How to Recreate a Gilmore Girls-Level of Hygge in Your Own Home

The fictional Connecticut town of Stars Hollow and its neighboring Gilmore Girls' haunts are straight out of a snow globe. In addition to the Gilmores’ home, similar design concepts amongst the town square, Luke’s diner, both of Lorelai’s Inns, each of Rory’s schools, and even Emily’s house come together to create a look that evokes coziness. 

Any episode of Gilmore Girls is long on hygge, the Danish way of living a life that evokes feelings of coziness. Hygge design is characterized by warm colors, minimalist design that prioritizes function, and elements that are inspired by the outdoors. These qualities work together to create an interior space that inspires rest and relaxation, or hygge. 

By incorporating the following principles into your home design, you too can achieve a Gilmore Girls-level of hygge in your own space. 

Always have a vase (or vases) of fresh flowers around the home

While keeping your home in fresh flowers may seem like an unnecessary expense, I have personally found that it’s actually not that expensive, and it’s more than well worth it. Fresh flowers are one of those things that seem like an extravagance, and while they are by no means necessary, they really do elevate a space and your mood. The Gilmores keep fresh flowers all over the home, and if you keep an eye out for them, you’ll begin to see that fresh flowers are all over the Gilmores’ world, including at both of Lorelai’s Inns and even more so at Emily’s, which begs the question of whether or not Lorelai inherited this decorative touch from her mother, who she tries painstakingly to separate herself from. 

Prioritize warm lighting (including lots and lots of lamps, roaring fires, candlelight, and even string lighting)

The Danish designer Poul Henningsen said, “It doesn’t cost money to light a room correctly, but it does require culture.” Several small light sources of similar warm tones will achieve a softly-lit room of cozy golden colors. If you begin to study the Gilmore Girls’ home, it’s almost comical how many lamps they have in each room, but it does prove that you can never really have too many small lamps. Add in the roaring fires in almost every setting and candles whenever possible, and suddenly, the warm lighting feels even more natural and less artificial. 

Although the Gilmores themselves don’t have string lights inside the home beyond Christmastime, outlining interior windows with warm white string lights, just as at Luke’s diner, is always strongly encouraged.


Don’t forget to include delicate details 

While Lorelai isn’t always the most refined when it comes to her taste in kitschy t-shirts and junk food preferences, she balances this out with ladylike touches in her wardrobe and home. This can be found in the lace curtains for every window, including the kitchen, living room, and both of their bedrooms. In addition to always having vases of fresh flowers and lace curtains, the Gilmores are also deeply involved with florals… 

Embrace floral patterns and prints

When it comes to interiors, Lorelai Gilmore loves a good floral pattern. You can find floral fabric on their main living room lampshade, and in Lorelai’s bedroom, where she has floral wallpaper, another floral lampshade, a floral-lined bedspread, and multiple frames of floral prints. Paired with the fresh flowers, these floral patterns and pictures bring the element of nature indoors, which is something hygge design embraces, as nature is proven to calm the mind and therefore enhance feelings of coziness. 

Contrasting colors and patterns can actually harmonize with one another 

Getting too caught up in being matchy-matchy isn’t a very laid back approach to home design. While the Gilmore home is likely a mishmash of thrifted pieces, hand-me-downs from the Independence Inn and Stars Hollow residents, and a select amount of furniture that Lorelai had to save up for, there is still a lot of thought going into the cohesion of their look. Just because there are many colors and patterns does not mean that they don’t work well together. Hygge design favors neutrals, muted, and warm colors so as not to be shocking and again, mimic nature’s tones. By mixing contrasting colors and patterns that harmonize with one another, the Gilmore home is warm and unpretentious. 

Get wrapped up in textures that invite touch and inspire rest

When they’re home, the Gilmore Girls spend a lot of time on their living room couch, which is stocked with mismatched throws and pillows that invite rest and relaxation. Rather than having showy pillows that look good but feel awful, the Gilmores opt for plushy pillows and fuzzy blankets. The same can be said for each of their beds. Every pillow and blanket has a purpose, there is nothing just for show, and they have clearly prioritized cozy sleep over a bedroom that is only good for its looks. 

Let your freak flag fly high with eclectic flair that mixes the old with the new 

If Lorelai and Rory didn’t have an off-kilter sense of humor, then their home might be a little more Victorian and a little less Gilmore. For starters, there’s the odd (some might say mildly creepy) painting of the young girl that is most often by their front door. 

Then, there’s the red clown pillow that at first sight clashes with the decor, until you realize that the truly terrifying clown on it is just Lorelai’s humor brightening up the room. You’ll also spot the monkey lamp in the living room that Lorelai picked out through an exchange of Baccarat candlesticks from Emily. In the kitchen, there’s an on-the-nose cow pitcher for creamer on their table and the Maxine cookie jar on the counter next to the oven. While not all of these pieces remain throughout the duration of the show, there is always something a little quirky, cultural, and modern to balance out the overall Victorian aesthetic of their home.  

You don’t need to incorporate all of these principles to achieve your own level of Gilmore Girls-hygge at home. If there were only two things from this list that I’d encourage you to take on at home, it would be treating yourself to fresh flowers and finding ways to keep your lighting warm, backing away from harsh lighting. By remembering to keep your space functional and let your own individuality shine through your design choices, you can create a cozy interior that’s all your own. 

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