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The Rise of Grandmillennial Style

Design Trends

In recent memory several design trends have dominated interior design. A renewed love-affair with Mid-century modern style, sparked in part to the TV show Mad Men, meant suddenly walnut dressers, Cavett chairs, brass sculptural light fixtures, bar carts and Mid-century colors were everywhere. Then there was farmhouse chic, popularized by HGTV darlings Chip and Joanna Gaines, contrasting white and black color schemes, sliding barn doors, and apron sinks that all became must-haves. Most recently, Instagram touted clean minimalist rooms painted in light airy white tones, complete with California desert-inspired macrame, wall hangings and fiddle-leaf fig trees.

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Neu Traditions & The Grandmillennial
Today, we’re seeing a new interpretation of all things old. In late summer 2019, we released our 2020 trends story Neu Traditions. Neu Traditions features a warm color palette of serene and sophisticated peaches, pinks and traditional tones all colors anticipated as major trends for 2020. Neu Traditions coincided with a trend House Beautiful coined "Grandmillennial" a feminine design ethos cropping up in the homes of older millennials, those in their late 20s to late-30s. The style is influenced by items found in grandma’s house (or even in great-great grandma’s house) florals and botanicals, layered prints, cane and wicker furniture and needlepoint. A kind of more-is-more aesthetic. Think Little House on the Prairie meets Jane Austen’s England. Outlets from Apartment Therapy, to Better Homes & Gardens and Architectural Digest have all published guides on who the Grandmillennial is and how she designs.

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BOBBIN SIX-DRESSER DRAWER BY ANTHROPOLOGIE. PHOTO CREDIT: ANTHROPOLOGIE.


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Grandmillennial Trends in Culture
An embrace of vintage and feminine aesthetic has cropped up in pop culture and fashion as much as it has in design, from director Gerta Gerwig’s 2019 critically acclaimed adaptation of Little Women, to the recent retelling of classics like Emma (whose film sets were designed in delicious mints, yellows and pinks), to Anne of Green Gables on Netflix and PBS. We’re seeing it in fashion, too. In fact, Who What Wear recently put out a guide to the top “Grandma trends that are in right now.” Meanwhile, HGTV’s hit show Hometown hosted by couple Ben and Erin Napier focuses on preserving old Mississippi homes and marrying new updates for modern families with classic architecture. If that’s not Grandmillennial style on a grand scale, we don’t
know what is!

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Photo Credit: THE GALLERY AT SKETCH


Perhaps the pendulum shift towards Grandmillennial style is as much a reaction to the last decade’s love affair with minimalism as it is an expression of a new wave of feminism that developed amid #MeToo and #TimesUp. After all, first we saw the rise of pink as a new neutral (Millennial Pink), then the emergence of voluptuous, curved furniture, celebrating the women and grandmas who came before us. Therefore, it seems only the natural progression of this design movement.

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The terrace of designer Lilly Pulitzer's Palm Beach home. Beneath a multicolor-striped awning, wicker-framed chairs and benches covered with floral print cushions designed by Lilly Pulitzer surround low tables. on a table near the foreground is a ceramic turtle-shaped covered candy dish. (Horst P. Horst/Conde Nast via Getty Images)

Liking Grandmillennial style and wondering about other new color and interior design trends we’re seeing this year? We’ve confirmed four other trends that are leading in 2020. For another color palette inspired by the past, check out our 2020 color trends story The Silk Road, full of lush jewel tones that reference Asian and Neo-Baroque influences, as well as the decadent days of the Roaring 20s.

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