Transforming What's Traditional
Paradoxically, today’s home décor trends include aspects that you might remember from your grandmother’s house. Floral wallpaper, skirted tables, mixed patterns, lace, brown wood, and vintage looking pieces in the home are coming back. Emma Bazilian coined the term “grandmillennial” for this trend in 2019; a fitting combination of “grandmother” and “millennial.” But why on earth are people circling back to the patterns and furniture that we associate with old style?
What is “Grandmillennial” About?
Grandmillennial style blends old and new trends. The aspects that might be associated with a grandparent’s home, like antique furniture with darker wood or interesting patterns, are blended with more contemporary pieces. The older looking aspects pull on people’s desire for nostalgia and a sense of familiarity that previous home décor trends can’t necessarily create. Minimalism, for example, doesn’t allow a lot of room for crazy patterns.
The trend emphasizes having pieces that tell the story of the owner. Circling back to the trends of older generations leaves room for family heirlooms with years of stories. Not only can each piece of furniture feel special, but it can also generate a pure sense of nostalgia. The trend is a creative way to honor the past while revamping it to make it your own.
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What Brought the “Old” Back in Style?
A multitude of reasons led millennials to gravitate towards a more vintage style. Foremost, many interior designers theorize grandmillennialism is millennial’s way of rebelling against minimalist, modern trends that were in home décor a few years ago. While practical and calming, simple colors and a uniform aesthetic can be boring.
People also want to showcase their own personalities in their homes. Personalization is much more difficult when you are trying to keep your furniture as simple as possible. The grandmillennial trend provides much more room for exploring with different patterns, textures, or pieces that might have a special meaning to you. For example, it might be hard to integrate a vintage mirror with a more complex design from your grandmother in a minimalist home.
Additionally, the importance of sustainability has been increasing in recent years and grandmillennialism provides countless ways to be environmentally friendly. Instead of being thrown in the garbage, any old furniture from relatives has potential to be the centerpiece for a room. The quality also tends to be better in antique furniture because of the nature of how it was bought - our grandparents were likely buying from local shops, where the furniture is more likely to be handmade as opposed to mass-produced. This means that grandmillennial furniture is sustainable not only in purchasing, but also in its quality; it has potential to last another lifetime.
Fashion has also spearheaded a dive into more vintage designs. For example, Gucci has been featuring tea sets and lace in their ads and fashion campaigns, making characteristically old trends more popular. All in all, shifting interests created the perfect storm for grandmillennial homes.
How to Get the Look
Grandmillennialism allows for a lot of personal freedom in interior design, which can be quite overwhelming. There are a few tricks to create a space that fosters nostalgia while still feeling like your own.
- Buying older furniture is a great start (ie. seating with upholstery, coffee tables, ornate lighting) and then build around it. A room that adheres to the trend does not have to be a carbon copy of a house from the 60s, merely have elements of it
- Embellishments like ruffles and lace are great to add onto curtains or seating to achieve the grandmillennial vibe
- Contemporary art can improve the cohesiveness of a room while also adding your own personal flare
- Accessorizing a room with colored drinkware or ceramics gives it both grandmillennial style and an interesting color scheme, while also adding functionality
- Have fun and showcase your own personal style
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Merchandising Grandmillennial Design
Fill your displays with objects with stories! Have items you can be excited about and other people can be excited about too.
- Don't overwhelm. Grandmillennial style involves blending colors, patterns, and textures, but they still need to be cohesive. Try keeping a color scheme in mind.
- Advertise the great quality of what you’re selling. Labels with the materials that products are made of can be really helpful. Handcrafted heirlooms are truly special.
- Embrace the nostalgia and familiarity of the trend with a comfortable area – integrate blankets, pillows, or throws that allow people to envision what the products you are selling will look like when lived with.
- Have fun with it! This trend is all about personal expression, and customers will appreciate yours and hopefully be inspired from it.