Perfect for coastal kitchens; create beachy look with stone

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Bringing the beauty of the glorious Lowcountry environment into your home was never more popular than it is today. New products now make it easy to create a beachy look in your kitchen or baths.

Vetrazzo, a new man-made product, is one of the most literally beachy products to use on your counter tops. With recycled glass and crushed oyster shells, the blues and greens and shimmer of the seashore are in full display in your kitchen.

Natural stone is still the most popular choice, and limestone can offer a more subtle and sophisticated way to create the desired effect.

"Oyster Blue" has small shell pieces actually embedded in the natural stone. "Shell Wreath Beige" is another, more subtle choice. Both can be leathered, honed or polished for a custom finish.

But don't think that you need to use actual seashells and sand to create an authentic coastal décor. Look beyond the obvious. Right now, the translucent, crystal look of quartz is very popular.

The soft greyish green undertone evokes the sea in a most subtle way.

Quartz actually comes in so many colors and subtle patterns that a local stone supplier has devoted a whole section of its warehouse to displaying quartz slabs.

Of course, glass tiles can be used in original mosaics to bring the seashore colors indoors.

Again, rather than a literal look with actual seashells or sea horses, consider choices that add shimmer, mood, color and ambiance to your kitchen or bath.

"If you are lucky enough to live at the beach, you are lucky enough!" so the saying goes. Now, we are lucky enough to go a step further and bring the magnificent colors and light of the sea into our homes.

Your stone and tile supplier will have plenty of choices, colors and budget options for you to consider as well as the expertise of a seasoned professional to guide you through the process.

Andrea Antunes McGilton is project manager at Distinctive Granite and Marble, with showrooms in Okatie; Lady's Island; Pooler, Ga., and on Hilton Head Island.

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