Top tips on how to achieve the grand, Hamptons-inspired look for your home and interior
Recently I visited The Hamptons on a media trip, as a guest of Scyon Walls. The trip was curated to show members of the Australian media and building industries just what the popular Hamptons look really is and how to achieve it.
Any fan of architecture and interiors will have noticed that The Hamptons look is very popular in Australia; and rightly so as we have the perfect weather and geographic locations for this seaside-inspired style. But according to Natalee Bowen from Indah Island, the Hamptons look can have its drawbacks. “Hamptons can be such an over-used cliché in Australia,” said the Australian builder, designer and Hamptons-style specialist, “However, the real look is in how you bring it all together”.
The Hamptons is a coastal community on the south shore of Long Island, New York. Since the since the nineteenth century, Manhattan’s elite, owning weekenders or summer houses in the area, have frequented the location. The area features many grand houses, often hidden from view behind wide sand dunes and high hedges. Residents fiercely guard their privacy in this elite enclave, so it’s difficult to see the houses from the road. Given given access to several homes, we were able to experience the architecture and interiors up close. We also had the bonus of hearing from local architect, author and historian, Gary Lawrance. He took us through several historic homes, explaining the development of the style and the choice of materials used.
Components of Hamptons-style interiors
In contrast to Coastal style, which has a casual vibe, the Hamptons has a classic and formal yet relaxed look. Its architecture is characterised by mostly white or weathered grey exteriors, horizontal timber cladding or shingles, gables and lots of details such as porches, balconies, balustrades and mouldings. But defining a single Hamptons look is difficult: many architectural styles, including Colonial Revival and neo-Georgian, influence the look.
The Hamptons style of home we know in Australia fits easily into our coastal landscape. The wide verandas provide shade from the summer sun while French doors and porches are perfect for outdoor entertaining. Interiors are light and bright with high ceilings and mostly neutral colour schemes. These are set off against duck-egg blue or navy-coloured furnishings and accessories. Black Japan floors, black handrails and hardware contrast with brilliant white walls, balustrades and joinery; bleached oak or light timber floors can also be used effectively. Carpets or rugs have natural fibres in neutral tones, and kitchens feature white joinery with classic mouldings and honed white marble benchtops. Splashbacks and bathrooms feature subway tiles or penny rounds in ceramic or marble finishes. Blue or grey painted cabinetry and joinery is an alternative to all white, and works well in coastal homes, reflecting the colours of the ocean.
How to achieve the Hamptons-look in Australia
The defining element for Australian versions of the Hamptons house is the popularity of vertical cladding, traditionally made of timber. Scyon Linea cladding is a low maintenance and hard-wearing cement composite weatherboard alternative, with deep shadow lines, perfect for the Hamptons look. The material maintains its integrity and general appearance significantly longer than timber. When used with the right insulation and in accordance with the standard installation instructions, an R-Value of up to 2.8 can be achieved for the wall with greater total R-Values achieved using cavity wall construction and reflective vapour permeable membranes. Timber has high resistance to damage from termites, rot and fire. Timber can be cut easily and can be gun nailed.
Whether building a new house or renovating an existing property – such as Natalee’s home – it’s easy to achieve the Hamptons look, if you consult an expert who is confident with this style and who can turn your vision of a light, bright Hamptons-inspired home from a dream to reality.