Coastal Grandmother Style

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This post contains affiliate links, please read my disclosures. Photography credit for some images in this post – Caitlyn Motycka Photography.

You’ve likely seen the latest home and fashion trend in magazines and on talk shows and you’re asking…”what is ‘Coastal Grandmother Style?'” I’m here to share all about this new trend and why I love it so much, plus my tips for perfecting this look in both your fashion and home design choices.

Technically, I wouldn’t call it a trend, but rather a style. A classic style that has been around for a long time and, in my opinion, a style that is not going anywhere. Whether you’ve seen this trend floating around Tiktok or you’re nostalgic for New England vacation style, you’re going love this look!

Origins of Coastal Grandmother Style

The term Coastal Grandmother was coined as a way to reference the likes of an elegant older woman who leads a slow and relaxed life on the coast. She spends her days taking long relaxing walks on the beach, enjoys a crisp glass of white wine by the ocean, tending to her coastal landscaping, reading novels, and cooking delicious & organic meals for her friends and family…sounds nice, right?

Ferns with terracotta on books for coastal grandmother style decor.

When it comes to the home, think fresh flowers, tons of neutrals, touches of blue, textural elements, and slipcovered furniture. If you’re looking to embody the coastal grandmother look in your fashion choices, search for cashmere pieces in neutral tones, open weave sweaters, linen pants and button downs, and a woven straw hat. Tan, white, and shades of blue are the predominant colors for the ideal “coastal grandma.”

While the ever-popular “grandmillennial” aesthetic is a close cousin to coastal grandmother style with its penchant towards classic and timeless design, there are some distinct differences. Grandmillennial style focuses on florals, chinoiserie, and pastel color palettes whereas coastal grandmother style leans more towards natural materials, subtle prints, neutrals, and soft blues. For the coastal grandma, there’s a focus on sustainablility and working with what you have – mixing family antiques and heirlooms with new pieces that evoke a sense of calm and relaxation.

Coastal grandmother home decor style with rattan, blues, linens, and fresh whites linens.
Get the coastal grandmother look.

A Coastal Nod to Traditional Style

Coastal casual is a sought after design because to many, it’s nostalgic of summers and vacations spent relaxing by the ocean with family and friends. There’s a vast difference between an overly beachy themed home and a home with a coastal vibe.

Coastal Casual

Coastal casual homes are full of soft blues and easy neutrals with touches of gold, rather than the seashells, bright aquas and greens, and nautical decor that you may find at a beach-themed Airbnb. Coastal homes are adorned with relaxed linens, slipcovered furniture, sisal rugs, and natural touches. I picture rattan end tables topped with a good book, a cream oversized sofa, and an open window with draperies blowing in the breeze.

Coastal casual can be seen in the fashion world as well. It’s popping up in street style and has even been spotted on celebrities. When you think of coastal, think of relaxed and casual: soft and lightweight linens, long walks on the beach, classic sunglasses, easy sandals, and you’re in the right place to nail this trendy, yet timeless style.

Relaxed Linens and Natural Decor

If you went to visit a coastal grandma, you’d find her home filled with relaxed linen bedding and loads of wicker, jute, and rattan. I have white linen bedding in several areas of my home and it remains a favorite for so many reasons. It’s soft and cozy, yet cool for those coastal summer nights.

Coastal linen bedding with natural woven bed and soft neutral paint colors.

Your classic coastal grandmother loved natural accents like rattan and wicker and you bet she passed that love down to the next generations. You’ll see the natural decor accents in almost every coastal home. I recently found a set of children’s wicker chairs at a local thrift store that I have on my coastal front porch. I have this adorable block print sisal rug in my daughter’s room and love how timeless, yet fun it is.

Coastal grandmother style on front porch with traditional decor and natural elements like terracotta and jute.

The coastal grandmother lifestyle is marked by easy elegance, timeless decor, and classic silhouettes that you’ll never tire of. Picture big windows, flowy linen curtains, subtle blue and white prints, and grasscloth wallpaper.

Neutral coastal home decor that is relaxed with fresh linens and coastal grandma aesthetic.

It’s Not a Trend, It’s a Lifestyle

After the last few years, I think the coastal grandmother aesthetic is more than just a viral TikTok trend – it’s a way of living. With people being in their homes now more than ever, the importance of a comfortable and relaxing space where you can spend quality time with family and friends has become much more apparent.

Entertaining guests and spending more time in the home.

The idea of slow living and the act of cherishing the small moments has been pushed to the forefront in recent years, and this trend embodies those sentiments perfectly.

Coastal Grandmother Icons

If you’ve done any research on this trend, you know that it focuses on a few key people as the “pillars” of the coastal grandmother lifestyle. Namely, any Nancy Meyers cast member, Ina Garten, and Martha Stewart come to mind. If you’ve seen the movie “Something’s Gotta Give” with Diane Keaton or “Nights in Rodanthe” with Diane Lane then you’re on the right track.

Imagine enjoying a simple, yet delicious meal prepared by Ina Garten at a casual chic tablescape designed by Martha Stuart alongside the sea – complete with a crisp glass of white wine and your closest family and friends. Honestly, who wouldn’t love that? Sign me up!

Achieve the Look

I’ve always had a hard time when asked, “how would you define your style?” Well lucky for me, TikTok and the internet just did it for me. I used to toss around the terms “casual” and “coastal chic” along with “vintage,” “a little preppy,” and more. Little did I know, the term that describes a bit of my own personal style is definitely “coastal grandma.”

Living room decor with big French doors that are light and airy.

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If you’re looking to jump on the bandwagon and try this trend out for yourself, I’ve rounded up several fashion and home finds that will help you do just that. And in true Coastal Oak fashion, we’ve found all the looks for less to keep you on trend without breaking the bank.

Let me know in the comments what you think about the Coastal Grandmother trend and if you think it’s here to stay!

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2 Comments

  1. Oh my goodness. You are absolutely right. This is a lifestyle not a trend, and it’s been mine as long as I can remember. Thank you for your wonderful posts. 💙

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