19 Coastal Kitchen Makeovers
Before: Cramped Kitchen
This Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, kitchen was located in a one-window room, making it feel dark and cramped, so designer Andrew Howard moved it into a brighter area of the home with more natural light.
After: Gathering Place
Now the family spends most of their time in the airy space. "Andrew truly opened it up, and the flow is excellent," the homeowners say.
Before: Functional but not Fantastic
The original kitchen of this Galveston Bay, Texas, home was in good shape, but new owners were ready to take it to new heights with updated appliances and well-curated finishes and furnishings.
After: Hardworking Update
While the layout didn't change, the space got a much-needed face-lift thanks to a fresh coat of paint, updated cabinets, shiplap paneling on the walls and island, and new concrete countertops, which were poured in place on site. Glass-front doors on the upper cabinets and open shelving display colorful glasses and dinnerware that bring a dose of color to the mostly white room.
Before: Galley-Style Space
"It looked like an old hunting lodge inside," says Fred McWhorter, a home renovator who purchased an old Bald Head Island, North Carolina, beach house with his wife Tiffany. The home’s layout was perfect for the couple and their two teenage daughters, except for one minor setback: a small, galley-style kitchen. "Our world centers around cooking," says Tiffany. "If we're not outside, we're usually in the kitchen, so we needed enough room to work." To increase square footage without taking away from the living and dining rooms, the McWhorters took down an exterior wall and borrowed space from a screened-in porch.
After: Welcoming Layout
The kitchen was completely gutted of its dark-pine cabinetry, replaced with modern materials like a granite-topped island, stainless steel countertops and appliances, and a mosaic backsplash. "We chose a shimmery white tile because it reminded me of the pearly shells we pick up at the beach," says Tiffany.
Before: Outdated Malibu Kitchen
A 1950s home overlooking Malibu’s brilliant blue waters had an A+ location, but its interiors were past their prime. The small kitchen opened to the living space via an small pass-through, and old cabinetry made the space feel even smaller than its already modest size.
After: Fresh and Open
Enlarging the kitchen’s footprint would have eaten into the narrow dining area, so the homeowners did their best to make the minimal square footage appear airy and spacious. They switched out full-size appliances for smaller, apartment-friendly versions, introduced subtle texture and sparkle with clay tile, and expanded the pass-through to the main living area.
Before: Closed-Off Kitchen
You wouldn’t know that this Hermosa Beach, California, condo featured sweeping views of the beach just feet away from the old kitchen. To allow natural light to enter the kitchen, and extend the cook space, the renovation team removed the large cabinetry partition.
After: Open, Modern Kitchen
The updated open galley kitchen, now flooded with sunshine, was outfitted with lacquered cabinetry and a custom backsplash reflect the hues outside. Island seating was designed to face out, toward the ocean and the living area, rather than the interior of the kitchen.
Before: Dark and Secluded
This tiny, dated kitchen in a 1,150-square-foot cottage on Bald Head Island, North Carolina, sat in a dark corner of the home and was in need of a fresh look. Luckily, its new owners, an architect and design duo, were ready for the challenge.
After: Perfect for Family
Before: Minimal View
In this modern Southampton vacation home, the kitchen had the best view—through one tiny window.
After: Intelligent Design
To maximize the panorama potential, the architects switched the location of the living room and kitchen and added floor-to-ceiling windows throughout. The new kitchen isn’t larger, but it feels more spacious thanks to a smarter layout. Appliances occupy one wall, while most of the storage is on the opposite wall, under the waterfront windows.
Before: Outdated and Uninspired
This Amagansett kitchen needed major TLC in the form of a total gutting. And that’s just what it got, thanks to its intrepid homeowners.
After: Bright and Space-Smart
Higher ceilings, larger windows, and open shelving gave the weekend retreat kitchen a much more airy and welcome feel. The homeowners removed a wall separating the kitchen from the living room to form one large, efficient cooking, dining, and living area that’s light-filled and perfect for entertaining.
Before: 70s-Style Space
1922 bungalow in Manhattan Beach was stuck in the 70s, and designer Jill Johnson had a vision to give it new life with a major overhaul. In the renovation, the one-bedroom house turned into four, just by enclosing some indoor/outdoor spaces and tinkering with underused interior spaces. The old kitchen became her son’s bedroom.
After: Breezy, Updated Kitchen
Johnson raised the ceiling, flooding the entire space with new light, and she splurged on countertops, since the open concept means they’ll get a lot of use.
Wainscoting was added to the walls and capped with a picture ledge for a slim spot to display art.
Before: Mismatched Vibe
This dowdy kitchen didn't match the open, airy vibe that the homeowners were going for. The dark cabinetry and outdated countertops clashed with the rest of the house.
After: Open Organization
Organized open shelving gives the space a bigger feel and frames the playful, floral wallpaper. Adding an island in the center adds interest without giving up on storage.
Before: Dark and Dull
The dark cabinetry and bland white walls make this room boring and dull.
After: Bright Details
A colorful tile backsplash and beachy barstools brighten up the kitchen. White walls, cabinetry, and countertops open up the space and give it a clean yet modern feel.
Before: Clashing Colors
Despite the effort to use bold, bright color, the combination of hues makes this kitchen gawdy and confusing.
After: Nice and Neutral
A more muted color palette gives a classic update. Rich textures and open shelving add interest without going overboard.
Before: Outdated Kitchen
The monochromatic brown palette of this kitchen makes it feel old and dingy. Outdated appliances enhance the mood.
After: Rustic Update
With coastal touches like a glass-tile countertop and turquoise pantry door that provides a pop of color, the homeowners created an up-to-date look that still has traditional charm.
Before: Plain Jane
With an awkward U-shaped counter and lack of decor, this kitchen is simply boring.
After: Modern and Functional
Transparent cabinet doors and an updated island create a modern vibe. A well-thought-out opening into the living room makes for easy entertaining.
Before: Old-Fashioned Space
This unfinished kitchen featured old, mod-style stools and outdated appliances.
After: Clean Edges
With a neutral color palette, modern furniture, and sleek appliances, the homeowners turned this kitchen into a welcoming and updated gathering space.
Before: Lacking Personality
The plain, white board-cabinetry needed a pick-me-up to make this kitchen an inviting space.
After: Comfortably Coastal
With touches of cool blue and coastal accessories like the fish mounted above the door, homeowners transformed this kitchen into the perfect fit for their beach cottage.
Before: Out-of-Style Kitchen
This outdated space was cluttered with hats, bags, and other miscellaneous items that don't belong in the kitchen.
The island and cabinet doors get a rustic, natural look with veneered stacked pieces of oak. The minimalist display on open wooden shelves add to the kitchen's serene feel.
Before: Small, Crowded Space
This narrow kitchen featured outdated floral wallpaper and antique appliances that made it dysfunctional.
After: Charming Cottage Kitchen
The homeowners installed new appliances which instantly updated the room. Wall-to-wall white gives the kitchen a fresh look while small pops of blue add a nautical undertone.