If there’s one thing about East End kitchen design that’s a constant, it’s that there isn’t one single style that’s more prevalent than another. While many East Enders prize a white, very modern kitchen with all the latest technological wizardry, there are plenty of other homeowners in the Hamptons who enjoy a more traditional, warmer space to live in. I chatted with Gary Ciuffo, owner and president of Ciuffo Cabinetry, and Laura Sanatore, designer and project manager of Hampton Design, about what’s currently popular on the East End, the latest developments in kitchen cabinetry and overall kitchen design.
“We take on the project from start to finish, everything from the design to the materials to the product management,” Sanatore said. “We work with homeowners and architects to make sure everything goes smoothly.” Hampton Design speculates that somewhere in the vicinity of 80% of the kitchens they worked on last year were considered “contemporary.” However, the company has seen a rise in the traditional-style of kitchen over the past year, indicating that tastes are constantly changing.
“With that said, I’ve had clients come into the office and talk about wanting a contemporary kitchen that’s ‘warm,’” Sanatore said. “They don’t want something that’s overly sleek, they want something with a more organic feel to it, with some of the amenities of a modern kitchen.”
Ciuffo Cabinetry takes on the kitchen design scene on the East End involves more traditional styles. “We bring the old-world Italian techniques of woodworking and construction to our current era, so, we’re combining that with technology,” Ciuffo said. “Historically, a Hamptons kitchen is white. A big, beautiful, white, well-designed kitchen is always going to be hot, it’s always going to be trending. What we can do is that modern flair, the white kitchen, using our old-school, simple techniques.”
White kitchens are pretty much the standard on the East End, but homeowners are always looking for the latest concepts and designs to implement in their homes.
“I put together a presentation kitchen, made specifically for the Hamptons for the Taste of Two Forks,” Ciuffo said. “It’s so important to hit that mark where the kitchen is an extension of who the person is. If there are always 30 people hanging out in a kitchen, we need to make sure that works. We’re not only designing the kitchen, we’re helping select appliances and other finishes, too.
“People seem to lean towards quartz. It’s durable, it stands the test of time,” Sanatore said. “As opposed to marble, which takes a little extra TLC. We don’t have too many clients that come in and want some crazy technological aspect of their kitchen… People want a nice, simple, beautiful kitchen that functions as a social space. If you’re going to be living in a home for 30 or more years, you want your kitchen to be exactly how you want it to be. You don’t want to be changing things, making adjustments — you want it designed to your ideal.”
The kitchen is essentially the most important part of a person’s home. Having a warm, inviting kitchen, while also utilizing modern techniques and technology seems to be the key to building the perfect East End living space.
Striking a balance between modern and traditional seems to be the way to go, presenting an open and inviting space for friends and family to visit and enjoy is important.