Coastal Grandma? Granny Chic? A Primer on Grandma Decor Trends

October 26, 2023 5 min read

coastal grandmother, granny chic, grandmillennial, grandmacore interior decor - Gear Den

It's official: your grandmother is now trendy -- and we love it! Recent decor seasons have taken grandma's interior style as the main source of inspiration. These vintage-inspired trends attempt to recreate the comfort and coziness of being in Nana's house as a kid, when everything was nice and cushy and all was right with the world. If you want your home to feel like grandma's hug, these decor styles are for you.

Take a look at these grandma interior trends with tips on how to incorporate them in your own home.

Coastal Grandmother Style

Large living room, Living room with fireplace, white living room

In fashion and in interior design, coastal grandma style is casual beachy elegance, epitomized by Diane Keaton in the movie Something's Gotta Give. In the film, she walks the Hamptons in crisp sandy-hued fabrics, and her home is decorated with the same beach-inspired elements. See set photo above from Linda Merrill.

Make no mistake: this isn't a beach shack with gauzy curtains and driftwood benches. Coastal grandma is the sophisticated beach home, bringing seaside freshness into a traditional base.


How To Decorate in Coastal Grandmother Style

1. Choose a soft beachy palette.

Start with a warm neutral as your primary color, such as eggshell white, ivory, or light beige. Then layer it with soft calming blues like baby blue or cornflower blue. You can also use a complementary pastel or two for a more vibrant take. Lastly, pick an earthy accent color like brown, taupe, or even a blue-gray for a nice contrast.

off-white bedroom with wooden accents - coastal grandmother style
white living room with wall art of pink flamingo on blue background - Gear Den

Wall art pictured above: "Elegant Pink Flamingo" Premium Canvas 

coastal grandmother sideboard with pale blue dining room wall art - Gear Den

Wall art pictured above: Personalized "Food, Family, Love" Premium Canvas


2. Cozy it up with natural fabrics.

This grandma's house is as plush as it is organic. To capture this comfy elegance, opt for crisp linen upholstery on your sofas, soften your floors with natural woven rugs, and dress your windows with lightweight drapery. For added warmth and panache, throw a soft blanket on your couch or favorite chair.

coastal grandmother bedroom with "be our guest" wall art - Gear Den

Wall art pictured above: "Be Our Guest" Premium Canvas

light gray living room with throw blanket that says "we should probably cuddle" - Gear Den

Blanket pictured above: Personalized "We Should Probably Cuddle" Premium Fleece Blanket


3. Accessorize with woods and baby blues.

In line with the coastal scheme, pick decor elements with a wooden texture or a soft blue look. Quintessential examples are hardwood tables, wooden lamps, blue-and-white ceramics, nautical striped rugs, and woven baskets. A vase of fresh blue hydrangeas would look so good on your wooden sideboard or console!

white shiplap shelf with blue ceramics - coastal grandmother style - coastal grandma
wooden console table with rustic wall art - coastal grandma style - Gear Den

Wall art pictured above: "Begin Each Day With A Grateful Heart" Premium Rustic Canvas

beach-themed console table with personalized wall art - coastal grandmother style - Gear Den

Wall art pictured above: Personalized "My Greatest Blessings Call Me..." Premium Canvas


Grandmacore Style

open plan living area - lantern candle holder - wooden beam living room

From coastal grandma's seaside sophistication, let's now move to the charming woodland abode of "cottagecore grandma," a.k.a. grandmacore. If you're not familiar with these recent portmanteaus, no worries --  you probably already know these styles by heart.

First, the term "cottagecore" refers to the rustic, idyllic lifestyle in a rural cottage. Think handpicked wildflowers, breezy prairie dresses, and freshly baked bread in the morning. (We elaborate more on this in our cottagecore blog post here.) Now, imagine that it's a lovely old grandma living in that cabin. The home would be replete with dainty handmade crafts, retro ornaments, and heirloom pieces. That's grandmacore interior.

For instant inspiration on this style, we look to another Nancy Meyers movie -- specifically Rosehill Cottage in the film The Holiday (set photo above shared by Louise Dockery). Just look at all that chintz!


How to Decorate in Grandmacore Style

1. Bring in lots of wood.

Emulate that cozy cottage ambiance with wood decor! Highlight your vintage wood furniture, especially pieces with beautiful patina or distressing. Consider installing wood trim on your windows or adding wood beams to your ceiling. Want an easier route? Just hang lots of wood-style wall art!

charming living room with fireplace - dried indoor plants - large bookshelf in living room


wooden patio bench - customized throw pillow - customized wooden wall art - GearDen


Wall art pictured above: Personalized Rustic Style Family Name Premium Panoramic Canvas


customized family name wall art - GearDen


Wall art pictured above: Personalized Rustic "Family Name" Premium Canvas


2. Fill the room with florals.

Grandma fills her home with flowers and floral prints, so load up on dainty floral-patterned upholstery, flowery curtains, floral pillows, and flower-printed blankets. Top it all off with a few bouquets of wildflowers in charming little jars. When it comes to grandmacore, you can't overload on blossoms!

rustic patio - large patio windows - outdoor lamp - wooden patio ceiling
white kitchen shelf - yellow tulips in vase - ornate tea sets


blue chair - customized throw pillow - GearDen


Pillow pictured above: Personalized Name Pillow with Floral Print


3. Accessorize with dainty heirlooms.

A grandmacore house proudly wears its heritage, so display those vintage china collections, antique lamps, and one-of-a-kind figurines passed down by Nana. If you need more, scour flea markets for retro decorations like ceramics, vases, clocks, and even framed needlepoint or embroidery art. The quainter, the better!

white wooden armchairs - decorative lamps - flowers in decorative vase
embroidery art - floral embroidery - arts and crafts


white brick wall - white home office space - Dogs wall art - GearDen


Wall art pictured above: "All These Dogs" Premium Canvas


Grandmillennial or Granny Chic Style

comfy sofa - floral curtains - indoor plants in living room

Love grandma's home but want to moderate it? Your style just might be grandmillennial, a.k.a. granny chic. It's all about bringing vintage decor into a modern context, balancing the nostalgic with the new. Interior designer Stefani Stein perfectly describes this style as a juxtaposition of maximalism (grandma's style) and minimalism (modern style). 

"The style incorporates traditional details on upholstery and cushions such as tape, trim, or tassels, in monochromatic or analogous color combinations," says Stein. The cute example above is from Better Homes & Gardens.


How to Decorate in Grandmillennial/Granny Chic Style

1. Maintain a clean, bright palette.

Minimalism is associated with modernity, but for granny chic style, a minimalist color palette merely serves as a base to decorate further later on. Decide on a clean, bright color scheme of two or three shades such as crisp white, barely-there beige, or a soft pastel. You'll want to stay close to this palette as you bring in more decor, to keep the look light and cohesive instead of cramped and dowdy.

white living room - clear coffee table - wall art - blue throw pillows


large bedframe - side tables with lamps - my favorite place wall art - GearDen


Wall art pictured above: "My Favorite Place Is Next To You" Premium Canvas


2. Feature a choice print.

Pick a lovely pattern to feature prominently, but keep it moderated. It can be wallpaper on just one accent wall, a pair of chintz drapes, or a printed set of cushions. For best results, make sure your pattern either fits in with your color scheme, or beautifully contrasts it.

large white bedroom - mirror wall decor - comfortable bed
simple kitchen countertop - wooden shelves in kitchen - retro telephone


comfy living room - it's good to be home wall art - customized family name wall art - GearDen


Wall art pictured above: Personalized "It's So Good To Be Home" Premium Canvas


3. Sprinkle vintage pieces.

A vintage chair here, a pleated lampshade there... items with history complete the look of a granny chic home. For balance, juxtapose your traditional items against more modern ones. For instance, if you have a large tufted sofa reminiscent of the 1930s, pair it with a sleeker coffee table.

living room - nice pattern chair - white lamp - coffee table
chic living room - wall art living room - bookshelf in living room


semi circle table - wicker basket - customized metal wall art - customized family name wall art - GearDen


Metal art pictured above: Personalized Name Monogram Custom Metal Sign


So, who's convinced their grandma has amazing decor style? We know we are! Do you like these granny-inspired interior looks? Tell us in a comment!

And if you liked the wall art, blankets, and pillows featured here, find more on!

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