The Hamptons lifestyle has a lot of crossovers with the Australian way of life – from soaking up the sun to relaxed alfresco entertaining, it’s a perfect fit. We asked Natalee Bowen, interior designer and Ambassador, for her top tips on achieving this elegant and easy-going coastal style.
1. The perfect palette. Getting the colour scheme of your home right is imperative. “The neutral tones of the coast help define the aesthetic, whether your property is beachside or inland,” says Natalee. “A quick and easy way to incorporate the Hamptons style is by using whites, creams and light greys on the exterior and carrying them through to the interior.” Natalee suggests integrating blues in a range of tones to offer the ideal contrast – further splashes of colour can be brought into indoor and outdoor living spaces through trimmings, furniture, soft furnishings and plants.
“The Hamptons palette is invigorated by layers of texture, from decorative cushions and rugs to exterior finishes,” says Natalee. For the outside of a Hamptons property, the deep shadow lines of weatherboard look cladding, like weatherboard, take centre stage. “Grey cladding with white mouldings really bring the look together,” says the designer. “You can even take it to the next level with black moulding on white.”
2. Light it up. Light and space is an important element of Hamptons style, says Natalee. “Natural light can really transform a room, so it’s worth spending time at the start of a Hamptons build or renovation to consider key ways to maximise light year round.”
Natalee suggests creating an open-living space with the kitchen flowing into your living room. Then, build an alfresco area or balcony that opens up to the outdoors to let in sunshine. “High ceilings when paired with tall windows are an effective way to boost natural light.”
3. Weatherboard exterior. “Externally, it’s very much about your cladding,” says Natalee. “ weatherboard gives that deep shadow line look that is synonymous with the Hamptons. It’s a defining element that ties back to the look of traditional shingles used in the Hamptons, which is never going to deteriorate and will always look classic.”
“Relatively low maintenance, Linea weatherboard prevails over traditional timber in Australia’s harsh climate,” says Natalee. “It’s not prone to flaking, warping or swelling, and is resistant to fire, moisture and damage from termites.”
4. Sweat the small stuff. Attention to detail is paramount to the Hamptons aesthetic – you want your home to look considered and not cluttered, says Natalee. “On the exterior, look to embellish façades with beautiful balustrades, window trims and pillars, these make the weatherboards pop,” she says. Internally, Natalee suggests focusing on Shaker-style cabinetry, gorgeous door and kitchen hardware such as gooseneck taps and incorporate pendant lighting to create a warm diffused glow in the evenings.
5. Fantastic foliage. “The Hamptons look only grows more beautiful as the plants grow, there’s a timeless glamour to the older homes with established trees and beautifully manicured gardens,” says Natalee. “In gardens, avoid the common mistake of using native plants. You want your plants to soften the look and Australian varieties are too architectural,” she says. “Instead, draw upon the Hamptons itself for inspiration, use magnolias, star jasmine and, if you have the time to watch it grow, wisteria.”
“Indoor plants help to add a splash of colour and make any room feel fresh,” says Natalee. “Palms, hydrangeas and orchids in gentle hues complement sophisticated living spaces.”
Mirror foliage in furnishings to tie the look together. However, make sure floral motifs and accessories are added sparingly, without creating too much noise and colour. Attention to detail and consistency is essential, commit to it and run it through the home to create a relaxed flow that reflects the easy going elegance of the Hamptons lifestyle.