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.

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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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.

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.

Coastal-Style Kitchens

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