… on grand(child) chic

Years ago – and I’m talking, like, years ago (perhaps even more than a decade ago now and certainly before 2020) – I was talking to my first born child, who is Mac.

There was a lot of chatter on-line about decorating styles and things seemed to have gone off the rails. What was once limited to descriptions such as, ‘traditional’ or ‘mission’/’craftsman or ‘modern’… which brings me to the now often smugly exhaled ‘mid-century modern’ (don’t get me wrong, if you use the term ‘mid-century modern’ without smugly exhaling it, then my own smugly exhaled comment does not apply to you).

Where was I?

Oh right. So I was talking to Mac and the labels for decorating styles had exploded well beyond those above and old faves such as ‘country’ and ‘French country’.

I said that I was thinking (ponderin’) my own interior design style (beyond the aforementioned ‘huggy‘) and I thought up my descriptor and goal: ‘Grandmother Chic’.

Stop right there.

know you’ve already heard of Grandmother Chic. I can also tell you (because I just Googled it) that the magazine, House Beautiful, is credited with those terms. But I am also here to tell you that some writer or editor for House Beautiful was mining my brain over a decade ago and that’s where he or she found it and, yes, I’m standing by that (and, no, I cannot tell you what technology they used).

When I was describing my style to Mac – which I called Grandmother Chic – I related the feeling we get when we visit a beloved grandmother’s house; a collected-over-time home with lots of personal, loved and used things rather than stuff  bought to make a shelf or sofa or kitchen countertop look decorated (don’t get me wrong, HomeGoods is a dear friend of mine).

So House Beautiful (I sneer-typed that), in about 2020 (and according to Google) apparently coined the phrase ‘Grandmother Chic’, and then covered all bases by also claiming ‘Granny Chic’.

Also, now there is ‘Coastal Grandmother’, which my friend Chris has been doing  for, like, ever. And she is an actual Coastal Grandmother to boot. I do not know who in the design world coined the term, ‘Coastal Grandmother’ but, I’m telling you, Chris deserves residuals.

As an aside (to the other aside above), House Beautiful not only stole coined the phrase ‘Grandmother/Granny Chic’, but they then upped the ante with ‘Grand-Millennial’, which they said was all about Millennials appreciating Grandmother/Granny chic. The idea was to combine vintage and comfy with pops of more modern furniture pieces that were near and dear to a millennial’s heart (probably ones that resembled participation trophies (sorry, I’m Gen X… we’re feral)).

While I am all about the Grandmother Chic, I don’t think I am within the vibe of ‘Grand-Millennial’ because my home lacks the occasional ‘pop’ of more modern furniture pieces.


Well, except that I now have a grandchild.

I was not, in fact, a grandmother when I (I!) came up with ‘Grandmother Chic’, as it was based on the feeling I got when I visited my own Nana.

But now I am a grandmother, and I am also in the process of designing ‘Nana’s Nook’, a small, snuggy room off of my bedroom where my new (well, four month new) Granddaughter and I (and anyone else she chooses to invite) can steal away to read and be.

Nana’s Nook has a very modern and round and furry (nope not kidding) daybed, as well as a very chic little, acrylic, bookshelf. It even has a (sniff) mid-century modern ‘book and toy dump’ (which is really not very mid century, as I purchased it from a store called West Elm, which is owned by Pottery Barn and so this particular ‘book and toy dump’ is about as mid-century as Rachel’s Pottery Barn Apothecary Table is ‘antique’ in the TV show Friends (she told Phoebe it was from the historical period of ‘yore’).


My new and happening nook is clearly evidence that I am way more chic than I even thought I was.

I am not just Grandmother Chic, but Grand-Millennial Chic. This is …


In the photographic evidence I am seeing of ‘Grandmother Chic’ and ‘Grand-Millennial Chic’, there is very little… nope there isn’t any evidence of the most important ‘grands’ in ‘Grand’…

Grand… children!

And, I’m telling you, I am looking.

Okay, I see crewelwork.

I see… flowing curtains.

I see a lot of bright whites and shabby chics and crystal chandeliers and antique vases and vintage candlesticks and dishes… and old cookbooks and…

And cozy colors that are muted and welcoming… beige plaids and dusty roses and sage greens and chintzes and toiles.

But I see practically no bright or primary colors anywhere.

No Traffic Cone Orange or Fire Engine Red or In Your Face Green or Royal Blue… and certainly none of those all mixed up together within the distance of half an inch or less.

No Brightly Colored Molded Plastic (BCMP) either!

How the heck do you do Grandmother Chic without all that?! You can’t have a baby in those spaces without accounting for their most favoritist toys!

How on earth did I miss that?

More importantly, how did House Beautiful miss that? They have editors!!!

Grandmother Chic without a nod to the children that put the ‘Grand’ in ‘Grandmother’ – is just… Old Lady Collecting.

Doesn’t sound nearly as interesting (nor chic!)

No worries.

Hang on… I think I can save us all.

Let me just…

Okay and…

Yep, there it is…

There you go.

Grandchild Chic.

It’s not every day you can rescue the entire interior design industry.

Have at it, House Beautiful.

Thanks for reading ❤️

Obviously, based on my description above, I went with Grandchild-Millenial in Nana’s Nook (which I’ll share in a future post).

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