15 Home Décor Pieces That Will Help You Achieve the Coastal Grandmother Aesthetic

Interior designers share the neutral jute, ceramic, and linen items you need to translate this viral style in your own space.

breakfast nook
Photo: Donna Dotan

In March 2022, Lex Nicoleta went viral on TikTok when she coined the "coastal grandmother aesthetic"—a specific style of neutral, earthy décor often seen in the homes of Nancy Meyers' romantic-comedy heroines. "Characteristics of a coastal grandmother's home include open kitchens, slipcovered sofas, white accents, fresh flowers, linen curtains, coastal art, rustic textiles, bowls of lemons, and large windows that allow natural light to pour in," says Nicoleta. "It's impeccably clean, yet warm and inviting—somewhere you instantly feel at home." And you don't have to be a grandmother who lives on the coast to channel this design style—you just need to buy the right furniture.

Mastering the Coastal Grandmother Aesthetic

Before you make a single purchase, interior designer Shay Holland suggests honing in on this imagined character's lifestyle—what would her home look like?

Coastal Colors

"Think light, breezy, nature-inspired colors," says Holland, noting that whites, blues, ivory, taupes, and muted greens are colors you'd associate with water, seagulls, sand, and dunes.

Simple Patterns, Finishes, and Fabrics

Since the coastal grandmother lifestyle "communicates ease, avoid jarring patterns, super glossy finishes, and formal fabrics, like silk, that are too delicate to curl up on with coffee and a book," says Holland, who recommends pieces in straightforward cotton and linen, instead. Speaking of coffee and novels: Strategically-placed mugs and stacks of books are part of the coastal grandmother aesthetic, too.

Natural Fibers and Textures

The "coastal" aspect of this design style relies heavily on textured natural fibers and materials. "Think rope, driftwood, and jute," says Jade Joyner, the co-founder and principal designer of Metal + Petal. "It's a clean and classic look." Joyner also recommends playing with "a mix of wood tones that lean from natural to black"—no shiny lacquers or gold finishes needed. "It's luxe in the most subtle way," she explains. "It's high-end design, meets cottage-core, meets a nod to nautical."

What to Look for When Shopping for Furniture

Both smaller accents and larger pieces of furniture can help you translate this design aesthetic in your home. What you choose to incorporate mostly depends on your budget and the space you have available.

Should you prefer to work with smaller details, Holland suggests placing jute or wool rugs on your floors and swapping in linen or cotton duvets or comforters in bedrooms; doing so will anchor (pun, intended!) both areas. Then, accessorize with handmade pottery, rattan items, baskets, books, and potted plants in vintage blue-and-white vessels (think Dutch delft or ginger jars) and terra-cotta pots.

If you feel committed to this style and want to invest in larger-scale furniture, Holland says to shop for items with well-worn finishes; pieces should be inspired by nature, which is why she suggests sticking to materials like natural wood and rattan. Upholstery in cozy, soft palettes (think cream or taupe) "fits perfectly into the aesthetic," Holland adds.

The Best Coastal Grandmother Home Essentials

While these tips should help you identify pieces that fall into this design category, we went a step further and asked interior designers to share the essential home items they recommend for achieving the coastal grandmother aesthetic.

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Crate & Barrel "Addison" White Flange Slipcovered Dining Chair

slipcovered dining chair
Courtesy of Crate & Barrel

"Layering is the most important element to communicate this design style," says Anastasia Harrison, the interior architect behind AHD & Co. This makes slipcovered furniture "a great foundation." Nicoleta agrees; she considers slipcovered furniture to be one of the most high-impact purchases you can make to achieve the coastal grandmother aesthetic.

Harrison recommends this elegant dining chair, which features a full-length white coverlet that gives the furniture a relaxed, deconstructed silhouette.

02 of 15

Topfinel Buffalo Check Plaid Throw Pillow

Buffalo Check Plaid Throw Pillow Covers
Courtesy of Amazon

While most patterns affiliated with the coastal grandmother aesthetic are subtle, gingham is the exception: The upbeat, but traditional print is fair game. So, consider stocking up on a series of gingham throw pillows in a mix of checked styles; we love this gray-green, earthy set.

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Martha Stewart "Isla" Accent Chair

martha stewart chair
Courtesy of Amazon

Martha designed a furniture line that speaks to this relaxed, laid-back style. We love this earth-toned chair, complete with cane wings and a subtle striped cushion—it's refined and elegant, which means its perfect for your coastal grandmother-inspired home.

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Parachute Home "Nomad" Lumbar Pillow Cover

Lumbar Pillow Cover
Courtesy of Parachute Home

Trying to achieve the coastal grandmother look means "naturally leaning towards a laid-back, pared down aesthetic," Holland says. A large pillow in a neutral colorway suits this sentiment perfectly; Holland recommends this handcrafted lumbar piece, which will bring relaxed texture to your bed.

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Goodies Ribbed Water Cup

ribbed ceramic coffee mug
Courtesy of Goodies

These ribbed ceramic mugs in an ivory shade have the texture and tone that is key to the coastal grandmother style, says Holland. Even better—this cup set clocks in under $20.

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HD Buttercup Luna Tall Dresser in Natural Mango

tall dresser
Courtesy of HD Buttercup

You're not a coastal grandmother if you don't have pieces made from rattan or natural wood in your home. We're partial to this neutral dresser: With its woven cane drawers, straight lines, and earthy brown color, this piece provides storage while easily blending with the rest of your neutral décor.

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Birch Lane Krauss 1 - Light Dimmable Bath Sconce

Dimmable Bath Sconce
Courtesy of Wayfair

"I recommend library lights either as floor lamps or as sconces," Joyner says. Even better if you can find iterations in coastal grandmother-approved colorways—which is where this light blue piece comes in. With its subtly nautical and simple, almost utilitarian design, this sconce brings breezy minimalism to a bathroom or small entryway.

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West Elm Mini Pebble Wool Jute Rug

wool jute rug
Courtesy of West Elm

Natural fiber isn't only a key component of the coastal grandma aesthetic—it can transform other aspects of your space. "Add a natural fiber rug underneath your area rugs to elevate the room," Joyner says. She recommends this handcrafted jute rug from West Elm for its durability and bobble texture.

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Sand and Stable Quenton 24'' Tall Drum End Table

Tall Drum End Table
Courtesy of Wayfair

Bring the natural world indoors with a unique end table. A mosaic of broken coconut shells arranged on distressed wood provides texture and a perfect spot to place magazines, cups, and vases.

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JONATHAN Y Set of 2 Cottage Table Lamps

set of 2 blue and white table lamps
Courtesy of Amazon

These blue-and-white lamps are the kinds of antique-inspired pieces that would fit into a cottage as nicely as they'd fit into a coastal grandmother's living room. What's more, they come with energy-saving LED bulbs, so they can shine brighter for longer.

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Winston Porter Filipek 22'' Tall End Table

Tall End Table
Courtesy of Wayfair

Remember: Embracing the coastal grandma aesthetic means avoiding glossy finishes and shiny lacquer. This rustic wooden end table, inspired by the simplicity of sawhorses, has the natural look you need. Plus, the shelf beneath the main tabletop provides ample room for stacks of books—another key aspect of coastal grandma décor.

12 of 15

Sand and Stable Hermosillo 19.5'' Tall Solid Wood Pedestal End Table

Tall Solid Wood Pedestal End Table
Courtesy of Wayfair

Place flower-filled vases, cups of coffee, and your favorite reads on a sustainably sourced munggur wood side table. The exposed ends of branches spotlight the natural beauty of the table materials, creating a modern, but rustic feel that feels distinctly coastal.

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Sullivans Ceramic Vase Set

Ceramic Vase Set
Courtesy of Amazon

These distressed ceramic vases are perfect homes for freshly-cut flowers purchased at the farmer's market. Since they come in a set of three, use them to tie a room together by placing them in multiple spots.

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West Elm Classic Rattan Counter & Bar Stools

Classic Rattan Counter & Bar Stools
Courtesy of West Elm

As a coastal grandmother, you can never have enough rattan or natural wood. This barstool is constructed with sustainably sourced oak and natural cane and features a comfortable cream cushion and adjustable legs.

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Pottery Barn "Ainsley" Toile Pillow Cover

Toile Pillow Cover
Courtesy of Pottery Barn

This cozy throw pillow incorporates that signature coastal blue-and-ivory color palette, and is adorned with an antique-inspired illustration in the chinoiserie style.

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