The casual chic of the Hamptons – favoured summer getaway of New York’s rich and famous – is an in-demand aesthetic the world over. The Hamptons vibe – beachy, airy and full of natural light – goes perfectly with the Australian climate and relaxed attitude, so it’s no wonder homeowners in search of makeover inspiration are turning to this string of tiny villages on Long Island.
So how do you achieve the Hamptons interior design aesthetic in your own home? Here’s what you need to know:
Hamptons style is all about neutral tones
An absolute hallmark of "the Hamptons style is a layered look of predominantly white, with a mix of beige, grey and cream, and the occasional feature wall or item of furniture in a navy or Prussian blue. If you’re rethinking your colour scheme, start with white walls and furniture and look for a few areas to introduce a touch of muted blues and beiges.
“Invest in beautiful fabrics to add an accent to the muted, textured backdrop of the Hamptons look. Cushions are an easy way to add interest,” says interiors expert designer Natalee Bowen.
I like to mix a small amount of florals with stripes or geometric shapes to avoid being too matchy-matchy. This multilayered approach adds character and personality to the home.”
Eclectic knick-knacks are a must
Evoking a life of travel and adventure, the Hamptons home is adorned with antiques, tribal carvings, modern art, Ming vases and indoor plants. The trick here is not to overdo it – laid-back luxury is the order of the day (that means avoiding the seaside clichés of ships and beach scenes). Instead, look to a well-placed cluster of prints or featured pieces to bring dynamism and a personal touch to the home.
Naturals elements abound
We’re talking jute rugs, linen sofa covers, wooden floorboards, wool throw rugs, and marble benchtops. These types of touches give a warm, timeless and homey feeling.
Again, this can be easily achieved with a few simple replacements, for example, replacing plastic Venetian blinds with wooden ones, or some new cushion covers. If you’re doing a large-scale renovation, natural wood floorboards, white wooden kitchen cabinetry, and pale stone benches are a must.
Light is essential
As it’s primarily a summer destination, Hamptons living is about the indoor-outdoor blend, so do as much as you can to bring the outside in – whether that’s taking down heavy curtains, putting up big mirrors to reflect the light or installing skylights and glass sliding doors. A light-filled home not only looks fantastic but also has many health benefits.
According to architecture expert Angela Fedele:
A Hamptons home design prioritises natural light through its placement of well-spaced windows, sliding and French doors.”
Entertaining is a key focus of the Hamptons house
Entertaining is a key focus of the Hamptons house – from Gatsby to celebrity chef Ina Garten, hosting is part of the deal, so an open-plan kitchen, living and dining area is the way to go. Homes feature a big dining table and comfy, oversized sofas to relax on afterwards. Ideally, an outdoor entertaining area will feature a large table to bring family and friends together over a shared meal.
To get the look, Natalee Bowen explains, “While Australian homes were once renowned for the colonial look with sweeping verandas and wooden mouldings, I think we now steer towards a more sophisticated and elegant style which is defined by clean weatherboard lines and a pared-back colour palette. I suggest consulting your builder or designer who will be able to suggest the right materials for adapting the classic Hamptons look to your area.”
10 quick Hamptons decor tips
- Start with a fresh white coat of paint – an essential feature of coastal Hamptons style.
- Take advantage of multiple sources of light, with a mix of table and floor lamps, as well as natural sunlight.
- Opt for raw or natural materials, such as linen, wool, marble, rope and wood.
- Upgrade to white plantation shutters or sheer floor-to-ceiling curtains in neutral tones.
- Place travel mementos and eclectic knick-knacks around the home.
- Mix contrasting cushions and throw rugs – strong lines pair well with organic patterns, like botanical prints and florals.
- Open up your space with ornate or hand-crafted mirrors. Avoid plain or minimalist frames.
- Pair nautical knick-knacks like blue and white ceramics and rope hangings with shells and corals for a coastal Hamptons feel.
- Install ornate wooden trims such as architraves, cornices and skirtings along hallways and staircases.
- Invest in bold, oversized furnitures and accessories. Think big, beautiful lamps, plush sofas and glass or wood coffee tables.
So whether you’re looking to refresh your interior design or to renovate your home fully, there are plenty of ways to introduce the casual elegance and stunning simplicity of a Hamptons look. For more home renovation inspiration take a look inside some of the homes of Australia’s rich and famous.
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