Past and Present in One Fun Style

Victorian and shabby-chic influences mix with modern for “Grandmillenial” style.
(Iuliia Zavalishina/Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Creating a comfortable home has been on a lot of to-do lists lately. Inspired by the welcoming aesthetic of Grandma’s house (so-called”granny chic”), people are scouring secondhand stores, flea markets and attics for decorative vintage items.

They’re over minimalist white look of the recent past and want color, graphics and texture. But rather than copy traditional style down to the last lace doily, a new look, dubbed “grandmillennial style,” combines the old and the new, so the décor is both modern and classic. Here’s how to make it work in your home.

Balance modern and contemporary details: Heavy floral prints, patterned wallpaper, and vintage furnishings are the hallmarks of granny chic décor, according to Heather Ormon, design assistant at Zieba Builders in Signal Hill. So if you have a gorgeous chintz pattern covering a Victorian armchair, add an element that brings the look into the 21st century, such as a modern light fixture, says Ormon. “The stark contrast will only add to this already eclectic look.”

Display some quirky, kitschy things: While Grandma’s needlepoint-pillow messages are sweet (“There’s no place like home”), if you’re going to attempt needlepoint on your own, aim for something that’s cheekier and more modern (“Too much of a good thing is wonderful” or “Mirror, mirror on the wall, I am my mother after all”).

Buy antique furniture: Since dark wood furniture from other decades is a big part of grandmillennial decor, shop around for well-made tables, chairs, and bureaus. You’ll not only save on buying used furnishings (secondhand items tend to be affordable), it’s also sustainable and eco-friendly since the pieces are not brand-new. Put collections front and center: Like Grandma, collect delicate items, such as crystal animal figurines, sea glass or fine china, and show them off.

Look for other fun furnishings: Other décor to borrow from Grandma that has loads of personality: a wicker coffee table or chairs, ruffled throw pillows, plaid curtains, scalloped lampshades, skirted tables or under the-kitchen-sink cabinet, embroidered linens, intricate floral prints and chintz slipcovers.

–CTW Features

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