Articles, Renovations

Defining Modern Australian Hamptons

linea-hamptons-exterior-putney-jameshardie-1 uaehbi-scaled
Project Name
Australian Hamptons
Project Type
DF Hoult Constructions

The residential streets of Putney in Sydney might not be the first place you’d expect to see the transformation of international design trends. However, this was essential for the Cheung family when they put a truly Australian twist on the well-loved Hamptons look, during the renovation of their boring brick house into their dream home.

“We wanted to capture the coastal glamour, openness and indoor-outdoor lifestyle of the Hamptons, but make it more our own,” says homeowner Catherine Cheung.

Taking 10 months, the renovation included the addition of a second storey, an entire exterior transformation and the extension of the generous rear balcony.


The dated red brick façade was rendered over and painted a more contemporary grey. The second storey extension is what gives the building the charming, Australian Hamptons feel. It starts with James Hardie’s Linea™ Weatherboards painted a neutral tone. Then contrast is created by an abundance of white trim such as window frames fattened with James Hardie’s Axent™ Trim.

“In the Hamptons they use timber weatherboards or shingles that grey and deteriorate, as Americans are used to regularly recladding their homes. We wanted weatherboards that stay looking good and are more durable for the Aussie elements,” says the Cheung’s builder, Damian Mitchell of DF Hoult Constructions. “The Linea Weatherboards give us that same textured shadow-line look we wanted, plus they are lower maintenance than traditional materials, so less work for us in the long run.”

James Hardie’s Linea™ Weatherboard is made from premium fibre cement and is resistant to damage from termites, fire and moisture. The boards are also primed and ready to be painted in any colour to get the desired look.


The addition of the second storey has extended the home, allowing for the creation of an uncluttered, breezy, Hamptons-esque floorplan. This was also made possible by the use of the premium fibre cement, Linea™ Weatherboard, which is lighter than traditional brick allowing for easy upward extensions, without the cost of structural support required by heavy masonry.

Inside, the open plan living area addresses the limited size of the previous home and embodies Australia’s and the Hamptons’ shared love of indoor-outdoor living and entertaining, continues Catherine:

“Although the initial living area was very small, the home’s drawcard was that it backed onto a beautiful park,” she says. “My husband and I love entertaining and opening up the living area onto the balcony to create an indoor-outdoor area was a must for the renovation.”

Doubling the size of the existing elevated rear balcony, Hardie™ Deck was used to cantilever the deck out beyond the roof of the basement garage. This has created room for the addition of an outdoor kitchen area and full dining set that the whole family can enjoy. The boards also help to create a continuity between the interior and exterior by mimicking the floorboards in the indoor living area.


To complete the look and add all-weather protection, the new balcony is covered with a gable roof with a beautiful vaulted ceiling in white, which marries to the window and roofline trims and continues the Hamptons theme. This outdoor area has been finished with Hardie™ Groove Lining vertical groove sheets to continue the texture seen on the house and Linea Weatherboard lined privacy walls to either side.

“The covered outdoor room is a must to make the Hamptons look work under our harsh summer sun. It also created a great opportunity to add more of the layered detail you see in the New York holiday homes. I also love the way that the weatherboard look of the privacy wall adds an Aussie sensibility similar to Queenslander homes,” adds Catherine.

By combining a colour palette and love of varying textures and details directed by New York sensibilities and new modern materials that meet the needs of local home design functional needs and tastes, Catherine has managed to put a lot of Hamptons glamour into a modern Australian block and home without compromising her family’s style.

“We love the finished home. It’s part Hamptons, part Australian, but most importantly it’s all ours. When I look at it, I can see our style and the life we want to live with our friends and family,” concludes Catherine.

Take a look at the James Hardie Home Renovation Guide here

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