Kitchen on the Half Shell

Waterfront living inspires a laid-back lifestyle, but that doesn't mean there aren't certain issues to consider when cooking up your coastal kitchen.

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Hide CaptionShow CaptionFor a coastal kitchen, avoid materials that might rust or harbor dirt.
The view Donna Stavros enjoys when washing veggies from her kitchen sink in Huntington Beach, Calif., could grace travel brochures. Her luxurious custom-built kitchen is dominated by a sweeping view of the point where three channels merge before flowing into the Pacific.

When Donna and her husband, developer and entrepreneur George Stavros, designed and constructed their waterfront home, they built their kitchen on three principles: make the most of the water, allow for both behind-the-scenes and participatory food preparation and create these spaces with outdoor entertaining in mind. They hit three home runs.

George says the room's design leans heavily on the view in fact, the stove is the only place where the water's not visible to the cook. The kitchen also easily accesses the pool and patio areas, with a second butler's kitchen for use by caterers.

"There's something magnetic about the water," George contends. "It draws you to it no matter what part of the house you're in."