The Ultimate Guide to Coastal Grandmother Style (2024)

ByKate Rodgers

Decorating / Favorite Finds

Inside: Everything about the Coastal Grandmother aesthetic: what is it, how to decorate, what to wear, movies, music, and even how to spend the day like a Coastal Grandma. Her classic style, hospitality, simple elegance, and appreciation for the little things in life will have you climbing on board this trend (no beach house required)!

Have you heard of this newest trend all over social media? The term “Coastal Grandmother” style is taking off like wildfire and this is one I can definitely get excited about!

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Do you drool over the relaxed cozy coastal interiors and the breezy linen fashion in rom-coms like “It’s Complicated” and “Somethings Gotta Give“?

Do you get your thrills from cooking shows, gardening, farmers’ markets, French bakeries, and drinking wine with girlfriends?

Do you dream about homes in the Hamptons and starting the morning in a Nancy Meyers-style kitchen with your morning coffee?

Or does your perfect day include Pilates or pottery class, book club, and picking heirloom tomatoes out of your garden while wearing a straw hat?

Then there’s a good chance you can get behind this trend too!

What is Coastal Grandmother Style?

This coastal grandmother trend embodies a way of living—decorating style, fashion, hobbies, and even mindset. It’s all about slowing down, unplugging, and savoring the joys of everyday life like reading on the porch, making a delicious dish from scratch, or growing a garden.

The Coastal Grandmother (AKA Coastal Grandma/CG) style is nothing new but was recently given this moniker by Tiktoker Lex Nicoleta (@lexnicoleta) and has quickly gone viral. She described being a coastal grandmother in a TikTok video last March as this:

“Coastal grandmother is a lifestyle and aesthetic that embodies elements of coastal living and homemaking. But more than that, it’s about romanticizing your everyday life and finding beauty in the ordinary moments.”

@lexnicoleta GRAN EXPLAINED #coastalgrandmother ♬ This Will Be (An Everlasting Love) – Natalie Cole

Young people in the Gen Z and millennial generations like Nicoleta are actually the ones obsessed with this aspirational lifestyle that has them dressing like wealthy middle-aged women, cooking gourmet recipes, buying fresh flowers, and listening to cozy music.

Nicoleta also characterizes the CG as:

“If you love Nancy Meyers movies, coastal vibes, recipes and cooking, Ina Garten, cozy interiors and more, there is a good chance you might be a ‘coastal grandmother’. It’s a successful woman that creates a beautiful life and home for herself.”

Envision Diane Keaton’s character in “Somethings Gotta Give“. Ina Garten and Martha Stewart, puttering around their New England estates. Meryl Streep in “It’s Complicated“, Jane Fonda in “Grace and Frankie“, and even Oprah with her lavish gardens in California.

Now you get the picture: the Coastal Grandmother is middle-aged, affluent, and accomplished in her career which affords her the primo real estate on the beach or in the country. She is all about luxury and quality but in a simple, unassuming, comfortable, and casual way.

Obviously, very few people fall into this category. The good news is you don’t have to be a wealthy grandmother, own a luxury beach home, or a rustic country estate to join in this trend! Just as Nicoleta says, “No, you don’t have to be a grandmother to be a coastal grandmother. It’s for anyone and everyone.” That includes people ofanyage and financial status. (And let’s not forget coastal grandfathers too.)

So let’s look at everything you need to be a Coastal Grandmother!

This post contains Amazon and other affiliate links for your convenience. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. If you purchase something through any link, I may receive a small commission, at no extra charge to you.I only recommend products that I love or would purchase for myself.See my full disclosurehere.

Coastal Grandmother Decor.

The homes in “coastal grandma” movies are just as much the star as the actors. If you watch one of the films in this genre, the movie itself can be years old but the homes still look drop-dead gorgeous!

The CG makes a beautiful home that is curated and expensive yet cozy and comfortable.

It feels lived in. It is tasteful and timeless.

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One of my very favorite movie kitchens (designed by Nancy Meyers) from “It’s Complicated”, released in 2009. How inviting is this??

Elements of Coastal Grandmother Decor.

So how do you add the coastal grandma style into your regular old not-on-the-beach home? Adopt some of the following to create the laid back vibe of the coastal grandmother good life:

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  • Neutral color palettes: The basic backdrop of the rooms must be white, off-white, beige, gray, or greige. If she uses color in her palette, it’s worn, soft, and welcoming…like a warm grandma hug. No neons here.
  • Open kitchens:The kitchen of the coastal grandmother home is a huge chef’s kitchen with an island that she cooks in often. While we don’t all have the Nancy Meyers movie dream kitchen, it’s easy to add accessories. Think multiple utensil jars and bowls of fruit and produce sitting out on the counter like the kitchen in “It’s Complicated.” Cookbooks, Le Creuset, and copper pots. Fresh flowers andalwaysa bowl of lemons. This is no place for minimalism. All of the collections of culinary items on the counters add CG warmth and character.
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  • Large windows that let the sunshine in: The rooms in the CG home are flooded with natural light so make sure to uncover your windows as much as possible.
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  • Gauzy textiles: A plump, light-colored sofa, often slipcovered white linen, is standard in CG. With lots of cozy throw pillows and a chunky throw or two inviting you to lounge there.
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As are gauzy white linen drapes framing the views…

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  • Antiques and curated pieces: The coastal grandmother has collected pieces she loves from family, antique shops, and her travels so you will always find some of these interspersed (something always seen in southern style decorating!) The CG look is traditional overall but is all about mixing the old and the new. As in this ironstone plate wall in the dining room in “Something’s Gotta Give“:
  • Natural elements and textures: CG rooms are filled with natural materials like rattan, wicker, and warm woods. They bring the casual warm feel while serving as a place to put all of her things…baskets for storage and dark wood furniture to display all of the many lamps and carefully chosen decorative accents.
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  • Ginger jars and handmade pottery: Since the coastal grandmother loves to curate, she’s collected a blue and white ginger jar or two and some other favorite pottery pieces over the years.
  • Fresh flowers: Cutting flowers from her large garden or picking some up at the market would be a typical coastal grandmother activity so naturally, there are always fresh flowers sitting around almost every room. And the favored flower seems to be hydrangeas of any color.

How is the Coastal Grandmother style different than Grandmillenial style?

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Both the Coastal Grandmother style and the Grandmillenial trend that’s popular right now are beloved by younger people seeking nostalgia and are rooted in classic elements. You’ll see sprinklings of traditional furniture, those natural rattan elements, and ginger jars in both styles. But their color approach and feel are quite different. While Grandmillenial style is bold and playful in both color and pattern, Coastal Grandmother is always neutral, light, and subdued.

Coastal Grandmother Clothing.

Coastal Grandmother fashion trend embraces the same mood as CG decor…cozy, casual, and breezy, yet chic. She loves a good cashmere sweater, straw bags, and white button-downs. Even Anne Hathaway recently posted her love for CG fashion:

For an authentic coastal grandmother look, pick up some pieces from Chicos, the Gap, Zara, H&M, or Tuckernuck. I’ve included a few links to wardrobe staples for the coastal grandmother to help get you started:

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Coastal Grandmother Music.

And coastal granning should involve some jamming! The soundtrack to every good CG movie is an integral part of setting the mood. Coastal grandmother playlists are popping up everywhere.

Here is a sampling of their songs to give you an idea of this genre. Most of the songs you’ll recognize from your favorite CG movies.

These are a few from a playlist on YouTube:

  • This Will Be (An Everlasting Love) – Natalie Cole
  • Save Room – John Legend
  • I’ll Be Around – The Spinners
  • Sunday Morning – Maroon 5
  • The Way You Look Tonight – Steve Tyrell
  • La Vie En Rose – Louis Armstrong
  • Don’t Do Me Like That – Tom Petty
  • Mama Said – The Shirelles
  • Wouldn’t It Be Nice (Remastered 1999) – Beach Boys
  • A Sunday Kind Of Love – Etta James
  • Lovely Day – Bill Withers
  • Feeling Good – Nina Simone

And you can listen to the full playlist on YouTube here:

Or play Nicoleta’s playlist here:

Coastal Grandmother Movies.

Watching this genre of rom-com movies is like comfort food for the mind! To get in the the CG mindset here are a few:

  • Somethings Gotta Give
  • It’s Complicated
  • Home Again
  • Under the Tuscan Sun
  • The remake of The Parent Trap
  • Because I Said So
  • Father of the Bride 1 & 2
  • Book Club
  • The Holiday
  • The Family Stone
  • Julie & Julia

How to spend the day as a Coastal Grandmother.

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Here are a few ideas for spending the day channeling the CG that anyone can do!

  1. Find a recipe to make and leisurely shop for the ingredients in your favorite market. Or peruse the farmer’s market. While you’re there, make sure to pick up a bottle of your favorite wine.
  2. Listen to a coastal grandmother playlist.
  3. Light a heavenly scented candle.
  4. Pour a glass of wine.
  5. Cook that delicious meal.
  6. Finish by watching a classic CG movie.

Bonus points for sharing steps 4-6 with friends!

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Maybe the term “coastal grandmother” will be a micro flash in the pan. But unlike other trends that come and go, it’s a state of mind. It’s loving the good things in life.

What the coastal grandmother represents will never go out of style, just like the classic white button-down.

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