Grandmillennial design is just as the name suggests: half granny and half millennial. This blending of two disparate generations into a single interior design style seems a bit…mental. Who in their right mind would bring back table skirts, brocade couches, wallpaper, and needlepoint pillows? The same young’uns who brought back leg warmers, hair scrunchies, and acid wash jeans. Millennials, that’s who.
These 20- to 30-somethings have been forever scarred by their parents’ love of monochromatic design and are taking things in an entirely new (and incredibly creative) direction. Why? Because millennials are into self expression. They are social creatures. They love to entertain, gather with peers, and yes, dress like the original Material Girl.
Granny chic, as grandmillenialism is affectionately referred, honors the style and tradition of the old while incorporating elements from this century. Grandmillennial design is not stuffy, but fresh and modern. Textures are layered. Patterns compliment each other. Restraint is key.
If you’re considering this style for your home–or just want to know more–we’d recommend focusing on the following elements that will bring just the right amount of granny to the party.
Focus on Collections That Are Classic, Not Kitschy
To achieve granny chic, displaying vintage or vintage-inspired collectibles as a design element is a key component. Milk glass, ginger jars, patterned china, figurines, and crystal are all items that granny may have lovingly displayed around her home. Unlike granny, however, the grandmillennial designer would display a select few, carefully chosen items in a new way. For instance, china plates on the bedroom wall. There are no rules. Go for it!
If perusing the antique stores isn’t for you, there are many vintage-inspired options available that won’t break the bank. For new items with a vintage vibe, we found that this Table Topper from Styld is just the ticket. It’s everything granny would have loved but with a modern flair, from the vibrant blue tray with gold trim, to the gold handled marble box and the gold encrusted stoneware bowl.
Coordinating Colors and Patterns
If not done correctly, grandmillennial design can quickly take a turn from comforting to overwhelming. Decor in this genre should have complimenting patterns and coordinating colors, and materials should share at least one design element.
A big element in grandmillenial design is wallpaper. That’s right baby, wallpaper is making a comeback (read all about it)! Wallpapers of any pattern are a go-to in grandmillennial design, but not in the dark, stuffy way you may remember from your childhood. Granny Chic wallpapers are paired with light furniture and bright textiles to make rooms feel cozy yet light and airy.
Sassy Textiles Are the Cornerstone to Granny Chic
Textiles are a great way to impart texture, incorporate patterns, and also add a bit of sass into your granny chic decor. Pleated lamp shades, patterned blinds, needlepoint pillows, and area rugs are all perfect for adding some granny personality to your chic millennial decor.
Remember table skirts? They not only provide a great place for little people to hide, but are also a fantastic way to incorporate texture and patterns. Along with table skirts, grandmillenial design is bringing back couch skirts, velveteen upholstery, and ruffled pillows. However, unlike the textiles of granny’s era that require dry cleaning, today’s textiles are available in performance fabrics that can withstand some use and abuse.
Another surprising element that is clawing its way back from granny’s house is needlepoint. Pillows, tea towels, dish towels: it’s all fair game as long as you can thread a needle through it. Plus (little known fact), millennials are actually showing an affinity for the art of needlepoint crafting. While granny likely did not have a pillow on her couch that said, “I’m Not Bossy I Just Have Better Ideas!”, these sassy interpretations of grandma’s floral needlepoint pillows are very grandmillennial.
The Grand Summary of GrandMillennial Design
Before going all-in on granny chic, we recommend that you turn to the O.G. (Original Granny) designers for inspiration. The Prince of Chintz Mario Buatta, Sister Parish, and Colefax & Fowler were designers that were doing granny chic before millennials were even a thought. We hope their stories and designs will inspire you as much as they have the design world.
If you’ve decided that granny chic is not for you, no worries. There are many other design trends of 2021 that may be more up your alley. As always, if you are in the market for an interior designer or home staging, give us a shout.