Trends tend to come and go in cycles. In the interior design world, floral patterns, wallpapers and other details inspired by your grandmother’s home are the latest design elements making a comeback. Described as “grandmillenial,” this style uses family heirlooms and other vintage-inspired pieces to combine the old with the new. Originally built in 1939 and located in Buckhead — one of Atlanta’s most desirable neighborhoods — this home’s owners wanted a house with the same traditional style as the ones they both grew up in. And with help from the teams at Huff-Dewberry, Harrison Design Associates and The Designery, this historic home was renovated in a way that paid homage to the owners’ childhood years while still maintaining a timeless interior.
Interior designer Heather Dewberry, of Huff-Dewberry, attributes this trend’s rising popularity to its coziness and unique personality. “Many [people] are tired of interiors that look the same and you see repeatedly on Instagram. They want to use items that were important to their families and take a layered approach to design. They know returning to many of these time-honored styles and patterns gives them rooms that reflect their personal taste and don’t go out of style,” she explains.
While incorporating the grandmillenial trend into this Buckhead home, bold colors and patterns were used throughout the decor, as seen in the floral designs in the living room. “The wife attended a fabric presentation by Lee Jofa and fell in love with the traditional floral fabrics that reminded her of her childhood,” says Heather. “We were excited to use one of the classics — Althea Print — on the windows and pillows in the living room. We employed new colorations of the fabrics with white backgrounds to help keep the room feeling approachable and bright.”
The family room uses a similar technique, and although it seems daunting to combine different patterns, Heather says the trick is to use them in different scales. “We mixed the larger patterned florals with smaller-scaled diamond patterns and stripes to balance them,” she says. “We also employed more organic, handblocked fabrics to balance the more traditional ones. Monochromatic stripes, plaids or checks also help balance the ‘stuffiness’ of patterns.”
For the color schemes, Heather says they picked one or two colors from each room’s pattern to incorporate into the overall color palette. This helps keep the room tame, ensuring colors are not too busy. “[Another] trick to keep a pattern from overwhelming a room is to use it ‘en suite,’ as we did in the master bedroom, making it the only pattern in the room. Here, we mixed a relaxed damask with other solid fabric for a soothing effect,” Heather says.
As for keeping this home’s historical character intact during the renovation, Heather and the Huff-Dewberry team salvaged some of its original pieces. The sunroom’s Italian wheat sheaf chandelier came with the house, but it was repainted white to relax it from its previous gold finish. And in addition to reusing an existing table and side chairs in the breakfast room, Heather and her team repurposed two end chairs that were taken out of storage. “Before, the chairs felt heavier in leather and a dark stained finish. Painting the legs in a lighter tone and recovering [the chairs] in a happy outdoor striped fabric that resists spills gives them a new lease on life,” Heather explains.
New elements were also incorporated into the design as well, making the home functional with the owners’ modern lifestyle. Large iron windows were added to the kitchen and breakfast areas, brightening up the rooms and allowing natural light to flood the space. The white walls and trim and the high-gloss-finish molding remove years from the historic home. “There is also a writing table at one end of the enclosed sunroom where the children like to do homework,” adds Heather. “In addition, the wife loves having a retreat to read [that’s] away from all the action, which is lost in many open floor plan houses today.”
Heather says her favorite room in the home is the kitchen. “It employs beautiful, traditional elements, including the elegant brass lanterns, white subway tile, and a wooden countertop. [The homeowners] upped the wow factor by incorporating the blue kitchen island and asking for the iron doors on their upper cabinets. In addition, their wooden kitchen island top was made by a talented carpenter and close family friend, which gives extra warmth and meaning to the room,” she says.
The end result of this thoughtful renovation honors the home’s historic past while seamlessly incorporating the best of modern living all in one beautiful and impactful design. What a wonderful place to call home!