The Renter's Guide to Grandmillennial Style

Styling your space while renting is an excellent way to ensure that your rental truly feels like a home. While many renters forgo decor with the anticipation of moving in the future, adding well-styled and damage-free decor is an opportunity to truly make a place your own no matter how long you live there. Whether you have a long-term lease agreement or you simply have a month-to-month, now is the perfect time to find your aesthetic. 

A reaction to the sometimes sterile feel that comes with a too-modern aesthetic, Grandmillennial design seeks the warm comfort that your granny’s generation of homes would evoke. That said, don’t ask every member of your family to send a box of chotzkies and doilies from their garage, just yet. Grandmillennial style brings a modern and millennial take to the classic decor you would find in your grandparent’s home. If you want to bring a new sense of traditional decor and comfort with a mix of modern style to your apartment or home, this renter-friendly inspiration can ensure that your space is a haven of Grandmillennial design.

Tropical or Floral Wallpaper:

Before your landlord panics, don’t worry! Wallpaper technology has changed since it graced your grandma’s dining room walls. Traditional wallpaper is cumbersome to install and impossible to remove without significant legwork and a foreseeable amount of damage to the wall. 

Thankfully, temporary and removable wallpaper is a renter-friendly option that can help you achieve serene and colorful walls without all the hassle. Tropical, chintz or small floral designs can be paired with rich jewel tones or opt for the modern twist of bold large floral designs on darker backgrounds that pack a punch.

tropical grandmillennial wallpaper


Cane and Wicker:

Cane and wicker’s natural earthy aesthetic already made them a trending favorite for minimalists, but their connection to yesteryear and their homemade look make them an excellent choice for grandmillennial design, as well. Grandmillennial style, at its best, offers a story and a sense of connection that stark minimalism can lack. For a truly grandmillennial-inspired look, opt for an item with history by breathing life into a secondhand piece. Bonus points if you actually inherited your new favorite wicker basket from your grandmother.

granny chic wicker furniture


Needlepoint and Embroidery:

Whether displayed on throw pillows or hung on the wall, handsewn decor in the form of needlepoint and embroidery have made their resurgence. Handmade pieces are at the heart of grandmillennial design. Part nostalgia and part resistance to mass-produced manufactured goods, needlepoint and embroidered items add charm and character to your decor. 

Add a few art pieces to your wall with command hooks and embroidery hoops, or enjoy a pop of color with a modern needlepoint pillow. Feel free to buy vintage, find a family heirloom collecting dust, or make your own. Don’t assume that all hand-sewn decor is just like your Nana’s collection, however. Popular decor pieces feature a modern spin with images of succulents, popular celebrity quotes, and other trendy takes on this classic craft.

embroidery and needlepoint


Ensure Usable Design:

Especially for a renter with a small apartment, it’s no longer feasible to set aside areas of the home that are not usable in everyday life. Perhaps one of the key updates grandmillennial design boasts is its incorporation of items like milk glass and classic ginger jars, without rendering any part of the home too ceremonial for daily life. Try adding pops of traditional or delicate decor, without overwhelming your space. This ensures that even a small rental can host the adored design choices of past generations while bringing those styles into the relaxed setting of the 21st century.

grandmillennial design

Shop Vintage:

Don’t have a grandparent waiting to pass down family memories in the form of decor, or are you finding that your small apartment can’t host the oversized furniture your grandparents would pass along? Embrace an eco-friendly approach to design by shopping sustainably through second-hand stores, antique shops, estate sales, and even on online marketplaces. Remember that aesthetics may be important, but usability is key. Every renter should be on the lookout for items that can perform double-duty within their home–especially if space is an issue.

shop vintage for ecofriendly design

Designing your space as a renter comes with extra responsibilities and challenges, but that can make it all the more exciting when your space truly reflects your sense of style. With a few renter-friendly design tips and a couple of command strips in your arsenal, you will be amazed at how quickly your space can tell a great story and start to feel like home.