Perfect The Coastal Kitchen Look With This Stunning Backsplash Choice

While interior design trends tend to come and go, coastal décor has remained one of the most popular and timeless decorating styles for years, inspired by breezy, sunny days spent by the salty sea. There's something effortlessly confident and relaxing about coastal interior design, especially in shared spaces like bathrooms, living rooms, and kitchens. However, when incorporating a coastal style into the kitchen, it can be tricky to achieve the look without getting too cluttered or kitschy. After all, you'll still want to have plenty of counter space for hosting family crab boils and cooking fresh seafood dinners. You don't have to paint everything blue or hang seashells and lighthouses everywhere to make your kitchen feel beachy. Whether you're remodeling a seaside cabana or just looking to make your landlocked kitchen more coastal-inspired, you can take your kitchen from bland to beachy with a simple sea glass backsplash. 

Sea glass brings a lovely aqua color into your home that is undeniably ocean-like, making it one of the best ideas for the beachy kitchen of your dreams. Plus, manufactured sea glass tiles for backsplashes are relatively affordable and easy to find. Here's what you need to know about installing a sea glass backsplash, the pros and cons of this charming material, and other tips for bringing a coastal flair to your kitchen. 

A sea glass backsplash brings subtle ocean vibes

Sea glass, sometimes called "beach glass," is formed when broken shards of glass end up in the ocean. As the glass rolls and tumbles in the waves, it is slowly smoothed by sand abrasion. Eventually, the sea glass may wash back onto shore, appearing as a smooth and foggy glass stone. When found in nature, sea glass can come in a rainbow of colors, from clear to green, deep blue, or even amber. Manufactured sea glass tiles usually feature a light, misty greenish color, but each tile can vary slightly in color, depth, and clarity. 

When it comes to installing a sea glass backsplash in your kitchen, there are dozens of styles and combinations to choose from. For a sleek and minimal look that's relatively affordable, opt for sea glass tiles in a simple subway pattern. Tiles like these can be purchased from Home Depot for about $17.47 per square foot. For something more eye-catching or eclectic, use multicolor sea glass squares, available at Home Depot for about $12.70 per square foot. You could also use natural, found sea glass pieces for a more freestyled, mosaic look and even incorporate small shells into your mosaic backsplash, but this will likely be more time-consuming and expensive — especially if you plan to collect the pieces yourself. Looking for a renter-friendly version, or not sure if you'll love the sea glass look? Peel-and-stick backsplash tiles are affordable, removable, and easy to install.

Balancing a sea glass backsplash with your lifestyle

Sea glass backsplashes do have some pros and cons that are important to consider. On the positive side, sea glass backsplashes (and any glass backsplashes, for that matter) are very easy to clean and maintain. Wiping the glass surface to remove splatters is a breeze, and unlike natural stone, you don't have to be picky with your cleaning solutions. Some downsides to sea glass can include the price, especially if you opt for natural, found sea glass pebbles. Glass backsplashes are also prone to scratching, especially if sanded grout is used, but sea glass's naturally foggy appearance can help to mask any minor scratches it may accumulate. 

If you're not ready to take the plunge with a new sea glass backsplash or you find that the sea glass is too subtle for your liking, there are other ways to enhance the coastal vibe in your kitchen. For a timeless look, decorate the kitchen in your beach house without cliché coastal décor, like lighthouse props, cluttered sea shell piles, or "beach" signage. Instead, opt for beachy textures and colors inspired by nature, like white table linens, breezy curtains, rattan placemats or blue serving utensils. Decorate empty spaces with cookbooks featuring seafood, shellfish, or tropical recipes, and tastefully add beachy items like a large conch shell, driftwood centerpiece, or vase of flowers with reeds and grasses inspired by the dunes.