Everyone has their own vision of what a perfect kitchen looks like. Some prefer the rustic vibes of barn style spaces while others want a modern setup straight out of a professional kitchen. While we all have different tastes, there are some classic kitchen styles that are universally awesome.
A universally liked kitchen style is exactly what you get with the Hamptons aesthetic. The Hamptons style kitchen island bench in particular is the perfect balance of elegance and functionality. But what exactly are Hampton kitchen island benches and what makes them so special? Let’s take a look.
The Aussie interpretation of Hamptons style is a little bit more laidback, combining elements of our own coastal aesthetic with the more polished Hamptons vibe – realestate.com.au
Table of Contents:
- What Makes a Hamptons Style Kitchen Island Bench?
- Types of Hamptons Kitchen Island Benches
- Hampton Style Island Stool Setup
- Making The Most Out of Hamptons Kitchen Island Benches
- Bottom Line
What Makes a Hamptons Style Kitchen Island Bench?
A Hamptons kitchen island bench is an island designed in the style of the classic elegant yet warm Hamptons theme. For some perspective, here are some key design features that make an island qualify as a Hamptons style unit.
A real Hamptons style island is grand in every way, shape and form. It is the kind of island that is more than just a plain, obscure blob in the middle of the kitchen. They are usually fixed units with an overhanging side or edges to accommodate island stools.
They are also built for storage and may include cabinets on multiple sides and/or open shelves.
Everyone seems to congregate around the kitchen island table, so it’s important that you have enough room to fit everyone gathering around it. You’ll also need room to prepare food – Emma Bloomfield
The benchtop material used makes a huge difference to the aesthetic of a kitchen island. With the Hamptons style in particular, marble is the classic choice. This gives the space a classy vibe without being too loud and obnoxious. The marble itself is often white or different off-white shades to keep with the neutral and warm vibes of the aesthetic.
If you are building your kitchen on a budget, you could go for cheaper but equally beautiful alternatives like reconstituted stone or even a stone look laminate with the same glossy finish and muted tones.
The grandeur of a Hamptons style kitchen is not only in the design but also in the size. Remember that these islands are designed to look like what you would find in the stately South Hampton mansions. In this case, bigger is almost always better. However, the amount of space you have in your kitchen should always be considered when setting up these islands.
The rule is that you leave about 90 to 120 cm of free walking space around the island to maintain the aesthetic while leaving the kitchen usable and easy to manoeuvre through. With the Hamptons style, you also do not want to leave so much space that you lose the warm and homey vibes.
If, on the other hand, you are working with limited space, you could also have a partial island style in which case one of the narrow ends of the island is set up against the wall. In this case, things like the colour, shape, and benchtop material should be enough to compensate and maintain the aesthetic.
A Hamptons island is typically rectangular, with one side serving as a working station and the other as an entertainment space. It is particularly awesome if appliances like the sink and stove top are set up on other countertop spaces in the kitchen.
Another common shape with these islands is the L-shaped setup. This is perfect for very large kitchens, especially in homes where the kitchen is used as an entertainment space. Here, the long arm could be used as a working station, including things like stove tops and sinks while the shorter arm is used as a dining and entertaining section.
In smaller setups, this could be recalibrated into more of a square silhouette, although this may not be as classic as the rectangular shape. You could also have the island in an arch to complement kitchens with a similar flow.
Island bench appliances
A Hamptons type of kitchen island bench is so much more than a plain countertop. Most usually include a sink that is set up on one end to leave the rest for preparation and serving. It could also be placed in the middle to serve as a focal point not only for the island but also for the entire kitchen.
The Hamptons kitchen island bench could also include a stovetop. It is not very common to have this set up together with the sink so you may have to sacrifice the other for this unique aesthetic. While this set up may be convenient especially while entertaining, the stovetop is a little too modern and may ruin the classic vibe of the Hamptons style.
Hamptons kitchen islands are meant to serve not only as functional units but also as statement pieces. It is therefore quite common to find options with decorative features. Shaker style cabinets are by far the most iconic in this case. They can be complemented with wooden or metallic handles for a clean final look.
Some of these kitchen islands also include corbel details. This is the case mainly with overhanging benches. In these cases, the corbels not only give a nice, classy touch but also offer structural support. The latter perk comes in handy with benches where the overhang is particularly exaggerated.
Colours make all the difference when it comes to a Hamptons kitchen island bench. In fact, the choice of paint and finishing can help turn even the most basic island into a tasteful masterpiece.
White should be your primary colour around which all other tones are layered and it can be anything from bright whites to duller eggshell shades. These create a clean and airy vibe that is very much in line with the Hamptons décor theme.
The white can stand alone but there is always the risk of ending up with a harsh-looking kitchen. That is why neutral tones are the ideal accompaniment. They are colourful enough to give some life to the white while still being muted. In this case, light shades of grey and mild, powdery blues are ideal.
You could have a white benchtop and neutral sides or the other way round depending on your preferences and how well it goes with the rest of the kitchen.
A Hamptons kitchen island is meant to be the focal point of interest in the kitchen, where people spend and enjoy their time. As a result, accompanying stools are just as important to consider for the aesthetic as the bench itself.
You could go with stools of the same colour for balance and uniformity, which allows the island to be the centre of attention. You could also go for warm tones, in which case wicker stools or earthy stool tops are the perfect way to add warmth and character to the space.
General room feel
In addition to all the zoomed-in features we have discussed, a Hamptons style kitchen island should also be viewed from a broader, zoomed-out perspective. It should fit in perfectly with the open, clean, and airy vibes in the room. It should also be warm and inviting both as a working and entertaining space.
For all this, every aspect of the design features counts, from the shape and size to the colours and decorative additions.
Types of Hamptons Kitchen Island Benches
There are many types of Hamptons style island benches based on different factors. However, when it comes to the actual structure and setup, there are two main options that you need to consider based on your needs and preferences. These are the fixed and the moveable Hamptons island. Here is more about these two options and what they have to offer your kitchen.
Moveable Hamptons kitchen island benches
As the name suggests, these islands can actually move. They are set up on wheels, allowing homeowners to move them around at will. This is ideal for small kitchens where easy manoeuvrability is a major priority. All you have to do is move the island out of the way whenever you need more space to get around.
They are ideally smaller and are often very limited in terms of storage to facilitate movement. This is a rare setup in classic Hamptons style kitchens. However, with the right features they could add the grandeur and elegance of the aesthetic to even the simplest of kitchens.
Fixed Hamptons kitchen island benches
This is the most commonly found style of Hamptons kitchen islands. They are a permanent part of the kitchen, incorporated directly into the architecture. This makes them not only aesthetically beneficial but also functional as you can set up as much storage as the space you have will allow.
The fixed setup also allows installation of permanent accessories and fixtures, including island sinks and lighting. The best part is that they can be customised to any size and shape.
Hampton Style Island Stool Setup
We have looked extensively at the actual island to come to several recommendations. Before anything else, it is important to consider sitting arrangements as Hamptons kitchen island benches often double up as entertainment spaces.
You have to consider the stool set up both in terms of the overall look and use of space. The three classic options in this case are…
Under the bench
With this setup, the island bench should either have an overhang section or a hollow space underneath the bench top to accommodate the chairs. It is easy and convenient to use and makes for the perfect way to keep things neat in a busy kitchen.
This is a special setup that requires modifications to the island to include enclosed island stool nooks. It is generally a bit less quick and convenient to use than the first option but it allows the island to shine as the centrepiece of the room.
It is also ideal for busy homes with pets or young children who could trip over or bump into island stools left out.
Out in the open
This setup is ideal if you have stools you would like to show off. You just have to make sure that their aesthetic either matches or at the very least complements that of the island itself. It is also a great way to maximise on storage space within the island as no nooks or hollowed-out spaces are required.
However, it is important to note that this setup works best in large kitchens where the exposed stools are not occupying useful space.
Making The Most Out of Hamptons Kitchen Island Benches
When it comes to optimising the Hamptons island setup, it is all about striking the perfect balance between aesthetics and functionality.
When it comes to aesthetics, you have to factor in a number of variables. These include the amount of space you have to work with as well as the kitchen appliances. If you have limited space, you have to incorporate design features from the choice of island shape to the setup of chairs in order to avoid ending up with a crowded mess.
Lighting also matters a lot when it comes to the Hamptons island. You want the room as bright and airy as possible, whether it is through natural lighting or artificial fixtures. That is the best way to highlight the warm tones that make the Hamptons kitchen island bench so special.
For the most part, the Hamptons island style is all about the aesthetics. However, this does not mean that it cannot be a fantastic functional addition to your kitchen. With the right furniture, you could have a warm and welcoming dining station for your kids or when you entertain. Storage is also a big deal, in which case you want to get as many cabinets under there as you can.
All factors considered, the Hamptons style kitchen island bench is worth every bit of hype it gets. It creates an air of elegance and classiness without compromising on the homey vibe that every kitchen should have.
With all this information, you now know everything that you need to about Hamptons kitchen islands. That way, whether you are building your own home or giving your kitchen a makeover, you know exactly where to start with the style. If you are looking for professional service from Victoria’s leading cabinet experts, fill out our easy online quote request and let Advanced Cabinetry transform your kitchen space into a work of art.