If you follow Australian home design and style trends then you are probably aware that the “Hamptons Look” is one of the hottest home fashions going and has been for more than a minute. There are some very good reasons for this. The Hamptons themselves are known for their rustic elegance and relaxed atmosphere.
This section of East Long Island, New York, United States is where the rich and powerful come to play but beyond that, it is where those who can afford to go anywhere choose to unwind and escape their high-pressure lifestyles. More importantly for us in Australia though is the simple fact that the nature-inspired, laid back vibe that exemplifies the Hampton lifestyle translates very well to our own nautical heritage and beach loving nature.
What is the Hampton’s look in interior design?
The best way to describe the look and feel of the Hamptons is understated and simplistic. True, it is elegant but more importantly, it is functional and lacks almost any form of ostentatious details. You could almost describe it as the forerunner of the minimalist movement.
The furniture used is almost always either craftsmen or shaker in design with little embellishment. Natural materials such as wood and natural stone are used extensively with even wall covering most often being either cotton, linen or other textile-based fabrics. Wood, rattan and bamboo are favourite for furnishings both indoors and out.
The colour pallet is also nature-based and kept very simple. Soft white and warm beige dominate while splashes of aqua and cobalt blue work beautifully as trim colours. For slightly higher contrast, vibrant coral colours play well off of charcoal hues and create some excitement. The main secret is to create bright, airy spaces and make extensive use of natural lighting.
Architectural details make the Hampton look.
Common sights in the Hamptons are homes with wraparound verandas, glass French doors, oak floorboards, cabinets that are built-in and panelled walls. Many of these details can be traced back to when this area was a favourite homesite for ship’s captains and owners. Horizontal cladding, again reminiscent of sailing ships, and rough brick are favourite outside coverings. Fireplaces are a must. These are usually done in brick or more often in rough stone and mantels of roughhewn oak and native granite are very prevalent.
Windows come in a wide range of styles from leaded panes to wood frame but one of the most popular styles is bay windows with built-in seating.
Proper window treatments for the Hampton look.
As you can imagine by now, window treatments that fit the Hampton style of decor are on the simplistic side. With their true beauty being the details of their construction and installation.
Curtains and Valances
Exposed wooden curtain rods are often seen and the curtains themselves are rarely patterned or of vibrant colours. Valances are almost never used and even when present are subdued in tone.
Shutters as an exterior detail are very common and most often are functional. Windows needed protecting when Northeasters blew in out of the Arctic or homes were left empty for long periods of time. Even today can they still perform these duties well.
Interior shutters such as Plantation Shutters are a staple of the Hampton style. First and foremost, they are elegant in design and appearance. They recall the days of the sailing ships that are so much a part of the area’s history and cultural identity.
They are functional allowing for the amount of light entering a room to be adjusted according to the setting of the slats or positioning of the shutters themselves and just like the homes that are the source of the Hampton look they are designed to weather the storm and stay functional year after year with little to no maintenance.
Of course, these last points are dependent on them being of good quality to begin with. If you are looking to use shutters as a part of your plan to create a home in the Hampton style be sure to buy the best quality shutters available.