An Australian Take on Hamptons Style


The Hamptons has been a popular design style for many years now, taking inspiration from the light, bright and breezy interiors and exteriors of holiday homes on the East End of New York’s Long Island.

A popular holiday destination for the wealthy residents of New York City, the quintessential Hamptons style is being embraced across a multitude of Australian home styles and continues to grow in popularity. Hamptons style has morphed from traditional American Hamptons which is very classic and elaborate to Australians very own Modern Hamptons, Coastal Hamptons, Country / Farmhouse and more.

To get your very own Hamptons inspired home, let’s take a look at how to get the look.

Intrim Mouldings
Image: Indah Island featuring Intrim Mouldings
Wall Panelling style & height to get a Hamptons look

It’s all about the finer details to achieve Hamptons style, and a great way to achieve the look inside is to use wall panelling. The style of panelling, the height and the profiles used allow you to create the Hamptons style from traditional with Wainscoting, to Coastal with VJ Panelling.

Don’t just think half height wall panelling, try floor to ceiling to modernise the Hamptons look! Wall panelling your entire wall is a fantastic way to bring a well-rounded Modern Hamptons style to your home, as this look complements other common features of the style, such as wainscoting or white painted wooden kitchen joinery complemented with blue toned furnishings.

The vertical lines of wall panelling help to elongate walls and make them appear larger, giving the appearance of added height. If your home is open-plan, having an entirely-panelled wall is a great way to bring areas together, visually connecting spaces and creating flow. For example, you can create a visual path from a hallway into a kitchen, dining or living space.

Wainscoting for Hamptons style

Image: Indah Island featuring Intrim Mouldings
Image: Indah Island featuring Intrim Mouldings

Wainscoting wall panelling is the ‘must have’ Hamptons feature. Traditionally it would be installed using a method called ‘raised panel’ wainscoting, where boards (usually MDF sheets) and battens are installed on the walls to create depth by projecting from the wall. The inlay mould is then installed around the inside lip of these raised board panels.

This will give you a traditional Hamptons look, and will be beautiful, but it also adds additional cost. The alternative method of installation is the direct wall application, where for want of a better explanation, you ‘stick’ or install the inlay mould in the ‘frames’ directly to your wall. There are numerous timber mouldings sizes and shapes that create different Hamptons looks which you can explore here. Irrespective of the method you use, there is no denying it will elevate the look of the home and provide a Hamptons feel.

The Modern and Coastal Hamptons Style Uses VJ Wall Panelling

‘VJ’ panelling stands for vertical joint, and is also known as tongue and groove panelling. VJ panelling is usually painted white (which aligns with a Modern Hamptons style), however can also be accented in neutral beige or grey shades for an interesting look. By using vertical join VJ boards or VJ sheets, such as Intrims VJ Board Pro it is a relatively cost-effective way to bring architectural depth and intrigue to a home without adding expensive (and complex) structures or knocking down walls. You can also apply VJ Boards to the ceiling for added interest. This look is very popular right now for coastal relaxed feel throughout Australia.

Skirting & Architraves

Skirting & Architraves

Timber mouldings are a big part of a Hamptons home and a design element that should not be overlooked. Traditionally you would see very thick skirting and architraves with big, rolling round sections and beautiful detailed designing. Skirting blocks are used, and a crisp white paint finish sets the look. These large white mouldings are the elements that make a statement Hamptons interior along with the colour scheme, furnishings and details such as handles and tapware.

Property Photography by Carole Marg, Caco Photography
Property Photography by Carole Marg, Caco Photography

Creating your Hamptons Staircase

Many Hamptons homes are double stories, and the staircase becomes a central design feature. Dark wood, combined with white risers & bannisters with dark timber handrail offset against a wall of wainscoting is the quintessential Hamptons. A staircase makeover for an existing home to add Wainscoting is an easy way to deliver a major style change.

Creating your Hamptons Staircase

Hamptons decorating

Pared-down Colour

For colour guidance, it’s always best to stick to neutral where possible for the Modern Hamptons style, including whites (but not enough to saturate a space), beiges, greys, yellows or earthy and khaki greens.

Image: Indah Island featuring Intrim Mouldings
Image: Indah Island featuring Intrim Mouldings

You could pair warmer neutral colours with refined and sophisticated navy blues, steering clear of the baby blues and mint greens of the traditional Hamptons style. Monochrome interior schemes are not uncommon in a Modern Hamptons home. Cream with black accents is another Modern Hamptons style colour scheme, or black with accents of bronze and white paired with natural materials for warmth (such as marble counter tops and black timber floors).

Photography by Carole Margand featuring Intrim Moulding

For more information

Intrim Moulding

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