This epic guide to the coastal grandmother aesthetic shares everything you need to know about the hottest new millennial trend borrowed from wealthy middle-aged women, from what it is to how to be one, including what to do (and read!), how to decorate your home, and what to wear.

COASTAL GRANDMOTHER AESTHETIC

Origins of the Coastal Grandmother Aesthetic

First, let’s talk about the origination of the coastal grandmother aesthetic. The background is important to understand how the trends have shifted over time to focus specifically on the coastal grandmother.

First came “grandmillenial” style — the younger generation’s take on bold, very traditional prints and styles with lots of chintz, florals, needlepoint, fringe, and ruffles.

Next came “Nancy Meyers chic” — a tribute to the very classic and cozy American aesthetic of the filmakers’ movies like Father of the Bride, The Holiday, It’s Complicated, and Something’s Gotta Give.

Now, coastal grandmother aesthetic, an offshoot of Nancy Meyers chic, is trending big on TikTok and other social media. Everyone’s talking about it on the news right now, and millennials are obsessed with it.

Lex Nicoleta (Instagram; TikTok) created and coined the fabulous phrase, so go give her a follow!

I knew I wanted to search and write about it because I am such a huge fan of Nancy Meyers’ movies myself. I designed my own kitchen after Something’s Gotta Give, one of my all-time favorite movies is Father of the Bride, and I listen to the Nancy Meyers’ kitchen Spotify playlist while cooking.

So, let’s dig into the coastal grandmother aesthetic!

What is Coastal Grandmother Aesthetic?

Coastal grandmother aesthetic is based on the clean and classic style of middle-aged, wealthier women living in luxurious oceanfront properties, similar to that of Diane Keaton in the Nancy Meyers movie, Something’s Gotta Give, set in the Hamptons.

Coastal grandmothers wear cashmere and linen, they love to garden, take leisurely walks on the beach when it’s slightly windy, and sip white wine while reading on their wraparound front porch.

They cook fresh meals with goods they picked up at the farmers market in their open concept kitchens accessorized with neutral and natural elements like butcher block and rattan.

And, naturally, they listen to soft jazz and the oldies while doing so.

Celebrity book lover Jenna Bush Hager described it as a “breezy beige feel” on The Today Show, and celebrity book-loving icon Oprah is known for this style as well. You can often see images of her reading in her garden with her dogs and in a sensible outfit on her social media pages.

In other words, coastal grandmother aesthetic is the perfect mix of literary + lifestyle — the theme of this website!

How to Get the Coastal Grandmother Aesthetic

Coastal Grandmother Hobbies

Below is a sample itinerary of a coastal grandmother so you can see exactly how she would spend her day:

Upon waking up, sip a hot beverage on your front porch in a matching pajama set as the sun rises.

Do a quick round of yoga or pilates, or take your dog for a walk on the beach, to get moving.

Change into your capri pants and clogs, grab your gardening tools, and snip some fresh herbs and fresh flowers to use later (probably hydrangeas).

Take a quick bubble bath, wrap your body in a plush robe, and then put on some cozy cashmere so you’re comfortable yet put together.

Grab your straw hat and straw tote and head to the local bakery, and perhaps the farmers market, to see what’s currently fresh.

Go antiquing and take a pottery or art class, then head home to plan for a casual, cozy dinner party.

Remember to write that handwritten thank you note you’ve been meaning to get to and clean up that paint from your art room, as you multitask the day away!

Make fresh lemonade in a pitcher with lemons from a bowl on your counter, so it has time to set.

Pour a glass of chardonnay, pull an Ina Garten cookbook from your open shelving, and prepare some fresh pasta with vegetables and herbs you collected throughout the day.

Prepare a thoughtful tablescape with soft candles, striped cloth napkins, rattan placemats, and stoneware you made yourself.

Change into some lightweight and elegant, yet breathable, linen, and welcome in your chatty, but never boisterous, dinner guests.

Someone may even play a quick tune or recount a story from the past. Either way, there will be lighthearted laughs and thoughtful conversation to go around for hours.

Listen to a coastal grandmother playlist in the background throughout:

You will hear songs like “Everlasting Love” and “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” without a doubt. And the greatest hits of Norah Jones will add relaxing vibes.

Once your guests leave at a reasonable hour and you have cleaned the kitchen, hop back into your matching pajama set, grab a cable knit throw, and sit back on your beige couch.

Watch a coastal grandmother movie from this list:

If you have time, read a few pages of a great coastal grandmother book from this list, while relaxing in your Adirondack chair to pass the hours before bed:

Lastly, fall asleep to the gentle breeze and ocean waves and dream of your next day living life with the coastal grandmother aesthetic.

Coastal Grandmother Beach House Decor

A coastal grandmother’s home is ideally located in a wealthy beach town in a place like the Hamptons, Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket, or Newport.

It’s likely to be made of wood shingles, and the interior design is crisp, clean, and neutral. Colors are beachy, like blue, and muted. Prints are rare, and often, stripes. Natural elements like straw and rattan are sprinkled throughout.

The kitchen has an open concept and some open shelving, and it is filled with small details like a bowl of lemons; ginger jars; hydrangea arrangements; an Ina Garten cookbook; fresh fruits, vegetables, and herbs, butcher block and wood cutting boards, a tea kettle on the stove, and a watering can near the door.

You can buy coastal grandmother home decor at stores like:

Shop some of my favorite coastal grandmother home decor below:

Bestseller: This specific 2 Tier Fruit Storage Basket is a bestseller with readers of The Literary Lifestyle.

Coastal Grandmother Style Clothing

Coastal grandmothers wear neutral-colored chinos, capris so they can easily walk on the beach, cashmere everything (she can afford it), breezy linen, shirt dresses, white turtlenecks (even in Summer!), decorative scarves, classic button-down shirts, light-colored and comfortably sized denim, bucket hats, driving shoes, straw bags, totes, button-down cardigans (tied over the shoulders if it’s warm), sun visors, and matching pajama sets (always).

You can buy coastal grandmother clothing at stores like:

Shop some of my favorite coastal grandmother clothing for Summer below.

Bestseller: This specific Amazon The Drop Women’s Brigitte Chunky Button Front Pocket Ribbed Cardigan is also a bestseller with readers of The Literary Lifestyle.


Conclusion

Now you know all about the coastal grandmother aesthetic, from what it is to how to be one, including what to do (and read!), how to decorate your home, and what to wear!

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18 Comments

  1. Great, comprehensive write up. I hold my grin and giggled inside at how well I can imagine this stereotype. Not that I have seen the movies or been around the type. Somehow we just know. I even gain a sense of peace imagining myself reading on the porch in matching PJs. And how peaceful is it to sit and live that moment, and the satisfaction felt knowing you have arrived there. Spotify & movie recs noted- I’ll be studying 🤓 Can’t wait to channel this in the Northeast someday. Cheers 🥂

  2. Fantastic! Now let’s make the CG a classic that endures, as it already is a part of our style ethos and rooted in good living!

  3. I would include Blythe Danner’s “I’ll See you in My Dreams” on the movie list. Great article!

  4. I have lived on the coast of South Carolina my entire life and am now the grandmother of two precious angels. It’s nice to know that y’all appreciate us in one way or another;)

  5. Usually I hate anything that tries to pin one down and stick a label on it, but this “coastal grandmother” thing reinforces the beauty and power of women growing older. We’ve still got it, and now you want to “get it” too! Yours sincerely, (call me a) Bohemian Coastal Grandmother

  6. My sister threw this term out yesterday so if course I am checking it out. It’s almost me. I have two problems: I have far more black than beige in my wardrobe (goes better with my gray hair) and the darned deer keep decimating my hydrangeas so I can’t pick any from my garden. Love this!

  7. So, I would hardly call Diane Keaton in Somethings Gotta Give a coastal grandmother. In the movie she was an accomplished writer and playwright. I have been drawing inspiration from her style since 2003. It’s simple, elegant and classic. The interruption of it has turned somewhat cutesy.

    1. @Robyn, You think those things are antithetical? Tell that to my publisher, agent and grandbabies while I dust my ginger jars and head on down to the beach!

    2. @Robyn, I love it! I’m going to emulate the CG “vibe.” I live on the coast, am a grandma, and retired from my career. I like the focus on quality, simplicity, and ease of living while appreciating daily pleasures that affirm life. 😎

  8. This is so lovely. It has everything I love. Blue everywhere, flowers, the beach, and good food to cook. This was genius to make this the new trend. Thank u.

  9. Had NO idea about Coastal Grandmother until clerk at Talbots remarked that my purchase of a white linen cardigan was prefect look for CG. Had to look it up! Thank you for this comprehensive guide!

  10. My 15 year old granddaughter said I was a coastal grandmother after seeing on tic tok. I had to look it up. Although she evidently based my new title on my decorating I am now anxious to go clothes shopping!! This is going to be fun!!

  11. While I am neither middle aged nor wealthy, I do live on a coast of a Great Lake and I am a grandmother who has been in a book club for years.When I first learned about the trend of Coastal Grandmother, I researched for the trend.and smiled.I was a semi match to the trend so I shared with my daughter who shared this guide with me.By far the best guide to being a CG. Thanks you for your well written article with so many tips and guides.❤️

  12. I love the coastal grandmother look for the home. I think I have that going on and am neither on the coast nor a grandmother (or even a mother). I just bought probably my 20th soft white throw from Pottery Barn, and I got oversized white linen napkins on Sunday from there, too. I love cream colors and green for the home. I am glad to see a softly classic look coming back, and not necessarily the formal type look or dark, and not prim and proper, nor cluttered, but casually sophisticated and with light tones. I think it is great the “book on the porch” and the quiet glass of wine with dinner, and the pretty pillows on your couch– a couch that looks great but that welcomes you for a Sunday nap, too. I love the look!