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Grandmillennial Design + 5 Steps To Achieve This Timeless Style

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What is “Grandmillennial” design?

Like many design styles, it’s not necessarily a “new” style – it’s an awareness of how design can impact your lifestyle.  Followers of Grandmillennial Design dream of lazy days, a slower pace, gardening, walks on the beach, coastal sunsets, and most importantly – having family that loves to come back to the nest for family dinners, gathering around the kitchen island, and late night movies with popcorn.  Queue the Nancy Meyers’ movies – think Something’s Gotta Give, Father of the Bride, and It’s Complicated.

Grandmillennial Design honors traditional styles with a mix of antiques and furniture that feels plush, cozy and inviting. Floor plans that encourage connection and family interaction. Bright and airy spaces with a link to the outdoors. And, layers of collected pieces that make you feel at home – such as books, family photos, travel finds and artwork. It's a home that feels lived in and loved, that makes you feel at ease and happy to be there.

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 Designed For Comfort & Joy

We just completed a new construction home that was built to look like it’s been in the neighborhood for generations, and it’s a great way to visually share with you the design elements of Grandmillennial Style. From the way it’s nestled on the lot, with a stone walkway and an expansive front porch to the French blue front door that welcomes you.

This home is the epitome of Grandmillennial Design – you can feel the history of the family that lives here, and it is designed to build new memories for years to come.

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How do you achieve the Grandmillenial design style?

For the past 15 years, I’ve been designing with the goal of “how can my clients feel comfort, joy, a sense of welcoming, and connection” in their home. 

These are not items or "things" purchased to go into a space, but more about how do they live? who do they spend time with in the space? where do they enjoy their morning coffee? do they curl up when they read a book, or stretch out on a sofa? do the kids get their homework done on the kitchen island or in a study loft?

Designing for how a home will feel, is all in the details.

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Here are 5 Steps to Grandmillennial Design:

#1 – A Well-Built Neutral Backdrop of whites and creams that is light and airy. Neutrals are calming and timeless. Architectural layers and rich details feel comforting – think of your grandma’s home that had 5-paneled doors, brick fireplaces, and bead board ceilings layered with crisp white beams.

Historically, architectural details signify prosperity so homes that have layers of moldings, trim, floor-to-ceiling window treatments and custom built-in cabinets bring a sense of security and strength.

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#2 – Ground It with Warmth & History by featuring hardwood flooring that shows character. [I recommend light floors for a fresh, illuminating base.]  Mix a few family antiques with a neutral sofa to balance the old and the new – a chest in the front hall, a bookcase, or an aged wool rug that shows how much it’s been loved are a great contrast to the crisp light walls.

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Work toward an eclectic, but very thoughtful mix so it is unique to your family history and personal style but doesn’t feel random or chaotic. The way to achieve this is by using fewer pieces, and ones that speak to each other – similar wood tones, clean lines [with no carvings], larger scale pieces.

Comfortable sofas are often deep and long, so you don’t want a tiny end table or chair paired with it. Be very selective when choosing antiques because they have to be a great fit with the other furnishings in the room or they will feel dated and out of place.  Scale and style are important – you can always change the fabric and re-stain or paint the wood finish.

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#3 – Color & Pattern are key elements to the Grandmillennial style. A mix of patterns and prints like florals, Chinoiserie, plaids and stripes are used on sofas and chairs, wallpaper, window treatments, pillows, jars and accessories.

More is more, while not every piece should be patterned – prints across several pieces in the room give it a very “extra”, collected feel.

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To keep it updated and fresh, feature larger scale florals that don’t look too “old”. Make it look like grandma’s home without looking like grandma’s home. Pair florals with tailored stripes and plaids in the same color palette. And, layer in other patterned accents like ginger jars, china, even tablecloths over a round end table in the room.

The color scheme is often soft, and taken from the outdoors – sky blues, sandy tans and creams, soft greens, and always a good dose of whites. This style is drawn from coastal or Southern locations like Nantucket and Charleston. Places people associate with relaxation, a slower-pace, and a family-focused lifestyle.

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#4 – Texture & Touch are super important. You want to walk into a room, and actually see that it feels comfortable and cozy. That’s what makes it welcoming. It’s about cushy deep sofas and casual fabrics like linens, cashmere, and soft cottons on furniture, throws, pillows and ottomans.

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Traditional furniture pieces of the past are now super plush with down wrapped cushions and performance fabrics. Another key element of Grandmillenial Design is not to have to worry about everyday living like spills, grandkids or your sweet golden retriever.


#5 – Layers & Personality. Take a collected approach by layering in meaningful pieces of artwork, bookcases filled with collections, family photos and travel books, a family antique chest or an old rug that’s shown its wear.

Don't forget the cozy throw tossed across the back of a sofa. And, a brass lamp with a warm glow next to your reading chair. The comforts of home – the pieces you’ve chosen to bring you joy in your home.

A home should feel lived in, with “loved” spaces – not too perfect, yet pulled together and complete.

blue and white bedroom, grandmillennial, soft blue bedroom, grace hill design

The new generation of homeowners want to showcase their style and history, making their home unique and one-of-a-kind. The years of ordering beige furniture from a catalog that only lasts a few years are over. People are interested in less waste, long-lasting quality and personal style.

They value family heirlooms from their past, adding a personal twist by painting it a bold color or reupholstering it in fresh new floral.

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If you are ready to create a traditional, timeless, beautiful home designed to bring you joy, as you create your own memories – reach out to us. We can't wait to hear about your next project!

To see more photos of our work, you can check out our Design Portfolio here.

We also have amazing home accessories, entertaining items and gifts on our extensive online shop to bring the Grandmillennial feel to your home at Shop Grace Hill Design.




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1 comment

  • I’ve never heard of this term before but it’s EXACTLY my style. Excellent post – thanks for the lesson and inspiration!

    Allie on

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