What is "grandmillennial" and why is it a trending style of interior design in 2021? If you are a fan of antique furniture, intricate wallpaper, and chintz and find yourself caught up in the nostalgia of designs from yesteryear, this may just be your aesthetic.
Grandmillennial is the antithesis to minimalism and contemporary design. It borrows elements from eras gone by — but it is not loyal to any particular time nor place which can make it quite ecclectic in execution.
My long-held dream of a country house realised: we moved into our new (old) 1865 farmhouse cottage on the coldest February weekend of 2021 with our newborn baby.
We moved into a house built the same year the American Civil War had come to an end.
And almost immediately my husband started tearing down walls.
I mostly just sat around and nursed our son and daydreamed about how I would decorate my own dream home and design my dream kitchen for the first time in my life.
Outside the winter storms raged and the snow piled up as I poured over blogs, videos, books and Pinterest.
One term kept popping up as an interior design trend for 2021 — Grandmillennial.
And my first thought was — what an obnoxious term.
There is something about our modern obsession with cutesy buzzwords and marketing terms that sets my teeth on edge.
And there is really nothing new about grandmillennial style.
But as I continued to daydream over lovely pictures of floral wallpaper and lace curtains, the ecclectic nature of grandmillennial style struck me.
Because it wasn't loyal to any particular era or decade, was I perhaps being needlessly annoyed by the term?
Maybe this type of style needed a new word to describe it. And the term "grandmillennial" does fit — it was actually first coined in 2019 by Emma Bazilion for the magazine House Beautiful.
I have never been a fan of modern contemporary design. All to often it feels ugly, cold, disposable, and almost brutal to the senses.
The interior design industry is anticipating a major shift in trend as millennials become the largest living generation. The millennial era will be marked by an increased focus on self-expression and personal style.
In 2021, this self-expression will translate into interior design with more eclectic styles featuring bold patterns, bright colors, and mixed materials.
Enter the grandmillennial. Granny chic.
So what is grandmillennial? Ask your grandmothers for tips.
(Unfortunately, mine have all long since passed on from this world but I still have the traditionl Croatian lace doilies they made.)
Think intricate wallpaper, traditional fabric lampshades, beadboard, chinoiserie, chintz, textures, floral prints and patterns, vintage oil paintings in gold frames, doilies, flower arrangements, think William Morris and the Arts & Crafts movement, the Victorian era, Laura Ashley.
Grandmillennial style is so refreshingly, unabashedly, beautifully feminine in the most unapologetic of ways and I'm SO here for that in an era of unisex and gender-neutral EVERYTHING, which let's be honest — is always just leaning boyish and masculine.
Grandmillennial style is not any one single thing or era or movement.
And this is what I love most about it.
You can think of grandmillennial style as a type of new traditionalism, one where we have more choices than our grandmothers and fewer constraints or rules. And this is precisely why I think it will stick around and be a major driving force in interior design going forward. Grandmillennial allows for personalization to you.
It's a style we were raised to think of as vintage or old-fashioned. But now, it’s set to make an epic comeback in 2021 and beyond.
And this makes me so very happy. I'm tired of white everything. I'm bored with the austerity of minimalism. I'm sick of grey. I'm not interested in industrial or contemporary interiors that feel more like experimental art installations instead of homes.
My grandmothers were Croatian. My husband's were Slovak. Although grandmillennial style skews very English, there is no reason why we can't incorporate Slavic/Balkan/Eastern European elements into our planned English country cottage remodel.
Again the eclecticism of this style works.
Covid saw us spending so much time at home. It saw our values and priorities shifting dramatically as the world changed — and continues changing — in inexplicable, confusing, and scary ways.
We started using our home as a platform for self-expression and individuality within the safety of what felt like a contained environment.
Suddenly we saw yearnings for the nostalgia of a simpler past. One filled with comfort. One with more time. One where we had more control over our lives and less fear of the future or unknowns.
And grandmillennial style is both responding to this desire for a simpler past, as well as an exploration into new ways to be stylish without being too reliant on old-fashioned rules.
And we're not alone in this desire either — Covid is seeing more people seeking out that intimate experience with their homes once again.
As we rip apart our 1860's farmhouse cottage practically to the studs, we are working hard to diligently recreate it in a way that is respectful of the era and to the memory of the Scottish immigrants who built it by hand, brick by brick, and stone by stone.
We are mixing grandmillennial style with our own personal tastes. Mixing in our own Slavic backgrounds with the more traditional English designs we love. Creating a home filled with nostalgia and textures and warmth.
That doesn't mean we are trying to make our home into a museum.
Or an exact reproduction of the era it was built in.
After all, the settlers who built this house had no indoor plumbing or electricity and I'm not interested in recreating that. They would have had an inglenook that warmed the home and cooked the meals that fed the 15 children who were born and raised in the house.
Born in what is now our master bedroom to be exact.
It's a house that has seen many generations of life, but it is not done yet. So we will honor the past by restoring and embracing traditional style and bringing it into the future as we rebuild this old historic home and grow our family.
And I will continue to hate the term grandmillennial.
But I can't wait for what comes next!