If you haven’t already noticed, you don’t have to be schmoosing with the rich and famous on Long Island to fall for the “Hamptons” craze. Although, traditionally, Hampton Style celebrates the shingle rooftops, weatherboard cladding, high pitched ceilings, vast open and airy living spaces with massive glass paneled doors spilling out onto the beachfront, its surprisingly adaptable and affordable. There’s a balance of classic graciousness, that’s livable and grounded. It’s a no-brainer as to why this growing trend has made itself quite at home down under!
The timelessness of Hampton bones, link with ease to many living environments. You don’t have to be a millionaire magnate, nor have the tranquil coastal sea breeze brushing your cheeks to bring this trend into your home. In Australia we have acknowledged the fundamental elements of this style, but have moulded it to suit our way of life. Whether you live on the coast or far from it, whether your budget is big or small, this style will give your home a sense of calm and a tranquil simplicity that will live the test of time. Read on for a few key elements that will give your home the Hampton touch without the need of a second mortgage!
PALETTE: Keep the colour restrained inside and out. The exterior weatherboard cladding sets the tone with a soft palette of greys and white. Inside, set a neutral foundation of whites, sand or light greige, then decorate with simple patterns and calming blues. The use of warmer neutrals, although less traditional, reflect natural harmony and founders a flexible canvas that encourages layers of textural differences.
- BUDGET TIP: Paint is a cheap renovator and a neutral canvas will give you longevity to mix and match accessories if you need to.
LOVE THY NATURE: Offset the crisp palette of whites and blues with warm natural textures, such as timber flooring, stone, wicker or rattan, in either furniture or accessories (don’t go overboard, it’s not beach style or shabby chic!). Mix old pre-loved furniture with the new, add oversized linen sofas and natural woven rugs, like jute to clad the floor. The green glossiness of indoor plants bring the outside in and makes you want to breathe easy.
- BUDGET TIP: Scour secondhand stores for a wicker chair or woven baskets, get slip covers made for your old sofa in a durable polyester that looks and feels like linen. Swap expensive timber flooring with either a laminate or vinyl that looks like the real thing without the maintenance and price-tag.
LIGHT IT UP: Natural light is key to create bright airy spaces and warmth in winter. Add lamps for ambient light, with large timber, ceramic or glass bases and linen, cotton or silk shades. Pendants are important and so is the ceiling height to give scale and impact. Where possible, focus on areas such as the main entrance, over the island bench and over the dining table. Select pendants in a woven texture, glass or metal to connect with the décor in the room.
- BUDGET TIP: You don’t have to spend a fortune on light fittings. There are great replica options that will give you the same aesthetic. Make sure you check your ceiling height first and buy shades that are in proportion.
SIZE DOES MATTER: Go big if you can! Large furniture pieces, sofas, mirrors, lights and rugs can give the illusion of luxury, grandeur and impact. This does depend on the area of the room, but over-scaling slightly can make the room feel bigger in many situations, again, as long as the proportions are right.
- BUDGET TIP: Pick items that you wish to oversize. A large mirror or artwork on the wall and a couple of large lamps might give you the effect without spending on large ticket items that may not fit anyway.
KITCHEN IS KING: Think shaker profiled joinery in white or muted tones, marble benchtops, subway splashback, traditional tapware and hardware in its patented glory. This kitchen belongs just as well in a country home as it does by the sea. Accessorise with timber or woven textured stools, a large bunch of white hydrangeas in a blue and white pot and an old wooden chopping board – divine!
- BUDGET TIP: Swap natural marble with a composite stone benchtop, subway tiles don’t have to be expensive and don’t have to be in a brick bond pattern. Laying in a herringbone, may add to laying cost, but adds oomph to the end story. Source second hand hardware for your cabinetry.
HOW TO WARM UP IN WINTER: Easy! Add soft cosy textures to the sofa or bed, such as animal hides, sheep skins, mohair throws and warmer neutrals to cushions and bedding.
No matter where you live, a touch of Hamptons can be only as far away as your front gate. Set the scene and create the theme flowing from the outside in and connecting room to room. I promise you, the reward will be with you for ever.
If you need any help in sourcing these delightful pieces, Redchair Interiors can help!
*This article was written for DOWNTOWN MAGAZINE.