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6 easy ways to add the coastal grandmother aesthetic to your home

The coastal grandmother trend isn't going away (so here's how to get it right)

Coastal grandmother has been popping up everywhere on social media. With its breezy elegance, it’s easy to see why the beachy style has captured the internet’s attention. After all, who wouldn’t want to be reminded of the beach every day? But what is coastal grandmother style? And how can you add this look to your home? Keep reading to learn more about this beachy trend.

White flowers in a vase on a nightstand
Image used with permission by copyright holder

What is coastal grandmother?

Though it may seem like a new fad, the coastal grandmother aesthetic has actually been around for a while. The cozy-chic design puts an approachable twist on the traditional coastal style. The design is the comfortable version of its luxurious predecessor, with a focus on natural elements, clean lines, and unembellished designs. Below, we break down the basics of this aesthetic.

Inspiration and vibe

This aesthetic aims to evoke the feeling of taking an early morning walk along a peaceful beach. The coastal grandmother trend is best understood by looking at the interior design pioneers who inspired this trend: Martha Stewart, Ina Garten, and Nancy Meyers (or more specifically, her movies like Something’s Gotta Give and It’s Complicated). These ladies have perfected the upscale yet welcoming style. The style is both laidback and refined, inviting and minimalist.

Colors and patterns

The coastal color palette takes its inspiration from the beach. Choose subtle neutrals that are representative of natural sand, stone, sea, and sky. Think beiges, taupes, ivories, whites, and blues. For accent colors, you can layer in deeper blue, seashell pink, and muted green—just be sure to use a light touch.

Keep patterns to a minimum. If you do choose to include patterned pieces, stick with simple and abstract designs. Choose subtle stripes (like @theproperpeacock’s photo above), soft-colored gingham, or minimalist abstract.

Textures and materials

When it comes to materials and textures, “natural” is the name of the game. Linen and cotton are the top choices for fabrics—though these natural fibers vary in thickness from light and sheer to heavier canvas and twill. Cozy, textured accents with a crafty, handmade appeal, like chunky knits and fringe, also come into play.

For rugs, furniture, and accent pieces, woven natural fibers like rattan, jute, sisal, and seagrass are very popular. From flooring to furniture and decorative accessories, look for light-colored wood like driftwood or light oak. These tints give your home the light, sun-soaked feel that’s the goal of the coastal grandmother style.

6 ways to recreate the coastal grandmother aesthetic in your home

Ready to hop on the coastal trend? No matter if you want to redecorate an entire room or renew your space with a few new pieces, here are a few simple ways to get the look.

Update furniture and cabinets with neutral paint

A fresh coat of paint can make a world of difference. Consider updating your walls or cabinets with a beachy hue. For a smaller project, try creating an accent wall (as @lifeonvirginiastreet did or transforming one piece of furniture to match the trend.

Hang light, gauzy curtains

Natural lighting is another key element of coastal grandmother. Swap out your current window treatments for lightweight, semi-sheer ones made of natural fiber. This will let the sunlight shine in and make your space look bright and breezy.

Bring in fresh flowers

Sometimes, the smallest changes can make the biggest difference. Check out how flowers added to the space in @virginia_mcdade__design’s photo above. Add some greenery to your space with a vase of lush flowers. Arrange a bouquet of hydrangeas, lilacs, or peonies in your favorite vase, bowl, or pitcher. Real and faux flowers can have a similar impact, so choose the style that works best for your lifestyle.

Mix vintage with new

Coastal grandmother gets a lot of its charm from its worn, lived-in appearance. Pair modern, minimalist pieces with unique thrift store finds and inherited pieces. These vintage, secondhand items add authentic character and warmth to the space that’s difficult to replicate with new pieces.

Embrace open shelving

Though open shelving may be a divisive design trend, this type of storage is ideal for coastal grandmother decor, as @blossominginteriors illustrates. In the kitchen, it provides open access to your dishware for easy entertaining. Shelves also allow you to show off your favorite collection in any room of the house. Whether it’s ornate plates or cozy mystery novels, open shelving helps you create a decorative display with your favorite items.

Store cozy throws in a woven basket

Throw pillows and blankets can make your space feel cozy and inviting. Opt for accent throws with muted colors and subtle textures. For storage, keep your extra throws in a woven seagrass, wicker, or rattan basket.

The coastal grandmother aesthetic can instantly transform your home into a seaside paradise—even if you’re miles from the beach. The style uses natural elements, neutral hues, and clean lines to create its welcoming and upscale look. And this trend is surprisingly attainable, too. With the essentials of the style in mind and our simple design tips, you can copy this look with ease.

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Shannon Cooper
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Shannon Cooper has written about everything from pet care and travel to finance and plumbing in her seven years as a writer…
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