September 26, 2022

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Coastal Grandmother: The Interior Design Trend Inspired by Rom-Coms and Brought to Life on TikTok | Architectural Digest

2 min read

When Mia Jung, director of interiors for AD100 firm Ike Kligerman Barkley, fashioned a Nantucket, Massachusetts, home for a client several years ago—long before Coastal Grandmother was codified by TikTok—she embraced certain principles of the aesthetic, like the use of a water-inspired color palette, antique textiles, and textural surfaces. “After it was done, I realized that this is a house I would love to move into,” Jung says. The project recently caught the attention of a new Miami-based client who asked for similar elements in a forthcoming home design. “Because of the pandemic, people are trying to find a comfortable retreat. Beforehand, you would decorate the house to show off, for entertainment mostly. Now our homes are much more for ourselves because we are spending so much more time in them.”

An ocean view isn’t required for the Coastal Grandmother look—but it certainly doesn’t hurt. This dining room designed by Erin Gates makes the most of its natural light and idyllic surroundings by embracing a maritime palette and seagrass accents.

Photo: Sarah Winchester / Courtesy Erin Gates Design

The style is also approachable, according to Ash Read. Read is the founder of Living Cozy, a two-year-old U.K.–based site that dubs itself the “go-to source for modern homeware and furniture brands.” Read says, “If you wanted to create a Coastal Grandmother vibe in your own home, you could make a few small tweaks, like picking up a new woven rug or adding some additional neutral color throws and pillows to your space, or adding fresh flowers. It’s not something you have to spend thousands of dollars to achieve.”

“You don’t have to be a grandmother. You don’t have to live by the coast. It doesn’t matter your race, gender, or tax bracket. You don’t need a Hamptons house,” insists Nicoleta, who points to a roster of celebrity archetypes she thinks represent the style, from Stanley Tucci to Oprah, Taylor Swift, and Reese Witherspoon. For Miyar, the look is something most of her clients ask for in one way or another. She does bring up one exception: “Maybe not my London bachelors.”

Erin Gates, of the eponymous, Massachusetts-based firm, designed an actual coastal grandmother’s abode in Groton Long Point, Connecticut, that perfectly captures the aesthetic. “It champions classic lines and materials—think English roll-arm sofas, Belgian linen, antique wood case pieces. It’s all about high-quality construction, and there’s not a trend in sight.” Gray echoes the sentiment and thinks the Coastal Grandmother is here to stay, though the grandkids may leave their own imprint: “I see this as a cyclical style that will be repeated amongst generations to come—with their own twist of course. A classic white button-down will always have a place in our wardrobes, as will a simple white linen drape upon our windows overlooking the sea.”

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