Born on the beach, Hamptons style is a look that we’ve adopted en masse and adapted to our Aussie way of life. If your home is far from the coastal sanctuary you crave, don’t despair. Here are our 18 pointers to effortless seaside style.
Rachel Lacy, chief coloursmith at Taubmans, explains, “The Hamptons style exudes a relaxed and effortless elegance that has timeless appeal. Create this look at home by starting with a refined coastal palette of crisp whites, deep, dark and duck-egg blues, and pale blue-greys.”
An expansive outdoor area is the most practical of Hamptons-style additions. Designer and James Hardie ambassador Natalee Bowen says, “HardieDeck is a great option here in Australia, with very little maintenance required in our harsh climate. It gives a cleaner look, which I think appeals to us.”
Try box hedging or buxus balls, choose pavers in a pale, sandstone hue and keep colour subtle with white flowers or classic choices like hydrangeas.
“Adding weatherboards screams Hamptons home,” says Natalee. James Hardie ‘Linea’ weatherboards can even be used to clad brick, so virtually any home can be given an East Coast-inspired makeover.
“A neutral, soft colour palette with Shaker-style doors paired with marble-look benchtops lends itself perfectly to this elegant look,” says Briony Mikrou, marketing communications manager at Kaboodle Kitchen.
Give wall cabinets an upgrade with glass-panel doors, which will give the kitchen that all-important feeling of light. Complete the effect by styling up the shelves with display-worthy pieces.
"Cup pull handles in a brushed stainless steel finish, or even gold handles with clean lines will complement the aesthetic,” says Briony.
If you’re not blessed with boards already, try timber laminate, which gives the look of solid timber boards for less and can be laid by a confident D.I.Y.er. Vinyl planks also replicate timber and the peel-and-stick installation is achievable for even home improvement novices.
This is the go-to wall tile for the look: classic, understated but visually striking. Try a marble tile for extra luxury, a coloured tile within a muted palette, or stick with classic white.
Panelling can elevate plain flat walls and give rooms the requisite layered texture. Products like Easycraft wall linings are designed to retrofit, are a relatively straightforward D.I.Y. fix and will completely change the look and feel of a room.
“Hamptons-style homes are often natural and light in scheme,” says Andrea Lucena-Orr, Dulux colour and communications manager. “Soft, neutral colours and tones such as grey-blues and subtle greens, and greiges [beige plus grey] paired with whites (warm and cool) can be used to help achieve this look.”
The aim is to enhance light – shutters are the ultimate Hamptons window covering, bouncing light off the blades and epitomising coastal style. For larger windows or where you need an unimpeded view, look for simple and unobtrusive Roman blinds.
Aim for deep sofas, large occasional chairs with arm rests, and side tables everywhere, so you never have to reach far for your cup of tea. Look at easy-care, coastal-style natural materials, like linen and rattan.
“If you’re heading for a coastal, beachy vibe, look at layering coral, jute rugs, a blue and white theme and seaweed or shell prints,” says Natalee. “If you are doing more of a modern take, stick to a theme of black and white – think wrought iron light features, cream or soft grey lounges and pops of black furniture.”
Create intimate zones and add luxurious warmth underfoot with rugs. Draw on the look’s beach holiday origins with natural textures like jute, coir and sisal, or lightweight cotton rugs in seaside shades of blue and golden sand.
Try an eye-catching pendant over a table or kitchen island. Lantern-style pendants in wrought iron or shiny chrome strike the perfect balance of eye-catching elegance.
Enhance that all-important outdoor connection with potted plants, especially palms and other plants with striking statement foliage.
Have fun styling up shelves or creating little tray collections that you can pick up and move out of the way when needed. “Adding vignettes through the house with collated items you love works wonders and sparks conversation,” says Natalee.
Photo Credit: Dulux Australia/Lisa Cohen, Sue Stubbs, Getty Images
Asbestos, lead-based paints and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber are health hazards you need to look out for when renovating older homes. These substances can easily be disturbed when renovating and exposure to them can cause a range of life-threatening diseases and conditions including cancer. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety page.
When following our advice in our D.I.Y. videos, make sure you use all equipment, including PPE, safely by following the manufacturer’s instructions. Check that the equipment is suitable for the task and that PPE fits properly. If you are unsure, hire an expert to do the job or talk to a Bunnings Team Member.