Not to be confused with kitschy, dated nautically-themed interiors that feature "Gone to the Beach" signs or anchors masquerading as wall decor, the best coastal style is a refined take on the escapist fantasy of what it feels like to live in a beach house.
A coastal decor scheme is characterized by a limited palette of soft colors reminiscent of sand and sea and natural materials like weathered wood and rattan. Coastal design works especially well in airy, open plan rooms that maximize natural light, creating breezy, crowd-pleasing spaces with a timeless appeal and a fresh, current feel.
Check out these effortlessly chic coastal-inspired kitchens that offer elevated style and feel-good beach vibes to inspire your kitchen makeover.
01 of 15
This Nantucket kitchen by Chicago-based Rae Duncan Interior Design has deep blue-gray cabinetry, dark wood floors, and weathered wood bar stools that create a moody New England coastal feel. Patterned white tiles adds subtle wave-like movement to the kitchen backsplash; creamy white countertops and pendant lights function like whitecaps in a blue sea, and create a comfortable, timeless atmosphere.Continue to 2 of 15 below.
02 of 15
Joselyn Rendon Interiors transformed a dark and dated Murrieta, CA kitchen into a bright and happy kitchen oasis with West Coast appeal. Shades of white and cream on the walls lighten up the space, while vibrant blue lower cabinets provide color and interest. Wood flooring in a weathered gray finish adds another coastal note that recalls driftwood. Natural elements like woven rattan stools and window treatments add warmth and earthiness to the feel-good design.Continue to 3 of 15 below.
03 of 15
This elevated coastal kitchen designed by award-winning Australian firm Decus Interiors is located in a 1940s seaside apartment owned by a Sydney-based fashion blogger and her partner. Rather than your standard coastal palette of whites and blues, this stunning interior has a breezy, sandswept feel achieved by mixing materials in pale, golden tones, like washed plywood and Calacatta marble with gold veining. Simple wood stools and touches of gleaming metal on lighting and the light-reflecting backsplash lends the airy open space a touch of polish and glamour.Continue to 4 of 15 below.
04 of 15
Masculine Beach House
Blogger Will Taylor of Bright Bazaar created a modern, masculine take on coastal style in his renovated beach house kitchen with a palette of intense navy blue and soft cool grays that gives it a calming and homey appeal. Natural rope bar stools, pale European oak floors, white shiplap walls, Cape Cod subway tile, a brass faucet, and hexagon-shaped hardware knobs are some of the well-chosen details that give the modest space polish and cohesion. A spacious peninsula defined by a pair of bronze and brass pendant lights creates a comfortable eat-in kitchen space perfect for everyday living.Continue to 5 of 15 below.
05 of 15
Audrey G. Kennedy of AGK Design Studio specializes in coastal designs. In this easygoing coastal kitchen, tall lifeguard-style chairs with blue and white sailor stripe fabric are a fun nod to the beach. The rest of the kitchen is light, bright, and all-white, with touches of warm toned metal to add warmth. While the kitchen is quite spacious, this is the kind of coastal look you can emulate in a smaller space to similar effect.Continue to 6 of 15 below.
06 of 15
This Southampton, NY coastal kitchen from NYC-based SUK Design Group highlights the literal view of the coast from its bank of windows by keeping things understated and timeless. Classic glass-front cabinetry is painted in crisp white to match the walls and ceiling for a seamless look. A gleaming white subway tile backsplash reflects light from the adjacent windows. A pair of brass and opaque glass globe pendant lights anchor the cozy island without obstructing views.Continue to 7 of 15 below.
07 of 15
French Country Coastal
This coastal kitchen from Audrey G. Kennedy of AGK Design Studio shows how easily you can change the tone of a neutral coastal space depending on your selection of bar stools. Here, comfortable, upholstered French-style seating invites lingering over meals and conversation. It adds a slightly more formal note to the kitchen space, with its classic white cabinetry, vintage-style industrial pendant lighting, and built-in wine fridge and wine rack.Continue to 8 of 15 below.
08 of 15
Shades of White
This airy Sea Girt, NJ kitchen from Christina Kim Interior Design has white walls, ceilings, and kitchen cabinets that include glass-front detailing that matches the classic paned kitchen windows. A generous kitchen island in white wood and stone is surrounded by contemporary pale wood bar stools that complement natural wood floors. A gleaming white subway tile backsplash and mixed metals on appliances, hardware and lighting create a fresh, updated classic feel for this spacious kitchen.Continue to 9 of 15 below.
09 of 15
In this stylish Southern California coastal kitchen, also from AGK Design Studio, a palette of blue-grays and tones of white and pale wood floors set the coastal theme. Woven wicker bar stools play on traditional blue and white sailor stripes and their herringbone pattern is echoed in a pale icy blue kitchen backsplash. Chunky wooden pendant lights above the island add a rustic chic element.Continue to 10 of 15 below.
10 of 15
Boston-based Desiree Burns Interiors created a "modern coastal glam" aesthetic in this Newport, RI home located mere minutes from the beach. "The design plan was to achieve a cozy beach vibe," Burns says, "but with a modern-glam twist. A more sophisticated feel than you usually get from a beach pad." Touches of black on pendant lights hung over the peninsula and on the kitchen backsplash add contrast and sophistication. Gleaming gold-toned metallic bar stools and a crystal chandelier hung from the high point of the tall ceilings adds a touch of bling.Continue to 11 of 15 below.
11 of 15
Light and Breezy
This airy cabana kitchen from Manasquan, New Jersey-based Christina Kim Interior Design has white cabinetry and appliances, with fresh mint green accents such as a painted metal stool and a painted ceiling that hints at a shoreline palette without being too obvious. Outside there are stools to pull up to the counter outside the kitchen window, creating a carefree indoor-outdoor feel.Continue to 12 of 15 below.
12 of 15
Interior designer Cathie Hong of Cathie Hong Interiors describes this San Jose, CA kitchen decor as a hybrid between modern and rustic farmhouse. But the pretty shades of blue, warm wood elements, abundant natural light, and airy, uncluttered feel gives it a subtle coastal vibe that's simple to replicate in any space.Continue to 13 of 15 below.
13 of 15
This elegant contemporary open plan kitchen designed by Dublin-based Kingston Lafferty Design uses an understated palette of whites and subtle blues that could easily be used as inspiration for a sophisticated take on a coastal aesthetic. Glossy white kitchen cabinetry reflects light and creates a spacious feel, while the streamlined color palette creates a serene, soothing, and timeless oasis effect.Continue to 14 of 15 below.
14 of 15
Desiree Burns Interiors created a subtle coastal feel in this condo, with a shiny white-on-white palette, brass hardware, quartz countertops, and a penny tile feature wall. Sheepskin adds coziness to the bar stools and rattan pendant lights add a natural element.Continue to 15 of 15 below.
15 of 15
This spacious contemporary coastal kitchen from Chicago-based Rae Duncan Interior Design was designed to harmonize with a view of the Gold Coast outside the windows. Shades of blue, gray, and white, plus plenty of pale, natural woods, leather, and stone, reinforces the connection between indoors and out.