What does it take to create a truly inspiring Hamptons-style home – is it the weatherboards, the finishes, or the location itself? According to Natalee Bowen, the award-winning designer behind Indah Island, there are many aspects of a quintessential Hamptons home that are often overlooked.
Fresh off her incredible Toodyay Farm Estate renovation, Natalee is a James Hardie ambassador and recognised as one of the foremost experts on the Hamptons style. Here, she shares her advice on how to create your boutique Hamptons dream home.
There is undoubtedly a ‘form’ to Hamptons-style properties, and Natalee says you need to start by focusing on the five must-haves: weatherboards, wood flooring, colour scheme, fabrics and lighting. “Creating a coastal home is relatively straightforward, but true Hamptons design involves certain features that are considered defining tenets,” she says.
Beyond that, you’ll want to consider the layout and focal points. You can still retain a traditional aesthetic while embracing a modern-day open-plan layout. Achieve this by removing unnecessary internal walls to give the space a free-flowing, airy ambience and eliminate any feeling of clutter. Furniture should also be used as focal points to lead guests towards them.
The pointy pitched roof is a classic indicator of the Hamptons style, and when married with gable cladded in weatherboard it ties the whole looks together.
Natalee says you can define your Hamptons dream home with a roof featuring two angled panels that meet at a central apex to form the elegant – and instantly recognisable – A-shape silhouette. The triangular space this creates is ideal for either vents or windows (square or circular, nautical-style). While vents provide passive ventilation, Natalee says it’s a window gable that will infuse natural light inside – especially if there’s a high ceiling.
If the colour palette is the heart of a Hamptons look then the weatherboards are its soul. With Australia’s harsh climate, traditional timber weatherboard is unsuitable as it will splinter, fade and warp over the years. Thankfully, a fibre-cement alternative like Linea™ weatherboard is highly durable and even resistant to termites.
When it comes to the eaves, Natalee says you should be looking for the ideal balance between beauty and function. Eaves are perfect for pulling together a larger Hamptons look and with a splash of fresh-white paint you’ll immediately give your home the crisp, sharp lines that make it so charming.
Soft whites, blues and greys are still the quintessential colours of a Hamptons home, but you can play with a bit of contrast to create a truly striking façade – consider a darker shade of grey for the roof that complements the light whites of the weatherboard. Inside, stick with the classic blue and white colour palette along with soft furnishings that draw the eye.
Tailored trims can really elevate your Hamptons colour scheme, allowing homeowners to define striking contrasts of strong trims against softer shades. For windows and door trims, Axent™ by James Hardie is the perfect mix of classic Hamptons class and durability.
Indoor-outdoor living is a signature trait of any Hamptons home, so Natalee says it’s vital that you don’t forget about verandahs, balconies and terraces. Whether you use vertical balustrades to deliver an eye-catching contrast to your horizontal weatherboards, or draw attention to your balcony with detailed fretwork, the options are endless.
Alternatively, if you don’t have the space or the desire to build a terrace or balcony onto your home, a freestanding pergola in the centre of a well-manicured lawn with lush surrounding greenery will really make your Hamptons home a standout.
Hamptons homes are all about capturing a sense of timeless charm, Natalee says. That means filling your home with memories, soft and enticing furnishings, and tasteful keepsakes. However, a quality Hamptons home is also a clutter-free zone – so don’t overcrowd the interior.
Our Pinterest page is the best place to find inspiration for your next project, whether it’s playing with traditional Hamptons elements or finding the ideal colour palette. You can also use some of our amazing design ideas to help create the boutique Hamptons home of your dreams.