For the kitchen that has everything, there is always room for improvement – a new gadget here, an updated appliance there. Local experts hold forth on the latest kitchen trends.
Interior designer and principal of Fixtures and Fittings, Nancy Davis specializes in bathroom and kitchen design and supplies plumbing fixtures and accessories to the trade and homeowner. When asked what’s new in Hamptons kitchens, she quickly rattled off a list of the latest gizmos: instant hot water; cold filtered water; garbage disposal, in-counter steamers and, for a touch of class, a Mick De Giulio kitchen sink.
Chicago designer De Giulio has designed a sophisticated and functional collection of chef-inspired stainless-steel sinks for luxury plumbing supplier Kallista. The sinks offer “task-oriented accessories” such as a flatware tray for rinsing cutlery, dishcloth holder and removable plantation teak cutting board with knife holder.
Established in 1918 on the Lower East Side, Gringer and Sons – which opened a satellite store in Commack in 2010 – supplies appliances to homeowners and the trade, including Farrell Building Company. Vice president Lewis Shenker shared the latest in appliance trends.
Induction cooktops “work on a magnetic principle” and are “the closest thing to gas with electricity. They’re responsive, fast and efficient.”
Combi-Steam Ovens – Shenker says that steam ovens, a popular product that “puts a shine on bread and keeps roasts moist,” are being replaced by products that combine steam with other functions from convection to baking.
The latest in refrigeration is columns. You can purchase either a fridge or freezer column in various widths and mix and match according to your needs.
“My work has a white kitchen with a twist,” says Bob Bakes, president of Bakes and Kropp, fine custom cabinetry makers based in Sag Harbor and New York. “I don’t think it will ever go out of fashion.” While high-gloss finishes are what’s happening now, Bakes relishes a satin white finish with “subtle wood accents in walnut or rift oak.” What about hardware? “There’s a movement away from polished nickel toward a brighter cleaner look with polished chrome,” he says. Though his favorite is still the former. “It’s got a softer sheen.”
Bakes and Kropp’s own line of custom hoods involves “experimentation – a move away from stainless and white wood toward hoods with far more interesting design elements.” He mentions stainless steel and wood accents with metal highlights.
Lefroy Brook designs plumbing fixtures with historical references. Their most popular line is the Mackintosh, a nod to 1930s Art Deco. Their Fleetwood line is an homage to mid-century design. Their XO collection has the clean hard edges inspired by the minimalism of the year 2000.
Kitchens for the Hamptons Lifestyle
The design brains behind the Farrell Building Company, Kristen Farrell says, “I literally put myself in the kitchens” of the houses they construct. Because “we live it ourselves,” she can contribute “that extra attention to detail.” Concerned not just with “the finish and sleekness,” she begins the design process by examining the functionality. “We’re designing our kitchen when the hole for the foundation is being dug.” It’s that painstaking process along the way that results in not something you can see but something you can feel when you walk into a Farrell kitchen.
The typical Farrell package is comprised of “streamlined” products from Sub-Zero, Wolf or Miele. And, of course, includes all the bells and whistles. “We’re moving away from microwaves to steam ovens since people are trying to lead healthy lives.” Now that most people make their coffee with a “Keurig or French press,” they are no longer in need of the Miele coffee maker she once provided. She’s also seen the die off of the ubiquitous pot filler. “They take away from the design of the kitchen. They’re not aesthetically appealing.”
One of Farrell’s signatures is to adapt everyday items for the Hamptons lifestyle. Take the cutlery drawer. She will incorporate a deeper slide for secondary storage, making life easier when guests arrive. “One of the things we all do in the Hamptons is entertain.” Cabinets are large to accommodate Hamptons-size plates and islands have room for that extra set of dishes, glasses and serving platters.
In each Farrell property she coordinates the fixtures to the backsplash “to reflect the personality we have assigned each house.”