The Hamptons Style is one of the worlds most popular styles both internationally and in Australia. In Australia our love for this look was really born from being featured or referenced on movies and tv shows, the two best ones were “ As Good as it Gets” and of course no one can forget “Revenge”. So many people fell in love with the houses and the design elements within.
For many years I was a Senior Designer for a large building company in Victoria and by far the most asked for look and referenced display homes were our Hamptons Homes. So where does the love come from??
It starts with the beautiful neutral palette both externally and internally, its sophisticated but overwhelmingly inviting. With its fresh tones, airy open spaces filled with linens, natural textures and timber and coastal colours these finishes adapt so well to the Australian landscape.
The Hamptons look historically was white on white but in recent years we have seen a shift to allowing the introduction of soft colours like blues and grey as the base colour throughout but still perfectly framed with white trim.
Now that we have established our love for this style how do we bring it to life. Here are our top tips to creating the Hamptons Style.
1. Its all about the Detail – Before you start considering the kitchen design or the flooring the most important element is the architectural detail. Detailed skirting, architraves are a must and where possible a feature cornice or even coffered ceiling in a more formalised area will make such a statement.
2. Wainscoting – For those who don’t watch endless amounts of American renovation shows wainscoting in Australia is just better known as wall panelling, this can be at many heights but in the Hamptons style having it at either 1200mm high or full height is the best choice. Painted white to match all the trim only adds another layer to the architectural detail.
3. Natural Textures – This is where the warmth comes in by using sisal rugs, oversized cushions, throws on most chairs throughout, rattan and linen fabrics. Layering plays a big part in this style so don’t be afraid to add another throw in a room.
4. Shaker Style Profiles – This is by far the most referenced item of a Hamptons look, the key is to use this profile on all your cabinetry and to also compliment it by a similar style in your internal doors throughout the home. The Shaker profile is timeless and extremely elegant.
5. The Exterior – The outside is as important as the inside on the Hamptons Style. Using white windows, soft render or brick tones will set a base, however the addition of cladding will bring the façade to life. It will create stunning shadows and frame your windows perfectly. If the opportunity arises adding further details like gables, porches, a full verandah or fretwork will transport you into a true Hamptons look.
6. Lighting – Natural Light is the perfect friend to the Hampton Style but it also relies on stunning feature lighting. Yes put a pendant over the dining table and the kitchen area but also consider areas like a lounge and for the extra touch wall lights give off beautiful ambient light. Placing wall lights in the entry, down passage ways, in the bathroom and outside will bring an elegance as the sun goes down. If budget doesn’t allow many wall lights this can still be achieved with table lamps on a console behind a sofa and on a piece as you enter the home. They should be oversized and compliment the palette of the room.
7. The Finishing Touches – Layering is key when it comes to Styling a Hamptons home, don’t be afraid to stack books on a coffee table, have a bowl of shells, candles in most rooms and floral placed throughout.
What’s important to remember with the Hamptons style is that it is inviting and comfortable. You should want to sit down, be with your friends and family and have many wonderful times in this unforgettable style.