Shoreline Sophistication with Designer Kathy Kuo

Kathy Kuo shares her top tips to achieve the laid-back luxe look of the “Coastal Grandmother” trend. 

Key pieces to create the Coastal Grandmother look are cozy cashmere throw blankets, stacks of chic coffee table books, and immaculate slipcover sofas.

“Though the summer has come to a close, there’s one beachy trend that is here to stay ‘Coastal Grandmother’, regardless of whether you live on the coast or happen to be a grandmother,” shares award-winning interior designer, Kathy Kuo, founder and CEO of Kathy Kuo Home. With the mission that everyone should Love Where You Live, and a deep expertise in design, manufacturing, and global distribution, Kathy founded KKH in 2012 as an e-commerce retail destination for high-end home furnishings and decor essentials supported by a robust meznu of Interior Design Services and a dedicated Trade program. KKH offers a diverse assortment of premium home decor products, as well as offering clients the option to work with a team of top-tier accredited interior designers on everything from completely empty new-build homes in the Hamptons, to per-room projects in NYC apartments. “Coastal Grandmother is really more of a way of life than a traditional design trend,” Kathy shares. “The Coastal Grandmother is effortlessly chic and totally relaxed all at once; she has a closet full of linen oxfords and oversized cashmere sweaters; she loves a cup of artisanal coffee in the morning and a chilled glass of French rosé at cocktail hour; you can find her at the farmer’s market or on the porch of her beach house in the Hamptons or on Nantucket.”

The look is all about laidback luxury, soothing shades of blue and white, and plenty of organic textures like linen, cashmere, rattan, and reclaimed wood. “I don’t usually like to get too focused on trends – I always appreciate timeless over trendy, but I make an exception for Coastal Grandmother because it’s such a beautiful layering of everything beach house decor dreams are made of! It’s really just effortless luxury that’s laidback and so easy to live in.” Key pieces to create the look are a cozy cashmere throw blanket, stacks of chic coffee table books, immaculate slipcover sofas, and heirloom-quality glassware. Below, Kathy shares design tips on how to bring this ecru-hued design magic to your home through decor and furniture.

Entryway Elegance

First things first: Set the scene for your very own Nancy Meyers daydream by going full Coastal Grandmother with your entryway design. I love a coastal beach console table topped with personal treasures, vases of flowers, and an understated mirror. Of course, you can’t get a perfect score on the Coastal Grandmother test without as many woven baskets as you can reasonably add to your hall or foyer. Rattan and wicker baskets are not only perfectly complement to a beach-inspired design, but they’re also super-practical. Use them for shoe storage, fill them with throw blankets and extra sweaters and wraps for guests.

Luxe Kitchen Details 

It goes without saying: A Coastal Grandmother’s kitchen is a wondrous place. The appliances are premium, the layout is open plan, and the vibe somehow cozy and luxe at the same time. Get the look in your own kitchen – regardless of whether you’re working with chic marble countertops and craftsman cabinets – by focusing on the small details that make the space special. “Start with beachy barstools and subtly sophisticated pendant lights, and then mix and match nautical chic and modern farmhouse accents to hit your Coastal Grandmother stride.”

Warm Whites & Top-Quality Textiles

When it comes to the Coastal Grandmother color story, warm white is the name of the game. While there are so many lovely shades of cream, ecru, and off-white to choose from, the unifying factor should be that the color feels homey and cozy rather than cool and stark. It never hurts to accent with elegant pops of navy blue or peachy blush in your accessories. I find that warm whites tend to work really well in large anchor pieces – like sofas and beds. The ultimate Coastal Grandmother living room is an insanely comfy white slipcover sofa covered with textured pillows and the softest throw blankets. Similarly, when decorating the bedroom, opt for layers of different whites with pops of pattern and varied textures in the decorative pillows and throws. At the end of the day, a smart Coastal Grandmother knows the value of a well-made item – she’s going to invest in softer and longer lasting sheets, artisan-quality decorative accents that tell a story, and a timeless color palette that feels really joyful.

Check out these perfect picks from Kathy Kuo Home to infuse your home with the Coastal Grandmother aesthetic at kathykuohome.com

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