This article was created by specialist housing designing writer, Gabrielle Chariton. Gabrielle has been a regular contributor to Housing and GreenSmart magazines for the past six years.
Hamptons. The very word evokes images of relaxed, sophisticated living; of lazy breakfasts in sun-drenched rooms; of leisurely walks; cool drinks in the shade of the veranda.
Despite its coastal origins, Hamptons architecture – and the lifestyle it encapsulates – translates beautifully into rural settings here in Australia. The weatherboard cladding, the deep, white-railed veranda, wide-flung doors and the bright, breezy interiors are all reminiscent of the classic farmhouses of the Australian countryside.
Bringing The Look to the country
Visually, the Hamptons style is a perfect match with a rural setting: it looks storybook pretty nestled in lush rolling hills and manicured gardens; perched at the end of a driveway that winds through cattle-dotted paddocks. However, the look needs to be tailored to the Australian environment and lifestyle – following are some points to consider regarding design and material selection.
Weatherproof the weatherboards
The original Hamptons weekenders were clad in timber shingles, bleached silver by years of sun, wind and salt air. More recently, weatherboard cladding, painted in a muted shade of grey, greige or blue, underpins the look.
The ‘street appeal’ of a Hamptons home is all about crisp shadowlines and that beautiful contrast between the cladding and the white-painted accents. In Australia, constant exposure to high levels of UV, coupled with weather extremes, means painted finishes can be difficult to maintain. Other considerations in rural areas are vulnerability to bushfire and termites.
The best way to overcome these challenges is to opt for a fibre-cement cladding board such as Scyon Linea, which offers all the classic charm of weatherboard but is highly durable, holds its painted finish for longer, and is also termite- and fire-resistant.
Styling for the country
Hamptons homes were designed for entertaining and easy living, and the interiors are styled to evoke an understated, effortless luxury. Light and space are key: think expansive open-plan living areas with soaring raked ceilings, where family life plays out around the kitchen and a long, rustic dining table.
The colour palette is predominantly white; but accent with colours and textures that harmonise with the surrounding countryside, as this will serve to visually strengthen the link with the outdoors.
For your exterior cladding, consider muted dove greys, sandy shades and pale eucalyptus greens, offset with touches of marble, sandstone and natural timber.
Architecturally speaking, Hamptons-style homes are characterised by a restrained elegance and symmetry. The look is clean and uncluttered, but there’s detail in the simplicity such as:
- High-pitched gabled roofline
- Cottage-cute dormer windows or a cupola
- A gabled porch defines the home’s main entrance, which is flanked by double posts on either side.
Wide eave returns feature classically-styled joinery; and paned windows and French doors sit within timber frames, always picked out in white paint.
Replacing the French doors with floor-to-ceiling glazed bifolds around the verandas and balconies will capture rural vistas and allow a more seamless transition between indoors and out.
Integral to the Hamptons aesthetic and lifestyle are the deep verandas and balconies, featuring white-painted timber balustrades and railings.