How to Create a Hamptons Style Home

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By Jason Burgess

A Hamptons style home is a celebration of refined seaside relaxation; a haven to gather family, entertain friends and reconnect with the healing ocean ions.

What is Hamptons Style?

The highly vaunted Hamptons look evolved from the utilitarian “Cape” architecture of Long Island’s historic fishing villages. In the late 1800’s, upwardly mobile New York vacationers began escaping the city heat for the cool of the coast. Their arrival transformed quiet seaside communities into bustling summer resorts. From modest bolt holes to sprawling retreats, new builds; renovations and additions soon reshaped the vernacular abodes of pioneer families. The once humble hamlets of the Hamptons, are today, among some of America’s most coveted realty.

More a melting pot of influences than a definitive design style, the Hamptons over the years, have been inspired by all manner of architectural trends from American Colonial, Georgian and English Manor to Mediterranean themes. Old world charm infused with contemporary elegance gave rise to the classic steep pitched, shingle roof homes most often associated with Hamptons architecture. This progression of style continues today embodying a sophisticated yet understated grace that reflects the spirit of coastal calm.

What to look for outside?

Using the Hamptons as a style guide offers renovators a wide range of simple yet smart options for revamping any home, be it in the burbs or at the beach.

hamptons home style exterior

Nature is central to the Hamptons lifestyle, indoor-outdoor connections are key. Spacious wraparound verandas with white timber balustrades, generous lounging areas and capacious entranceways set the relaxed tone. Open up to the outdoors and the light, with multiple large-scale windows and French doors. Character details such as decorative wooden framed Palladian windows -divided into three parts, with an arched centre portion - pay tribute to the eclectic roots of Hampton style. Break-out features like big Bay windows and front entry porches not only add character and street appeal they can increase interior living areas and lighten up dark spaces.

Light clean lines are typical yet one of the distinctive features of a classic Hamptons look are free-ranging yet well-proportioned roof lines. Steep triangular and hip roofs, cupolas and gables front, side and / or back is not unusual. Wide chimney features, dormers and even turrets in the right place add balance and a nod to tradition. Weatherboard exteriors are perennial favourites, think neutral tones, natural cedar, white trims, creams or pale greys, with accents of duck or robin-egg blues. Add a contemporary edge with black trims on white weatherboard. Stone, brick and shingle cladding are all in-keeping too and make for great contrast details. Check out the house that provides the setting in the 2003 film Something's Gotta Give, for some quintessential Hamptons inspiration. If gardening is your thing, check out this awesome article that teaches how to create a Hampton's style garden.

 

What about the interior?

Not all Hamptonites are heritage fans, many homes here push contemporary architectural boundaries. Eclectic yet uncluttered, interior themes provide the common ground for Hamptons style. Wide open spaces flowing seamlessly between indoors and outdoors are prerequisites of the style. If oversized rooms, double height or high-pitched ceilings with exposed beams are out of the question, Hamptons touches can still be achieved with timber floors, neutral and ocean-inspired colours, natural materials and lots of natural light. Glazed overhead cupboards, open shelves, white cabinets, tile splashbacks and black soapstone or woodblock island countertops with pendant lighting and vintage bar stools, offer a casual kitchen feel.

hamptons style kitchen

Effortless chic is the order of the day.  Great interiors begin with an inspiration piece. Creating spaces with a muse in mind will give rooms a purpose. It could be an element of vintage furniture, a furnishing pattern or an existing feature. Combining contemporary style with rustic touches opens up a gamut of remodelling opportunities. Mix-in, stand-out chandeliers, table lamps, statement mirrors and gallery walls, if space allows use built-in book and display shelves to showcase collections and objects - especially those which hint at ocean blues and nautical motifs. If you are renovating an older home, consider what could be upcycled. Original details like doors, window frames, timber panelling and distressed timber furniture can provide a sense of provenance. Finishing details like mouldings, taps, tiles and feature walls, will provide added layers of texture and interest to complete the look. Picture view and sash windows with plantation shutters and sheer sandy taupe fabrics and white draped curtains complete the scene.

hamptons style couch cushions

White-on-white walls and ceilings conjure the airiness of long days on the sand, timber floors in deep chocolate, oak or pale wash create a feeling of history and earthiness. Furnish with relaxed linen and large comfy sofas. Rugs and runners can help divide living areas into intimate zones of welcome, warmth and reflection. The sandy tones of sisal and jute or the seaside blues and whites in a striped dhurrie rug will sustain the coastal vibe. Don’t forget to connect indoor colour highlights with alfresco spaces where cane or wicker -painted white- complete the beach feel.

hamptons style furniture

Get in touch

Talk to a Refresh renovation specialist to find out how best to create a Hamptons look at your place.

How much will it cost?

Take a look at our project estimates to get an idea of how much your project might cost.

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