7 old-fashioned interior design trends that the ‘great millennia’ are revitalizing

ALTHOUGH 35, Whitney McGregor sees herself as an old soul, an identity she shares with many young people drawn to non-modern things. The designer from Greenville, SC, one of many great millennials who identify with bringing new life to traditional decor, kisses blooms on blooms and doesn’t curdle in front of scallop garnish.


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Decorative motifs such as the scalloped border are subject to the oscillation of the trend pendulum. “It all comes in cycles,” said Dallas designer Cathy Kincaid, 68. When she graduated in 1974, she considered her mid-century modern sorority house to be horribly dated. She spent the next 20 years finding new appeal in the dressmaker’s ornate details like trims and tassels, but, two decades later, she was peeling the quaint, hand-painted floral wallpaper from her clients’ walls as the middle of the century came back roaring.

Today, in turn, many millennials covet patterns and adornments that their parents found awkward. Ms McGregor and her ilk take inspiration from historic American designers like Elsie de Wolfe, who brightened up heavy Victorian interiors with latticework and chintz in the early 20th century, and Mark Hampton, who later in the century would cover the walls, furniture and windows in the same floral print.

“We’re looking back on what has stood the test of time,” said New York designer Lilse McKenna, 32, who swears by the delicate Sister Parish patterns and block prints of Les Indiennes. Style archaeologists like Ms. McKenna don’t just piece together history, however, Ms. Kinkaid said: “They temper the traditional with the contemporary. “

Here, seven design trends that we can thank the great millennials for resurrecting, plus how to find, layer, and live with them without accidentally recreating a high school production of ‘Arsenic and Old Lace’.

For a big statement in a small space, Atlanta designer Clary Bosbyshell uses the same Brunschwig & Fils Bird and Thistle print on the walls and window treatments of this powder room.


Emilie Hertz

Deck it all

The all-over pattern, be it small stripes, soft geometric patterns, fauna or flowers, is the cornerstone of the movement. Some decorators apply a single print everywhere, from wall coverings to headboards and lampshades. Others mix up the scale of their footprints. Either way, the impact is swift and thunderous. “There is no way that it does not create a mood,” said Ms McGregor, who sees the movement as her secret design weapon. “It’s so easy,” she said. “I don’t have to make seven decisions. If applying an all-over pattern seems too demanding, limit your coverage to curtains and walls and cover a sofa or headboard in a solid color that appears in the print.

Flowers and airy pastels counterbalance the heaviness of an antique brown console table in this Spartanburg, South Carolina living room designed by interior designer Whitney McGregor.


Whitney mcgregor

Brown is the new black

“We’ve all made mistakes with inexpensive do-it-yourself dressers,” said Benjamin Reynaert, 38, a New York-based creative director of a furniture company. Currently in the process of restoring a Victorian home in Wilmington, Del., He plans to bring in “brown furniture,” a once derogatory term for vintage and antique wood pieces, so he doesn’t have to replace the pieces. too early. London TV host and writer Louise Roe, 39, recently remodeled a chalet, creating an Instagram account with more than 100,000 followers as she documented the process and shared her back to the future style inspirations. Ms. Roe thinks brown furniture is the foundation of a room and gives it rich warmth. But she warned: “If you have too many antiques in one room, it starts to look like the whole ‘Downton Abbey’.” Ms. Roe also recommends pairing brown furniture with simple, pale rugs or a bright piece of art to counterbalance its visual weight.

TV host and design lover Louise Roe composes her guest room with scalloped sheets at her cottage in Oxfordshire, England. The crisp white and preppy red trim compensates for the feminine side of the detail.


Louise Roé

Scallops and frills

“Ten years ago, if I had told a customer that I wanted to put a ruffle trim on their sofa, they would have said ‘Hell no!’ ”Ms. McGregor said. Since then, she has slowly incorporated scalloped pillows and ruffled trims into her designs. (“Scallops are the gateway drug to ruffles,” she joked.) She recommends scalloped lampshades by young Briton Matilda Goad for beginners and suggests studying chairs and the ruffled curtains of legendary designers of the 20th century such as the American Albert Hadley and the French Madeleine Castaing. Mrs. Roe composes her guest bedroom with crisp white linens edged with scallops embroidered in red. This high contrast color scheme compensates for what could turn molasses into softer colors.

Ms McKenna has framed vintage illustrations from Vanity Fair magazine with traditional Italian binding paper and unadorned frames.


Read McKendree / JBSA

Adult illustrations

“When spending $ 30,000 on an original piece of art isn’t an option, you can hang a 12-print grid for a fraction of the price,” Ms. McGregor said. The high-quality Audubon reproductions (called giclées) on One Kings Lane range from $ 155 to $ 400, and some of these bird prints are framed. Ms McKenna gathered and cropped a client’s collection of vintage Vanity Fair illustrations for display above a desk. She matted them with traditional Italian binding paper, adding old-fashioned gravity, but kept the frames themselves simple.

Baseboards can hide everything from unsightly plumbing to cleaning supplies, as this Nashville powder room sink from local company Alexander Interiors shows. Plus, it’s a way to add extra pattern to a room.


Tori Alexander / Alexandre Interiors

Get dressed

Textile baseboards around bathroom tables and sinks slide a pretty texture and softness into a space. “It’s a great way to add another motif to the room,” Ms. McKenna said. In a Nashville powder room by local firm Alexander Interiors, for example, checkered ruffles under the sink complement fruity floral wallpaper while masking ugly plumbing. A skirt can also disguise storage, hiding everything from children’s toys to Wi-Fi routers. In her Manhattan living room, Ms. McKenna covered IKEA shelves with linen lined with tassels until she could replace it. the room by a beautiful appropriate wardrobe.

Designer Asia Baker balanced chintz-style upholstery with a quieter, modern environment in her Locust Valley, NY home.


Isabelle Parra

Shard activated

Anathema to the modernists, the chintz has found a new fan base among the great millennials. The flowery cotton or cotton blend, usually on a white background, has been treated to give it a slight sheen. In a grand-millennial setting, it appears on everything from pillows to ceilings. Ms. McKenna likes the denser, denser patterns on sofas in family rooms, where they can hide signs of wear and tear well. When reassuring customers who are wary of print overload, Ms McGregor tells them, “Even though a chintz headboard or sofa seems like a huge commitment in itself, once you lay down on the pillows. , it’s just a touch of chintz. And, as she puts it, “It’s a way of living with flowers 365 days a year.”

In a New York apartment designed by Lucy Doswell, a pleated shade adds another texture and another motif, always a millennial goal.


Read McKendree / JBSA

Shadow parade

Shades, in paper or fabric, quickly add a touch of texture and color. Ms McGregor tells customers to throw away the boring paper lampshades that come with their lamps. “It’s like the family photo that comes with the photo frame,” joked the designer, who orders custom shades that feature bright colors, gathered fabrics, prints, or all three.

In the piece that starts this article (pictured above), Ms McKenna paired a green ceramic lamp with a block-printed ruched shade in the same colors as the chair cushion. “You might not even notice them at first,” she said of the printed lampshades. But that’s exactly the effect she’s looking for. Ms. Roe turns to Pooky for lampshade purchases and inspiration. The site offers everything from shades of marbled paper to ones constructed from gathered silk ikats. His unexpected crush? A black shade with a gold lining which she says creates a cozy glow.


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