Grandmillennial vs. Coastal Grandmother Design Trend

Dec 1, 2022

In the world of granny chic décor, there’s a surprising amount of variety. Two trends that are making waves in 2022 are grandmillennial and coastal grandmother design. Both have granny chic features, but when it comes to grandmillennial vs. coastal grandmother design trends, there are also distinct differences.

Understanding how these trends stand apart is a must for anyone who finds granny chic interior design appealing. If you’re wondering about the similarities and differences between grandmillennial vs. coastal grandmother design, here’s what you need to know.

millennials discussing decor

What Is Grandmillennnial Design?

While granny chic interior design isn’t inherently new, grandmillennial design puts a twist on the concept. With grandmillennial style in 2022, you get the formal, ornate, layered designs commonly found in the broader category. There’s a distinct emphasis on maximalism, and not everything is carefully coordinated.

Items like elaborate chandeliers and turned-foot-style furnishings featuring rich materials and design elements like tufting are common. Lace and floral patterns are also prevalent, as well as Victorian styling. The space often ends up with a sense of age and antiquity. Layering is also popular, whether in the décor pieces on a mantel, pillows on a sofa, or throw blankets on a bed in a grandmillennial bedroom.

Dramatic wallpaper is also experiencing a resurgence partially due to increased interest in grandmillennial styling. You’ll find bold patterns that lean traditional, imbuing rooms with a tone of energy. The colors may also be more vivid than you’d find in older designs, giving them a renewed sense of life.

However, there is also a touch of modernism or contemporary design. The color palette may be more vibrant than is classically associated with granny chic, giving the furnishings and décor a sense of nostalgia with an updated feel. Essentially, it’s about injecting personality into classic pieces and form factors.

Often, the resulting look is akin to intentional eclecticism. While the layered patterns are classic elements of granny chic, grandmillennial design typically refines its color palette more to create a sense of cohesion. Pieces are chosen with purpose, which makes the result fresh while maintaining a nostalgic feel.

Grandmillennial design

What Is Coastal Grandmother Style?

With coastal grandmother décor, there’s a balance between formality and airiness. The color palettes lean beachy, embracing neutrals like soft creams, sandy beiges, and soft blues. Essentially, there’s a breeziness to the look.

Coastal grandmother style also embraces the layered, cozy elements you find in granny chic design. Throw blankets and pillows still have their place, often featuring subtle patterns in subdued hues or with monochromatic palettes or purely relying on the inherent texture in the fabric.

Natural wood is another big element in the coastal grandma style, though the hues tend to be lighter. This gives spaces a slightly rustic feel but not to the point of veering into country or farmhouse design in most cases.

Décor items are plentiful, but their lighter look maintains a sense of airiness. Additionally, there’s still a sense of age. Rattan furnishings in traditional designs and softer hues are popular options, as well as ornate Victorian-style sofas painted in lighter shades and reupholstered with neutral fabrics.

You’ll also see classic armchair designs with turned wooden feet in beige, cream, or ivory shades. Classic touches like tablecloths on dining tables or vases of fresh flowers are similarly popular in coastal grandmother-style homes.

Ultimately, coastal granny design feels fresh but still has a lived-in, comfortable energy. It combines ornate features with minimalist – though not whole monochromatic – beachy palettes, leaving spaces light, bright, and comfortable.

coastal grandmother

Grandmillennial vs. Coastal Grandmother

Overall, grandmillennial style and coastal grandmother décor do have some elements in common, but they also stand apart in many ways. Here’s a deeper dive into grandmillennial style décor vs. coastal grandma.


Both coastal grandma and grandmillennial styling are considered granny chic design trends. They often feature furnishings with classic, traditional, or Victorian styling. That usually gives the furniture ornate details, though how dramatically they stand out varies depending on the color palette and other elements.

Layering and coziness are also inherent in grandmillennial and coastal grandmother designs. Ample throw pillows and blankets, multiple décor pieces on shelves, and similar approaches are used in both trends.

Coastal grandmother and grandmillennial style also involve a lived-in quality. The goal isn’t to create sterile spaces. Instead, it’s about imbuing personality and remaining eclectic while ensuring each piece has a purpose in the broader look.

Finally, the long-term goal of both of these approaches to granny chic is typically timelessness. The styles are designed to last a lifetime by shirking the concept of short-term trendiness, keeping the look relevant without the need to restyle every few years.


Grandmillennial vs. Coastal Grandmother

While granny chic home décor is a core part of both trends, grandmillennial interior design and the coastal grandma style also differ in some areas. One of the most distinct differences is the typical color palette.

The coastal grandma trend focuses on neutral, beachy hues. The dominant colors tend to fall into off-white, cream, beige, or sand territory. That makes the look visually softer than pure white and often feels more livable. Plus, it creates a sense of airiness.

For accent colors, coastal grandma design also stays on the gentler side. Sky or watery blues are common, as well as brassy yellows. You may see the occasional pop of red or brighter blue if the design leans nautical, but that isn’t present in all coastal grandma homes.

With grandmillennial home décor, the color palette is usually broader and bolder. While you’ll still see neutral hues like cream and beige, they’re often coupled with brighter options. Whether that involves royal blues, vibrant reds, grass greens, or even rosy pinks, there’s far more color in the space.

Patterns on fabrics are also bolder. Along with more ornate designs, multiple colors often highlight the various elements of the patterns. You’ll also see lavish throw pillows or blankets layered together, which makes the eclecticism of the space more overt.

Can You Use Grandmillennial and Coastal Grandma Styling Together?

Combining coastal grandmother and grandmillennial design is an option. If you want to blend the two, you can make adjustments to the foundational style.

For example, if you’re using grandmillennial design as a starting point, keep the bold patterns and highly ornate furnishings while simplifying the color palette. Focus more on neutrals and reserve brighter colors for the occasional pop of energy.

If you’re beginning with coastal grandmother design, find ways to introduce more texture and patterning in the fabrics. Opting for bolder geometric patterns or bringing in some florals while keeping the palette neutral can add hints of grandmillennial style while still ensuring the space feels airy. You can also bring in coordinating color pops, such as favoring brighter blues over the softer ones typically associated with the style, giving the space an extra punch.

Ultimately, blending the style works because classic, intentional eclecticism is part of both design approaches. That gives you a significant amount of flexibility when choosing elements. As long as the end result feels balanced and suitably cozy, and there are suitably traditional pieces as part of the mix, you’re likely on track.


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