Design by Room Kitchens

7 Coastal Kitchen Ideas, and Not a Seashell in Sight

Think: cabana stripes and plate racks.
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blue-green kitchen
Photography by Lisa Cohen/Bauer Media

You can see the signs of a well-loved coastal home in the kitchen: a bread drawer stocked with slices of sourdough, cabinets overflowing with colorful glasses, fruit piled high on the countertop. This space has to work hard so we can play just as hard in the water without getting hangry. And because we spend so much time here whipping up snacks for guests, it’s important to still feel connected to the outdoors. That’s what the coastal kitchens ahead do so well. Void of cheesy nautical decor (no “The Best Memories Are Made at the Beach” signs here), these seven spaces capture the feeling of being on vacation. 

The Jersey Shore Coastal Kitchen

For this U-shaped New Jersey kitchen, OAK Design Project chose wax-finished white oak cabinets—a handful of them boast seagrass inserts that remind you the ocean isn’t far. At the breakfast nook, a glass wall allows sunshine to filter through the small space while tripling as a sound barrier and backrest for the built-in bench.

The Old-School Coastal Kitchen 

farmhouse island with black and white kitchen floors
Photography by Nicole Franzen

Open storage isn’t just a trend of today—people have been storing their plates and cups out in the open for centuries. Paying homage to this Charleston, South Carolina, home’s 1830s roots, the designers at Basic Projects made way for an expansive plate rack and pegs for mugs that dangle against a delft-inspired backsplash. The floating shelves across the room serve a more decorative purpose: They support leaning seascape art. 

The Coastal Kitchen Designed for a Sea Captain

navy blue kitchen with shiplap
Photography by Kara Mercer

When kicking off this project, designer Keri Petersen asked a very specific question, sparked by a portrait of a sailor:  “What if we designed a home for this sea captain?” It was a fitting starting point, given the Seattle house is located near Puget Sound. With both her real and imaginary client in mind, Petersen selected Benjamin Moore’s moody Washington Blue, unlacquered brass hardware, vertical shiplap, and leathered granite counters that resemble stormy seas. 

The Baby Blue Coastal Kitchen

Sight Unseen editor in chief Jill Singer’s dusty blue kitchen (painted in the color Hazy) wasn’t inspired by the water but rather the Ganni founders’ Copenhagen home. Her designers at White Arrow saw something nostalgic about the hue, so they kept the retro vibes going with sliding upper doors and a cabana-striped dining bench cushion. 

The Crafty Coastal Kitchen

dining table next to ombre concrete wall
Courtesy of Kip & Co.

The pride and joy of Australian designer Alex McCabe’s ground-up beach house is the kitchen island made from poured colored concrete, layered to have an ombré effect. But, really, we think it looks like liquid sand art. 

The Wes Anderson–Worthy Coastal Kitchen

Local fishermen consider Emma Read and Sarah Hall’s beachside shack in Adelaide, Australia, a landmark for local seafarers. Why? It’s pink (outside and in)! The sisters complemented the warm palette with a seafoam green floor and candy cane–striped pillows.

The Rustic Coastal Kitchen

rustic kitchen with white subway tile
Photography by Chris Court

The only white room in Sibella Court’s moody seaside home is the kitchen, but that doesn’t mean it lacks drama. The founder of The Society Inc. designed the elongated-collar-rack drawer pulls in collaboration with her blacksmith. More blackened steel finds, like the utensil racks, help spice up the streamlined subway tile backsplash.  

Lydia Geisel Avatar

Lydia Geisel

Home Editor

Lydia Geisel has been on the editorial team at Domino since 2017. Today, she writes and edits home and renovation stories, including house tours, before and afters, and DIYs, and leads our design news coverage. She lives in New York City.