Heather Nette King is a Melbourne-based interiors stylist and writer for many leading interior titles and newspapers. The hallmarks of her styling are colour and vibrancy, and she writes passionately about peoples’ homes and how they live in them.
Welcome to the charming world of Grandmillenial Style.
What is Grandmillenial Style and what is its history?
Grandmillenial Style was coined by UK writer, Emma Bazlian, to describe the emerging trend that saw a divergence from the wildly popular hipster décor staples such as indoor plants, wellness teas and celeb-stalking. What Emma described was the distinctly charming appearance of floral prints across wallpapers, sofas and curtains, an abundance of fresh cottage garden flora, layers of chintz and ruffles.
Sound like your grandma’s house? That’s it - think ‘grandmother’ and ‘millennial’. But unlike Cottagecore – a countryside-inspired mini-trend amongst Gen Z’ers – Grandmillenial is a more classic and refined interior style, with a heartfelt nod to the past.
How is the Grandmillennial style being used in home styling, fashion and lifestyle?
We know that trends come and go, but they never return the same – I’m specifically thinking of the shoulder padded jackets from my power suit days that I held onto but were never quite right when the trend re-emerged a little while back. Sigh.
When a trend returns it’s always with a contemporary lens – so whilst we are seeing the prints, piping and the odd ruffle appear, it’s best when these things are cherry-picked for their substance and reinterpreted into a modern design ethos. In the case of Grandmillenial style, this means that despite the abundance of layered eye-candy, less is more.
In interiors, that translates to ‘not using intricate floral prints on your walls, window furnishings and upholstery all at once’ – rather you’d use it more sparingly, alongside plenty of plain walls or fabrics. It also means you have the freedom to include any sentimental pieces or odes to your grandmother’s style without fear of destroying a contemporary aesthetic.
In terms of fashion, we’ve all seen the new oversized and frilly collars, the puffy balloon sleeves and the abundance of stunning floral prints hitting the stores. Though what is even more exciting, is that a whole new generation has discovered the merits of scouring the markets and second-hand stores for vintage pieces. And what’s even better is that it’s being driven both by fashion as well as an environmental awareness around creating less landfill.
Is there an architectural housing style that this look suits?
Of course. If you happen to live in an Edwardian, Federation, Victorian or even inter-war Art Deco home, the Grandmillenial decorating style will look much more effective and cohesive than if you reside in a Brutalist concrete shelter or an ultra-contemporary architectural wonder. However, I’d never advise someone against placing your beloved Granny’s best lamp in your home if it made you happy and brought comfort. That’s the beauty of decorating these days - we have permission to be ourselves and design our nests to be exactly the way we like them.
What colours and textures work with a Grandmillennial theme?
Muted colours suit the Grandmillenial style best - think crimsons instead of bright red, Wedgewood blue instead of a brighter blue. Natural, foliage-inspired greens and fresh whites work the best. In terms of textures, there is an appreciation for long-forgotten things like ruffles, tassels, fringing, and piping which cleverly add visual as well as tactile texture.
What about furniture pieces / lighting / artwork?
Furniture pieces and accessories that are more traditional in style work beautifully with Grandmillenial style - high backed chairs and sofas, upholstered bedheads and bases, deep buttoned-down ottomans and long, full curtains. Lamps with fabric shades are a great way to introduce another pattern or scale of print, and their gentle light will always add charm to a room. Floral or botanical artworks - or even antique plates - will create the perfect wall decoration, and rugs are undoubtably key in creating a cosy, layered room. Welcome to the charming world of Grandmillenial Style.
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