scorecardresearch Skip to main content
Style Watch

Creating a dining area that stays true to the beach house vibe

The small space is brought to life with a fresh color palette plays off the adjacent mint green kitchen.

Designer Kristen Apicerno was tasked with creating a dining area that was not only striking, but could stand up to children and frequent guests.Jessica Delaney

“They just bought their little slice of heaven, but didn’t know how to make the small living space work,” Kristen Apicerno says about her clients’ summer home in Fairhaven. For Apicerno, the solution was obvious: Arrange a seating area by the wood stove in the front of the house, then install a large-scale chandelier between it and the kitchen to establish a clear zone for dining. As for other requirements: Furnishings needed to be durable enough to stand up to kids and frequent guests, the color palette should play off the mint green kitchen, and the style should feel sufficiently beachy.

1 Functional and decorative items strike a coastal but not kitschy vibe in the kitchen. “Everyday items are part of the décor; things you use but look good,” Apicerno says.


2 The Serena & Lily bleached wood-bead chandelier is a dramatic focal point that anchors the room and throws off lots of much-needed light. “My client uses this as her Zoom background,” Apicerno says. “I love its organic texture and drippy-ness.”

3 The oval mirror with rattan stick frame is a secondary focal point that injects another dose of beachy texture and turns the utilitarian corner into a pleasing vignette.

4 Apicerno placed a bench with tip-out shoe storage under the stairs, then topped it with coral-colored pillows to punch up the mint and navy scheme. “Coral reminds me of Creamsicles,” the designer says.

5 Aiming for a collected look evocative of historic summer properties, Apicerno chose Serena & Lily woven abaca chairs with white frames rather than ones that match the table. “New England beach houses are often a little of this and that, laidback and unfussy,” she says.

6 The Pottery Barn trestle table with breadboard leaves accommodates many people without overtaking the room. “The distressed appearance is appropriate for a beach house; we didn’t want anything too polished,” Apicerno notes.


This file has been updated to correct the spelling on the designer’s last name in one spot. The Globe regrets the error.

Marni Elyse Katz is a contributing editor to the Globe Magazine. Follow her on Instagram @StyleCarrot. Send comments to