Offering a mix of historic charm, beautiful sights, and a slow-paced way of life, The Hamptons boasts its own particular flavor of beach house style that’s growing more popular around the world. Yes, this group of hamlets and villages on the East End of Long Island is associated with a laid-back yet elegant seaside vibe beloved by full-time residents and celebrity visitors alike.
To capture that distinct Hamptons feeling, interior designers focus on a light, airy look with nautical-inspired accents, breezy color schemes, and the easygoing nature of a vacation home. Here’s a brief beginner’s guide to bringing this classic style to your own home.
Let in the Light
Large picture windows framing perfect ocean views are a major component of Hamptons living, but even if you’re lacking the picturesque locale, you can still make do. Highlight your windows using either floor-to-ceiling curtains in lightweight natural fabrics or roman blinds, thereby maximizing the amount of daylight that can come through. Avoid window treatments that feel dark and heavy. If you can, arrange your furniture around the biggest windows with the best views, even if you’re just focusing on a patch of sky or the branches of a tree in your yard.
Introduce Color and Texture
Image via Chango & Co
Classic Hamptons style starts with a palette consisting primarily of white or off-white along with black, metallic accents, neutrals, and toned down sea-inspired shades. Layer a variety of different blue hues with sandy beige, soft dove gray, and muted mint green. When it comes to pattern, stripes are king, but don’t forget the subtle patterns woven textiles and natural materials can introduce, like seagrass rugs, herringbone accent pillows, and cozy knitted throws.
Mix classic New England furniture styles like Shaker chairs and benches with cane or wicker and soft, welcoming oversized linen or twill sofas draped with blankets in complementary colors. You want the space to feel like it could comfortably host a group of chatting, wine-drinking guests next to a fire after a long day lounging on the beach, sandy feet and all.
Create Well-Edited Vignettes
Install plenty of dimmable ambient lighting and accessorize with items you’d naturally find in a Hamptons beach house, including wooden oars, straw hats, blue and white china, lots of living greenery, and little nautical treasures like starfish, sea glass, and framed watercolor ocean scenes. Just be sure not to go overboard with the themed items, which can feel kitschy, and remember that what you exclude is just as important as what you include. Think “vacation house,” reducing visual clutter and finding a tucked-away home for all items that don’t contribute to the vibe.
Focus on Weathered Wood
Image via Chango & Co
Wood is a major element of upscale Hamptons houses, from the character of well-loved floorboards to the crisp detail of whitewashed wainscoting. Shiplap ceilings painted white can transform the feel of a room, too. If you already have wood floors, you might consider staining them dark and softening them up with light-colored rugs for a traditional coastal cottage look.
Bring the Vibe Outside
If the style of your house isn’t too jarring of a contrast, think about continuing the theme outdoors. White wicker furniture, striped blue-and-white cushions, oversized glass lanterns, white plantation shutters, and cedar shakes all make a big impact, with a distinctly Hamptons feel.
Top image via David Scott