Check Out This Creative Coastal Kitchen Design

This family opened up their ocean-inspired West Coast kitchen to the outdoors, making plenty of room for family and friends.

Inspired by the challenge of their Coronado, California home's small (700-square-foot) footprint, the homeowners set to work creating a plan for the kitchen that would maximize function while also delivering a breezy, coastal look. They wanted the kitchen to be first and foremost a breathable place to relax as a family.

The kitchen's success lies in its ability to fit not just the family, but also their lifestyle. Creating a connection to the home's beach environment was also important. The result is a place with timeless charm that embraces the sun-drenched coastal landscape while maintaining the privacy of the indoors. 

Coastal Decorating Ideas

Outside In

The conception of the space started with a bar built in the style of a surfboard. Opening the door and bifold window unifies the outdoor lounging area and the interior kitchen space, great for entertaining in a small footprint. 

Outdoor Bar Ideas

Surf's Up

The homeowners made the surfboard bar themselves, collecting different types of wood for a vintage look. They then took the board to a surfboard shop to have it finished with fiberglass.

Work Break

A window above the kitchen's apron-front sink was a must for the homeowner. Nothing breaks up the mundane chore of doing dishes like a look at what is going on outside—especially in sunny California.

Ocean Hues

Simplifying the color palette helped create a soothing white backdrop with soft accents of blues and browns. Open shelving reveals ceramic backsplash tiles in a soft driftwood tone. Blue dishes mimic the blue of the ceiling. 

Convert Cabinets to Open Shelving

Fluid Floorplan

Since this home is on the coast, the homeowner wanted lots of windows and light walls to keep the space fresh and airy. Painted blue, the tongue-and-groove ceiling is a subtle reminder of the ocean, while tan backsplash tiles refer to sand. A marble-topped island fits a couple of stools underneath for extra seating. Pretty detailing at the end of the island adds pleasing texture.

Painted Ceiling Ideas

Striped Seating

The homeowners wanted to save space and keep the dining area informal. A custom-made dining table tucks perfectly into the upholstered banquette area. Dedicating this corner of the kitchen to bench seating requires less floor space than a traditional dining set and improves the traffic flow.

Sneaky Storage

When space is at a premium, you want to make every inch count. Hidden storage inside the banquette benches holds extra dishware that is easily accessible when the family has guests. Adding a few baskets or bins is an easy way to keep things organized.

Banquette Benches with Storage

Natural Light

A whispy white chandelier brings relaxing sound to the room. The capiz shell fixture hanging above the dining table chimes softly in the California breeze when the kitchen's bifold window and door are open.

Coastal Hearth

The material you choose for your fireplace surround can make a strong statement. For this seaside fireplace, the creative homeowners thought beyond traditional stone, brick, or tile. They instead pressed seashells into the mortar before it set for a custom and inexpensive touch. Tip: Make sure any nontraditional material is firesafe.

Decorating With Natural Elements


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