How to decorate with Hamptons style

Colours, finishes and furnishings you need to bring the look of Hamptons look in your home.
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Hamptons-style decorating has taken Australian home interiors by storm. We know why – the fresh, airy palette of white-washed linens, natural textures, ocean-inspired blues and freshly painted white timber finishes work beautifully in Australian homes.

The look is inspired by the architecture and decorating of holiday homes in the luxury seaside communities of upstate New York’s neighbouring Long Island. The interior decorating style along the eastern beachside buildings brings forth a relaxed coastal atmosphere with generous proportions of sofas for reclining, substantial island benches for gathering and entertaining, and crisp blue-striped awnings over pools and outdoor entertaining areas.

Essentially, the fundamental element to Hamptons style is white, white and more white. Build on this with other key decorative elements and accent with touches of colour and texture where it counts. Here’s how to embrace Hamptons style and get the look in your own home.

Our favourite Hamptons homewares

The base

The Hamptons decorating palette is based on a crisp white paint colour choice in a low sheen finish. It is at once modern and classic, cool and welcoming. Try Dulux Natural White or White on White to achieve the look.

Window coverings are sparse and expansive areas of glass are essential, edged in semi-gloss painted timbers or clean aluminium frames or dressed with plantation shutters. Cross-ventilation and picture-perfect outdoor vistas come with bay windows, banks of louvred glass or oversized French doors to swing open and invite breezes.

Choose all-white finishes for kitchen cabinetry with featured areas of open shelving or glass-paned doors. Keep to marble, light-coloured engineered stone or crisp white laminates for benchtops and stools drawn up to the island bench are a must. Pendant lights are the mainstay of Hamptons-style in the kitchen – go for lantern styles in metal and glass, or shiny chrome showstoppers.

Bright open-plan living room with French doors and fluffy dog.
(Photography: Simon Whitbread / Styling: Corina Koch)

The layers

The ideal flooring choice for the Hamptons look inside your home is to go for timber floorboards. Pale timbers with grey undertones, pure white and painted or with a white-washed, distressed look are typical choices that give the air of effortless coastal style and easy living. 

Layer with rugs in natural jute and sisal fibres or woven with natural cotton and bleached wool textures. Washed-out blues also work beautifully on timber floors. If carpet suits your lifestyle, look to natural tones and simple textures that evoke sandy shores and driftwood.

(Photography: Kate Bowman | Styling: Rachel Leppinus)

The furnishings

When it comes to furnishing a Hamptons-style home, generosity is key here. Think relaxed luxury resorts with deep, overstuffed sofas covered in washable white or linen slipcovers or upholstered in pale neutrals with ticking stripes.

Sideboards and side tables in natural- or white-painted timbers add an extra dimension to your Hamptons room, as do occasional tray tables and cane or rattan armchairs with plump upholstered cushions with piping edges.

Hamptons style living room ideas

(Photography: Ess Creative / Styling: Samantha Torrisi)

The styling

Cushions piled on top are a must in Hamptons-style decorating and this is where you can add a little colour – china blues, chintz and Chinoiserie, ocean-inspired motifs are all evocative. Texture can play a part also with beautiful quality linens, jute edges or piping in complimentary tones. Create decorative vignettes around your living spaces, bathroom vanity and kitchen benchtops.

Table tops are a great place to introduce task lighting with plain linen shades atop stone and glass-based lamps, china bowls and coffee table books.

Look to a colour palette of blue and white china with touches of driftwood and bleached coral; vases and glassware bring in a little glamour in the colours of seaglass. Throughout your home styling, opt for ceramics in blue and white, patterns of light florals, geometric lattice and lace patterns.

(Photography: Abbie Melle / Styling: Lisa Burden)

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