Grandmillennial style

I am rather tickled by a phrase that has emerged from the U.S. to describe the return of Old School or English Decorating. It is a favourite blog topic and one that is currently experiencing a renaissance of interest on both sides of the Atlantic. Thanks to Emma Bazilian in her September 2019 piece for US House Beautiful magazine (a much preppier version of Hearst’s UK edition), Grandmillennial style has been coined.

Who are Grandmillennials?

Emma Bazilian describes Grandmillennials as people in their 20s and 30s who draw inspiration and comfort from some of the more traditional elements of Victorian and Edwardian fashion and interior style.

Salvesen Graham Red sofa with Bullion Fringe on Charis White Interiors blog
Photo: Salvesen Graham, interior designers.

In the UK, the style lines blur a little further. I suppose it is a sort of town and country thing. A Grandmillennial interior style in town is more of a tailored look whilst in the country it is relaxed with hints of faded grandeur. Both rely on the cosiness of layering of fabrics and wallpapers, mixing florals with stripes – both large-scale patterns and small.

Evocative English Decorating style fabrics: Heidi, Chloe designs from the Spring Garden Collection and Tree of Life design from the Archive 1 collection at The Design Archives.

A HENRY rather than a UHNW

And just to give you the full marketing jargon, a GM (Grandmillennial) is perhaps not yet in a UHNW (Ultra-High-Net-Worth) category but could perhaps best be described as a HENRY (High-Income-Not-Rich-Yet) …

Grandmillennial interior style

Grandmillennial interior style is characterised by a feminine English country house style using designs such as chintzy florals for matching curtains and walls; skirted and sculpted soft furnishings where even swag and tail window treatments are making a comeback; pleated lampshades; cane furniture; gallery walls; tailored skirts for tables and dressing tables; plenty of colour with pattern on pattern with decent amounts of vintage and antique furniture and accessories.

Frilled sofa, Soane
Wall light and pleated shade, Vaughan
Fabrics and wallpapers, Parker and Jules
Wallpapers by Parker and Jules. Photo: Charis White
Coccinelle wallpaper, Dufour wallpapers
Cushion made from Chloe Delft 1011-2, 100% linen, The Design Archives
Ziggy Ice Navy wallpaper, Parker and Jules

Grandmillennial fashion

Grandmillennial fashion is heavily influenced by Laura Ashley of the 70s and 80s where it took a romantic retrospective look at Edwardian and Victorian times. Pie crust collars, bows, leg of mutton sleeves, frills, prairie and teared maxi dresses and skirts ruled the waves.

Vintage Laura Ashley dresses.
Anna Mason, British fashion designer wearing one of her own creations

Princessy headgear

The Sloaney velvet headband of the 80s is back but now in a new shape, highly decorated with jewels and embroidery. Here are some sequinned and embroidered versions from £35, from Anthropologie. Grandmillennials are also heading to The Corner Shop near Bucklebury in Berkshire for their rather chic £12.95 versions.

Sequinned and embroidered headbands, £35 – £40, Anthropologie.

Time for Laura Ashley

It was sad news this week to hear that Laura Ashley is in trouble financially. This should be Laura Ashley’s time with all of those 20 and 30 year old Grandmillennials out there.

PR Carol Richardson of Beattie Communications (ex Jaeger and M&S) produced these beautiful images recently of the vintage inspired Pimlico fashion collection which for me reflect so beautifully the spirit of the brand.

I also agree with journalist and author Daisy Buchanan when she pointed out in her article in The Guardian (Weds 19 February) that “Vintage looks can save poor Laura Ashley” particularly as there is such a demand for original pieces which are currently achieving some rather eyewatering prices on eBay. I had the pleasure of seeing the fashion archive once and can confirm that it is pretty inspiring.

Pimlico collection dress, Laura Ashley
Blouse from the Pimlico collection, Laura Ashley
Blouse from the Pimlico collection, Laura Ashley

Blog rewind

In case you missed these blogs first time around, here are some Grandmillennial/English Decorating style posts:

Frilling Soft Furnishings for 2020

Is 80s Decorating Back?

Bullion Fringe – a set piece for 2018

Thank you

Thank you so much for reading! If you have enjoyed reading this and would like to receive email alerts for future posts, then please press the large blue ‘Follow’ button either at the beginning or end of a blog. With many thanks, Charis x

Charis White, Interior stylist/writer. Photography:
Charis White Interior stylist/writer. Photo: Fiona McLean Photography

10 thoughts on “Grandmillennial style

  1. Love this!! Enjoyed reading it very Charis 🥰 How is your hand ? Hope it is healing nicely Xx
    Sent from my iPhone


  2. Really wonderful. Shame my millennials only like open minimalist spaces! I had a beautiful Edwardian Laura Ashley dress in lilac and white at the end of the 70’s. I loved it! It’s such a shame about LA’s demise but honestly I go in there and the fabrics and colours are so awful and the quality has gone down. I’m still wearing my navy blue pea coat with fake fur collar, which I love and I think is one of the last things I bought in there 5/6 years ago. Xx


    1. Laura Ashley has never been a brand where you have to dig to find something desirable – which is why it is all the more sad to hear comments like yours Jo, which are not uncommon. If only LA could work with some of the many talented independent textile and fashion designers out there whose work is incredibly relevant. Making their designs to appeal once again to a wider audience. Xx


      1. Lovely blog and thanks for the help with the lingo! My friend owned the Laura A Franchise in the Channel Islands until recently and I went to one of their buyers’ shows. What a mish mash but I understood that they were really only interested in the Aisian market now. Missing a trick!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. My pleasure Rachel! Although Laura Ashley are Malaysian owned and the brand has appeal in the Asian market, their focus is still very much worldwide as far as I understand it which is obviously not how it is coming across …


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.