Coastal Kitchen Makeover

Vacation never has to end. Bring the seaside to your kitchen by creating a light and breezy beach look with these simple ideas.

Coastal Tile Mosaic Backsplash

‪‎Because of its relatively small area, your backsplash is one place in the kitchen you can budget for extravagantly gorgeous materials, like mosaic tile.  While you might want to keep your floors and counters more neutral if you're thinking of home resale value, your backsplash can be bold, colorful, and personal.  Make it the focal point of your kitchen redesign, then select appliances and linens that compliment your backsplash colors.  Once you're settled on your backsplash and accessory colors, pick counters and floors that will survive the passage of trends and won't compete with the focal points in your room.  Cabinets and Lighting Fixtures will come next in your design (stay tuned for lighting fixture ideas!).  It may comes as a surprise, but wall color will be selected last! (Naturally, this is the order you select your design elements in, not the order you install everything!)  

  • Inspiration: Coastal Seaglass Backsplash options from New Ravenna
  • Alternate Take: Mermaid Glass Tile from TileBar
  • How To: Lay and Grout Mosaic Tile
  • Cheap Take: DIY Backpainted Acrylic Backsplash

Cushions & Linens in Coastal Colors

‪‎You may have to think of home resale value when you're selecting your countertops or refinishing your cabinets, but your linens and countertop appliances should be all about what brings you joy when you're in the kitchen.  While you're cooking, make a comfortable spot for your family to study or for your guests to socialize by investing in cushions for your kitchen island stools or breakfast table chairs.  Barnett's dining chair cushions and stool covers feature thick latex foam pads for premium comfort.  They may cost more than cheap imports found in big box stores, but they last years longer, and they're Made in USA.  Available in a slew of serene beachy colors and contemporary textures, we bet you'll be able to find the perfect compliment to your coastal decor theme.  Don't forget to request fabric swatches and measure your chairs before you order!

  • Inspiration: Brisbane Seaglass Dining Chair Cushions
  • Alternate Take: Ticking Stripe Natural Dining Chair Cushions
  • How To: Measure Your Chairs for Cushions
  • Cheap Take: Hayden Turquoise Dining Chair Cushions

Coastal Kitchen Countertops

Granite countertops have been done to death, so our inspiration for this stage of the makeover is the Emerald Coast countertop by Vetrazzo.  Featuring recycled glass from architectural sources, leftover oyster shells from South Carolina, and crushed marble offcasts from Georgia, this composite counter material is beautiful, sustainable, and locally sourced.  The light colors will make your kitchen feel spacious and breezy, without breaking up the visual plane the way darker granite and soapstone might.  And, although it may look expensive, this material is less expensive than marble.

  • Inspiration: Recycled Glass & Oyster Shell Counters from Vetrazzo
  • Alternate Take: Butcher Block Countertops
  • How To: Measure & Calculate Cost for Kitchen Countertops
  • Cheap Take: DIY Recycled Glass and & Concrete Countertops

Coastal Inspired Light Fixtures

Before we had plastic buoys, fishermen kept their nets and lines afloat with glass bulbs.  Originally used in Norway in the 19th century, this technology made its way around the world.  The examples we're most familiar with today have been collected by beachcombers along the West Coast, having been lost by Japanese fishermen many years ago.  The bulbs were crafted by glassblowers from recycled glass, much of which came from sake bottles.  Because the globes were produced in large quantities for utilitarian purposes, they often include imperfections and tiny bubbles, but collectors appreciate these as part of their hand-crafted character.  Authentic floats came in similar colors to the seaglass that washes up on the
east Coast from discarded bottles, but reproductions are typically green, blue or aquamarine.

  • Inspiration: Japanese Glass Fishing Floats Pendant Lights
  • Alternate Take: Anchor Lantern Light Fixtures
  • How To: Installation Guide to Change Your Light Fixtures
  • Cheap Take: DIY Faux Japanese Fishing Floats Light Shades

Salt Wash Paint Treatment

Achieve the look of years of seapray and sun weathering on your wall art or accent furniture with a Salt Wash paint treatment.  This look is accomplished by mixing additives to chalk paint, latex paint, or acrylic paint, then painting on layers of beachy colors and lightly sanding. 

  • Inspiration: Salt Wash Paint Additive
  • Alternate Take: Rust & Brass Patina Finish
  • How To: Make Your Own Salt Wash Paint Mix
  • Lazy Take: Coastal Wall Art That Someone Else Salt Washed For You

6The Small Stuff

Kitchens are often overlooked as a place to display artwork. Even the smallest kitchens have unused nooks and crannies for displaying your favorite pieces. Turn your refrigerator into a showcase for your favorite beach finds. Here's a tutorial on how to turn your sea shells into refrigerator magnets. With a bit of paint, you can make everyday glass bottles into seaglass. Almost every kitchen accessory is now available in colorful options. Don't forget your drawer pulls and door handles, either. The devil (fish) is in the details!

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