Wednesday, 23 November 2016 00:37

Off To The Hamptons

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Off To The Hamptons
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Coastal and casual yet elegant and refined, Hamptons-style kitchens are designed and built to last. Taking inspiration from The Hamptons villages in Long Island, New York, Bojana Lazarevska discovers what traditional and elegant features set Hamptons-inspired kitchens apart from their conventional counterparts.

Melanie DeMelt of Town & Country Designs was recently asked to design a Hamptons-inspired kitchen for a client to improve the function of their existing layout and match the features included throughout the home.

A Hamptons-style kitchen conjures impressions of leisure, affluence and grandeur, but is not restricted to coastal regions. Its classic timeless design can be incorporated into any home, regardless of geography. Simplicity is key with these designs – white tones, a satin finish, marble benchtop and handsome handles for doors and drawers will complete the effortless look.

This Town & Country Designs kitchen exemplifies all of the classic elements of a Hamptons design, from the beautifully-intricate white cabinetry and large island bench to the dark timber floors and lighting. Taking inspiration from this creation, Western Australia Kitchen + Bathroom Design explains the must-have features that bring The Hamptons to your kitchen.

THE COLOUR PALETTE

When designing your kitchen in this style, always remember to include as much white cabinetry as possible. The overall aesthetic of Hamptonsinspired décor is its bright and light-filled spaces, and a predominantly white colour palette will let your kitchen shine.

White is light and reflective, and when paired with dark timber floors it gives off a distinctive Hamptons-style appearance. Pale colours such as beige and cream will work just as well, especially on your walls. Adding a pop of colour, such as a pastel or a light blue, to your kitchen accessories will liven up your space and remain in keeping with the theme.

Continue accents of your kitchen palette into neighbouring rooms, via upholstery or other soft furnishings, to tie the look together. Even a few cushions in the right colours will do the trick and continue on from the kitchen’s décor.

THE DEVIL IS IN THE DETAILS

Classic Hamptons-style architecture includes high-pitched ceilings, exposed beams and timber sarking on walls and floors. When planning your Hamptons kitchen, keep in mind that it will work best in a house that already possesses some of these features.

Your Cabinetry

Decorative details on cabinet fronts are a must-have. As displayed in this example by Town & Country Designs, the architectural detail of the door fronts on the upper cabinets elevate the ceiling and make the kitchen appear even more spacious.

Kitchen cabinets constructed with a frame around the panel are called shaker-style cabinets. These are often popular in Hamptonsstyle kitchens because of their solid traditional lines and detailing.

Although white is most commonly used on cabinetry, grey or light blue can also work well in coastal kitchens, as it reflects the colours of the ocean.

Introduce Warmth

Since warmth and texture epitomise the Hamptons look, try and incorporate as much of this as possible. Soften up hard white surfaces and marble benchtops by introducing timber or similar natural tones, which you can include in your seating. Wooden bar stools, or chairs in jute, raffia, and wooden fibres work particularly well in this setting.

The Focal Point

The bench will, without a doubt, be the focal point of your kitchen. Kitchens in The Hamptons include prominent large benches, and marble and wood are the two most popular choices for benchtop materials.

Marble suits the Hamptons look due to its natural and timeless quality. The bolder the veins in your marble, the more luxurious it will look – Italian marble Calacatta is often selected for this very purpose, whereas the Carrara offers more subtle, softer veins for a less dramatic look.

If a marble slab isn’t exactly your thing, a timber top with a rich grain will add warmth and texture to your Hamptons kitchen, while fitting in with the rest of the décor. Wood is a great alternative to marble and is chosen for its natural, tactile and organic properties.

Be careful with moisture and heat, however, as these elements can damage your timber benchtop. Make sure you seal your surface from moisture with a polyurethane finish or oil it regularly to keep it in tip-top shape. Choosing solid hardwood materials will help in the long-run too!

Coastal Splashbacks

Traditional subway patterns remain popular with splashbacks in Hamptons-inspired kitchens, and the tiles work best in grey, green or blue colours – this Town & Country Designs kitchen has used a light grey option, which is the most common among these designs.

Herringbone and hexagon patterns work well in more contemporary Hamptons-inspired kitchens, and will give your splashback a more varied look than more classic designs.

Let There Be Light

When it comes to lighting, in Hamptons-style kitchens, size really does matter. Go big and bold with your lights – despite popular belief, large shades and hanging pendants will give the impression of a larger kitchen bench.

The hanging metal pendants in this Town & Country Designs example are the perfect choice for the high ceilings in this kitchen, and add to the drama and scale of the room. Large cloth pendants, woven cane and ceramic materials also work well.

Accessorise, Accessorise, Accessorise

Accessories are the key to keep a Hamptons kitchen from looking bare. These can include everyday items, such as cookbooks, memorabilia or artefacts. More often than not, Hamptons-style kitchens will include open shelves to showcase vintage kitchenware and appliances, which is a staple in these kinds of designs.

Quirky coastal memorabilia will add character to your design, and choosing authentic items will keep your kitchen from looking contrived. Large round mirrors with interesting frames work well in a Hamptons-inspired setting, particularly if you’re following a beachy theme. Finally, try and include some greenery to keep the space looking lively, so incorporate as many plants or flowers as possible.

Houses in The Hamptons are characterised by large living spaces, and an effortless, coastal, light and breezy character. Although it’s easy to alter the design to suit your tastes, try and keep it as classic and traditional as possible to pay respect to its roots. Remember that a white palette, imposing island bench, wooden flooring, feature lighting and vintage accessories equal perfection.

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