Our daughter Jordan and I took the streetcar to the city (historic farmers) market last Saturday. So many growers. Types of produce so unusual and fanciful they looked like they should be sewn on hats. Riots of flowers, all just $10 a colorful bunch. Every ethnicity. Every opportunity to feel your shadow transplanted to a busy shopping district in some place across the globe. Sharing in real time of must-take-small-bites-they-are-so-good pastries in an Italian bakery.
I love our daughter. I love how alive she was in that mecca of tastes and sights and sounds and how time stopped for her when she spotted the Asian flower vendor… wizened, tiny enough to fit in a teacup and dressed in some kind of masculine working garment with a funny, cylindrical, nearly taller-than-her hat.
Waiting for the streetcar to return home, time slowed for my attention when Jordan said, “I’m a grand millennial.”
What is a grand millennial?
House Beautiful has a great article describing the grandmillennial (treated as one word). This quote from the article describes it best: “Ranging in age from mid-20s to late-30s, grandmillennials have an affinity for design trends considered by mainstream culture to be ‘stuffy’ or ‘outdated’—Laura Ashley prints, ruffles, embroidered linens. Unlike that of the late-aughts hipster, their taste for the antiquated isn’t ironic; it’s less twee than timeless.” Think rattan and wicker inside homes that are nowhere near the beach, blue-and-white porcelain, wallpaper, chintzy prints and needlepoint.
How does that apply to you and what does that look like in your home and wardrobe?
It’s funny. I believe this has always defined my style. I laughed and thought, this is me to a T, when I saw that it has become a trend. My wardrobe is feminine, and I can usually be found in a dress (or gym clothes if I’m being honest). I love my home. When you walk in you are greeted by large-pattern, floral wallpaper that bridges the living room and dining room. My blue-and-white porcelain is on display in the living room and my built-ins are full of books and odds and ends that bring me joy. You can see the grandmillennial influence in my home through wallpapers, punchy printed pillows, collections of blue and white, Staffordshire dogs tucked into built-ins and different floral arrangements scattered throughout our home.
I love tea parties and etiquette. My parents (both of you) used to threaten me with etiquette school when I misbehaved growing up. One of the first collections that was ever started for me was a collection of etiquette books. “How to be a Lady” and “As a Lady Would Say” are proudly on display in my home. I was cleaning out my closet last week and found a dress I purchased and wore once for a vintage tea party I’d thrown for friends years ago. I would love to do it again. Someday, when I am a grandmother, I want to teach etiquette classes to eager young ladies while we sit and have a proper tea party.
What collections have you started that you might continue to expand?
One of the most special gifts I have ever received is a set of blue-and-white porcelain cats from my Grandy at Christmas. Prior to receiving the gift, I was standing admiring her collection of blue and white telling her how much I loved it. A few months later she gifted me some of her pieces to start my own collection. Since then, my collection of blue-and-white pottery has grown and will continue to grow as time goes on.
You created an inspiration board for your dream shop. Can I share it? Why did you include the things you did?
Sure! [Click here.] I love to dream about my shop. Someday I will have a store that feels shabby chic and like the South met Paris. I am constantly reading and seeking inspiration. I try to absorb as much as I can in the things I read and the places I visit. I want my shop to feel like a destination. Somewhere you walk in the door and feel inspired. I am inspired by culture and color and texture and greenery. I even think my kitten Joy would be the perfect shop cat (but don’t tell my mom that).
What’s your favorite color?
Pink. Hands down. But I’m picky about pink. It has to be the right shade.
I love color. Color is the first thing I notice when I am somewhere new. The brightness of the neon lights, street signs and buildings in a city, the trees and flowers in a park, the patterns on a leaf… I am so inspired by color and it’s where I see God’s handiwork and creativity the most.
Does your husband share that affinity?
My affinity for pink? Or grandmillennial style?
He tolerates pink and indulges me. We have hot pink pillow shams on our bed and touches of pink throughout our home. I don’t think he’s going to be sporting a pink shirt anytime soon.
He’s grandmillennial in his own way. He fly-fishes, smokes a pipe, adores the classics and has a mustache. He’s inspired by the traditional gentleman.
Close your eyes and describe your dream home.
My dream home is something that walked out of the pages of Southern Living. I would move right in to one of the rainbow estates in Charleston.
What is essential to making a house a home?
Livability. A house shouldn’t be a museum. Entertaining is important to me. I want to have a home that is inviting and can be easily filled with our family and friends.
I try to live by the 10-minute rule. Always have your home in a state of cleanliness so you can proudly open the door to guests within 10 minutes.
Do you have grandmillennial friends? Describe one.
Kind of. I haven’t ever thought about this. All of my friends are so different. My friend Amy most shares my love of grandmillennial things. She was raised on Southern principles and carries that through most of her life. My friend Katherine has a beautiful home and my friend Megan and her family set the bar for gracious entertaining.
What other things do you think might be important to all the grandmillennials out there?
Being thoughtful about the way things have always been. Trends change so rapidly. They’re hot one day and then they’re not. The grandmillennial isn’t in a hurry to keep up with the ever-changing trends of the moment. They embrace the things their mothers and grandmothers loved. They are impressionable in their own way.
You buy and sell things on Poshmark.com Tell me more about that. Does that feed your grandmillennial habits?
I don’t know that this is very grandmillennial. It’s probably not as much about a trend, but rather the opportunity to clean out your closet in a profitable way.
I loved our time at the city market. What would make you go back?
The culture, hands down. I will never forget looking up to see an elderly Asian woman wearing a funny hat helping a younger woman arrange flowers. I could have easily been in an authentic Asian market in that moment. I can’t wait to try the paninis in the Italian market and buy spices from the bins outside the Middle Eastern market. I can’t wait to take Zachary and dad back.
I did go back to see what’s available weekdays. Your dad showed me where he unloaded produce trucks as a senior in high school. I believe the Asian woman might be there only on weekends.