7 coastal kitchen island ideas that are all about character and relaxation

Designers spill their chicest coastal kitchen island ideas, including budget ideas

Coastal kitchen island ideas are so chic. Here are three of these - a marble island with red and blue chairs, a marble and dark blue island in a white kitchen, and two light blue rattan chairs in a white kitchen
(Image credit: Gabriella James, Chairmakers / Naked Kitchens / Serena & Lily)

You may be ready to fall in love with coastal kitchen island ideas if you adore going on beachy holidays and picking up nautical decor.

The island is the heart of the kitchen, so it makes sense to make it as beautiful a place as possible to gather. Our design experts have come up with a range of coastal-inspired design tips to help you do that, from reclaimed wooden countertops to breezy hues to really help you reflect your tastes in this important space.

Choosing a theme when looking for kitchen island ideas is a great way to ensure yours has a cohesive look that matches the rest of the cooking space and brings you joy every time you look at it.

Beautiful coastal kitchen island ideas

If you're decorating with coastal kitchen ideas and have an island you want to style in this space, these tips and tricks will help you do just that.

Where possible, we've also rounded up buys to match our experts' advice, for those who want to start designing their place.

The prices below were correct at the time of publishing this article. 

1. Use sustainable wood

A kitchen with a long wooden island, three wooden bar stools, a shelf of books, and light blue cabinets on it and behind it as well as a silver fridge and two ovens stacked vertically in the cabinet

(Image credit: Benchmarx Kitchens)

Make your coastal kitchen island look like it has come straight from the beach by opting for sustainable wooden surfaces and panels. 

“One idea I have seen work really well in coastal kitchens is incorporating a large driftwood, bamboo or reclaimed wood kitchen island,” says Raf Michalowski, interior designer and founder of Meble Furniture.

You can either DIY this yourself, or get one custom-made by a specialist. These materials add a touch of nautical charm and promote eco-friendliness in the kitchen. 

2. Bring in soothing shades

A kitchen with a dark blue kitchen island with a white marble surfaces, red and white striped bar chairs with blue legs, a gold tap, three gold and white globe pendant lights, and blue cabinets and an oven behind it

(Image credit: Gabriella James, Chairmakers)

One of the simplest ways to create a coastal kitchen island is by bringing in the best kitchen island colors in nautical shades.

“Incorporate the soothing colors of the sea with a kitchen island painted in soft shades of white, light gray, blue, or green,” suggests Nina Lichtenstein, principal designer and founder of Nina’s Home Design.

You can either paint the surfaces and base in these shades or even tile them (we like the pretty Merola Tiles Biarritz Tiles from Wayfair).

3. Bring in natural textures

A kitchen island with a wooden panel base, a white surface with green plants and dinnerware on, and a light green cabinet behind it

(Image credit: Wood Works Brighton)

Along with adding sustainable wood to your coastal kitchen island, you can also bring in eye-catching natural stone for a luxe-looking finish.

Nina explains, “Add natural textures like marble and stone in shades of light brown and white for a modern take on coastal elegance.”

For those who are renting, you could always add these with peel-and-stick tiles. We like the Auliget Peel and Stick Tiles on Amazon, which are also perfect for those looking for modern kitchen ideas with a sleek finish. 

4. Create a breakfast bar

A white kitchen with white cabinets, a white kitchen island with two curved rattan light blue stools next to it, and a curved rattan pendant light above it

(Image credit: Serena & Lily)

Turning your cooking zone into a kitchen island breakfast bar will create a spot where you and your guests can gather around.

Raf explains, “This not only adds functionality to the space but also creates a perfect spot for entertaining guests or enjoying a beach-inspired cocktail.”

To do this, he suggests adding bar stools with woven or rattan seats to further enhance the coastal feel. We also like the idea of choosing ones in coastal shades, such as this Abbey Leather Counter Stool from OKA.

5. Try subtle accents

A kitchen island with a white surface, a brushed gold faucet, a glass vase of white roses and a brown soap dispenser, and navy blue cabinets with gold handles below it and on the walls behind it

(Image credit: Willis & Stone)

You don’t need to go overboard with these on your coastal kitchen island, but adding subtle nods to days by the beach will elevate it.

Nina explains, “Maritime motifs and accents, such as rope detailing, brass hardware, and navy blue stripes, are all easy ways to bring in the beach in an elegant way.”

Going for a brushed gold tap (the Wewe Gold Faucet on Amazon has over 9,000 five-star reviews) is an easy way to do this and will work in other kitchen island style ideas if you do decide to paddle away from the coastal kitchen island look later on.

6. Combine with boho decor

A kitchen island with a gray marble surface with a glass jjug and glass base of pale roses, dark blue base, two wooden stools to the left of it, and white cabinets with blue shelves behind it

(Image credit: Naked Kitchens)

Breezy days on the beach are part of that bohemian lifestyle, so it makes sense to marry up the two styles into your coastal kitchen island.

“Combine the laid-back vibes of beach living with the eclectic flair of bohemian design for a kitchen island that's both stylish and serene,” explains Nina.

She suggests adding elements such as woven and ceramic baskets for kitchen island storage ideas (this Countryside Berry Basket from Anthropologie is adorable), macrame accents, fresh flowers, and potted indoor plants for a boho-inspired oasis.

7. Finish with vintage touches

Two shell shaped bowls, one with oil and balsamic in it and one with chilli flakes on it, on a light wooden board

(Image credit: Rockett St George)

For those looking for a more budget-friendly way to bring in coastal kitchen island ideas, reach for nostalgic finishes.

Nina explains, “Capture the cozy charm of a seaside cottage with a kitchen island featuring rustic wood and vintage-inspired decor such as shell-shaped bowls.”

We recommend searching secondhand furniture stores such as Goodwill to find unique pieces no one else will have. 

We’re also big fans of online stores which sell vintage decor, too (how pretty is this TheThicketParty Vintage Capiz Shell Bowl from Etsy?).

With these many options, you can craft a coastal kitchen island to match your coastal style preferences and budget.

“Bring the beach home with you and transform your kitchen island into a coastal retreat sure to inspire relaxation, rejuvenation, and endless seaside adventures,” Nina finishes by saying.

If you’re looking for more themed inspiration, these farmhouse kitchen island ideas are cozy and rustic.

Eve Smallman
Content Editor

Hi there! I’m a content editor at Real Homes. I've been a lifestyle journalist for over five years, previously working as an editor across regional magazines. Before this, I graduated from Nottingham Trent University a degree in journalism, along with an NCTJ gold diploma. I love running, decorating my rented Victorian home, and discovering new cheeses. For Real Homes, I specialize in interior design, trends and finding the best viral buys.