Discover the Coastal Grandmother Movement and How-To Effortlessly Incorporate it into your Interior Design

Designer: Donna Elle Design      Photographer: Read McKendree     Stylist: Francis Bailey

Whether or not you’re a grandmother or live anywhere near a coast, you might be a coastal grandmother if your lifestyle aspirations involve things such as rumpled linen bedding, slipcovered sofas, blue-and-white interiors, dogeared Ina Garten recipe books, Nancy Meyers films like “Father of the Bride” and “The Holiday,” white button-downs, straw hats, and kitchen dance parties with your loved ones.

Designer: Kristina Crestin Design
Product: Native Trails’ Farmhouse 3018 concrete kitchen sink
Featured on HGTV’s Farmhouse Fixer

Designer: Donna Elle Design
Photographer: Read McKendree
Stylist: Francis Bailey

The trend went viral in March 2022, when twentysomething TikToker Lex Nicoleta made a 24-second video officially coining “coastal grandmother” and breaking down its central components. As Lex explains it, a coastal grandmother is “a successful woman who creates a beautiful life for herself” by “embodying elements of coastal living and homemaking.” She’s now trademarked the term, and for good reason. Its resonance knows no bounds, touching everything from fashion to interior design. Lex even made a coastal grandmother playlist.

Designer: Jenna Tipsord, JKT Interiors
Product: Farmhouse Double Bowl concrete kitchen sink

Designer: Eva LaRocque Interiors
Photographer: S•E•N Creative
Product: Trough 3619 concrete bathroom sink

Today the #coastalgrandmother tag on TikTok has 244.5 million views. Architectural Digest called 2022 “the year of coastal grandmother.” And both Diane Keaton and Nancy Meyers have fondly acknowledged the trend, as the film “Something’s Gotta Give” — Meyers directed it, Keaton starred in it — has been deemed the primary cinematic reference point for all things coastal grandmother.

Product: Roma Murano Glass bathroom sink
on Topanga 36 vanity

Designer: Donna Elle Design
Photographer: Read McKendree
Stylist: Francis Bailey

Before Lex, we didn’t have a name to capture this particular zeitgeist. While adjacent styles like “hygge” and “grandmillennial” have some things in common with coastal grandmother, there are some important differences. As grandmillennial blogger Veronika Javor puts it, “Coastal grandmother leans more relaxed and airy, whereas grandmillennial leans a little more formal and maximalist.” Hygge, meanwhile, may be a kind of wintry counterpart to coastal gran’s year-round summer romance vibes.

Designer: Libbey Gillette, Gillette Interiors
Product: Olivos concrete bar sink

Designer: Donna Elle Design
Photographer: Read McKendree
Stylist: Francis Bailey

Even before coastal grandmother had a name, many a kitchen had been remodeled in homage to the OG farmhouse kitchen in “Something’s Gotta Give.” Something about Diane Keaton and Jack Nicholson in their pajamas, making middle-of-the-night pancakes in the Hamptons, has spawned countless copycat kitchens with now-ubiquitous white cupboards, white subway style backsplashes and white dishware stacked behind glass cabinet doors. (We recommend following Instagram account @nancymeyersinteriors for further inspo.)

Designer:  Eva Holbrook        Photographer: Margaret Austin Photography       Product: Trough 3619 concrete bathroom sink

Most well-appointed beach houses fit the coastal grandmother bill, as do plenty of landlocked homes that manage to reference the sea without even a whiff of kitsch — think shells, anchors or whales.

Designer: Golden and Pine
Product: Avalon 62 concrete freestanding bathtub

Product: Sorrento Murano Glass bathroom sink

For those looking to capture this polished but comfortable style, many of Native Trails’ product lines are coastal grandmother-approved. The Murano Collection of seashell-inspired vessel sinks look like they practically washed up on Diane Keaton’s doorstep. Our NativeStone sinks are at home in any coastal farmhouse kitchen or bath, and our copper and nickel bathtubs are especially deserving of an ocean view. 

Donna Elle, whose eponymous Donna Elle Design specializes in coastal homes on Nantucket, Cape Cod and beyond, recently used one of our brushed nickel bar sinks in a Nantucket home that’s saturated in coastal gran charm.

Designer: Donna Elle Design        Photographer: Read McKendree     Stylist: Francis Bailey 
Product: Rincon copper bar sink in Brushed Nickel finish

As for how to create this look in your own space, Donna says, “Dare to play with scale in soft furnishings. A pop of deeply saturated colors can bring a calming effect. Mix an assortment of good materials to create dimension. Soften the room with neutral floor coverings. Accents of natural fibers are always welcome. And go blue or go home.”

For more interior design inspiration, browse our blog and inspiration gallery.