Millennial Pink, once all the rage, is now a fading fad. And you’ll never believe what color has taken its place among the biggest generation of trendsetters this nation has ever seen: brown. Yes, Millennial Brown!
A subset of those young folks responsible for the rise of Millennial Pink a few years back is now embracing furniture that’s brown. Why? You can point in part to the rise of “grandmillennial” style, its take on granny chic.
In other words, these 20- and 30-somethings are raiding their grandparents’ homes for their cherrywood dining tables, mahogany armoires, and other antiques that are, more often than not, boring old brown.
You can chalk up this generation’s craving for brown to a nostalgia for traditional styles in this chaotic modern life, notes Drew Henry of Design Dudes. And since millennials are known for being eco-conscious, repurposing a granny-owned footstool or rattan settee makes sense for the planet.
“Some are not quite at the point in their lives where they have the extra money to invest in well-made, quality pieces, so Granny’s sideboard for free looks pretty good,” points out Carly Moeller, an interior designer and owner of Unpatterned.
So while the pleasures of Ikea’s flat-packed Scandinavian style (maybe with some DIY flair added) still holds appeal, you’ll find retro style-savvy youngsters heading to estate sales and auctions to feather their new nests.
Want to hop on the Millennial Brown bandwagon? Here are eight fun picks to make it so.
Of course a fan of grandmillennial style owns an iPhone, but she’s also a fan of handwritten thank-you notes on heavy card stock. To send these missives, consider this gorgeous Victorian-inspired writing desk with five secret compartments and a Chippendale-style foot ($879, Houzz).
Midcentury modern design is not out of the question for millennials seeking brown pieces, especially ones that combine storage with a place to mix drinks. This marble-topped number has brass detailing that definitely harks back to Granny’s time ($1,723, Anthropologie).
“A workhorse piece like this can function in so many ways—as a dining room buffet, a baby-changing table, an entry room clutter-tamer, or in the home office for storage,” notes Darla DeMorrow, author of the new book “The Upbeat Organized Home Office.”
Natural rattan pieces work well both inside and out and also give a hint of the tropics. This set of three pieces comes with the cushions, too, for comfy seating in a sunroom or out on the porch ($144, Wayfair).
Your grandmother had wicker chairs on her patio, and wicker was red-hot in the 1960s, in part because of its durability. Today, those who want brown pieces might love this cozy hug of a chair with its thick foam cushion ($999, Pottery Barn).
Keep in mind that both wicker and rattan can be painted brown, too—it’s an easy DIY project and nearly free if you start with family hand-me-downs, points out DeMorrow.
Didn’t every grandmother have a brown display case to hold figurines and silver picture frames? Millennials are a bit more chic with the look now, passing on dusty tchotchkes in favor of storing china plates, platters, and cocktail glasses ($120, Wayfair).
“Be sure to balance all the brown you collect with light, bright fabrics and colors like white, pinks, and blues as they’ll quickly update your look while still keeping it traditional,” suggests Henry.
Taking a traditional piece and making it a little cooler is what grandmillennial style is all about—and this brown coffee table with elephant legs fits the bill ($850, Anthropologie).
A diminutive chest like this one is an ideal bedside table ($507, Overstock). Ample storage makes it useful, and the curved legs and bottom are equal parts traditional and transitional styles.
A pedestal table is a classic look that’s probably hanging around in the basements and attics of millennials’ grandparents ($1,899, Pottery Barn, with three dark-brown finishes to choose from).