Kirsty McLuckie on Coastal Grandma’s interior

The phrase describes a home decor trend that’s seen as our latest design infatuation.

Google searches around the topic are booming, but what is it?

Register to our daily newsletter

Coastal is all about bringing the feel of airy natural elements into your home.

Figure: Adobe Stock

Inspiration comes from vacations in places like the Hamptons in the US or Cornwall in the UK. North of the border it is probably a fisherman’s cottage in the East Neuk of Fife.

The feeling is something of a beach shack – maybe one of those we read about off and on that costs the price of a two-bedroom, has garden shed proportions and no electricity, but is hugely Instagrammable, especially when They have parked an old VW campervan outside.

The granny part is a return to traditional furniture and decor.

Crafts like quilting are in, and blue and white striped glasses on open kitchen shelves are all the rage.

Sam Baldry, design director at furniture brand Swoon, says the style has a strong aura of: “Everything natural and nautical. It’s all about being minimalist and tonal.

“Combine ash-gray wood furniture that mimics driftwood, nautical color palettes with crisp whites and ocean blues, and light linen textiles and accessories to dress up your space and add dimension.”

Materials should all be sustainable, with natural fibers and no hint of plastic or Formica.

I can definitely see the attraction.

Searching “Coastal Grandma” online brings up some beautiful images, and it’s not just about interiors but a whole lifestyle look, right down to linen shirts and straw hats – think Diane Keaton in the 2003 romantic comedy Something must give.

I’m told it’s a natural progression from last year’s top trends, which included cottage core and the grand millennial look.

It’s not hard to see where the inspiration for change comes from. We have spent the last two years on holiday – if at all – in the UK.

The urge to leave the cities and move to the sea has pushed up prices in coastal hotspots more than any other type of property. And more time during lockdown has meant many of us have discovered the joy of crafting and baking.

But while Coastal Grandma is an attractive lifestyle look, it doesn’t feel very lifelike. While today’s grandparents tend to be fashion forward, active and environmentally conscious, most of my generation don’t seem to take inspiration from their older relatives.

For this to be true, in a 1970s seaside bungalow we would have to opt for swirling carpets, heavily curved drapes and display cases by Royal Doulton.

It was a look that defined this generation for decades because, in my experience, our grandparents were never the ones to change their decor at the whim of fashion.

True sustainability holds on to what’s already in your home – no matter how it looks on social media.

Leave a Comment