The coast has a way of shaping spaces in the most beautiful ways. Coastal kitchens embrace casual seaside living with breezy sophistication and timeless style. These kitchens evoke the easygoing spirit of life along the shoreline with elements inspired by nature, light-filled spaces, and colors and materials drawn from sand, surf, and sky. A coastal kitchen design flows seamlessly between indoors and out to create an inviting backdrop for easy entertaining and family life.

Key Features of Coastal Kitchen Style

Coastal kitchen design pulls inspiration from the sea, sand, and natural landscape of coastal environments to create a relaxed yet refined aesthetic. There are several signature elements that characterize the coastal kitchen style:

Natural Materials

  • Wood, especially weathered driftwood, bleached oak, and reclaimed barnwood for cabinets, flooring, and accents
  • Stone surfaces like granite, marble, limestone or travertine for countertops
  • Terracotta and ceramic tile in neutral hues or in patterns reminiscent of waves and sand
  • Concrete and woven rattan or sea grass for barstools, open shelving, and light fixtures

Soothing Color Palette

  • Soft neutrals like warm white, linen, ivory and pale greys reminiscent of weathered beach homes
  • Accent colors drawn from the seaside elements: blues ranging from aqua to navy, taupes, chartreuses, and sandy tans

Textural Interest

  • Natural woven textures like jute, rattan, bamboo shades, and sisal for rugs, pendants, and barstools
  • Subtly varied finishes like matte cabinets and quartz countertops with a soft brushed appearance
  • Decor accents with tactile appeal like rattan baskets, seashells, glass floats, and driftwood

Relaxed Refinement

  • Furnishings designed for casual family living rather than formal entertaining
  • Modern and minimalist lines balanced by warmth of natural materials
  • Vintage pieces, repurposed objects, and collected finds blended seamlessly

Indoor/Outdoor Connection

  • Wide doorways, walls of windows, and folding glass doors to blur lines between interior and exterior
  • Outdoor kitchen and dining spaces that mirror or extend the design of the indoor kitchen
  • Planters of leafy green plants, herbs, and trees to bring backyard greenery inside

Breezy Ambiance

  • Ceiling mounted paddle fans to keep air circulating
  • Light and airy decor avoiding clutter or heaviness
  • Ample natural lighting from clerestory windows, skylights, and glass doors

Elements to Include in a Coastal Kitchen Design

Creating a coastal kitchen design involves bringing together finishes, materials, colors, textures and decor that evoke breezy seaside living. Key elements to include:


  • Shaker style cabinetry in whites, bleached wood or pale blues
  • Open shelving and glass front cabinets for breezy feel
  • Cool hues like navy blue, robin’s egg blue, and crisp whites
  • Warm wood stains like weathered oak or driftwood gray


  • Quartz and granite in pale neutrals or whites
  • Soapstone, marble, butcher block or concrete for organic look
  • Limestone or travertine with natural variation and texture
  • Avoid highly polished or ornate styles


  • Tile in soft aqua, sky blue, sand or white
  • Handmade ceramic or terra cotta tile for organic vibe
  • Floral patterns reminiscent of vintage dishware
  • Coastal motifs like shells, fish, anchors or waves
  • White subway tile or beadboard for crisp contrast


  • Wide plank white or weathered wood floors
  • Natural stone tile for coolness and texture
  • Terracotta for warmer underfoot feel
  • Jute rugs to delineate spaces while minimizing formality


  • Beachy pendants like woven rattan, glass floats or netting
  • Vintage style cage pendants in zinc or brass
  • Reclaimed wood chandeliers with organic shapes
  • Recessed lighting to keep the space feeling open and airy


  • Galvanized metal in silver, pewter or bronze for taps, handles and pulls
  • Ceramic knobs in white, aqua or coral with subtle coastal details
  • Shell or fish shaped handles for a playful touch
  • Weathered bronze or brass for patina

Window Treatments

  • Airy linen cafe curtains in neutral solids or subtle prints
  • Woven wood or bamboo shades in white or natural stain
  • Roman shades in linen, jute or cotton with simple trim
  • Avoid heavy draperies or dark colors

Decor & Accessories

  • Woven baskets in natural textures and hues
  • Collections of framed seashells, starfish or sand dollars
  • Weathered furniture, vintage crates, jars
  • Pops of color via accents like turquoise barstools

Outdoor Connection

  • Indoor/outdoor rugs to tie together styling
  • Matching outdoor dining furniture, cushion colors
  • Potted plants, herbs and trees to bring nature indoors

Best Paint Colors for a Coastal Kitchen

Paint is a great way to instantly introduce coastal personality. Cool white, warm sand and soft greens work beautifully in a seaside inspired kitchen.

White Paint Colors

Crisp white evokes beach cottages and weathered boat houses. Shade options like:

  • Chantilly Lace by Benjamin Moore: clean and bright white, not too stark
  • Decorators White by Benjamin Moore: slightly warm, great base for color layers
  • White Heron by Benjamin Moore: soft white, avoids starkness

Blue Paint Colors

Different intensities of blue summon the ocean itself. Consider shades like:

  • Hale Navy by Benjamin Moore: rich navy blue, versatile neutral
  • Moonshine by Benjamin Moore: soft sky blue, soothing and calm
  • Coastal Fog by Sherwin Williams: pale and misty, subtle hint of blue

Green Paint Colors

Green conjures up seaside vegetation and dunes. Try hues like:

  • Silver Pointe by Sherwin Williams: blue-leaning sage green, refreshing
  • Oceanside by Sherwin Williams: gray-green, relaxing and transitional
  • Tradewind by Sherwin Williams: muted dark teal green, earthy

Neutral Paint Colors

Warm neutrals reference the sandy shoreline. Good options include:

  • Balboa Mist by Benjamin Moore: warm peachy beige, beach house vibe
  • Edgecomb Gray by Benjamin Moore: soft warm gray with subtle taupe
  • Cape Cod Gray by Benjamin Moore: cool weathered gray, relaxed

Flooring Ideas for Coastal Kitchen Style

Choosing the right flooring is key in creating a coastal kitchen aesthetic. Flooring should contribute to the relaxed, beachy vibe. Some top options:

White Oak Wood Flooring

  • Has a naturally weathered appearance
  • Grayish undertones are reminiscent of driftwood
  • Can be finished in gray wash or wirebrushed for texture
  • Durable for active family life

Acacia Wood Flooring

  • Light brown color with natural variation
  • Smooth finish but gains patina over time
  • Affordable option compared to oak or walnut
  • Withstands splashes and spills well

Limestone Tile

  • Provides coolness underfoot in warm climates
  • Natural quarry texture with uneven surfaces
  • Versatile neutral shade complements coastal colors
  • Softer and easier to maintain than granite

Saltillo Tile

  • Terracotta clay tile with handmade character
  • Rustic earthy oranges and reds, reminiscent of Spanish architecture
  • Works beautifully indoors and outdoors
  • Best left unsealed to allow for improved traction when wet

Bamboo Flooring

  • Provides warmth without going too dark
  • Made from fast growing sustainable bamboo
  • Durable and easy to maintain
  • Affordable option compared to hardwoods

Jute Rugs

  • Natural fiber with visible texture
  • Casual and cozy underfoot feel
  • Natural light tan color complements coastal schemes
  • Affordable option to bring in textures

Countertop Materials for Coastal Kitchens

Countertops play a major role in establishing the overall look of a coastal kitchen. Good countertop choices include:


  • Made from natural quarried stone
  • Neutral gray color with lively veining
  • Develops patina over time for antique look
  • Stains can be sanded out as needed


  • Elegant white backgrounds with gray veining
  • Timeless and durable natural stone
  • Adds subtle pattern and visual interest
  • Requires sealing to prevent stains


  • Heavily textured for organic, handmade appearance
  • Can be tinted in soft coastal hues like sea glass
  • Durable and heat resistant
  • Can be polished smooth or left rough

Butcher Block

  • Warmth of wood adds to the casual vibe
  • Can be used for countertops or as a cutting surface
  • Comes in maple, oak, cherry or exotic woods
  • Requires regular oiling to maintain


  • Highly durable engineered stone
  • Available in pale neutrals like whites, grays and taupes
  • Resists stains, burns, scratches and heat damage
  • More affordable than natural stone

Backsplash Design Ideas

Creative backsplash tile design is a great way to introduce coastal personality. Some top options include:

Subway Tile

  • Classic 3×6” glossy white is clean and timeless
  • Can be paired with accent tiles for pops of color
  • Affordable and easy to install
  • Provides nice contrast to countertops

Handmade Ceramic Tile

  • Cottage inspired motifs like fish, shells, roosters
  • Variety of colors from pale blues to warm terracotta
  • Organic shapes and visible glaze textures
  • Adds handcrafted charm

Beachcombed Porcelain Tile

  • Realistic textures mimicking sea glass, shells and pebbles
  • Iridescent glass tiles with ocean inspired hues
  • Blends with natural stone countertops seamlessly
  • Incorporates literal coastal elements

Ogee Pattern Tile

  • S-shaped curved lines reminiscent of waves
  • White crackled glaze or soft blue colors
  • Borders can frame full tile sections
  • Timeless vintage aesthetic

Mural Tile

  • Scene images like seascapes and lighthouses
  • Random assortment of coastal tiles together in sections
  • Tropical motifs like palm leaves and pineapple
  • Tells a decorative story

Cabinet & Hardware Ideas

Cabinetry and hardware selections contribute greatly to the coastal kitchen aesthetic. Consider choices like:

Cabinet Types

  • Shaker style in white, gray-blue or wood stain
  • Beadboard for backsplash and open shelving
  • Glass front cabinets to avoid heavy look
  • Built-in china cabinet for displayed collections

Cabinet Finishes

  • Painted finishes in pale neutrals or blues
  • Natural wood stains in weathered gray tones
  • Whitewashing technique for a faded patina
  • Distressing allows for chips and character

Hardware Styles

  • Bin pulls or recessed handles for minimalist look
  • Ceramic knobs with subtle texture
  • Pewter, silver or antique bronze finishes
  • Nautical themed handles like anchors, shells or wheels

Decorative Accents

  • Rope trim along top of upper cabinets
  • Corbels under cabinets made of turned wood
  • Open shelving with nautical inspired brackets
  • Under cabinet lighting for ambiance

Budget Friendly Ideas

  • New knobs and pulls to update existing cabinets
  • Chalk paint cabinets rather than full re-facing
  • Use beadboard just on backsplash area
  • Stencil coastal motifs onto cabinet fronts

Creating an Indoor/Outdoor Connection

Connecting the indoor kitchen to outdoor living areas helps achieve the breezy coastal aesthetic. Ideas for blurring lines between interior and exterior include:

Open up the Views

  • Knock down walls and use sliding glass doors wherever possible
  • Stack doors to maximize opening space to patios or decks
  • Outdoor kitchens, bars, and dining right off main kitchen

Repeat Flooring Finishes

  • Use same stone tile flooring outside and in
  • Large porches allow wood flooring to flow through
  • Consistent floors create visual continuum

Match up Furnishings

  • Use same counter stools, bar chairs and dining sets indoors and out
  • Echo color palette with outdoor furniture cushions
  • Coordinate lighting fixtures and sconces

Incorporate Greenery

  • Potted palms, ferns and ornamental grasses indoors
  • Herb gardens growing in window boxes
  • Same garden plants used outside can live indoors

Open Shelving and Built-ins

  • Bookshelves and display units to span indoor/outdoor
  • Open air shelving units in covered outdoor areas
  • Built-in cabinetry passing through the walls

Large Windows and Skylights

  • Flood kitchen with natural light
  • Enhance views of the outdoor environment
  • No curtains or treatments to obscure views

Design and Decor Tips

Finishing touches take the coastal kitchen from ordinary to extraordinary. Use these design ideas:

  • Incorporate reclaimed wood boards and weathered finishes for patina
  • Collections of frames, floats, shells and sea glass showcase treasures found at the beach
  • White dishes, linens and decorative accents keep the room feeling calm and airy
  • Potted herbs growing fresh ingredients right in the kitchen
  • Cool blues and greens blend seamlessly with warm wood tones
  • Ceiling mounted paddle fans circulate breezes through open interior spaces
  • Woven textures blend naturally with wood grains and stone surfaces
  • Before and after photos showcase renovations and design inspiration

8 Steps for Creating a Coastal Kitchen

Follow this step by step process when designing a coastal style kitchen:

Step 1: Remove Walls and Add Windows

Open up the space by removing dividing walls and adding sliding glass doors, clerestory windows, or skylights. This allows natural light to flood the room.

Step 2: Select Flooring

Choose light colored wood planks, limestone or travertine tile. Wider grout lines add organic texture. Keep floors light to open up the space.

Step 3: Pick Countertops

Opt for countertops made of quartz, concrete, or soapstone in soft coastal hues like foggy blue gray and creamy neutral. Avoid dark granites.

Step 4: Outfit Cabinets

Paint existing cabinets or replace them with reclaimed wood or Shaker style versions. Include some glass front cabinets.

Step 5: Add Backsplash

Use classic subway tile or handmade ceramics in soft colors. Accent with glass or stone mosaic tiles with organic shape and pattern.

Step 6: Finish with Plumbing and Hardware

Select galvanized metal or shell shaped handles and knobs. Add a multifunction faucet in chrome or nickel for ease of use.

Step 7: Incorporate Coastal Decor

Display collections of shells, pottery, or glass floats. Use woven baskets for storage. Include reclaimed wood open shelving.

Step 8: Tie in Outdoor Areas

Coordinate flooring, furniture, and plants to connect indoor and outdoor entertaining areas for a cohesive look.

Style Variations to Consider

While most coastal kitchens share common elements there are ways to put unique spins on this casual beachside style:

Modern Coastal

  • Crisp white shaker cabinets for bright and airy feel
  • Sleek lines on barstools and pendant lights
  • Natural wood and stone accents prevent starkness
  • Nautical elements come through accessories rather than built-ins

Urban Coastal

  • Exposed brick walls and ductwork alongside white cabinetry
  • Stainless steel appliances and industrial elements
  • Black window frames and door trims provide contrast
  • Hardwood floors refinished in gray wash

Tropical Coastal

  • Bolder colors like sky blue lower cabinets and coral accents
  • Rattan chairs, woven shades, tropical greenery and palms
  • Wallpaper or tiles with floral motifs like hibiscus and banana leaves
  • Cutout patterns on cabinetry for added dimension

Vintage Coastal

  • Bead board cabinets painted in robin’s egg blue or mint green
  • Checkered floors or floral patterned tile
  • Distressed wood table on casters for flexibility
  • Collected treasures like buoys and old maps

Maintaining a Coastal Kitchen

The laidback coastal style still requires some maintenance to stay looking its best. Follow these tips:

  • Use wipeable surfaces like quartz counters to handle sand, water, humidity and salty coastal air
  • Opt for durable wood floor with gray wash or weathered finish to disguise wear
  • Use painters tape when painting to create sharp edges between colors
  • Seal natural stone surfaces frequently to prevent staining
  • Clean tile grout with baking soda, hydrogen peroxide and water paste
  • Use indoor/outdoor rugs that can be easily hosed off and cleaned
  • Apply paste wax to painted cabinets annually to refresh the finish
  • Check for rust and immediately remove from metal finishes and hardware
  • Use cabinet knobs rather than pulls which show less visible grime

Cost Considerations for a Coastal Kitchen Remodel

As with any kitchen remodel, deciding on a budget is step one. Here are some typical price points to help estimate costs:

  • Cabinets: Custom shaker style $12,000-$18,000, Ikea stock $2,000-$8,000
  • Countertops: Quartz $40-$100 per sq. ft, Marble $50-$200 sq. ft.
  • Flooring: Engineered wood $4-$12 per sq. ft., Stone tile $5-$15 per sq. ft.
  • Backsplash: Ceramic tile $5-$20 per sq. ft., Mural $10-$35 per sq. ft.
  • Sink: Undermount double bowl $200-$700
  • Faucet: Pull-down