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Coastal Grandmother Decor and Paint Colors

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Are you hearing people talk about the Coastal Grandmother decor and want to know more about it? It’s actually a style that’s been around for a while but never had a label. Today I’m doing a deep dive (see what I did there) and sharing paint colors and interior design elements to help you learn more about it and recreate it in your home.

coastal grandmother kitchen

Photo courtesy of Benjamin Moore. Wall paint color is Seashell and cabinets are Cloud Nine. Sources: Stools (similar) // Pendant Lights // Large Basket (similar)

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Do you find yourself mesmerized by the aesthetic in Nancy Myers films? My favorite one is “Something’s Gotta Give”. That’s the coastal grandmother look. Some of her other films are “Father of the Bride”, “It’s Complicated”, “What Women Want”, and “The Parent Trap”. And even though I don’t have this look throughout our home, I definitely have a few elements of it and love it.

What is coastal grandmother style?

Coastal grandmother is a term that came about very recently when a popular tiktok user coined the phrase. But the look has been around for a couple of decades. It evokes the feeling of living in a relaxing beach house with sea, sand, sky, and driftwood hues.

Is the coastal grandmother style for any age?

Of course! The look can work for any age. If you’re younger that 45 you can just call it coastal calm or coastal granddaughter, lol. No gray hair or wrinkles required for the look!

This style of decor is often in homes of women who are old enough to be grandmothers but is being embraced by the younger generation. The look is calming and classic and is perfect for any age, not just grandmothers. And you don’t have to live anywhere near the coast!

coastal grandmother kitchen

Photo courtesy of Benjamin Moore. The wall color is Distant Gray, ceiling is Constellation, lower cabinets are Gray Cloud. Sources: Dining Chairs (similar), Blue Glass Pendant Lights

The essence of a coastal grandma

Coastal Grandmother is a bit more of a lifestyle or attitude than a look. But you can definitely recreate the style in your home and dress the part too. How do you know if you’re a true coastal grandma?

  • First, you don’t necessarily live on the coast, but love the relaxed coastal style.
  • You enjoy recipes and cooking, and probably have at least one cookbook from Ina Garten.
  • The clothes in your closet are casual and classic. And there might be a few linen pieces in there.
  • Blue is one of your favorite colors
  • You really like candles
  • There are usually fresh flowers somewhere in your home in a glass or white vase, probably clipped from your yard or picked up at the farmers market
  • Your furniture is the kind the feels good to sit on and is also nice to look at
  • The kids are grown and no longer live with you
  • Farmers’ Markets are a favorite place to shop for local produce and handmade items
  • Your Spotify playlist has a mix of jazz, 60’s hits, and a bit of funky 70’s music, which you love to play while you’re cooking your Ina Garten recipes with the food you just picked up from the farmers market
  • You’ve reached the age where you embrace what you are and make no apologies for it – opinions and style
  • Gray hair and wrinkles are present, and they’ve been earned
  • You’d rather spend the evening sharing good food and chatting with a handful of close friends than at a party with a bunch of people
  • Lastly, if you are in fact a grandmother, you’re probably are called “Gigi” or “Mimi” or something that sounds more fun than “Grandma”
how to decorate like a coastal grandmother

What is coastal grandmother decor and how can I add it to my home?

The key elements of coastal grandmother decor are soft neutral and muted colors, somewhat minimalist decor, classic casual style, and a lack of busy patterns. Un-fussy and relaxed are the words that come to mind when I think of this style. You’ll find these things in most coastal grandmother homes:

  • Textures
  • Linen and Natural Fibers
  • Fresh Flowers
  • Casual Classic Furniture
  • Muted Paint Colors
  • Intentional, Curated Pieces

Depending on how much you want to spend or add, there are lots of ways to incorporate the coastal grandma style to your home.

coastal grandmother bathroom

Photo courtesy of Benjamin Moore. The wall color is Ice Mist. The trim and wainscoting paint color is White Diamond. Sources: Vanity (similar) // Baskets // Faucets // Light Fixtures (similar)

Textures

Soft colors and textiles, natural elements, and lots of texture make this bedroom the epitome of coastal grandmother style. And the artwork hanging on the wall appears to include personal photos from the owner’s travels. It’s cozy, classy, and stylish.

coastal grandmother style bedroom with benjamin moore white wisp walls

Photo courtesy of Benjamin Moore. The wall paint color is White Wisp. Sources: Throw Blanket // Woven Bench

Almost every room with coastal grandmother style has cozy woven textures and lots of natural elements. Here are a few ways to add texture to your home:

  • Sisal or Jute Rugs – a wonderful way to add a large amount of texture to any room, especially living rooms, dining rooms, and bedrooms.
  • Grasscloth wallcoverings – perfect for an accent wall, entry, dining room, or back of a built-in bookcase. This type of wallcovering isn’t at all washable, so it’s not recommended for areas like kitchens, bathrooms, or areas like mudrooms, laundry rooms, or hallways that might need to be wiped down.
  • Chunky woven throw blankets – can you ever have too many of these?
  • Woven bamboo window shades – great for any room except high moisture areas like bathrooms. If you use them in bedrooms, add a privacy liner so your neighbors don’t get a view they aren’t expecting, lol.
  • Natural Woven Baskets –another item that you can never have too many of. Baskets are a stylish way to keep your home uncluttered and relaxing.

Here’s a nice coastal grandmother style living room with textures galore. The sand and white colors create a calm and peaceful setting.

Coastal Grandmother Bedroom with Textures and Neutral Colors

Imaging waking up with this view! What a wonderful way to start a coastal grandma day. This room exemplifies the style with the textures, natural elements, soft colors, and fresh flowers.

coastal grandmother style bedroom with soft bedding and textures

Photo courtesy of Pottery Barn. Sources: Bed // Quilt // Area Rug // Bench // Lamps // Night Stand

Linen and Natural Fibers

When adding textiles to a coastal grandmother style home, look for linen, cotton, and other natural fibers. This includes linen bedding, shower curtains, and window curtains. Some of my favorite ways to add linen in smaller amounts are with aprons, napkins, tea towels, and accent pillows.

Here’s a kitchen with plenty of coastal grandmother style. The white cabinetry, subway tile backsplash, and wood floors have the timeless appeal that’s a signature of this style. The comfy linen upholstered stools look like you could sit in them and chat for hours. And notice the wooden cutting board, fresh flowers, and those pendant lights are so dreamy.

coastal grandmother style in kitchen

Photo courtesy of Serena and Lily. Sources: Stools // Pendant Lights

And slipcovered dining chairs and sofas are a key element in this casual style. Notice the fresh flowers, woven baskets, natural finishes, and soft colors in this room.

coastal grandmother style dining room

Photo courtesy of Benjamin Moore. The wall color is Wickham Gray.

Fresh flowers

Using fresh flowers reinforces the coastal grandma look. Whether they’re from the grocery store, farmers market, or picked just outside the back door, adding fresh flowers to white pitchers is a key element to coastal grandmother decor. And pots of herbs growing in the kitchen window are a great addition.

coastal grandmother kitchen

Photo courtesy of Benjamin Moore. The walls paint is Clay Beige, and the cabinets and trim are White Dove. Sources: Chair (similar)

In my own home I often use fresh flowers, especially when our hydrangea bushes are in bloom. They also dry beautifully and you can use them for months afterward. See how I dry them here: How to Easily Dry Hydrangeas, and you can find sources for our home here: Shop Our Home

dried hydrangeas on tray with vintage linens

Casual, classic style furniture

For furniture, think classic lines with casual fabrics. For upholstered pieces, light colored, solid fabrics will create the coastal grandma look. And adding throw pillows, throw blankets, and other accents in blue will enhance the coastal look.

Even though our home isn’t anywhere near the coast, I love adding blue and white accents for a fresh look on the deck and elsewhere. See more of this area here: Ideas for Adding Blue and White to Your Deck sources: Patio Chairs (similar)

wood deck chairs with blue striped throw blankets

With Coastal Grandma style you’ll see accent pieces that are natural wood. Painted furniture pieces that are white, soft neutral, muted blues, greens, and grays also fit this style. And woven accent chairs are a nice addition to living and dining rooms.

coastal grandmother style living room

Photo courtesy of Benjamin Moore. The wall color is Revere Pewter. Sources: Wicker Chairs // Model Ship // Blue Striped Pillows (similar) // Sectional Sofa

Soft Muted Color Palette

Typical colors used in the coastal grandmother style are reminiscent of visiting the coast. You’ll see shades sand, sea, sky, and driftwood.

coastal grandmother bathroom with buxton blue ceiling

Photo courtesy of Benjamin Moore. Wall color is Decorators White and ceiling color is Buxton Blue. Sources: Light Fixtures // Freestanding Bathtub

Cozy minimalism

Most coastal grandma interiors don’t have a cluttered or maximalist look. But there are almost always textures and natural elements to keep the spaces from looking sparse. The addition of the straw tote and the branch clippings give this entry a cozy feeling.

coastal grandmother entry

Photo courtesy of Benjamin Moore. The wall color is Mayonnaise, trim and risers are Chantilly Lace.

blue and white coastal grandmother style bedroom with soft linen bedding and upholstered bed

Photo courtesy of Pottery Barn. Sources: Quilt // Bed // Lamp // Rug // Curtains // Curtain Rod

Curated Collections

Other items that evoke this style are:

  • Copper pots hanging on the kitchen wall or on a pot rack
  • White pitchers and platters displayed in cabinets or shelves
  • Travel mementos – see some fun ways to display them here: How to Display Travel Memories
  • Cookbooks on display in your kitchen
  • Antiques – not primitive or too formal, but more of an old European or even Shaker style
  • Bowls of fresh fruits and vegetables on your kitchen island or counter
  • Wooden cutting boards
  • Pretty cooking staples like salt and pepper shakers, olive oil dispensers, salt crocks displayed on a tray or pedestal in your kitchen
olive oil dispenser with cricut made label

White paint is popular in coastal grandma decor because it’s so fresh and clean. And you can use any color with it. If you have a brick fireplace that you want to paint, see my full tutorial here: How to Paint a Brick Fireplace.

What are the best coastal grandmother style paint colors?

Since I’m a paint color consultant I felt compelled to come up with a coastal grandma paint color palette. I love the look and have used or recommended almost all of these colors and they’re gorgeous. See all of my favorite paint colors here: Favorite Paint Colors

Of course, I recommend sampling a color before painting a room and love these for a no-mess way to test paint colors: Samplize Peel and Stick Paint Samples.

coastal grandmother paint color palette from Benjamin Moore

The crisp white bedding and the Distant White walls in this bedroom give it a coastal zen look. The flowers, area rug, and accent chair add coziness, warmth, and texture to what could otherwise be a cold space.

benjamin moore distant gray bedroom

Photo courtesy of Benjamin Moore. Wall color is Distant Gray.

Imagine sitting in this comfy chair after taking a walk on the beach. You slipped off your shoes and are sipping on your favorite beverage, while browsing through a magazine. Count me in!

benjamin moore ocean air walls

Photo courtesy of Benjamin Moore. Wall color is Ocean Air. Sources: Chair (similar) // Striped Rug (similar) // Octopus Throw Pillow (similar)

Small spaces like laundry rooms are easy to add coastal grandma style to. A simple coat of paint, woven baskets, natural area rug, and white trim give this space a fresh coastal vibe.

coastal grandmother laundry room

Photo courtesy of Benjamin Moore. The wall color is Solitude.

In the bathroom, a soft coastal color on the wall, white trim, white towels, and a jute area rug make it feel like a visit to the beach.

bathroom painted with benjamin moore seapearl

Photo courtesy of Benjamin Moore. Wall color is Seapearl.

Is coastal grandmother style a fad?

This style, even though it didn’t have a label before now, has been around for 20 years and isn’t going anywhere any time soon. It centers around timeless, classic design elements and will always be a safe choice. Just because it’s trending now doesn’t mean it will go out of style.

coastal grandmother style kitchen

Photo courtesy of Benjamin Moore. The wall color is Yarmouth Blue, cabinets are Swiss Coffee

Where are the best places to find coastal grandmother decor?

These brands have nice selections and will give you a true coastal grandmother look:

So what do you think of the coastal grandmother style? Do you have bits of it in your home or want to add some of it? Leave me a comment below and let me know your thoughts!

More Favorite Paint Colors

I’ve been sharing favorite paint colors since I began writing this blog way back in 2011 when I worked in our family paint and decorating shop. Here are some that you might like.

11 Comments

  1. This is so cool, Angie!! What a well put together post. I enjoyed every second learning about this new style! I do have a few elements of this style in my home and I’m 35 so…I guess I’m coastal calm 🙂 Thanks so much for sharing this!

    1. Hi Rachel! I’m so glad you enjoyed it. I had fun putting it together since I love this style too. Definitely no age limits on using it, or geographical restrictions lol! Have a great day!

  2. Love this style, but have never heard the name. Lol, I think I can check every box on your lists.
    all pretty rooms.

    1. Hi Jilliam. I love it too. I just rewatched “Something’s Gotta Give” for the second time this year just so I could look at that gorgeous house. Have a great day!

  3. This style is so calming! I am old enough to be a grandma but not one yet. Also, I live ina modern Craftsman on a ranch in Oklahoma! But I do have elements of this style in my bathrooms, as I love the relaxing spa like feel, with soft pale aqua walls, sand colored floor and shower tiles, light stained maple cabinetry, windows for natural light, and coastal inspired art and accents.

    1. Yes, coastal grandmother really is a calming style and we all need some of that in our lives. I live in Tennessee where the nearest coast is more than 6 hours away, but I have a few elements of this style in our home too. It’s so beautiful. Have a great day!

  4. Oh, yeah! I’m a coastal grandmother for sure! Have several of Ina’s cookbooks along with hundreds more! Even have a bucket hat! You should put your paint color chart on Instagram with #coastal grandmother!

    1. Hi Jane! You’re definitely a coastal grandma! And a super talented and nice one too. I’ve got some of Ina’s cookbooks and several hats as well. Not a grandmother yet but definitely old enough to be one. Have a wondeful day!

  5. I’ve been doing this style since I moved to Coastal South Carolina. I just learned about the coined phase. Funny how things get created. I’m definitely a grandmother. Great postv

    1. You’re in the perfect spot and just the right age! I love the style and am glad it finally has a name, although I think it’s not limited to just grandmothers. Have a lovely day!

  6. Angie, this is the best explanation of a style that I have had for almost 10 years, but didn’t
    know that it had this name. I just thought of it as coastal. It’s definitely my style. I started with more of an aqua color but have gravitated to more sky blue and navy. I have at least 9 Barefoot Contessa cookbooks, I’m not on Spotify, my grandma name is Cici, thank goodness, no gray,
    thanks to a great colorist. Pinned so I can keep these fabulous images handy. Thanks for
    sharing.

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