The biggest trends in Hamptons decorating right now

Lessons you can't ignore.
Chris Warnes

If you love the East Coast look but all that white and blue is a little too much for you, there are ways of embracing the timeless Hamptons style interior design trend of decorating with a darker colour palette in your interiors, whilst still keeping the look elegant.

According to interior designer Melanie Tomlinson, of Melanie Tomlinson Interior Design the Hamptons style works so well on Australian shores because whilst we are influenced by American interiors, we’re not afraid to take it to a new level. “There’s such an appreciation for design in Australia,” Melanie says, noting that we have our own twist on the look. “We like to maintain our minimal and fresh approach to living, paring back on the traditional American Hamptons style.”

Hamptons style interior design trends
Thoughtfully planned lighting literally transforms a space. (Credit: Chris Warnes)

And there’s more to the Hamptons style than crisp white-washed walls in the living room and Shaker kitchen cabinets. Like our wonderful way of creating a fusion of flavours inspired by the rest of the world, it’s possible to inject colour and work with darker tones in your interiors whilst keeping to the Hamptons look. 

Carry the look right through your living spaces by choosing finishes and furnishings with a Hamptons home in mind – from coffee tables to timber floorboards.

“A Hamptons-inspired home is not complete without a beautifully detailed fireplace and mantle”

Melanie Tomlinson, Interior Designer

The biggest trends in Hamptons decorating right now

“It goes without saying that brass, marble and panelling with dark contrasting floors, white walls and joinery are the front runners in Hamptons decorating,” says Melanie. “But in Australia particularly we are seeing the introduction of more glamorous coastal tones and less formal furnishings or a combination which just gives it that approachable but edgy style we love.”

“It’s about not pushing the detail too far,” says Melanie. “Keep it simple, even if you are using mouldings, there’s not quite as much crowding or layering in an Australian “Hamptons Inspired” home.”

Hamptons style interior design ideas for open plan living dining room
A mixture of decorative and task lighting adds layers of texture. (Photography: Kristina Soljo / Styling: Fiona Gould)

Understanding the Hamptons style

A considered layout is key, Melanie advises. “It’s in the planning, Hampton’s rooms are formal in nature and require balance and symmetry but we like to have a little fun with it too, so don’t be afraid to push the envelope a little.”

As with any interior space, lighting is key. “Downlights on their own are not suitable,” says Melanie. “You need layers of lighting from floor lamps, to table lamps and pendant lighting, it’s about creating interest and atmosphere.”

Hamptons style interior design trending white kitchen with moulded kitchen island and light herringbone floors
Add metals, marble and mouldings to a white interior. (Photography: Kate Bowman)

“Downlights on their own are not suitable, you need layers of lighting”

Melanie Tomlinson

How to bring Hamptons style to an existing space

If you’re redecorating or renovating a home rather than planning a new build and looking for Hamptons design ideas, it can be an exciting challenge to rework the space to create a Hamptons-style home. The first step is to strip everything back to basics. “Take away anything small or unnecessary including furniture and objects and arrange the space around a focal point whether it be the joinery, artwork or a fireplace,” Melanie suggests.

Modern Hamptons bedroom with grey upholstered bedhead and pink velvet doona cover
Start with a backdrop of crisp white walls and sleek plantation shutters. (Photography: Chris Warnes)
  • Replace or add furniture that fills the space adequately and is functional
  • Freshen up the paintwork
  • Add panelling or a wall finish – this can transform the space
  • Include lighting in your planning – install downlights and/or wall sconces where possible and incorporate task and mood lighting with dimmers
  • Include statement pieces such as the rug, sofa or side chairs in luxurious textures and colours
  • Incorporate mouldings, marble and display storage
Other elements to consider for modern Hamptons style:

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