Who doesn’t want a kitchen designed to look like your favorite vacation destination? And there is no place more refreshing, peaceful, or serene than the beach. Whether your idea of fun in the sun is surfing along the Pacific shores in California, indulging in the latest beach read on the Gulf of Mexico, or sailing on the harbor in Maine, we’ve rounded up our favorite beach looks from coast to coast. Learn, too, our top design tips to help you create the sea-inspired kitchen of your dreams.
Nantucket is 100 percent Americana, from sailboats skimming the water to bright bikes, outfitted with woven baskets, cruising over cobblestone streets. And the kitchen decor doesn’t stray too far from this visual. Mix nautical accents like rubbed nickel lanterns and compass-inspired clocks with traditional elements, such as glass-paned cabinets and white clapboard walls. Colonial furniture, like these Windsor barstools, are staples of this area’s kitchen styles.
When one thinks of Maine, rocky coastlines dotted with lighthouses often comes to mind. Maine is the perfect balance of sleepy, rustic villages and New England classicism. Stone flooring, instead of typical flooring like wood or tile, adds an element of earthiness. A smaller version of an outdoor lantern, like this one, is a twist on traditional kitchen lighting. Buttery yellow walls and window draperies are key to softening and warming up the ktichen design.
Before you start your design, take a cue from the view. Pinetree-lined shores, sandy beaches, and deep blue water are some of the standouts in this midwest region. Get the look of the lakes by layering exposed wood beams and cabinetry with dining chairs that are upholstered in sandy linen. An island in a similar wood finish is great for a quick mini-makeover. Countertop materials such as soapstone, concrete, or slate reference the deep, marine blue water.
The gulf coast is all about a laid-back, low-key way of life. People flock to their famous sugar-sand beaches and clear waters. Get the easy-breezy style of the gulf with an all-white look. Mixing natural textures like seagrass, jute, and nubby linen will keep the kitchen from being one-dimensional. Butcher block is one of our favorite countertop materials because it’s multifunctional, eco-friendly, and not to mention, attractive! Modern, oversized pendant lights pack a big punch with little effort.
Palm Beach is the grand dame of all things beach chic. There is no shortage of glamour when it comes to this south Florida mainstay. Hollywood Regency dominates the design scene with bamboo-trimmed everything, yards of chinoiserie fabric, and vintage furniture lacquered in juicy, highgloss paint. Don’t skimp on the prints in your kitchen design either. Elaborate wallpaper is the perfect way to inject bright, island style to your kitchen. Play around with bold tile backslashes and ornate light fixtures. Anything opulent goes, so don’t be afraid to have fun and take chances!
So Cal, So Cool
Inject So-Cal style into your kitchen by combining traditional Mexican influences like Spanish tile, stucco, and dark wood with modern finishes, like sleek white subway tile and contemporary appliances. Design tip: achieve a bohemian vibe by mixing different styles of barstools or choosing mismatched dinnerware. To pull off an effortless-feeling space, avoid anything that’s too matchy matchy.
Contemporary architecture dominates the shoreline in this Northern California beach town. High impact design and a low carbon footprint are highly sought-after in the area, and bamboo is the ideal material to enlist for service. It naturally grows in humid climates so you don’t have to worry about the risk of it expanding due to moisture, unlike many other wood varieties. Make a statement by using sleek, simple hardware on drawer and cabinet pulls, such as these. Choose mid-century pieces, as it won’t distract from the clean lines in a modern kitchen. Combine function and form by hanging pots, pans, and cooking accessories over the island for added drama.
Rustic and Wonderful
The woodsiness of the Northwest coast is a gorgeous foundation to build your kitchen inspiration around. In this look, it’s all about texture and materials. Repurposed goods shine in this space: think reclaimed barn wood flooring and a farm table and chairs from the local flea market. Painted white cabinetry (click here for our top white paint pick) and pickled wood ceilings invite light into the room, maintaining the breezy, airiness of the beach. Antiqued nickel accents seen on the hood, range, and pendant lighting polish off the design.
East Coast Elegance
Known for its see-and-be-seen reputation, the Hamptons is an area rich in history, social status, and wealth. Despite all of its grandeur, the design remains classic and sophisticated. Bell jar lanterns aren’t just for the entryway. Hang them over the island to create an elegant ambiance. White marble backsplashes and countertops add the element of luxury associated with the region. Display artwork to add visual interest. We love these coastal giclée aviary prints.
The south is known for its slower pace, and no beach area exudes this more than the Low Country. Kick off your sandy flip flops and relax on a porch-side hammock. Distressed paneled wood walls and paint chipped barstools fit right in with the laid-back way of life. Add cottage charm by replacing pantry doors with old-fashioned screen doors and hang tiny fluted tin pendants, like this glass variation, over the bar. Neutral mosaic tile blends right in to its surroundings.
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