Last month when I was in Wisconsin with some friends, they mentioned this term “Coastal Grandma”. I had heard the term but really hadn’t paid any attention. I asked my friends what a Coastal Grandma was and they described the fashion and interior design aesthetic that is apparently all the rage thanks to TikTok.
Only a few days after I returned to my summer home in Washington State another friend of mine told me that I was “a Coastal Grandma before it was cool”. Wait. What? Okay time to explore what is this and am I one? And does that make me cool?? Do I want to be cool? Coastal Grandma – Does That Make Me Cool?
On closer inspection I learned that you don’t need to live on the Coast (I don’t), be a Grandma (I’m not) or frankly even be of my generation (fabulous sixties) to embrace the Coastal Grandma aesthetic. And indeed I guess I have been embracing it to some extent long before it was cool.
Apparently it’s Coastal Grandma cool to wear comfortable yet stylish clothes with simple lines that are made of natural fabrics often in soft tones of whites and beige. Okay, well I got some of that covered. But, with my skin tone and silver hair I tend to gravitate away from beige and instead choose bold and bright colors that flatter my hair color and skin.
That said I have been promoting for years the amazing natural fabrics, especially linen, that I find perfect for travel and warm climates. Yes, linen wrinkles, but there are many linen pieces out there now that don’t wrinkle, and especially in humid climates the wrinkles fall out as soon as the fabric is against your body. I adore linen and I have no less than two dozen items in my closet made of linen including pants, tops, dresses and cardigans. I also own a lot of cotton pieces, silk blends and lightweight knits.
I guess Talbots must be Coastal Grandma cool because a large percentage of my wardrobe comes from Talbots (with a few pieces also from J Jill, Ann Taylor and Tommy Bahama). Without knowing I was Coastal Grandma cool I have been collecting items over the past five years that work well for travel, are easy to care for, stay bright after multiple washings, hold their shape and look appropriate on my fabulous sixty something body. Who knew it was cool? I just thought it was comfortable.
I’ve thrown a few photos in here of some of my more recent purchases that will be in my suitcase when we head out for long-term travel again this fall.
I love my little house that we have been working on for the past few years. We have created a comfortable and cozy space that is bright and airy to spend the summer months when in Washington State. Eventually when we no longer travel for long portions of each year it will be a perfect place for the two of us to grow old together.
A departure from previous houses I have had, I wanted this house to have a similar and light color pallette throughout. We did this with matching wall colors, matching floors and matching cabinetry throughout. By adding a hint of natural colors to different rooms we have created a functional and cheerful space. I just love it.
One of my favorite rooms is the Master Bedroom which is natural whites with a touch of sea blue. The master bath is also natural whites with touch of gray and beige. This summer we have added a few accent walls in a few rooms including a pale blue in the reading room and a pale green in the entry. I used a new color pallette by Benjamin Moore that is designed to tie together and flow perfectly.
Although I had no idea I was creating Coastal Grandma vibe, but apparently I was and I like it no matter what other people think. It’s where I live and my goal is calm comfort.
My life took a dramatic turn when I retired nine years ago (about the same time this fabulous blog began) and that dramatic turn was purposeful and calculated. We wanted a simpler life, an easier life, a stress-free life and an affordable life. We choose not to burden our lives with committees, commitments and complications that didn’t fit our retired goals. We chose to let go of “stuff”. We choose minimalist comfort, intentional calm; we created time to do the things we love the most in our silver years, travel being one of the most important. That simple, unpretentious, comfortable and affordable life is what we have achieved.
Coastal Grandma? Well okay if that’s what you want to call it. I call it fabulous. Go. Be. Fabulous.
My friend Randi writes a design blog. Check out her Coastal Grandma post here.
See last week’s post about my fabulous trip to Door County Wisconsin here.
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