Lorelai’s Living Room (Gilmore Girls)

I’m re-watching Gilmore Girls in anticipation of the new special coming out this fall. In a way, coming back to Stars Hollow feels like coming back to a home-away-from-home. Lorelai’s place has always had a special homey feeling, especially among TV houses—I think the reason for that is that it really has the accessible, lived-in feeling that comes from a bit of clutter (like most of our homes!).

The other thing I like about this room in particular is that this effect can be achieved cheaply through thrift stores and craigslist. The story of the character is one who ran from her wealthy family and brought herself up by her bootstraps, and the thrifted, antique, collected-over-time look reflects that.

Gilmore Girls

(Photo by Patrick Ecclesine/Warner Bros./Getty Images)

So, I decided to make an inspiration board of a room that has had such a deep connection for me! To pull this inspiration board together, I went shopping on chairish.com, a site that’s like a fancy craigslist with items that have been vetted (you won’t find junky stuff on there). If you want, you can narrow the search to your geographical area. Or, you can search anywhere in the nation, if you must have that item (and want to pay freight).

Lorelai

First and foremost, Lorelai’s sofa. In the show, it’s famously old and uncomfortable. You can transform your own old and uncomfortable sofa by using a slipcover, or you can check out this option from Pottery Barn. Slipcovers are great because even though they’re white, you can wash them and keep the whole couch looking fresh.

Lorelai’s coffee table is not special, and I like that about it. It looks like it was all-wood, and painted green or teal on the bottom half of it. If you’re inspired by this room I encourage you to look for something at a local thrift shop and make it your own. But, since this is the internet, I chose this one from Overstock and “painted” it in photoshop. (winning!) The couch and coffee table are anchored by one of those woven rag rugs that I am super into lately, in a 90s kind of way.

The Gilmore girls watch a lot of TV and movies. An eagle eye can spot a couple different TV solutions (media units) in a few shots. In some seasons it’s kind of a tall 90s style TV armoire, and in others it’s an antique sewing table (sturdy, to hold an old deep TV). For this, I brought the 90s armoire into the 2010’s. This one from Home Decorators Collection has the same look, but is shorter and wider to house movies, the cable box, and a DVD/Blu-Ray player. Now that most of our TV’s are widescreen instead of the old, more square configuration, a flatscreen will look better on top of this low, wide unit, or hung on the wall above it. (I like to think that 2016 Lorelai is more open to the idea of a wall-mounted TV than 2006 Lorelai was).

Lorelais-living-room-updated-611x458

Unlike most TV shows, we often see all angles of this room depending on the scene. Must have been challenging for the crew to keep consistent! In the back corner she’s got an old wooden rocking chair like this one. There are a few home accessories that get mentioned by name, like a creepy clown pillow and a monkey lamp: I did my best to find similar ones! Also, if you go back up to the top photo you might notice that this room has a ton of lamps. I added a Tiffany style lamp but you could probably find something antique chic at a thrift or vintage shop.

From the most common angle, looking into the front doorway and hallway to kitchen, there is an iconic secretary desk, a colorful quilt hung on the wall (I bet you have one in your linen cabinet), and a couple cool art pieces like an antique painting. The key with vintage art is to find something you really like and that complements the colors in your home. Something ugly to one person could be just the thing you need, so be patient and check out every piece when you’re at an antique store. Also, don’t forget, you have the liberty to change out or paint the frame!

You guys, this was so much fun. Not only was it a great excuse to keep watching Gilmore Girls, but I haven’t put together an inspiration board in a while and I forgot how much I enjoy it. The one I did a few years ago for Barney Stinson’s apartment still gets some hits every day so I got inspired to make one for another living room. The polar opposite of Barney’s, apparently!

Would you live here? Let me know what you think in the comments! 

IKEA MOLGER in the Bathroom

Today’s post is a quick one because there isn’t a ton to say on the subject. As part one of our intentional effort to bring a bit of pine into every room, the bathroom was outfitted with an IKEA shelving unit. Inexpensive and very easy to put together, I like the modern lines mixed with the natural wood look.

bathroom shelf

Before hanging it, the brown wicker box that you can see on the top shelf simply rested on the back of the tank filled with bathroom-related items. Now those items are concealed (for the most part) in those cute green tins, also from IKEA. I can’t seem to win with the shaving cream, though. Leave it in the tub? Rust city. Put it in the cabinet? I will forget to use it. So there it sits, easily reachable from the shower, in all its glory.

bathroom shelf

Once we got the unit up on the wall, it seemed way too high (it seemed that way because it was) but I didn’t want to take it down and reposition it. Instead, I decided that what the room needed was a little 3-D artwork. Ever since the steam from a shower made a black picture frame bleed down the wall (at my parents house) I’ve always been a bit gun-shy about hanging actual artwork in the bathroom. Luckily the idea I had envisioned in my head came to fruition with a quick trip to World Market. I got this Indian hanging garland and “swooped” it nicely to fill up the negative space and add some prettiness to the area. It adds such a nice brightness and cheeriness… I love it.

Honestly, the tacky wicker basket on the back of the jon was working out just fine functionally… but it feels nice to dress up the space a bit, doesn’t it? Putting a little intentional effort into a room, even one that is the size of a glorified closet (seriously, that part of the bathroom is tiny) makes a big difference.

Pining for Pine

If  you were to ask me a couple of years ago what popped into my head when I heard “PINE,” I would have described something like this:

Rustic Pine Bed

Yikes. Fitting for a mountain hideaway cabin, but in my home? No thank you.

When Doug and I decided to renew our lease we sat down and went through the past two IKEA catalogues to see what styles stood out to us… What were we drawn to? If we’re going to stay ten more months, let’s put some purpose into our home, right?

This room spoke to me, but I am realistic enough to know that our home will never look like this:

Pine and White Inspiration, IKEA

(IKEA catalogue)

In fact, all the pictures he pointed out included natural wood, most often pine. So I hopped on the pine train and started thinking about ways to incorporate it into our home. To be honest, using the same wood in all the different rooms is a great way to unify the whole living space together. We came up with three ways to include pine in our home, which I’ll post more about next week, when I have the place cleaned up and ready for photos. Today, I’ve got a birthday party to put together.

How about some more pine inspiration?

Large IKEA Pine Collage

(IKEA… all IKEA.) 

What design element are you drawn to these days? 

Bathroom Mini-Tour

It’s a mini-tour because the bathroom is pretty small and straightforward.

Thought I ought to hop back on the room tour train, since I left off after showing the guest room and the bedroom, so here’s the last piece of the west part of the house. The bathroom. It’s really nothing special, but it’s an awfully important room in the house to have, for obvious reasons. And it definitely could be worse. After having a bathroom tiled in Easter egg colors (right off the living room where everyone could hear your business) this bathroom is a MILLION percent upgrade. Except the other one had a bigger/better/deeper tub.

Let’s get started! Mostly I wanted to show off some items I got at a design swap one of my gal pals hosted a month ago (it has been a month already! sheesh!). The colorful placemats you’ll see here are in the bathroom mostly because there were only three instead of four. If there were four I would use them in the dining room for (duh) placemats but I got creative and I love how they bring a little bit of pink in and really perk up the room. They also make it easy to tidy up. They help me tell myself, “Objects do not belong on the tan section of the counter! Hide them in drawers or cabinets!” It’s a little strange, but it works.

The third placemat got tucked into my open shelves and injects a much-needed little perk. The little sake bottle is from who-knows-where, and is cracked. The jar with sand in it is from our wedding (we did unity sand instead of candles)! My vintage train case made its way to the bottom shelf (much easier for short little me to get it out). The wicker basket (from Target) moved from the bottom shelf to on top the tank:

I was wary of putting anything on the tank because right when we moved in I had put a candle there and one night it slid off and shattered. However, seeing that this is much larger and less slippery, not to mention nothing in/on the basket is breakable, this has worked well so far.  The art in the little frame says “Happy Day” and was made by Libby as a housewarming present. :) There is a series of holes next to the toilet paper holder that need to be patched, but does it make it any better if I say they were there when we moved in? Maybe not, since it means we’ve lived with it like that for 8 months… (has it been 8 months already!?)

Here you can see the arch that I’m not crazy about, but everyone who comes over comments on how much they like it. Personal preference, I guess. It does tie in with the arched ceilings in the living room and dining room, but personally I fell that closing in the top of the shower like that makes it feel a little claustrophobic.

Last I’ll share two more little details. We have towels practically coming out of our ears, so we have an extra little storage basket (also from Target) below the counter, along with my scale (don’t remind me) and a step stool:

And I really like the art I have in the tall black frame (it’s from Target) so I thought I’d share it with you. They’re photos cut out from a semi-recent Conde Nast Traveler magazine, and all the photos are of spas in the Middle East. It reminded me of my hammam/Turkish bath experience in Morocco and felt appropriate for a bathroom.

Oh, and the paint color is Valspar’s La Fonda Mirage, the same color used in the kitchen, to not only bring in the Southwestern element of the house, but to save money by only buying one gallon, and to create a sense of continuity within different rooms.

There you go: the bathroom. Short and sweet for what I think is kind of a sweet little room. Did I mention it’s narrow and therefore super hard to photograph?

Remember, you have until Monday July 16 to enter the Scentsy giveaway! 

Take a Tour: Huyze Anna

I was totally smitten with our rental home in Bruges. It had a young, comfortable vibe and plenty of room for 5 people. When entering, the space seemed narrow but getting past the stairs, everything opened up very nicely. The stairs did seem a little precarious (not that they were wobbly, just narrow) but nobody in our group had any casualties.

I particularly liked the huuuuuge, very old map of Bruges (I believe it was a reprint of the first official map of Bruges. You can take a peek at it in the photo above, on the right edge). Little touches like that reminded us that we were in a very old city!

I especially liked the juxtaposition of the pink accents with the gray-greeny-blue wall. I thought accent walls were out of style? This one pulls it off very well. One thing that helped this accent wall make sense was that the blue color was carried on over into the kitchen, which was located directly to the right of the living area:

Is it crazy that I found this tiny kitchen easier to work with than our own much larger kitchen? I think it had to do with the spacious lower cabinets (eliminating the need for upper cabinets) which really maximized the counter space (the cabinets in our current house are hung too low, creating a very claustrophobic feel when using the workspace). Did I mention the fridge was tiny? There it is, tucked under the counter on the right. Wonder how that would fly in an American kitchen….

The space was very minimal–which is to be expected of a European vacation rental, naturally, although cute boho accents were everywhere.

This little patio was carved out of the kitchen/living room area. It was nice to leave the door open and let in fresh air. All four walls went up 3 stories so it was very private. Most definitely outdoors, but not in the way most Americans consider an outdoor living space.

On the second floor there were two bedrooms. In the first one (with a double and a single bed) there was a shower RIGHT IN THE ROOM. Smart space-saving strategy, but very awkward. The other one had a little “room” in the hallway for the shower. All the bedrooms had a sink in them. Doug and I had the one with two beds–the twin became a dumping ground for laundry and souvenirs. My parents had the room with red curtains.

On the the third floor was my sister’s room. She got her own TV (not pictured) with an assortment of DVDs featuring Garfield and Saw. You know, family favorites.

Outside Stephanie’s room was an awesome rooftop terrace. She wins the best room award (in my opinion).

What do you think? Have you ever stayed in a vacation rental instead of a hotel? I loved it!

Need a recommendation for where to stay? Check out my Your Turn section.