How to get the coastal breeze kitchen design look

Coastal breeze is the relaxed, Australian version of Hamptons style. Here are some handy hints to help create the perfect coastal kitchen.

Coastal kitchens

Australians love coastal living, which explains why the timeless Hamptons look, inspired by the seaside homes of New York’s Long Island, appeals so much to us. But in recent times we’ve put our own unique spin on this often formal American East Coast style, tweaking it to speak to our more laidback way of living.

Our take on the coastal breeze kitchen look is fresh and carefree, evocative of summer holidays, barefoot living and a slower heartbeat. It's relaxed and casual but, as with the original Hamptons interiors style, there’s room for a touch of luxury.

overlay of kitchen materials

Decide on a colour palette

The traditional Hamptons kitchen colour scheme features lots of white with classic navy often serving as a sophisticated accent. The Australian version also draws on masses of white, but has a more relaxed feel. Colours are paler, ocean-inspired shades of blue or aqua.

Use this pop of colour wherever you like. Go bold with paint-your-own cabinetry, opt for blue or sea-green tiles on the splashback, or simply lift an all-white colour scheme with ocean-toned accessories. Timber lends warmth and timeless appeal, but go for lighter tones over dark. Think salt-scoured driftwood hues and matte finishes over high shine.

kitchen with blue cabinets and white stone benchtop

Choose your materials

The Hamptons look calls for shaker-style panelled cabinetry which offers clean lines with just the right amount of detail for depth and interest. Kaboodle ‘Alpine’ profile cabinet doors fit the bill perfectly.

Marble is a key player in those iconic East Coast American homes, but you can get this luxury finish for less on your kitchen benchtops with a marble-look laminate. Laminate gives you the best of both worlds; a look from the top end of town, in a material that’s tough enough to meet the high-impact demands of family life.

On the kitchen splashback subway tiles can bring texture. Or, you can keep it simple with a plain glass or acrylic splashback and let the detail shine on other surfaces. For tapware, chrome is a classic paired with white cabinetry and works beautifully with coastal blues.

kitchen with blue cabinets and white stone benchtop

Select the finer details

Open shelves or carefully curated items on benchtops give the room a relaxed feel. Aim for character over clutter. You want to capture a feeling of casual charm, but there’s no quicker way to kill a holiday vibe than with excess ‘stuff’.

Texture is an effective way to bring informality and warmth into a room. Start with the cabinetry handles; brushed metal is on trend and delightfully touchable. Then, add natural materials like timber and rattan, fresh flowers and potted greenery.

For that ‘just got back from the beach’ feeling, the most important element is light. Make the most of whatever illumination you can capture with clever window furnishings. Nothing says resort chic like plantation shutters, but they’re also a highly practical addition, as sunlight bounces off their blades to help boost the room’s light.

white stone benchtop with pot plant, vase and timber chopping board

More great kitchen ideas

Learn more about how to complete your coastal kitchen look here. Or, if coastal style isn't your thing, you can check out our other inspiring kitchen designs here.

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Health & Safety

Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following the advice in these D.I.Y. videos. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions that came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert Bunnings Team Member.

Grave health hazards are linked to asbestos, which may be in homes built up to 1990. Health hazards may result from exposure to lead-based paints in older materials and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety page. You can also use a simple test kit from Bunnings to indicate the presence of lead-based paint.
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