I grew up dwelling the true ‘coastal grandmother’ way of life. Listed here are 7 issues TikTok obtained proper and flawed in regards to the development.

Diane Keaton within the Nancy Meyers film “One thing’s Gotta Give” has turn out to be inspiration for TikTok’s coastal grandmother development.Warner Bros. Footage/Columbia Footage

  • On TikTok, an aesthetic referred to as “coastal grandmother” has blown up over the summer time.

  • Impressed by Diane Keaton, it options white clothes, huge salads, outside meals, and hydrangeas.

  • I grew up with the real-life model of the development; here is what TikTok obtained proper and flawed about it.

The “coastal grandmother” development has taken over TikTok this summer time.



Again in March, a TikToker who goes by the title Lex Nicoleta posted a video saying she’d coined the time period “coastal grandmother” to explain an rising aesthetic, and defined what it means.

“You do not have to be a grandmother to be a coastal grandmother, it is for anybody and everybody,” she stated, itemizing a number of the inspiration for the development as Nancy Meyers motion pictures, Diane Keaton, Ina Garten, recipes and cooking, and “coastal vibes.”

Her video has been seen 2.4 million instances — a modest quantity by viral TikTok requirements — however the development itself has blown up over the summer time, with the #coastalgrandmother hashtag receiving over 185 million views.

Movies showcasing the aesthetic function shiny, ethereal interiors, seashore holidays, traditional outfits in impartial colour palettes, and family-style al fresco meals of Mediterranean-inspired dishes.

I have been immersed in the true coastal grandmother way of life my complete life.

Allison Kenien with her mother and daughter.

Allison Kenien along with her mom and daughter.Allison Kenien

I grew up within the tradition described in these movies — my lineage of coastal grandmothers goes again to colonial instances. My great-grandmother liked to share that our household arrived in Massachusetts from England in 1652.

Each technology since then has lived by the New England coast.

Wanting on the viral TikTok movies, I see a glamorized model of ocean life.

The movies glorify an prosperous way of life that’s generally related to seaside communities. However actual coastal tradition, for my part, will not be about cash — it is about experiences: combing the seashore for shells, feeling the push of massive waves, respiration the salty air, watching the dawn with the fishermen, and consuming the freshest catch at sundown.

I’ve skilled coastal life from the Rhode Island shoreline, and the TikTok movies positively do not get every thing proper.

There’s extra to coastal grandmother trend than TikTok realizes.


The coastal grandmother aesthetic on TikTok focuses closely on white or cream clothes, which positively displays the way in which my household and I’ve at all times dressed in the summertime.

Standard knowledge is that the colours repel daylight and catch the breeze, holding you comfy all day from the sand dunes to the salt ponds. Though scientists are divided as as to if it really works, it is actually a part of the look I grew up with.

Somethink the trending movies do not point out is that it is also quite common to see coastal residents sporting shirts and hats displaying the title of our neighborhood in huge, daring letters. You may rating bonus factors for sporting classic yacht membership clothes, which reveals that you’ve got been hanging across the water for a very long time.

In actuality, the aesthetic is extra various than TikTok would counsel. Within the fall, winter, and spring, coastal grandmothers add colour to their wardrobe — I wish to preserve my nautical look with blue, grey, and purple clothes, gold accents, and patterns with ropes, stripes, or waves. For the coldest months, we put on fisherman sweaters, cozy socks, and a heat wool coat.

The emphasis on gardening and flowers is spot on.

Woman watering flowers

Hydrangeas are the preferred coastal grandmother flower on TikTok.Maryna Andriichenko/Getty

In a follow-up video in regards to the aesthetic, Nicoleta described a quintessential Hamptons coastal grandmother backyard as being “larger than your first residence.”

In my expertise, a sizeable backyard is necessary to individuals when selecting a house in these areas, because of the recognition of coastal landscaping and rising your individual components.

Flowers additionally play an enormous half in coastal tradition, however whereas TikTok appears to focus particularly on hydrangeas, coastal residents develop many different vegetation that thrive in sandy soil like daylilies, sea pink, portulaca, geraniums, and roses.



Coastal neighborhoods do are likely to have the distinctive look TikTok has seen.

Row of houses with American flags

American flags are widespread in conventional coastal cities.Grace Cary/Getty

When selecting residence and backyard decor, seaside householders take into account sandy soil and salty air.

Coastal houses are sometimes sided in distinct cedar shingles that get a pale, weathered look over time. In comparison with conventional siding, these shingles are extra resistant to rotting brought on by ocean air.

TikToks usually present an American flag flying outdoors coastal grandmother-style houses. That is correct, however solely in the summertime from Memorial Day to Labor Day. The scale of the flagpoles — which will be as much as the identical top as the house itself — is taken into account a standing image in lots of communities.


A typical decor merchandise TikTok thinks of as a development is extra about practicality.

Lemons and lemonade on kitchen table.

Lemons are quite common in coastal kitchens.VICUSCHKA/Getty

One widespread decor merchandise talked about on TikTok that’s positively correct is having a bowl of lemons to embellish the kitchen counter. This is not nearly aesthetics although, it is as a result of we continuously eat seafood which is historically served with lemon so as to neutralize the “fishy” style and provides dishes a brisker taste.

Equally, vases of contemporary flowers from the backyard are as widespread within the coastal houses I grew up with as TikTok makes them appear, as is — in my household — having a piano in your house, which is a frequent function of coastal grandmother TikToks. (Sure, my grandmother had one.)

The meals TikTok thinks coastal grandmothers eat is not fully correct.


I used to be shocked to see heavy pasta dishes and garlicky salads introduced as coastal recipes. In my expertise, these meals are robust to abdomen after a day of solar and sand, and coastal delicacies tends to focus on fish and seafood.

My nice grandmother’s favourite meal was Block Island swordfish, which is regionally sourced from Rhode Island. Practically a century later, we nonetheless serve it to friends and share tales about my grandmother’s custom of consuming swordfish with gherkin pickles.

Lobster boils and clam bakes are additionally widespread staples of summer time cooking in my household. We maintain these feasts to have fun the beginning of summer time, Independence Day, or different particular occasions.

TikTok is correct in regards to the coastal grandmother love of tea events and vintage china.

Summer garden tea party.

Vintage china is widespread in some coastal households.Bignai/Getty Photographs

A number of of the TikTok movies suggest serving tea and utilizing “informal china.” One video particularly recommends a lavender tea recipe, which can be as a result of some kinds of lavenders naturally develop on the coast.

My household picks mint from the backyard to make “solar tea.” We chop the mint, place it in a pitcher of water with black tea luggage, and go away it within the solar all day.

I additionally discovered espresso cake and lemon loaf recipes on TikTok, which do look impressively much like the muffins my coastal grandmothers served. I’ve spent many blissful mornings sitting on the patio, consuming solar tea, consuming baked goodies, and listening to the hum of the waves.

Nicoleta mentions serving these coastal recipes on china, which is spot on in my neighborhood, the place coastal households usually have particular serving dishes, normally handed down by means of the household.

At our home, we won’t wash a lot of the crockery within the dishwasher as a result of it is very delicate and no less than 100 years previous. Our china, like a lot of the gadgets in our home, normally has a narrative to go together with it: gifted from a distant royal household, saved from communists throughout the Russian revolution, used throughout the civil struggle, and so forth.

All these antiques could make seashore holidays with younger youngsters a bit difficult since I am consistently apprehensive my youngsters will break one thing. One in all their favourite gadgets is a little bit chair that belonged to my great-great-great grandfather, so it is from the 1800s. To date, we have managed to maintain it intact.

My actual coastal grandmother wouldn’t be impressed by the Spotify playlist hooked up to the development.

Spotify's coastal grandmother playlist

Spotify’s coastal grandmother playlist.Spotify

To spherical out the coastal grandma aesthetic, Nicoleta created a playlist on Spotify that has racked up over 65,000 likes and the songs are continuously used within the background of TikTok movies in regards to the development. From “This Will Be” by Natalie Cole to “Save Room” by John Legend, to my thoughts the playlist is extra Nancy Meyers rom-com soundtrack than oceanic track assortment. It may be a sensible choice for falling in love by the ocean, however that is all.

My grandparents by no means listened to the fashionable pop artists on Nicoleta’s playlist like John Legend or Colbie Caillat. They usually completely would not contact a band named High-quality Younger Cannibals, which they’d have discovered stunning and ill-mannered. (They’d have been very well mannered for those who had been to play it for them, although.)

I already revealed that my coastal grandmother had a grand piano, and as you would possibly count on, she liked classical music. Her ocean home was crammed with Mozart and Tchaikovsky. For extra fashionable music, the tunes I heard by the ocean included Pavarotti and Lawrence Welk.

Above all, we like to hearken to the ocean from our home on the shore. We preserve the home windows open so we will eat, sleep, and play whereas listening to the seagulls and crashing waves.

Total TikTok has captured the spirit of my coastal-grandmother expertise.

Writer Allison Kenien with her coastal grandmother.

Author Allison Kenien along with her coastal grandmother.Allison Kenien

It is simple to see why TikTok has fallen in love with the coastal grandmother way of life. Analysis reveals that time in nature reduces stress and even salt air can enhance temper well being.

From every day walks to neighborhood mixers, spending time outdoors drives the temper and mentality of a coastal grandmother. I really like working alongside the shore early within the morning, when fishermen reel within the first catch and surfers experience waves earlier than work. These moments join your coronary heart and soul to the ocean.

And it is not simply in summer time. Being on the empty seashores within the low season creates an unparalleled interior calm and quiet. As a baby, I might go for lengthy walks alongside the frosty shores, after which I’d return to my grandparents’ home, which was at all times heat with good smells and noisy laughter, even on these frigid days.

My grandparents made the ocean magic final all yr lengthy, even when the glitz and glimmer of the summer time season had ended.

On the coronary heart of the coastal grandmother is sharing the spirit of the seaside with others. You may carry that heat and love wherever, by means of any season. Nicoleta did seize that on TikTok, and I am glad she inspired everybody to expertise it.

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