How to get modern Hamptons style

Love Hamptons and contemporary styles? Now you can have the best of both worlds.
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Within the interior design world, ‘modern’ and ‘Hamptons’ are rarely used in the same sentence. However, Modern Hamptons is an increasingly popular style that’s worthy of attention. If you like things simple and striking, the Modern Hamptons look is for you. It’s cleaner, crisper and a little more ‘masculine’ than traditional Hamptons style, and will appeal to those who want to embrace a more minimalist or monochromatic look, without forgoing timeless design characteristics.

Modern Hamptons style
(Credit: Amy Skinner)

The features of Modern Hamptons style

You can spot a Modern Hamptons home by its exterior colour palette. From charcoal to deep navy or solid black, weatherboards get a moody makeover [weatherboards, such as Hardie, Linea, Primeline and Stria, all by James Hardie, can be painted in a colour palette of your choice]. Trims remain finished in a classic white for a sensational contrast. Other external features – balustrades, fencing and doors, for example – are less detailed and more square in design. Window details lack beading like their traditional counterparts. There’s nothing over-complicated about the Modern Hamptons home.

Modern Hamptons home exterior
(Credit: Elouise van Riet-Gray)

Internally, feature walls still showcase detail. High wainscoting, for example, creates a Hamptons look in a flash and can be used throughout the home. Opt for a square or straight bead rather than rounded mouldings for modern styling. White walls and trims are essential, contrasting with darker floors, often in a clean black Japan stain. The crisp white balustrades and newel posts of a staircase are cleaner; with no spindle details, the black riser and handrail can have their moment in the spotlight.

The Modern Hamptons kitchen

Cabinetry is simplified in the Modern Hamptons home – think leathered dark-marble benchtops or lighter marble with dramatic veining. Tapware is sleek and streamlined, either in matt black or a rumbled, organic brass finish. Black or brass hardware looks amazing in modern kitchens and wet areas, enhancing a minimalist, masculine style. 

Overhead cabinetry features glass internal shelves rather than standard white, and a simple Shaker door profile if you prefer a classic base. Exposed wrought-iron shelving over an island or floating wood shelves on a back wall would also suit, pushing your modern look in the industrial direction.

Bathrooms can showcase some personality with a black or grey encaustic floor tile – pair with gloss-white subway tiles for splashbacks; grey or black subway tiles would also look terrific. Frameless mirrors with soft, warm backlighting are a perfect match, but if you prefer contrast, opt for feature lighting and a tempered-glass mirror.

Modern Hamptons kitchen with butler's pantry
(Credit: Martina Gemmola)

Modern Hamptons furniture

Soft greys and off-white linens and simple layers of natural textures give a subtle nod to the Hamptons. With furniture, such as coffee and side tables and sideboards, introduce wrought iron or black metal and glass. Look for clean lines and substance while keeping the palette neutral. Raw wood elements are also an excellent addition to soften hard lines and add natural warmth.

Texture is still important as we remove the typical printed textiles of cushions and throws – lean towards velvet for a luxe finish or linen for a laid-back look. There are little to no patterns in a Modern Hamptons living room, save for a grey striped rug over a larger jute one.

Sofas with large square arms and simplified occasional chairs are the way to go. You could incorporate a curved feature in any of these, to make the room feel softer and more inviting. There are almost no hints of colour or rattan – remain focused on a few materials without overdoing it, but feel free to play around with all the shades of grey. We also can incorporate a tribal element in our vignette styling for texture and interest. Lighting can be structured with the use of glass or iron chandeliers.

Overall, Modern Hamptons appeals to minimalists, while still resulting in a soft, tasteful home that can evolve with you.


Get the look

Nickel Pineapple lamp
Nickel Pineapple Leaf table lamp (84cm), $199, Hamptons Home (Credit: Hamptons Home)
Dulux Wash & Wear in Natural White
Wash & Wear paint in Natural White, $91.90/4L, Dulux
Grey Wilson cushion Temple & Webster
Grey Wilson cushion (43cm x 43cm), $39.95, Temple & Webster
Abode Elevate hybrid flooring in Knight Oak, Choices Flooring
Abode Elevate hybrid flooring in Knight Oak, from $55.22/sqm (supply only), Choices Flooring
Mellieha nesting tables, Temple & Webster
Mellieha nesting tables, $289/set, Temple & Webster

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