Create a Coastal Aesthetic

Expert kitchen and bath designer Ellen Lopez incorporates natural hues and bold movement into this interior design.

Written by:Cambria USA
Photographed by:Josh Goetz Photography
a large traditional kitchen with white upper and lower cabinets, some open shelving, white and gray veined quartz backsplash and countertops, a gray wooden island topped with matching quartz countertops with a built in stove in the oven.

The homeowners of a waterfront estate overlooking the Long Island Sound interviewed four kitchen designers before finding their perfect match in Ellen Lopez at EL Design Studio, an expert kitchen and bath designer with over 15 years of experience in the remodeling industry and a background in textiles and styling.

With a fresh take for each new project, the EL Design Studio approach focuses on detail, function, and beauty and reflects artful design through the lens of the client’s tastes and needs. In this case, the client was looking for what they dubbed as “coastal elegance” in the kitchen, bathrooms, and living spaces.

The Designs

“What I loved about this project was that it allowed me to think more creatively than I’ve been able to in the past,” says Lopez. “I had the opportunity to stretch my ingenuity and design products beyond my usual scope.”

Think bleached oak woodwork, subtle green cabinetry, 20-foot floor-to-ceiling windows, and an abundance of Cambria natural quartz in Skara Brae and Kelvingrove Matte designs used throughout the home in unique applications.

Cambria offers 200+ industry-leading designs, all of which feature unparalleled strength and durability and are crafted from the purest natural materials on Earth. Cambria’s natural quartz surfaces are nonabsorbent, scratch and stain resistant, and maintenance free for a lifetime of beauty.

The Stately Kitchen

Because the house is situated parallel to the water’s edge, the view of the horizon line creates a strong linear look. Lopez wanted to carry that idea through the kitchen space to give it what she describes as a “stately feel.”

Drawing from the flow and muted colors of the water and vegetation outside the window, Lopez used the movement of Cambria’s Skara Brae design on the countertops and backsplash to soften the hard lines.

Cambria is commonly used in backsplash applications, like where the backsplash spans the distance between the countertop to the upper cabinetry, crown molding, or ceiling. For backsplashes, Cambria typically recommends using an appropriate backer that can support the size and weight of the Cambria application. Substrate like cement board has previously been used with success.


Cambria Skara Brae on the countertops and backsplash in this waterfront New York property.

Kitchen with muted colors featuring a table and backsplash with Cambria Skara Brae quartz.

Lopez added Skara Brae to the countertops and backsplash.

I used Cambria designs as though they were watercolor paintings or faux painting techniques I had created for each space, rather than looking at the stone as a hard surface, it was my goal to make it feel soft by letting its movement dance around each application.
Ellen Lopez,
EL Design Studio
a large traditional kitchen with white upper and lower cabinets, some open shelving, white and gray veined quartz backsplash and countertops, a gray wooden island topped with matching quartz countertops with a built in stove in the oven.

Designer Ellen Lopez wanted the home’s kitchen to feel stately and elegant.

“The kitchen captures all of the nature outside and funnels it in an elegant manner into the essence of the home,” says Lopez. “With the firm line of the horizon followed around the space counterbalanced by the movement of Cambria’s Skara Brae dancing around the walls, the kitchen breathes life into the rest of the home.”

The Living Spaces

In a living space, the combination of a Kelvingrove Matte-clad fireplace—with beachy hues of turquoise and sand—set against a bleached oak mantel brings in the outdoors but keeps the tone one of casual elegance.


A Cambria Kelvingrove Matte-clad fireplace keeps the tone in the home casually elegant.

That same essence translates to the laundry room where Lopez installed Cambria’s White Cliff™ design. “To the left of the sink, you’ll see a custom drying board integrated into the countertop that allows excess water to flow right into the sink,” says Lopez. “The bright white of Cambria’s White Cliff mixed with the soft subtle green of the cabinetry gave the room that extra fresh feeling.”

See more of this home including a hidden Montgomery™ office nook and a bathroom vanity featuring Brittanicca Gold Warm™ on EL Design Studio’s Instagram page.

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