Grandmillennial Design

Vintage and modern combine in popular home décor style

By Dawn Liles | Photos by Raymond J Photography

It’s natural to look at current trends for guidance when decorating a space to call one’s own and reflect individual tastes and aesthetics. For example, in the early 2000s, there was an ornate Tuscan-inspired style, and currently, there’s the farmhouse-inspired, minimalist look.

Also today, a growing number of millennials (people in their mid-20s to late 30s) are taking vintage pieces and giving them a modern twist, adding a greater sense of luxury and comfort to their surroundings.

Designers call this style “grandmillennial,” a mix of grandma’s vintage pieces with a millennial’s modern tastes. Even a private Facebook group, Grandmillennial Style, has more than 19,000 members.

Think of your grandmother’s sideboard painted in a shiny emerald-green lacquer with glass drawer pulls, or black and white zebra print drapes with red tassel trim. Toss in anything blue and white, particularly ginger jars and plates (hung on walls, of course).

Holly Romero of Rosemary Mill Design transforms antique pieces with paint, such as this hot pink sideboard.

Grandmillennial style is comfortable, with plump, overstuffed pillows and ottomans, perhaps covered in chintz. Karen Dixon of Front Door Fabrics and Interiors in Ballantyne describes the style as “pretty.”

“The décor combines beautiful lines, colors and patterns,” she explains. “It’s all about context. Mix your mother’s or grandmother’s pieces with more contemporary pieces, like modern lamps.”

Other popular items include wallpaper and rattan, and bamboo pieces. Just don’t fill a room with the same types of pieces, such as a rattan kitchen table, coffee table, side tables and chairs, or it will look like the Florida home of the Golden Girls, laughs Dixon.

Dixon’s clients often gravitate toward bright, saturated colors for their vintage sideboards and buffets. “You can take Chinese Chippendale dining room chairs and paint them fuchsia or turquoise, or paint just the top surface of a formal dark wood dining room table a bright color and change out knobs.”