The established Hamptons trend is being given a truly Australian makeover by homeowners from Perth, WA to Putney, NSW. The contemporary interpretation combines quintessentially Queenslander staples on today’s smaller blocks, with the elegance of the New York original style.
“It’s easy to see why Hamptons has been so successful in Australia with our shared love of indoor-outdoor living and entertaining,” says interior designer and principal at Indah Island, Natalee Bowen. “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.”
Here, Natalee is joined by Sami Rahman from James Hardie America, to compare and contrast the look here and there, and help define Australian Hamptons.
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,” he 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.”
“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 are Linea Weatherboards that create a classic Australian cottage look that has a colonial charm. This gives 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.”
Sami adds: “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, Australians prefer a corrugated steel roof, which is a big difference and a material that’s quintessentially Australian.”
”Detail is everything for any Hamptons home. 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,” says Natalee.
She adds: “A gable roof is a classic Hamptons motif that stops the home looking blocky and creates beautiful ceilings inside. 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.”
“Alfresco and outdoor entertaining areas capture that love of indoor-outdoor living areas. The additional Australian twist on this is the addition of verandas,” says Natalee. “In Australia, we have a tradition of wraparound 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.