Welcoming Coastal Kitchen
The designer wanted guests to feel like they could just walk in and hang out in this space. All of the living areas connect, so to avoid cluttering the open floor plan with too many cabinets, almost everything—from flatware to everyday dishes—is well organized and stowed away in drawers. This also makes it easy for guests of all agest to access kitchen essentials.
Glass pendant lights over the bar mimic candles resting in huricane holders, an element typically found on outdoor dining tables.
The woven plastic seats and backs on the barstools by Serena & Lily hold up well against wet bathing suits.
Take the traditional blue-and-white scheme to a whole new level. A coastal motif stenciled onto painted wood floors adds a playful touch, while wallpaper reminiscent of a checkered tablecloth draws the eye upward to showcase an enviable cookware collection.
Add height to your space by extending cabinetry all the way to the ceiling. Keep a step stool handy for top shelves.
Blue Beach Kitchen
Waves of blue drench this kitchen. A pale shade covers the walls and ceiling while a deeper shade is used on the cabinets. The wood floors carry a third shade of blue. Such colors are a perfect reflection of the shades of ocean water.
Sprinkle vibrant pieces throughout a classic white kitchen for a look that’s fun and perfect for the beach. Not sure where to start? Bold ranges, like this electric-hued one from Blue Star, are all the rage and available in a rainbow of happy shades.
Idea Spotlight: Take the bold hues down a notch by pairing them with natural textures. The wood floor and island in this kitchen warm up the ultra-white space.
Industrial Chic Kitchen
Predominately outfitted with light and dark elements, this Long Island kitchen gets an infusion of natural elements from the copper light fixtures and wooden bar stools.
Don’t be afraid to embrace your dark side. Dark countertops and grout between subway tiles creates an interesting balance against light cabinetry.
Get the Look: The barstools are from Homenature.
Kitchen with a View
It’s all about the ocean in this Buzzards Bay, Massachusetts, kitchen, and the mostly-white surfaces ensure that water and sky take center stage. Even the light fixtures—large, see-through glass pendants—were chosen with the vista in mind.
Two sinks—one overlooking the water and one facing the bar stools—mean that cleanup is a breeze and the view is always a happy one.
Give your kitchen a look as delicious as your favorite dessert with a cheerful pastel palette. Custom-painted appliances stand out against a glossy white floor, while two-tone cabinetry introduces another style twist. Highlight the lower cabinet doors and drawers with light blue paint; let everything else be white.
Go bold with colorful appliances and cabinet faces. Pastel hues make a statement without overwhelming the space.
Dazzling Florida Kitchen
With Shaker-style cabinetry on olive knuckle hinges, open shelving displaying pretty blue-and-white dishware, dazzling glazed terra-cotta backsplash, custom hardware made from a mold of an antique pull, and fanciful range hood, the kitchen is this St. Augustine, Florida, home's crowning jewel.
Make the most of Mother Nature. "This room gets great light, and we wanted to take full advantage of it by using reflective surfaces like mirrored finishes and tiles with an iridescent quality to them," says interior designer Andrew Howard.
Get the Look: The backsplash tile is by Mosaic House. The walls are painted White Drifts, and the cabinetry, trim, and ceiling are painted Decorators White, both by Benjamin Moore. The stools are from Arteriors Home. The pendant and ceiling lights are from Visual Comfort. The hood is from Southeast Stainless Fabricators; 904/354-4381.
This airy kitchen embraces the classic combination of wood and white for a space that feels contemporary yet cozy. (Bonus: According to a report from Zillow, light wood is trending in the kitchen.)
Idea Spotlight: Fun and funky acrylic stools, like these pictured from Sublime Original, help offset rigid angles and keep the room feeling fresh.
White and Blue California Kitchen
In our Coronado Showhouse kitchen, designer Betsy Burnham bypassed glossy surfaces in for matte gray cabinetry and a glazed brick backsplash, but the chrome fixtures and an electrified anchor add just the right amount of sparkle to the sunny cookspace.
For a seemless look, consider integrating your appliances with the cabinets, like Burnham did here.
Get the look: The kitchen island is painted Symphony Blue by Pratt & Lambert. The windows are by Marvin. The upholstered chairs are by Lee Industries. The pendants are from Circa Lighting. The fixtures are by Moen. The countertops are by Caesarstone, and the backsplash is by Ann Sacks.
This kitchen, which was built around a red, white, and blue color scheme, is accented everywhere with nautical and shell details. A sailboat model and a variety of pillows in stripes, checks, and flag patterns lend a touch of whimsy to the nautical theme.
This kitchen has an interplay of neutral and pale blue tones. The cabinetry, marble countertops, and backsplash create an off-white backdrop for bowls, trays, and dishware. Nautical-style lighting above the island helps carry the subtle coastal look into this space.
Lowcountry Cottage Kitchen
Water-hued plates, mugs, and vases match beautifully with mint green pendant lights in this small Tybee Island, Georgia, kitchen.
If you love cottage style, and easy way to achieve it is with white paint. Here, crisp white walls, cabinets, and shelves make for a clean backdrop for colorful accents, from artwork to rugs and more.
Light and Bright Kitchen
An emphasis on color and light enhances this kitchen’s coastal feel. Don’t be afraid to use strong color in big, unexpected ways such as on your kitchen island. So this island doesn’t seem stark and alone in the middle of the room, the same color was repeated in simple window shades. Plenty of sunlight, additional white cabinetry, and warm wood floors balance the bright aqua.
Subtle Nautical Kitchen
In order to prevent this kitchen from being too thematic, the family decided to go with a mix of materials evocative of boats. The cantilevered antique chestnut shelves are reminiscent of a ship's deck, and the stainless steel appliances and large hanging light fixtures over the island call to mind metal boat fittings. A splash of deep royal blue tile is contrasted against the clean white—nothing says nautical like blue and white!
Playful Breakfast Nook
A window-filled alcove functions like a dining room with a casual table, two slipcovered end chairs, and a pillow-topped banquette. The built-in bench and wall of windows make this small space seem much larger. Two vintage light fixtures hung with nautical rope instead of standard chains illuminate the space in this beach house.
A sunny yellow kitchen is a great choice for a beach house. Vibrant colors were added in decorative plates, and a graceful archway frames the kitchen but leaves it open to the main living room.
Though bathed in neutrals, this soothing space keeps things interesting with an array of textures, from the stainless steel above the range to the pecky cypress that clads the wall behind clean, white open shelves.
Idea Spotlight: Pair different metals to give your kitchen dimension. Here, the gilded pendant lights from Aerin Lauder contrast nicely with the silver hardware in the room. “We love the look of mixing and layering metals, like the gold against the polished-chrome faucets,” says designer Anne Maxwell Foster.
Back to Nature
The high ceilings, large windows, and wood-clad walls of this rustic kitchen make the space feel one with nature.
Idea Spotlight: When in doubt, take inspiration from the great outdoors. Here, designers Ginger Lunt and Marion Philpotts-Miller painted the island and cabinetry avocado green to evoke the lush Hawaii landscape.
Brass accents, like the blown-glass pendants from Waterworks, stovetop hood trim, and faucet shown here, instantly dress up a room and “help age the house a bit,” says designer Charlotte Lucas. Select a neutral color for the cabinetry—like the sage green used here–to soften the kitchen and create a pleasant contrast with the metal adornments.
Idea Spotlight: Choose plants with dual purposes: This single palm leaf adds life to the space and brings in a sculptural element.
Made from indigenous white oak, this Fire Island getaway embodies relaxation. “We wanted a simple but comfortable house,” says owner and designer Kiki Shilling. The slider doors pictured here collapse into the wall to create an instant alfresco dining space.
Idea Spotlight: Upgrade from subway tile and get creative with the backsplash. Here, Shilling used naturally variegated Indian slate.
Part of an old Florida ship captain’s house, this kitchen proudly shows its history. Designer Julia Starr Sanford found sandy pink brick hiding behind drywall and let it guide the rest of the room’s design. A pecky cypress island and coquina fireplace add to the kitchen’s aged patina.
Idea Spotlight: Make use of your beach-found treasures. Here, Sanford used shells she’d collected for the tabby fireplace surrounds.
Room to Grow
This South Bay, California, kitchen is made for entertaining. The 8-foot-long island can handle even the largest parties—the more, the merrier! But you won’t find marble or granite here. “Because of its size, we went with a wood counter to add warmth—sometimes large expanses of stone can come off cold,” says designer Tim Clarke.
Idea Spotlight: Look up for inspiration. Statement pendants are an easy way to jazz up your kitchen without taking up valuable counter space.
This coastal South Carolina kitchen embodies the perfect Lowcountry blend of rustic and charming with its reclaimed wood ceilings and Carrara marble countertops. The simple pendant lights lend just the right air of modernity to the space.
Idea Spotlight: Resist the urge to get too matchy-matchy with woods in a room—subtle differences in shade, grain, and texture will feel more natural.
With island homes—this one’s on Figure Eight Island off the coast of Wilmington, North Carolina—views reign supreme, and the right windows are essential. Large casement windows, such as the ones pictured here, open wide to let in plenty of sunshine and salty air.
Idea Spotlight: Put your island to work and install cabinets underneath. They’ll provide extra hardworking storage, saving the wall space above your countertops for views and display-worthy open shelves.
This Montecito, California, kitchen “has a great sense of symmetry and order, which lends itself well to frequent entertaining," says interior designer Melissa Warner Rothblum. The adjoining outdoor dining and living area, accessible via a pair of French doors, allows for easy flow between indoors and out.
Add the illusion of more space and light by incorporating cabinets with glass fronts.
Get the Look: The walls in the kitchen are painted Glacier White by Benjamin Moore.
Upscale Island Kitchen
This Kona, Hawaii, kitchen features honey-hued cabinets and woven barstools for a natural palette that allows the glimmering blue-gray tile backsplash to really shine.
If you love entertaining in the kitchen, make the most of an island by extending it on multiple sides to allow for plenty of bar seating.
Beachy Blue Kitchen
In this Delaware kitchen, ocean inspiration is everywhere, from the polished-nickel light fixtures that reflect the sunlight, to the swirls in the Blue Celeste marble countertops that echo the ocean current, and an ethereal, blue-green iridescent backsplash.
Taking a tile backsplash to the top of the wall can highlight tall ceilings and a view, since the eye is drawn upward along the tile toward the window.
Airy Hamptons Kitchen
Walls, cabinets, and floors are painted white to bring in as much light as possible to designer Jenny Wolf’s East Hamptons kitchen.
When it comes to adding colorful accents to an otherwise neutral space, don’t overlook appliances. Here, a cornflower blue refrigerator adds a dose of colorful, retro cool.
Beach Cottage Kitchen
Nautical elements, such as the handsome rope pulls and the sailcloth shades, give this tiny Cape Cod cottage kitchen plenty of personality.
Find ways to infuse your home with meaningful accents. The azure kitchen counter tiles are almost identical to ones at the owners’ favorite resort in Costa Rica. “We love having them here because they always make us feel like we’re on vacation.”
Get the Look: The flush-mount lighting is by Visual Comfort. The sailcloth shades are custom.
Clean California Kitchen
In her Southern California kitchen, designer Cari Berg swapped the old Formica counters for Carrara marble and installed Shaker-style cabinets.
To make smaller galley kitchens feel larger, white goes a long way. Bring in color with accessories, like a patterned rug or bright stools.