Coastal Grandmother Lifestyle & How to Capture a Nancy Meyers Chic Inspired Look!

As summer approaches, coastal grandmother lifestyle vibes are warming the air. It’s a breezy aesthetic blooming with hydrangeas, understated elegance, and bowls of fresh citrus. Best enjoyed with a bucket hat near the beach, here’s a romantic alternative to mindless scrolling. It may even be a balm for technology overload. Are you a coastal grandmother? If you’d love to live inside a Nancy Meyers chic movie set, it’s possible. The term coined by TikTok user Lex Nicoleta for me inspires: visions of gardening in a straw hat, colors of the sea, cozy cottage kitchens, and leisurely summer afternoons stretching wide. Oh, and beach houses! Specifically, the very lux Hamptons beach house in Something’s Gotta Give. Are coastal grandmas rich, over 50, and near the sea? Let’s chat.

My rustic French farnhouse dining area with harvest table and Belgian linen upholstered chairs - Hello Lovely Studio.
Hello Lovely Studio

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Coastal Grandmother Lifestyle

What is a Coastal Grandmother Aesthetic?

For starters, you need not live in the Hamptons, own a house, or have grandchildren. I’m a card carrying CG and live in Northern Illinois. In fact, some suggest Stanley Tucci is a coastal grandfather (omg, all the yeps!).

Vintage clawfoot tub in a serene white bath with plantation shutters - Hello Lovely Studio.
Hello Lovely Studio

The aesthetic can be applied to interiors, gardens, fashion, and even self-care.

Funny midlife quote about golden girl summer authoreeholmes on Hello Lovely Studio. #midlifequotes #girlfriendquotes #squadmenopause

Maybe coastal grandmotherhood is a state of mind.

Michele of Hello Lovely Studio reclining on Nollapelli sheets in a white linen robe from Serena & Lily. #nollapellisheets #hellolovely #whitelinen #whitebedrooms
White linen for this coastal grandmother (Hello Lovely Studio).

“It’s more about the way you live your life — slowing down and taking time to enjoy the little things like flipping through magazines and sipping tea on a Sunday morning or preparing a dinner with the day’s farmers’ market finds.” – Lex Nicoleta via HGTV.

Serene white kitchen in early fall with hydrangea - Hello Lovely Studio.
Hello Lovely Studio

Why is This Lifestyle Trend Resonating Now?

It is no surprise this aesthetic is trending as a response to social media exhaustion, global anxieties, and information overload. We’re tired and stressed. All things “cozy and calm home” became more sacred in the 2020s with increased shutdowns, daily uncertainty, and inflation.

My casually elegant dining room with white farm table and coastal elements - Hello Lovely Studio. #coastalgrandmother #diningroom
Hello Lovely Studio…in case you love an unfussy dining area.

More than ever, we long for home to feel like a comforting retreat. With travel expenses rising and less cash for vacations, a coastal vacay mood appeals. If your home has a swimming pool, you are probably aware your property is suddenly a hot commodity!

Beachy basket with champagne and towel - Hello Lovely Studio. #coastalgrandmother #picnicbasket #summerliving

Coastal Grandmother Icons

Oprah, Ina Garten, Martha Stewart, Anne Hathaway, Grace (of “Grace and Frankie”) come to mind. And of course, fictional characters created by Nancy Meyers and played by Diane Keaton, Meryl Streep.

Levi's jeans. Melissa James Studio.
Photo: Melissa James; Cuffs: Jenny Sweeney

How is it a Lifestyle and Not Just a Décor Style?

Fashion and mindset also factor into a CG lifestyle. While it celebrates natural materials such as linen and cashmere, it transcends fashion. Coastal grandmothers aspire to elevate ordinary days with ROMANCE. The aesthetic and lifestyle appeals to homebodies who want to create subtle backdrops for peaceful moments to happen within a safe haven.

Hello Lovely's white coastal kitchen with Minuet Viatera quartz counters, farm sink, industrial cart, and marble subway backsplash. #coastalgrandmother #whitecoastalkitchen

It is a laid back approach to living and decorating with no-fuss, barefoot elegance. Self-care for a CG might involve: long walks in nature, reading, crocheting, sipping wine, gardening, slow living, and uncomplicated recipes.

Belgian linen upholstered furniture including swivel egg chair in my living room with white oak hardwoods - Hello Lovely.
Cozy rules for this coastal grandmother – Hello Lovely Studio

How Is Coastal Grandmother Style Different than Preppy Style?

Preppy all-American types may overlap with coastal grandmothers. However, their interiors may reveal a discrepancy. A prepster may gravitate toward chintz, plaid, and fussy wallpaper which are too energetic for coastal granny taste. Also, a preppy look may be favored by maximalists whereas CGs prefer less layering.

“…preppy decor’s roots remain in exoticism as popularized by upper-class European society” – House Beautiful

French country garden with bench and stone wall - Hello Lovely.
Hello Lovely Studio

While both styles are rooted in sophistication and classic style, CGs may feel more uplifted by the natural world and the rhythms of the sea. They may treasure driftwood in their cozy cocoon more than exotic chinoiserie.

Belgian linen slope arm dining chairs in our breakfast nook with window seat - Hello Lovely.

Is the Coastal Grandmother Lifestyle Expensive?

Diane Keaton’s character in Something’s Gotta Give (Erica Barry) owns an oceanside Hamptons beach house. Her coastal grandmother lifestyle certainly costs a pretty penny and isn’t simple to copy.

“The vibe is very ocean inspired and feels vacation-ey. It also looks effortless and chic and is easy to copy at any price point.” – NY Post

Stikwood Hamptons rustic reclaimed wood wall in my Country French white bedroom with furniture painted Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter - Hello Lovely Studio.

Can you capture the vibe on a budget? It depends.

While a single room may be decorated with a coastal grandmother look on a budget, I think it’s the authentic lifestyle and mindset that is costly.

Michele of Hello Lovely in a swimsuit and floppy beach hat. #coastalgrandmother
Photo: Melissa James

In the 2020s, FREE TIME is also wealth. If you have hours for coastal grandmother hobbies and pursuits, your bank account may be irrelevant.

Hello Lovely's white coastal grandmother kitchen with Minuet Viatera quartz counters, farm sink, industrial cart, and marble subway backsplash. #coastalgrandmotherdecor

Experiences trump expenditures. Arranging a branch or freshly picked flowers from the garden in a simple ironstone pitcher likely feels more lifegiving to a CG than shoe shopping.

Rustic antique Belgian sideboard with oak branch in vase in early fall - Hello Lovely Studio.
Hello Lovely Studio

“A coastal grandmother doesn’t care for thong bodysuits…She likes heirloom tomatoes and going to bed early.” – Glamour

Serene breakfast nook with window seat, Belgian linen slope arm chairs, and round dining table - Hello Lovely Studio.

Is This TikTok Trend More Martha or Ina?

Even though Lex Nicoleta says coastal grandmother “is not fully Ina Garten,” it’s hard to imagine anyone who comes closer! Ina’s calming disposition, recipes, and entertaining suggestions are accessible yet utterly chic.

White Parisian style cafe dining set is perfect for small spaces and casual dining when you love a little romance - Hello Lovely.

Many of Martha Stewart’s timeless sensibilities seem harmonious with coastal grandmotherhood. If they still use social media, coastal grandmothers follow Martha and may Google her favorite green juice recipe.

Yet coastal grandmothers probably appreciate the IDEA of her ideas for perfect soirees more than the execution of them.

Serene coastal cottage breakfast nook with dining table, Belgian linen slipcovered chairs and window seat - Hello Lovely Studio. #coastalgrandmother #breakfastnook #windowseat #belgianlinen
Hello Lovely Studio

There’s a steep cost for all that striving…for constant productivity and devotion to peerless work. Additionally, there’s unhealthy exhaustion from striving to make hard work appear effortless.

Serene white modern French dining room with farm table, rustic wood candleholders, and succulent in rustic pot - Hello Lovely Studio. #allwhitedecor #modernfrench #diningroom
Hello Lovely Studio

I’m a coastal granny who needs lazy days. An intimate Ina Garten-esque gathering with a simple menu that doesn’t require days of prep? I’m all in.

Hello Lovely Studio
Hello Lovely Studio

How to Capture a Nancy Meyers Chic Inspired Look at Home

How to snag an effortless, Something’s Gotta Give look? Ummm. It’s Complicated and inevitably takes effort!

Study Those Movie Sets!

I can’t tell you how many times I have pressed pause on the remote and watched a scene in slow-mo to spend more time with the set decoration of a Nancy Meyers movie. Train your eye and notice the architecture, layering, and furniture placement.

Coastal grandmother inspiration from Something's Gotta Give.

BTW. The interiors within that unforgettable Hamptons manse in Something’s Gotta Give were actually movie sets built to Nancy Meyers’ specifications. Even the kitchen countertops only appear to be lovely soapstone! They were painted to look like the real thing.

Cozy Copenhagen egg chair with Belgian linen upholstery in a bedroom with grisaille wall mural - Hello Lovely Studio. #coastalgrandmother
Hello Lovely Studio

Don’t Shop the Nautical Section

Kitschy beachy-themed décor at your favorite discount stores is not your friend. There’s a critical difference between taking cues from the sea with strokes of subtle understatement to decorate a space and cluttering a room with beachy signs and seashell everything. A natural sea fan or coral cluster bought or found on vacation can be beautiful as an accent, but a bunch of faux beach decorations from Homegoods is not granny’s favorite.

Hello Lovely Studio's white oak hardwood floors coastal grandmother living room, dining, and kitchen with Belgian linen.
Hello Lovely Studio

Keep the Color Story Cool & Neutral

White sofas are right at home in a beach house, and blue is a timeless coastal accent. I’m partial to grey and white since I don’t tire of the combination. Paint trim a crisp white (see this for ideas for the right white), and search my archives for timeless and tranquil inspiration.

European farmhouse style and French Nordic cottage decor in our fixer upper - Hello Lovely Studio. Come see the renovation photos in Before & After: European Country Style Fixer Upper.
Hello Lovely Studio

“When choosing a colour, stick to light and bright tones like blues and whites. You should also keep this in mind when choosing furniture, and avoid anything that is too dark.” – Sam Hood, co-founder and chief creative officer at AMARA.

Psst. I love my everyday flatware scored from AMARA where you are bound to discover a set that appeals like this:

I may not live on the coast or have grandchildren, but a coastal grandmother state of mind appeals!

Soothing and serene neutral bedroom with European country cottage style and Stikwood planked wall - Hello Lovely. Furniture is painted #reverepewter
Hello Lovely Studio

I’d love to hear your thoughts about this emerging trend and whether the aesthetic suits you too.

Michele of Hello Lovely on a rocky beach. #coastalgrandmother
Hello Lovely Studio/Photo: Melissa James

Peace to you right where you are.

-michele

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Oval Back Counter Stool, Set of 2
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Italian Candelabra Chandelier
Slope Arm Linen Chair Set
Warner Upholstered Bench
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4 Comments

  1. May 22, 2022 / 4:05 pm

    Your home is just gorgeous, inside and out, I love the whole vibe and seeing your smiling beautiful face!

    • Michele
      Author
      May 22, 2022 / 10:09 pm

      Awww – thank you, Kristin. So happy to have you visit this post! 🙂

  2. Christin
    May 24, 2022 / 7:44 pm

    Thanks for sharing this week! You are my editor’s choice this week for the Wonderful Wednesday Blog Hop. Thanks again!

    • Michele
      Author
      May 25, 2022 / 9:54 am

      Thanks so much for the feature, Christin – so happy you enjoyed this post. 🙂

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White Slipcovered Sofa
French Stripe Seagrass Basket Set
29″ Whitewashed Table Lamp Set of 2
Antique Chinese Wood Rustic Round Stool
THE BEST Energy Bars!
Tuscan Terracotta Urn Vase
Round Farmhouse Table
Myla Slipcover Sofa
Deconstructed Wingback Bed
French Farmhouse Dining Table
Milagro Heart
Slipcovered Dining Chair
Rustic Farmhouse Stool
Edgecombe End Table
Parisian Style Iron Table Lamp  33.5″
Black or Bronze Accent Table
French Stripe Basket Set
Chevron White Quilt Set
French Country Rattan Basket Set
Marble Subway Mosaic Tile
Rattan Basket With Lid
White Ruffle Bedding
Seagrass Basket Set
Schumacher Wild Things Wallpaper
Slipcovered Sofa
Linen Napkin Set
French Country Lamp Set
White Matelasse Quilt
French Country Mirror
Faux Potted French Lavender
Shaw Daybed
Distressed White French Country Chandelier
French Country Headboard
Oval Back Counter Stool, Set of 2
Antique Brass Pharmacy Floor Lamp
Round French Tufted Ottoman
Kinston Wood Bench
Italian Candelabra Chandelier
Slope Arm Linen Chair Set
Warner Upholstered Bench
Rustic Country French Dresser
Laurel Wreath Mirror
Round Farmhouse Dining Table
Reclaimed Wood Dresser
Louis Upholstered Bench
Pardon My French Doormat
Stripe Turkish Towel Throw
Pamela Arm Chair
Sweater Weave Basket
French Carved Wood Chandelier
Terracotta Pots & Basket
French Country Wood Chandelier
French Linen Dining Chair
Gustavian Cabinet
French Farmhouse Dining Table
Bar Stool
Beachy White Slipcovered Sofa
Rattan Armchair
Diptyque Oyedo Candle
Cross Back Dining Chair
French Country Candle Holder
French Industrial Metal Chairs (4)
Designer Favorite Wall Mirror
Holborn Lantern Pendant
French Country 6-Light Chandelier
Rustic End Table
French Country Upholstered Arm Chair
Wicker Trunk Set
French Ticking Stripe Pillow
Jute Area Rug
Mohair Throw
Rustic Industrial Farmhouse Shelves
Belgian Linen Sofa
White Duvet & Bedding
Rustic Wood Candlestick Set
French Market Basket
Linen Modern Wing Chair
French Country Farmhouse Baskets
Concrete Pillar Table Lamp
Boheme Madera Bench
Belgian Style Lamp
Kendall Skirted Dining Chair
White Charleston Sofa
Scrubbed Wood 5-Light Chandelier
Arched Champagne Wall Mirror
Moravian Star 1-Light Pendant
Highback Armchair
Mini Pendant Light
White Vase Set
Round Woven Placemat Set
Cashmere Throw With Fringe
Black Bergamot Soy Candle
Fireclay Farm Sink (Reinhard, 30″)
White Waffle Coverlet
Light Grey Vienna Quilt
Boheme Madera Bench
Belgian Linen Duvet Set
Round Marble Side Table
Rustic Pedestal Farm Table
Rattan Hanging Chair Swing