How To Decorate Your Home Like You're In The Hamptons

Serene, airy, classic, and bright — these are the words that come to mind when one thinks of the Hamptons. A quaint escape from the hustle and bustle of New York City for the wealthy, the Hamptons represents the pinnacle of American luxury in a simple and understated manner. Yes, the homes are extravagant, but often not in ways that one might expect for a luxury home market. Compared to Malibu or South Beach, where drama, glass, and ultra-modern finishes dominate the landscapes, the Hamptons is a culture of timelessness, east coast tradition, with a focus on local socializing and a connection to nature.

This connection to nature is reflected in the color palettes that dominate these homes. The Hamptons imagery of miles of beach landscapes, blue skies, and sea foam has had a tremendous impact on the type of home found here, explains CJ Homes. So let's dive into how to make your home a Hamptons masterpiece.

White and bright

Paint it white. All of it — no, seriously. If the walls in your home aren't already painted a coastal, warm white to optimize natural light and create a calming, open sensibility, this is the first thing that needs to change for your Hamptons makeover. Lavender Hills Interior notes that making this change can drastically alter the feeling of a home and give it a fresh personality. 

A slightly sandstone white will also bring in a warmer temperature that complements the earthier elements of the landscape, and can be another option. If you're aiming for a cooler temperature, and looking to reference the water, a gray white or bluish white can be a great solution for bringing out this flavor. The idea with a Hamptons house is that it should feel like you're able to just sort of float through it weightlessly. All of these options will cater toward achieving that aesthetic.

Work with wood

The Hamptons is dominated by the Shingle style home, which is a classic build from the 19th century defined by wooden cladding and grandiose verandas, according to Glamour. These types of homes are defined by utilizing natural materials when possible. Modern and architectural lines don't fall under the classic Hamptons design. So when considering the exterior materials of the Shingle style home, bringing wood into the house is actually a critical step in really creating this clean and relaxing look that feels like it could be from 50 years ago. 

Wood materials can be done in light oak or warm white finishes, and utilized in a variety of rooms throughout the house. Furniture pieces, tables, vaulted ceilings, butcher block countertops, as well as light flooring can all contribute to pulling this style together. Above all, it's important these tones aren't too dark. Airy and bright are key, here. Sticking to the light oak and warm white tones will give a hint of that rustic quality, while also preventing the interiors from feeling too dated.

Bring the baby blues

The dominant color in Hamptons home design outside of whites and neutrals is a light blue. It's soothing to the eye, relaxing, and is a great option to explore when furnishing the living room, bedrooms, or even a bathroom. Wow1Day notes that this kind of blue is particularly popular for bathroom painting, as it can create that resort sensibility that we all look for in a vacation home. 

While texturing should be utilized sparingly when designing a Hamptons home, a bedroom with blues is a great place to start. Yes, the throw blanket and pillows are an opportunity to add some of those ocean tones into the house and really give it that cute, beach vibe. The difference is that, with a Hamptons house, the "Live, Laugh, Love" signs and kitschy decor are nowhere to be found. Understated and timeless elegance is the name of the game, and that sensibility should be carried over even in colorful spaces.

Moulding and millwork

Crown molding and millwork are defining qualities of Queen Anne and Victorian architecture from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. American craftsman, another influence on Hamptons home design, also had a lot of these finishes, as noted by FocalPoint. For whatever reason, by today's design standards, people frequently associate these qualities with the east coast. So it's a critical step to achieving that elegant vibe found in these types of properties.

Working with a local contractor is the best bet for a safe installation that fits proportionate to the other finishes in your home. These types of finishes can help create a striking foyer, add some flavor to a classic Hamptons kitchen, or introduce refinement to a study. One common mistake people make is either not matching the color of the molding or millwork to the original wall colors, or giving it a color that's not complementary to what is already there. Typically, having this kind of detail added to your home will run between $10 and $20 a linear foot, according to Angi.

Simple silhouettes

In many homes, it can be tempting to try and reinvent a space with a rounded sofa, a dynamic glass table, or a showy centerpiece light fixture. However, these type of sensibilities do not fit into a Hamptons home, which thrives on understated elegance and east coast tradition. Even the newer constructions will often opt for these classic finishes (via Home Bunch). 

Your color palettes of whites, neutrals, and baby blues will do a lot of the heavy lifting and create this cohesive and soothing environment. When furnishing a Hamptons house, it's important to focus on an uncluttered and accessible layout that utilizes classic materials such as tight back sofas, rolled arms, linens, gentle fabrics, and naturalistic finishes like white and light oak wood, with the occasional stone touch. Anything flashy, excessively warm-toned, or too geometric will be a bit distracting in a space like this. If it doesn't go with the flow, it doesn't belong in a Hamptons home.