Coastal Kitchen Design

Get ideas and inspiration for coastal kitchen design, and prepare to install a bright and beautiful kitchen design in your home.
Kitchen of the HGTV Dream Home 2013 located on Kiawah Island in South Carolina.

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Kitchen of the HGTV Dream Home 2013 located on Kiawah Island in South Carolina.

Photo by: Eric Perry

Eric Perry

Kitchen of the HGTV Dream Home 2013 located on Kiawah Island in South Carolina.
By: Sean McEvoy

Whether you're planning a kitchen remodel or new kitchen install in a beachside home, or just want to be inspired by a kitchen design that hints at lazy lapping waves, coastal kitchen design may be a great option for you.

Coastal-Inspired Kitchens and Dining Rooms

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Light colors in soft hues, accessories and artwork that hint at sun-drenched days and a life by the water plus other clever touches can turn any kitchen into a space fit for seaside style.

One of the primary components of coastal kitchen design is color. Hues tend to be gentle and soothing, with colors like sea foam green, light beige and soft pinks and blues among the most popular. Whites and creams are predominant base colors, often contributing to an overall color scheme that's at once bright and lively and relaxing.

In terms of wall design, vertical, cottage-style boards can be used to hint at an "always on vacation" theme. Backsplashes might feature tiled murals with beach themes, tiles in the shape of seashells or sea life; they can even be made entirely from real seashells.

Lighting in coastal kitchen designs is often subtle and soothing, in concert with the commonly light and bright color schemes featured. Task, decorative and main lighting may be used to illuminate key areas. Understated track lighting can be used for main lighting, hanging pendants can hover over the sink, stove and cooking preparation areas, and rope lights or soft LED lights can brighten spaces above and below cabinets for decorative touches.
Decor in a coastal kitchen is often seaside themed. Curtains, placemats and other linens may feature seashell or sea life designs, and are often in soft, soothing colors in shades of pink, blue and green. Driftwood and actual seashells can be used for centerpieces or arrayed decoratively on windowsills or storage shelving. Artwork may also reflect a seaside or maritime theme, with sea life, ships and sailing, fishing and other waterborne pursuits often depicted.

Furniture in seaside kitchen designs tends to be simple and sturdy; it's often constructed from traditional hardwood. Many homeowners designing coastal kitchens decide to leave furniture unfinished or with a somewhat natural stain or finish, as this style works well with a light and bright kitchen design.

Finally, when it's time to choose cabinets for your coastal kitchen, you'll have many options—from modern and contemporary styles in sleek hardwood or laminate, to traditional designs in cherry, oak and maple. There are no hard-and-fast rules for which type of cabinets can work in a coastal kitchen design, though many homeowners will take inspiration from the rest of the home's design style.

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