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.
White Cottage Kitchen
An all-white kitchen plays contrast to this Saugatuck, Michigan, cottage’s surrounding, colorful rooms. Pops of primary colors—red stools and a blue stand mixer—add interest.
Consider adjoining rooms when mapping out your kitchen. Here, a large double window was added as a pass-through between the kitchen and the screen porch, where the family spends lots of time entertaining.
Reclaimed oak cabinets and a farm sink give this Long Beach Island, New Jersey, kitchen a laidback feel.
Add contrast to a rustic space by incorporating unexpected materials, like these industrial-style pendant lights and the metallic-inspired backsplash.
Choose neutrals for a palette that never goes out of style. Wood tones help balance the industrial appearance of stainless appliances and lend warmth to a room.
Take inspiration from the sandy shores when selecting countertops. The earthy tones of concrete and limestone make them a perfect backdrop for bolder details.
Design for the future without sacrificing style. Formaldehyde-free cabinetry and doors, low-VOC paints, Energy Star–rated appliances, and an island crafted from recycled wine vats ensure that this kitchen is as easy on the environment as it is on the eyes.
Spice up the kitchen with a beach icon. This surfboard-style island is functional, funky, and definitively coastal.
Easy as ABC
Letters etched into frosted-glass cabinet doors make rummaging easy for those who don’t know their way around the kitchen―just look behind door C for the cookies. Or make up your own labeling system and have fun with numbers or beach shapes.
Bring some flash to the kitchen with a stainless steel backsplash. Available in sheets or as tiles, it perfectly complements commercial-grade appliances.
Maintain a cohesive look by repeating an accent color in varying shades throughout your kitchen. Sea-green details―whether on painted floors, small appliances, light fixtures, or dishware―infuse the room with understated coastal flavor.
Striped, polka-dot, or plaid, a painted floor pattern adds spunk to a plain-vanilla kitchen. If a checkerboard is your favorite design, try extra-large diamonds painted on the diagonal.
Simple and classic, wood walls and crisp white cabinetry never go out of style. Working with new construction? Get the look with reclaimed wood. It adds the character of age and reduces environmental impact. For an informal touch, hang café skirts in place of lower cabinet doors.
Café skirts soften a rustic look. Choose a classic coastal pattern or colors for seaside style.
In tight spaces, make smart use of wall space with slim plate racks instead of overhead cabinets. Opt for track lighting in lieu of bulky mounted fixtures, and leave small windows uncovered to let in light.
Install pendants over the sink for fashionable task lighting.
Make the most of your kitchen’s square footage. Replace upper cabinetry with open shelving to keep the look airy, and coat the walls in white. (It’s the easiest way to make any room seem bigger.) Create a multifunctional work space: An island with a butcher-block top can be used as a prep area or a buffet table.
Cover walls and lower cabinetry with louvered-shutter facing. It lends architectural interest and a strong dose of breezy island style.
Give your kitchen an extra helping of cottage charm. Beaded board, marble countertops, and vintage appliances set the tone for a fresh, inviting space.
Opt for a monochromatic palette, paired with glass-front cabinets, to make even the smallest kitchen feel more spacious.
Take a Seat
Today’s kitchen often serves as a home’s primary gathering spot, so plan accordingly. Give family and guests (and pups!) a place to hang out with plenty of bar stools and a cozy built-in daybed. This wide window seat also adds smart storage to the space.
To keep a neutral kitchen from going drab, add eye-catching framed art, substantial furniture, and colorful accessories.
Instead of choosing veined countertops or busy wallpaper, try pattern in an unexpected place. Two oversize drum shades in a crewel-like print do wonders to spice up an otherwise neutral kitchen.
Get the best of both worlds with frosted-glass cabinet faces. They have the less-bulky look of transparent glass with just enough opaqueness to hide anything you don’t want on display.
Color Block Kitchen
White paint and glass doors on the upper cabinets brighten the kitchen in our 2011 Showhouse kitchen in Norfolk, Virginia, while the polyurethane finish on the cabinets below stands up to wear and tear without chipping. The deep blue recycled ceramic-tile backsplash and durable enameled cast iron cookware echo the shades in the adjacent living and dining spaces as well as the bay. Designer Phoebe Howard added nautical touches, like a framed ship on the counter and oar above the pass-through, for a beachy touch. Watered-down gray paint gives the wide-plank oak floors a worn, weathered finish that's as beautiful as it is durable.
Retro Turquoise Kitchen
Big Chill appliances in punchy turquoise set the scene for this Caribbean hue-inspired kitchen, where the homeowners selected square glass mosaic tiles in varying sizes and complimentary blues. Select upper cabinets got a rustic touch with wire fronts, while open shelving below allows colorful collectibles to be displayed, bringing in even more pops of turquoise to the space. Otherwise, the space is clean and bright, thanks to white cabinets and shiplap walls. The island—and pass-through topped with a bar-height countertop (on the left)—gives the kitchen an “everyone’s welcome” vibe.
Colorful Lowcountry Kitchen
The open kitchen of this Lowcountry cottage was almost too classic, with its white cabinetry, vintage-inspired beaded board, and industrial oven, hood, and backsplash, but with its white backdrop and high ceilings, the homeowners knew they could get away with a surprising touch. Marsh green paint applied to the original wood floors turned out to be just the right touch and inspired the patterned roman shades and antique botanical print over the wooden bar cart. A tangerine door finishes the lovely look.
Rustic Cottage Kitchen
White walls, open shelves, a pine island, and plenty of white and natural-toned accents make this kitchen an inviting and laidback space. The large island provides plenty of storage, thanks to layers of shelving underneath, while the light fixture above adds a nautical touch. The farmhouse dining table is surrounded by directors chairs covered in striped, seaglass-hued fabric for a beachy look. The homeowner’s pig cutting board collection is on display above the sink.
Bright Teal Backsplash Kitchen
How do you hold your own against an ocean view this stellar? With warm, mod cabinets; bold, teal glass subway tile; and all-white everything else. A trio of punched metal cabinet doors give this kitchen an unexpected ornate touch, and the simple tile floor makes sure nothing competes with the view. The extra-long gas range proves this kitchen is as hardworking as it is stunning, and that it’s ready to play host to plenty of hungry, beach-loving guests.
Teal-Painted Kitchen Cabinets
This Abaco, Bahamas, kitchen feels like a vacation. Starting with the view (white sand, palm trees, and blue sky), the space has “island getaway” written all over it. The open cabinets are painted teal, making white dishes pop (and easy for guests to find what they’re looking for). Wooden countertops give the space a homey feel, and a collection of antique birdcages and nautical charts call out the room’s high ceilings. The extra-long island means this light-filled space is a favorite hangout both before and after a day of sandy fun.
Renovated Nantucket Kitchen
The kitchen in this renovated Nantucket cottage gets extra points for its fun and family-friendly chalkboard, where kids can draw and parents can record needed grocery items. The perfect-for-a-crowd island was constructed using salvaged wooden legs and a butcher block top. The kitchen exemplifies homeowner and designer Elizabeth Georgantas’ rustic-meets-clean look, with strap-hinge cabinet hardware from Period furniture hardware, a La Cornue range, and a Calcutta gold marble backsplash.
Carriage House Kitchen
This galley kitchen (in the carriage house of our 2011 Showhouse in Norfolk, Virginia) is the epitome of small but mighty. With its rich navy cabinets and bright subway tile backsplash, it’s also one heck of a looker. Plain-Jane cabinetry gets a luxurious look with navy blue paint in this super-functional galley kitchen. The openness of the shelves offers easy access to everyday items such as dishes and stemware. The irregular texture of the glazed white bricks on the backsplash is a rustic twist on porcelain subway tile.
9. Outdoor Kitchen/Bar
While this stunner isn’t a full-blown kitchen per se, it is quite an impressive set-up for being out in the elements. With its shimmery tile backsplash, open shelving, mini fridge, wine fridge, and slate floor tiles, it’s a no brainers of a hangout for a breezy evening by the sea. Is it cocktail hour yet?
Ocean-Inspired Kitchen Cabinets
Atlanta-based Designer Carter Kay started with the tile in this DeBordieu, South Carolina, kitchen, and the color inspired the palette for the entire house. A hint of iridescent shimmer sets off the blue cabinetry and sandy trim and ceiling. A light-blue shade on the cabinets and island complements the sea-inspired backsplash and softens stainless steel appliances and dark countertops and floors.