Home & Design: Trends

More Time in the Kitchen

By Kate C. Patchett - October 27, 2020

The heart of the home certainly felt the love this year as the pandemic kept people confined to their abodes. Rediscovering what’s most important in life, many found their place in the kitchen again, honing cooking and baking skills, preparing meals for family, opting for these homecooked meals as restaurants limited offerings to takeout. The kitchen is also one of the most frequented communal spaces within the home. With Hamptons real estate sales on the rise since March and buyers looking to be in place as quickly as possible, there was a strong demand for renovations to make living spaces as comfortable as possible. Designers share their take on how the pandemic shaped the industry and what trends homeowners desire most. 

The way designers work has shifted during the pandemic. Designer Christopher Peacock, whose eponymous luxury cabinetry company has achieved critical acclaim, has long understood the importance of added form to this highly functional space. In 2020, the kitchen’s uses have expanded.

“The kitchen doubles as an office, college class, and grade school as well as a place to entertain and cook, so seating, connectivity, and workspaces are all more of a requirement,” Peacock explains. “The kitchen has to absorb a far greater amount of use than it has in the past, and it really has become more of a multifunctional living space.”

Clients are interested in the equipment they already have or are interested in purchasing. Peacock says with the kitchen getting more use, appliances like steam ovens, powerful range tops, and multifunctional sinks and workstations are a popular ask. 

Spending more time at home has allowed people to pay more attention to their surroundings. With this is in mind, they’ve taken notice to various features that may have been easily passed up before, especially in Hamptons homes where many are used seasonally. Having found a place to escape on the East End throughout the course of the pandemic, there’s been a change. Robert Bakes of Bakes & Kropp shares that while the contents have not changed, there’s been a realization that what was once okay no longer is. 

“There’s certainly a general trend towards better awareness in design and function; people have become more in tune with their needs and want to make changes,” says Bakes, whose signature sophisticated style is often asked for by name. “There’s also been a trending move towards incorporating a little more metal in kitchens. Perhaps a feature range hood, or some black metal and glass doors.”

There is a classic design in many Hamptons homes. When designed with careful attention to detail and precision, there is a sense of timelessness that comes along with this space. A popular design trend in these homes are spaces that are open and airy, but still warm and inviting. Many Hamptons homes are ideal for entertaining, whether it be intimate holiday gatherings or larger soirées – which, of course, were off the calendar for this year. 

The white kitchen is perhaps one of the most notable in the Hamptons. “I like to think that Bakes & Kropp is synonymous with the classic ‘Hamptons’ kitchen,” Bakes shares. “It is generally white, hints of accent and emphasis, carefully balanced with an eye to symmetry but without being a slave to it.”

Peacock notes that when defining the ultimate Hamptons kitchen, it is important to consider indoor and outdoor entertaining. There is a different vibe that comes with a second home or vacation property as compared to a city apartment or even a country home. 

“We always see lots of light and high ceilings, and views to a wonderful lawn or the ocean,” Peacock says. “I think our clients like to have fun and enjoy cooking and gathering in these summer kitchens, but interestingly many are now spending way more time in the space than before and are thinking more long term. A typical Hamptons kitchen is designed for a large family gathering, is bathed in light, has tons of cabinetry and counter space, and a color palette that is cheery and timeless.” 

Being fall on the East End, we anticipate that in-between the numerous outdoor activities the season lends itself to, much of which revolves around agriculture, people will find themselves spending more time at home again, preparing meals with the fresh, local produce, meats, provisions, and more than can be found at the area’s many farm stands. Bon appétit.

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