Grannychic

Although I’m not a granny, I was happy to read that the latest home decorating trend is Grannychic – also known as Cottagecore, or Grandmillenial style. 

I first read about this new style, a direct reaction to the popular beige minimalist décor, in the October issue of Susan Branch’s blog.  (Here’s a link to her blog.)

Susan Branch she is a cookbook author and watercolor artist, who lives on Martha’s Vineyard.  She published a bestselling hand-written cookbook thirty years ago called Heart of The Home (recently re-issued), and has a long list of other cookbooks to her credit.  I discovered her a few years ago, after reading a review of her self-published journal, Martha’s Vineyard – Isle of Dreams – which piqued my interest enough to order it.  This illustrated journal centers around her adventures buying an old cottage on Martha’s Vineyard while in her 30’s and fixing it up.  She also has two other handwritten journals, The Fairy Tale Girl about growing up in California in the 1960’s-70’s, (worth it for the chapter on meeting the Beatles), and A Fine Romance about her three month trip to the English countryside with her husband, (for those who always wanted to rent an English cottage).  These gorgeous books are all for sale on her website.  You can also sign up for her blog/monthly newsletters, which are always cheery and uplifting. 

To me, Susan Branch is a perfect example of Grannychic.  She lives in a big old (1849) white house on Martha’s Vineyard, which she bought with the proceeds of her first cookbook, (a far cry from the initial shack).  The house itself is my idea of house heaven, complete with a white picket fence and flower gardens.  Her husband Joe (he owned a restaurant, they bonded over cooking) is a sweetie, and even her tuxedo-cat, Jack, is a lovable character.  In fact, her life is so perfect, that sometimes I’m too envious to read her blogs.  She’s not Martha Steward though, she’s more casual and laid back.   

So, what is grannychic – antique furniture, shelves full of books, candles, wallpaper, fabrics (chintz and toile and florals), plaid pillows, and lots of color (especially blues, pinks, greens and white).  Check, check, check – I have all of those.  Although I’ve renovated the outside of my older style home and parts of the inside, I never got around to getting rid of the wallpaper and wainscoting in the dining room and now I don’t have to! 

Which just goes to show, if you wait long enough everything comes back in style.

It’s also a way of living – flower gardens, feeding the birds, listening to old music, baking and cups of tea.

It’s cluttered versus bare surfaces, lace doilies, pretty tablecloths, and china. I’m envisioning those who de-cluttered now frequenting thrift shops trying to buy their stuff back.

It’s even Laura Ashley (must check closet).  I’m hoping that it invades the fashion world too, so we can all dress up again.  I’ve been watching old re-runs of Murder She Wrote lately with my mother, and wow, the clothes, everything so colorful and coordinated.  It seems like a different world.

Grannychic is the kind of comfy, classic look which never goes out of style.  It’s not that I don’t appreciate the aesthetic of those beige minimalist rooms, it’s just that I don’t think I could relax in them.  We’re now into the time of year when the winter winds are howling, so it’s time to draw the curtains (I don’t have to replace those either!) light the candles and get cozy. 

Now, if only it extends to Christmas decorating, as I have way too many decorations….

40 thoughts on “Grannychic

  1. Anne says:

    Joni, I LOVE this! Firstly, thank you for explaining Grannychic/Cottagecore – both terms used recently in passing by my eldest granddaughter who lives in Norway. I didn’t have a clue what she meant! Secondly, for making me feel happily at home in my own home which is overflowing with books and is far from being beige minimalist – it is so difficult to ‘de-clutter! I LIKE gardening, watching birds, listening to music and reading whilst enjoying a cup of tea. You made me laugh out aloud with “I’m envisioning those who de-cluttered now frequenting thrift shops trying to buy their stuff back.” What a delightful thought.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Joni says:

      I wasn’t aware of the terms either until I read the Susan Branch blog, as it’s been years since I read a decorating magazine other than Victoria, which has always been grannychic. I think you would like the Susan Branch blog Anne – you can sign up for notification of the newsletter. She was hacked in the summer, so she went back to sending them out as Willards, but it’s a nice blog, even if it does make me envious sometimes. She has 55,000 followers, but has been at it a long time. I think cottagecore would be similar to hygge which your granddaughter in Norway would know, but perhaps a bit more grandmotherly! I read several books on hygge a few years ago. The Susan Branch blog has lots of photos of it too, and quotes and recipes.

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  2. ruthsoaper says:

    I love Grannychic. It is charming but not something everyone can pull off. I do admire those who can, but I think it could easily become clutter and dust. I’m also not sure that it is practical for those who are raising a family. Thanks for the link to Susan’s blog.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Joni says:

      I agree Ruth. It’s certainly easier to raise kids in one of those minimalist houses, as there’s less for them to get into and less to clean. I think “controlled clutter” is the key. I like to have some things out which have meaning to me, either gifts or from my travels, but I know people who don’t seem to mind being surrounded by tons of stuff. Maybe they ignore the dust?

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Kate Crimmins says:

    I’ve been watching Golden Girls lately and the clothing was so much more beautiful than the clothing today except maybe for the super huge shoulder pads. The colors were more vibrant and the fabrics drapey. Now everything is toned down earth colors. I don’t have wallpaper in my new house and was looking to put some in at least my powder room. You can’t find it anywhere except at expensive designer shops or on-line. Paint stores don’t carry it anymore! I loved the big cabbage roses (done tastefully) with lace. Maybe it reminded me of my childhood homes but I find it more relaxing than terminal beige everywhere.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Joni says:

      I shall hold onto my wallpaper then! I was reading online about this peel and stick wallpaper, which can be easily removed if you want a change, but don’t know if it is readily available. I hear you re the colors – I do not look good in beige or earth tones, but it’s like the fashion designers are afraid of color these days.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Joni says:

      I think she was back in the late 80’s/90’s when she made a fortune off her cookbooks, hence the big house. It was a unique idea to hand-write and watercolor illustrate a cookbook back then. Now I think she mostly sells calendars and tea cups, but she has 55,000 devoted bog followers, she calls her girlfriends, so there must still be a niche for that. She’s in her early 70’s now, but is probably one of those people who will never retire.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. www.rosesintherainmemoir.wordpress.com says:

    I think it was you who first introduced me to Susan Branch, and for a while I was receiving her blog posts in my email. They’ve disappeared, however. I’ll look up her and resubscribe. Lately I’ve been practicing hygge — I guess I always have during these northwestern winters. Only the other day did I learn the correct pronunciation: hooga; so I’ve been practicing that, too. Hubby looks at me quizzily. Dizzily?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Joni says:

      Hygge does have a strange pronunciation, but I say it the way it’s written! Susan Branch said she was having problems with her blog in the summer, (hacked?) so she was sending out the blog notices as Willards – her pet name for the older newsletters. But you’re not the first to complain about not receiving them, or not even being able to sign up!

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  5. Ally Bean says:

    I’m aware of grannychic. It reminds me of my childhood. My mother collected teacups like the ones you feature here. Plus sterling silver spoons to go with, of course. It’s amazing that this look is resurfacing but like you said everything old is new again. I had a Susan Branch calendar once, now that I think about it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Joni says:

      I remember my mother bringing out her fancy teacups at the big Christmas/Thanksgiving meals, and even the men drank from them. I’m also embarrassed to admit that I once gave my sister a wedding shower where everyone had to bring a teacup. She already had everything else, so we were thinking of something smallish and not too expensive for people to bring. This was in the early 80’s when people bought china sets when they got engaged. It does make me sad sometimes when I’m in thrift shops and see all that fine china that no one wants anymore. Susan Branch still sells the calendars and also teacups from her website. With 55,0000 devoted followers (or girlfriends as she calls them) there still must be a niche for them.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Eilene Lyon says:

    It’s been so long since I read a decorating magazine – I used to love Country Living (I think it was called. You might accuse my home of being beige minimalist, except I know nothing about bare surfaces. There are stacks of books and magazines, minor bits of art, etc. just about everywhere. The tea cups are sweet. I have my parents china cups and saucers, but they aren’t colorful. Can’t really get into wallpaper, though. Oh, I did love my Laura Ashley dress!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Linda Schaub says:

    Well Joni – you and I have chatted plenty of times about Susan Branch and her newsletters. In fact I wanted to pass along the newsletter with the fun cookie recipes to someone and I’ve not received one in a couple of years. I used to think it was so clever. I too am envious of Susan Branch – she has the whole package … creative talent, a beautiful home. How lucky she is. My house is done in Early American and the kitchen is a combo of Early American furniture, but country accessories. I have wallpaper in every room and wainscoting in the kitchen, so nice to know I’m cool and embracing grannychic. To me cozy is better and for that reason no one has ever sat in the living room in this house … the furniture is hard and uncomfortable, even the rocking chair with its gold velvet cushion does not invite anyone to sit there. I think I’ve only sat in the living room to pass out Halloween candy, something I’ve not done in about five years. In the den is the TV, no longer usable I’m sure as it is very old. But in that room is a comfy loveseat and chair, a hassock and several afghans – it has a cozy feel, somewhere you want to be on a cold Winter’s night. As to the teacups, I took photos of the two English bone teacups my grandmother bought me, intending to do a post on them one day – it would be a follow-up to the Yardley’s lavender post that I wrote about how she bought me the lavender products. I never was a tea drinker and the cup sets are so fragile, I’ve never used them. I had thought to turn them into decorate teacup birdfeeders one day.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Joni says:

      I think it’s more important to be comfortable than stylish, but then I don’t entertain much. I hate hard sofas…..I had this old plaid Sears sofa when I was in school and no one ever sat on it. They would start out on it, and then end up sitting on the floor. It was also a sofa bed but same complaints about the hardness.
      You should use your tea cups for coffee!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        That is how the living room is – every chair … I would love to have a rocking chair that is comfy and throw an afghan around me, tuck my feet up to read. Nope, this one is nice and the cushion is on the seat and back, but just not comfy. The ladderback chair – same velvet cushion built into the chair – not something you’d sit on more than five minutes. The loveseat in the den/TV room, you can curl up and sink down and feel relaxed. I have all these ideas on Christmas posts and try to only do two or three a year. I have these Lennox mugs with cardinals on them my mom and I bought and she didn’t want to use them to stain them as she drank tea. So there they are, up in the cupboard, gathering dust. I took pictures of them a few years ago to make the post … the teacups I was going to do for Grandparents Day this year as I was hoping to go to the lavender farm and then write about my grandmother and her lavender. Don’t know when I’ll get to the lavender farm. It will be a long time until I gather when anyone during them pandemic. In those bus tours I mentioned to you, there is a day trip to a lavender farm in the month of July. I’d go to the one at the sunflower farm if I knew I wouldn’t get lost again. Those teacups are really pretty and dainty like the ones in your picture. My mom said tea tastes very different in bone china so I told her she could have them, but she liked her mug as it was stayed hot longer.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        Yes, my mom did the same thing, always preferring dark mugs or even a dark inside of the mug – she had some of those. But she rotated the mugs and used to put bleach into water and soak them every one in a while to ensure no dark marks. I said “don’t touch my mug – I can taste the bleach!” She said it was my imagination. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        I just sent you a pic of the teacups – they are pretty. I never seem to just sit and enjoy a cup of coffee. During the week, I only have coffee for breakfast and when I return from walking, then get ready for work. On the weekend, I have one cup of coffee when I return from walking – often it’s late, so I really don’t sit and savor it. Over the two long holiday weekends, I have some of that English Toffee Cappucino – maybe then, but in a mug.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Joni says:

        I hear you – I bought some fancy Christmas tea (two types) Gingerbread Latte and Christmas in Paris, and haven’t tried either! So far behind in Reader again. I took car in yesterday to get new tires put on, and have to take it back in next week for the alignment as they didn’t have time to do it. So annoying. Trying to get it done before the weather turns bad and the pandemic gets worse. Luckily, mom and I have both had our third shots, whereas only 10% of the population here has, and they have run out of Pfizer and no clinic space available until mid-January – what a nightmare. I think we will be hunkering down for Jan and Feb, as I expect it will get worse. I will read your email tonight and reply on gmail.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        I had some Celestial Seasons Christmas green tea years ago and they had three or four varieties – though I didn’t drink green tea or regular tea on a regular basis in those days, but I did like those which were very seasonal – peppermint, gingerbread, plum pudding, but I forget the names of the others. I looked for them this year but couldn’t find them, but they were low on everything plus the renovation had everything messed up. That is annoying with the car – that’s how I feel about my car debacle this Summer. I might as well not have gone as everything they fixed is not working again. I drove today to the Park to give the car a run and my glasses were very fogged up and I didn’t have the heat on but wanted to open the window to see if it helped as I was fine on the trail. But I worry, the window will go down and not go up (despite $185.00 to get it fixed). Sigh. Well, thankfully you got your third shot in – the news is dire over here as to the vaxxed people too … plus we have the holdouts as well. They say the next 4-6 weeks will be rough. I’m not going out at all – I have groceries, but very few perishables left now, but shelf-stable groceries will substitute for them. I suspended my allergist appointments until Spring as well. One time I hear the variant is horrible and countless people will die from it; the next time I hear it is manageable and I’m inclined to be a doomsayer and say I believe the former, not the latter. Take your time on the e-mail … I sent a pic of the teacups and told you about the rash from the mask as I used carbon-infiltrated filters and got a reaction. I’m going to buy some more N95 masks. I have a few at the house from a silicone caulking job I did – the guy at Lowes recommended using them and they will expire in 2022, so might as well use them. If I don’t have a reaction, I’ll order some after Christmas.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Joni says:

        Thanks Linda – I’ll read it tomorrow. I haven’t been on gmail today. Tonight I worked on my January blog, while mom watched Home Alone – we’re doing one Christmas movie a night. I’ll just do a short WW for next week. I lost half of the blog I just posted on Dickens, so had to redo it from memory, so I never got to Reader at all. Plum pudding tea sounds great! I love Plum pudding, but did not buy it this year, as neither of us are supposed to be eating it. I just have to pick the turkey up tomorrow, then I’m not going out, until next week for the car. I don’t know which way the new pandemic variant will go – I read today that it’s already on the wane or downward trend in South Africa??? You read so many conflicting things online. I bought some N95 masks too, but haven’t used the yet – they were hard to find. We are extremely luck to have gotten our 3rd shots in just in time. They had a walkin clinic with 600 slots an hours drive away and it was full an hour after it opened. I imagine there were a lot of angry people who drove there for nothing. They should have left the arena open for mass immunization, instead of all these little clinics, but as they are now subing Moderna for Pfizer lack of vaccine and staff over Xmas is probably part of the problem,

        Like

      • Linda Schaub says:

        I have never seen a lot of the older and newer Christmas movies – I have never seen that movie, nor the whole “A Christmas Story” – saw parts of it when someone at work gave it to me to watch. I wore the N95 mask this morning before ordering any more of them – it did not fog up my glasses but I treated them with the anti-fog spray again this morning before I went out. The masks I ordered are from Amazon and are made in the U.S. (unlike the ones I have on hand) and have no ear loops but two bands to enable the mask to fit tighter and go above and below the ears – hope it works and I’m hearing you shouldn’t re-use them and every day it is something new about how bad this virus is. Mostly bad but the stories fluctuate greatly

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        I know – I don’t have TV, but I listen to the all-news station during the day and catch the news tidbits online – sometimes I think I listen to too much news … weather woes, crime and COVID.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        I am going to mention that in my year-end wrap-up about my goal. I saw a similar story on Accuweather but it just pertained to Michigan and it was a couple of weeks ago. We had a lot of severe weather, but nothing like those tornadoes in Kentucky and the other five states. This was a terrible year for weather, natural disasters and crime. They mentioned on the news this morning about an incident that happened last Christmas Day with a bomber and I had totally forgotten about it. That’s terrible too – it is too commonplace now for people who inflict damage on property or people for no reason.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Joni says:

      I’ve been enjoying them too – they’re on Channel 24 at 7pm during the week, and some of them are surprisingly well-done. I think she did the show for ten years, so I’ve never seen a re-run yet! Hope you got some tv viewing in this weekend. Snow here today, so I baked cookies.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        I didn’t know how long it ran for but I don’t think we missed any episodes. She was a good sleuth. Going to watch TV next weekend. I wanted to get ahead on posts for the next few weeks so did that this weekend – reading and TV next weekend. It is supposed to be mild and rain maybe on Friday and Saturday, maybe close to 50 if they’re right. Want to finish the DS book over Christmas (hope I remember the story line) and read the Nicholas Sparks book over New Year’s. and TV as well. I caught up on my sleep this weekend. I read an article on sleep deprivation and it scared me. I only recently learned how bad it was and I always got my sleep until 2017 when blogging took off.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. J P says:

    An interesting idea. As a guy, I am more of a practitioner of “find your personal aesthetic and roll with it forever chic”. In my mind, anyway, because as a married man, so few of my decorating ideas find physical space to exist. Oh well.

    Liked by 1 person

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