Welcome to our kitchen of the week, where we’ll be exploring a beautiful coastal-inspired kitchen makeover. This kitchen is located in a 1920s Spanish colonial revival home in Southern California, just blocks from the beach. The homeowner was looking to infuse some breezy, beachy style into her kitchen while also improving the layout and functionality. She worked with a talented local designer to strike the perfect balance between casual coastal chic and timeless, transitional elegance.

Throughout this article, we’ll take a deep dive into all the details of this kitchen transformation, from the sophisticated color palette to the clever storage solutions. We’ll also share tips and ideas on how you can recreate some of this look in your own home, no matter your style or budget. Coastal style is all about relaxed colors and natural textures, so even small changes like new hardware or textiles can make a big impact.

Join us as we explore how this once-dated kitchen was given new life with coastal colors and a better flow. From clever DIY fixes to high-end splurges, there are takeaways for every home cook and entertainer. Let’s dive in!

An Overview of the Coastal Color Palette

The foundation of this kitchen’s breezy new look is the color palette. The homeowner wanted to evoke the colors of sand, sea glass, driftwood and other natural beach elements without going overboard on literal nautical themes. Here’s an overview of the main colors used throughout the space:

Soft Greens

Shades of sea glass green were used on the lower cabinets to add a subtle pop of color. The muted hue keeps things sophisticated but still beachy. Try using these soft greens in your kitchen backsplash, accent wall or cabinets.

Cool, coastal blues

Different shades of blue were brought in through the stunning kitchen island, window treatments, and accent pieces. The varied blues work beautifully together while also complementing the greens. Blue is a great choice for big statement pieces like an island or range.

Warm wood tones

The new wood flooring and wooden accents on the cabinets and open shelving provide a dose of driftwood-inspired warmth. Weathered oak, bleached woods or even painted wood finishes can help strike that coastal look.

Crisp whites

As in many coastal spaces, bright white plays a starring role in this kitchen redesign. The uppers, trim, and some furniture pieces pop in snowy white to feel fresh and beachy. White kitchens are classic and timeless.

Pops of sunshine yellow

Punctuating all the blue and green are some cheerful accents in golden yellow. A little bit of sunny color goes a long way in a coastal space. Try yellow bar stools, appliances or decor items.

By mixing soft blues and greens with warm naturals and crisp whites, this kitchen nails the breezy, relaxed look and feel of a home by the shore. But the palette is versatile enough to suit any location or style.

Zoning the Kitchen for Better Flow and Function

In addition to a style update, the homeowner’s main priority for this redesign was improving the kitchen’s layout and flow. The existing kitchen was dated and cramped, with limited counter space and an awkward work triangle between the stove, sink and refrigerator. Here’s how the designer zoned the new space:

Cooking Zone

The large kitchen island provides ample prep space near the cooktop and wall ovens. Extra storage underneath keeps pots, pans and everyday cooking essentials close at hand.

Cleanup Zone

The sink area includes a window with views of the backyard, making cleanup duty a little more enjoyable. There’s open shelving for dish storage and a large butcher block work surface for after-dinner cleanup.

Refrigerator Zone

The fridge zone acts as a transition between the cooking area and dining room. It features a spacious refrigerator flanked by upper and lower cabinets for food storage. A built-in beverage station makes entertaining easy.

Dining Zone

One end of the large kitchen island extends into a casual dining zone with pendant lighting and barstools. The space seamlessly connects to the formal dining room beyond.

With distinct zones for all key kitchen tasks, multiple cooks can easily work simultaneously without crowding each other. The layout significantly improved the homeowner’s everyday experience in the heart of her home.

Design Details Worth Splurging On

While some elements of this kitchen redesign were done affordably, the homeowners did choose to make strategic splurges in certain areas. Here are some of the details worth investing extra money in for a high-end custom look and feel:

Statement island

The gorgeous marble-topped island is truly the showstopper element in this kitchen. Its size, substantial detailing and luxurious materials elevate the whole room.

Professional-grade appliances

Sleek pro-style range, refrigerator and dishwasher appliances lend an upscale, built-in look that disappears beautifully into the cabinetry. Quality appliances just work better, too.

Custom cabinetry

All the cabinetry was custom built to match the kitchen’s footprint and provide maximum storage. Personalized cabinets make the space feel bespoke.

Natural stone surfaces

Marble countertops and backsplashes add timeless elegance. While pricier than manufactured materials, natural stone wears beautifully.

Investing in these types of high-end details ensures that the room will feel custom-designed around your lifestyle and stand the test of time.

Clever DIY and Budget-Friendly Fixes

To balance out the splurges, the designers got crafty with some budget-friendly DIY details:

Updated hardware

Replacing all the hardware with on-trend brass pulls gave the existing cabinets and drawers a brand new look for just a few hundred dollars.

Painted ceilings

Adding crisp white paint to the ceiling boards made the space feel fresh and bright. This inexpensive upgrade has a huge visual impact.

Spray painted lighting

The dated overhead light fixture was given new life with a coat of matte black spray paint. This easy fix saved several hundred dollars.

Window film

Privacy window film transformed the back door glass into a pretty stained glass pattern. Peel-and-stick sheets start around $20.

With clever fixes like these, you can stretch your redesign budget further. Focus splurges on pieces you use frequently, like cabinets, and get creative with how you update the rest.

Design Ideas to Steal for Your Own Coastal Kitchen

While every home and budget is different, there are many ideas from this gorgeous kitchen that could be adapted for your own space:

  • Mix light wood tones like oak or whitewashed wood to warm up your cabinetry or floors.
  • Bring in beachy blues with an accent wall, fabrics, or colorful cookware.
  • Add subtle texture with woven shades, rattan barstools, or canvas upholstery.
  • Infuse sunny yellow with a vase of fresh flowers, fruit bowl or accent piece.
  • Include coastal art like framed sea charts, driftwood art, or photography of waves.
  • Incorporate reclaimed wood on open shelving, kitchen islands, or dining tables.
  • Display weathered found objects like floats, shells, glass floats or corals.
  • Plant palm trees or succulents right in your kitchen for a taste of the tropics.
  • Install a beadboard backsplash for a quintessentially coastal cottage feel.

The most important takeaway? Decorate your kitchen to suit your personal taste and lifestyle. The “coastal” details can be subtle.

FAQs About Achieving This Look

If you’re considering a similar coastal kitchen redesign, you probably have some questions. Here are answers to some frequently asked questions:

How much do kitchen remodels typically cost?

Kitchen remodels can range greatly in price due to size, materials, and custom work. But $20,000-50,000 is typical for a full remodel of an average-sized kitchen.

What are the most important elements to focus my budget on?

Splurge on cabinetry, surfaces, appliances and lighting as they make the biggest impact and you engage with them frequently. Save on wall finishes, decor and hardware.

How do I add coastal style without going overboard on beachy themes?

Use colors and materials inspired by the beach, but in subtle ways. Think light wood tones instead of weathered plank paneling. Aim for a relaxed, casual style.

Should I remodel my kitchen if I may sell my home soon?

Minor renovations can be smart, but ask yourself whether a full remodel will pay off before selling. Cosmetic updates often offer the best return on investment.

How can I get this high-end look on a tighter budget?

Focus on smaller upgrades like new hardware and lighting fixtures or a fresh coat of paint. Refinish or reface existing cabinetry and appliances rather than replacing. Look for deals on countertops.


This seaside kitchen remodel demonstrates how soft coastal colors and a few high-end finishes can transform an outdated space into a luxurious yet laidback retreat. Clever zoning and a focus on improving functionality also resulted in a kitchen that’s a joy not just to look at, but to cook and entertain in.

While an expansive renovation like this requires a significant investment, there are many budget-friendly ways to work subtle coastal flair into any existing kitchen. With strategic splurges, DIY creativity and personal touches, you can create a relaxed, beach-inspired kitchen personality perfectly suited to coastal living.