urban grace kitchen

Coastal Kitchen Decorating Ideas

You don’t have to have a beach house to have a coastal-inspired kitchen. With the right colors, textures, and attitude, your kitchen can mimic the casual feel of an ocean-front property, even if you’re definitely landlocked.

We’ve got some tips, products, and design inspiration to help you get started in realizing your dream of a coastal kitchen.


Like many (okay, all) decorating styles, you can choose to go all in with coastal, or you can aim for the vibe. Colors are key when it comes to coastal. Blue is the main color associated with the style, but within that color there are so many options. Will you opt for turquoise or sea foam? Navy nautical or sea glass and seashells?

Urban Grace

White is another primary component of this style, and you can go for crisp, clean whites or washed whites. The wood you bring in through furniture or accents can help to accentuate the blues or mute the entire palette, depending on what sorts of wood you choose. Other colors that can work well for this style include coral, lime, and yellow.

Any paint brand you’re looking at will have a selection of coastal colors, including blues, grays, whites, and neutrals. This is often a great place to start before you do any decorating — you can choose a palette that speaks to your personal style, then build your kitchen using items that fit into that palette.

Fixtures are also a great way to play up your theme. Most coastal kitchens I’ve seen use brass or antiqued light fixtures, knobs, and so forth, but I think that silver could work really well, too, depending on the wood, finishing, and colors you use. Mixing works well with coastal decor, too, as it’s such a laid-back style that you don’t need to be too matchy-matchy.

Meredith McBrearty

Types & Combos

In addition to finding the right color combos, considering what type of coastal style you’re going for can help prevent feelings of being overwhelmed. Here are a few examples:

Nautical-themed rooms tend to play up navy blue and white colors. Stripes, anchors, and ships are frequent icons in this style.

Cottage coastal is often called such when the space is small or has a more intimate feel. This style makes me think of the American east coast and the kinds of quintessential beach houses you might find on any of those beaches.

Hawaiian or tropical is what I would call a more vibrant coastal style that borrows from the lushness and colorful combos found on tropical islands. Think flowers and greenery and maybe a dash of boho.

These are just a few of the styles you might be interested in. Don’t be afraid to mix and match, or to create your coastal-inspired style with a side mid-century modern, Mediterranean, global, or really any decor that you love.

Inside Out

Light & Space

One of the markers of a coastal style is that it’s light and airy, evoking a beach house with wide windows and open doors. The trick is to use colors that will brighten the space, and to make use of any and all natural light you have. Kitchens lacking in natural light can still use this style, but it takes a bit more work to find the hues and layouts that make the most of the light that’s there.

Similarly, coastal themes tend to be open and unfussy, with lots of wide open space and not a whole lot of heavy furniture. Aim for open and friendly spaces that allow for entertaining and gathering.


While most tend toward minimalism when it comes to coastal style, you can still pay attention to textures, textiles, and the materials that make up your space. Here are a few ideas:

  • Weathered woods
  • Rattan and wicker
  • Wispy drapes
  • Natural fiber rugs
  • Crisp white napkins, place mats, and towels
  • Simple slip covers


Not quite sure where to start? Here are some products to help you transition into this style.

This beachy kitchen rug
A simple crock for your utensils
Some pretty seashell dishes
This stand-out centerpiece
Add some wall art to tie it all together


Coastal decor is actually super simple to replicate yourself, especially if you are near a beach or brought some goodies home from your last vacation. It’s easy to add a splash of beachy vibe with containers of sand and/or shells, displays of sand dollars and star fish, and printed and framed photos from the beach.

Here are a few other fun DIY guides.

Decorative Fisherman Netting Wrapped Jars
Reclaimed wood whale art
DIY Anchor Statement Wall

More Inspiration

Now that you have the basics of modern coastal style, here are some gorgeous kitchens to draw inspiration from as you move forward with your decorating.

Retro Chic via Coastal Living
Sophisticated Neutrals via Coastal Living
Seamless Transition via Ashley Gilbreath
Casual Elegance via Martha O’Hara


Featured Image via Urban Grace Interiors

Get useful once-a-week emails with recipes, reviews, tips, & more!
We super hate spam. Your email address will never be sold or shared with anyone else.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *