How To Decorate Your Home Like Rachel And Kurt's Loft From Glee

Fans fell in love with the sweet friendship between Kurt and Rachel, fostered after years of tension competing for the same roles. In Season 4, we watched in envy as they moved together into the coolest loft-style apartment, but fans of "Glee" couldn't help but wonder how Rachel and Kurt could afford such a cool place in New York. Still, it's television, so let us enjoy the fantasy. "Glee" did an excellent job of showing us how a giant, empty space could be transformed into a warm place to escape.

As young people just starting out, the furnishings in the Bushwick apartment weren't expensive looking, but when pulled all together, they created a hip and comforting style. The designers of the apartment did a great job making it look like the roommates threw together what they had to make it work, and yet it came off as a place most anyone would want to live. There was an urban vibe while still still toting the cozy comforts of home. According to Apartment List, today, lofts are quite popular, and home décor shows love to show off the expansiveness of loft-style. Here is how to decorate your own home like Rachel and Kurt's apartment.

What is loft style?

"Loft style," sometimes called "urban loft-style," is an eclectic mix of ideas. Open spaces, minimalism, and a rustic vibe are all used to describe it, as per Trendir. Rachel and Kurt's apartment got us talking about loft-style in the mid-2010s, but it's been popular for decades. We can see in the show how the possibilities are endless as Rachel and Kurt first ride their bikes around the expansive, empty apartment, imagining what it could become.

Loft style is more than open space; it's a warm, open space with varying textures. Here's the cool thing- – you don't have to have a loft to play with the aesthetic. Turn your boring, suburban home into a place that feels like an escape from the ordinary and puts you in a New York state of mind. According to The Rug Seller, all it takes is some unique brick accents, a little industrial flair, structural elements, and an open living concept. Make your neighbors jealous no matter where you live. 

Expose everything in the room

Okay, maybe not everything, but do expose any brick, wood beams, and some of the piping for an instant loft style. Leaving these elements uncovered adds to both the industrial and rustic side of the loft vision and is something that makes it so unique. We see this in the Bushwick loft-style apartment on "Glee" with the exposed brick and wood beams. It's a signature look of loft-style.

In most homes, drywall covers its frame. Not in loft style. If you have high ceilings, you can add elements like wood beams to make them look like they've always been there. According to Home Stratosphere, when leaving things like pipes exposed, keep it neutral with earthy floors and the natural color of the pipes. The look speaks for itself and doesn't need a lot of extra attention. Suddenly, that pipe that runs across the basement ceiling is the inspiration for a loft-style rec room. 

A touch of iron

As mentioned, a splash of industrial, mingled with rustic, brings the loft-style together. Besides exposed pipes, look for some fun accents made from pipes or iron to add to your décor. According to Curated Interior, shop for furniture that has a wood and metal combination when designing an industrial space. Wood tabletops with wrought iron legs and side tables with the same combo are a quick way to add useful pieces of furniture and give the room an industrial look. 

Some great artists design shelving using a metal and wood combo, often with actual pipes as the metal pieces, as per Etsy. Rather than hanging "normal" hooks in the bathroom for towels, run to the hardware store and get creative with piping. Picture an industrial light fixture above your rustic wood dining room table, just like Kurt and Rachel had. It just takes a few pieces to get the industrial vibe going.

Light up the big spaces

The whole point of a loft is to have wide-open spaces. Don't start building walls to separate each room, unless you want to hear friends gasp with horror when they walk in. Make use of those big spaces and enhance them with the right lighting. You'll notice in the Bushwick apartment that they chose lamps to not only create a feeling of different rooms, but also to add a soft light. With an expansive loft, lamps help define separate areas and create a cozy ambiance. A big loft space doesn't need a lot of overhead lighting except in areas like the kitchen. According to Lushome, when shopping for lamps for a loft-style home, look for vintage style, retro-modern, or contemporary styles. Choose functional yet comfortable lighting.

A soft chair with a vintage lamp beckons guests to curl up with a good book. A cozy seating area with a couple of floor lamps calls for friends over on Friday night. Have fun with lighting in your loft-style home. The strings of white lights in the Bushwick apartment are worth copying in your own space. Nothing says romance and welcoming like little twinkling lights. Fun and variety are what loft-style is all about.

Use minimalist furniture pieces

In any home, you want your furniture to be comfortable and inviting. In a loft-style home, search for furniture with some straight lines, like mid-century modern, and is also inviting. Minimalism is a popular concept, making it easy to find simple furnishings with style. A loft-style home has so many cool details that it isn't necessary to try to impress with overstuffed, flowery furniture. Keep the lines to a minimum and make comfort a priority. Let the exposed elements and other details of the home take center stage.

Remember how it felt like a place to hang out in Kurt and Rachel's apartment? That's the goal of loft style. Choose furniture that friends know they can plop down on and put their feet up. Nothing too crazy and nothing too stiff. How do you create comfort and minimalism at the same time? According to MyMove, to create comfy minimalism, look for slim pieces that don't visually overwhelm the room. A good sofa, a reading chair in a corner, and a couple of comfy seats with ottomans should do the trick.

Utilize wide open spaces

With those wide-open spaces, it takes some creativity to make separate living areas without physically separating everything. With a few tricks, you can have every area you want in your loft-style home, especially room for entertaining friends (just like Rachel and Kurt).

According to Houzz, the first place to start when creating areas in an open floor plan is with the furniture you already have. Turn the backs of chairs toward other areas, as this immediately signals the separation of two spaces. Now your space is still wide open, but you have obvious different sections in your living area. The goal is to keep the open concept and feeling while also having everything you want in a home, such as a living room, kitchen, dining room, or office. Another way to divide and conquer an open loft-style area is with rugs. Rugs are an easy fix to show one area is here and another is there. Place furniture on or around a rug to create a particular sitting area.

Create gallery walls or decorate with lots of art

One of the fabulous benefits of a loft space is the many exposed walls. These are like empty canvases waiting to hold your beautiful collections. A gallery wall is created by hanging framed posters, prints, or photos on a wall. They can be anything you choose. What makes it a gallery is the fact that several pieces are displayed in one area.

According to House Beautiful, there are two types of galleries: Those designed using your own DIY art or photographs and those created with purchased art or pictures. Either way works just fine. Buying a prepared set of gallery prints is easy because they're already framed. If using your own, you'll have to take the extra step of framing, but that's an easy fix. Loft-style homes are perfect for gallery walls. If there is exposed brick, it makes an incredible backdrop to display artwork and photos. Even pipes or wood beams add an artistic touch to a gallery wall.

Create an eclectic design

Mixing and matching are critical to the urban loft style. Look at Rachel and Kurt's apartment, and you'll notice there isn't much that came as a set, yet it all flows beautifully. According to Decoholic, when creating an eclectic design, follow the rules of three. Always use at least three pieces of furniture in a room. If you use only two, they'll look out of place. So, if you want to mix up furniture in a certain area, that's fine. Just make sure you use three mix-matched pieces, not just two.

Eclectic design is fun and allows even amateur designers to try out a few different styles. With the loft style, the open concept couldn't be more perfect for an eclectic pallet. The large feel of an open area makes it easier to get away with unique furnishings and design. The living area might have a traditional plaid chair, a simple minimalist sofa, and a circular velvet chair and ottoman. In contrast, the dining area has a rustic farmhouse table, three farm-style chairs, and three modern metal chairs. The more eclectic ideas you throw in, the more naturally it all flows.

Embrace unfinished floors

Rule number one when creating your "Rachel and Kurt" home ... no carpeting. Carpeting isn't entirely out of style and has even made a bit of a comeback. Still, in your hip, loft-style home, stick with concrete and wood.

According to The Spruce, concrete floors are extremely durable, and if put in correctly, they'll likely last as long as you live in the home. Concrete was used only in garages and basements, but now we're seeing it everywhere in homes. Besides its incredible durability, it can be colored and designed in many ways, making it a unique option. Wood has always been a design favorite and still is today. It's classic and warm. Both options are great in a loft-style home. They flow well with the idea of industrial, rustic, and eclectic. For all practical purposes, it's easy to love concrete and wood because they're easy to keep clean. Sure, carpet is soft under our feet, but it traps dirt and stains easily. If you have the option, go for an unfinished look with your concrete or wood floors. It's not easy to get away with such a unique look, but if anyone can pull it off, it's the loft-style home.

Let the sun shine in

As much as possible, avoid window coverings. It's easier to do when you're truly decorating a loft in a skyrise in the city, like Kurt and Rachel. Still, even in your suburban home, there may be windows you can leave uncovered. The addition of uncovered windows adds to an open feeling. When windows are closed off or covered, the room feels smaller and not as open. If you have to cover a window or two, do so lightly without heavy drapes.

According to Pella Replacement Windows & Doors, windows can make a statement and be a part of your home's décor. They also offer a few unique ideas to draw attention to your beautiful windows. Try shutters on the sides of the indoor windows. Plants hung near windows allow the sun in but also give a little privacy. If you can leave windows completely exposed, consider painting the sashes and frames to make the windows pop. Try your best not to hide them. 

Design areas with entertaining in mind

One thing we love about the "Glee" loft is the welcoming feeling it has. Friends seem to pop up out of nowhere. You can have that same feeling in your home, even without a large, open space. It just takes some thought and creativity. Stand in the middle of your open area and imagine entertaining guests. Where did they congregate? Most likely the kitchen and the living room. Whichever two areas are your hot spots for entertaining, make sure they flow well together. Don't cut them off from each other. Have an open path between the two rather than turning the backs of furniture toward the other entertaining area, making them feel separate. Turn the backs toward another area, like the home office or somewhere that isn't used for entertaining.

After preparing to entertain, now consider the needs of the family. According to Neal's Design Remodel, it's important to assess the needs of family members along with their privacy and comfort level when guests aren't around. The open concept is fabulous for entertaining, but someone's home office amongst the everyday chaos might not work well.

Go for unique storage options

Sine loft-style is so wide open, there aren't a lot of nooks and crannies for hiding things. Storage can be a challenge. According to Makey, storage challenges force us to get organized and develop smarter storage solutions. You'll have to get that imagination churning but once you do, you'll be amazed at the fun storage ideas you come up with. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

Bookshelves aren't just for books. Look for shelving like you see in Rachel and Kurt's loft from "Glee" and use the shelves for multiple purposes. You can store books, small blanket throws, office supplies, display photos, and other decorations and collections. A great way to make the open storage look tidy is by adding baskets to your shelves and storing things in those.

Hang anything you can to free up floor space. Turn a basket or wooden box on its side and screw it to the wall for a storage shelf. Shallow plastic bins, old boxes, or even old dresser drawers fit under a bed to store things. If choosing an ottoman, look for one that opens for storage. Use a trunk as a coffee table to store blankets, games, and extra pillows.

Mix things up with texture

Texture in a home comes from the materials used in objects and furniture. You'll notice the variety of furniture, rugs, lighting, and decor in Kurt and Rachel's place. Loft-style is all about texture, and it naturally happens because of the eclectic vibe. Mix the texture like Rachel and Kurt by using various textiles and materials. 

According to The Spruce, it's possible to incorporate texture in every part of the home, from flooring to walls and furniture to décor. Without texture, we're left with a home that looks flat and boring. In the loft-style home, exposed brick, pipes, and wood beams give immediate texture variations. That's what you want to go for –- plenty of variety.

Stand in the living area. If the coffee table is smooth and the furniture is minimal with slim lines, you may need to add some fuzzy pillows, blankets, and possibly a rug for some texture. Mixing styles of furniture helps with texture as well. A cotton-covered couch next to a worn, leather chair looks inviting, which is what texture does for us.

Throw in a splash of vintage

In today's homes, you can't go wrong when adding a splash of vintage style. With a loft-style's somewhat rustic feel, anything vintage fits right in. Everything in Kurt and Rachel's place is eye-catching, and a lot of it creates a vintage atmosphere. The whole place radiates coziness and warmth. Copy their style by looking for old, worn signs, light fixtures that have been rewired but look aged, and anything else that looks flea market worthy. According to Veranda, the only rules to follow when antique shopping are to follow your gut and keep an open mind when considering how to use an object in your home.

Vintage pieces soften our décor and the nostalgia they offer is a bonus. Plop an old globe on top of a shelf, throw a worn quilt over the back of a stiff couch to soften it up, and choose rugs that look like they came from another era even though they're brand new. The best way to find fun treasures is by seeking out flea markets and unique antique shops. Of course, there are also plenty of online avenues to shop for vintage items as well. It's the thrill of the hunt, no matter how you do it.