Coastal Grandmother Is the Chic Home Decor Trend the Internet Is Currently Obsessing Over

Claudia Guthrie
Written by Claudia Guthrie
Updated April 29, 2022
A nice large kitchen
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  • Coastal grandma was coined on TikTok to describe a specific aesthetic of home decor and fashion.

  • The trend is inspired by designs often seen in Nancy Meyers films and defined by cozy interiors, coastal living, and simplicity.

  • You can bring the coastal grandma vibe into your home by following a few simple guidelines.

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Combining the rustic coziness of farmhouse decor with the open and beachy vibes of coastal design, coastal grandmother is the new home trend taking over TikTok and social media in general. And while “coastal grandma” might make you think you have to be a very specific person to take on this style, that isn’t quite right. For one, you don’t have to live near the beach or have grandkids to give it a try (Reese Witherspoon and Oprah Winfrey, for instance, are two people who have totally embraced this aesthetic over the years).

Here’s what you need to know about this new beach-inspired home decor trend and how to bring the coastal grandmother vibe into your space.

What Is the Coastal Grandmother Style?

A luxury living room
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TikTok user @lexnicoleta coined the term coastal grandmother (also known as “coastal grandma”) to describe a specific aesthetic: cozy interiors, gardening, cooking, and coastal vibes. This can be done a few different ways, but staples of the trend are neutral colors, linen fabrics, wicker furniture, and open kitchens. Picture being in a Nancy Meyers movie like “Something’s Gotta Give”—that’s coastal grandmother.

The trend extends beyond home decor and into fashion as well. Long skirts, button-down cotton shirts, sun hats, and oversized tote bags are all part of the look.

Coastal Grandma vs. Grandmillenial

In recent years, another grandma-inspired trend exploded into the home decor space: grandmillenial. 

Grandmillenial design, also called “granny chic,” uses elements you may find at your grandma’s house (ruffled fabrics, floral patterns, and needlepoint pillows) in a way that doesn’t seem dated. Think flowery wallpaper paired with modern furniture, or displayed cross-stitches of pop culture quotes. It’s all about finding that perfect balance of old and new. 

And while there’s some crossover between the two styles, granny chic and coastal grandma do have distinct differences. Grandmillenial is all about maximalism; it uses bright colors and intricate patterns, and no surface is left bare. Coastal grandma, on the other hand, embraces the minimalist movement—it’s not as heavy on the patterns, there aren’t tchotchkes everywhere, and the color palette is much more neutral. 

How to Get the Coastal Grandma Look

Here’s how to add elements of the coastal grandmother look to your home so you can feel like you’re a character in the next Nancy Meyers hit. 

1. Stick to Neutral Colors

A white bedroom
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While grandmillenial features pastels and patterns, coastal grandma is all about neutral color palettes. These spaces have white or off-white walls with splashes of pale yellows, greens, or blues as accents. It’s also not uncommon to find coastal grandma rooms painted beige, gray, or greige (a combination of the two).  

2. Don’t Overlook the Kitchen

A country style kitchen
Photo: John Keeble / Moment / Getty images

The kitchen is the heart of the home—and this is especially true in coastal grandmother-inspired homes. It’s a space for hosting dinner parties and connecting with loved ones, so don’t make it an afterthought.

Decorate your kitchen with blue and white ceramics, cake domes with sweets underneath, vases of fresh flowers, and maybe even a bowl of lemons. With the right approach, you can recreate Hallie’s kitchen from “The Parent Trap”(bowl of Chessy’s chili not included).

3. Light It Up

A farmhouse with a living room
Photo: JulieanneBirch / E+ / Getty Images

When you live by the seaside (or at least want to pretend that you do), natural light is a must. The white, bright blue, and natural beige walls that are so popular with coastal grandma homes go hand-in-hand with large windows and flooding sunlight. 

Along with painting your space for sunlight and opening up the blinds, decorate your tables and mantel with taper candles. This gives your home the cozy, granny vibe that’s oh-so-important with this look. 

4. Keep Your Decor Simple

A white living room with big windows
Photo: Thomas Barwick / DigitalVision / Getty Images

Remember: The coastal grandmother vibe shouldn’t look cluttered or outdated. And while you can (and should!) decorate your space, always keep minimalism in mind. Embrace empty space by adding a lone bouquet to your kitchen island and keeping a wall bare. Or, keep patterns to a minimum by choosing solid-colored throw pillows and blankets for your couch.

5. Grow a Large Garden

Woman smelling plants
Photo: Luis Alvarez / DigitalVision / Getty Images

The granny vibes can’t be confined within your walls. A staple of the coastal grandmother look and lifestyle is a super-sized garden. 

Not only does it make your house look like it’s in the middle of paradise (bonus points if there’s a cute little gate out front that’s reminiscent of Iris’ cottage from “The Holiday”), but it can also help keep your interior in tip-top coastal grandma shape. Grow big and bold blooms to fill your vases, or harvest a sprawling vegetable garden so you can serve your dinner guests fresh veggie dishes.

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