A Seaworthy Outdoor Kitchen Design

Whether you live near the water or are an avowed landlubber, decorating your outdoor kitchen with a nautical theme can be the perfect way to bring the best of summer to any gathering.  With a few maritime collectibles and some ocean-themed accents, your family and guests will enjoy that sense of being adrift on a sea of blinking fireflies while you take the helm at the grill.  Let us help you design a plan for your startling nautical design.

What You’ll Need

One of the first steps toward creating a sea-themed kitchen is to search for antique maritime pieces.  You can find old ship’s wheels, wooden pulleys, brass fixtures, portholes, oars, cleats, and much more that will not only lend a sense of authenticity but also paint you as a salty dog who has sailed the world.  It’s also a good idea to gather materials that are seaworthy.  Bits of brass, rope, sea glass, shells, and driftwood can be used as accents or transformed into art and even functional items.  Here are some creative ways to make your kitchen a nautical wonder.

Elements of Design

Lighting:  You can find authentic ships lamps to mount in your outdoor kitchen but other items can also be converted into lighting.  Try hanging an anchor light or hurricane lanterns from your eaves.  An interesting wall light can be made from a converted porthole, or create a table lamp from an antique brass diver’s helmet.  A simple display lamp filled with sea glass or shells also adds a nice touch of brine.

Decor:  Consider a backsplash for your counter area with thoughtfully positioned sea-themed tiles or use rope, teak wood, and cleats to create an interesting stair rail.  You can find chairs and end tables made from rope or driftwood to round out your ocean world.  Want to get really creative?  How about a dining table fashioned from a repurposed dingy.  Top that with a chandelier formed by sea glass or oyster shells.  Using materials with clean lines of aqua, white, and navy can really make your accent pieces pop.

Table Settings:  As you prepare the table, consider the effect you want to create.  Want to go rustic?  Try wooden dinnerware and utensils.  Put down rope placemats and light the table with candles arranged in jars of seashells.  For a more elegant look, use polished brass hurricane lamps or ship lanterns accented by brass mule cups .  How about beautiful sea glass lights and stem crystal to catch the light?  Understated dinnerware with simple patterns of navy and white complete a more sophisticated nautical look.

Art:  You can find interesting art pieces made from driftwood, sea glass, shells, and brass that will add the final touches to your kitchen.  Simple driftwood sea gulls, a turtle made from shells make tasteful additions. Or for something more upscale try hand blown glass jellyfish or brass conch shells.  If you’ve found a sea treasure, by all means, highlight it.  Repurpose an old ship’s wheel or hatch cover as a wall hanging.  Turn antique instrumentation or sextants into conversation pieces.

Summer will soon be here, so start planning now.  Sketch out the nautical kitchen design you want and start searching for your perfect pieces.  You’re the captain, make it so!