Cape Cod Kitchen Design

Get the info you need for Cape Cod kitchen design, and get ready to create a comfortable and elegant kitchen design in your home.
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By: Sean McEvoy

If you're planning a kitchen remodel and you prefer a casually elegant design, you may want to explore the wide range of Cape Cod kitchen design ideas available.

Coastal-Inspired Kitchens and Dining Rooms

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Ocean-Blue Accents

A large candle chandelier is the center of attention in this Nantucket-style kitchen and dining area. Candles, starfish accessories and a rustic dining table create a truly coastal-inspired space. To keep with the coastal design, designer Bruce Palmer incorporated an ocean-blue color palette from the dining chairs through to the kitchen backsplash. Patterned hardwood flooring is a lighthearted and visually appealing approach to the design. Construction by Dewson Construction; architecture by Olivieri, Shousky & Kiss Architects; photography by John Jenkins

Sailboat Sculpture

A sailboat sculpture sits on top of a weathered dresser, which represents the ocean, and an abstract painting of a sunset adds the only source of color. RMS user waterlover kept everything else to a minimum for a simple, relaxed look.

Breezy Eating Nook

A light blue color palette gives the sense of an ocean breeze in this laid-back eating nook. Seahorse artwork, made of beadboard, brings a nautical touch, while the curves of the table legs mimic ocean waves. Design by Lynn Morgan

From: Lynn Morgan

Mix and Match Furniture

Designer Anisa Darnell mixed metal with reclaimed lumber to create an informal look, much like a relaxed day on the beach. The variety of chairs adds a visual aesthetic, while the neutral color palette ties them all together. Photography by Jennifer Kesler

Lighthearted Kitchen

Wicker baskets and plants bring life to this kitchen designed by Layla Palmer. A beadboard backsplash evokes a casual look to the space, and vintage hanging planters represent the weathered look often associated with coastal design.

Photo By: HGTV fan Layla Palmer

Beach Glass and Wood Features

Glass-front cabinets make this kitchen feel more open because it reflects natural light. The weathered look of the kitchen peninsula is a natural element often associated with beach-inspired style. Designer Sarah Richardson chose a lighter wood for the ceiling to continue the open look.

Refreshing and Inviting

A modern farmhouse sink, mixed with contemporary furnishings, brings a lighthearted touch to this small kitchen designed by Regan Baker. A white color palette and open shelving keep things light and refreshing, and a custom Roman shade ties in turquoise accents found throughout the home.

Bright Breakfast Nook

A birdcage chandelier gives nod to the waterfowl associated with the beach. Bamboo chairs and a solid mahogany table bring natural touches, while a blue cotton area rug and sheer white draperies refresh the space.

Abundance of Natural Light

An open floor plan, reminiscent of the vast ocean, is a key element in coastal design. Designer Bruce Palmer took advantage of the abundance of windows by keeping the walls white to reflect more light. Wood furniture and accents bring natural elements to the space, and a glass bubble chandelier represents the water and seamlessly connects the kitchen to the adjacent living space. Construction by Dewson Construction; architecture by Barnardon Haber Holloway; photography by John Jenkins

Inviting Dining Space

Natural elements and a neutral color palette surround this open dining area. Textured furniture and walls epitomize a sandy beach while giving the feeling of a lived-in space. A capiz shell chandelier completes the coastal design. Design by Lisa Sherry

Casual, Open Floor Plan

The rattan furniture in this neutral dining room instantly transforms the space into a casual place to dine with family and friends. Two carriage lights and white orchids bring warmth to the space, and wainscoting adds texture for a beachy feel. Regan Baker Design

Casual Dining Room

The rattan furniture in this neutral dining room instantly transforms the space into a casual place to dine with family and friends. Two carriage lights and white orchids bring warmth to the space, and wainscoting adds texture for a beachy feel. Design by Darci Goodman

Add Some Shine

The light gray kitchen island creates a stark contrast against the dark wood flooring. The gray color palette enhances the gray-green color tones of the Calacatta marble countertop. The chrome light fixtures and hardware add shine to an otherwise casual kitchen. Design by Darci Goodman

Farmhouse Meets Coastal

Designer Anissa Swanzy paired white cabinets with a green farmhouse sink for a clean, crisp look that personifies ocean waves. White subway tiles and Carrera marble enhance the clean look, which is offset by a black kitchen island.

From: Anissa Swanzy

Minimalist Beach Design

An all-white color palette and sleek furniture are normally a nod to modern design, but the addition of fresh flowers and minimalist furnishings gives this space more of a simple beach look. The crisp color palette continues into the kitchen for a unified look. Design by Andreas Charalambous

Fresh White Accents

Wicker baskets are a staple storage solution in coastal design. To further enhance the beach look, designer Anisa Darnell incorporated white open shelving, glass pendant lighting, and capiz and gold accents. Photography by Sarah Dorio

Beach-Style Table Setting

Rattan charger plates and an ocean-blue color palette implement reminders from the beach. This table setting by RMS user littlemissdoitall features a white hydrangea centerpiece and other simple elements for an easygoing feel.

Refreshing and Bright

The lemon color of the Roman shade represents sunshine and the sand, bringing an inspiring beach feel to this kitchen design by RMS user Biolau. A butcher-block countertop makes the space feel comfortable and earthy, while a light-blue backsplash is calming.

Welcoming and classic at the same time, Cape Cod-style kitchens are inspired by those found in the vacation or summer homes found in traditionally tony Cape Cod. Light and bright painted wood cabinets, beadboard on walls, airy layouts, nautical themes, and overall comfortable and guest-friendly feel are all hallmarks of Cape Cod-style kitchen designs.

Storage is always an essential element of any space that's going to be used for cooking, eating and cleaning, and that's no different for Cape Cod-style kitchens. Cabinets provide the greatest opportunity for storage in a Cape Cod kitchen, but banks of imposing cabinets can create a stuffy feel, which is the opposite of the desired, more casual effect. One trick that can help is to combine closed cabinets with open shelving, or to leave the doors off of some banks of cabinets—or to employ both tactics for a truly open cabinet scheme. Another benefit of this approach is that your favorite kitchen wares can be prominently on display for guests, as well as easily reachable for you and any other cooks in the kitchen.

Color schemes are also hugely important in Cape Cod kitchen designs. Whites, beiges, light yellows, blues and greens are all common colors, since Cape Cod kitchens tend to be bright, welcoming spaces. By contrast, floors, countertops and furniture may feature darker hues, often via the use of dark wood for floors and furniture, and granite or stone for countertops. Walls may feature traditional white beadboard wood, as seen in traditional Cape Cod cottage designs.

Furniture in Cape Cod kitchens is often casually comfortable, but constructed from high-quality woods. The wood may be left in its natural state, painted in light colors to reflect the overall bright design, or stained to bring out deeper, darker hues. Seatbacks, cushions and tablecloths may feature ocean scenes, sailing images or nautical designs, reflecting the seaside heritage of Cape Cod.

Backsplashes, tile work and wallpaper offer a similar opportunity to add visual interest and to reflect the historical heritage of Cape Cod. Nautical or ocean-inspired tile backsplash designs might be featured by seaside-dwelling homeowners—or even those land-lubbers who simply want to be reminded of the sea each morning as they rise to meet the day.

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