8 Things from Your Grandparents’ Living Room that are Cool Again

published Jan 4, 2020
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For me, there was nothing like going to my grandma’s house on the weekends. There were no rules during those visits: You could eat all the candy, run down the halls, and get into whatever shenanigans you wanted to. So is it any wonder that home decor staples from our grandparents’ living rooms are becoming cool again? We all want to surround ourselves with feel-good items, right? Fake plants are having a moment, furniture slipcovers are still practical, and quilted blankets are popping up as living room staples again. What’s next, empty birdcages for decoration and framed needlepoint artwork? Check out which retro items are having a second life and then decide whether grandmillennial style might actually be more up your alley than you originally thought.

Credit: The Sill

Fake Plants

For many people, granny’s faux flowers have been considered a design taboo, especially when the plants look overtly plastic. But now that more and more brands are making realistic versions of some of our favorite house plants like the trailing pothos, the trend is coming back around. There’s a lot to love about a plant you can’t kill. The biggest downside is cost, but they will last forever. And yes, fake plants also collect dust, but they’re easy enough to wipe down with a cloth every now and then. So I think the good outweighs the bad here.

Buy: Faux Pothos at The Sill, $87

Quilted Throws

Inspired by handmade vintage quilts, everyone from Urban Outfitters to Anthropologie is bringing back these colorful, honeycomb designs. Featuring a rainbow of shades, these designs use a blend of different smaller scale patterns like gingham, florals, and dots. Your grandparents might have draped one over the living room sofa or maybe stored in a big basket of throws. You could do the same with this honeycomb quilt. Or you could even try one on your bed for a folksy look.

Buy: Bea Honeycomb Quilted Throw Blanket at Urban Outfitters, $69 $59

Credit: All Modern


The ‘90s sitcom “Frasier” captured how the world felt about recliner chairs: His dad’s pea green, masking-tape-repaired La-Z-Boy was the bane of Frasier’s existence. While recliners don’t have the most fashionable reputation, they stay in our design repertoire because, well, they’re so comfy. Nowadays there are more stylish options out there that can help you lean sit back and relax without ruining your room’s aesthetic. I’m not even sure you’d be able to tell this streamlined side chair reclined, and that’s why it’s amazing. All you have to do is push back on the seat and kick your feet up.

Buy: Sandra Manual Recliner at All Modern, Starting at $263.99 $226.99

Credit: The Inside


Chintz had its big moment in the ‘90s when the fashion world became obsessed with English manors and quaint cottages. The look has never totally gone out of style, but the pattern has been picking up steam again this year. From chintz bedspreads to bold floral curtains to luxurious chintz wallpaper, prim cottage touches are starting to appeal again. Made to order in this sweet blue chintz floral, this cocktail ottoman would make a great coffee table alternative if you’re in the market for one.

Buy: Cocktail Ottoman at The Inside, $449

Round Pintuck Pillows

The same velvet pillows that decorated your grandparents’ parlor room are now back in style for all living room and bedroom decor needs. The round shape is a fun way to break up a collection of square throw pillows, and they help add a retro touch without being too overwhelmingly kitschy.

Buy: Round Pintuck Pillow at Urban Outfitters, $39

Credit: Amazon


Sofa slipcovers were a living room staple in the 80s, and they helped to transform an old couch into something fresh and new. But with its ostentatious skirt ruffles, the couch slip began to feel old-fashioned. Now sofa covers are having a second wind, and they span all sorts of aesthetics. You can shop everything from farmhouse basketweave options to fitted box cushion picks. This Amazon style comes in 40 different patterns and stretches to fit sofas that are between 69 and 86 inches long.

Buy: HOTNIU 1-Piece Stretch Sofa Couch Cover at Amazon, Starting at $34.99

Credit: Urban Outfitters

Beaded Curtains

Bring a hippie vibe to your living room with the help of a beaded curtain. I remember playing with the wooden beads of my own grandma’s porch curtain door, so seeing these stocked in places like Urban Outfitters has been a happy (and nostalgic!) surprise.

Buy: Big Dot Bamboo Beaded Curtain at Urban Outfitters, $49

Credit: Anthropolgie

Shag Rugs

Your grandparents probably had fuzzy carpeting the first time it was big in design back in the late 60s and 70s. They might have even still had it while you were growing up. Well, instead of going for wall-to-wall, try out the shag look with a fringed flokati area rug. These kinds of rugs have been going strong now for almost a decade, so they won’t be losing steam any time soon.

Buy: Fringed Flokati Rug at Anthropologie, Starting at $78.00 for a 2′ x 3′