7 Awesome Coastal Kitchen Lighting Ideas

Whether you have a beach adjacent home or not, the coastal interior style with its beach-inspired color palette, natural elements, and wide, open airy spaces offers a relaxed type of living space that few other styles can offer. Naturally, this looks and feel extend itself into the kitchen, which becomes the heart of the home with the open-plan design.

Therefore it’s essential for the kitchen to emulate coastal design concepts, which extends to the lighting. Kitchen lighting design is, however, unique in that it needs to offer both functional and decorative lighting to meet the demands of the space.

However, there are many lighting options that can fit in beautifully in a coastal-style kitchen, so there is sure to be something to suit your home and requirements perfectly.

Coastal kitchen lighting should integrate with the design concepts of coastal style, namely seaside-inspired colors, natural materials such as wood, rope, glass, rattan, cane, and seagrass, and striving to make rooms feel bigger, lighter, and airier. Lighting can also reflect nautical elements.

When deciding on lights for your coastal style kitchen, you need to look at the other elements in the space and select lighting that will blend effortlessly with the rest of the design.

7 Awesome Lighting Ideas For A Coastal Kitchen

Just as all the interior design elements of a coastal kitchen need to align with the essence of beach living, so does the lighting. Luckily there are many different choices of lights available that can complement this style.

1. Using Rope Lights For Coastal Style Kitchens

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Apart from being woven from a natural material, rope has played a prominent role in humankind’s relationship with the ocean. Originally used in many maritime activities, from hoisting sails to dropping anchors, rope has become synonymous with coastal life. Therefore, it is a perfect addition to a coastal-style home, and what better way to incorporate it than through the kitchen lighting.

The kitchen space is just utilitarian enough to balance the coarseness of a rope-themed light, where other areas may be too dainty to carry this off. For rope lights, you can either look for those where the rope forms webbing around a glass orb or those which use the rope as the cord from which the bulb hangs. Some of these may even include a driftwood element from which the rope hangs, capturing another natural component of coastal design.

2. Using Rattan, Cane Or Sea Grass Lights For Coastal Style Kitchens

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Rattan, cane, and seagrass work within the same specter of neutral beach sand coloring and natural textures. These materials are used throughout the coastal design, from big furnishings to simple rugs or ornamental baskets. The basket style of light is most prevalent in coastal design and can create a casual but impactful lighting solution in the kitchen.

These lights evoke imagery of fishing baskets, and while some can be very organic, misshapen, and rustic, others are delicate and elegant. Assess your kitchen space and choose a style of basket that will enhance the main features. If your coastal kitchen is relatively clean in design, a stylized basket would be more suited, while the rustic baskets would work better in a space with fewer straight lines and more organic shapes.

3. Using Shell Lights For Coastal Style Kitchens

There’s no arguing that it doesn’t get much more beachy than shells. They make the sand of our beaches and the homes of thousands of sea creatures. They can, however, also make amazing lights.

Shells are a tricky material to use. Despite their obvious place within coastal design, they can easily cross the line into kitsch, which is usually more reserved for nautical styling with less finesse of coastal designed interiors.

To avoid choosing a tacky shell light, look for lamps made from shells but not obviously so. Anything that still looks exactly like a seashell you would find on the beach will take all the elegance away from your space. Instead, choose shell lights that have been reimagined, where it isn’t easy to pinpoint the material until up close.

Although they come with a hefty price tag, those made from Capiz shell are a particularly desirable option. Another name for the sea mollusk these shells are obtained from is the windowpane oyster, which aptly describes these delicate glass-like shells. They look best in a haphazard, cascading chandelier, elevated with gold trim and perfectly encapsulate the coastal style ideas of nature, light, and air.

4. Using Wooden Lights For Coastal Style Kitchens

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Wood, being natural, is often the thread that weaves through coastal style, connecting the various spaces for a cohesive design. There are plenty of wooden lighting options available that can look right at home in a coastal kitchen.

Wooden beaded chandeliers are a popular trend and are often designed in draped swaths of beads. White or natural wood is the most popular color choice for these. Although wooden, their final appearance is quite glamorous, so you need to consider their placement carefully. They will usually look the best solo, floating above a dining table or kitchen island that is large enough to offset the grandeur of these lights.

Driftwood can also be manipulated into creative lighting fixtures. The organic nature of these pieces lends effortlessly to the coastal look. These lights can range from a simple single log with naked bulbs to many branches clustered into a chandelier.

5. Using Lantern Lights For Coastal Style Kitchens

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Lantern-style lighting offers a gentle nod to maritime without being overtly obvious. Lanterns speak to antiquity, where lighthouses and ships alike were lit by them. They look best in a coastal kitchen in brass, brushed pewter, or white for a more modern take. Although generally oversized, they tend to look best placed in pairs or threes over a kitchen island.

6. Using Glass Lights For Coastal Style Kitchens

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Glass pendants are an excellent choice for coastal kitchen lighting as they work on two levels to meet the demands of the style. During the day, the glass is clear, which allows the space between countertops and the ceiling to feel more extensive, open, and airy. The clear glass also reflects the natural light and disperses it further into the room.

The clear glass casts light unhindered at night, which means light can reach right through the space, allowing for the same bright, airy daytime feel. You should be selective of the bulbs you choose to use as some will create a softer, more natural light than others. Possibly also consider adding a dimmer switch to have brighter light when preparing food, but softer light once kitchen tasks are complete.

7. Using Nautical Lights For Coastal Style Kitchens

Lights inspired by ships are a good option for a coastal kitchen and areas where coastal and nautical can share the same look. These lights will usually have a heavier metal configuration to them. For coastal, you’ll probably look at brass, dull gold, or brushed pewter to not overwhelm the other more natural elements.

The most effective ones mimic the design of the sturdy, caged lights of ships and docks. Some are more of a replica, and others take inspiration and are only reminiscent of the ship lights from which they evolved.


Coastal style demands natural, wide-open spaces inspired by the sea, sand, and sun in both color and materials. Likewise, the lighting of a coastal kitchen needs to capture this same spirit and stay true to the style. Using rope, rattan, cane, seagrass, shell, wood, lanterns, glass, or nautical lights will all assist you in kitchen lighting that blends seamlessly with your coastal design.