Interest in grandmillennial style is on the uptake.
This style has been around for a while now, but the term grandmillennial wasn’t coined until 2019 by Emma Bazilian in her House Beautiful article.
So then, what is grandmillennial style?
There are so many characteristics to this decor style than can be listed in a coherent sentence. Thus, I’ve put together this post to really get into what makes grandmillennial style decor. You’ll find all the details here. From colors and patterns to furniture and wallpaper.
Grandmillennial Style Colors
I would say that you can use any color to create a room in the grandmillennial style. Sure, black would be very unusual, but a good designer could make it work.
Having said that, some colors are more prolifically preferred by designers.
The most common colors include:
- Green (light & dark)
- Blue (both saturated and light)
- White or creams/light yellows
If you’re looking for specific paint colors you can swatch, you can check out the paint colors below.
The colors above work best with feminine iterations of grandmillennial style.
For more dramatic interpretations of this style, some colors you may see include:
- Red (saturated or dark)
- Dark Brown
You’ll find some examples below.
And finally, designers often use gold and brass finishes to accent all of the colors above.
Pattern Mixing and Matching
Grandmillennial style leans more eclectic than it does minimalist. And so it is no surprise that pattern mixing and matching plays a prominent role in this decor style.
Because of its influences from decor styles of the 80s and 90s, matching patterns across wallpaper, drapery, and upholstery are common. This decorating approach was also used by the great designer Mario Buatta, who is one of the most influential decorators for grandmillennial style.
But a grandmillennial home doesn’t have to have one pattern repeating throughout a space. Often, designers mix various patterns to create an interesting layered look. Knowing how to mix various patterns is a skill of its own that you will have to master for this style. I’ve got a guide on that here.
Let’s go over some of the places where you’re sure to find patterns.
Grandmillennial Style Fabric
There are some fabric patterns that people who decorate in grandmillennial style seem to unanimously love.
- Bowood by Colefax & Fowler
- Dolly by Sister Parish
- Les Touches by Brunschwig & Fils
- Le Tigre by Scalamandre
- Grace by Jasper
And so many more. You can see by the list above that floral, natural, and abstract prints are preferred. If you’d like a more comprehensive list, you can read this post.
As previously mentioned, these patterns are commonly found on upholstery, drapery, and wallpaper (if the option is available). You can also find them on pillows and other smaller decorative items.
However, I will say that these fabric patterns can set you back a hundred dollars or so per yard. Thus, it is not unusual to use similar prints and patterns by other brands.
Typically, grandmillennial style decorators prefer to use chintz fabrics in their designs. Chintz is a floral patterned fabric with a glazing overtop that gives it a sheen. Chintz was popular in the 80s, so you can readily find this kind of fabric secondhand at an affordable price.
Alternatively, simpler, universal patterns like stripes and gingham are also commonly used as alternatives. They can also be paired with any of the fabric patterns listed above.
Grandmillennial Style Wallpaper
The patterns I listed above can also be found on wallpaper in grandmillennial style homes. Sometimes, the same pattern may appear in various decorative elements such as wallpaper and drapery.
These kinds of designs can get expensive, so mixing different kinds of patterns is also common.
For instance, you can find chinoiserie wallpaper in grandmillennial homes.
There are many styles of chinoiserie wallpaper you can buy, but they generally have some recurring motifs that include:
- Botanical elements (trees, flowers)
- Depictions of birds (pheasants, herons, and peacocks)
- Landscapes with pagodas
Additionally, we can’t really talk about wallpaper and overlook grasscloth. Although lacking a pattern, grasscloth wallpaper has a subtle texture to it that grandmillennial fans seem to love.
Grasscloth is typically used in a neutral color, though you’ll occasionally see a blue or green grasscloth too.
Grandmillennial Style Furniture
Grandmillennial decorators have a strong preference for antiques.
Often, these pieces will be kept in their original dark woods. If necessary, furniture is restained in rich brown to reddish tones.
But that is not to say that furniture must be over 100 years old to make it into this style of decor. Modern furniture made in traditional styles works just as well.
Grandmillennial style can also incorporate modern furniture pieces. This includes glass and acrylic tables or chairs, ottomans with simple lines, and pedestals or side tables made of marble.
Let’s take a closer look at some styles of furniture.
You will find that some grandmillennial decorators like to incorporate antique pieces into their homes. Most prominently featured are Louis the XV and XVI furniture, and reproductions.
Although you could use a couch from these periods in a grandmillennial living room, it’s not common to see it in action.
Most often, furniture from these periods is limited to dressers, side tables, desks, and mirrors too.
However, you are likely to see vintage couches in a grandmillennial living room. I don’t know if it’s because antique couches are hard to find or if contemporary styles are more comfortable but this is what we see play out.
Some common features of couches include:
- Simple Lines
- Rolled Arms
- Skirting or bullion fringe
Some sought-after vintage couch brands are listed below.
- Baker Furniture
- George Smith
In terms of fabric, chintz couches are desirable. However, some decorators prefer simple performance fabrics for durability.
And finally, rattan and wicker are two popular furniture materials as well. Furniture made with these materials will generally be simple in design compared to wood furniture. However, rattan and wicker add a casual charm to a home and offset the formality of antique furniture.
While most furniture is stained to show the beauty of the wood there are some instances in which you will find painted furniture. But it’s not just any old paint.
Usually, it’s lacquer.
Lacquerware is known for its high gloss sheen. When done well, its surface becomes reflective. And because lacquer paint comes in any color you can think of, the possibilities with this paint finish are endless.
The most common kind of lacquered furniture you will find in grandmillennial homes is Chinoiserie lacquerware. These furniture pieces are usually black or red and depict landscapes and imperial scenes.
However, because grandmillennial style is a reinterpretation of past styles, you may find that modern grandmillennial homes sometimes incorporate lacquered furniture in fun, bold colors like magenta and olive green.
Grandmillennial decor can be anything under the sun. That said, there are some decor items that seem to have many decorators charmed.
Paintings are a favorite in grandmillennial style. In particular, paintings that depict animals, portraits, and landscapes are most preferred.
Lithographs are also a favorite. Botanical lithographs are one of the most prolific kinds of lithographs you will see.
And finally, you may also find modern art in a grandmillenial home. These are used to contrast the more traditional elements of this design style.
Have you ever seen a ceramic Staffordshire dog? Some may find them odd, but grandmillennial decorators love them. These dogs typically come in pairs – a left and a right – and are displayed in china cabinets and on shelf sconces.
Jasperware is another ceramic you are sure to find in grandmillennial homes. This ceramic style is unglazed, thus creating its matte surface. They are usually duo colored. Because of their simplicity, jasperware ceramics pair well with various patterns and colors.
Grandmillennial Style Mirrors
It is one of my decorating beliefs that every space should have a mirror.
Grandmillennial spaces often have them too. But they aren’t just any old mirror. In fact, I’d say that they are rarely simple. The more elaborate the better seems to be the consensus for this interior style.
There are some styles of mirrors that you are likely to see over and over. These include:
- Carver’s Guild
- Louis XV & XVI
You may also find contemporary pieces by brands like:
- Ballard Designs
- Bunny Williams Home
- Caitlin Wilson
I decided to dedicate a whole section to the discussion of chinaware because it’s very prominent in grandmillennial styling.
Chinaware has many uses. Aside from being functional, it is also used decoratively. You can put them in glass displays or display them on plate racks, open shelving, or walls.
Porcelain china is a huge part of the grandmillennial style. China collections were a fundamental element to entertaining in the past, and it seems decorators of today are reluctant to let it go.
It is common for china collections in grandmillennial homes to be inherited from grandmothers and other relatives. However, they can also be acquired at thrift stores and at auction.
China collections can be composed of any pattern and any style. That said, below are some favorites that I encourage you to familiarize yourself with.
- Bird of Paradise – Royal Doulton
- Pembroke – John Aynsley
- Botanical Garden – Portmeirion
- Old Country Roses – Royal Albert
- Rose Medallion
- Tobacco Leaf
- Blue Willow
- Ling Long/Rice Grain
- Indian Tree
Holiday favorites include Spode’s Christmas dishes and Mikasa’s Holly Ribbon.
Majolica has been a traditional decorator’s favorite since the 80s. Mario Buatta had some in his home and decorators of today still show a preference for it.
Majolica is identified by its bold colors and sometimes whimsical depictions. Majolica was made in many countries in the past, including England, Germany, France, Italy, and the U.S.
Each had its own style but similar themes are found in many
- Food (fruit, fish, game)
Although most cabbage ware is majolica, it gets a section of its own because it’s that special.
Cabbage ware – or lettuce ware – is the term used for ceramics that are made to look like cabbage or lettuce leaves. They invoke the spring season, but these ceramics are beloved by many people who use them year-round.
Cabbage ware is one of those things that past decorators like Mario Buatta loved. And because grandmillennial style is heavily influenced by such designers it’s no surprise that the love for cabbage ware remains unwavering.
You can purchase contemporary pieces of cabbage ware or you can buy them secondhand. Some contemporary brands you can purchase from are:
- Marshalls/Home Goods – Tend to carry them in the Spring.
- Bordallo Pinheiro
When it comes to vintage, you might find it troublesome to find pieces that are undamaged. Majolica isn’t porcelain, so chips and cracking on the glaze are typical. Though it’s not impossible to find good pieces – I’ve done it – it’s something to keep in mind.
Vintage cabbage ware brands:
- Bordallo Pinheiro
- Fitz & Floyd
- Dodie Thayer
Also, keep in mind that chinaware and majolica dishes are not solely used for entertaining. Decorators often put them on display in china and curio cabinets and incorporate them into plate walls.
The information I’ve provided here is just a small glimpse of grandmillennial style. You may find that some decorators stick closely to these elements and others don’t. Interior styles will always be up to interpretation by the decorator.
But if what you were looking for was a better understanding of this style, I hope I helped. Until next time!