Case study

Make your hamptons home bright and airy

A bright and airy living space is essential to any Hamptons-inspired home, so ensure you’re maximising the natural light available with a few key design considerations.

Synonymous with clean lines and sun-dappled spaces, a Hamptons home is all about laidback luxury that takes its design cues from embracing water views and a sea breeze ­– think oversized bi-folds, voile curtains and open plan living.

Natural light is key to achieving this look and can really transform a room, so it’s worth taking some time at the start of your Hamptons-inspired build or renovation to consider key ways you can create a light-filled home year-round.

Design a seamless indoor/outdoor transition

A signature feature of a Hamptons home is an outdoor living space, whether it be a partially covered deck or stairs leading out onto a grassy lawn. Designed with climate in mind, this layout is ideally suited to the Australian lifestyle where outdoor entertaining is a popular pastime.

While maximising light isn’t a concern outside, your exterior sets the tone for the rest of the home, so keeping to clean lines and similar colours will create a unified feel throughout. Fibre cement cladding is a great alternative to timber for both the walls and floors – it has the same streamlined appearance as weatherboards without the upkeep and susceptibility to heat and moisture damage.

The owner's of this Hamptons home on Queensland's Gold Coast love the open plan design: "I can be in the kitchen and still be part of the conversation," says the owner, Lisa.

It’s hard to go past classic white paint, which can be carried from the facade through to the living and dining areas, however weatherboard cladding can be painted almost any colour including light grey – a popular choice for a Hamptons-inspired home. Colour matching your flooring, both inside and out, with the walls will further create a harmonious flow from your living room to your outdoor area – and don’t forget to bring in some lush potted plants.

The Linea cladding to the exterior of this Mt Kembla Hamptons home is painted in Dulux Spanish Olive.

Lighten with a neutral colour palette

Dark colours contract a space while light colours expand it, so it makes sense to stick with hues that are at the fairer end of the spectrum for a light-enhancing Hamptons home.

A soothing, all-white palette will bring an instant feeling of freshness to an interior as well as providing a clean backdrop for decorating. Choose a warm white, which has a yellow undertone, to avoid walls feeling cold, and add texture with furnishings in natural materials like wicker, sisal and linen. You don’t have to limit yourself to stark white, either – any light neutral (think soft shades of grey or taupe) will help to open up a space and reflect light while adding the faintest hint of colour.

Amity Dry (winner of The Block All Stars) says she chose warm whites, like Dulux Wicker White, when creating her Hamptons home.

Considering the paint finish can also have a big impact – low sheen works best on larger surfaces such as the ceiling and walls, while high gloss on windows and trims will further reflect light. Painting skirtings and window trims a shade lighter than the walls will make larger surfaces visually recede, it’s also a great way to tie in an exterior colour scheme that uses white trims against darker cladding.

A class Hamptons look- blue cladding with white trims for an Australian coastal feel.

Open the space with high ceilings

Opening up a room offers more than just increased natural light, it also encourages cross-ventilation – an important consideration for homes that experience warm and humid weather. From knocking down a wall to taking a minimal approach with furniture, there are several ways to achieve this, however few are as effective as high ceilings.

Elegant and impactful, a high ceiling immediately creates a feeling of spaciousness and is most effective at boosting natural light when paired with tall windows.

Hanging curtains high and allowing them to drape to the floor will give the illusion of height, and, privacy permitting, sheer, lightweight curtains are a stylish way to let in as much sunlight as possible during the day. If using multiple shades of paint inside your home, use the lightest hue on the ceiling which will make it appear even higher.

Tall windows, French doors and lightweight drapes work together to bring light into this Hamptons home in Mt Kembla, New South Wales.

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