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.
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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!
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”
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:
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Photo courtesy of Benjamin Moore. The wall color is Wickham Gray.
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.
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
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)
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
Where are the best places to find coastal grandmother decor?
These brands have nice selections and will give you a true coastal grandmother look:
- Museum Quality Art – dozens of beautiful coastal art available in a variety of sizes. Use the code PFTR_VIP and get a 15% discount here: Coastal Wall Art
- Target Collection from McGee and Company – budget friendly accent furniture and decor
- TJ Maxx – linen sheets and bedding, baskets, accent furniture and decor
- Pottery Barn – plenty of coastal grandma items here
- Serena & Lily – almost everything here is coastal grandmother style
- Bed, Bath, & Beyond’s new Everhome collection – variety of indoor and outdoor coastal decor
- Ballard Design – artwork, accents, bedding, and draperies
- McGee and Company – beautiful furniture and accents
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!
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.