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  • artfullyalissa

Decorating our first apartment with the Grandmillennial style

Who would have thought my love for antiques, blue and white accent pieces and patterns inspired by my grandmother's home would be a re-emerging trend?! Over the years I've often found my style as embracing traditional design with a refreshed twist, especially with the excitement of roaming antique stores for the perfect item that has a beautiful story to tell. Enter...the Grandmillennial.

Highlighted in national home decor and lifestyle magazines across the country, the Grandmillennial style is continuing to maintain its popularity - encouraging those to embrace timeless and classic items. I first started collecting antiques when I graduated college and lived at home with my parents, thanks to their encouragement of budgeting and setting aside some money to purchase items to use in a future home.

I was always inspired by their style, because their house looks as if it should be in a magazine with the stunning, artful and antique pieces that create a whimsical, sophisticated and elegant look all in one. Thankfully, I had space in my room and the attic (thanks to my parents' generosity) so started joining them for antique store visits and Brimfield tours to curate my own collection. What started with small pieces like antique trim on a pedestal and a rustic finial turned into a fascination of selecting antique copper items mixed with the beautiful ginger jars you can find at Home Goods or Williams Sonoma. I've found over the four years of living at home with my parents that selecting a mix of new and old items build extra character to your space.

Fast forward to May of 2021 when George and I found our first apartment to rent, we moved in with stunning home decor items that truthfully I wouldn't have spent money on if we were just starting out. Even with the small space we live in, I wanted my design aesthetic to transcend our space to create a cohesive yet whimsical look that really became a Grandmillennial inspired home.

How we picked our furniture and styled it

When we moved in together we knew we wanted some antique furniture but items that wouldn't break the bank. Facebook Marketplace became the perfect solution for us where we found a stunning bureau and buffet for our living room area that tied in the warm hues of the wood for our other furniture.

Styling really brought our space to life and was an opportunity to showcase the gorgeous items I had acquired over the years. We stuck to a blue, white, brown/copper color theme with metallic gold accents to modernize it a bit with accent trays and lamp trims. For the bureau when we first walk into the apartment, I used it to highlight the gorgeous watercolor flowers my Nana painted and that I treasure. Pulling from the painting's colors, I positioned these stunning Wayfair lamps with an antique ink box and Home Goods ginger jar with blue and white seals in a cluster. Grouping items can create a visually appealing layered effect!

For larger items like our sofa, we went to Bob's Discount Furniture and picked a solid blue color that would work well in a future home! While it may seem silly, I wanted to find a whimsical patterned rug to tie everything together for the living room area, and purchased this adorable rug from Boutique Rugs which was a very reasonable price.

Storage in a small apartment is KEY

Our apartment isn't big by any means, and we have one larger walk in closet and a smaller front closet. With the limited storage, I knew I needed creative solutions to store my crafts, entertaining items and serving platters! I found a simple yet elegant ottoman at Home Depot (similar to this one!) that acts as a storage area for crafts, candles, and other miscellaneous items.

The bureaus we have in our living room keep my entertaining items tucked away and we also purchased clear bins from Amazon for our kitchen to organize our cabinets and fridge (here, here). I love how it keeps everything categorized by food item and maximizes space.

You'll find living in a small place that organization and creative storage solutions are key. It's also important (at least to me) to make the aesthetically pleasing!

Infuse layers and varying heights

With limited surface areas, we learned to find nooks and crannies for additional accent pieces. Tucking items in appealing corners in clusters helps draw our eye to different areas of the apartment. One of my other favorite tricks is also using thrifted boxes to add height to decor items!

Creating a relaxing bedroom

We were really drawn to our apartment with how big the bedroom felt! It's the perfect size for a queen bed and while our furniture doesn't fully match, we wanted our focal piece to be the intricate and welcoming bed set we picked out together. We loved the soft blue color with the gorgeous botanical yet regal pattern that went perfectly with the gold accents throughout our home.

The dressers were lent to us by our parents which we so appreciate as we start out! And honestly we love the wood feel that matches the gorgeous antique chest that was my Nana's.

For decor elements, we wanted to keep everything simple, cohesive, and elegant. With watercolor paintings on the wall, our wedding crowns, stunning photographs, and blue accents we really brought the space together for a warm feeling.


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