Hamptons 101: your go-to design guide
Bringing to mind a mix of coastal charm and sophisticated luxury, Hamptons-style home design remains a winner amongst Australian homeowners. Whether it’s the classic weatherboard look, or deep shadow lines, the Hamptons design is an inspiration for contemporary or traditional weatherboard-style homes. Unfortunately, not everyone gets it right. Here, interior designer Natalee Bowen describes the essential must-haves for creating a dream Hamptons-esque home.
Easy-going elegance and coastal charm
Hamptons – just this one word conjures images of relaxed coastal living, families enjoying light and spacious living areas; and entertaining in sophisticated elegance reflective of the summer retreats of affluent New Yorkers along the Hamptons coastline.
It is the attraction of this easy-going elegance and coastal charm that appeals to a growing number of Australians looking to capture this slice of paradise for their own dream home. Despite its popularity, it can be easy to be led astray from the defining features of a Hamptons-style home. Whether it’s the high-end, antique look, the relaxed coastal charm, or the mixed classic and eclectic feel – a Hamptons-style home is not complete without the neutral colour palette, light and spacious living spaces, detailed touches in cabinetry, and the hallmark exterior look of weatherboard cladding.
It starts outside
Synonymous with relaxed coastal living, it’s no surprise that Australian homeowners gravitate towards Hamptons-style home designs. While particular elements, such as neutral colour palettes, natural textures, internal panelling, high ceilings and traditional cabinetry all remain definitive features of a Hamptons look, nothing is more Hamptonsesque than the hallmark weatherboard exterior.
Paramount to Hamptons architecture, exterior cladding provides clean, horizontal lines that instantly evoke a sense of classic, coastal charm. Given Australia’s harsh climate, traditional timber weatherboard cladding can be prone to splintering, fading, warping and collecting moisture.
With the same charm as timber boards, but more durable, Scyon Linea weatherboard cladding is hard-wearing, low maintenance and resistant to damage from termites, rot, moisture and fire. It can also be gun nailed, is easy to cut like timber and seamlessly captures the Hamptons look.
Perfectly complementing Scyon Linea weatherboard cladding is Scyon Axent trim – a thick and versatile edge treatment for windows. Scyon Axent trim is the finishing touch to internal and external corners, as a design enhancer at butt joints – plus Axent can be used with any Scyon cladding and any domestic window, eliminating the need for special window orders to match different cladding.
While weatherboard cladding exteriors may be associated with living by the sea, it doesn’t mean it can’t be brought to life in places far from the coast. What makes Scyon Linea weatherboard cladding a popular look is its versatility in capturing resort-style luxury and easy elegance anywhere in Australia – be it the country, a leafy suburb or a family home in the hills.
The right palette
Mimicking the neutral colours of the coast is one of the defining features of a Hamptons-style home. A focus on neutral shades of whites, creams, linen tones and greys provides the foundation palette for this look, while blues in a range of tones, from duck egg to a rich navy, offer the ideal contrast.
For the exterior of a Hamptons-style property, the lines of the cladding take centre stage, so a muted palette is best. As well as the more muted colour palette, exterior cladding colours see blue and white proving popular among those looking to carry the nautical-inspired colour scheme.
Transitioning from exterior to interior, neutral tones help open spaces up and bring an instant feeling of freshness, while also providing a blank canvas for decorating. From here, Natalee suggests adding accents of colour in the form of soft furnishings and greenery, particularly palms and orchids, and finding a colour scheme to bring the entire home together. “Find a colour scheme that flows through your home,” Natalee says. “For example, if you love blue tones then use navy, duck egg and cobalt blue in different areas as accent colours.”
Light and breezy living
Traditionally, Hamptons homes were designed for easy living and entertaining, with interiors evoking sojourns by the sea. Recreating this look depends on two key elements – light and space. Natural light can really transform a room, so it’s worth spending time at the start of a Hamptons-inspired build or renovation to consider key ways to maximise light all-year round.
Think expansive open-plan living areas with soaring raked or coffered ceilings, oversized bi-folds and large windows, to bathe indoor areas in natural light. High ceilings are the most effective way at boosting natural light when paired with tall windows.
To maximise light, lightweight voile curtains that drape to the floor will increase sunlight and give the illusion of height. A gabled roof will promote higher indoor ceilings and superior spatial awareness, while the lightest shade of white paint for the ceilings is the final step in maximising space within.
Whether it’s a new build or renovation to create a dream home, the Hamptons-style look offers an ideal design blueprint for capturing Australia’s love affair with the outdoors while ensuring a relaxed and stylish space for entertaining family and friends.
The three key construction and design features of a Hamptons homes are:
- Exterior architecture – while particular elements, such as neutral colour palettes, natural textures, internal panelling, high ceilings and traditional cabinetry all remain definitive features of a Hamptons look, nothing is more Hamptons-esque than the hallmark weatherboard exterior
- A simple colour palette – mimicking the neutral colours of the coast is one of the defining features of a Hamptons-style home. A focus on neutral shades of whites, creams, linen tones and greys provides the foundation palette for this look, while blues in a range of tones, from duck egg to a rich navy, offer the ideal contrast.
- Open plan living – traditionally, Hamptons homes were designed for easy living and entertaining, with interiors evoking sojourns by the sea. Recreating this look depends on two key elements – light and space