How to Get the Grandma Core Home Aesthetic

When you walk into TikToker Jane Johnson’s home, the design aesthetic may not be what you’d expect from a 20 year old. Frilly pillows, checkered lampshades, and dainty displays of treasured vintage finds adorn her home, embodying the latest design trend TikTokers are dubbing “grandma core.”

Grandma core is just what it sounds like: a room or home that ignites the same homey, cozy feeling you get when you know a trip to Grandma’s house is on the horizon. It’s also everywhere right now: according to Pinterest’s latest summer trend report, interest in “grandma core bedroom” is up 2,605 percent. For Johnson, though, her aesthetic is anything but a fleeting fad. “I have loved ‘grandma’ things ever since I was a little girl, so to me, it’s so much more than a trend. Old things have always made me so happy,” she tells PS.

Here’s what to know about the home decor everyone is talking about.

Experts Featured in This Article

Emma Beryl is an interior designer and the owner of her eponymous design firm, Emma Beryl Interiors.

What is the Grandma Core Aesthetic?

According to Brooklyn-based interior designer Emma Beryl, grandma core is similar to many interior trends this year has seen in the sense that it focuses on creating a space filled with pieces that you genuinely like and will keep for years to come. “It focuses on the quality of a piece and how it makes you feel rather than following a trend,” she says. Grandma core, specifically, could be described as slightly eclectic since it involves bringing together pieces that may not seem like they fit together in the same space, but that make you happy and bring joy to your space, adds Beryl.

Johnson’s inspiration for her grandma core home stems from her own familial roots. “My grandparents live in the most beautiful home that was built in the 1800s and they have such good taste, so I always love to go to their house and see all of the beautiful things they have collected and displayed so perfectly over the years,” she says. Unsurprisingly, Johnson turns to thrift stores to find her unique pieces. “I would say 99.9% of my home decor is from the thrift stores. I grew up going to yard sales and thrifting, so it’s definitely taken me years to collect things, but it’s so worth it,” she says.

The slow collection and thoughtful curation of pieces is part of what makes the entire decorating process so nostalgic for Johnson. In fact, she purchased one of her pieces, an antique metal bed, at a yard sale for $5 when she was 11 years old, and to this day she still loves it just as much as the day she got it. Another piece in her home that has made a big impact on her is something that was handed down to her from her mother. “I have my mom’s vintage green vanity in my room that she has had for years,” she says. “I love the pop of color it adds to my room, and it also reminds me of my childhood, which makes me happy.”

Other ways Johnson adds a grandma core feel to her home involve mixing a range of different patterns and colors together. “I love ruffle pillows, quilts, and vintage art, especially if there’s a detailed gold frame involved,” she says. “In the kitchen, I’m obsessed with hanging vintage copper jelly molds and also a vintage crock next to the stove that holds wooden spoons and utensils.”

While most of the reactions Johnson receives from social media followers and visitors are positive, the TikToker revealed that she does experience the occasional backhanded comments. “It doesn’t really affect me because I’m really confident in the things I like,” she says. “I’m a big believer in decorating with things that make you happy, old or new. Ultimately, your home should be the place you feel most comfortable and at peace, so decorating with things you’re truly drawn to is so important.”

How to Get the Grandma Core Home Aesthetic

Achieving this look in your own space is simple — just think, what would Grandma do? Ahead, find tips from Beryl on how to nail the grandma core design aesthetic.

1. Display your collections

Beryl says to use a bookshelf or some wall shelves to display something you collect — this can be anything from plates or teacups to books. This is also a great way to showcase your interests and add personality to your home (not to mention, it’s a conversation starter).

2. Switch up your furniture

“When deciding what furniture pieces to incorporate into your space, look for sweet details such as a little bit of a curve in a frame or dainty spindles,” says Beryl. “Avoid more modern furniture styles as they will feel too streamlined.” An iron bed frame paired with wooden nightstands are a great start.

3. Choose fabrics wisely

Grandma core tends to lean a bit for farmhouse-esque and frilly, and bedding, duvet covers, and curtains are great opportunities to display the trend, says Beryl, who recommends trying fun bedding such as a duvet cover with a frilly trim or sheets with a small flower pattern on them. “Even better, do both!” she says. When it comes to curtains, opt for cutesy patterns like plaid, checkers, or florals, and make sure they’re lightweight, sheer, or semi-sheer. “This will create privacy but still let light through,” says Beryl.

Michelle Rostamian is a Los Angeles-based beauty and wellness contributor with over 10 years of experience in the industry. She began her career as a publicist, content writer, and social media manager, representing beauty brands and industry professionals. Currently, she is a writer and editor on all things makeup, beauty, skincare, and lifestyle.

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