With over 20 years’ experience in the industry and her own design business, Indah Island, interior designer and Scyon Walls ambassador Natalee Bowen knows what it takes to create a dream Hamptons-inspired home. Here she shares her essential tips on achieving this elegant and understated look.
Start with a weatherboard exterior.
The exterior sets the tone for the rest of your home, so choosing the right cladding is key.
“I would suggest that the defining element for an Australian-Hamptons look is weatherboard cladding — it’s all about creating long, clean lines and deep shadows,” says Natalee, who recommends Scyon Linea™ weatherboard as a low-maintenance and hard-wearing alternative to timber.
While Australian homes were once renowned for the colonial look with sweeping verandahs and wooden mouldings, Natalee says homeowners are now steering towards a more sophisticated and elegant style which is defined by clean weatherboard lines and a pared-back colour palette.
“I suggest consulting your builder or designer who will be able to suggest the right materials for adapting the classic Hamptons look to your area,” she says.
Love the Linea look?
Perfect your palette.
Capturing the colours of the coast such as whites, blues, greens and creams is essential to Hamptons style, says Natalee.
“Traditionally, a Hamptons colour scheme is comprised mostly of variations of white and neutral tones with accents of grey and blue used as complementary shades,” she says.
A soothing scheme of pastels, all-white or soft grey that takes inspiration from the ocean can bring an instant feeling of freshness to your home. Creating a clean and versatile backdrop for decorating, it’s a scheme that will never go out of style.
Get the lighting right.
Hamptons homes are synonymous with airy, light-filled spaces, so positioning the doors and windows to maximise light is key, says Natalee. This means considering sliding French doors, oversized bi-folds and floor-to-ceiling glass window panes.
In addition to harnessing the sun, there are other ways light can be used in order to best reflect the Hamptons look.
“Use a mixture of overhead pendant lighting and elegant lamps as lighting can really change the ambiance of a room,” she says. “For the exterior, structure lights to illuminate the grooves and lines of the weatherboard.”
Create a seamless indoor/outdoor transition.
“The Australian climate calls for open plan designs that blend the indoor/outdoor transition,” says Natalee. “The Hamptons is renowned for its summer getaways over three months of the year, whereas Australia’s climate screams for open-plan living designs that are made for entertaining all-year round,” says Natalee. This means creating a space that blurs the lines between indoor and outdoor living.
An alfresco kitchen, pool, deck, or simply large sliding doors that open up your home to the backyard are all ideal for creating the perfect outdoor entertaining space. “You want to create that feeling of being on holiday all year round,” says Natalee.
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Pay attention to the details.
While Hamptons style starts with the exterior, it is important to carry the same look and feel through to the indoors. “Internal cabinetry with beautiful detail is essential for your Hamptons-style kitchen,” says Natalee. “Use wall panelling or interior cladding to create more layers and also create a visual feast of design detail.” The designer suggests using coffered or lined ceilings to add areas of interest.
When it comes to furnishings, nautical-inspired pieces are a signature element of the Hamptons style. “Think about holidays – creating a relaxed and comfortable space, bringing the outdoors inside and adding pops of colour with greenery and nature,” says Natalee. Opt for natural materials like rattan and invest in beautiful fabrics to add an accent to the muted, textured backdrop of the Hamptons look. “Cushions are an easy way to add interest,” says Natalee. “Additionally, occasional chairs and ottomans work well.”