When it comes to coastal interior design, the West Coast Cool style is a beacon of light. It brings a unique blend of elements that embody the relaxed, airy vibe of beachside living. Let’s dive into the key components that define this style and how to incorporate them into your kitchen space.

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Lightness and Brightness

One of the hallmarks of West Coast Cool is the emphasis on lightness. Lighter paint colors set the stage, creating a canvas that reflects the brightness of coastal living. This allows natural light to dance through the space, making it feel open, fresh, and welcoming. Large windows are key players in this design, drawing in the beauty of the outdoors.

A California-Spanish home with large black-paned windows, wood floors, white cabinetry, black marble counters and backsplash on perimeter, charcoal island with white marble countertop, wood counter stools, 2 large traditional black lanterns over the island, styling with live and dried florals/greenery, wooden accessories, textured pottery
off-white plaster walls and hood vent, arched ceiling tiled with variegated glossy subway tile, med-brown wood cabinetry and island, heavy-veined marble countertops and backsplash with shelf, dark wood & leather counter stools, 2 large bronze lanterns over island, styling with wood, textured pottery, and large branches

The above two kitchens are perfect examples of large windows bringing in loads of natural light. Please note, the 1st photo is a Spanish Revival home built in 1928 with its original windows.  These black windows have been used in Southern California for a century – it is not a modern farmhouse trend. Due to the mild climate in SoCal these black windows are single pane in most cases.

double hung window in black

Please, please, please if you’re doing a new build and incorporating black windows do NOT use a typical double hung window.  The frame and muntins are too wide and heavy.  Black windows should be done as shown in the above examples.

Wood: The Warmth of the Coast

Natural wood is your trusted companion to infuse that signature West Coast warmth. From light, beachy shades to medium, richer tones, wood adds a layer of depth and comfort. It’s not just a material; it’s an element that brings the essence of the coast indoors.

white walls, stone flooring set in French pattern, creamy cabinetry, off-white variegated zellige backsplash, quartz island countertop, soapstone countertops on the perimeter, brass, walnut & linen pendants over island, walnut counter stools, styled with textured ceramics and wooden cutting boards

Little shots of wood warm up this kitchen.  Take note of how perfectly the walnut wood on the pendants coordinates with the walnut stools.

2 full walls of off-white subway tile, light wood cabinetry & shelves, off-white island, gray marble countertops, wood floors, large triple window, woven leather counter stools, styled with wood, textured pottery, dishes, and large branches, does an excellent job of hiding the fact the room has an 8' ceiling

This kitchen has so much warmth and charm and design!  From the beautiful wood flooring, cabinetry, and shelves, to the cognac-colored woven leather stools, to the 2 full walls of glossy subway tile. There’s so much beautiful design you don’t notice the ceilings are only 8′.

Texture: Layers of Coastal Comfort

Texture is the secret sauce of West Coast Cool. It’s about layering, adding depth, and creating a sensory experience. Consider incorporating elements like woven rugs, textured fabrics, and tactile surfaces. These layers invite you to touch, feel, and truly inhabit the space.

original saltillo tile flooring, light wood cabinetry, XL oval island with reeded wood and heavy-veined marble counter, marble backsplash with shelf, black-paned window and french doors, styling with white dishes, textured pottery and greenery

A large window and French doors add lots of natural light, but the texture abounds in this kitchen.  The original saltillo flooring adds so much dimension and texture with its variegated coloring.  The extra long oval island encased in reeded wood is spectacular! Add in the textured counter stools and pottery and this is a winning kitchen all around.

cathedral ceiling with heavy wood beams, stone floor in the French pattern, med-brown wood cabinetry and island, marble countertops and tall backsplash with shelf, tall charcoal metal hood vent, 3 black, brass and leather pendants over island, brass wall sconces, styling with flowers, fruits, veggies, pottery, wooden accessories and dishes

Talk about a space with texture…this kitchen has it all. Rugged warm wood ceiling beams, large-veined marble, smooth charcoal steel hood vent, and wood cabinetry pulls me in and makes me want to run my hands along all of it. I love the tiny details like the warm brass sconces, the leather on the pendants over the island, and check out the leather and sherpa on the counter stools. This kitchen is sublime.

Vintage Rattan: A Touch of Nostalgia

In the world of West Coast Cool, vintage rattan chairs hold a special place. They bring a touch of nostalgia and a nod to the coastal heritage. Their natural and breezy aesthetic perfectly complements the lightness and warmth of the style. Your kitchen chairs or stools don’t have to be vintage – there are so many pretty options – choose your favorite!

White cabinetry, white vertical plank walls, quartz counters and backsplash, rattan and teack counter stools, west coast styling with woods, matte metals, and greenery

The neutral backdrop of this kitchen allows the stools to stand out, adding texture, warmth and design to this space,

Ceramics and Coastal Charm

The love for ceramics is a signature element of West Coast Cool. These versatile pieces serve functional purposes and contribute to the overall aesthetic. Consider incorporating ceramics with textured surfaces, adding depth and tactile interest to your kitchen space.

Vases filled with tall live branches can be a powerful addition. They bring the beauty of the outdoors inside, infusing your kitchen with a touch of nature’s grandeur. The verticality draws the eye upward, creating a sense of height and openness. Choose branches with exciting shapes and lush greenery to complement the coastal theme.

The combination of ceramics, textured layers, and the natural elements of live branches adds a dynamic dimension to your kitchen design. It infuses the space with a sense of vitality and coastal charm, making it a welcoming haven for both cooking and gathering.

white walls, pale. mushroom cabinetry, heavy-veined marble counters and backsplash, styled with woods and textured ceramics, plants & artichokes
white walls with several arched doorways, light cabinetry and island, quartzite countertops and waterfall on island, wood beams on ceiling, light wood flooring, styled with textured pottery and plants

The textured pottery with live greenery adds life to the above kitchens.  Notice the arched doorways in the bottom photo – a kitchen staying true to its Spanish Revival architecture.

Global Textiles: A World of Influence

West Coast Cool embraces a tapestry of global textiles from Morocco’s markets to India’s bazaars. These cultural threads add vibrancy and personality to your kitchen. Consider incorporating rugs, cushions, or wall hangings that tell a story and infuse your space with a well-traveled charm.

Light wood cabinetry & shelving, stone flooring in French pattern, 5" variegated cream zellige tile backsplash, white quartz countertops and waterfall on island, Moroccan style tile on back of island, woven seagrass counter stools, styled with plants, pottery and wood

While not textiles, the tile on the island and the pendant both are a nod to Moroccan influences and add fun design elements to this kitchen.

Incorporating West Coast Cool into your kitchen design is about creating a space that reflects coastal beauty and resonates with your personal style. Remember, it’s the thoughtful combination of elements like lightness, warmth, texture, and global influences that truly bring this aesthetic to life. As you embark on your design journey, let your intuition guide you. Trust in the process and let your space evolve into a sanctuary of seaside serenity with that coolness factor. Happy designing!

Keep Dancing, Darlene