How To Get The Hamptons Style
The general look is that of casual beach living, but the key is to keep sophistication and elegance in mind. It shouldn't be too casual and beachy, or too shabby chic. It is a look that is timeless, this is achieved by keeping the base of the room neutral.
Walls are usually kept white, but with a softness. One of my favourite colours to acheive this is Farrow & Ball Wevet.
If you want to add some interest try wall panelling. It is a very chic way to add drama to a room and adds an elegant, sophisticated aspect. To keep the room light and airy paint the panelling in the same colour as the walls. This makes the effect much more subtle. In a more formal room, or one where you have a lot of natural light you may want to add a little extra drama by painting the panelling in a darker shade. My tip with this is to use the same tone as the walls, but just a darker shade. Keep it all neutral so that it doesn't get too over powering.
Wood floors are a big feature of the Hamptons style home. Go either light and white washed, or dark and dramatic like Wenge wood. If you want somehting a bit different try a grey wash, this is one of my favourite effects.
Always stick to a matte finish and lose the sheen, don't gloss your floors.
In a room where you want easy cleaning they do great tiles now that look just like wood, even with grey wash effects. These are perfct for kitchens where you may want to easily wet mop over the floor.
Start your scheme with soft whites, greys, sands and neutrals. Keep the palette fresh and clean. They key is to introduce as much natural light into the room as you can. Stick to cooler tones if you want to keep the room modern and crisp.
Add colour with accessories, that way if you get fed up of a colour you can change it without having to redo the whole room. Also you can change your colour scheme for summer and winter. Try pastels like duck egg blue and blush nude in the summer. To make the room more cosy for winter try a burnt orange or chocolate brown.
Mix old and new such as a coffee table with planks of wood for a top, with a modern metal base. Painted furniture is also a big feature, in white or soft greys. Go for linen upholstery which is a Hamptons favourite, try adding lots of scatter cushions. Linen is natural and casual, but elegant and refined.
My favourite fabric for curtains is linen, go for something light or slightly sheer for a more relaxed look. if you want something more formal pick a heavy, textured linen. Stick to neutral colours so your won't tire of them.
Lots of lamps! These are key to the soft lighting you want, helping to exude elegance around a room. Lamps provide a soft, delicate glow. Go for bases that are ceramic, or wood and shades that are linen, or cotton. Try two colours such as a white base and a grey shade.
For overhead lighting try pendants. Use them to highlight key areas in your room, such as over a dining table, or breakfast bar.
Most importantly with light do everything you can to enhance the natural light in your room. You want to pull in as much as possible.
Try introducting natural materials, such as linen and driftwood. The idea is to bring nature inside. Imagine living by the beach and having your doors opening onto the patio in the sunshine, you would want the outside and the inside to flow together so that the outside creates an extension of your room. That is the idea to using natural pieces.
White vases always look great, they stand out against wood and keep the light airy theme flowing. They also look great with a bunch of pastel and lime green flowers in, in the spring. Think pretty pink peonies and white tulips.
Add drama with large mirrors that will bounce light around your room and make it look much larger. With mirrors the bigger the better!
Try doing something clever with your pictures. Rather than having one large one on a wall, take one picture and split it into three. Frame these three pieces separately, then hang them side by side, with a small gap between each. This works particularly well with landscape pictures.
I will write more posts with more detail about each of these aspects so stay tuned for more tips and advice. If you have any questions contact us and we will do our best to answer them.