Ideas + Advice


What Is Grandmillennial Style? A Look at the Old-School Trend

If you appreciate your grandmother's chintz armchairs and bold patterns, but also like the open spaces and sleek furniture found in the modern homes of your millennial friends, then the Grandmillennial style is for you. It borrows from trends across the span of several decades, resulting in a unique, old-fashioned design with modern twists.
The term "Grandmillennial," which was coined in 2019, combines two very different generations: older grandparents and more modern millennial. In a typical Grandmillennial decorated home, you'll find looks characteristic of the modern era (like neutral colors and clean lines) infused with dated designs like patterns, embroidery and ruffles. The style lets homeowners enjoy elegant, contemporary decor while still inserting bits of their personality, bringing together the best of both worlds. If you're interested in trying this special style yourself, keep reading for some inspiration.

When you look at older homes, you'll notice lots of frills, ruffles and pleats. What better way to insert these textures into your own home than through flowers? A vase of flowers is the perfect way to reference older styles while maintaining a naturalistic, modern feel. It doesn't have to be a large, eye-catching bouquet — even a few simple, white roses will add a pleasant touch to any room. Along with flowers, most Grandmillennial homes have bold statement pieces and sophisticated accessories. Here, you'll find patterned rugs paired with mahogany wood, solid furniture and classy artwork. There are enough exciting things to grab your attention, but not so many that the space becomes overwhelming.

Old-fashioned items like chintz couches, frilled lamps and patterned vases may be unique, but — if you're not careful — they can make a space appear cramped and antiquated. Not to mention, an array of patterns and colors can quickly clash. To solve this problem, many Grandmillennial decorated rooms rely on open shelves and floor plans. Rather than dump a bunch of items into a small area, they're spread out across the floor and walls. If there are lots of decorative, patterned items, it's best to use plain furniture to balance things out. Through this set-up, homeowners can enjoy their favorite "outdated" pieces without worrying about the area becoming too stuffy or tacky.

You don't need bold, eye-catching patterns to add personality to a space. Even simple, solid-colored furniture can become exciting with Grandmillennial decor. Here, you'll notice that all the central furniture items (like the couches, centerpiece table and rug) are relatively plain — they rely on solid, neutral colors and lack graphics and vibrancy. However, the room still attracts attention through colorful floral arrangements, bright paintings and patterned cabinet doors. These subtle accessories help make the room unique without dominating it. The final result is a pleasant, inviting space that strikes a balance between modern sophistication and homely comfort.

Do you want to add some flair to your bedroom without making it cheesy or cramped? The Grandmillennial style has you covered. This type of bedroom puts modern, mature decor (like neutral colors, plain sheets, open space and clean lines) at the forefront, then showcases glimpses of your personality through things like spare objects, wall decor or even patterned wallpaper. The best part is, you don't have to follow any specific rules — just mix and match as you please. For example, you could pair a plain, white bedspread with patterned pillows, or shake up a plain wall with some paintings. Ultimately, it reflects elegance, but still has that personal touch you want in a bedroom.

If you have a collection of items and decor on-hand, but have no clue how to display them tastefully, you're not alone. The Grandmillennial style lets homeowners show off all their old things in a fashionable way by using bright, open furniture (such as spacious, white shelves, mahogany tables or open floors). Anything from chintzy lamps and patterned vases to floral jugs and bulky houseplants will look sleek and sophisticated with this set-up. For the best results, try to balance out your old-fashioned items with more modern pieces (like silver figurines or picture frames). And don't forget to have fun with your decor — after all, it's for you to enjoy!

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Editorial Disclaimer: Articles featuring tips and advice are intended for educational purposes and only as general recommendations. Always practice personal discretion when using and caring for furniture, decor and related items.