Why the 'coastal grandmother' lifestyle trend is sweeping the internet

·2-min read
Diane Keaton and Jack Nicholson in Something's Gotta Give. Picture: © Warner Bros. Pictures
Diane Keaton and Jack Nicholson in Something's Gotta Give. Picture: © Warner Bros. Pictures

MENTION the word "grandmother" and "home decor" in the same sentence and images of lace doilies, clashing florals and crocheted doll toilet roll holders most typically spring to mind.

Hold that thought. There is a new interior design and lifestyle trend sweeping the internet. Its name? Buckle up for the "coastal grandmother" revolution.

Excuse me?

The "coastal grandmother" aesthetic – a term coined by a US-based social media influencer – aims to conjure an effortlessly chic vibe by embracing neutral colour palettes and natural textures, such as linen and jute, alongside swathes of exposed wood, large fireplaces and cosy lighting.

It is about plush throws and scatter cushions, flowing curtains (imagine them gently billowing in a salty sea breeze), as well as textured ceramics and fresh cut flowers.

Who are these hip grandmothers?

The trend is largely inspired by the aspirational lives of elegantly stylish matriarchs, such as Meryl Streep in It's Complicated and Diane Keaton in Something's Gotta Give. Pretty much the entire back catalogue of filmmaker and romcom queen Nancy Meyers.

Need a further visual? Think Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin's fabulous beach house in Grace and Frankie, or the characters of Big Little Lies a few decades down the line.

Technically – and confusingly – it isn't actual grandmothers who are the proponents, but rather Gen Z and millennials, ie young people largely under 40, who are apparently keen to emulate the lavish habits of wealthy older women.

How did it come about?

A video explaining the essence of a "coastal grandmother" – made by 26-year-old California TikToker Lex Nicoleta – went viral last month.

She told BuzzFeed News that the idea is based on "a successful woman who creates a beautiful life for herself" by "embodying elements of coastal living and homemaking". Nicoleta cited Oprah Winfrey as a great example of a coastal grandmother.

Nicoleta has posted a series of clips with titles such as "Coastal Grandmother Starter Pack", proffering tips covering everything from crockery and tablescapes to finding the perfect, relaxed white shirt. Sample quote: "White wine is the lifeblood of coastal grandmothers everywhere."

The #coastalgrandmother tag on TikTok has garnered more than eight million views to date.

Does this mean I am in vogue?

There is a good chance. If you have a well-tended vegetable garden, a grand piano in the living room, rustle up home-cooked comfort food in your sprawling kitchen, as well as enjoying beach walks, trips to the farmers' market and early mornings spent drinking coffee on the porch or decking, then all the signs point to "coastal grandmother" territory.

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