When you think of classic floral embroidery and pretty flow blue china, you probably picture traditional, vintage interiors. But what happens when you combine these vintage, homey elements with refined, contemporary pieces? You end up with what we like to call ‘grandmillennial decor’.
What is grandmillennial decor?
So, what does grandmillennial actually mean? As you might have guessed, the term originates from the words ‘grandmother’ and ‘millennial’. The term was coined in 2019 by interiors editor Emma Bazilian for House Beautiful US to describe an emerging interior trend that blends different eras to create an eclectic style. As the name suggests, it’s popular with millennials that have an affinity for traditional designs but enjoy mixing them with a modern flair – with some even dubbing it as ‘granny chic’.
Grandmillennial decor shares a similar aesthetic to cottagecore (and to some extent vintage maximalism) but at the heart of it lies the juxtaposition between old and new to provide an expressive mixture of colour, pattern and texture, all with a modern twist. Think floral wallpaper, chintz fabric, wooden furniture, embroidery, ruffles and wicker pieces.
How to get the grandmillennial look
If you’re tired of the contemporary greys and beiges you see plastered over Instagram, it’s time to get the grandmillennial look in your home. Start by incorporating staple pieces from different eras – from the 1920s to 2000s and everything in between – to create a cosy and homely space. Imagine your grandmother’s house – but with a modern edge.
Ready to get the grandmillennial look? Keep scrolling…
1. It all starts with pattern
Helen Ashmore, Head of Design at Laura Ashley, talks about the importance of pattern when it comes to grandmillennial decor: ‘Grandmillennial decor is all about embracing chintzy floral patterns and your grandma’s favourite china tea set. Layer various patterns and bright colours on top of each other for a fresh new take on laidback maximalism.’
2. Upcycle vintage furniture
‘As sustainability is more and more at the forefront of every designer’s mind, it’s all about working with what you have rather than creating brand new things,’ Helen says. ‘Grandmillennial decor is breathing new life into a family heirloom furniture piece with a fresh coat of paint, a wallpaper drawer liner or turning your grandma’s vintage curtains into a quilted cushion cover.’
3. Fringed and pleated accessories
Layering patterns and textures, such as fringed and pleated cushions and curtains, is at the heart of grandmillennial decor. Helen advises: ‘Add embroidered, fringed cushions to your monochrome sofa, and swap your old curtains for a floral patterned one.’
4. Incorporate wooden accents
‘As fashion repeats itself, interior trends tend to be circular as well,’ Helen notes. ‘After all the minimal and sleek designs, people want to bring a bit of joy and fun back into their homes.’
The grandmillennial trend is all about having an appreciation for the past. Making space for traditional, lived-in pieces, try incorporating vintage wooden accents such as an antique bedside table, desk, or a wooden occasional chair.
5. Don’t forget wallpaper
‘A key part of grandmillennial decor is patterned wallpaper. Start your grandmillennial transformation by experimenting with different floral wallpapers. It doesn’t have to go everywhere: start with a statement wall, slowly but steadily layering your items. Add to it as you live with it – think of it as a collection of your favourite things,’ Helen concludes.