OMG! This coastal grandmother table setting is totally me!!
Are you familiar with this current design trend?
It’s called coastal grandmother, but you don’t need to be a grandma to appreciate or do it.
Heck, I’m not a grandma!
You also don’t need to live near a beach, or the coast, either. (I’m land-locked.)
It’s all about the coastal grandmother vibe.
Do you know what that is?
The coastal grandmother design is all about integrating heirloom pieces with elements that are calm and relaxing.
It’s very light, airy, and laid-back.
It’s coastal-inspired and chic.
There’s no beach-themed decor. You won’t see weathered beach signs, mermaids, lots of sea shells, or cheesy decor.
Coastal grandmother design is a subtle nod to the seaside vibe.
I absolutely LOVE IT!
Thank you Lex Nicoleta for coining and promoting this term and design trend!!
In fact, when my husband saw this completed coastal grandmother table setting, he loved it too. And he even stated that we should decorate the room with that overall feeling.
(We’ve been discussing how to style this room. We just had it painted white. Gone are the beige walls. Yay! And we want to do something that’s new for us…. hmm, coastal grandmother design might be it.)
How to Style a Coastal Grandmother Table Setting
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Step 1: Select the foundation for your coastal grandmother table setting
The first step in creating your coastal grandmother table setting is deciding on the foundation.
WIll you use a white heirloom tablecloth?
Or maybe crisp white placemats?
Or will you use a light neutral colored table runner, like I did?
Whichever you decide, it should be white or neutral colored.
It needs to have a light and airy quality.
Step 2: Create a coastal grandmother worthy centerpiece
Once you have your foundation piece in place, you need to create a coastal grandmother centerpiece for the table setting.
I started with a white-washed dough bowl. I found it a year ago at an antique market and fell in love with it.
A total coastal vibe!
If you don’t have a white dough bowl, a white bowl with simple lines will work well, too.
Next, I filled my bowl with diy fishing floats. They’re a SUPER EASY diy project and totally look like antique Japanese fishing floats.
Notice how I didn’t cover them with fishing nets?
I purposefully left them plain, because I didn’t want them to look kitschy and cheesey.
Remember, the coastal grandmother design is about the feeling of the room. Not going overboard with beachy decor.
Plus, if you search online for authentic fishing floats, they’re colored glass balls, without netting.
Then on each side of my white bowl, I placed a diy rope knot ball and a small sand dollar.
Doesn’t it have a relaxed, effortless look?
The table looks great just like this, without the place settings.
Step 3: Add place settings to your coastal grandma table
To complete my coastal grandma table setting, I added simple place settings that complemented the coastal grandmother centerpiece.
I started with aqua-colored charger plates that had a worn look.
Then I added a white plate.
Next, I added silverware that was my mother’s and teal drinking glasses that match the charger plate and glass fishing floats.
Then to tie everything together, I added a neutral colored napkin on which I had stenciled a coastal design and put it through a teal napkin ring.
The diy stenciled napkins were SO easy to do! And I love how I was able to match the color and design to the coastal grandmother theme.
The key to the place setting is that it needs to complement the colors used in the coastal grandmother centerpiece.
*Note that I used simple white plates, not patterned ones. And that the napkins were used as a design element.
Step 4: Adding other coastal grandmother design elements
Once your coastal grandmother table setting is complete, step back and look at it.
Does it need anything else?
If so, now’s the time to add it.
When I stepped back and looked at my coastal grandmother tablescape, I felt it didn’t need anything else. I was really happy with the relaxed, chic, simplicity of it.
But I did feel my buffet table was lacking.
So I added a plant that I usually have in a different room. (Fun fact ~ this plant was propagated from a plant that belonged to my grandmother. And the pot it was in worked perfectly with the colors on the table. Crazy!)
I also added an air plant my mother had given me along with a small display of clear teal glassware.
Super cute and perfect for the coastal grandmother design vibe.
Tip: look around your house and see what you have that you can incorporate into your design. I bet you have something you forgot about!
Coastal Grandmother Table Setting with Placemats
After I created this table setting using the neutral table runner, I wanted to see how it would look using white linen placemats.
And not change anything else, just the table runner for placemats.
Check it out…
The coastal grandmother table also looks great using white placemats, instead of a table runner.
It’s the crisp white that provides a chic, effortless feeling to the table.
Whadda ya think?
Which coastal grandma table setting do you prefer?
Lovely tablescape. However, I feel that the antique dining room set and buffet do not fit the theme of Coastal Grandmother – it is too fussy. Coastal should be more modern and “airy”. This furniture, unfortunately, is too heavy and ornate for the look.
Thank you for letting me know you like the tablescape. You’re correct about my antique dining set in that it doesn’t fit the coastal grandmother vibe, but it was my Nana’s set that I inherited, and it’s what she chose many years ago. It’s also why I didn’t mention the dining set in my post. I just talked about how to create a coastal grandmother table setting. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I really appreciate it.
I love the Coastal Grandmother look! (I’m not a grandmother either!). The aqua and teal are so pretty! Thanks for the instructions on the fishing floats. I am going to have to make some!
I hope you have a great Fourth of July weekend!
You’re SO kind. Thank you! Have a wonderful 4th, too!
Your dining set reminds me of the chairs we have from my niece’s grandmother, which my sister discovered upstairs in her house when she moved after 46 years, Unfortunately, the table didn’t survive, and the China cabinet/hutch was too heavy to move (we’re 74 & 75 years old!), but I’m in the middle of reupholstering the chairs. They are Broyhill and I think from about 1920’s or 30’s. I’m glad to see you didn’t paint yours white and distressed. Set is beautiful!
Hey Carol~ Thank you for sharing about your niece’s grandmother’s chairs. Sounds like a great find. Unfortunately, I don’t know the maker of my dining set. There aren’t any noticeable markings, so they might not even be a true set. I understand my Nana purchased it from a storage auction ages ago. I’ve no plans to paint it but will be reupholstering the chairs.