Nautical and beach themed kitchens are popular with coastal homes, but the look can be achieved no matter where you live. The first rooms in the house to be decorated with nautical decor are typically the bedrooms and bathrooms. Now, it’s time to expand that comforting beach theme to the rest of the house – particularly the kitchen.


You don’t need to live in a warm climate to enjoy coastal kitchen decor. Whether you are planning on a whole remodeling project or you just want to make a few tweaks by adding some accents, there are plenty of ways to have a beach themed kitchen.

We’ve listed our favorites here; check them out and get inspired for your next beach kitchen idea! But first, let’s review the elements of a classic beach kitchen.

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Nautical Coastal Kitchen Ideas Ideas & Images

What is Nautical Coastal Style?

This style is originally inspired by the likings of the French Riviera with a touch of elegance. Some of the natural elements of this style include:

  • Crisp, white colors
  • Bold stripes of blue, black, or neutral colors
  • The use of shells, corals, and coastal art for decoration and accents
  • Natural wood colors and the use of wood as a key design feature

Overall, you want your kitchen to reflect the fun, peaceful, and easygoing nature of life on the beach. With a few key decoration and style changes, you will feel like your home is situated right on the beach, whether or not that is actually true. Make use of wide stripes, soft-feeling furnishings, and light colors to maintain a breezy, relaxing look.

This reflects life on the beach; easy, breezy, and casual – but without losing its sophistication. Check out some of these unique and creative nautical kitchen decor ideas to inspire your own kitchen, helping you to bring the beach cottage of your dreams to life.

Repaint Your Furniture

It is possible to have a nautical kitchen on a low budget. One brilliant way to start pulling your design elements together is to repaint your existing kitchen furniture. Strong, bold blues, such as sky blue or navy blue, can really make a powerful statement. Coastal kitchen decor is often composed of shades of blue, reflecting the blueness of the ocean that unifies the design. Plus, painted furniture is a great backdrop for the rest of the kitchen, and can set the scene for other decoration ideas you may have in mind.

Set Your Focal Points With Accent Colors

Adding accents in unexpected places can be part of the fun of designing a beach themed kitchen. Again, think about blue as a strong accent. Use it strategically to bring out parts of your kitchen that can make a strong statement. Just make sure that your aqua kitchen decor doesn’t go overboard (nautical pun intended).

Some ideas for blue highlights in the kitchen include:

  • Backsplash behind your sink or stove
  • The base of your kitchen island or cabinets
  • Blue bar stools against your white counter
  • A blue striped rug near your dining table

The nautical theme relies heavily on the use of accents. While blue is the dominant color in this field, you can also make a great statement with gray, charcoal, or even black. Again, just make sure that you aren’t adding too much; they are called accents for a reason.

Add White Cupboards

White is always a good choice when it comes to a kitchen redesign. This is especially true for your nautical kitchen. White, and creamy shades of white, reflect a pure sandy beach and ocean-washed surfaces. White cupboards are classy, elegant, and up-to-date. But they are still a huge part of the coastal kitchen theme and blend easily with other beach-like changes.


White cupboards serve as a great background for the addition of nautical elements such as wood plank shelves and tables, seashell decorations, and more.

Don’t Like White? Try Brown!

If you aren’t a huge fan of white cupboards, don’t worry; there are other options that can make your cupboards stand out and be a huge part of your beach themed kitchen decor. Brown cupboards can go a long way, especially when they give that natural wooden plank vibe. Brown wood cupboards are just as elegant, inspiring a sense of modernity and rusticism altogether. If your cabinets are dark brown wood, that’s okay – just make sure the majority of the design in your kitchen is light. Remember, light and airy is the key to a nautical theme. Give your cabinets the weathered look for an even more authentic effect.

NAUTICAL COASTAL KITCHEN IDEAS

WATERFRONT

Michael McKinley and Associates, LLC

The blue glass tiles from Waterworks are stunning.

BEACH HAVEN

Michael Pagnotta Architects pc

A quaint breakfast nook in this beach-style kitchen.

NAUTICAL ACCENTS



Delicious Kitchens & Interiors, LLC

Stylish pendants and brass pulls add interesting features to this classic kitchen.

COASTAL CHIC

Kate Jackson Design

The dining chairs are from Miles Talbot in Sea Salt Sunbrella with a Sunbrella Canvas Navy Trim.

COLONIAL

Michael Robert Construction

This renovated kitchen brings light and freshness to the heart of the home.

CLEAN & FRESH



Delicious Kitchens & Interiors, LLC

A coastal South Carolina Kitchen with all of the classic elements!

CONTEMPORARY

Michael McKinley and Associates, LLC

This renovated 1980’s waterfront kitchen is gorgeous.

LAKEFRONT

Visbeen Architects

The lakefront kitchen features natural wood cabinetry.

STARFISH + CORALS



Advance Design Studio, Ltd.

The starfish and coral accents give this coastal kitchen a refreshing appeal.

SOPHISTICATED

CM Natural Designs

A subtle nautical concept for the simple and sophisticated style the family wants.

MERMAID

Piper Gonzalez Designs

The backsplash is a hand-cut mosaic in a custom blend Murano glass.

NAVY BLUE



Olga Adler

If you’re not ready to commit to navy blue paints, you can try it with your kitchenware first.

BOAT ISLAND

DiMauro Architects, Inc.

Have a seaside escape right in your kitchen with this gorgeous island.

SHELLS

Between the Sheets, LLC

Coastal contemporary kitchen in Benjamin Moore’s Spectra Blue for the walls.

YACHT-INSPIRED



Lisa Tharp Design

Yacht-inspired hardware throughout this coastal loft kitchen.

BEACH-STYLE DINING

Woodmeister Master Builders

A compact dining room for your vacation home.

COASTAL CHARM

Dempsey Hodges Construction

Simple nautical touches like the pendant lights, wicker stools, and shiplap walls.

COASTAL COTTAGE



Kustom Home Design

The starfishes on top of the window add interesting detail to this coastal cottage.

BEACH HOUSE

Nick George | Photographer

We love the bold and uncomplicated style of this beach house kitchen.

OPEN PLAN

Advance Design Studio, Ltd.

One of a kind hand weathered finish on the island in the soft blue-green finish.

SOPHISTICATED



Olga Adler

White shaker-style cabinets, large island, Quartz counters, and open storage contribute to the nautical feel of this kitchen.

OCEAN THEME

Treefrog Design

The backsplash incorporates subtle elements from the sea framed in beach glass colors.

TRANSITIONAL

Select Cabinetree

The wood model sailing boat on the top of the cabinet is an excellent addition to this transitional coastal kitchen.

STUNNING



Wet Dog Tile Co.

An absolutely stunning, bright, and gorgeous beach-style kitchen.

SEASHORE

Legacy Custom Homes

Amazing hand-molded “Harbor Crackle” field tile for the backsplash.

SEAFOOD LOVE

Kate Jackson Design

We love the different shades of blue and how they blend together perfectly.

BEACH STYLE



Stephen Graver

Love at first sight for the blue countertop!

COASTAL STYLE

Treefrog Design

To keep the vintage feel, many vintage pieces were reused for this kitchen.

Use Beadboard

Beadboard originated in Europe and is known as butt and bead in the UK. This is a decorative wood paneling that can be installed along the walls of your kitchen for a simple, breezy, beachy look. It’s quite affordable and can be installed with ease. Most beadboard is typically painted white and covers half of the wall from the floor up. You can choose another color for your beadboard, but remember that the goal is to keep things simple and not add a backdrop that’s too distracting form the main focal points of your nautical kitchen.  

Beadboard is like wainscoting and can cover one-third to two-thirds of the wall. Add a decorative molding or base to finish it off, adding some depth to the interior walls of your kitchen. Using eggshell-based paints is especially advantageous in the kitchen as it protects the paneling from potentially getting wet.



Add Transitional Kitchen Furniture

The transitional style goes great with coastal kitchen decor. Again, this is another way to add a touch of beach theme to your kitchen without having to break your budget. If you are a fan of big kitchen chairs with upholstery, get a slipcover with a creamy color. White and blue furniture not only makes the kitchen look upscale, but also stays in line with that beach theme that consistently ranks high in popularity throughout the years. Don’t be afraid to get creative and add some stripes or simple patterns to give your kitchen a little bit of pop.

Do You Have Big Kitchen Windows? Add Shutters and Linen Drapes

Old-fashioned shutters are a gorgeous addition to the kitchen that adds a lot of class; not to mention it is the epitome of the nautical coastal style. Nothing says French Riviera quite like a large window with shutters, or even shutter doors leading into the other parts of your home. Make sure your shutters are painted in a neutral color so they do not distract from the beautiful view your windows have to offer. The most common colors for your beach kitchen shutters can include white, cream, or light natural wood. Finish the look with light, breezy, billowy linen drapes, allowing the sea breeze to come right into your home. Plus, light-colored drapes make the room look bigger and do not distract from the main focal points.

Aqua Appliances Are Fabulous

If you’re loving your white cabinets and neutral-toned furniture, you can add your splash of color somewhere else. A great way to make a statement and to elevate the value of your kitchen is to add aqua appliances. Aqua kitchen decor is by far the most popular way to embrace the beach theme in the most important room of the house. Aqua-colored ovens, refrigerators, and even the oven range can be painted in the same aqua color. Don’t forget about your smaller appliances too, like your coffee maker, kettle, and microwave.

Embrace The Historic Style

If you prefer your kitchens to be a little more rustic, you can easily incorporate this with the nautical style. In fact, history and the coastal style go hand-in-hand. Transform your kitchen into an old weathered sailor’s room – without losing any of its elegance. Add nautical decorations like an old wooden ship’s wheel, weathered wood-plank tabletops, and hanging ship lantern lights to really give it that old fisherman’s dock feel. Don’t forget that your bold blue-striped furniture and wooden cupboards still make a great fit.

Get Your Nautical Decor Down

Let’s talk about wall decor. You have plenty of options when it comes to staying in line with the nautical theme. However, there are a few key features to keep in mind. Make sure you are using plenty of actual nautical elements. This includes large rope knots, weathered wooden planks, seashells, and more. If you are a fan of fishing, you can mount a prized catch on the wall. Or, hang some ship lanterns that reflect red and green against your dark wood accents. Pictures hung with wooden frames and white matte backdrops make an excellent addition to the kitchen. This is a great way to add to the cozy beach kitchen theme while maintaining its simplicity. Plus, a kitchen that looks more lived-in will actually add to its value. Photographs, prints, and paintings all look great on the wall, especially if the pictures contain many of the same color schemes you want to employ. Blue watercolor paintings are highly valued in a nautical kitchen.

Two-Toned Is Good

There is no need to go too crazy with your color palette. Sometimes, less is more. This is a tried and true fact of beach themed kitchens for many years, and one that you can certainly use to your advantage when redecorating your own kitchen. Two-toned kitchens rely heavily on a balance between light and dark. Dark wooden cabinets with light, cream-colored countertops can make a bold statement. A rich wooden floor with white cabinets – accented with dark handles – can bring the whole kitchen together. When it comes to beach themed kitchen decor, you really don’t need much more than that.



Black and White Has Its Place

Sticking with the two-toned theme, black and white isn’t completely overruled when it comes to coastal kitchen decor. You can certainly make it work, as long as you still keep the fundamentals of a beach house present in the kitchen. White cabinets with black countertops is timelessly classy. Accent that with weathered plank flooring, a nautical backsplash, and hanging pendant lights to keep ahold of that rustic coastal charm. If you have windows in your kitchen, this works even better, as the natural light will counteract the darkness that the black brings out.

Blend Fitted and Free-Standing

Diversity breeds value. Mix up your appliances with a combination fo free-standing and fitted units. The stove or fridge can be all on its own, while the sink and microwave may be built right into the countertops and cabinets. It can actually make the room look bigger. Expand this look further with white walls and bright linen drapes. Just make sure everything in the kitchen is easy to access, just like it would be in a small beachside cottage.

Add Your Own Beach Finds

Did you recently take a trip to a beach and find a myriad of exciting items? Collecting intact shells or dried-up kelp can be a great way to add your own decorations for free. Make sure to use a lot of twine and rope when making your own decorations, as this is a true reflection of the aquatic style. Place them strategically in your kitchen, either by hanging them on the walls or making them part of your dinner table’s centerpiece. You can even collect old driftwood that you see floating around. The realness of these items adds a lot of value and plays strongly into your theme.



Create The Nautical Coastal Kitchen Of Your Dreams

A beach themed kitchen is one of the easiest looks to accomplish without needing to put aside a huge budget. Just like its simple nature, nautical decor is easy to achieve. Thinking about light and airy decoration ideas can point you in the right direction towards achieving this look comprehensively throughout your kitchen. Wooden floors, stripped wood cabinets, and white walls are just a few of the ways you can incorporate the beach look in your next kitchen remodel. Don’t forget to accent the room with touches of bright blue or navy. You will soon come to find that this is one of the most fun projects you can take on in your kitchen. For more information about getting started with your first kitchen remodel, you can download Remodeling 101: A Free Homeowner’s Guide.

 

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