Without walls to block views or traffic, this warm and welcoming California kitchen is as inspiring as the nearby coast.

By Sarah Wolf

Once white, cold, and closed off from the living and dining rooms, this reconfigured kitchen has come out of its shell and warmed up to its neighboring spaces. Custom cabinetry in a rich royal blue, butcher-block countertops, and reclaimed wood floors—welcoming to visitors, dogs, and those with sand in their shoes—are sophisticated but livable choices.

This formerly frosty kitchen now plays the hospitable host to anyone who wants to spend a little time by the beach—and that’s just about everybody!

Before: Plain Jane

This kitchen had a dead-end design that confined whoever was cooking in it into a dark, dreary space—and kept others out as well. The design was not conducive to more than one cook in the kitchen and needed a more open upgrade.

After: Warm and Nautical

Taking down a wall created an instant connection to the dining and living room; removing the peninsula also stopped the separation of the cook from guests. Opting for seating at an island delineates the kitchen without shutting it off from adjoining rooms. The deep blue color of the cabinetry makes it feel a lot warmer, and there is a ton of custom storage hiding within them.

This skinny cabinet puts utensils and spices into easy reach of the food-prep area—no more pawing around a jumbled drawer for the right spoon or seasoning. It's also a great, custom use of a narrow space.

A paneled refrigerator paired with adjacent storage combine to form a stately armoire look. Butcher-block countertops are a departure from popular stone surfaces. The wood’s natural good looks and warm tone fit right into the home’s nautical feel. To maintain the countertop's finish, the owners periodically rub it with food-safe Grothouse original oil.

Styled to look like an old-fashioned stove, this new cast-iron range boasts modern conveniences such as dual fuel (gas burners and an electric oven), a convection oven, and a storage drawer. It’s crowned by a custom zinc hood that will develop a patina naturally over time. By using reclaimed wood flooring in the kitchen it already has scuffs, so dogs, kids, and sandy-footed guests are no big deal.

Tongue-and-groove paneling on the ceiling and warm-toned metals that weather well, such as the nautical-inspired copper pendant lights, balance all of the blue and give a nod to the house’s proximity to the sea.


Comments (16)

March 16, 2019
Love it! Of course blue is my favorite color. I was planning on painting my kitchen this summer with white cabinets & blue on the backsplash & walls but I think I am going to flip that.
March 15, 2019
I think the shade of blue that was used is beautiful, the reclaimed wood floors are gorgeous and smart! I love how this kitchen was remodeled and the countertops are a wonderful choice also.
March 15, 2019
The blue is fabulous - of course blue is my favorite color. I am getting ready to paint my kitchen this summer and was planning off-white on the cabinets and blue on the backsplash and wall. I think I just changed my mind and will flip the colors. Thanks for this article.
March 1, 2019
I LOVE that stove!
February 13, 2019
Goes overboard with the blue. Maybe keep the blue cabinets but opt for a white or wood island.
February 13, 2019
I like the rich royal blue paint you used on the cabnets,can you give me more info on the paint you use, what is the brand and color no.
February 13, 2019
Love the blue. Looking to redo my kitchen could you give me the name of the blue used on the cabinets?
February 13, 2019
The kitchen cabinets are way too modern for me and the atmosphere that should have been created!, The rest is great!
February 12, 2019
Too much blue. Would love to have a kitchen this big!
February 12, 2019
After is almost as boring as the before! Meh!
February 12, 2019
Who makes that fabulous stove?
February 12, 2019
Who makes that fabulous stove, please? Thank you!
February 12, 2019
How times change! In the 1970's,there were a chain of restaurants here in WA, and they all went out of business. They were decorated in powder blue.Shortly afterward I read an article on color, and the article said that blue is the least conducive to appetite.And there was a lovely restaurant 40 miles from here,decorated in royal blue, and it too went out of business.Now I see a lot of blue on HGTV and in magazines.And your photos are lovely!
February 12, 2019
A great look! Love the coastal, and the lighting!
February 12, 2019
Love it! Finally something other than boring white kitchens!
February 12, 2019
Lovely and lively!