Breaking Down the Patterns and Textures of Grandmillennial

We’ve talked before about grandmillennial style—now also referred to as “granny chic” since we last checked in—and how to know it when you see it. It’s a design sense and lifestyle that mixes hobbies and home living harmoniously. In shirking minimalism, granny chic can be difficult to decipher for outsiders due to its busy nature. However, it can be broken down into preferred patterns and textures that you already know and love. Don’t fret if you don’t understand yet! Here’s what the kids (not really) are bringing back to the interior design world today.

Mosaic and Stained Glass

Teapot Stained Glass Lamp, TF10042 by Toscano

The kids are all right; they’re absolutely correct to make us all re-appreciate stained glass. The unpredictability of how glass will solidify when heated and dyed lends a personal touch to this type of decor, which is what people are looking for. Grandmillennial prides itself on moving away from the cookie-cutter homes of suburbia, and little imperfections are now desirable instead of disappointing. If you find mosaics too kitsch, what’s really nice about them is that they aren’t just limited to window accents or heavy artistic panels. A lot of lighting fixtures have a variety of stained glass elements from subtle to prominent in order to better play with the large variety of light bulbs available.

Florals (But Not ALL of Them)

100% Cotton 3 Pc Printed Reversible Quilt Sets Girona Floral Full/queen, 3CTNQLTG-GFL-FQ by Amrapur

Florals and actual flowers are a common motif for grandmillennial living. This is due to their incredible diversity in actual look, which works alongside the idea of incorporating personality and uniqueness to every space. Small repeating flowers that almost resemble polka dots or stripes at a distance, large and chunky flowers that prioritize plant recognition and its natural beauty, or sprawling bulbs and vines that never truly repeat.
Unlike in the 60s and 70s, today’s desired florals are based on real flowers and not a loose, colorful outline or basic shape. When building a room grandmillennial style, it’s important to note that while you can pick any floral, you should only stick to one type of floral for maximum cohesiveness.

Tactile Tiles

The pushback against minimalism is as much in the flat textures as the simple colors (by Charleston Building and Development)

Patterns don’t need to be just visual. Young(er) homeowners these days just can’t get enough out of patterns you can feel. When you can’t get natural exposed brick, you can certainly improvise to create a similar rough look. You can use unsanded stone, coarse wood, embossing, or any other many ways to give character to a basic subway tile. I’m seeing this a lot in kitchen backsplashes and bathroom wall tile, where the texture doesn’t actually get in the way. I’d never recommend something so coarse for flooring or a surface you use regularly, like a kitchen counter. But especially in the bathroom, it can be a no-slip reprieve from a uniform interior.


Tufting revives an older glamour lost in most transitional and modern home designs of the last decade (by Clean Design)

While we’ve been seeing tufted furniture coming back before the millennials were old enough to buy furniture, they’ve certainly taken a liking to it. It could be traced back to that tactile feel of buttons on fabric that’s so appealing, or the nostalgia of fiddling with their grandparents’ throw pillows. Either way, if Gen-X was all about shiplap and Shaker cabinets, grandmillennial style tends toward more glamorous antique elements. Button tufting is one, but there’s also nailhead upholstery, tooled furniture legs, and visible wood furniture frames. Bonus: these elements aren’t just fashionable; tufting a couch or chair has a practical purpose as well. It extends the life of the furniture by forcing the stuffing to stay in place longer.


Expound Upholstered Nailhead Trim Performance Velvet Ottoman In Navy, EEI-3068-NAV by Modway Furniture

While not a pattern so much as a fabric choice, velvet is unique. So much so that you can identify it by its distinctive textured color gradient a mile away. It’s soft, comfortable, and gives a room an air of luxury that other fabrics can’t. As with button tufting, velvet upholstery draws from a vintage look — specifically a Hollywood Glam that’s opulent but (more importantly) comfortable, and breaks in well. While the term “granny chic” might make you think of grandma’s plastic-covered sofas, don’t forget the grand in grandmillennial. Colorful velvet, brushed gold accents, and bright bulbs are signature maximalist elements that pair a dollop of 1920s opulence with a homey, second-hand eclectic feel.

Don’t be fooled by the titles “grand millennial” or “granny chic;” these trends are for any age. Creating a signature style from inherited, upcycled, or reupholstered antiques is a trend just about anyone can get behind!