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Say Hello To Grandmillennial Chic

The hipster look was so last decade. The next impactful interior decorating style to be bred by the millennials is surprisingly timeless. Here it is, explained PLUS where to get the look locally

It’s the beginning of a new decade, and as we score through our Instagram feeds, it seems like we’ve seen most everything have its moment: the boho look, the transitional look, the never ending play-it-safe neutrals.  In the cyclical life of trends, one can argue that almost everything’s been done.  The decade’s next decorating trend has been recognized as an effect of the millennial generation’s scrolling through social media platforms, combined with the aspirations they hold, stemming from their fast-paced and demanding lifestyles, one that has no signs of slowing down anytime soon.

During the last quarter of 2019, House Beautiful spotted the rise of a social media subset that the article author, Emma Bazilian, called “The Grandmillennial.” These influencers prize the charm of nostalgia so dearly, their decorating style can be considered a form of respite from today's cultural clutter.  Hence, the proliferation of lovingly styled tablescapes, replete with frothy floral arrangements, silver, fine china and embroidered linens that may have been passed down from their grandmothers; the bold use of floral prints and chintz on chairs; the generous dozes of wicker and rattan; and the explosion of monstrera plants as décor—all of these paint a picture of “home” to the tired, mutli-tasking, hustling millennial. 

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my happy place 💚

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Through the use of emotionally appealing materials and patterns in this trend, they may be referencing beloved moments shared with their grandmothers through this decorating style, but don’t dismiss this trend as “grandma chic.”  The Granmillennial Trend is more edited and paired down.  It flaunts hand-me-downs, but it also shows off a keen eye for layering prints, colors, textures, the old and the new.  It takes off with an astute understanding of pattern, and more importantly, the scale of patterns next to each other.  It is brave in owning sentimentality, shown through moments of clutter, but if anything, it is a venue to exhibit one’s personality, the objects they hold dear through their collections, and their favorite travel destinations.  The handmade and crafts also have a place in this decorating trend. Needlepoint and embroidery are very much at home in this refreshed classic look.

Until the next trend rolls over, the Grandmillennial look is here to stay.  It is timeless, after all.  The yearning for home, reverence for heritage and lineage, and the sentimentality of remembering travels through the act of collecting point to very human emotions and aspirations that never go out of style, and coninuously need validation.

High-brow provenance fuels this trend.  Here are some style references to help you identify where you are in the Grandmillennial style spectrum:

Sister Parish

This American high society decorator once said, "Innovation is often the ability to reach into the past and bring back what is good, what is beautiful, what is useful, what is lasting."  Unschooled in decorating and design, she is noted for her client list which included the Astors, the Vanderbilts, the Paleys, the Mellons, the Gettys, and most famously, the Kennedys, for whom she decorated the Oval Office and their private quarters.  Her decorating style was marked by lusciously painted or stained floors, pops of bold color, enormous swaths of chintz, needlepoint pillows and botanical prints.

Billy Badlwin

"I was in revolt against Baltimore, a town in which there could not have been more than three or four French chairs. In New York there were thousands of French chairs—and lots of Rolls Royces so the traffic looked better," decorator Billy Baldwin said when he moved from Baltimore to New York to join the firm of Ruby Ross Wood in 1935.  After having briefly studied architecture in Princeton, Baldwin diffidently joined his father’s insurance firm before he moved to New York.  He is known for being a modernist and a classicist all at once; his work neat, clean, immaculate, tailored and paired down.  He was fond of using geometrics, pattern on pattern, wicker, a Matisse-like color palette, rattan and bamboo.  His clientele included Cole Porter, Diana Vreeland and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.

Nancy Lancaster

The owner of the British decorating firm, Sybil Colefax and John Fowler, Nancy Lancaster pioneered the English country house look.  Her seven rules to make a room feel more comfortable must be noted:

1-     In restoring a house, one must first realize its period, feel its personality, and try to bring out its good points.

2-       Decorating must be appropriate.

3-        Scale is of prime importance, and I think that oversized scale is better than undersized scale.

4-      - In choosing a color,one must remember that it changes in different aspects.

5-       Understatement is extremely important, and crossing too many t's and dotting too many i's make a room look overdone and tiresome. One should create something that fires the imagination without overemphasis;

6-        I never think that sticking slavishly to one period is successful; a touch of nostalgia adds charm. One needs light and shade, because if every piece is perfect, the room becomes a museum and lifeless

7-       A gentle mixture of furniture expresses life and continuity, but it must be a delicious mixture that flows and mixes well. It is a bit like mixing a salad. I am better at mixing rooms than salads.

Her “magic ingredients” in putting together a room included candles, flowers, antique furniture and luxurious fabrics: silks, damasks and brocades.

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🌿🌞🌱 #nancylancaster

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Be inspired by this gallery of rooms by millennial decorators who are embracing the Grandmillennial Style:

Decorative Lighting

Pietro Collection

AddressLa Fuerza Plaza, 2241 Chino Roces Ave, Bangkal Avenue, Makati, 1233 Metro Manila

Phone(02) 7215 5755

Lady Scott Jones

AddressThe Metropolitan Club St. Rockwell City, Estrella, Makati, Metro Manila

Phone0917 727 4699

Banner photograph by Amy Berry Design