Martha Stewart’s antiquing finds revive this 1980s coastal decor trend for the new year

Shells, rattan, and lobsters will shape Martha's home this 2024 – designers explain why this nautical trend will never go out of style

Martha Stewart
(Image credit: Courtesy of Amazon)

When Martha Stewart visits West Palm Beach, she goes antiquing. The lifestyle guru took to Instagram to share her best finds, and we couldn't' help but notice a theme. From the seashell table to floral paintings to the rattan monkey lamp and the lobster stone, all of Martha's' picks had a distinctly coastal energy. 

Though it looks like ''coastal grandmother'' and ''coastal granddaughter'' have been trending for quite some time, Martha's interest indicates the continuation of a coastal decor look into 2024.  

Designers love the coastal interior design trend, which they say is timeless. Cyble Rizwan, an interior design expert at Persimmon Designs, states: 'The coastal grandmother aesthetic has experienced a resurgence in recent years. It's a charming blend of nostalgia and modern sensibility that many people find appealing. The key is to adapt it to contemporary tastes by avoiding over-cluttered spaces and opting for a more curated look. Think clean lines, neutral backdrops, and pops of coastal colors.' 

Cyble Rizwan
Cyble Rizwan

Cyble Rizwan works at Persimmon Design, a Seattle-based design firm with a focus on creative freedom and sustainability. She works closely with founder, Anu, who holds an architecture degree from India and an interior design degree from Seattle.

Furthermore, this trend is perfect for creating a classic room that will never date. Courtney Wollersheim, interior designer at FLOOR360, says, ‘The coastal color palette is timeless. Shades like cool blues and greens, muted pink or coral with warm white, neutral cream, and beige will always be in style.’ With Martha Stewart’s endorsement, we’re in. 

Interior Designer
Courtney Wollersheim
Interior Designer
Courtney Wollersheim

Courtney is a designer at Floor 360, a tile specialist company based in Madison and Milwaukee. She pursued a degree and career in interior design that has spanned 25 years – earning the trust of homeowners, business owners, architects, and design peers by applying her expertise and vision to various projects.

For those hoping to emulate coastal grandmother style in their homes, Cyble recommends focusing on colors and textures. She states: ‘To carry elements of the coastal grandmother aesthetic, start with the color palette. Choose soft pastels and whites as your base, then add vintage-inspired furniture with a hint of coastal charm. Incorporate natural materials like rattan, weathered wood, and sea-inspired decor like seashells or beach-themed artwork. Mixing in a few antique pieces or heirlooms can also evoke that nostalgic feel.’ Martha’s interest in pieces like the shell table at the antique markets indicates the draw of this style.

Courtney echoes her points on texture, stating: ‘When you think of a nostalgic grandmother style, one of the first things you think of is pillows fluffy or tufted with tassels or pom-poms. 

Coastal living room with blue and white soft furnishings

(Image credit: Brent Darby)

Creating the New England coastal style is also all about the details. Courtney says, ‘Make it coastal by choosing neutral colors like faded blue or green in a gingham or solid pattern. Actual flowers or floral patterns are crucial to capturing the grandmother aesthetic in your home. Adding a super-sized bouquet of yellow flowers inside a floral pattern vase will bring life to your dining room or breakfast nook.’ 

Coastal style is having a major moment right now, and it doesn’t show any sign of abating. If throwing on a fisherman’s sweater on and moving to the seaside is out of the question, using a soft color palette and nautically themed furniture will get you at least part of the way there.

From the living room to our coastal bathroom, we tap into the look with these handpicked accessories below.

News Editor

I am a London-based News Editor at Homes & Gardens. My interests lie at the intersection of design and popular culture focusing on trends and celebrity homes. Before joining Future, I worked as a Content Writer and Communications Lead for Fig Linens and Home, a luxury linens and home interiors brand. I have a BA in Creative Writing from Sarah Lawrence College and an MSc from the Oxford University Department of Anthropology.