. I don’t want to spend a lot of money to replace either until we redo the entire kitchen. I have been saving ideas on Pinterest, but recently found the inspiration I needed to get me excited about updating my kitchen on my TV screen.

It was while watching the show Madame Secretary. I am a fan of Tea Leoni and watch it every Sunday night.

TV Show Madame Secretary weekend house kitchen

The set for the main house is fabulous, but it is the kitchen in their weekend home that piqued my interest.

I wish I had the skills to cut and paste photos right from the TV so I could get a better photo of it. There were many good shots. I did a Google search and only found this photo which isn’t the best, but does show the kitchen.

I liked what I saw.  A farmhouse style kitchen with white cabinets and brown countertops!  This is a combo I never considered, but after seeing the show, I have now found a way to make the brown countertops work, at least until we can redo the kitchen all the way.

Kitchen pantry with white cabinets and brown countertops


So now I am searching for images of kitchens with white cabinets and brown counters. I have only found a few, but enough to know I will be moving forward with the idea.

I love the look of the pure white cabinets with the dark brown/black counter in this pantry. Very doable.

White kitchen cabinets with brown countertops

Talk of the House

This has more of a wood look counter with a bead board backsplash.

White kitchen with brown counter tops

Photo: Laura Moss/Country Living

White kitchen with brown countertops


White kitchen with brown countrtops


Have you ever gotten decorating inspiration from movie sets or your favorite TV show houses?  The last time I got major inspiration like I have now was after seeing the movie, Something’s Gotta Give. The weekend after I saw that, I painted the entire first floor of my house white. :-)

Happy Weekend…I hope it is an inspiring one.

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  1. Harvey Spectre’s apartment from the TV show ‘Suits’ would stand out the most to be, the design is very under-rated yet simple (with attention to so many little details!).
    Thanks for the great post.
    – Scotty

  2. Hi Diane! Another inspiring post! We’re getting ready to move, and I hope into a fixer upper so I really enjoyed the photos of white cabinets with darker countertops. I currently have black countertops, black sink, and black and brown cabinets. I have a HUGE window in my kitchen, so I can afford the “darkness.” We’re getting ready to de-darken it as we put the house on the market.

    After I saw Sleepless in Seattle, I borrowed lamps in the kitchen, for ambient light, and I love them! I also use furniture for their unintended purposes, and I’m sure I saw that in a movie somewhere. My “coffee” station is a dresser we converted into a lift-top storage chest. Our music is stored in a dresser, and bedroom endtables were moved to other rooms to put lamps on (I am a card-carrying lamp junkie according to Mr. Fizzyknits!)

    Thanks for all the great ideas!

  3. Hi Diane! I have a picture of my laundry room on my Instagram where I used AS Old White on light maple cabinets and stained IKEA Butcher block (which is no longer available) a really dark walnut brown. I love this look and can’t imagine a better combo for your lake house! You can see it on IG @ afarmhousefullofhope Looking forward to seeing your transformation ?

  4. I too love Madam Secretary and the style of both of their homes. Recently I was inspired by a less well known show … Grace and Frankie. There are several scenes that take place in a “summer house” (or lake house). The cabinets in the kitchen are painted in a fabulous blue. When I saw it I thought, “I’ve got to find that color.” I was not going to paint my cabinets blue, but I did want to paint two little tables blue, and the blue in this kitchen was just awesome. I did eventually find a blue I really liked … probably a little darker than the color I saw on Grace and Frankie, but I was truly inspired by their set. BTW, the color I found is Benjamin Moore’s “New York State of Mind”. What s great name!

  5. Hi Diane,
    If I had your kitchen I would be thrilled to bits! Just looking at all the crown moulding that goes to the ceiling makes me envious. The cabinets have character and I’m sure your ovens would look really retro and fab when the units are painted white. The Formica looks in good condition, and I’m betting when it is finished it will start a new trend!! All in all I know you would make it look like a brand new kitchen that you have designed that way on purpose, if you painted it, you have the skills!
    PS handles on the cabinets would look great sprayed black and moved to more user friendly part of door.
    Cabinets you said you didn’t like at right angles, could be moved to make a longer run, making the kitchen look larger.

  6. Hi Diane,
    If I had your kitchen I would be thrilled to bits! Just looking at all the crown moulding that goes to the ceiling makes me envious. The cabinets have character and I’m sure your ovens would look really retro and fab when the units are painted white. The Formica looks in good condition, and I’m betting when it is finished it will start a new trend!! All in all I know you would make it look like a brand new kitchen that you have designed that way on purpose, if you painted it, you have the skills!

  7. Diane, somehow you and I are always on the same page. My favorite movie house is also the one from “Somethings Gotta Give.” When we moved into our beautiful rural Connecticut house, I loved our large kitchen and expensive-looking dark Cherry cabinets…until I began to realize, over the years, that our cabinets were cheap look-a-likes and not the “real thing,” and the then relatively new white textured Formica countertops became stained and ugly. This was pre-granite, pre-quartz. We will have to remodel our kitchen in stages. All of our appliances are relatively new stainless steel, so my idea is to keep and paint the upper cabinets white. Most of the smaller lower cabinets are functional, but the largest cabinet is my nemesis. I need to get down on my knees, with a flashlight, to be able to discern and find some of its contents, and even then I’m not always successful before I’m at “my very last nerve.” A contractor is coming to our home next week for a job in another part of our home, but I’m going to ask “her” whether our best option for function and cost is to replace the long cabinet, or retrofit it with sliding drawers?

    1. Hi Patricia – I have the same problem under my cooktop with a hard to reach base cabinet. I hope your contractor can come up with a drawer idea for oyu. I just pinned a kitchen to my Lake House Decorating board on Pinterest that has drawer storage under the cooktop. I will want to add this feature for sure when we redo the kitchen.

  8. I am laughing Diane, because now that you realize you can paint your kitchen cabs white and have them work nicely with your existing brown countertops— you’re gonna have to buy a bigger boat since you wont have to re-do the whole kitchen!

    1. Hi Joanne – Not gutting the kitchen is saving us money, but after sprucing it up, I want to redo all the floors in the house and get new front doors…. Cha-ching…cha-ching. :-)

  9. When I watched “In the Bedroom” with Sissy Spacek, and I loved the setting, the colors, her clothes, the decor, and the funny thing is, that I’d watch it again just to enjoy the setting again!

  10. Hi, sometimes I put the TV screen on hold and then take a picture with my iPad or camera. Sometimes I take a picture of a piece of art that I like in a room.

  11. OMG—I thought I was alone in watching movies for houses!! A Perfect Murder, Mr. & Mrs. Smith, The Good Wife(I might be wrong but I think Mitchell Gold bob Williams gets a producer credit? and IRL the Barefoot Contessa’s entire estate! And I love the dark wood counters with white cabinets—we too are saving for a kitchen refresh in our 2nd home (OCNJ) to me it really does have a lot of nautical vibe……Thanks for sharing someone else has this obsession!! ?

    1. Hi Marianne – I think the Barefoot Contessa’s house is the best by far. I love when the camera pans around and you get little glimpses of the house beyond the kitchen. Where in OCNJ is your house? I grew up vacationing on the south end of the island. My favorite place on earth.

      1. Hi Diane! What a nice coincidence—I’m @ the North End—not too far from the 1st street lifeguard station. I grew up vacationing in OC too, and love it! The house is pretty old, which is nice for OC, built in the early ’30’s & single family, nice too for OC. I love your blog & especially love how creatively you make situations work for the interim, it really has helped & inspired me! Thanks!!

        1. Small world.:-) I have a friend that lives up in the north end, Linda Mansfield. Her house is old and has great character and a big porch.
          I have written about OC a few times on my blog and Stone Harbor since I have friends that have a house there. You may relate to many of the things I wrote about:

          Older OCNJ post: https://inmyownstyle.com/2010/07/a-day-at-the-beach.html

          More recent: https://inmyownstyle.com/2011/06/weekenddown-at-the-jersey-shore.html and https://inmyownstyle.com/2014/08/ocean-city-nj.html

          1. Thanks Diane—I do very much relate—My husband was a lifeguard @39th for @ 5 years—then Surf for @ 2, before the real world, lol so I remember when all those much, much bigger houses were being put up along the beachfront. There was an especially cool home with a blue tile roof along Wesley Ave—Gold Coast that was a tear down, loved that house, too. Thanks again—and looking forward to seeing more inspiration from your lake home!!

  12. I loved the kitchen in Somethings gotta give!! Also I love watching HGTV!! Lots of great ideas!!

    1. That’s my FAVORITE! Too!! Frankly, the WHOLE house is awesome! Just go to pinterest and you’ll find it pinned many, many times?

      1. I will be sad when the season is over. I have checked Pinterest, there are a lot of photos, but not too many of the vacation house kitchen. I read somewhere that the set is in NYC.

  13. Love your solution for your kitchen. The photo of the pantry with glass cabinets, satin hardware and dark countertop (similar to the color you used on your stairs) is classic, timeless and not fussy. The stools in the BHG kitchen with satin nailheads would be stunning with it. Glass doors above would allow you to show some color, too. Your wonderful collection of accessories could make it more formal or lakeside casual. AND, it would also look great with your renovation of your den and fireplace. Great, thoughtful idea!

  14. Diane: To see images of kitchens with white cabinets and brown counters, go to the search engine “Bing”. In the search bar, type in those words (“Kitchens with white cabinets and brown counters”, but before you click on SEARCH, or ENTER, look up at the top of the web site on the left side and click on IMAGES. Up pops a million ideas ! Hope this helps. Granny Beth

  15. Just a suggestion to add a little texture… I’ve used bead board wallpaper in my kitchen. Martha Stewart makes it and it’s sold in Home Depot. The paper is textured/raised and I painted it a high gloss white so it would be easier to clean. People cannot believe it’s not the real thing. It would be great as a backsplash in your kitchen.

    1. Hi Eileen – Thanks for the idea. I even have leftover Bead board wallpaper from when I used it on the back of a piece of furniture that you could see. I wanted to make it look more finished. It is an ingenious product.

  16. Favorite movie house for me was the Father of the Bride movies. Classic decor and what I loved the most was the house didn’t look at all like a set but rather a home you could live and be comfortable in!

  17. Oh definitely I have been inspired by TV shows and/or movies :-) Sometimes what we first see as a “that MUST go…ASAP!” turns out to be the best thing we left “as is” in the long run.

    Diane, you always find ways to make lemonade out of lemons :-) Love following your journey in your new home.

    1. Hi Cee Cee – That is a good way to put what I do…make lemonade out of lemons. :-) I also find that I like the challenge of coming up with ideas that will work and save money. I am content with most things as long as they are functional and as pretty as they can be. I like to bring out the potential.

  18. I’m with you—–“Madam Secretary’s” country house kitchen! I do like that white with brown counters combination.

  19. Wow, I have the same set up in my kitchen with the microwave over the wall oven. Not very easy to get hot dishes out, but I love that it saves space on my counters!

  20. I love your blog, your work, your ideas and how you seem to make everything possible and attainable without spending a fortune. I’m loving watching you transform your lake home a little at a time but with such huge impact – and it’s opportunities we all can use and adapt for our own homes! Thank you!

  21. Love Something’s Gotta Give and The Holiday! For the small screen I love the Netflix series Grace and Frankie. Great show and I love their beach house.

  22. I’m always checking out the sets….sometimes to the extent that I get so distracted…I’m not aware of the plot! I think your idea foryour kitchen face lift is a great one! ;)

  23. i get you. When you said you couldn’t paint them white, I told myself “why not?”, a great contrast to the brown formica and I love the idea of headboard. It’s so easy to prepaint and install. I did my girls bath, and painted it with exterior white paint over 12 years ago, and so easy to clean NO CHIPS. We got a Pottery Barn bath for 70% less than the pictures in the catalog. Hands down best project ever (and I did an entire house ON THE LAKE ALSO).

  24. I’m like you, Diane. I constantly watch – and even pause – movies while really looking at the set design and decor. (I’m equally distracted by theatre sets, as they come an go onto a stage! I also act in local theatre, so my love of theatre is really not so much about the play, but also about set and props!). Something’s Gotta Give… doesn’t everyone want that house, and in particular, the kitchen??? Not sure if you could call it related or not…. when I was a child I used to long for the Clampett’s chandelier in the foyer. I finally had a small one installed over the dining table last week. Ha ha.

    Back to reality…. you know you can really change your kitchen with paint. You’ve done it before. Even if the counters aren’t what you really want, changing the cabinets to white will really improve the overall look until you can get to what you do want. I can’t wait to see you do it. It’s such a happy thing to watch. Good luck!

  25. I’ve watched a movie, I think Marsha Mason (I’m dating myself here) starred in it and I think it was based on Arthur Miller, the playwright. Anyway, the house was a Manhattan townhouse with the kitchen in the basement, and I thought the entire house was phenomenal. I don’t remember the name of the movie but I sure do remember that house!

    1. Was it The Goodbye Girl. I loved that movie too! Something’s Gotta Give and It’s Complicated are favorite movie sets for me and the house and yard from the tv series Parenthood!

    2. It was called Chapter Two and I loved that movie and that townhouse! Perfect city living (well if you’re a millionaire I’m sure!).

      1. Hi Barb – I have not seen the movie Chapter Two. I will have to look it up. I think your remember when I painted the downstairs of my Michael Way house, white after seeing Something’s Gotta Give. After seeing It Takes Two I painted my dining room with orange stripes. I love the movies for inspiration!!! I hope all is going well for you. XO

  26. I too love the house in Something’s Gotta Give. I also adore the house in the movie It’s Complicated. Sometimes I watch that movie just to look at that gorgeous house.