What Is Grandmillennial Style – A Fascinating Design Trend!

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What Is Grandmillennial Style that everyone is talking about these days? Even if you are not a millennial yourself, you may be aware of a fascinating interior design trend known as Grandmillennial style.

grandmillennial style shabbyfufu.com

It is an approach to décor identifed by House Beautiful in 2019 and is on the rise. In this post you’ll learn more about grandmillennial style with my friend and guest host Michele Ranard of the blog Hello Lovely Studio

Grandmillennial mystique appeared on my own radar after I read a piece on One Kings Lane. It resonated since I have watched my Millennial sons become increasingly enamored with a 1980’s era aesthetic. Let’s explore the allure of this decorating scheme!

Charming Grandmillennial style in a dining room with preppy green stripe wallpaper and slipcovered dining chairs - Good Life of Design.

What is Grandmillennial Style & Why Is it Trending?

by Michele Ranard, M.Ed. of Hello Lovely Studio

Photos courtesy of Good Life of Design, The Enchanted Home, After Orange County, and Hello Lovely Studio

Cheerful green stripe wallpaper and accents in a dining room with Grandmillennial traditional decor style - Good Life of Design.

 

What is Grandmillennial style, and how does it vary from traditional or classic design?

Grandmillennials honor the homes of their grandparents. They harbor fondness for: traditional style, embroidery, chintz, antiques, china, vintage furniture and décor others might deem outdated or even “granny chic.”

Traditional living room in a cottage reflecting Grandmillennial style and cozy factor - After Orange County. #grandmillennialstyle #livingroom

It certainly has its roots in tradition and classicism. Yet what seems to distinguish New Traditionalists is how they freshly interpret tradition with playfulness and a modern mindfulness.

Turquoise wall in a charming Grandmillennial living room with vintage painting of white cat - Jenny Sweeney design on Hello Lovely. #grandmillennial #livingroom

While classic in tone and certainly more formal than “modern farmhouse,” Grandmillennial style is more organically adventurous. It relies on thrifting wisely, collecting cast-offs, and boldly mixing patterns. It refuses to get stuck in a homogenous ‘live, laugh love’ zone.

A colorful kitchen designed with vintage thrifted finds reflects Grandmillennial style and personality plus - Jenny Sweeney designed kitchen on Hello Lovely. #grandmillennial #kitchens

Grandmillennial interiors cheer with uplifting color. They are layered thoughtfully with welcoming furnishings that are gracious but not hands-off .

Vintage chair with gold upholstery in a bedroom reflecting the charm of Grandmillennial style - After Orange County.

How are rooms styled with a Grandmillennial point of view, and how are devotees getting the look?

Floral patterns, toile, and colorful prints for furniture, bedding, and drapes are freely mixed.

Blue and white tassel trim on traditional style drapery - The Enchanted Home.

Comfy cozy sofas (tufted, colorful, and even upholstered in velvet but solidly built rather than shipped in pieces for assembly!) are back with cheerful traditional wallpaper, rattan everything, and wicker for walls and tabletop.

Blue and white ginger jars in a traditional style entry with wallpaper and wainscot - Good Life of Design. #grandmillennialstyle #interiordesign

A few more favorites?

Grandma’s china in a formal dining room and on the walls, slipcovered dining chairs, vintage accessories, brown wood furniture, macramé, needlepoint, and porch swings.

Antique style bathroom vanity in a traditional style bathroom with blue toile wallpaper - Good Life of Design. #grandmillennial #interiordesign #bathroom

Classics such as chintz, blue and white ginger jars, antiques, crystal, pleated lampshades, and jadeite bring life to these collected spaces.

Blue and white ginger jars in a traditional style vignette by The Enchanted Home. #grandmillennial #interiordesign #gingerjars

While Millennials may not line up granny’s knick knacks on every spare surface, there’s a tolerance for functional clutter. Treasured objects or those frequently pulled into service need not be hidden away.

Classic style light blue sofa in a traditional style living room reflecting Grandmillennial style - Good Life of Design.

Why are so many twenty and thirty-somethings embracing the trend?

First, Millennials are a nostalgic generation. They cherish memories of times spent at their grandparents’ homes, many of which were decorated with collections and tradition.

Pretty vintage glass decanters on a silver tray impart Grandmillennial decor style in this traditional vignette - The Enchanted Home. #grandmillennial #interiordesign #newtraditionalists

Decorating their own homes with remnants of the past brings a measure of comfort in the midst of uncertainty and cultural chaos.

Such comfort is welcome more than ever. Though chic, minimal design cannot compete with maximal’s warmth and cozy factor.

Colorful den with vintage chairs and a mix of patterns reflects Grandmillennial style - Jenny Sweeney designed space on Hello Lovely.

Second, in eras of economic crisis (student loan debt and pandemic furloughs, anyone?), Grandmillennial style is humbly affordable.

Traditional style bedroom with earth tones and Grandmillennial style - Hello Lovely.

A quick browse of FB Marketplace reveals high quality yet inexpensive Victorian-era brown furniture is still widely available.

Deep reds and browns in a traditional style dining room with Grandmillennial charm - Hello Lovely.

Thirdly, insta-perfect culture no longer holds Millennials within its clutches. A collective longing rises for: greater authenticity, transparency, and more REAL.

blue white bedspread bedroom afterorangecounty 2

Since the manner in which we decorate at home reflects our values, it’s no surprise the demand for timeless, sustainable, and unique décor is on the rise.

Traditional style balloon style valance and bedside lamp in a pretty bedroom reflecting Grandmillennial style - The Enchanted Home. #grandmillennialstyle #bedroom #interiordesign

As my personal favorite Grandmillennial design champion Erin Napier of Hometown explained to HGTV:

“It takes a level of lived-in comfort and collectedness in a home to make it feel complete and real.”

Pretty blue and white traditional style cottage bedroom with vintage decor and Grandmillennial style - After Orange County. #grandmillennial #blueandwhite #interiordesign

How has Grandmillenial style increased in relevance in the 2020s?

Because of sheltering in place and shutdowns, lots of folks spend more time at home crafting, knitting, baking, painting, and pursuing traditional interests.

Vintage framed white lace doilies become inexpensive wall art - After Orange County. #grandmillennialstyle #interiordesign

Since our homes are evolving into workplaces as well as relaxing spaces, our rooms live larger and simply become more cluttered.

Bright pink stripes and florals in a vintage style bedroom with Grandmillennial style - Hello Lovely.

While clutter poses issues for minimalists and modernists, granny chic style is forgiving of modern lifestyle overflow.

Boldly patterned wallpaper with hot pink in a den with orange velvet tufted settee reflects Grandmillennial style - Jenny Sweeney design on Hello Lovely.

What do the psychological underpinnings of Grandmillennial style suggest?

While I’m a busy decor inspiration blogger at Hello Lovely Studio, I’m also a professional counselor who studied human behavior and development.

Cheerful spring green area rug with bamboo patio chairs and elephant pedestal side table in a traditional sun room with Grandmillennial style - Hello Lovely.

It makes sense that new traditionalists and Millennials are compelled to connect deeply with their interiors in more personal and emotional ways.

Soft pastels and traditional style drapery in a Grandmillennial style bedroom - Hello Lovely.

After all, they have largely been tethered to electronic devices and interacting virtually for years.

Charming green kitchen cabinets and stripe wallpaper in a traditional style kitchen reflecting Grandmillennial style - Good Life of Design.

A growing appreciation for: the arts, simple pleasures, unplugged hands-on activities, traditional hobbies, and “old school” experiences is consistent with the rise of self-care and a desire to restore balance of body, mind, and spirit.

Hoosier cabinet and vintage green tones in a cozy cottage reflecting Grandmillennial style - After Orange County.

In addition, since Grandmillennial style is not a one-size-fits-all approach to decorating, it honors self-expression.

Window seat with traditional style pillows and lace valance - After Orange County. #grandmillennialstyle

Its success is reliant on the decorator’s creativity, personality, and journey collecting pieces rather than a single drive to Ikea with a pickup.

Charming light blue and white slipper chair in a traditional bedroom with Grandmillennial style - The Enchanted Home.

Millennials have been to the ends of Pinterest and the internet. They understand curation, taste, branding, and creating vibe.

A large vintage cat portrait hangs above a traditional white sofa in a colorful living room reflecting Grandmillennial style - Jenny Sweeney design on Hello Lovely.

And they recognize the life-giving emotional returns when home becomes a layered, evolving backdrop to create new memories.

Michele of the decor inspiration and lifestyle blog, Hello Lovely Studio.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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30 Comments

  1. Oh Janet 🙂 I love ~ adore & j’adore 🙂 Granny Chic! It speaks to my heart & is my heart! Thank you ever sooo much for such a sweet & lovely precious expose on beloved Granny Chic! You always do the most loveliest & sweetest things ~ & everything you do is a joy to behold! 🙂 Thank you for you! xo ~Joy 🙂 Howie xo:) & lil Coco Joy xo 🙂 to dear you & family & puppies! 🙂

  2. Thank you for your post today! IT IS ME! Younger family members don’t understand the sweet memories of things collected over your married life . Or the sweet memories of treasures passed down through families.. Family treasures will always be special & endure.. IKEA assembled furniture will go to the curb & be forgotten!! I loveee your post today! But this is Exactly what has been missing from all all the blogs I read & follow! I hope you’ll post more on this trend.. Invite others to comment. And hope your upcoming blogs will feature these GrandMellinnial ideas! Your Blog SPOKE to my heart today! Today’s houses are just filled with stuff you can buy.. It’s the personal touches and stories of our treasures that are missing from blogs today.. Thank you, you spoke to my heart today! I hope you’ll feature some homes with these ideas in mind! Thanks!

  3. Love this article so inspiring carm

  4. Catherine ten Hertog says:

    It is so nice to find out that all along I have been a Grandmillenial decorator. Initially I didn’t know what the term meant and thought it was the marrying of Boho and Scandinavian styles. Thrilled that my home meets all the criteria outlined in the article. A combination of necessity and a love of thrifting vintage furniture and decor has created a modest home where guests invariably say how lovely it is. I favour mostly clean lines, light colours and traditional touches such as painted woodwork and crystal chandeliers for a bit of elegance. Wooden furniture interspersed with the odd painted piece and more formal pinch pleated draperies. Lovely to know that at least for the moment I have aligned with a decor trend. Loved the post!

  5. I completely agree with Debbie sunshine! In my opinion some blogs sites even though they look beautiful and some very expensive they lack warm and look impersonal. I’m a traditional my style is French eclectic with furniture my mother in law gave to me fifty years ego when they downsized. They feel warm and comfortable and like wine they get and look better with age. I also love Erin Napier from home town and your blog!

  6. Thank you for this … I’ve been hearing the term grandmillennial for a while and wasn’t entirely sure what it meant. Now I understand … and I love it. Turns out, while I’m no millennial, I embrace this style as well. And I’m thrilled to see a move away from IKEA’s (no offense IKEA) stark, bare and throwaway approach. There are so many wonderful pieces available for sale online and in vintage stores that have meaning, will last and are beautiful. Yay, for grand millennial style! xo

  7. Boho meets Grandma. I love it.

  8. I FINALLY HAVE A ‘NAME’ TO MY EMOTIONAL AND WARM DECO STYLE THAT I HAVE HAD FUN COLLECTING AND DISPLAYING WITH PRIDE IN MY HOME…………….GRANDMILLENIAL! THANKYOU,PAT

  9. Love Grandmillenial! 😍

  10. My millennial daughter has embraced this. I love going to her place, it is so
    cozy and chic at the same time. Also It is nice to have the old stuff be appreciated. Dishes , cups ,linens etc. A crystal vase still makes an impact next to more modern decorations. I don’t feel so antiquated any more.
    Thank you for the beautiful article. Maureen

  11. I’ve never heard that term before. But I will say this…you can’t give away brown furniture….in fact I find it hard for anyone to buy old furniture. When my dad died, most of his stuff went unsold in the Estate sale so it was donated. I just let. My brown coffee table and end table go to donation. My couch too…can’t sell it.

    1. Actually I have seen a great resurgence in interest in the brown furniture! The millennials are buying it on FB Marketplace and in thrift shops by the droves and painting the furniture bold greens or navy blues. They are looking for bargain pricing though, that’s for sure.

    2. Julie | Home On The Hill says:

      Here in Australia upcycling is a big thing & many like to paint the old brown stuff or leave parts wood & paint the rest. Nice pieces get snapped up fast online. Boho is a thing as well with some painting bright aqua etc – but those colours are trends that will fade fast, I prefer a painting classic neutrals or softer tones that will stand the test of time & that better suit my farmhouse.

  12. Thanks for this really interesting post! I have never heard of this style before, but whilst I’m not a Millenial (by a long shot!) I have quite a few things that belonged to my grandmother on display, the sort of things that would go with this style. I love the memories they bring and the history they harbour, which flatpack most certainly doesn’t. It’s heartwarming to know there are ‘youngsters’ out there who embrace this style. 🙂

    1. I’m so glad that you enjoyed this topic, which I find quite interesting as well. One of my own millennial daughters decorates in this fashion and when my mom passed she was happy to take many of her decor pieces!

  13. Mary Smart says:

    I a glad that younger people are finding this style and that they find it Grand, but for me it’s a no go! I had this style through the 80’s and 90’s and I am through with it. It is just a been there, done that for me. I just think it is so funny that millenials are gravitating to this style because my niece doesn’t want anything to do with my style in clothes or other things.

  14. I think it’s just vintage style in general with some variations towards the more formal or casual ends of the spectrum adjusted to personal taste, no different than any other generation who likes the same look in some form or another. I have liked some variation of this style my whole life, but I don’t feel the need to call it the Gen X style, so why it’s attributed to millennials specifically is odd to me when they are simply doing what other generations have already been doing for decades – appreciating lovely vintage/antique things that are well made as well as beautiful to look at. 🙂

  15. Missy McMillan says:

    Loved this blog! I have so much of my mother’s things and quite a few pieces that were my grandmother’s. I use most of it, too! I mix very thing I have so I guess my home is very eclectic. I also collected many beautiful things while living and traveling all over the world teaching military kids on bases overseas. Everything just kind of meshes together and works. My husband isn’t always thrilled, but…
    We love going to estate sales and garage sales on weekends. This past weekend I was at an estate sale where two younger gals were shopping all of the wonderful vintage linens and textiles. It warmed my heart seeing them get so excited over linen tea towels and crocheted doilies.💕. Some friends have been trying to tell me that my kids will never want my stuff, but I am holding out hoping they are wrong.

    1. The best kind of decorating…things that you love and bring you joy!

  16. Love grandmillennial style … what took everyone so long?!!! 😉

    1. Haha…right Juliet?!! My daughters are finally embracing grammy’s things!

  17. Jean Windham says:

    Janet, I enjoyed reading ,viewing the photos and the memories of my Aunt’s home. She was so meticulous and had such a lovely home. Thank you Jean

    1. So glad that you enjoyed this Jean! xo

  18. Hi, I love your home!! I see that beautiful gold mirror on floor,, have you ever had it on your mantel and the white mirror laid on your coffee table top since it’s gold on the bottom?? Have been following u for long time..absolutely love your sofa! You were the first blog I followed,, thanks so much for your hard work..

    1. Thanks Lynda and wow…I’ve been blogging for 17 years now! This photo is actually a couple of years old and I had sold the white mirror and put the gold one on the wall over the mantel in it’s place!

  19. I find this to be comforting, but I have always loved antiques and collecting. I am trying to pare down some of those collections. I 100% love the large cat picture and I need that in my life. Wonder where they got it?

    1. I have always loved antiques too Diana and not sure where the cat picture is from.

  20. Christine says:

    This home is like a big hug, love it.

    1. Glad that you enjoyed it Christine!