TREND ALERT: Coastal Grandma

TREND ALERT: Coastal Grandma

Very often, the latest design and interior trends can appear to come out of nowhere, rapidly becoming a central part of the conversation without anyone really knowing where they came from. One of the latest trends to make waves across the design industry is "Coastal Grandmother" which is completely shaking up all preconceptions surrounding what we have come to see as a classic beachy aesthetic, instead offering a much more sophisticated and refined take on coastal chic.


The Origins of the Coastal Grandma Aesthetic

If we take a moment to look back on how trends have evolved over the last several years, we can see how the emergence of the coastal grandmother aesthetic was only a matter of time.

The grandmillennial style took hold in 2020, which merged modern traditional elements with antique and vintage pieces including floral and chintz pattern, rattan furniture, milk glass, and lots of upholstery with ruffled accents. This style paved the way for what was termed "Nancy Meyers chic" which recreated the all-American, cosy and classic aesthetics seen in films such as Something's Gotta Give, The Holiday, and Father of the Bride.

In many ways, coastal grandmother style can be seen as an offshoot of both grandmillennial and Nancy Meyers chic, featuring core aspects of both and merging them to create a traditional-meets-preppy look with a wide appeal.


 Coastal Grandmother Style 101 

Now, don't let its name fool you because you won't find any of the stereotypical elements associated with your grandmother's house here.

Instead, the coastal grandma aesthetic, which is a term created by TikTok content creator Lex Nicoleta, describes the clean and sophisticated style seen in spacious oceanfront properties owned by wealthy middle-aged women. Think Diane Keaton's Hamptons home in Something's Gotta Give and you're already on the right lines.

The quintessential coastal grandmother owns beautiful garments made from linen and cashmere, which they wear to take long walks along the beach or to sip a glass of dry white wine whilst sitting in their favourite chair on a wrap-around veranda with sea views. In April, Hollywood superstar Anne Hathaway shared a picture on her Instagram account in which she is wearing an entirely neutral outfit paired with a straw hat and oversized sunglasses, which perfectly embodies everything cool, casual and laid-back about the coastal grandma aesthetic.


But this isn't a style that is solely the reserve of the super famous. Coastal grandmothers spend their time tending to their garden and visiting farmers markets, returning home with a basket full of local produce which they use in dishes prepared in their spacious, open-plan kitchens with stylish open shelving and rattan accessories. This is a lifestyle that increasing numbers of us are aspiring to achieve, choosing to turn away from the endless social media scrolling in search of wholesome hobbies that allow us to reconnect with our surroundings, our community, and ourselves.

Coastal grandmothers reside in a contemporary property with traditional accents and lots of natural elements. Each room has a crisp, neutral colour palette featuring plenty of white with hints of muted blue and neutral sand tones. If prints are present, they are used sparingly and typically incorporate nautical style stripes but with a toned down colour palette. Natural elements are used throughout, including rattan furniture and woven straw storage baskets.

Naturally, the open plan shelves in an exquisite coastal grandma style kitchen are expertly styled and feature beautiful ginger jars, a milk glass bowl filled with citrus fruit, a floral arrangement featuring blousy blue hydrangeas, and a stack of much-loved cookbooks from the likes of Ina Garten and Martha Stewart. The gas stove has a chic white tea kettle perched on it and a tiered basket storage system stands beside it with a stash of homegrown vegetables and herbs.

Many of us, including the younger generations, are realising that the speed at which everything moves in some areas of modern life just isn't sustainable which is fuelling the popularity of this design style and facilitating the desires of those who are looking to enjoy a more relaxed life as often as possible.

An Interior Designer's Guide to Coastal Grandmother Style

Coastal grandma style is less about imitating a precise formula and instead more about creating a welcoming home with a sense of timeless elegance and a lived-in appearance. Striving for an unreachable state of perfection is firmly not on the agenda here, which gives a sense of freedom that allows for some playfulness and eccentricity to exist within a home that prioritises comfort, functionality and relaxation.

While the trend clearly has strong links to the ocean, you won't find any anchor motifs or shell ornaments within this look. Instead, successfully embodying this laid back and refined approach to design relies on an ability to avoid cliche and reject any shapes or patterns that are too 'on the nose.'

Similarly, although there can be a temptation to paint every wall and every floor in a crisp white hue, the coastal grandma style allows for significantly more flexibility in approach. While, yes, avoiding bold colours is important, that certainly isn't to say that there aren't plenty of hues that you can opt to incorporate into your design. Additionally, there are a plethora of opportunities to play with texture here, particularly those which use natural materials such as wool, straw, and bamboo.

Despite its affluent connotations, after all coastal properties with sea views are far from affordable in many places around the world, the coastal grandma aesthetic has strong connections to sustainability in several ways. In addition to the preference towards natural materials, this trend also encourages finding unique antique and vintage pieces that can be repurposed and given a new lease of life.

Ultimately, this style has a sense of timelessness about it, largely due to its rejection of trendy colours, patterns, and furniture design. Its longevity naturally infuses coastal grandmother-inspired spaces with an effortless sense of elegance, creating supremely liveable spaces that immediately convey a sense of safety, comfort, and homeliness.

How to Recreate the Coastal Grandma Aesthetic with Olivia's 

If the coastal grandmother look has captured your imagination and you would like to incorporate elements within your own home, you're certainly in the right place. To give you a helping hand and a bit of a head start, we have collated a selection of our top tips and tricks that will help you to hone your vision and start enjoying the relaxation that sits at the heart of this understated aesthetic.

The Neutral Colour Palette

Although rooms featuring a cacophony of clashing bold colours have been sitting in the spotlight recently, adopting a neutral colour palette within your home doesn't automatically mean you're playing it safe.

While, yes, all white everything is a very minimal approach, the versatility that this coastal trend offers means that you can experiment with laying different neutral tones from crisp whites to stones, taupes, greiges, and shell pinks. The key is to select tones that can be found in nature, from pretty sea-smoothed stones to multi-tonal driftwood.

coastal grandma white side table with wood legs

One of the easiest ways to lean into a neutral colour palette is to select pieces of furniture that feature light toned wood, such as the Gallery Interiors Hamar side table. Its white table top offers the sense of crispness encapsulated by coastal spaces, which contrasts with the beautiful wooden legs, which make a real feature out of the striking natural wood grain. The Gallery Interiors Milano sideboard is another excellent furniture option for this style, with its textured herringbone style oak wood construction and streamlined silhouette that will sit beautifully in a spacious entryway or open-plan living and dining area.

coastal grandma sideboard cabinet

Textured floor coverings can help to create zones within open plan spaces and ensure that each element comes together to establish a clear design style, which feels welcoming and homely.

coastal grandmother ochre rug

The Gallery Interiors cotton woven rug in this beautiful ochre hue carries enough colour to lift your living space without taking up too much visual real estate and detracting from other elements. However, if you are looking to maintain a truly neutral colour palette throughout, the beautiful Native Home Cumbria chunky jute rug can be placed anywhere from your entryway to your dining room to give structure to your space.

coastal grandmother jute rug

The Subtle Blue Accents

Beautiful blue hued accents will naturally lift layered neutral spaces, bringing a grounding element that will allow the eye to pause on key features to really appreciate the entire scope of a space.

sustainable fabric cushios

One of the simplest ways to transform the look and feel of a room is to experiment with different soft furnishings, including blankets and throw pillows. With this style, keeping pattern to a minimum is key, which is why the Gallery Interiors Chevron cushion in this understated duck egg hue could be the perfect addition to your sleek sofa, laid-back armchair or put-together master bed. The soft tones in this gently textured piece won't overwhelm your space and can be easily paired with neutral toned throw cushions and stacked to give a luxurious, ultra-elegant look to your home.

coastal grandma glassware

The subtle turquoise tones present in this chic set of tumblers from Garden Trading are enough to make an impact both on the dinner table and when positioned in a neat row on an open kitchen shelving unit. Each tumbler has been expertly hand blown from recycled glass, which gives a cohesive look but with a charming artisanal aesthetic.

Decorate your Walls Coastal Style

coastal abstract artwork

Artwork is an excellent way to tie different elements in your home together to create a cohesive look that helps you to set the perfect ambience in each space. Liang & Eimil has a striking selection of wall art, including Sphericity which features large swathes of cream, blue and grey hues alongside minute flashes of a vivid pink that captures the eye and really draws you in.

Coastal abstract art

River Flows is another excellent abstract choice from Liang & Eimil, utilising an array of blue tones to create depth and reflect the constantly in-flux nature of water. This theme is also carried through into the Aeon piece, which features elegant grey and blue hues that have been swept into curvaceous forms with an almost textured appearance.

For a more overtly oceanic look that doesn't veer too far into the quaint, beachy aesthetic, the Liang & Eimil Allie wall art is certain to make the right impression. It features striking aqua blue tones, which are measured by an array of neutral sandy tones that establish a sense of balance and depth.

Maximise the Impact of Natural Materials

With this interior style, the decorative accent pieces you choose to incorporate are precisely what is going to prevent your space from veering too far into the minimalist style. Introducing different textural elements into your space is a key element of elevating this trend even further, especially when using natural materials to give your home a dynamic look. There are a variety of options to choose from here, including sheer gauzy materials, chic linens, heavier canvases and tactile knitted wool pieces.

Light shades are an ideal way to incorporate natural materials into your space, particularly those that are woven from rattan or bamboo and allow the light to permeate through small openings in the weave. The beautiful natural soft brown tone of the Broste Copenhagen Zep shade suits this trend perfectly, with its inherent sense of simplicity and warmth.

coastal grandmother light shade

Textured throw pillows made from wool and cotton materials can also be the star of the show here, with the Zuiver Fringe Pillow delivering on all fronts from the soft creamy hue to the flowing fringe that brings movement and freedom to the piece, which are two elements that sit at the forefront of our collective desire to incorporate the coastal grandma approach to living into our own everyday.

Coastal Grandmother cushion


The Gallery Interiors Madeiro serving tray benefits from an artisanal aesthetic, with a silhouette that makes the most of the natural grain of the wood whilst creating a sleek look that will look striking as part of a dinner party centrepiece. It will also make a wonderful addition to an open shelving unit or as an understated adornment on a kitchen island counter.

coastal grandma accessories

The similarly versatile Raven petrified wood bowl from Olivia's can be used as part of dinner party centrepieces and to decorate shelves and sideboards in a charmingly understated manner.

coastal style accessories

No coastal grandmother inspired design is complete without a fresh bunch of blousy blooms, which means that having a selection of beautiful vases and vessels on hand is a must.

coastal inspired vase

The Libra abstract vase in this eye-catching blue and gold colour palette has a striking silhouette with gentle curves and a presence that will allow it to become a key decorative object in the centre of a coffee table or entryway console. Alternatively, the Gallery Interiors Kato vase in this sweet seashell pink hue features ribbed detailing that captures the light in a way that almost mimics the reflections of sunlight on the surface of calm waters.

Coastal vase

The Coastal Grandma Style Appeals to Every Sense

From the tactile textures present in natural materials to the linen scented essential oils that can be incorporated into beeswax candles or chic ceramic diffusers, this is an interior trend that really can appeal keenly to each one of our senses. The contemporary curved silhouette combined with the natural colour makes the Broste Copenhagen Bend candle ideally suited creating a coastal grandma vibe in a cosy living room or snug area.

bendy candle

Alternatively, the Gallery Interiors Tahani Sandalwood candle is encased in a gorgeous soft blue toned glass jar, which embodies the elevated sense of sophistication that is so central to this easy-going trend.

coastal aesthetic

Another option is to place white or cream hued candles into an elegant lantern or candle holder. The Gallery Interiors Bessan mesh cut candle holder has a gorgeous light neutral brown hue and while the textural element is very structured here, when illuminated it offers a beautiful atmospheric glow that enhances the relaxed ambience within your surroundings.

coastal themed homeware

There are so many different approaches you can take when putting together a coastal grandma inspired space, which allows you to use your own creativity and select pieces that appeal to your design ideals. Importantly, each element should have its own unique sense of lightness which will allow you to curate a home that allows you to fully exhale after even the busiest of days and lean into maximum relaxation as you unwind and rest.