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What is Hampton Style and how do I get it? The Ultimate Guide!

July 05, 2022

Hampton style is one of the most popular decorating styles around, and Australia has embraced the look wholeheartedly. Our fantastic climate really lends itself to the laid back East-Coast American style and it's a design classic that's stood the test of time. So what are the elements you need for the perfect Hampton style house? We take a deep dive into how you can decorate like you've lived in the Hamptons all your life. 

'The Hamptons' is made up of a collection of towns on Long Island, New York. Once humble fishing villages, the arrival of the train line into Southampton soon brought wealthy New Yorkers to the coast in search of respite from the city's summer heat. Soon, gorgeous summer residences, containing all the comforts of home, were built for the rich and famous summer vacationers. 

Nowdays, the term 'Hamptons Style' means light, bright interiors with an effortless yet sophisticated vibe. Colours of the coast, like blues, whites, creams and soft yellows are used to bring a beachy feel without the kitsch. 


Hampton style living area by Lynda Kerry - Driftwood Interiors Blog

Designer Lynda Kerry has used deep navy blue cushions, jute rugs and a white couch to create the perfect Hampton style decor in this beautiful room


But what is Hampton Style and how do we adapt it to our Australian lifestyle? We take the best of the look and blend it with our own brand of casual, relaxed living of course!




1. With Hampton Style homes, the devil is in the detail.

Hampton style is all about detail. No self-respecting Hamptons home is complete without wainscoting, tongue-in-groove panelling, coffered ceilings, decorative cornices and oversized skirting boards & architraves. Layered decor that looks like it's evolved over time is key. Wall art, cushions, rugs, tabletop vignettes of treasured finds - these are the elements that are intrinsic in Hamptons style homes. 


Hamptons style interior Australia

By Lime Building Group in Mt Kembla, NSW. And I'm chuffed to see my Corals in Indigo featuring in this lovely room! You can shop my coral prints here.


2. The colour palette is key in authentic Hampton Style interiors.

The Hamptons is a coastal playground and choosing an interior colour scheme that incorporates shades of white, blue, green, taupe, sand and soft grey brings the natural beauty of the area inside. Often, Hamptons style homes in Australia start with a neutral base for walls and floors and add colour in soft furnishings, wall art, rugs and decoration. 


Hampton Style Living room by Kerri Shipp Driftwood Interiors


In my previous home, I combined fresh white walls and furnishings with soft grey carpet and blue accents to create a light, bright living area. Denim Blue Coral Prints and Pale Blue Foliage artwork compliments the scheme


3. Wall art in the Hamptons house is used to show your personal style.

Wall art is the perfect way to show your personality and great style, and it's never more important than in a Hampton style house. Corals, Ferns, Flowers, & Botanicals are timeless classics and this style of artwork works perfectly in Hampton style interiors. Choose a colour from your artwork and repeat it in your soft furnishings to tie the look together. Top tip: Stay away from reds & oranges if you want that authentic Hamptons look.



Hampton style Bird Wall Art Prints in Living room by Kerri Shipp Driftwood Interiors


Natural curiosities like birds work perfectly in Hampton style interiors too. If corals aren't your style, our Great Blue Heron& Snowy Egret Wall Art Prints are great alternatives.


4. Hamptons Style furniture sets the tone for the rest of the decor.

Slipcovered sofas in relaxed linen or soft cottons are the perfect way to inject classic Hampton style into your home. They're not only easy to keep clean, but they get better over time as well. Hamptons homes look best when they appear as though they've been furnished over many years, so adding slipcovered chairs to an antique dining table, choosing mismatched coffee & side tables, and avoiding matched sets of furniture is a great way to add personality and style.


Something's Gotta Give Hamptons House Living Room - Driftwood Interiors Blog

Remember this scene with Jack Nicholson in Nancy Meyers' 'Something's Gotta Give'? That living room with slip covered sofas & striped rug sparked a frenzy when the film was first released.


5. In Hampton Style homes, decorative accessories are the icing on the cake.

Corals & shells collected on beach holidays (or shh...bought at a boutique store!), driftwood sitting on your buffet, blue & white ginger jars on your bedside table....these are the kinds of carefully curated accessories you need for your Hampton style home. Antique mirrors, bamboo picture frames, rattan trays and trinket boxes all add texture and interest to your decor. And that's part of the fun of decorating this way - collecting pieces over time is what gives these homes such an individual style and no two houses look the same this way. It doesn't need to be expensive to get the look either - scour second hand stores and markets for trinkets and unique finds.


Hampton style entry with coral and shells Driftwood Interiors

Books, coral and greenery combine to create a gorgeous Hampton style space. This time, the colour scheme is neutral with my Tropical LeafFan Palm & prints in brown bamboo frames taking centre stage.


6. Hamptons style starts from the ground up with your choice of flooring.

Timber floors, either stained a deep dark brown or in whitewashed mid tones are favourites in Hampton style homes. Otherwise, go for natural stone layered with jute or cotton rugs, or sisal carpets for good looks and durability.


Hampton Style Home with Blue Coral Wall Art by Driftwood Interiors

This stunning Hampton style house in Sydney features rich dark timber flooring. Coral Artwork by Driftwood Interiors, interior design by Tonka Andjelkovic.


7. Hampton style lighting sets the mood.

Wall sconces in antique brass, polished nickel or black are Hamptons royalty. Along with feature pendant lights and table lamps with patterned shades, soft ambient light is essential - harsh downlights, particularly in cool white - aren't welcome here.


Hamptons style kitchen by Cadence & Co - Driftwood Interiors Blog

What a knockout this Hampton style kitchen is. Designed by Cadence & Co, this bespoke home features pendant lights, wall sconces & table lamps to add ambience.


8. Hampton style windows get the treatment.

Billowy Hampton style curtains in linen are stalwarts of the look. Remember the scene in 'Something's Gotta Give' where we first see the Erica's fabulous house in the Hamptons? That double height living room, complete with linen curtains is Hamptons perfection. You can also add white shutters, or woven roman blinds for privacy.


Hamptons style living room with white linen curtains - Driftwood Interiors Blog

White linen curtains are staples in Hampton Style interiors. This living room by Grand Tradition Homes is a perfect example.


9. In the Hampton style house, fabrics are soft and welcoming.

What better way to add colour and texture to your Hampton style home than with soft furnishings? Cushions in a mix of stripes, geometrics, florals and block prints add a pop of colour without overwhelming the relaxed vibe. Colours are again in shades of blues, creams, whites, greens, and soft yellows, reflecting the beach outside. The bed is dressed in classic white linen and puffy quilt covers add comfort and warmth. 



Hampton style living room with blue accessories - Driftwood Interiors

 In our Hamptons style Clayfield Design Project, I chose soft Duck Egg Blue accessories and my White Fern Artwork to keep the small space light and airy. Block printed cushions, linen throws and a jute rug adds softness and texture. 


10. Lastly, don't forget the Hampton style facade - a statement front door, greenery & flowers add the final flourish.

Box hedges and mass planted hydrangeas are seen throughout the Hamptons. But you can add your own touch with relaxed posies of blooms in pinks & greens, or why not just snip some branches from the garden and display them in an oversized vase? In the Hamptons, it's all about bringing the outside in.

You'll also see the feature front door making a statement in Hampton style homes. Often painted in classic black, but also in fun brights and pastels, nothing says 'welcome' like an exterior where everything is considered. Throw in some outdoor lights in black, nickel or brass, outdoor furniture and a classic white picket fence and you've got Hamptons style sorted.


Hamptons house with mass white Hydrangeas - Driftwood Interiors Blog

Hampton style facade with feature front door in glossy black, and mass planted white hydrangeas - via Glam Meets Gal


Home in the Hamptons with blue hydrangeas - Driftwood Interiors blog


Hydrangeas and a white picket fence are made for each other - and made for Hampton style! Via @adashofdetails 



Beautiful summer house in the classic Hamptons style. Via Image by Tria Giovan 


So that's your guide to creating the perfect Hampton style house for yourself! I hope you've found our tips and tricks helpful and would love to see your own take on the style - feel free to email your photos to


And if you're a lover of classic Hampton Style, we have a curated Hamptons Wall Art Print Collection that takes the guesswork out of choosing the right pieces. Just mix and match from the collection and you'll have the perfect Hamptons haven in no time! Here are a few of our favourites:


Hampton Style Blue Coral Wall Art Prints in living room - Driftwood Interiors

Seaweed Collage III& II in Blue


Blue and white ginger jar print in living room by Driftwood Interiors Wall Art

Blue & White Ginger Jar Wall Art Print on dark background 




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