Coastal kitchens are undergoing a design revolution. Traditional, richly decorated, inefficient and windowless kitchens are being cast to the ocean breeze, replaced by modern, linear, open and highly functional spaces filled with natural light.

Cabinets, countertops, wall and floor treatments, appliances, accessories and exciting new technologies are delivering coastal homeowners an array of contemporary design options for entertaining family and friends in style.

The demands of passionate home cooks are being met by flawless custom kitchens complete with sleek textures, splashes of vibrant colors and multifunction appliances in various dimensions.

So what are the design experts cooking up? We asked seven prominent architects and interior designers to showcase their favorite kitchens, go-to design professionals and top brands for 2016:



Leading New England architect Jill Neubauer relishes designing a kitchen at least as much as cooking a great meal. One of Neubauer’s favorite kitchens, in a home on Martha’s Vineyard off the coast of Mass., is filled with natural light. “The kitchen is linear, large and close to the outdoors on both sides,” she says.

Her clients, a couple who love entertaining family and friends, wanted a modern, almost raw space, but there’s nothing sterile about this beautifully designed kitchen.

Open shelving and work tables that crank up and down, made by Cor-Metals in Mashpee, Mass., are indicative of the sense of easy, no-fuss coastal living that Neubauer shares with the homeowners.

The couple opted for a Sub-Zero refrigerator and a 48-inch Wolf stove with six burners, two ovens and a grill. “It’s a very social kitchen, with a stove that can meet that demand,” Neubauer says. “It can pretty well take care of any entertaining needs.”



Among the many residential kitchens architect Mark Macco has designed, one is very personal: the chic kitchen in his own Jacksonville Beach home.

The space, which is open to the main living area, has an enviable trove of appliances as well as a butler’s pantry tucked around the corner for the parties he and his partner frequently throw.

The floor plan’s work triangle and island – topped with LED pendants by Tech Lighting – were designed for ease of movement and aesthetics. Dark wenge wood cabinets contrast beautifully with the light-infused interior and porcelain tile floor.

Macco and his partner, an excellent cook, furnished the space with a Sub-Zero fridge; two Bosch dishwashers (one is in the butler’s pantry); and a cooktop, hood and double-oven by Viking.

In keeping with a convivial household, there are two Sub-Zero wine refrigerators, one for red and one for white. As Macco says: “When we have parties, everyone always ends up in the kitchen.”



The rugged coastline of Sea Ranch, Calif., inspired leading architect Nick Noyes to use warm woods, slate and aluminum cabinetry to counterbalance the clean, contemporary lines of a client’s kitchen, working thoughtfully to keep it from feeling too stark.

Like all of his residential kitchens, this room, Noyes says, was designed to support the architectural intent of the project and the specific requirements of the clients. “Ease of maintenance and function are paramount to good kitchen design,” says Noyes.

Caesarstone countertops in Blizzard White, both hard wearing and good looking, were a natural design choice. Poggenpohl aluminum cabinets add a sleek, modern aesthetic and high functionality while a built-in Sub-Zero fridge integrates seamlessly into the cabinetry.

A Gaggenau cooktop and Hansgrohe faucets complete the contemporary yet warm look. The kitchen, Noyes contends, is a touchstone for his clients’ busy family life. “The kitchen is always the heart of a house,” he says.



Working with restaurant kitchen designers early in his career gave Peter Pennoyer an appreciation for spare, ergonomically comfortable residential kitchens. “I learned a lot about efficiency,” Pennoyer says.

The renowned architect talks to his clients in detail about how they prepare, cook and serve food. “I try to make the cooking area as efficient and compact as possible,” he says.

For sinks, Pennoyer recommends undermount styles in heavy-gauge stainless steel to reduce noise, such as the Just Sinks brand. A perennial fan of Thermador and Wolf ovens, Pennoyer also favors the Gaggenau steam oven.

When it comes to dishwashers, Pennoyer says the Miele line has winning dual features: energy efficiency and cleaning power.

Sub-Zero complements his work with new fridges that fit many dimensions, such as the two Sub-Zero 650 stainless steel refrigerator/freezers incorporated into a recently designed New York City townhouse. “The different sizes make it easier for me to tailor a kitchen design,” he says.



Leading interior designer Beverly Bradshaw tends to fall in love with kitchens. “I could design five different kitchens and love them all,” she says. “I like to honor the home.”

Observing one recent kitchen trend towards simplicity, Bradshaw hopes it isn’t at the expense of rich textures. “I love textures,” she says, “still neutral but perhaps combining stone, iron and wood. It’s very Northwest.”

Bradshaw often designs a kitchen’s surfaces and finishes, then calls on other professionals, such as Vawn Greany of Collaborative Interiors in Seattle for specific cabinetry design.

While she’s a fan of Wolf and Sub-Zero appliances, Bradshaw recently fell in love with GE’s Monogram line, especially its Advantium Speed Oven.

For kitchen walls, Bradshaw says she usually opts for Benjamin Moore’s historical colors. “I think they are great for homes in the Northwest,” she adds.



When design duo Polly Lewis and Maribeth Brostowski saw the remarkable coastal views from the kitchen of a client’s home in Duxbury, Mass., they knew nature would be the star of the show.

The business partners’ design highlights the room’s airy beauty, taking full advantage of the large windows by foregoing all upper cabinets and instead relying on a large neighboring pantry for storage.

“The absence of eye-level distraction allows an increased focus on the Zoffany wallpaper and Gaston and Daniela fabric window treatments,” Lewis says.

Their choice of fresh citrus colors and a neutral background palette help to emphasize the understated elegance of the appliances: a Sub-Zero fridge, Bosch dishwasher and black enamel La Cornue range hood.

The ovens and wine coolers, by Thermador, are tucked away in the pantry. Water is delivered by a foot-pedal Rohl faucet and InSinkErator filter system. The result? Beauty plus technology equals a stunning kitchen design.



As Christopher Raessler began designing the interior of a new 1,400-square-foot condo in New York City’s Millennium Tower, he knew the kitchen’s exhaust system would be tricky.

The homeowners, a couple from Taiwan, turned to their chef to make the important kitchen decisions, and he needed some crucial equipment, including a wood grill, in addition to the standard appliances.

“We wanted a professional kitchen, but very warm and linked to the rest of the apartment,” Raessler says.

After consulting with technical teams at Sub-Zero and Wolf, the condo was outfitted with a large Sub-Zero fridge, a 36-inch Wolf gas range and cooktop and a high-powered yet quiet Wolf exhaust system.

“It’s a very clean-lined, tailored look, on the darker side,” Raessler says of the interior. “So our aim was to make the kitchen seem as large as possible.”

Image Credits: Photo credit: Elevin Studios.