Coined by Tiktok creator, Lex Nicoleta, the Coastal Grandmother style is inspired by Diane Keaton’s character and house in “Something’s Gotta Give” and Meryl Streep in “It’s Complicated“. Coupled, of course, with Mrs. Barefoot Contessa, Ina Garten’s recipes and cooking.
While the trend echoes the design style of Nancy Meyers characters who live in beach houses and are grandmothers, it has evolved to resonate with more and more people who love this laid-back aesthetic.
Photo source: Love Joy Interiors | The West Newton Contemporary Colonial in Boston
As characterized by this New York Post article, coastal grandmothers are those “who gravitate to a beachy lifestyle, farm-to-table food and don oversized knit sweaters in neutral tones. When she has downtime, the coastal grandmother drinks white wine, does yoga and takes walks on the beach.”
Sounds ideal and refreshing, don’t you think?
No wonder it’s a viral trend that has made its waves into the homes of tastemakers and tiktokers alike. More than an aesthetic that people hope to imbibe in their own homes, it’s also a lifestyle that many wish to have and follow.
Photo source: Instagram | @ryangarvin | Cynthia Child’ Corona Del Mar home
This trend’s rise in popularity can be largely attributed to the shift in the relationship people have with their homes. As you spend more time at home, it becomes a place where you seek refuge and a personal sanctuary.
“Because of the pandemic, people are trying to find a comfortable retreat. Beforehand, you would decorate the house to show off, for entertainment mostly. Now our homes are much more for ourselves because we are spending so much more time in them.” Mia Jung, Director of Interiors for Ike Kligerman Barley in an article with Architectural Digest
Suffice to say, this trend is more than a design style and an homage to Meyer’s iconic characters, it’s also a newfound appreciation towards cultivating a safe and comfortable space.
Photo source: Ideal Home UK
What Is the Coastal Grandmother aesthetic?
This revival of yet another “Granny chic” trend has reintroduced us to the elegant beauty of cottagecore, the vintage maximalism of granny millennial, and now we have the beachy aesthetic of Coastal Grandmother.
When done well, this style portrays a lived-in feel, while still being elegant, well-curated, and photo-worthy. The style is about an appreciation of the slow life, simple joys, and little things that make a home feel special. That said, because this is a combination of design and a lifestyle, recreating this at home can be as easy as adding fresh flowers on your dining table, playing jazz music as you unwind, or lighting scented candles to create a warm setting.
Coastal Grandma is a decor style creating an overall mood and feel that captures the cozy vibe of being in a house overlooking the sea. Giving yourself a sense of calm in the comforts of your home by adding beautiful decor, a touch of nature, and a subtle color palette.
We’re talking coastal-inspired blues against a white, minimalist background. Open kitchens, natural fabrics, minimalist accents, needlepoint pieces, and a healthy appetite for vintage furniture.
Photo source: Maloney Interiors
Ultimately, you’re aiming for a space filled with warmth and grace; one that embodies self-acceptance and appreciation. Whether the coastal grandmother is the attraction to nostalgia or simply a result of the years spent largely at home, it’s a wholesome and refreshingly simple approach to reinventing your space and state of mind.
Time to bring this style home!
Discover stylish ways to bring this cross-over aesthetic that we, and the rest of the world, can’t get enough of. Whether you have a traditional or a modern home, you’ll find that incorporating the stylings of Coastal Grandma is budget-friendly and incredibly versatile.
1. Start with the basics
Create your version of an elegant and relaxing home by the beach by embracing all the things you love about it – naturally-lit rooms, the clean minimalist look, and the breezy atmosphere.
Like coastal interiors, this style also encourages an open floor plan to create a home that flows. If you aren’t able to open up your space, you can opt to declutter and choose functional storage solutions for a spacious home. This newfound space would be the foundation for this minimalist style to take root.
Once you have a decluttered and organized home, you can then look for ways to tweak and create a comfortable space that reminds you of walking by the coast. Little details like a photo of the seaside, scented candles, and soft linen are subtle yet effective ways to transform your space into a refreshing getaway you can call your own.
Photo source: Home Decoration
Moreover, you can recreate the feeling of being by the beach through wispy white curtains that move with the breeze. This won’t only give you a picture-perfect sight but it can also increase your sensory experience as you hear the sound of the wind, rustle of the leaves, and chirping of the birds on a sunny day.
While those wispy and sheer white curtains still allow light to come in, you can have plenty more natural light pour in your space with large windows. If possible, go for floor-to-ceiling windows that maximize light and view of nature. To enhance this further, you can also apply minimal window treatments, utilize a white wall, and a large mirror to reflect light into your space.
Doing so can also make your space feel very welcoming and relaxing, allowing you to channel the comfortable ambiance that we’ve come to associate with beautiful beach homes.
Photo source: Erin Gates Designs | Classic Brownstone Home
Pro tip: While sunlight is key in creating a coastal grandmother home, it is equally important to utilize warm lighting to create a more relaxed and cozy feel when you want to wind down at the end of the day. This will be perfect for journal writing, easy reading, knitting, or simply lounging.
2. Complement your minimalist space with beach hues and earth tones
Bring in the coastal feel by using creamy whites, light grays, sandy beige, and sky blue hues. These tones seek to recreate the calming, natural tones you’d typically see as you take a morning stroll by the beach.
For a light and airy coastal feel, add in neutrals and pastels to fit the look. This can come in the form of light drapes, whitewashed furniture, and natural rugs. Additionally, other accessories like throw blankets, pillows, rugs, and even your wall decor’s color scheme can stay within this theme for a more cohesive look.
As the coastal grandmother style leans towards the minimalist look, its choice of colors also follows the “less is more” approach. With this, soothing hues and simple motifs work well to create a serene look.
Photo source: Christina Kim Interior Design
While this calls for a lighter tone, that doesn’t mean that you can’t mix it up with bolder colors if you feel like it. After all, this style is all about embracing what brings you comfort.
For a bolder look, you can go for stronger palettes like navy blue and sea greens to draw attention to an accent wall, living room couch, or kitchen table. These splashes of color are great ways to draw people in and create depth in your space.
Moreover, these darker hues can also complement your lighter tones for a visually interesting and balanced look.
Photo source: Ksi Cabinets | Elegant and eclectic coastal kitchen island with blue island
3. Use natural materials, fabrics, and furniture
There is no shortage of wicker baskets, ceramic bowls, terracotta pots in a coastal grandmother’s home. Afterall, she has a penchant for the natural world and the innate beauty that it possesses.
Therefore, to create this relaxed look, go for sustainable, natural, or other woven materials that are usually found near coastal areas. Decorating with these materials are also easy ways to bring in a relaxed, easy vibe that will make you feel like you’re vacationing in a beachfront bungalow.
Go for textiles made from jute, cotton, or sisal to decorate your space. If you’re looking for a bigger change, you can opt for capiz chandeliers, grasscloth wallpapers, or driftwood finishes on furniture. Moreover, incorporating all of these elements adds a lot of texture to your space. Rough and raw rugs, soft linen blankets, and walnut flooring are other fun ideas to try out.
Vintage furniture should not be discounted as well. As a matter of fact, they are a key feature in a coastal grandma’s home. That means that worn out timber side tables, antique pieces, and your aunt’s beautifully crafted furniture are totally in.
4. Brighten up your space with fresh flowers
Fresh flowers are quintessential in a coastal grandmother home. Seasonal plants like tulips, marigolds, daffodils, hydrangea and more can bring a burst of color and life to your home.
As this style is minimalist, the natural colors from flowers and rich greens from indoor plants can bring more positive energy into any room. It’s also a key design point that could further enhance your reading nook, dining room, and even your outdoor spaces.
Imagine walking into a beach house and seeing stunning flowers, its colors, striking, and its scent, reminding you of summer days. Alternatively, imagine walking in a candlelit room and seeing the shapes and shadows created by the plants. Those are what we hope to recreate by decorating your coastal grandmother home with the beauty of nature.
Photo source: Lifestyle Asia Hong Kong
While fresh flowers definitely add an undeniable appeal, it’s also fine to mix and match fresh and artificial flowers – making it easier to style darker corners all year round. In any case, adding this simple element can brighten up and revitalize your space. Without it, it can be easy for a coastal grandmother home to look cold.
5. Use art to decorate your space
Recreate the romantic look of Nancy Meyer’s sets by using beautiful seascape paintings, driftwood sculptures, and other coastal decors that enhance the beach-like look and feel of your home.
Choose abstract or minimalist art that showcases the views of nature. Soft, flowy brushstrokes that resemble beach waves, blue skies, or even an awe-inspiring sunset can uplift your space. While close up photographs of the sea, flowers, or coral reef can create a modern and stunning look to elevate your space.
At the same time, coastal grandmother style is less about kitchy seashells and miniature ships in a bottle. Rather, it leans towards choosing sea glass bowls, neutral accessories, and organic-shaped vases to create an elegant look that would do well in your bookshelf, dining table, or even your entryway.
Photo source: The Everygirl | Emily Schoen’s home
Pro-tip: When choosing your decorations, maintain a color palette for a consistent and curated look. Doing so will also give you a coastal grandmother aesthetic that is elegant and put together.
6. Find beauty in everyday moments
If there’s anything refreshingly wholesome about this new aesthetic, it is the call to find beauty, comfort, and joy in everyday moments. Similar to the well-known Danish concept of hygge which is all about cozy spaces promoting feelings of contentment and well-being, coastal grandma seeks to find some personal space to breathe and prioritize self-care.
In some ways, it’s about romanticizing everyday moments – baking your sourdough for hours on end, gardening to your heart’s delight, and reading your favorite book when the mood hits.
As much as it is an aesthetic that you can try to recreate in your homes, it is also another opportunity to choose and have a lifestyle that makes you happy.
This is, perhaps, the cornerstone of this whole movement. Given the pandemic burnout, the feeling of the unending hustle, and the pressure to be everything to everyone, this style is a welcoming hug to all those looking to take things slow and enjoy the little things in life.
Looking for more inspiration? Check out @nancymeyersinteriors – the best of Nancy Meyers’ sets for your dose of authentic coastal grandmother style.