Harmony in a Zen Kitchen

Designer Jessica Kalina used hues of blue, slabs of granite and a surprising bargain item to turn an oversized space into a warm, harmonious kitchen.

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Borrow something blue: "Blue like the cobalt in the antique pottery accents I used was once a trend and now is making a comeback," she says. "Sure, it's tranquil, but it's also more popular because people are no longer afraid to use color in their kitchen designs. They're making more high-profile color choices, not retreating behind neutrals, whites and beiges."

The key to making a dramatic color work hard in the kitchen? "Keep repeating it," says Jessica. "This cobalt blue, for example, can be picked up in a KitchenAid mixer, and Thermador sells a cooktop with blue knobs. Repeat touches of one color and it becomes a theme."

Try this at home: If you like the look of this kitchen's blue and white pottery, the design fits into a number of kitchen designs, says Jessica. "These clients had enough room that their pottery was just for display, but you could also use pottery for tea or spices," she says. "People like me who simply don't have 17th century Cantonese pottery in their collection can get close enough shopping at the back of discount department stores like Marshalls or T.J. Maxx. You really don't have to spend a lot for the look."

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