This photo shows the Pumpkin Cocotte from Le Creuset in persimmon. The homey “coastal grandmother” aesthetic makes for a range of holiday gift options. (Le Creuset via AP)
NEW YORK — The look of Nancy Meyers’ movies. Inside Ina Garten’s kitchen. Oversize cable knit sweaters. A quality, timeless trench. All things pumpkin spice.
These are some of Lex Nicoleta’s favorite things.
The California TikToker who coined the term “coastal grandmother” in a video that has racked up thousands of views since March helped set the summer’s mood for long beach walks, laid-back interiors and that farmer’s market way of life.
“And no,” Nicoleta insists on camera, “you don’t have to be a grandmother to be a coastal grandmother. It’s for anyone and everyone.”
Now that her coastal grandma-heavy feed has moved into cold-weather vibes, Nicoleta has given us lots of holiday gifting possibilities. Some ideas:
Coastal grandmother has everything to do with pumpkin spice and comfort cooking. Share your grandmother’s treasured soups and stews, wrap up a piece of Le Creuset cookware, find a collection of soup crocks, a fancy wine decanter or a nice wine bottle stopper. Even a great bottle of wine or olive oil would do.
So would a nice hot dish, a standout pie dish, some biscotti or fancy tea, a set of tea towels. You can’t go wrong there in capturing the mood. Etsy seller Claylicious sells a blue and gold ceramic egg tray for $87 offering just the ride touch. Another Etsy seller, ZLATNA porcelain, has a ceramic milk carton with a cork stopper in a white-and-black polka dot design for $109.
The ambiance isn’t restricted to “coastal.” Gift a wicker picnic basket, some beautiful dried flowers in a vase, a candle with outdoor or baking scents, a charcuterie board, a high-end set of soaps. How about a trip to Napa Valley? Nicoleta suggests Yountville in particular. Lex has spoken.
If Nicoleta is the Pied Piper of all things coastal grandmother, Meyers the filmmaker is her muse — and Diane Keaton her patron saint. Wrap up a copy of Meyers’ “The Holiday,” “Something’s Gotta Give” or “It’s Complicated.” They’re full of coastal grandma energy. Lex likes the Garten kitchen vibe, too. Garten creates her simple, sophisticated magic in a converted barn on her property in East Hampton, New York.
Looking for a cute, no-cost gesture? Put together a worthy playlist, or just share the one Nicoleta dropped on Spotify. It’s a doozy, featuring Natalie Cole’s “This Will Be (An Everlasting Love),” “Sunrise” by Norah Jones and “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” by Queen. There’s James Taylor, Coralie Clement, Fine Young Cannibals, Michael Buble, Jason Mraz and more.
Coastal grandmother can be pricey, roomy cashmere turtlenecks, or something cheaper but equally as cozy from H&M. It can be a classic coat, a set of loafers or ballet flats, a nice warm scarf. Anything timeless — not trendy. A nice pair of over-the-knee boots would work. So would the perfect white T-shirt or a slouchy bag. Any classic worn effortlessly and with style reaches the coastal grandma bar. Try one of these finds in coats and jackets from Refinery29.com.
“Think everything in neutral tones,” said Etsy trend expert Dana Isom Johnson.
For the home, try a warm throw, an accent pillow or a tabletop fire pit. Indoor-outdoor living is the name of the coastal grandma game. Think what one would do on a wraparound porch. Read, for instance. Pick up a Kindle. Backyards are also big in the coastal grandma universe. A comfy lounge chair set, perhaps?
Coastal grandmother, Johnson said, is “all about comfort and making sure that things are feeling Zen and quiet and comfortable in the home.”
Some other sellers on Etsy, a global online marketplace, have also captured the mood.
The Etsy store Sea and Stable has turned oyster shells into blue decoupage chinoiserie jewelry holders and trinket bowls. Another, Jess by Jess Designs, sells colorful floral wreaths sealed to prolong all the hydrangea, peony and rose goodness.
An extension of coastal grandmother, Johnson said, is a top trend for the holidays on Etsy: crustaceancore. White pearls have been around for centuries but interest is high, she said. There has been a 44% increase in searches for pearls on shoes on Etsy, and the same for pearl bags or purses. The interest stretches to festive decor and all things crustacean, Johnson said.
Etsy seller Melissa Ceramics hand makes porcelain ceramic bowls finished in a pearly glaze on the inside. A set of three sells for $47.42. Another seller, Shop Noir Doux, sells a small vintage-style pearl shoulder bag for $105. Seller Lings Pearls Studio offers a handmade freshwater pearl hair pin for $12.28.
“Everyone,” Johnson said, is looking “to find inspiration from the sea.”
Have an idea for a story, or know of an event we should cover? We want to hear about it!
The National Herald is the paper of record of the Greek Diaspora community. Through independent journalism, we bring news to generations of Greek-Americans, with stories on the individual, community and international level. Visit and support our 106 year-old sister publication Εθνικός Κήρυξ.
You’re reading 1 of 3 free articles this month. Get unlimited access to The National Herald. or Log In