Why I won’t be Chucking out My Chintz Anytime Soon – Grandmillennial Style and How To Get The Look

They always say if you’ve lived through a trend once, you shouldn’t revisit it and I’ve got to agree with that when it comes to fashion. I won’t be wearing flared jeans and band t-shirts again in this lifetime or a leather mini skirt, but interiors trends are a little more forgiving and nobody is judging as harshly???

If any readers remember the Ikea campaign in 1996 “Chuck out your Chintz” it might be a little hard to believe that the decor du jour is everything 80’s and chintzy. Grandmillennial style, as the trend has been named, has been embraced by many a designer, too young to remember the pattern on pattern interior style of the popular interior designers from the 80’s such as Nina Campbell and Nicky Haslam and are using chintzy wallpaper designs and fabrics, layering pattern on pattern, colour on colour, within their schemes, in their own way.

An interior designed by Sister Parish, the brand which was founded by Mrs Henry Parish, considered to be one of America’a greatest interior designers.
The home of Rita Konig interior designer daughter of Nina Campbell.

House of Hackney were one of the first brands to embrace this new maximalist style of using layers of the same pattern together in one room, but the trend for all things 80’s has evolved even more recently.

House of Hackney Dalston Rose Design fabric and wallpaper.

If you don’t want to use the same pattern on all your walls and upholstery, then another classic style of decorating, is to use the same colour palette but in various patterns, demonstrated in this shot by Colefax & Fowler.

Using a myriad of patterns such as florals, checks, gingham check is huge again btw, stripes and trellis, but all in the same colour is also a tried and tested method of creating maximalist country house style.

Fuchsia fabric and wallpaper Colefax & Fowler

As a former employee of Laura Ashley, it’s a style that I’m really familiar with and actually quite fond of. I prefer to think of it as classic country house style and in my opinion there’s not many cushions that aren’t enhanced by a trim and a room finished off with a large, extravagant display of cottage garden flowers.

One of the simple ways you can bring some 80’s style into your own interior, is by adding a frilled skirt to a piece of furniture, such as a chair or kidney shaped dressing table or around a Belfast sink in the kitchen. A decorative headboard upholstered in a suitably chintzy fabric will also do the trick.

Designer Matilda Goads kitchen
A beautifully upholstered headboard by Charlotte Gaisford

But chintz style fabrics and wallpapers are not the only items resurrected from the 80’s. Over the last few years we’ve seen the return of coloured bathroom suites. Burlington Bathrooms produce a full suite in several colours, including confetti pink and Alaska blue and there are now salvage warehouses that specialise in reclaimed suites in colours such as mint green and primrose yellow. Try nationwide discontinued bathrooms for a large range of discontinued coloured bathroom ranges.

Burlington bathroom’s confetti pink suite

Another material which has seen a renaissance in recent years, with many designs reminiscent of the 80’s, is wicker. Seen in the form of mirrors and light shades, as well as bedroom furniture and dining furniture, this textural accessory is the more subtle way to inject some grandmillennial style into your home without going for the full look.

Matilda Goad Wicker pendant light
Vintage dealer Folie Chambre have a constantly changing selection of wicker and bamboo pieces

If you thought things couldn’t get any more twee, then brace yourself. Needlepoint is the new hobby of many a twenty to thirty year old and framed needle point works and cushions are the accessory any home shouldn’t be without. American brand Lycette Designs are one of the fore runners in this revival with their witty, 21st century examples.

Lycette Designs Needle point cushions

No grandmillennial style interior is complete without the addition of scallops which can be seen everywhere from the edge of rugs, lampshades to table line. Talking of table linen I’m sure it’s not gone unnoticed that table scapeing or setting a formal table as we used to know it, is a huge micro trend in itself, with realms of instagram feeds dedicated to the art of it. One of my favourites is @Fionaleahydesign who is a professional event planner and table scape extraordinaire.

One of the tables capes by Fiona Leahy

If you aren’t ready to chuck out your chintz and want to bring some 80’s style into your home, then I’ve put together a mood board of some of my favourite products with a shopping list below.

  1. Wall Light Shades – Matilda Goad
  2. Lamp by Alice Palmer – Edit58
  3. Fuchsia fabric – Colefax & Fowler
  4. wicker mirror – Dunelm
  5. Scalloped edge coir rug – Tate & Darby
  6. Scalloped edge wool rug – Lesser Spotted
  7. Willow pattern ginger Jar – Cavendish House
  8. Frilled edge Leonora cushion – Host Home
  9. Staffordshire Wally dogs – Trouva
  10. Scalloped edge napkins – Sophie Conran
  11. Gingham upholstered button back chair – Zeba Homes

It’s fun, it’s colourful, it’s sustainable, as there are so many vintage originals you can reuse from the era in your home, and it’s the injection of fun we perhaps need to see again in our interior design schemes.


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