With content provided by Eklektik Designers Kelly Wesson and Melinda Smith
Millennials are taking a leaf out of their grandparents’ book with a modern-meets-traditional decor style known as grandmillennial. Identified as one of the major design trends of this year, grandmillennial style is a throwback to the decor we’ve all grown up with and seen in our grandparents’ homes. The look aims to add personality and eclectic touches with bold patterns and textures, contrasting with the minimalist, modern styles that have been trending for years.
Whether you live in a contemporary home in Los Angeles, CA, or a cozy craftsman in Seattle, WA, you can easily incorporate this design trend into your space with a few simple additions. Here’s how to perfectly achieve the granny chic style in your home.
What is grandmillennial style?
Also known as “granny-chic,” grandmillennial style is ideal if you’re looking to repurpose hand-me-down decor items or break away from the minimalist aesthetic trending on social media. Grandmillennial merges modern-day design trends – think Scandinavian, mid-century modern, and minimalism – with retro elements to create a warmer, cozier approach to home decor with lots of color and prints. The style is about filling your space with items that let your personality shine through.
Components that make up grandmillennial style
The key to achieving grandmillennial style is to pair vintage with modern items in your space. It’s all about finding the right balance between the two – and not overdoing it – so you aren’t left with a space that’s more granny than granny chic. But, where do you start? Let’s break down the various elements that make up this popular home decor trend:
Patterns are essential to achieving a grandmillennial home design. Classic prints such as toile, chintz, chinoiserie, or florals are making a huge comeback and can be incorporated into your home design through curtains, upholstery, or wall coverings. When choosing to use these bold patterns, keep the color palette light and consistent to avoid adding an overly-cluttered look to your space. The aim is for the space to look cozy and layered. A good rule of thumb when deciding which pattern to use is to keep the room’s size in mind. The larger the space, the larger the pattern or print you can use, whereas the smaller the space, the smaller the pattern.
Bold fabric patterns and colors
Patterns and bold colored fabric choices are great ways to add personality and a touch of whimsy in any space. You can experiment with different fabric options on your upholstery and curtains, and it’s a bigger statement than simply adding patterned blankets or throw pillows, though these are great layering pieces if you’re just trying out the style. However, if you’re not ready to invest in a colorful couch or if you’re new to the style, start with a smaller furniture piece like an accent chair or ottoman.
“Grandmillennial style can appropriately be achieved by taking antique pieces directly from your grandparents (or an antique shop) and reupholstering them in new fabric. Applying a lush velvet in a bold color can enhance the antique piece’s look in an updated way. Alternatively, going with a large-scale pattern can truly combine the “granny” look with modern trends to create a fun and visually interesting piece that everyone will comment on. This is a great way to upcycle a well-built piece of furniture if you’re not wanting to spend a pretty penny on new items that may not be built as well as you hope they are.” – Kelly Wesson, Interior Designer, Eklektik Interiors
Rattan or wicker
If you’re dipping your toes into the granny-chic style, wicker and rattan furnishings are approachable options and can fit seamlessly into any aesthetic.
Brass, porcelain, and plenty of texture
Achieve the granny chic look by incorporating hues of brass or gold – think a brass Victorian-style mirror or gold candle holders. You can also use blue and white porcelain decor throughout, such as a vase or decorative kitchenware. Thrifting these kinds of decor items from an antique store or thrift store is a great way to truly achieve that unique, vintage look.
Dark stained wood furniture
Wood furniture in darker tones is right at home in grandmillennial style. Instead of trying to cover up the dark-stained pieces of furniture you already have with paint, keep them exactly as is. Side tables, cabinets, or console tables made of walnut or cherry wood are great darker-toned furniture pieces and can easily be found in thrift stores if you don’t already have one.
“A great way to incorporate this style is to pair modern minimalist art over a more traditional or antique buffet or console table. Finish it off with a glass-based table lamp, and some smaller décor pieces like fashion books and a trailing house plant to bring in some softness.” – Melinda Smith, Interior Designer, Eklektik Interiors
Grandmillennial style embraces the use of embellishments. Think trims such as tassels, ruffles, pleats, and fringe. These embellishments can adorn any piece of decor, from pillows and blankets to even lampshades. If you’re testing out the trend, try using embellishments in complementary shades to your existing decor and add texture to your space.
What was once a pastime reserved for your grandparents is now a hallmark of the grandmillennial style. Needlepoint is enjoying its resurgence as a newfound hobby and collector’s item among millennials. Plus, you may even already have embroidered pillows and wall hangings stowed away to display. If you have a deft hand with crafts, you can create your own embroidered pillowcase or artwork to display in a vintage picture frame or stitched as a sassy saying on a throw pillow.
Display your collections
While “knickknacks” were once considered clutter, they are now essential components of this emerging trend. Maybe you’re an avid collector of China teacups, dishware, figurines, crystals, or some other kind of trinkets or baubles. With grandmillennial style, any of these items that are packed away in storage can now be brought out and displayed to bring a touch of granny-chic to your interior design. These display items can also include practical components such as vintage candle holders or old jars repurposed as plant holders. To prevent the mix from looking cluttered, group similar items to create a cohesive look and pull your collection together.
The key to grandmillennial style is to keep it fresh
Decorating your home in grandmillennial style needs balance, and it can be easy to go overboard. The goal is to get the right blend of a sleek modern loft in Manhattan, New York, and the cozy vibes of your grandparents’ home in Phoenix, Arizona. But one step too far, and it can look more granny than grandmillennial. Pick key items in your home that will make the most significant difference rather than changing everything in your home at one go.