Gilmore Girls. Oh, and the beautiful set design.
As much as I appreciate modern amenities and the fabulous design elements of today, I am hopelessly lost in the past. I’ve had a love affair with late 90s and 2000s interiors since, well… the late 90s. Once the overdone interiors of the 80s was finally toned down, we were left with an eclectic mix of both high and low end materials. It’s a design aesthetic that I’ve held onto all these years later.
Even though Gilmore Girls premiered in October of 2000, the interiors are an distinct mix of the two decades. Whether you’re enamored with Lorelai’s comfortable kitsch, or the wonderfully vintage, yet classic feel of the Dragonfly Inn (my personal favorite), you can decorate with just about anything and make it work.
Although I gladly leave behind the cold minimalism of the early 90s, I embrace the return of bold wallpaper patterns, skirted tables, and brass hardware (antiqued for me), and I equally embrace the richer, deeper, and warmer colors of the 2000s. This particular decade was all about putting an individual stamp on your interiors, and that’s what good design has always been about.
The gorgeous mix of patterns you’ll see throughout this decade combined toile with florals, stripes, damask, and plaids layered from piece to piece and room to room. This look paired well with collectibles that seemed equally thrown together and carefully planned out. Upcycling became popular, cast-offs were now considered objects d’art, and crafts became cool with the launch of Etsy in 2005. The deliberately distressed, mismatched imperfectionism became our new vintage.
Lorelai’s kitchen embodied the retro look so popular during that time. Remember the episode when Rory played “house” and dressed up like Donna Reed? Well, Cath Kidson made the 1950s housewife style new again. Lorelai even traded in her modest wooden kitchen table for a diner-style yellow Formica version in later episodes. And don’t even get me started on Sookie’s kitchen at the Dragonfly. It was love at first sight. Throw in the library and I could live in those two rooms alone.
Books also play an important role in the interior. From the aforementioned Dragonfly, to Rory’s room, and the many libraries and bookstores you’ll encounter on your tour through Stars Hollow, you’ll amass quite the collection. Books are meant to be read, but they’re also wonderful decorating tools. They add color, texture, and life to any space.
So grab your quilts and start collecting Magolica plates. Plan your next decorating project to include wainscoting and open and closed shelving. Go ahead and combine painted and natural wood together. Surround your dining room table with bamboo chairs and start your own gourmet inspiration board like Sookie. Then settle in and watch reruns on Netflix while you wait for the return of Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life on November 25th.
Need a little more inspiration? The best place to find set photos (besides checking out the series on Netflix) is on Hooked on Houses. Then look no further than Pinterest. Here you’ll find a mix of set stills along with GG inspired merchandise like this Luke’s Diner poster. These two sites have already chosen a few goodies for you to get the ball rolling here and here. And BH&Gs insight on what today's GG house might look like here.
Just like the current trends of interiors start in the world of fashion, television and film has always been an incredible source of inspiration. Just take a look at all Nancy Meyers has done for the fashion and home décor market with her impressive lineup of films.