At home on the East Coast of America, the upmarket, but very understated Hamptons style has swept the globe. It seems that every second house that I work on is based on this classic style. Whether it is the delicate colour palette of soft blues, greens and greys or the relaxed styling, which still manages to be tailored and elegant, it is a style that I believe will endure. There is no doubt that Australians have firmly embraced the Hamptons style but do you ever think about US Hamptons style compared with Australian Hamptons homes?
No doubt when you are building a new home, there is much trawling through Pinterest. Often when clients come to see me, the inspiration that they have is from this style of home built in America. They absolutely love it. I believe many of us at heart like a classic home but we don't want it to be too traditional or dated. The freshness of the Hamptons style, with it's gorgeous soft colour palette, is therefore perfect for how many of us want to live, which is the basis for its enduring nature.
The established Hamptons trend from the US, pictured above, is being given a truly Australian makeover by homeowners throughout Australia. The contemporary interpretation combines quintessentially Queenslander coastal staples on today’s smaller blocks, (see below) with the elegance of the New York original style.
Here, Natalee Bowen, Principal at Indah Island and James Hardie Ambassador, is joined by Sami Rahman, James Hardie America, to compare and contrast the look here and there to help define Australian Hamptons.
US Hamptons style compared with Australian Hamptons
“It’s easy to see why the Hamptons style has been so successful in Australia with our shared love of indoor-outdoor living and entertaining,” says Natalee. “However, over the years we’ve adapted the style to our more modern tastes and the environment. Today, when we look at the homes that inspired us, it’s clear that a new Australian Hamptons look has emerged.”
Size isn’t everything
“The Hamptons look has spread across the east coast, from New York state to Cape Cod and one of the defining features is size – the bigger the better. These homes are made for any entertaining occasion from weekend getaways to functions and gatherings,” Sami says.
“Size has definitely inspired the Australian Hamptons look, but we’re building our homes on anything from rural farmland to inner suburb blocks,” adds Natalee. “It’s about using the area you have to create that open airy feel, often through open floor plans and lots of natural light,” she adds.
“A basic tenant of the Hamptons look is reflecting the surrounding area. In America this means the whites, blues and other coastal elements, while in Australia, we take this principle and apply it to our locations. Colour palettes can range from eucalyptus greens and caramels in rural areas, to shades of greys in cities,” says Natalee.
“American Hamptons style homes exude timeless charm and the sense of understated ‘old money’ luxury. The look relies on muted tones that are given richness with material choices, including ‘old world’ materials like timber shingles and stone,” says,” Sami
“After a long legacy of using red and cream brick, Australians are looking to use modern materials that give a feel of quality craftsmanship that will stand the test of time,” says Natalee. “A must have is Linea Weatherboards that create a classic Australian cottage look that has a colonial charm, giving a familiar but more contemporary shadow line look that is used in America to add texture. The cladding is also better suited to the harsh Australian climate than timber, as it is made from fibre cement which is resistant to warping, flaking and damage from moisture and fire.”
“In America we have a range of climates to consider, so preferences vary from asphalt shingles to slate or tile roofs depending on which coast you’re on. Meanwhile, while Australians prefer a corrugated steel which is a big difference and a material that’s quintessentially Australian,” adds Sami.
Ornamentation on a Hamptons home
“Detail is everything for any Hamptons home,” says Natalee. “Australians hold true to this original thinking through the use of Axent trim, a fibre cement architrave used to enlarge window and door frames, which is finished in a bright white, and extended onto eaves.”
“Gable roofs are a classic Hamptons motif that prevents the home looking blocky and creates beautiful ceilings inside the home. In America they have multiple gables, dormer windows and cupolas, as money is no object for the extremely wealthy Hamptons homeowners. In Australia, where the look has been made more accessible, volume builders have figured out how to simplify the style with token gables,” adds Natalee.
“Alfresco and outdoor entertaining areas capture that love of indoor-outdoor living. The Australian twist on this is the addition of verandas,” says Natalee. “In Australia, we have a tradition of wrap around verandas which are reminiscent of country homes and Queenslanders.”
“Additionally, using HardieGroove linings in veranda ceilings and as internal feature walls works well with the Hamptons style and is consistent with Queenslander style homes,” says Natalee.
While the Hamptons look may speak to a refined and relaxed way of life, it’s important to understand the details and nuances that makes the style at home in Australia.
Hamptons interior schemes
I find that the American way of decorating is different to our more relaxed approach here. Below are some images of some classic US Hamptons style interiors. Where we would adapt a Hamptons style to make it more relaxed, the look in the US is certainly more formal. Still absolutely gorgeous though!
What do you think about the US Hamptons Style compared with Australian Hamptons style?
Find out how to get the Australian Hamptons look for your home at jameshardie.com.au
If you are a fan of Hamptons style I have lots of related posts about the look on my blog. You should start with Hamptons Style, 7 steps to achieve this look.
You can see more about a typical Queenslander Hamptons style home here Hamptons Style in Queensland