Featured image credit: Netflix/Eric Charbonneau
“I Smell Snow…”
If the arrival of the cold weather has you wanting to cancel all your plans and stay inside watching Gilmore Girls re-runs from morning until night, let me assure you, you’re not alone.
The second I see the leaves outside starting to change color my first instinct is to stock up on red wines and pop tarts, drink copious amounts coffee, and disappear into an autumnal haze of Stars Hollow goodness until springtime!
There’s just something about this series that feels so intensely cozy and comforting you can’t help coming back to it again and again. The characters feel like old friends, the story lines never get old (team Dean, Jess, or Logan? The debate lives on!), and the beautiful homes, well, that’s why we’re here after all!
The grandeur of the Gilmore mansion is impressive to be sure and I’ll always have a soft spot for Luke’s snug studio apartment above the diner, but, there’s one house I’ll forever wish I could call my own. That is, of course, Lorelai and Rory’s beautiful pale blue Dutch colonial home.
Lorelai & Rory’s eclectic cozy Connecticut home
There are so many reasons to love Lorelai and Rory’s house.
From the mismatched floral living room furniture decorated with patchwork quilts and cottage style throw pillows to the retro style kitchen, dark wood accents and soft yellow walls.
Even now watching re-runs in 2021, the house feels warm and perpetually inviting. (I’m not sure whether that’s from the glow of the sheer abundance of vintage lamps in the space or the perceived scent of pop tarts, popcorn, and frozen pizza drifting from the kitchen!)
Changes to the home through the years
Another wonderful thing about the Gilmore Girls house is that it feels totally real and lived in. So much so that, just like a real residence, countless updates and renovations were carried out over the years.
Some of the most memorable include a complete remodel to Lorelai’s bedroom which involved moving the door, adding a Jack and Jill bathroom, and completely re-decorating the space in a modern shade of mint green.
In Netflix revival of the series, A Year In The Life, we even saw their kitchen change from a relatively plain but still adorable shade of beige with subtle green and yellow accents to a totally reconfigured space complete with painted green cabinets, bright yellow dining chairs and matching checkerboard floor tiles. Perfection.
Is the Gilmore Girls house real?
Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but Rory and Lorelai’s house is not real. The lovely family home we see throughout the show — including the Netflix revival, A Year In The Life — was a set built in the Warner Brothers studio.
However, if this brings you any solace, a real house was used for the pilot episode which aired on October 5, 2000.
While the majority of Gilmore Girls — except for the Chilton Academy, which was shot on location at the famous Greystone Mansion — was filmed in a collection of specially constructed sets on a back lot at Warner Brothers studios in Burbank California, the first ever episode was filmed in an entirely different location.
The pilot episode features real homes set in a real town in Canada: Unionville, Ontario. And if you look closely, you’ll see aerial shots of Unionville used throughout the show to give the town a better sense of authenticity.)
After episode one, the interior of Rory and Lorelai’s home was re-created on a sound stage at the Warner Brothers studio lot in Burbank California.
As were many of the other locations including Luke’s Diner, the Gilmore Mansion, and even the town square and gazebo based on Main Street, Unionville. Unfortunately for us die-hard GG fans, that does mean we cant step inside Lorelai and Rory’s house for real. So how about the town?
“Where you lead, I will follow…“
Can you visit Stars Hollow?
One of the many reasons we adore Lorelai and Rory’s home so much is for the fact it’s located in what many of us would describe as the most magical town on earth.
That’s why it really breaks my heart to tell you that the warm and whimsical town of Stars Hollow doesn’t actually exist.
But, before you get too disheartened, you should know that the town was actually inspired by a real life place named, Washington in Connecticut!
In 1999, show creator Amy Sherman-Palladino visited the town and was so inspired by her time there that she had an idea for a show based in a place just like it and, as we know, the rest is history. One ticket to Connecticut please!
If you want to visit the actual location where all of our most beloved characters shot scenes for the series however, you can visit the Stars Hollow set as part of a Warner Brothers Studio tour. There you can see the exterior of Lukes, Miss Patty’s, and the famous town square gazebo. Fun fact, this outdoor set has also featured on Pretty Little Liars.
I should also mention that, although it looks like there’s no plans for an event this year, there have been a number of Gilmore Girls Holiday events at the studio in the past, so keep your eyes peeled.
The event included tours of the original sets, lunch at Lorelai’s house, and displays of original costumes and props used in the show. And yes, as it usually takes place in winter, the town is decked out in all the holiday splendor you’d expect — complete with decorated trees and twinkly lights.
Until then, we’ll all have to be satisfied with snuggling up under a blanket with a giant cup of coffee, watching our favorite episodes for the hundredth time, and debating with total strangers online about the age old question: are you team Dean, team Logan, or (the only correct answer) team Jess?
More idyllic homes from your favorite TV shows
The Real-Life Homes from Modern Family — and Where to Find Them
The Picture-Perfect Houses of Wisteria Lane in ‘Desperate Housewives’
Is It Real? The New Girl Gang’s Quirky & Cozy L.A. Loft
Tracking Down Both Meredith Grey’s House and the Dream House Derek Built for Her on Grey’s Anatomy