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Seaside Chic: In my world, it’s a beach house with a timeless design that’s casual and welcoming—a place where entertaining family and friends is exciting. A home with a kitchen that’s fun to work in and every element whispers timeless elegance yet screams functionality.

Blog title photo of house on beach with title of blog

I love a good chef’s kitchen, but sometimes they can be a bit sterile. Let’s explore six essential kitchen design elements that give you a chef’s kitchen with a homey vibe. Design elements that stand the test of time and promise to keep your coastal retreat looking fresh, fabulous, and oh-so-inviting season after season. Let’s make your beach house the envy of the shoreline, where every detail reflects your unique style and the endless charm of seaside living.

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Timeless Design For The Win

I have worked on many a kitchen built in the 90s or during the Tuscan trend – most are downright boring and not super functional for today’s living. If you have that kitchen, let’s get it into the 2020s. Here are my top 6 timeless kitchen design recommendations to bridge the gap between the sterile chef’s kitchen and the boring basic homebuilders’ kitchen.

1. Coastal Color Palette:

Seaside Chic begins by embracing a coastal color palette. Explore soothing blues, aquas, sandy neutrals, and crisp whites to create a breezy, light-filled atmosphere that mirrors the shoreline. These timeless hues will endure through evolving trends, maintaining a fresh and inviting ambiance.

kitchen with pretty cane stools, 2 blue islands, and 4 large blue pendants

PRO TIP: I always prefer a plain white/off-white/cream backsplash because it’s timeless. However, I enjoy a backsplash with color in a beach house with white cabinetry. So go ahead and choose that pretty blue tile and paint your island to match.

2. Natural Materials:

Bring the outdoors in with the incorporation of natural materials. These elements, from weathered wood to sea-inspired textures, add warmth and authenticity to your beach home kitchen. Think white oak cabinetry, seagrass island stools, rattan lighting, wood cutting boards, live herbs, and plants.

white kitchen with millwork, blue island, seagrass stools, rattan shade and pendant lights

3. Open Shelving:

Say goodbye to clutter and embrace the airy feel of open shelving. Showcase your favorite coastal-inspired dishes and create a sense of openness that complements the laid-back lifestyle of beach living. I have open shelving in my kitchen, and dust and grease are not a problem. My everyday dishes are stacked there – they’re used so often that there’s no time for the dust to settle.

Floating pecky cypress shelves on blue-tiled wall
a kitchen with 3 shelves filled with dishes and decorative items
© Terri Puma

PRO TIP: Talking to an interior designer to help you design a timeless, pretty, and functional kitchen will save you time, money, and uncertainty.
My VIP Strategy Consultation is perfect for a project like this.

4. Timeless Cabinetry:

Invest in the longevity of your kitchen with timeless cabinetry. A beach house is casual, so slab or shaker style works best here. Many cabinet companies also offer a combo that includes a slab drawer with a shaker door – perfection! You want good-quality hinges and slides to stand the test of time – I love the soft-close versions.

White coastal kitchen with an XL island and glossy white subway tile backsplash
White kitchen with blue island and white and gold pendants

5. Coastal Accents:

Infuse your kitchen with nautical charm through carefully chosen accents, but don’t go kitschy. Incorporate a piece of driftwood on a shelf or a glass bowl filled with beach glass or oyster shells, add a small colorful painting or photo of buoys, lobster pots, beach umbrellas – you get the idea. A couple of small nods to the beach will do it.

white kitchen with blue island, a fireplace, and large wooden beams
teak shelves with dishes and small photographs
© Darlene Mikolasko

PRO TIP: Word signs are out; however, a directional sign pointing the way to the beach works beautifully outside on a pole. You could also do a pole filled with directional signs to other area beaches or your favorite destinations.

directional sign showing New York, Park City, Chicago, and many more

6. Statement Lighting:

Illuminate your beach home kitchen with statement lighting that captures the essence of Seaside Chic. Rattan pendants, an oyster shell chandelier, harbor-style lighting – imagine a pale blue harbor-style light that coordinates with your pale blue backsplash. In that instance, you wouldn’t need to paint the island.

4 different lighting options all with oyster shells
Find it here
light green and brass harbor-style pendant
Find it here
aged brass large dome pendant
Find it here
white enamel and chrome dome pendant with lens
Find it here

 By incorporating these six time-tested design elements, you’ll create a space that reflects the coastal beauty surrounding your home and stands as a testament to timeless design, enduring style, and sophistication.

BONUS: Below is a list of the paint colors in my beach bungalow. Hope this gives you inspiration!

Teal beach bungalow with white adirondack chairs and am American flag on the front porch
My Beach Bungalow


aqua paint color
Body of Exterior - Find it here
an off-white paint color
Trim - Find it here
a gray paint chip
Front Door & Dormer - Find it here


a pale, warm greige paint chip
Main areas - Find it here
an off-white paint color
Trim - Find it here
a gray paint chip
Interior Doors - Find it here
a green-blue-gray paint chip
Dining Room-Mudroom-Island - Find it here
a pale green-blue-gray paint chip
My Bedroom & Powder Room - Find it here
A creamy greige paint chip
Guest Rooms & My Bath - Find it here
Keep Dancing, Darlene