3 Grandmillennial Trends Real Estate Agents Wish You’d Ditch

published Oct 13, 2021
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When you were little, did you ever walk into your grandparents’ house and think to yourself, “Wow, what beautiful decor”? Well, a whole set of millennials did, and they’ve created an entirely new design style called “grandmillennial” to show it. The aesthetic marries millennial style with grandparent-inspired decoration. Although it’s a popular interior design choice, there are some aspects of it that real estate agents say could harm the sale of your home if they’re not done properly.

“As a Realtor, grandmillennial can be difficult to convey,” says Kate Ziegler with Arborview Realty in Boston. “If it’s not immaculate, it feels just old, and buyers get nervous about updates and systems behind the decor. Proceed with caution, add elements slowly, and be prepared for upkeep to keep things looking grand.” 

Here are three places to be careful with when incorporating grandmillennial decor, especially if you’re planning to sell soon.

Credit: Sylvie Li


Peel-and-stick wallpaper can be a godsend if you live in a drab apartment or want to spruce up your living space with an easy, removable solution. But when you’re using it for grandmillennial style, make sure to do it right. 

“If you’re adding a pattern to your walls, do it well,” Ziegler says. “Start with a small space like a pantry or powder room, or a single wall in a larger room, and for goodness sake pay the premium for a quality product, installed well with patterns aligned and looking seamless. Sloppy pattern-matching will raise questions about the care taken elsewhere, what other updates were DIY, and buyers will see it as something they need to budget to fix.”

Keep the scale of the pattern in mind, especially in rooms that have an existing centerpiece.

“In a smaller bedroom, large scale prints can be overwhelming,” says Gerard C. Splendore, a broker for Warburg Realty. “I prefer the bed to be the focal point, as it is usually the largest piece in the room.”

Heavy Drapes

Don’t pick something super heavy for your drapes, even if you think it looks granny chic. You want something light and airy so the room doesn’t feel too dark or heavy.

“I recently toured a home that was a ‘60s time capsule, with soaring ceilings and a conversation pit, and an entire wall of glass looking out on the lawn,” Ziegler says. “But despite the enormous windows, the drapes weighed the whole space down and made it dark and dim… Buyers will feel the weight of the space when they arrive in person.”

Tassels and Fringe

These may be fashionable, but they’re a lot of upkeep. If you’re going to have these features — and this includes shag rugs — in your decor, you’ll want to create and commit to a care plan before you bring them in.

“Consider your home life and your tolerance for maintenance,” Ziegler says. “When it comes time to sell, stained or smelly upholstery will be a big turn-off for buyers, and will show their wear and raise general maintenance questions. If you’re not sure you’re ready to commit to regular steam cleaning, or if your pet is going to treat tassels as their personal chew toy, consider other accessories that will bring in the grandmillennial feel without the upkeep.”