Whether you’re already a self-described grandmillennial or are simply eager to dip a toe into the world of grandmillennial home decor, you certainly don’t want to be missing out on the wide world of estate sale shopping.
If the term “grandmillennial” is new to you, we’ll give you a quick refresher—note that the style is characterized by an abundance of blues and whites, lots of chintz, chinoiserie accents, and brass detailing, just to name a few key components.
“When I think of a grandmillennial home I immediately think of pretty pastel colors, happy patterns, and a feminine influence,” says Jacqueline Burrows, founder of The Sleepy Flea. “It's a return to classics like patterned wallpaper, custom upholstery, and fun tape trims but in a fresh way with brighter colors and more modern silhouettes.”
Additionally, Burrows adds, grandmillennials are skilled at mixing together various textures within a space. “Our grandparents may have upholstered their sofa, ottoman, and armchairs in the same floral chintz, whereas today’s grandmillennial would just pick one floral chintz piece to mix into a space with other textures like rattan, grasscloth, blockprint, and sisal,” she comments.
What better way to bring the grandmillenial aesthetic into your home than by shopping at estate sales? Burrows and other grandmillennial enthusiasts share their top tips regarding the types of items to look for secondhand in order to craft a stylish home.
Not ready to commit to a larger piece of furniture? Fear not! “There are many smaller decorative pieces and entertaining staples that can instantly add a dose of grandmillennial flair to your space,” Burrows says. Keep an eye out for Fenton hobnail milk glass ruffle vases and colorful Wedgwood jasperware dishes, both of which will take your tablescape—or coffee table—to the next level. She also recommends searching for Chinoiserie ginger jars, silver serving pieces, and decorative brass objects.
Find milk glass vases here
Don’t be afraid to embrace all of the above items, either. “I’m a big fan of tchotchkes and especially layering them,” says Nicole Letts, the founder of Grandmillennial Shop. “There’s no room for minimalism when it comes to grandmillennial style.” When shopping, “Look for smalls that can be used for big impacts,” Letts says. This may mean purchasing a vintage ashtray to set on top of a stack of books or shopping for brass candlesticks to jazz up the mantel, she explains.
Looking for brass candlesticks? Click here.
Lindsay Lewis, the founder of Grandmillennial Mama, likes to purchase vintage paintings for her home, as well as foo dog figurines. Pieces like these will instantly liven up your built-ins.
Vintage painting or foo dog figurines will instantly liven up your built-ins. Click here to check them out.
Linens are worth scoping out too, Burrows notes, explaining that she often sources hand-stitched vintage tablecloths, placemats, and napkins while secondhand shopping. If you sew, you can use linens or fabric remnants to create something new for your space. Jess Ziomek, the founder of Thrills of the Hunt, repurposed chintz drapes into an upholstered headboard, crib skirt, window seat, and Roman shades for her daughter’s room.
Vintage tablecloths, placemats, and napkins are worth sourcing while secondhand shopping. Use them as is or repurpose them to create something new for your space.
If you don’t yet collect a specific type of home accessory, it isn’t too late to start. “The art of collecting in a home is another concept that grandmillennials are bringing back,” Burrows says. “Grandmillennials may hang a well-edited collection of majolica plates on a statement wall or a group of cheeky needlepoint pillows—which they probably stitched themselves—clustered on their sofa,” she explains. Burrows is passionate about collecting blue and green French opaline glass, which she’ll often set out when hosting, too. “Not only does it make hunting (and gifting) more fun—but it becomes an instant conversation piece when you have guests over and they wonder about your collection,” she adds.
Majolica plates are one of the items Grandmillennials choose to collect and they are available to bid on here.
Letts owns a collection of sterling silver flatware that she uses daily and puts in the dishwasher, and she also collects cobalt blue Wedgwood jasperware. “I have it sprinkled throughout my house in unexpected places,” she says. “A cachepot holds the only plant I’ve managed not to kill. A biscuit jar is filled with my Nespresso coffee pods. A small bowl holds a collection of vintage matchbooks my grandparents picked up during their travels. I’m always on the lookout when I’m hunting.”
Wedgwood jasperware - another item worth collecting if you're want a touch of Grandmillennnial decor in your home. Find and bid on them here.
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