Home design ideas: A beach cottage kitchen gets a fun, retro look

It was the homeowner’s idea to go with a retro vibe in the kitchen of her 1951 beach cottage on Plum Island. “She was inspired by the old-time spirit of the community,” says Erica Palm, a designer with Lee Kimball. So, they examined color swatches from a couple of different retro appliance companies. Big Chill’s Beach Blue was the clear winner. “It’s a fun, throwback look that’s an ode to an earlier time,” Palm says.

1 Palm added a small wall on the left side of the kitchen to better define the space. It also hides the side of the upper cabinet. “It’s a small detail that creates a much cleaner look,” she says.

2 Floating oak shelves keep the space feeling airy. “Wood cabinets are typical in older cottages,” she says. “We went with white cabinetry, so it was also an opportunity to include a wood element.”

3 Rather than classic subway tile, Palm suggested a picket shape in a vertical installation, which she carried to the ceiling. “A full wall backsplash is appropriate for a beach location,” she says.

4 Given it’s a second home, the owners opted for semi-custom cabinetry with a factory finish. But there are still bells and whistles, including old-school lazy Susan pull-outs in the corners. Classic cup pulls align with the home’s era and vintage style.

5 The flush-mount light fixture over the sink once belonged to the owner’s grandmother. “It felt right to put it in,” Palm says.

6 The owner was instantly charmed by the pivoting chrome handles on the fridge. “You pull it out and it clicks,” Palm says.

Marni Elyse Katz is a contributing editor to the Globe Magazine. Follow her on Instagram @StyleCarrot. Send comments to [email protected].