What Defines: The New Girl

By Julie Block.

[Editor's Note: We always ask the people we profile, "What defines you?" But what if we want to define a fictional character, or group of people, or a store? Welcome to our occasional series that investigates the thousand little decisions that go into creating spaces that define our culture.]

I have a certain style. It’s a little bit girly, a little bit vintage, and a little bit modern, with splashes of bold reds, blues, and yellows. Think minimalist furniture juxtaposed with paintings, paperweights, and miscellaneous tchotchkes. I call it “my personal style.” My former roommate calls it “granny chic.” When she’s feeling especially mean, she calls it “Zooey Deschanel 2.0.”

Zooey Deschanel plays Jess in New Girl

In the design world, Zooey Deschanel’s name has become synonymous with loft living and downtown LA. This is no doubt due to the fabulous living spaces her characters in 500 Days of Summer and New Girl call home.

New Girl is a great show, to be sure. But it showcases an even greater apartment.

The New Girl loft

Zooey’s character Jess lives in an LA Arts District converted warehouse loft. It’s beautiful and massive, and most of the apartment furnishings are custom-made. The storyline assures us that the characters living here are on a shoestring budget, but we’re not so sure.

Since 80% of New Girl’s scenes take place in the apartment, it becomes a character in and of itself. With its wooden beams, exposed brick, and blue accent walls, this apartment is a (cluttered) loft-dweller’s dream. For instance, I sincerely hope the producers have a show auction in the next few years so I can bid for the kitchen table.

Rustic kitchen table

Then there’s Jess’s room, the epitome of the “granny-chic” aesthetic. Here, bold color contrasts, such as red brick and turquoise walls, take center stage. One might gravitate towards the plentiful yarn accents and floral patterns that adorn the room, but personally, my eyes always get stuck on the sliding concrete closet door. I want to live in there.

Jess's bedroom

And don’t even get me started on Jess’s concrete window seat. Who made the mistake of making this fictional loft a rental property? I would get married and die here.

The apartment basketball hoop reminds us that we’re dealing with a group of male 30-somethings. Likewise, the bathroom, which brings to mind the boy’s bathroom in My So Called Life (or pretty much any show that took place at a public high school), reminds us that these guys are also hipsters. And while I personally feel that having a multiple stall bathroom complete with urinals contradicts the gorgeous old leather couch and exposed brick, perhaps that just adds to the charm.

The loft's high school-inspired bathroom

Hopefully this season will bring us more plot points centered on decorating the already-filled apartment. Fingers crossed.

New Girl airs on Fox.

All images courtesy of Fox Television


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