You don’t need a house in Montauk to have a Hamptons-style home (although that would be lovely too!). The Hamptons look can be created anywhere – and Australian homes are well-suited to the style, especially Queenslanders with their VJs and streams of natural light.
The Hamptons look, done right, feels fresh and modern with just the right amount of cosiness. Really, what better feeling than a home that transports you on holidays every day?
What is Hamptons style?
The Hamptons is a string of seaside villages on the East Coast of the USA. Known as a summer destination for the rich and fabulous, the coast line is dotted with long stretches of pristine beaches and 18th Century estates and cottages. There’s lots of boxwood hedging, lots of white and lots of seafood!
The Hamptons interior decorating style is beachy-chic, with white walls, linen furnishings and lots of blue and nautical accents. You’ll recognise the style from movies like Something’s Gotta Give (a classic Nancy Meyers film with stunning interiors) or the TV show Revenge. It has seeped into popular culture as an elegant, timeless interior decorating style.
Hamptons style houses are made for entertaining – either girlfriends on the couch with a cup of tea, or 100 of your closest friends spilling out onto the grounds of the estate, Champagne in tow. It’s about the indoors meeting outdoors, and creating a generous, welcoming atmosphere for both you and your guests.
You can see why it’s so well loved!
How to create Hamptons style at home
Australian homes are perfect for recreating the Hamptons style – whether you live near the beach or not. With natural textures, subtle nautical details and LOTS of white, you can create this feel in your own home.
Here are the ways to get it right.
The mood of an interior is very important. It’s the first place we start when looking at a project.
Imagine how you want to feel in your home. Do you want it to feel plush and comfortable, or crisp and sophisticated? Do you want it to feel relaxed or refined? Any of these moods can be captured with the Hamptons style, but the mood will dictate the specific colourings, textures and pieces of furniture you use. The Hamptons look is extremely versatile – it can be coastal, traditional, modern, minimalist or glam.
Consider the space you already have. Is it light, bright and airy with unstructured spaces that open onto the outdoors? Or is it cottage-y and cosy with plenty of places to cuddle up with a good book and a glass of red wine? Unless you want to start removing walls, it’s best to work with your home’s current structure and age.
The Hamptons colour palette is of crisp whites complemented with accents of blue, dove grey and warm timbers. And plenty of greenery and fresh flowers, of course!
Perhaps the reason the Hamptons look is so beautiful is that blues are naturally relaxing. Blue has a sense of calm – think of the sky or the ocean – that instantly makes you feel at peace. The neutral palette of the Hamptons, with accents inspired by the ocean, creates this feeling of a sanctuary, which we think is exactly how your home should feel.
Start with crisp white walls in a low sheen, and edge details with a semi-gloss. Dulux does beautiful versions of the whitest-whites, such as Vivid White, which is perfect for this look. Bright white walls really open up your space, and act as a blank canvas for everything else.
For your floors, go with warm, timber floorboards if possible. Oak is stunning; just don’t stain it too dark. Let the natural beauty of the wood come through. We think fresh white walls and warm stained timber is the ideal background to start your home project!
The Hamptons look requires a lot of texture to bring life to the neutral colour palette. Without some ‘eye candy’, the result can feel too stark or too forced – like a show home that no one actually lives in.
Think curtains made of unbleached linens, or natural cotton cushions with a light stripe through them. Jute or sisal rugs are a simple way to add plenty of texture to a room. Focus on textures that feel natural and ‘beachy’ to keep the style authentic.
Those who live in Queenslanders will already be blessed with panelled walls (VJs), which immediately add Hamptons character to a room. If you don’t have panelling, try plantation shutters on your windows or adding cornices for some visual interest.
The Hamptons look is about classic, neutral pieces of furniture and adding colour through soft furnishings.
Living rooms typically use deep, overstuffed sofas with linen slipcovers or pale neutrals with ticking stripes. They are generous, like you can sink right into them, and perfect for catching up with friends over wine, or curling up with a book on a chilly evening. Add a coffee table in a warm timber and a couple of antique side tables, and you’ll be well on your way to Hamptons chic!
Other common pieces you’ll find are cane or rattan chairs and Adirondacks on the verandah. If the cane is in good condition, you can keep it natural. But a coat of slick white paint will bring any cane piece back to life, and protect it from the outdoor elements. Perfect for cocktails by the pool.
The finishing touches
Since Hamptons-style homes are predominantly white, the key to breathing life into your interior is to pay attention to details and play with texture – a large piece of driftwood on the dining table, a collection of seashells on a woven tray, rope baskets full of cashmere throws, and candles that smell like the ocean. Use classic shaped lamps, eye-catching artworks and orchids everywhere!
A Hamptons kitchen wouldn’t be a Hamptons kitchen without some statement pendant lights! Also pay attention to finishing details, such as mouldings, tiles and handles. This is where you can really showcase some personality with keeping to your colour and material palette. There are so many beautiful details to choose from when designing your dream home, so have some fun and take your time to find the right pieces.
In saying that, it’s possible to go overboard with your details and make the Hamptons look too forced and cliché. If you don’t ever go to the beach, don’t put seashells all over the house! Maybe try a mother-of-pearl keepsake box instead, which has the right materiality, but makes more sense to your life. Try washed out denim cushion covers if bright blue and white stripes don’t feel right to you.
Use contrasting and complementary elements to create an individual and cohesive look that suits your life. The best thing about this look is that you can truly make it feel personal to you, and once you’re on the lookout, you’ll see elements everywhere. Oil seascape paintings at the second hand shop, beautiful keepsakes for the coffee table, lovely fabrics for your curtains.
Let the holidays begin!
At Rochele Decorating, we make homes beautiful. If you would like to consult with us on how to transform your home into a Hamptons paradise you never want to leave, please contact us and we can start the conversation!