First we had grandmillennial style, and now a new trend is sweeping the world: coastal grandmother. The concept went viral in Spring 2022 with influencer Lex Nicoleta’s now infamous TikTok video extolling its virtues, becoming the “it” style of the summer. Here’s everything you need to know about the aesthetic, and how you can add this vibe to your home and life.
How it Started
The origins of coastal grandmother can be traced back to the female leads in the films of Nancy Meyers, like Diane Keaton in Something’s Gotta Give, or Meryl Streep in It’s Complicated. The style is comfy and effortless yet chic, with a colour palette inspired by sea, sand and sky. Think Ina Garten, Martha Stewart, Oprah and Reese Witherspoon. Since the trend exploded, celebs like Selena Gomez, Anne Hathaway, Jennifer Lopez and even Leonard DiCaprio have embraced it. On the fashion side, it’s caftans in neutral hues, raffia hats, chambray tops, flowy linen pants, cardigans and pashminas.
State of Mind
While you may dream of having your own Hampton’s beach house, you don’t need a seaside abode to embrace your inner coastal grandmother. It’s a state of mind focused on taking time to unplug, slow down and enjoy life’s little pleasures. Venture out to your local farmer’s market on a Saturday morning. Roast a chicken and host a dinner party. Spend time in your garden tending to your blooms. Or find a bucolic setting and take a stroll.
More Than Fashion
There’s a lot of focus on the wardrobe elements of the style, but it translates seamlessly to home decor, too. Whereas grandmillennial style takes more of a commitment with its more dramatic floral and chintz patterns, coastal grandmother is all about subtlety. It can be as simple as adding textural elements in the form of area rugs, throw blankets, quilts and pillows, or switching your curtains to a billowy linen option. Of course, if you want to go full coastal grandma, create a neutral backdrop by painting your walls in something like white or ecru, introducing some light wood paneling or wainscoting, or investing in furnishings like overstuffed sofas, love seats and armchairs.
Another appealing facet of coastal grandmother style is that it’s sustainable. Proudly display those family hand me downs like stoneware plates, ginger jars, or Delft pottery. Comb through antique markets, yard sales and vintage shops for new-to-you pieces to add to each room in your home. It’s an easy and affordable look to achieve, and the thrifting aspect makes it even sweeter.
Accessories for Coastal Grandmother Interiors
To give your kitchen a coastal grandmother makeover, linen and wooden accents are a great choice. Keep things simple with small retro-style appliances like kettles, coffee makers, blenders and toasters. Then, accessorize with tea towels, oven mitts, wooden utensils, a planter or two and perhaps even a clock. This linen tea towel from Simons is a perfect accessory for any coastal grandmother kitchen.
Dreamy Entertaining Spaces
Dinner parties are a great way to try the coastal grandmother trend for yourself, which means a dreamy dining room transformation. White wooden dining chairs, blue cabinetry and light wooden floors are just some of the ways to bring the seaside indoors.
Your bedroom should be a sanctuary, and the coastal grandmother embodies that attitude. Select a bed frame in muted fabric tones or light wood finishes. Dress the bed with a simple white duvet, a beachy quilt and an assortment of throw pillows, and place a wooden bench at the end of the bed. Since this aesthetic is all about unplugging from technology, leave devices like phones and laptops out of the space. You’ll wake up rested, refreshed and ready to live your best life.
A Coastal Grandmother’s Bathroom
One of the easiest rooms to transform into a coastal grandmother oasis is inthe bathroom. Add a wicker laundry hamper, a simple towel ladder, a ceramic soap dispenser or a wooden bathtub tray. Linens like towels and face cloths can also add to the ambiance.
Whether you opt for layered touches like throw blankets, cushions and baskets or larger pieces like sofas and armchairs, coastal grandmother style is a lot of fun for a living room. It’s also very functional and meant to be truly lived in. Sink into an oversized chair with a cable-knit throw and a good book, or sit around the coffee table with friends while enjoying a cocktail and canapés.
Coastal grandmother adherents spend a lot of time outdoors in the warmer months, whether they’re tending to their flower and veggie gardens or hosting an al fresco dinner. That means an outdoor living space is a must. Outfit it with Muskoka chairs finished in beach-inspired colours, rattan furnishings, and maybe even a swing. Add decorative poufs that can be used as seating or ottomans, and don’t forget strings of simple lights for when the sun goes down. Once it’s ready, sit back with a glass of crisp white wine and a lobster roll.