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Grandmillennial Decor: What It Is & How to Use It

Over the past few years, farmhouse chic and minimalism have graced the cover of interior design magazines, been showcased on decorating TV shows, and dominated the aisles of all our favorite places to show for decor. While these styles have a clean, modern appeal, many homeowners are yearning for decor that reminds them of yesteryear, which they grew up seeing in their parents’ and grandparents’ homes. Enter grandmillennial decor. 

The grandmillennial (grandparents plus millennial) trend stems from the “birth” of the term grandmillennial. This term defines individuals in their late-20s to late-30s who gravitate towards trends often referred to as “outdated.” Grandmillennials give these trends a modern spin, freshening up something that non-traditional influencers may brush off as “stuffy.” Needlepoint and embroidery are given a 2021 update by incorporating modern graphics or adding cheeky, relevant sayings. Wicker chairs or ornate wooden furniture are sprayed with a high-gloss lacquer in a fun, vibrant periwinkle or magenta hue. Grandmillennial combines classic design, antique decor, and eclecticism with a younger, “hipper” vibe. 

Using Grandmillennial Decor in the Living Room

A grandmillennial living room is filled with mismatched furniture that flows together, upholstered furniture, bookcases, and fully dressed windows. These rooms often lack leather or metal furniture, and walls are rarely just painted white or grey. If you want to give your living room a quick facelift, start by painting the walls or adding wallpaper. If your windows have blinds or white gauze curtains, add a valance or damask fabric. In addition to some new knick-knacks and an area rug, these little changes will infuse the space with a classic feel.

Bookcases or built-ins are perfect additions to a blank wall or surrounding a fireplace. This is ideal for displaying antique books, clocks, and cast-iron dog figurines (a favorite of Instagrammers). Interior design bloggers say that it is vital to avoid displaying too many collectibles. Even though this style embraces decorative trinkets, too many can tend to look cluttered. You may love your entire collection of hand-painted vases, but only put a few out at a time. 

Add more traditional flair with:

  • Chinoiserie wallpaper
  • Embroidered accent pillows
  • Gold framed paintings with picture lights attached to the frame
  • Oriental area rugs

Adding this Style to the Bedroom

Looking for a bedroom makeover? Start with an upholstered headboard, and then feel free to pile on white or floral bedding that reminds you of your Laura Ashley days in the ‘90’s. Bamboo nightstands accented with gold lamps and fancy shades are decked out with brass hardware. While blue & white are typically the go-to color choices for this style, designers say to try purple. It’s calming yet unexpected.

Some other style tips for the bedroom include adding:

  • Wicker furniture, including dressers and armoires
  • Lace doilies underneath your alarm clock or wireless phone charger
  • A Baroque-style or gilded mirror above your dresser
  • An upholstered accent chair with a skirt

Chic Grandmillennial Decor in the Kitchen

Anyone familiar with a kitchen renovation knows that it is quite an undertaking. But, with this style trend, there’s no need to say goodbye to the cabinets, counter, and flooring you already have. Instead, incorporate classic decor, wallpaper, and furniture. Furniture will make a significant impact. Swap out your farm table and benches for painted Chippendale chairs with a traditional rectangular dining table. Do you want something with more detail? Opt for Pierced Splat or Anthemion chairs. Add a sideboard with bamboo trim and accent the top with a lace runner.

Other additions to your kitchen could include:

  • A fully set dining table complete with charges, patterned napkins, and antique napkin rings
  • Crystal chandelier – either real or faux
  • Blue & white porcelain ginger pots and vases, often known as Qinghua
  • Antique-inspired place settings in floral or lace patterns – think Royal Albert, Spode, and even Lenox. Your great-grandmother’s china and silverware would be the perfect addition.

Unsure of what these different types of chairs are or what would look best in your space? Sites such as Houzz are a great place to discover ideas of what would fit your updated space. 

Design Next Steps

While this style evokes feelings of grandeur, it can be pretty affordable. Flea markets, Facebook Marketplace, and estate sales are a grandmillennial’s best friend. Antique shops and eBay are also excellent places to snag these items.

Grandmillennial style is not meant to feel stiff or out-of-date. It is supposed to feel comfortable, exuding a feeling of warmth, much like your grandmother’s home did when you were a child. It takes you back to the pleasant memories of the past. It feels both stylish and playful, combining elegant and mismatched elements. If you are looking for nostalgia and want to break away from the white, grey, and greige color scheme that’s been so prevalent the past ten years, it’s time to try grandmillennial.

For more articles on home decor, organization, and storage, check out the Prime Storage blog.

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