Coastal Kitchens: Design Ideas for a Beachy Vibe

  • By: Kitchen Informant
  • Date: May 24, 2024

Coastal kitchens are a popular design choice for homeowners who want to bring a relaxed, beachy vibe into their homes.

These kitchens often feature light, airy colors, natural materials, and breezy details that evoke the feeling of being on vacation.

From Nantucket to French country, there are many different styles of coastal kitchens to choose from, each with its own unique charm.

A coastal kitchen featuring a mix of rustic and modern elements. The space includes a large white island with a sleek countertop and a natural wood bar table with raw edges and a weathered texture. Light wood barstools complement the table. Above the island, two large woven pendant lights add a touch of warmth and texture, while exposed wooden beams on the ceiling enhance the rustic charm. White cabinetry, glass-fronted upper cabinets, and a light blue backsplash contribute to the bright, airy feel of the kitchen. Natural light floods the space through large windows and French doors.

One of the hallmarks of a coastal kitchen is its use of soft, muted colors.

Think pale blues, greens, and yellows, as well as plenty of white. These colors help create a calming, serene atmosphere that is perfect for cooking and entertaining.

Natural materials like wood, stone, and seagrass are also commonly used in coastal kitchens, helping to bring the beauty of the outdoors inside.

Whether you’re renovating an existing kitchen or starting from scratch, a coastal design can be a great way to create a space that feels welcoming and relaxing.

Designing Your Coastal Kitchen

A coastal-inspired kitchen featuring white cabinetry and light blue accents. The space includes a large island with a white countertop and light blue barstools. Above the island, three blue pendant lights hang from a white shiplap ceiling with light blue insets. The kitchen also showcases stainless steel appliances and a decorative range hood, contributing to the airy and serene beach-house vibe.

Designing a coastal kitchen can be a fun and exciting process.

Whether you live by the beach or just want to bring a little bit of the ocean into your home, there are plenty of ways to create a beautiful and functional coastal kitchen.

Here are some things to consider when designing your coastal kitchen.

Choosing a Color Palette

One of the most important aspects of designing a coastal kitchen is choosing the right color palette.

Coastal kitchens typically feature light and airy colors that reflect the natural surroundings.

Soft blues, greens, and whites are popular choices, but you can also incorporate warmer tones like sandy beige and pale yellow.

Consider using a mix of colors to create a layered and textured look.

Selecting Materials and Textures

When selecting materials and textures for your coastal kitchen, think about the elements you want to bring into the space.

Natural materials like wood, stone, and woven fibers can help create a beachy vibe.

Consider using shiplap or beadboard on the walls to add texture, or incorporate a natural stone backsplash.

For countertops, consider a durable and easy-to-clean material like quartz or granite.

Layout Considerations

The layout of your coastal kitchen is another important consideration.

Consider an open-concept design to create a seamless flow between your kitchen and living space.

This can also help maximize natural light and ocean views.

If you have a smaller space, consider using light-colored cabinets and reflective surfaces to make the space feel larger.

Key Elements of Coastal Kitchens

A fresh and bright coastal kitchen with mint green cabinetry and white countertops. The kitchen island, with its polished surface, is complemented by light wooden barstools featuring mint green woven seats. Elegant mint green glass chandeliers hang above the island, adding a touch of sophistication. The kitchen is well-lit with natural light streaming in from large windows, creating a vibrant and airy atmosphere. Stainless steel appliances and a stylish backsplash complete the modern coastal aesthetic.

Coastal kitchens are all about creating an inviting, relaxing, and breezy atmosphere that reflects the seaside lifestyle.

Incorporating elements of coastal design can transform any kitchen into a beachy oasis.

Here are some key elements of coastal kitchens that you should consider:

Natural Light and Window Treatments

One of the most important elements of coastal kitchens is natural light.

Maximizing the amount of natural light in the kitchen can help create an open and airy feeling.

This can be achieved by choosing light or white-colored walls, installing large windows, and using sheer or lightweight window treatments.

Window treatments should be chosen carefully to allow plenty of natural light to enter the space while still providing privacy and control over the amount of light that enters the room.

Nautical Decor and Accessories

Nautical decor and accessories are a great way to bring a coastal vibe to your kitchen.

This can include items such as seashells, driftwood, and other beach-inspired objects.

Coastal kitchens often feature nautical colors such as blues, greens, and whites, which can be incorporated into the decor and accessories.

Adding coastal-themed artwork, such as paintings or photographs of the beach, can also help create a relaxed and inviting atmosphere.

Furniture Selection

When it comes to furniture selection in coastal kitchens, it is important to choose pieces that are both functional and stylish.

Coastal kitchens often feature furniture made from natural materials such as wood or wicker, which can add warmth and texture to the space.

Choosing furniture with a light and airy feel can help create a relaxed and inviting atmosphere.

Additionally, incorporating furniture with a vintage or distressed look can add character and charm to the space.

Color Schemes and Themes

A charming coastal kitchen with soft pastel tones, featuring a large island with a white marble countertop and pink cabinetry. The island is paired with rattan barstools that add a natural, beachy touch. Above the island, two elegant globe pendant lights with brass accents provide a stylish focal point. The kitchen includes white cabinetry with glass-fronted upper cabinets and a white marble backsplash. A pink range hood matches the island cabinetry, creating a cohesive look. Light wood flooring and exposed wooden beams on the ceiling enhance the warm, inviting atmosphere of this serene coastal space.

Coastal kitchens are known for their light, airy, and refreshing feel. The color schemes and themes used in these kitchens are inspired by the ocean, beach, and sky.

Here are some popular color schemes and themes for coastal kitchens.

Ocean-Inspired Tones

Ocean-inspired tones are the most popular color scheme for coastal kitchens.

These tones include shades of blue, green, and turquoise. These colors can be used on walls, cabinets, backsplashes, and accessories.

They create a calming and soothing atmosphere in the kitchen.

Beachy Neutrals

Beachy neutrals are another popular color scheme for coastal kitchens.

These neutrals include shades of beige, white, and gray. These colors can be used on cabinets, countertops, and walls.

They create a clean and fresh look in the kitchen.

Accent Colors

Accent colors are used to add a pop of color to coastal kitchens.

These colors can be used on accessories, backsplashes, and countertops.

Some popular accent colors for coastal kitchens include coral, yellow, and orange. These colors add warmth and energy to the kitchen.

Lighting in Coastal Kitchens

A cozy coastal kitchen with mint green cabinetry and dark countertops. The kitchen features a farmhouse sink beneath a set of large windows that allow natural light to fill the space. Above the sink, three pendant lights with green shades hang from the ceiling, adding a pop of color and a vintage touch. The cabinetry includes intricate detailing, and the upper cabinets have glass fronts to display dishware. Stainless steel appliances, including a range and oven, provide modern functionality. The exposed beams on the ceiling and the dark wood flooring enhance the rustic charm of this inviting kitchen.

Lighting is an essential aspect of any kitchen, and coastal kitchens are no exception. Proper lighting can enhance the overall ambiance of the kitchen, as well as make it more functional and safe to work in.

In this section, we will explore the different types of lighting that can be used in coastal kitchens.

Ambient Lighting

Ambient lighting is the primary source of light in a room.

It provides overall illumination and sets the mood for the space.

In coastal kitchens, ambient lighting can be achieved through the use of ceiling-mounted fixtures, such as chandeliers or pendant lights.

These fixtures can be made from a variety of materials, such as glass, seashells, or driftwood, to create a coastal feel.

Task Lighting

Task lighting is designed to provide focused illumination to a specific area where tasks are performed, such as the countertop, sink, or stove.

In coastal kitchens, under-cabinet lighting is a popular choice for task lighting.

It can be used to highlight the beauty of natural materials, such as marble or granite countertops, while also providing ample illumination for food preparation.

Accent Lighting

Accent lighting is used to highlight specific features in the room, such as artwork, decorative objects, or architectural details.

In coastal kitchens, accent lighting can be used to showcase the beauty of natural materials, such as wood or stone.

It can also be used to create a warm and inviting atmosphere, such as by using soft, warm lighting around the dining area.

Flooring and Backsplashes

A sophisticated coastal kitchen featuring a striking navy blue island with a white marble countertop. The island is complemented by brass hardware, adding a touch of elegance. Above the island, two industrial-style pendant lights with metallic finishes provide ample lighting. The kitchen also showcases white cabinetry with brass handles and a classic white subway tile backsplash. Stainless steel appliances, including a range and a pot filler, enhance the modern feel. A patterned runner rug in shades of blue adds warmth to the space, while natural light streams in through large windows, highlighting the clean, nautical design.

When it comes to coastal kitchens, the choice of flooring and backsplashes plays a crucial role in creating the desired aesthetic.

Here are some options to consider for achieving that coastal vibe.

Tile Options

Tile flooring is a popular choice for coastal kitchens due to its durability and easy maintenance.

Opt for light-colored tiles with a weathered or distressed finish to evoke a beachy feel.

Consider materials like ceramic or porcelain for their water resistance and versatility.

Wooden Flooring

For a more natural and rustic look, wooden flooring can be an excellent choice.

Light-colored hardwood or engineered wood floors can bring warmth and a relaxed coastal ambiance to the kitchen space.

Seal the wood properly to protect it from moisture and wear.

Backsplash Ideas

When it comes to backsplashes, coastal kitchens often feature light and airy designs.

Consider incorporating sea-inspired elements such as glass mosaic tiles in shades of blue and green.

Alternatively, white subway tiles can provide a clean and timeless backdrop, reminiscent of classic coastal cottages.

Finishing Touches

A vibrant coastal kitchen with bold turquoise cabinetry and a matching range hood. The island features a white marble countertop with subtle grey veining, providing a fresh contrast to the vivid cabinetry. Above the island, two large spherical pendant lights with intricate, woven designs add a touch of elegance and coastal charm. The backsplash is adorned with a mosaic pattern in varying shades of blue, enhancing the beachy feel. Wicker barstools and decorative baskets on open shelves contribute to the natural, laid-back vibe, while stainless steel appliances add a modern touch to this inviting space.

Once the major elements of a coastal kitchen are in place, it’s time to add the finishing touches that will complete the look and feel of the space.

Here are a few ideas for adding the perfect finishing touches to your coastal kitchen.

Artwork and Wall Decor

Artwork and wall decor are an excellent way to add personality and style to a coastal kitchen.

Consider hanging a large piece of artwork that features a beach scene or nautical theme.

Alternatively, you can create a gallery wall using a mix of framed artwork, photographs, and other decorative items.

Shells, starfish, and other beachcombing finds can be displayed in shadow boxes or on shelves.

Tableware and Linens

Tableware and linens are another way to add coastal charm to your kitchen. Look for dishes and glasses with seashell or coral motifs, or choose a set of colorful dishes in shades of blue and green.

Linens can also add a pop of color and texture to the space. Consider using a tablecloth or placemats in a beachy print, or choose napkins in a bold stripe or geometric pattern.

When it comes to accessories, less is often more. Choose a few key pieces that reflect your personal style and the coastal theme of your kitchen.

With the right finishing touches, your coastal kitchen will be a space that you and your family will enjoy for years to come.

A serene coastal kitchen featuring a large island with a white countertop and light beige upholstered barstools. The backsplash is made of soft blue subway tiles, adding a touch of color to the predominantly white space. Above the island, two glass pendant lights with rope accents provide a nautical touch. The kitchen includes white cabinetry, with some glass-fronted upper cabinets showcasing decorative items. A white range hood and stainless steel appliances contribute to the clean, modern look, while natural elements like a woven basket filled with lemons and a potted plant add a touch of warmth and freshness.
A delightful coastal kitchen with a soft pink color scheme. The large island features a white marble countertop and pink cabinetry, paired with rattan barstools that have light pink cushions. Above the island, two large woven pendant lights add a natural, beachy touch. The kitchen includes white cabinetry with pink accents, a stainless steel range hood, and a white subway tile backsplash. Exposed wooden beams on the ceiling enhance the rustic charm, while light wood flooring adds to the airy, inviting atmosphere. A vase of fresh flowers on the island brings a touch of nature indoors.
An elegant coastal kitchen with mint green cabinetry and luxurious touches. The large island features a marble countertop and includes a double sink with polished chrome fixtures. Above the island hangs a stunning crystal chandelier, adding a touch of glamour to the space. The kitchen also showcases stainless steel appliances, including a large range and a modern range hood. Glass-fronted upper cabinets display fine china and decorative items, enhancing the sophisticated look. The coffered ceiling with detailed moldings and soft blue accents completes the upscale coastal design, while hardwood floors add warmth and continuity to the space.
A charming coastal kitchen with light blue cabinetry and a warm, rustic feel. The island features a wooden countertop and is paired with wicker barstools that add a natural, beachy touch. Above the island, three woven pendant lights with rope accents hang from the ceiling, providing a nautical vibe. The backsplash is adorned with intricate blue and yellow tiles, adding a pop of color and pattern to the space. The kitchen includes a large range with a white hood, flanked by blue cabinets that offer ample storage. Exposed wooden beams on the ceiling enhance the rustic charm, while decorative elements like cutting boards and potted plants contribute to the cozy, inviting atmosphere.