In this cozy coastal kitchen, moody hues add the wow—appearing as both easy background and bright accents.


Seeing is believing for this kitchen's designer, Elizabeth Swartz. She's been known to fashion crude chandeliers out of tuna cans and clothes hangers to help homeowners visualize the scale of light fixtures. She has mocked up peninsulas from card tables topped with milk crates and foam-core board to show how the real deal would alter traffic flow. But this kitchen project didn't require any visualization tricks; the homeowner was sold on nearly everything the designer suggested, including color.

In this case, she was big on blue, the homeowner's favorite color, which nods to her Scandinavian heritage as well as the nearby ocean. This kitchen design ran with blues—some leaning gray; others, green—on cabinets, stone countertops, and the glass tile backsplash. The designer then shifted to more noticeably different shades with accessories, such as cobalt art glass pendants and turquoise sconces. 

Snack Bar

A peninsula stretches prep space, adds seating, and serves as a boundary between the kitchen and living room. Beadboard and baseboards gives the white island extra texture and a clean finish. Wood flooring shifts to cork in the kitchen for softness. Click here for more kitchen flooring ideas.

Light and Dark

Soft whites, rich woods (including rustic-looking beams), and dark bronze accents warm the cool blues. Gray granite countertops complement stainless-steel appliances. White trim around the windows gives the space a clean look.

Surface Matters

A granite ledge takes the place of a wood windowsill for continuity with the solid-surfacing countertop. Organic accessories stand out among clean lines.

Bold Blue

Blue cabinets set a casual mood in this Massachusetts kitchen. The room gets plenty of natural light so the homeowner felt she could be bold with the cabinets. Dark accents, like metal barstools and cabinet hardware, carry through the light and bright space for contrast.

Colorful Cabinets

Shaker-style cabinetry—with simple lines, unadorned doors, flat-front drawers and bin-pull hardware—give both classic and contemporary vibes. A large sink is reminiscent of farmhouse style.

Clean Glass

A glass tile backsplash brings a complementary, lighter blue to the cabinet's bold scheme. A tile backsplash makes for easy clean-up around the stovetop. Warm-toned accessories balance out the cool hues.

Porch to Pantry

Stainless steel continues in the eye-catching hood above the range. A porch converted into a pantry expands the kitchen's footprint, providing additional storage and counter space, plus it even houses the refrigerator. A transom window added above the pantry doorway draws light into the kitchen. 


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