Grandmillennial Interior Design 101: History and Style Elements

While the elements of grandmillennial interior design are decades old, this traditional style is coming back with a new name.

Grandmillennial style is a play on the words “grandma” and “millennial” to describe a classic style growing popular with millennials. The traditional interior design is a revolt against the  minimal and modern styles and an homage to the comfort of a grandmother’s home.

The History of Grandmillennial Style

Grandmillennial Interior Design 101: History and Style Elements

The term “grandmillennial” was first dubbed by House Beautiful writer Emma Bazillian to describe those in their twenties and thirties drawn to comfort and what the mainstream may consider “old-fashioned” taste.

Even though the term grandmillennial is new, the style isn’t. Much of the grandmillennial style comes from past traditional and English country interior designs incorporating chintz, floral patterns, ruffles, and old-fashioned furniture. 

One of the first designers known for his grandmillennial-like designs is Mario Buatta, the “Prince of Chintz.” Buatta opened his design firm in 1963 and grew popular for his bold use of floral patterns and English-country-style decor, taking on many celebrity clients.

The most significant difference between the grandmillennial and traditional styles from sixty years ago is that the grandmillennial incorporates a blend of modern and traditional.

What is Coastal Grandmillennial?

Coastal grandmillennial combines coastal styles encompassing natural elements with traditional furniture, patterns, and wallpaper. For example, a coastal grandmillennial room may have floral wallpaper, rattan furniture, and a combination of coastal and traditional decor.

How to Add Grandmillennial Style to Your Home

While there are many takes on grandmillennial, it is a preppy style incorporating a mix of modern and traditional details. Some designers describe it as “granny-chic.” 

With grandmillennial style, you don’t need to worry about installing brand-new floors, counters, or cabinets. Instead, work with what you have by adding the following traditional style elements to your space.

Use of Floral Patterns and Chintz

Floral patterns, in the form of upholstery, grandmillennial wallpaper, curtains, and bedspreads, are a big part of the grandmillennial style. These types of details pay homage to popular designs from the 1940s-1970s with abundant chintz furniture.

Hang Traditional Wallpaper

Traditional wallpaper with floral or damask patterns can play a role in this design, even if only an accent. Both dainty and bold patterns work well.

Look for Pleating and Ruffles

Pleating and ruffles help develop a preppy look across the home. Consider pleated lampshades, ruffled bed skirts, and furniture with trimmings.

Try a Blue and White Color Scheme

While a blue and white color scheme isn’t necessary to embody the grandmillennial style, it’s an easy way to achieve the look. Blue and white is a traditional color combination and is streamlined but nostalgic.

Decorate with Needlepoint and Embroidery

Needlepoint pillows, needlepoint wall hangings, embroidered towels – all are great pieces of traditional decor.

Display Fine China

Most grandmothers had at least one set of fine china in their hutch, which is why china works so well in grandmillennial design. Fine china and tea sets are traditional and pretty, and you can find them in many patterns to suit your tastes.

Mix Modern and Old-Fashioned Furniture

Grandmillennial style incorporates old-fashioned furniture like frilly or overstuffed chintz sofas and chairs. But feel free to mix modern and old-fashioned pieces for a fresh look.

Examples of Grandmillennial Interior Design

Here are pictures of the grandmillennial style to give you an idea of how to execute this type of interior design.

Grandmillennial Bedroom

Grandmillennial Bedroom
Stuck on Hue

A chintz headboard, floral comforter, and pleated lampshade are hallmarks of a grandmillennial bedroom. While this bedroom incorporates traditional elements, it looks inviting rather than outdated.

Grandmillennial Living Room

Grandmillennial Living Room
Stuck on Hue

While light and bright, this grandmillennial living room displays traditional furniture, wall decor, and blue and white china sitting on the buffet. The white walls, light rug, and cane footstools keep the room from looking stuffy.

Grandmillennial Wallpapered Bathroom

Grandmillennial Wallpapered Bathroom

A mix of traditional and modern makes a great grandmillennial room, as witnessed in this bathroom. The floral grandmillennial wallpaper is classic, while the white vanity offers a modern contrast.

Grandmillennial Tablescape


If you’re after a preppy tablescape, grandmillennial is what you need. The combination of white and blue sets the stage, while the flowers and plate chargers work as accents.