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Ultimate Guide to Granny Chic Home Décor

Updated on January 16, 2011
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Periodically over the past few years I’ve seen blog posts and media references to a home décor movement called Granny Chic. It’s not something that’s been widely adopted as a movement, probably because the name sounds somewhat unappealing to a lot of people. Nevertheless, it’s a movement that really intrigues me. It’s also one that I see reflected in people’s home design choices regularly even though they may not be calling it granny chic.

What is granny chic décor?

As the name suggests, this style of home decorating means taking the items that your grandmother would have decorated with and using them in decorating your own modern home. The “chic” part of this is about adding a modern touch to the items. For example, a lot of grandmothers were known for having crocheted doilies around the home. The traditional lace doily might not have a place as a table runner in your modern home but a colorful modern version could be framed and hung as art work in homage to this granny chic style.

A great quote about Granny Chic

Emma Lamb, the admin for the Granny Chic Flickr group, provides a really great description of granny chic design. She says:

“It is about great design in new and vintage pieces...

 It is about beautiful vintage and retro inspired colour combinations...

It is about mixing old and new ideas, patterns, colours and textures to create something that is both fresh and modern, yet traditional at the same time...

It is about expressing your vintage passion from a modern day perspective...

These principals can be applied to everything concerning design, crafts, fashion and interiors”.

Items commonly used in granny chic décor

Some examples of the types of items that you would see in a home decorated in granny chic style include:

o   Crocheted, knitted and quilted items. The handmade revolution is in full swing so there are a lot of modern crochet and knit items that you can purchase for your home. This takes granny’s sense of style and makes it more your own!

o   Cuckoo clocks. Personally I am not a fan of the cuckoo clock but there are some people interested in granny chic who love bringing this old item back into the house.

o   Glass cake plates. These items are regularly used as display pieces in granny chic homes. They may be on display themselves or may be used to show off various small items that can be held in them (such as vintage jewelry).

o   Old suitcases and hat boxes. Many people opt to take these items that grandma actually used in her day and use them as home décor items today. They can be stacked up and used to create really pretty storage in the home.

o   Silver candlesticks. This is something simple that works in pretty much every home!

o   Small goblets and little china plates. See if grandma is willing to give up her collection of nice dishes and glassware. Use these items in your own kitchen. Alternatively, create a display collection of them somewhere in the home. 

o   Vintage floral upholstered furniture. You can go really wrong with floral upholstery and it can definitely look outdated like when grandma used to own it. However, with some great color choices, you can add one or two of these pieces to a modern eclectic furniture set and really dress up your home in a neat way.  R. Ann Siper provides a helpful tip: “To qualify as “granny chic” there must be a new, colorful, modern, or contemporary twist on this old furniture. For example, a traditional armchair might be covered in shiny vinyl where traditionally velvet might have been.”

o   Wallpaper. There has been a huge revival in the use of wallpaper in home design. For a long time it was shunned as something unattractive and out of date. That’s not the case anymore. You can choose wallpaper that would make granny proud (making sure to select a modern version of a design that she may have liked).

o   Wicker. Can you make wicker baskets and wicker furniture look modern and work in your own home? These challenges are what granny chic is all about!

Why get into granny chic

Some of the reasons that I am a fan of the granny chic style include:

o   All styles that go out of season do come back around again. This is just the way it is so it makes sense to actively find a way to modernize the old to make it new.

o   It lets you put your heirloom pieces on display. If you have items that are actually passed down from your grandma then you’ll want to stop hiding them in the attic and start showing them off. Granny chic design allows you to do that without making your home musty and formal.

o   This honors the styles of the generations that came before us. Many women feel a kinship with the women of the generations before them and this is a great way to really honor that in your home.

o   Thrift store shopping is fun. It’s great to go out and look for old items that can be dressed up in new ways and put to use in the home. This is also a much greener activity than buying new items!

o   I love to crochet. Granny chic celebrates that so of course I’m going to be drawn to it!

o   It’s creative. Ultimately the thing I love about this type of home décor is that it’s creative, much more so than trying to put together brand new items that come together as a set!

What do you think of Granny Chic home décor? Any comments are welcome!


Submit a Comment
  • profile image


    5 years ago

    Thank you so very much Margaret for your very kind words, I really apaceripte it. Lots of times when I write an article or tutorial I never hear any feedback until I meet the person in person. I'm happy to hear that you like the book. I'll give your suggestion some thought.

  • profile image


    5 years ago

    Shiver me timbers, them's some great inmifratoon.

  • profile image


    6 years ago


  • Little Grandmommy profile image


    7 years ago from Small Town Tennessee

    I'm ready to redecorate now! Really nice hub. Thumbs up!

  • amybradley77 profile image


    9 years ago

    Voted up! You have given me so much info. to help me help my Mother decorate, our Grandparents old home this is just great, and useful too. A.B.

  • Hello, hello, profile image

    Hello, hello, 

    9 years ago from London, UK

    They are wonderful and very tasteful.


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