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Cape Cod Kitchen (Design Guide)

Here we share our Cape Cod kitchen design guide including layout & style ideas to get the look for your home.
Remodeled cape cod kitchen with white cabinets, beadboard doors and exposed beam ceilingA Cape Cod style kitchen originated from the cottage styles made to withstand the rough weather of New England. Since the focus was more on the exterior of the house and how it would hold up, the interiors were pretty simple in design. In this article we’ll be sharing updated and renovated Cape Cod kitchen ideas.

What is a Cape Cod Style Kitchen?

Cape cod kitchen design with white shaker cabinets pendant lights and butlers pantryThe modern version of this style typically includes a standard kitchen that is kept bright with lighter color cabinetry. The layout typically has an open plan with an eat in counter or island. The island is pretty common in Cape Cod style kitchens. This is to eliminate the need of the dining room altogether, by letting people eat in the kitchen area.

There is commonly a large window over the sink to give the kitchen a light and larger feel, as they are not usually super spacious.

Cape Cod Kitchen Finishes

Cape cod kitchen with white shaker cabinets marble counters hardwood floors large windowsTypically, the style incorporates wood flooring, though it is not a requirement to fit the style. They often showed its wear and were more hand built, so show the imperfection in the flooring, but they sure had sturdy construction. The wood was typically lighter to make the kitchen seem larger.

The molding on the cabinets was iconic, and always looks hand done. There is a crown molding as well as trims scouring the home to make it distinct and worked on. Sometimes the cabinetry doors will have trim and glass panels to show off the ornamental glassware inside the cabinets.

The color schemes for the Cap Cod style is usually light, airy and beachy, due to its vicinity to the water usually. Using beige, whites, blues and light yellows greens are best for cape cod kitchen designs. There can be a few darker mixed in to add contrast to the design. See more beach kitchen ideas here.

Cape Cod Kitchen Style

Cape cod kitchen with white cabinets light green island wood beam ceiling wood flooringKitchen with bead board island and Shaker style cabinets.

In historically correct versions of the Cape Cod style kitchen there is a specific focus on fireplaces and stoves, as these are what keeps the house warm, and is the way that everything was cooked in the homes. In more modern designs they do not need to be as focused on, but can still be ornamental.

Cape Cod style, nowadays is typically used for vacation or summer homes, which lends itself to the style of light colors, and a smaller footprint. Vacation homes hold less structured family dinners and permanent items.

Kitchen Countertops for Cape Cod Style

Cape cod style kitchen with vaulted ceiling wood beams white cabinets navy island white quartz countersThe countertops used in cape cod style kitchens can vary depending on your preferences. Most frequently, countertops are found in quartz, granite, Corian or wood butcher block.

Considering a wood countertop with white cabinets is appropriate in this style, as the natural element is there without overwhelming the space. Wood counters can be used for the center island, with different main countertops for the remainder of the kitchen layout.

Sometimes a darker contrasting countertop can be eye catching or a lighter color to mix well with the rest of the space depending on what the flooring and cabinetry selection are. This style does not want too many dark colors present.

The Cape Cod style is often an ode to the sea, with local dealers often featuring ocean and nautical inspired selections for countertops, backsplashes and other types of tiles that may be needed in the kitchen.

Cape Cod Kitchen Remodel Ideas (How to Get the Look)

Cape cod kitchen with white cabinets casement windows stone backsplash and crown moldingStep one for getting the look of the cape cod style kitchen is to open it up. This kitchen should either connect to the dining room or also be the dining room depending on space and functional needs.

One of the most important parts of the cape cod kitchen style is that the kitchen is open and airy, while it may commonly be small it cannot feel stuffy, it should be bright and open. – interior designer Savannah.

Step two of getting that dream cape cod kitchen is to buy a lot of white paint. Cover up whatever purples or oranges you had in the home before because it is time for whites, and pastels. The color palette for the cape cod style kitchen is seaside colors, including beige, whites and light pale blues, greens and yellows.

Step three to that cape cod kitchen is to buy white cabinetry. This is one of the most popular colors for cabinetry and it fits the theme perfectly. This gives the option to add the natural elements to the flooring or even the countertops. These cabinets should also have some sort of detailing to them. Historically, the cape cod houses has a lot of trims and glass paneling.

Step four if you desire is to finish off by adding seaside or nautical themes and decor accessories. This will help create the right ambiance. The trick is to not go overboard with decor, but select a few pieces that can reinforce the them without becoming overwhelming or kitschy.

Incorporating these into the design will bring the cape cod vision to life. Even adding matching crown molding to the ceilings can make a huge difference in appearance.

Finally for step five, select easy to use hardware. One of the key features of the cape cod style home is that it is functional. There are no cabinets out of reach or things that cannot be used, because the space is so small it is silly to include something just for looks.

For more designs check out our gallery of kitchens with white cabinets.


Tuesday 27th of April 2021

I want to transform my kitchen in to a Cape Cod kitchen so bad. I love the timeless look and it reminds me of summer holidays to a vacation rental we would visit on the Atlantic coast when I was a kid.