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Great Coastal Kitchens
Published: 02/03/2011
Gary Hayes

If it's true that the kitchen is the heart of the home, then we know of some coastal homes with a beautiful heart!

Great coastal kitchens each have their own distinctive flair and, though kitchens may share some similar components, it's the details that customize and define them.

Successfully styled kitchens often highlight a major focal point in the room. A custom countertop, a unique backsplash or a signature piece of furniture can set the tone for the entire space. Add in unique combinations of colors and textures to complete the mix and you clearly communicate the owner's sense of style.

A translucent glass stacked tile backsplash in a Gearhart kitchen we recently photographed echoes the aqua blue of the ocean seen through large west-facing windows in the home. The cool-colored backsplash makes a striking and complementary contrast to the rich warm wood tones used in this kitchen's cabinetry, floors and ceiling.

Custom decorative tiles created by an artist homeowner were used in the backsplash and range hood in a Willapa Bay home, creating functional art in a decidedly coastal style.

A craftsman home overlooking the Columbia River in Astoria successfully combines dramatic textures, creating a fine balance between warm and cool, matte and sheen. Countertops made from an unusual Matrix granite that resembles the dark, choppy waters of the wind-tossed river contrasts with the high polish of the stainless pot-filler sink fixtures.

Tossing in a blend of classic and new elements can also create a unique and successful kitchen space. A Cannon Beach renovated cottage features white beadboard walls and a few well-placed antiques to offer the classic touch while the rich, buttery patina of the refinished floor contrast against the simple shades of white in the room.

Slate works well in a kitchen if you're looking for color and texture in a single element. An Oceanside home we featured uses chiseled slate in the floor and stacked slate tiles in varying sizes and shapes paired with smooth glass tiles in the kitchen backsplash. Copper accents throughout the kitchen are a perfect blend and contrast to the warm and cool colors found in the slate.

A hand-chiseled, black walnut wood countertop creates texture and plays against the smooth slab soapstone counters and the lighter hues of the Douglas fir cabinets in another kitchen that successfully blends color and texture. A large Tansu chest is a major focal point in the room and serves as a hutch to contain the kitchen's dishes and silverware.

Endless possibilities are available when defining and crafting your kitchen's style. Don't be afraid to mix it up and focus in on a few key details to make your own style statement. - By Veronica Russell

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