Our Refreshing Coastal Kitchen Renovation

Jan 10, 2022DESIGN

Coastal Kitchen Island

Our coastal kitchen renovation is complete and I couldn’t be happier. Our tired traditional kitchen has morphed into coastal cool and we love the results.

The project began with Pinterest searches for kitchen inspiration. Trying to jive new materials with our existing cabinets and flooring was more challenging than anticipated. The flooring is travertine. I don’t love travertine, but I don’t dislike it enough to rip it out and replace it. Too much hassle and expense when it’s not your forever home.

Besides, travertine is up to the challenge of rough-and-tumble families like ours. So, my challenge was to find greigy-toned materials that would jive with travertine. Spoiler alert: there aren’t many.

I convinced my husband to renovate the kitchen by saying it would improve my cooking.


Coastal Kitchen Renovation

The first material we chose for our coastal kitchen project was the countertop. Despite many people ripping-out their quartzite because “it’s no longer on trend,” I love it. It’s rich and creamy with a hint of gray. And it has the perfect movement without competing with the flooring.

We thought we’d use wood for the kitchen island base. But, we disliked how the old island showed every droplet of water. The more we researched, we realized we wanted water-resistant material. We landed on Salt International’s melamine in Canyon Oak. Wrapping the perimeter of the island with horizontal planks has the rustic vibe we love. It looks great juxtaposed against the more sophisticated countertop. And it coordinates with the existing Navajo White cabinets. Win-win.
We chose Schaub hardware because they offer hardware suites. The existing Navajo White cabinets had five-inch handles with holes already drilled. We knew handles that small would be too puny for the island. I was gaming for eight-inch and ten-inch handles. Schaub offers handles from five-inches to twelve-inches and several sizes between. Score.
Kitchen Island Renovation - Julie Pedraza

I designed the island with drawers and pull-outs. I find drawers much more functional than cabinets, especially when they’re lower. So, I opted for a trash/recycling pull-out with a sub-drawer for trash liners. There is also a nifty dog food/supply drawer. The only cabinet is under-the-sink.

On the patio/pool side of the island, I opted for four equally-sized drawers for pool towels and swim trunks. This makes it super easy for the kids to grab what they need to swim or hang by the fire pit.

Coastal Kitchen Renovation

This side of the island is where I got crafty. I don’t like dirty phones on the countertop, so I had enough depth to add a charging station shelf. It’s equipped with a USB outlet, phone sanitizer/charger and Google Home. Below the charging shelf is Georgi’s and Bodhi’s food/hydration station. No more knocking over water bowls.

We added backsplash tile and two floating shelves to the accent wall above. I keep canisters of chai latte on the lower shelf and my cookbooks on the higher one— high enough that I can’t reach them. Smart cookie, huh?

We sanded the top layer of our polished travertine floors to remove the yellow tone. Now, our once Tuscan travertine resembles the color of sand. It’s perfect for our coastal kitchen vibe.

Kitchen Island Sink - Julie Pedraza
My friend recommended a Blanco sink and it does not disappoint. It’s scratch, stain, heat and rust resistant. In other words, sign me up. I’m forever ruined and will never have a scratched-up stainless steel sink again.
The faucets have me swooning, too. The single handle faucet and hot water dispenser by Newport Brass are the best faucets I’ve ever owned. And the oil-rubbed bronze is the drama I wanted atop the Taj Mahal countertops. Newport Brass designs excellent yet expensive faucets. But, if there’s anything I’ve learned from years of kitchen renovations, it’s splurge on your faucets. Cheap faucets are a real drip.

Let’s pretend the little nubby piece next to the faucet isn’t there. It’s an air gap. I don’t like it, but the state of California requires it. *sigh*

I wanted to keep the backsplash clean and simple. I’ve found when you add accents to the backsplash you tire of them. Besides, backsplash accents are trendy. Trends come and go while clean and simple is timeless.

Coastal Kitchen Cabinet Color
We needed tile that would coordinate with the existing cabinets. So, we chose rectangular matte Concerto tile. Each tile has tonal differentiation with a smidge of texture. To complete the facelift of this side of the kitchen, we added a new cooktop, too.

Renovation projects will have snafus and most deadlines will come and go. It’s helpful to choose a GC with a creative mind and attention to detail. We chose Eskan Developers because they understood our vision. They took our coastal kitchen inspiration and brought it to life. And their photography skills are much better than mine. Thanks to the talented Alena for taking amazing photos.

The before and after images look like two different homes. What a difference a new backsplash, countertops and hardware can make. 

It feels good to have a ‘new’ kitchen. —Almost good enough to cook in it.

Kitchen Renovation Before Photo - Julie Pedraza
Kitchen Renovation After Photo - Julie Pedraza

As always, thank you for being here and sharing the articles you appreciate most. If you haven’t subscribed, please do so below. And if you have questions or suggestions, leave a comment or reach out via email or Instagram. My mind and inbox are always open. —xo


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