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Your Home in North Carolina: coastal country kitchen decorating ideas

Wednesday, September 14, 2022   /   by Anne Rose

Your Home in North Carolina: coastal country kitchen decorating ideas

Designing and decorating a coastal country kitchen focuses on light. By centering efforts on allowing lots of natural light from windows, and avoiding dark, heavy wood cabinets and dark tones on countertops and in furnishings, it's easy to infuse your country kitchen with a breezy coastal vibe.

"I love coastal kitchens that have lots of natural light, lots of white with pops of beachy colors, and some natural wood accents like driftwood or bamboo," says Ilene Green, owner of Cape Fear Coastal Property Management.

Rick Binford, Broker/Realtor®, who specializes in homes in the master-planned community of St. James, Plantation in Southport, North Carolina, sees plenty of beautiful, coastal-inspired country kitchens.

“One of the most appealing aspects of coastal living here, is the bright and cheerful sunlight – especially when you are fortunate enough to snag a waterfront setting at the beach, intracoastal waterway, and one of numerous ponds and estuaries here in the area," Rick suggests. "Kitchen designs with plenty of windows and bright and airy cabinetry and countertop colors are popular and desirable ways to live awash in natural light and savor the signature beautiful sunrises and sunsets."

Country and Coastal Color Palettes

Giving a country kitchen a coastal twist involves some simple tweaks to what is traditionally defined as a country decor. The place to start is replacing traditional country kitchen colors - white, yellow, blue, red and beige - with a coastal palate. Incorporate variations of white, ivory, and sand with soft shades of coastal blues, aqua, teal, and green. White-on-white is perfect for a coastal country kitchen. Think about the colors you see in nature on the beach.

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"It's a balancing act to ensure those soft muted colors don't make a home too 'cool', because a country kitchen is supposed to exude warmth and welcome," advises Teri Moylan, Broker/Realtor®. "One way to warm up a coastal kitchen is to consider how coastal meets country - there are definite elements that can bring these distinct styles together and turn a coastal kitchen into a place of warmth and comfort. Country and farmhouse homes are often highlighted by natural elements, warmer wood tones, and wide plank floors - all of which pair beautifully in a coastal home. When you think of wood tones, consider reclaimed coastal driftwood for open shelves or to highlight your lighting."

Janine Pugh, Broker/Realtor®, agrees that abundant light, combined with a coastal palette, define the perfect kitchen for coastal homes.

"When we started thinking about renovating our kitchen during COVID," she explains, "the vision we wanted was clean lines, white cabinets, a pop of color, counter space and light... lots of light. We chose all-white, to-the-ceiling cabinets to give the room the feel of height. We chose a very light shade of grey for the walls to off-set the white cabinets. When thinking of creating a coastal kitchen, similar colors in a variety of shades work well - less is more."

image0.jpegJanine's coastal kitchen in-progress, awaiting the wine fridge and accent decor. 

Cabinetry and Countertops

A country kitchen often has white cabinets, which work well in a coastal-themed design. Where a traditional country kitchen would incorporate reclaimed wood, a coastal country kitchen would tend to tones of gray and textures more evocative of driftwood. Countertops should also be light, with pattern and textural elements, instead of the heavier butcher block or dark marble and granites that might be used in a traditional country kitchen.
Janine adds, "We chose a countertop that had 'movement' in the pattern to mimic the feel of the water."

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Coastal Country Kitchen Accents

Country and coastal decorate both feature wrought iron, black metal fixtures, wide plank floors, and open shelves and beams. Wide plank floors, whether in a natural wood or an engineered LVP flooring in a warmer gray tone will offset a gorgeous white kitchen. Beadboard is a great country accent for the kitchen walls, and feels beachy when painted white, or even a soft coastal green.

Teri has plenty of suggestions for decorating a coastal county kitchen, including natural elements like country-style woven baskets to display your treasured beach shells, and accenting white cabinetry with your favorite shade of coastal blue in the backsplash tile, center island, or a hanging pendant over the kitchen sink.

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To continue the objective of filling a coastal country kitchen with light, floor coverings are kept to a minimum, with valances, plantation shutters, or sheer fabrics. White or soft colors are the best choice. Light and natural also pertains to floor coverings. Jute and other easy-care indoor/outdoor rugs are able to withstand foot traffic from the beach while being light and lending a cozy feel to your kitchen. Stripes and minimalist designs are country kitchen-friendly.

It's simple to add coastal elements to your country farmhouse table. Clear or blue glass centerpieces, driftwood, shells and other natural decor, and fun pops of whimsy, like wooden shore birds (instead of farmhouse chickens!) or fish sculptures are great choices. Remember that country is the literal opposite of formal decor. Surround your table or kitchen island with chairs in wicker, light wood, hand-woven rush, and other natural materials.


  home design, coastal home decor

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