All True Grandmillennial-Style Spaces Should Have This One Detail, Says An Expert

It’s all about the frills.

Courtesy of Salvesen Graham / Photo by Astrid Templier

When editor Emma Bazilian coined the term “grandmillennial” in a piece for House Beautiful a few years back, the trend basically became an overnight success. The phrase and the style caught on with interior enthusiasts like wildfire, rapidly racking up searches on Pinterest and gaining tens of thousands of hashtags on Instagram. And while that all started around 2019, it’s still going strong to this day; case in point, multiple designers recently told TZR that demand for the look would continue well into 2022. In fact, if you’re reading this right now, it’s likely you yourself are interested in cultivating the grandmillennial aesthetic in your home — so, TZR tapped an expert on the subject to find out how.

First, it’s important to know what, essentially, makes up a grandmillennial look. “[This] style is defined by layered rooms full of character and, of course, an ever-present chintz, tassel, or frill,” Nicole Salvesen of Salvesen Graham tells TZR. “At its core it is classically informed, but true grandmillennials are using modern styles and combining them with these historical details.”

As for how it came about? Well, that’s a little less straightforward. “The trend has actually been around for a while now, though for [Mary Graham and me] it’s hard to [identify when interest in it started] as we have always used so many of the trend’s fundamentals in our interiors, and we both come from really classical interior backgrounds,” continues Salvesen. “Trends, though, tend to be cyclical, so this one is being pushed by a generation who now wants to create the interiors they loved in their childhoods. It is also a reaction to the desire to be sustainable, as this trend is all about reusing and repurposing.”

While the grandmillennial aesthetic has been around for a while now (and you may have seen predictions elsewhere that it’s on its way out), Salvesen believes that it’s here to stay for a bit longer. The trend does predate our current lockdown times, but “but there is no denying that the need for our homes to be very comfortable when we were spending more time there only helped this trend to stick.”

To join the movement and finally get on board, find Salvesen’s tips for including grandmillennial style in your own home, ahead.

Incorporate Florals & Frills

Yes, one of the most important tips is probably exactly what you’d expect: “No grandmillennial room is complete without florals and frills,” says Salvesen. However, this doesn’t mean it’s necessary to combine all those haphazardly, she notes. “It is true that perhaps some are going overboard with throwing everything they can into a grandmillennial interior, but it can be done in a really pared-back, gentle way and is about combining old and new. You only have to look at the interiors of John Fowler, Albert Hadley, or Nancy Lancaster to see that this isn’t the first time this has been done.”

Release Your Inhibitions

That said, Salvesen maintains that it’s important not to hold back in creating a grandmillennial-inspired room. “This doesn’t mean every part of a scheme needs to be bold; make sure everything is still balanced. But, it works most successfully when many different elements are combined together to make it feel considered,” she explains. “Just frilly chintz cushions in an otherwise pared-back, contemporary space will look out of place.”

Combine The Old With The New

One thing Salvesen says any quintessentially grandmillennial room will have? Beautiful antiques combined with new pieces. “The trend is heavy on fabric and color in all its forms whether that be a cushion, well-trimmed upholstery, or colors being added with brightly colored gloss accessories (such as our cane trays — a modern take on a very classic design),” she shares. “These all sit so well next to that repurposed mahogany console that used to belong to your grandparents and make them feel right for now.”

Courtesy of Salvesen Graham / Photo by Astrid Templier

Go Heavy On Fabric & Color

Speaking of fabric and color — those two details are very much core tenets of the style. Salvesen notes that many grandmillennial rooms have a “great” wall color, as well as check prints (which she says “are easy to use and sit well among an existing color scheme”). And, again, don’t leave out those aforementioned florals. “On the whole, look to gentle florals and stay away from the very graphic geometric prints that were popular in more modern, stark interiors,” she advises.