4 Evergreen Design Trends of a Cape Cod Kitchen

Summer is finally here, and for many of us, that means the Friday afternoon ritual of heading down Route 3 to Route 6 for some salt air and a basket of fried seafood on the Cape. Whether you have your own family getaway spot or trust Airbnb to get you close to the sand and sea, there’s nothing like settling in to enjoy yourself in a classic beach cottage.

If all that time in soaking up the summer sun has you wishing you could inject some Cape Cod decor into your Boston home, the kitchen is a great place to start. The open, airy qualities of a traditional cottage on the Cape are perfect for adding some year-round beauty to the heart of your home. A Cape Cod kitchen is traditional but relaxed, and it’s easy to incorporate these design elements into your everyday living. Start with these four trends that never go out of style:  

White Cabinets

 A white kitchen looks great in any setting, but it’s especially popular on Cape Cod. New England is home to more historic homes than you can shake a stick at, and white, painted wood looks fresh and traditional at the same time. It’s a beachy, country look that’s easy to replicate anywhere. For a more modern take on the all-white kitchen, consider pairing white upper cabinets with lower cabinets of a contrasting color, or paint the island a stand-out hue instead.


Texture is also important when it comes to creating a beachy look in your kitchen. The very earliest cottages typically had rustic, unfinished walls that showed the seams between planks of whitewashed wood. The easiest way to hearken back to that look is with beadboard paneling, which will add texture and charm. Use it for the lower portion of walls below a chair rail, as a backsplash instead of tile, or as the backing inside your upper cabinets. 

Exposed Storage

Summers on the Cape are a largely casual affair, and cooking on vacation means trimming down to the bare essentials. To keep things simple, storage is often open so that it’s easy to find the perfect plate or pot. To create this feel choose open shelves instead of wall cabinets, or try hanging a pot rack over your island. You can also remove cabinet doors for an airier look — if you do so, try placing beadboard on the back and painting it a contrasting color.

A Beachy Color Palette

Though white cabinets are common, there are plenty of other ways to add color to a Cape-inspired kitchen. Whether you paint the walls, floors or rely on your linens and dishes to add a pop of color, make sure they set the right mood. Sea glass colors like pale green, aqua and blue are excellent choices for a beach-inspired kitchen, or you can keep things neutral with a sandy palette with natural wood tones. If you prefer something brighter, get nautical with red and navy blue. 

You can transform your kitchen into a Cape-style masterpiece by giving it a full remodel, or you can DIY the job by removing a few cabinet doors, adding beadboard, and changing the paint colors to a more seaworthy palette. Whatever your plans, you’ll find what you need to get started at New England Building Supply — once you get back from the beach, that is!