A signature feature of the Hamptons, a group of seaside villages on New York’s Long Island, Hampton Style Homes have long been associated with the wealthy residents of nearby New York City. They are where they have traditionally gone to escape the pressures of city life.
Noteworthy for their marriage of elegance and the laid-back beach lifestyle, in recent years, Hampton Homes have left their spiritual home and moved out into the world. These days, Hamptons-inspired design can be found as far afield as London and Queensland. Indeed, their combination of sophistication with the beach is the perfect fit for Australian coastal living in 2021.
What is Hampton Style
Hampton style homes date back to over 200 years ago, when farmhouses were transformed into beach shacks. Over the years, the Hampton house evolved, grew larger and began to cater for celebrities, professionals and so forth. But they always retained their relaxed beach feel, muted blue and white tones, and open floor plans. Today, homes in the Hamptons are as recognisably a part of their setting as sand, boxwood hedging, and seagulls.
Features of Hampton Style Homes
Hampton style homes exterior features include gable style roofs with large balconies, stately columns, shingles, weatherboards, lantern-style lights, and ox-eye windows. In terms of palette, white, soft greys, and pale whites are the order of the day.
On Hampton style homes interiors, you will find things like timber wall panelling and flooring, dado rails, shutters and sheer curtains, generous lounges, and soft furnishings.
The kitchens in Hampton Homes typically feature pendant lighting, marble or stone benchtops, and Country or Shaker style cupboards; while in the bathroom there is often ornate tapware, tiling on the floors and splashbacks and a continuation of the pale white and blue palette.
All elements come together to not only evoke but welcome the nearby sea. This is the key. The Hamptons Style House is as much about guiding visitors outside to the waiting beach as providing a place to stay and rest.
Hampton Style Homes Australia
How does all of this play out in the Australian context? Do Hampton Homes on the Northern Beaches of Sydney, in Port Melbourne, or by the ocean in Fremantle remain true to the design conventions of Long Island?
Yes, they do but not slavishly so. Australian ‘Hampton Homes’ are unmistakably of their style, but local designers tend to tweak them. They modernise them and give them an unmistakable Aussie accent.
So, while a Hamptons Style House in Perth may have some familiar elements like wooden VJ panelling, pendant lights, and a gable roof, it may also include some unexpected colour choices. Instead of only greys and blues it may introduce black or pale pink.
Similarly, rather than sticking strictly to the familiar materials like wood, stone, and linen, the modern local version of a Hamptons House welcomes additions like polished concrete, brushed nickel, and matte black metal; materials that are not only on trend but are also natural and can be comfortably incorporated into the style.
Importantly, even though houses in the modern Hamptons style break some rules, they never abandon that relaxed-elegant essence. If anything, the relaxed vibe is dialled up a notch when re-located from Long Island to NSW or Queensland. You only have to look at Australia’s history of beach shacks and Queenslanders to remember we are already well-rehearsed at laid back beach living.
The popularity of Hampton Style Homes means that local builders are now well-versed in building them. Indeed, some builders specialise in Hampton Homes. In terms of cost, they are comparable to other popular styles.
Some winning Hamptons Style Homes
1) Norman Park Hamptons Style House
From its pendant lights to its spacious open plan kitchen and meticulously detailed exterior, this Brisbane home radiates elegance and warmth. Abundant natural light, along with furnishing and accessories in muted colours finish the cosy ambience perfectly.
2) Hamptons-themed outdoor entertaining
Located in the Brisbane suburb of Ascot, everything about this home – from its French Oak flooring to it sandstone walls and French doors marks it as an especially stylish residence. Featuring multiple living spaces, it is designed for entertaining.
This entertaining is just as likely to be casual as formal and, considering the sub-tropical climate of South Queensland, just as likely to take place outdoors as indoors.
3) London living room
Even though it’s located in far-away London, this room is a Hamptons special. Every touch – from the whites, blues, and greys to the panelling below the window, the upholstery, and the coffee table – is exactly right. Even the whale on the mantel piece and the mini sailing boat hit the mark.
4) Burraneer Hamptons House
Located in Sydney’s Sutherland shire, this residence exemplifies two key elements of the Hamptons Style House, namely the use of light and space. Airy and sophisticated, it fits seamlessly into the Shire’s beachside location.
5) Waterfront home in Sylvania Waters
This family home in southern Sydney was given a new lease of life with a modern Hamptons style makeover. A Hamptons Style façade, including new gable roof, weatherboards, stone cladding and a new focus on indoor-outdoor living are the key ingredients and the secrets to the design’s success.