With kids coming home from college and law school, Stacey Hughes wanted a kitchen with enough room for everyone to gather and cook in. She wanted a simple, clean look, with a few surprises. Essential elements for creating this style include lighting, open space, glass and color.
Open shelving was a must in this kitchen. The design allows for easy access to everyday kitchenware and dishes, as well as an airy display area for beautifully beachy green glass jugs. “I had my doubts at first, but [the shelves] are so convenient and give the room such an airy feel that now I can’t imagine a kitchen without them,” Hughes said.
Next: more examples of coastal kitchens with open shelving.
In this simple kitchen, green subway tiles run all the way to the ceiling. Open shelving seems to float on the tile and provides extra storage, while sconces are great for task lighting.
With open shelving instead of cabinets, plates and cookware become objects of art. Use the highest shelf for real art objects instead of cooking supplies.
Choosing a bold color like bright blue for the kitchen island is a risky decision. However the payoff is obvious. The striking color gives the neutral space energy. “Do something outside your comfort zone—the biggest risks often yield the greatest rewards,” Hughes said.
Next: more examples of colorful coastal kitchens.
Retro yellow tiki-tiles almost look like bamboo. By keeping the rest of the kitchen neutral, the bright yellows are the feature of this kitchen.
The bright green kitchen island pumps up the energy of this neutral beachside kitchen. The hula skirt sink skirt doesn't hurt either.
"The open backs on these metal barstools maintain the kitchen’s airy feel, Powell said. At the same time, their simple lines and industrial look offer a fresh interpretation of a traditional piece."
Next: more kitchens with similar barstools.
Open-backed metal barstools are the perfect seating option for this kitchen. The open, casual design keeps everything flowing from the cooking area to the adjacent family room.
Bright lights and a simple palette of green, blue, white, and stainless steel create a clean look and a handsome foil for the curvilinear barstools.
Instead of your run-of-the-mill brushed chrome cabinet knobs, choose brightly colored hardware that injects personality into the room. The cerulean blue against a white background is reminiscent of cool swimming pools on hot days.
Next: more kitchen cabinet and drawer hardware with character.
Simple drawer and cabinet hardware just wouldn't do in this brightly colored kitchen. Dark green glass pulls are a small touch, but absolutely necessary in this space.
Off-white drawer pulls that match the cabinets would have been the obvious choice in this kitchen. However, bright yellow-gold hardware is an unexpected touch that gives the room some serious style.
Instead of typical 3- x 6-inch ceramic tiles for the backsplash, Powell chose 1 x 2 iridescent glass tiles that sparkle like pearlescent abalone seashells. “What I love most about the tile is its versatility. Because it picks up every color around it, the tile works anywhere,” she said.
Next: more unique tile choices.
Small square tiles in ocean shades of blue and green make this kitchen glow and sparkle, just like the sea.
White, pearlescent tiling along this kitchen's backsplash is quite subtle, yet gives the space a sophisticated sheen.
Powell reinvented vintage elements by varying their scale and finish to create a kitchen that’s both classic and unexpected. These strong silver pendant lamps keep with this idea and are casual enough to work in a beachy space. “Create distinct light sources to illuminate every surface,” she said.
Next: more use of distinct lighting.
Wicker isn’t just for chairs – these statement-making Italian lamps add coastal style in a creative way.
A capiz shell light fixture doesn't take over this soft kitchen. The delicate shell pieces reflect the natural light coming through a skylight.
All of this openness and airiness required that clutter be kept to an absolute minimum. “To keep the countertops below the open shelves clutter-free and minimize traffic between the island and the range, I designed workstations like the coffee bar next to the fridge,” says Powell.
Next: more clutter free kitchens.
This home's kitchen is cleverly hidden behind a tall island made of whitewashed cedar panel cabinets.
Polka-dot and striped china transform these shelves into a focal point in this kitchen. By keeping them out in the open, you're forced to keep these items neat, rather than a cluttered mess hidden inside a cabinet.
A beach house isn’t a beach house unless it has wood floors. The wood floors bring the feeling of a back deck or porch inside. Reclaimed or live plank wood adds instant beachy character.
Next: more beachy wood floors.
Dark brown wood floors pick up the colors of the copper range hood, giving this sophisticated Gulf Coast kitchen a touch of rustic style.
Also designed by Powell, the wood floors in this kitchen roughen up the soft kitchen.