I have shown our kitchen a hundred times but somehow I have never put together an official tour! Today, I am happy to share with you how we came up with our coastal kitchen design. If you are building or renovating and dreaming up something similar, I hope I can inspire you here! Direct links to everything we used in our kitchen is at the bottom of the post.
Coastal Kitchen Design Details
All of the cabinets were made by 1st Choice cabinetry out of Raleigh, NC. The cabinets are Norcraft, maple wood and soft close. The doors are framed full overlay. I get asked a lot about the color of the cabinets (see paint colors of my home), but the cabinetry is actually the standard white they came with. I think they are most similar to BM White Dove, just a slight off white.
Click for: Rug
I didn’t want a sink or a stove on the island- I wanted this entire countertop to be a space purely to gather around and eat together. The dimensions are 4’3″” x 9’7”. For the first year our island was white- we had water damage in our home last winter and while repainting the cabinets I thought why not add some color in here! The island is now Sherwin Williams Krypton. It’s a gray with strong blue undertones. It gives some understated beachy vibes to the space which go great with a coastal kitchen design. I’m glad I went for it.
Click for: Stool
The counters are quartz, which is a material partially man made and natural stone. If you are picking out countertops, you should consider that quartz doesn’t scratch and there is no maintenance (no sealing!) and no staining, even on our pure white. We clean up with regular soap and water. We did plain white Cosmos quartz perimeter, and the island is Cambria Brittanica. Love the movement in the Brittanica! For an extra pop we put a 3” mitered edge on the island. It’s not 3” all the way through- they make it so it fits just around the edge- picture a shoe box top. I love this detail that makes a big difference. You know what they say about details…
I considered some beautiful blue tile I fell in love with at a tile store for a long time. It would have cost a lot more money, and in the end it was just such a commitment to the color. I wanted a coastal kitchen design, which meant blue hues were welcome- but I didn’t want to overpower this space! Or worse – be sick of it. So, I went with the classic subway tile and I am glad I did.
The tile is beveled 3×6 subway tile. If you can swing it bring tile up to the ceiling and around all the smaller areas (one of my favorite moments in here is the tile around our desk area that hits the ceiling). It wasn’t TOO much of a stretch once all said and done, and the impact is big.
Something I learned about tile: if you are bringing in a color, make sure you are going to love it for years and years. I considered a blue (shocker) patterned tile because I have forever loved that color, I mean I know my love for blue isn’t going anywhere- but would I always want that all over my kitchen walls? In the end I decided to bring it into places that could be changed easier.
Lighting that Pops:
Our aged brass pendant lights were a big splurge for us, but worth it in every way. One of my favorite moments was when these lights first went up. I stopped by the house one day (okay I stopped by every day) but this particular afternoon our builder happened to be in here checking on the work. He was super excited. When I walked into the kitchen the lights had just been installed – it was such a game changer! Lighting really is the jewelry of the home! Don’t leave it as an after thought.
Over our breakfast nook we have this pretty white pendant. It’s a little bit rustic and a little bit feminine- it goes well with the coastal kitchen design.
Hardware / Details:
The faucet is the Moen StO Motion sense touchless faucet. I love the clean look.
Our appliances are all Kitchen Aid, we have been happy with them. Not thrilled happy, but happy enough. The refrigerator is not counter depth because there is space behind it for it to sit farther back.
The hardware is Amerock’s Westerly pull in a satin nickel.
Undermount lighting- all I am going to say on this is do it. We put puck lights in the top cabinets with glass fronts.
Put your electrical outlets in inconspicuous places please, oh please! Don’t pay all that money for gorgeous tile and then have electrical outlets stuck into your tile all over the place. Especially if the colors clash. We didn’t “hide” ours- but we did put them sideways to blend in with the horizontal tiles, so its not too noticeable. We considered hiding them more (along with the actual light switches) by moving them up half a foot – directly under the cabinets – but the cost of this change wasn’t worth it for our budget.
I sketched out the stove vent hood for our cabinet maker to design. The goal was a classic feel. A design that went with the cabinetry couldn’t compete with the large “look at me” pendant lights directly in front of the hood. I looked at kitchens I had liked on Houzz and saw a lot of similarities between them. I drew something up on paper for our cabinet maker.
I wrote about our kitchen desk nook here. Trends seem to be going away from kitchen desks, but for us this is the most used space in our house by every family member! Sometimes I swing in this woven chair from the dining room, you know I love the coastal vibe. I don’t trust my kids too long around it though. 😉
What I Would Do Differently:
The privilege of getting to design my kitchen to my liking is an not lost on me. That being said, when people are looking for advice they ask what I would do differently. So I am not complaining, but rather something to note if you are in the process of renovating/building.
- I wish we had enlarged our breakfast nook by just a few feet to fit a bigger table. It’s just right for our family of 6. But when my parents eat dinner with us or anyone else, we squish in or go to the dining room. It would be nice to have that extra space in the nook to fit a bigger table for just a few more peeps!
- I also would have added spaces for two more stools on the sides of the island where drawers are now. This kitchen is plentiful with storage so I don’t think we would miss those drawers. We are big on family dinners- we rarely don’t sit down with our kids at dinner time. But we also eat a lot of casual quick dinners during the week (especially when the kids have sports / activities). It would be nice to have space for the 6 of us to all sit together on the island as a family- instead of just our 4 kids sitting while we stand! That is no good for dinner- even a quick dinner. One day I actually saw this exact set up I was dreaming of in Pretty Little Lies (Reese Witherspoons character’s house!) and I should have just gone for it.
- Perhaps I would have taken a bigger risk on the hardware? I like what I chose, but it was certainly “safe”, and didn’t add anything spectacular to the design.
You can read about the organization of our kitchen desk, pantry and mudroom here.
Coastal Kitchen Design Sources
Let me know in the comments if I left anything out. I am happy to chat!
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