The daily uncertainty of the past couple of years has us yearning for a simpler time. A time where you’re nine years old, curled up on your grandma’s settee, bundled under her crocheted gingham blanket, eating a warm apple crumble that she quickly whipped up as a “light snack”.
Fast forward to today and millennials are reimagining that same warm comfort in their interior style. Grandmillennial design reacts against the impersonal, minimalist, neutral-coloured spaces that has risen in prominence. A new wave of interiors celebrating pleats, fringing, floral prints, bold wallpapers, clashing patterns and traditional furniture staples has slowly been on the rise over the past year and is anticipated to be this season’s biggest trend. What’s more perfect for the upcoming colder months than a home filled with personality, warmth, and love?
What is Grandmillennial?
Grandmillennial is an ode to the old-school. An homage to the classical, traditional décor of earlier generations but with a more modern sense of style. In essence, this 2021 interior design trend is ‘granny chic’ with a contemporary twist.
How to introduce Grandmillennial into your home
Creating an interior space inspired by Grandmillennial design is all about character. Taking a few key pieces that are reminiscent of the traditional, kitschy, comfortable aesthetic of your grandparents’ house and giving it a modern twist to bring it into the 21st century. Combining the old with the new is not only practical and sustainable as you add more pieces into your home over the years but adds a sense of storytelling to your interior space. Imbuing your individuality into your home décor and finding the one sofa, armchair, accessory that expresses your personality is prominent this season.
Flower power: floral wallpaper
Big, bold floral designs are back with a bang, so unroll that conspicuous wallpaper and fluff those patterned pillows and give your interior space a dose of flower power. Contrast traditional florals with modern touches, such as brass lights or abstract prints, just like Sandra Baker from @the_idle_hands.
“My Aissa corner sofa was my starting point for this corner of my kitchen/living space, as we were looking for a large, comfortable space for us to hang out as a family. I loved the Dusty Rose colour, and found a perfect match in the flowers in my House of Hackney ‘Artemis’ wallpaper, which sits behind the sofa.
“My interiors always incorporate colour and pattern, and sit very firmly in the sphere of grandmillennial design. I often describe my home as being ‘like your eccentric nan decorated it’! The trick is to bring your scheme up to date with a modern colour palette, to make sure it looks fresh, and not like it belongs in a museum.”
Paola, aka @mycambridgefairytale, draws from her mother and her memories growing up in Italy when it comes to her interior style: “My style came from my childhood, spent in a farmhouse just outside Rome. My Mum’s style was very elegant (unlike mine; she always disliked my reclaimed furniture!) and yet rustic. She used a lot of gingham mixed with stripes for curtains and pillows in our kitchen and in the snug.”
Incorporating touches of gingham and wicker into her home décor, Paola celebrates her familial connections in her own way. While her personal style may divert from her mother’s, she nonetheless includes personal touches of sentimental value to claim the space as her own and to reflect her individual identity.
Using a subtle colour scheme, Paola creates a Grandmillennial space by acquiring a few traditional pieces alongside homely, countryside-aesthetic accessories: “My style is actually very easy to recreate, just a few timeless pieces, lots of duck-egg mixed with natural colours, panelled walls (I don’t know how I could live all my ‘previous’ lives without panels!) some gingham here and there, a jute rug, and lately also touches of mustard.
“For me, interior décor is a search for cosiness; once I lock the entrance door behind me, I finally am in my happy place, safe from the frenetic world outside.”
Timeless pieces and layered patterns
When designing a space inspired by Grandmillennial style, you don’t need to commit to the big and the bold. This interior design trend can similarly be achieved by opting for classic furniture pieces and layering it with contrasting patterns and warm tones.
Jess from @jwj_interiors spoke with us to discuss how she approached designing an interior space inspired by Grandmillennial style: “I designed this room for a client’s second home in the Cotswolds. I found historic inspiration from the natural stone surrounding and wanted to create a warm, peaceful and inviting environment. It is liberating to make design choices and create a space that is anything but sterile.”
It is this move away from the generic, monochromatic schemes that have prevailed interior accounts over Instagram across the past few years and towards the warmth and relaxation of classic home décor that is quintessentially Grandmillennial. Choosing the Bluebell, Jess explains, “I chose the Bluebell as its English roll arm form, turned legs, comfort and pleated detail is an undisputed classic. I opted for the House Herringbone Weave in Clay as it’s the perfect traditional backdrop with a clean lines and structure.” Timeless and traditional, the Bluebell is perfect in creating a space inspired by classic design.
The additions of subtle, contrasting patterns and pleated accessories help to bring the room together, providing a fresh and contemporary perspective on traditional décor. By remaining in a single colour palette, Jess combines the antiquated style with the modern love of light, revitalising greens: “Fringed cushions add colour, texture and more drama to the scheme. It frames the subtle floral print while nicely contrasting the classic, pale herringbone.”