Inspired by the architecture and décor of holiday homes along the eastern beaches of upstate New York, a Hamptons design carries with it a fresh coastal palette and high end feel. A lot of pieces come together to create the hallmark Hamptons look, differentiating it from other coastal and seaside styles from around the world. Let’s explore ways to embrace these elements, whether building a property from scratch or changing up your interiors for a new season.
The base: colour and finishes
If you’re at the construction stage of your build, this is an opportunity to start with a neutral base that you can layer upon at each stage. Go for light timber floors with unique grain or large format stone tiles in a soft colour. Horizontal weatherboard cladding is a quintessential element to a traditional Hamptons house and can be used on both the exteriors and interiors. Natural lighting is the first port of call in a Hamptons backdrop, conveying an open, relaxed atmosphere, so dress windows with plantation shutters that easily let sunlight in, while also being true to the theme.
The goal of a Hamptons colour palette is to evoke a sense of effortless calm. Swathes of white, beige and soft greys coat surfaces. Crisp-coloured walls and white marble benchtops aid a room in feeling breezy and spacious. To bring home the nautical theme, introduce hints of blue. Popular shades are duck egg blue, navy and Payne’s grey. For a contemporary take, avoid painting a full feature wall and instead paint smaller areas such as interior trims, or leave blue for décor items and soft furnishings.
Natalee Bowman at Indah Island demonstrates how an open, white room with plantation shutters can be layered upon.
Foundation pieces: lighting and furniture
Once the stage is set, bring in those larger items that you’ll have for years. These are worth investing in, for example lighting, rugs, furniture and beds. Be generous with luscious amounts of texture throughout the home. Texture can be found in many forms; consider heavily-grained timber furniture, over-stuffed sofas upholstered in striped fabric, crunchy linen bedding and jute or sisal rugs.
Though natural light is central to a Hamptons property, when it comes to artificial lighting, build upon a neutral base with fixtures in black metal, chrome and glass. Lantern and industrial-style shades are key components of this luxurious look. If you’re leaning towards a formal appearance, opt for sprawling chandeliers, or if you’re aiming for a laid-back vibe, go for woven rattan shades.
Lumi Lighting has a large selection of decorative pendants and wall lamps that will suit Hamptons interiors. Left: Brunn glass and metal pendants. Middle: Sayville satin nickel pendant. Right: Ladonna black metal pendant.
Finishing touches: décor accessories
Decorative items such as coral, seashells, anchor motifs and wicker baskets emphasise a traditional Hamptons style. However, don’t forget to make your home unique to you; feel free to search out pieces that can’t be found at the mall, such as treasured souvenirs from holidays or foraged flowers and driftwood. You may have a beloved work of art or photograph that can be a focal point. Blue is the favourite colour for Hamptons interiors, so add splashes of ocean tones across cushions, throws, vases and accessories.
Two different takes on the Hamptons style. Left: Donna Guyler uses a traditional approach in this Broadbeach home. Right: The team at The Stables takes a more contemporary route; pared back but still laden with texture.