Imagine feeling the fresh ocean breeze on a sun porch outfitted with chic (yet comfy) off-white furniture and a bottle of white wine chilling in a pretty ice bucket nearby.
Sound dreamy? We agree—and the look can be yours if you embrace the latest must-have design aesthetic in your home: “coastal grandma.”
This effortless yet curated beach style is a mashup of Diane Keaton‘s home from the Nancy Meyers classic flick “Something’s Gotta Give” and Ina Garten‘s East Hampton manse—with a dash of vintage style thrown in for good measure.
How did coastal grandma become a bona fide decor trend? Via social media, of course. (Truth: It’s TikTok’s world, and we just live in it.)
Thanks to viral posts by influencers on the Tok and ‘Gram, coastal grandma looks are flooding our feeds. The aspirational pictures showcase woven wicker accents, gauzy white curtains, and bunches of peonies and hydrangeas on multiple surfaces. They are a perfect backdrop to long, lazy lunches of cold shrimp and gazpacho.
Ready to live your best beach life? Here’s more about the coastal grandma design backstory and how you can embrace the look this summer.
What is ‘coastal grandma’ decor?
Coastal grandma decor (or coastal gran for those in the know) combines tone-on-tone neutrals, natural textures, and minimal accents. Experts add pops of color that evoke the beach, like soft aqua, minty green, light rose, and other pastels.
And since this decor style has a granny component, you’ll no doubt spot vintage finds in the mix—think gorgeous china and grown-up barware.
The OG of coastal grandma decor is probably Martha Stewart. Her three famous properties in Connecticut, New York, and Maine embody this stylish aesthetic.
Why are folks flocking to coastal grandma decor?
Sure, we all want to live like Ina and Diane, but what’s really driving this home decor trend?
“Coastal grandma is attractive to people right now because it’s a way to bring the beach into your home that’s not too overdone,” explains Kara Harms, a design and lifestyle blogger at Whimsy Soul. “It’s also more relaxed than some of the other trends out there. And at its core, coastal grandma is all about being comfortable.”
Coziness is definitely a vibe you feel with a nurturing grandmother. And when you transfer this feeling to a beach home, it’s embodied by warm blond wood and endless rooms painted every shade of white.
“Coastal designs have always attracted people because it reminds them of being on vacation,” says Andra DelMonico, lead interior designer at Trendey. “And when you add the granny part in, you’ve got that extra level of warmth and familiarity that people are craving.”
Want to infuse your home with coastal gran touches? Here’s some savvy advice from the pros:
Always include texture
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A neutral color scheme can look flat without some tactile changes to the room’s appearance. For coastal grandma decor, this means woven textures by way of floor coverings, light fixtures, and oversized baskets to hold pillows and soft blankets.
Branches, fresh flowers, and shells all feel beachy, too. But don’t go overboard with the nautical theme lest your home ends up looking like a Red Lobster.
“A few touches here and there are fine,” notes Harms, as long as you don’t create a room that “looks like a ship.”
One mounted oar or an old anchor as a doorstop is enough. As for where to pick up these accents, Harms suggests Pier 1 or Pottery Barn for just the right casual beach look.
“Or you can find great coastal decor at thrift stores, garage sales, and flea markets,” she adds.
Add blue as an accent
If you lean toward any particular hue, make it blue.
The water and sky at the beach are your inspiration as you consider paint, upholstery, dishes, and other accessories.
“But skip overly bright blues and teals as they feel too tropical or Caribbean,” says DelMonico. “And avoid dark wood—that’s too heavy for this aesthetic.”
Entertain with casual flair
A coastal grandma home doesn’t require a platter of canapés at the ready, but the kitchen is a key space for this decor.
If your entertaining game isn’t on par with Stewart’s, you can still keep up with a pretty cook space that includes rough-hewn bowls filled with artichokes or lemons, and some high-end tabletop pieces.
Mixing old china with new or placing heirloom plates atop simple rattan chargers is a professional coastal gran move.
Continue the look outside
The grannies who inspire this decor trend obviously live by the beach. And so they usually also have a pool with views of the dunes and a covered porch.
But if you’re a regular homeowner with a simple patio to design, a pair of garden stools topped with bright green plants is one way to bring the coastal gran look to the fore.
And make grandma proud by continuing the look with pillows and cushions made from durable, fade-resistant material (like Sunbrella), and add soft throws to chair backs for cool summer evenings.
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