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Bring the Hamptons home

The easy-breezy, casual luxury of a Hamptons-inspired interior is hard to resist, and its quintessential low-key elegance that embraces a coastal setting makes it a look that works particularly well for New Zealand and Australian homes.

This spacious yet cosy living room proves that white is the perfect colour choice for a Hamptons style look, maximising the sense of light and space. Walls, ceilings and trims in Resene Black White, Resene Sea Fog or Resene Merino are all classic options that provide an elegant backdrop for building up the rest of you colour scheme and décor. But a Hampton’s colour scheme is nothing without blue, so be sure to include coastal-inspired tones like Resene Coast, Resene Blue Night, Resene Biscay, Resene Dusted Blue and Resene Longitude in your design. Grey is another important colour for getting this look, so don’t overlook mid-range shades like Resene Gull Grey, Resene Ash, Resene Cloudy and Resene Silver Chalice as part of your palette.

Hamptons layered neutral lounge

Hamptons neutral mood board

Hamptons neutral mood board

Hamptons styled neutral lounge

Mood board white/natural: Background in Resene Colorwood Dark Ebony with A4 drawdown paint swatches in (from top to bottom) Resene Black White, Resene Cloudy, Resene Ash, Resene Silver Chalice and Resene Merino, tray in Resene Cloudy and seashell covered dish in Resene Silver Chalice.  Paint: Walls in Resene Black White, Floors in Resene Colorwood Dark Ebony, Console table in Resene Merino, Coffee table in Resene Merino, Mirror in Resene Cloudy, Tray in Resene Cloudy, Faux book in Resene Ash, Tall bottle vase in Resene Cloudy, Textured bottle vase in Resene Silver Chalice, Seashell box in Resene Silver Chalice, Coral in Resene Black White, Plant pot in Resene Half Tuna, Small round plant pot (with distressed look) in Resene Half Tuna with Resene Merino rubbed onto it with a clean dry cloth, Tall vase with stripes in Resene Tea with Resene Half Tuna and Resene Cloudy stripes, Wire orb in Resene Ash.

Blue-based greys and blue black accents in Resene Neutral Bay, Resene Quarter New Denim Blue, Resene Indian Ink or Resene High Tide can work just as well, and even a few carefully curated touches of red or yellow – such as Resene Pohutukawa or Resene Golden Sand – can authentically support your look.

The layering of details within a Hamptons look is important. From bevel-edged furniture and fretwork to crown moulding and ceiling medallions, nothing is flat or plain – and the more you add, the more charming it gets. Batten wall and ceiling designs are a fantastic choice for upping the texture on your room’s major surfaces, and opting for a simple grid patten is surprisingly easy to achieve.

Because of the Hampton’s costal-adjacency, décor and accessories that have ties to the beach or the sea are a must. One way to achieve a highly-textured, layered look is to display your treasures and collectibles on the horizontal surfaces within your living room, such as the mantelpiece, shelving unit, coffee table or console. Style your vignettes with care – they tell your story, after all. And remember, if displaying shells and coral, always choose sustainable sourced ones or opt for faux replicas.

Hamptons styled blue lounge

Hamptons blue mood board

Hamptons blue mood board

Hamptons styled blue lounge

Mood board blue: Background in Resene Colorwood Dark Ebony with A4 drawdown paint swatches in (from top to bottom) Resene Halcyon, Resene Biscay, Resene Black White, Resene Blue Night and Resene Merino, seashell dish in Resene Blue Night, tea light holder in Resene Halcyon, faux coral ornament in Resene Black White and striped vase in Resene Blue Night with stripes in Resene Black White.  Paint: Walls in Resene Black White, Floors in Resene Colorwood Dark Ebony, Console table in Resene Merino, Cabinet in Resene Merino, Coffee table in Resene Merino, Shell sea dish in Resene Blue Night, Cross back chair in Resene Blue Night, Plant pot in Resene Blue Night, Plant pot in Resene Black White with stripes in Resene Blue Night, Painted books in Resene Blue Night and Resene Halcyon, Medium-size vase (with white stripes) in Resene Biscay with stripes in Resene Black White, Tealight holder in Resene Halcyon, Star fish in Resene Halcyon, Small coral in Resene Black White, Large seashell in Resene Black White.

Creating your own ocean-inspired artwork that blends seamlessly with your Hampton’s style space couldn’t be easier. First, paint a large piece of heavy art paper or illustration board in two coats using a testpot of Resene Blue Night. Find an image of a piece of coral you like online to use as a guide, and then once your background is dry, lightly draw the coral shape onto the blue background with a pencil or chalk. Using a small, flat artist’s paintbrush, paint your coral design a white that sharply contrasts with your background, such as Resene Merino. Leave your artwork to dry fully before popping it in a picture frame, which you can paint in Resene Merino to match.

Natural, textured materials like rattan, jute and timber as well heavy-weave linen fabrics – especially in pinstripe or ticking designs – are all fairly standard fare for Hamptons style homes. To play up the beachy vibe, wood surfaces or driftwood accents can be finished in Resene Colorwood Whitewash or Resene Colorwood Light Greywash for casual simplicity. Or opt for a dark stain such as Resene Colorwood Dark Ebony or Resene Colorwood Crowshead on timber flooring, which still allow the beauty of the wood’s natural grain to show through while providing a grounding effect within the space.

Maximising natural light is also a must, and choosing window treatments that allow more sunshine to flood in is an easy way to lift the look and feel of your Hamptons-inspired space. Forget heavy drapery – instead, opt for light-enhancing window treatments such as plantation shutters painted in the same Resene hue as the rest of your trims and go for gauzy sheer curtains from the Resene Curtain Collection such as Resene Harmony Voile in Blonde, an earthy 'linen look' voile with modern wide stripes and a fine herringbone detail.

A Hamptons layered neutral style

A Hamptons layered blue style

Accessories blue version:  Sofa, Navy marlia cushion with jute trim from Freedom; Console table with shelf (painted in Resene Merino), Cabinet, Jute square cushion from Mocka (painted in Resene Merino); Table lamp, Ginger jars, Maine navy and white geometric cushion, Jute rug, Coral print cushion, Mollymook Ikat print white/blue cushion, Book (on coffee table) from The French Villa; Navy linen look cushion from The Warehouse; Blue coral, White cushion with navy stripe in middle of cushion, Star fish on stand (painted in Resene Halcyon) from Bed Bath & Beyond; Coral look bowl, Navy cushion with white piped trim, Navy and white thin horizontal striped cushion, Jute ball, Orchid in glass vase from Kmart; Large white faux coral from Spotlight; Indigo and white stripe cushion from Ji Home; Blue vintage-look rug and bowl of white shells are stylist’s own.

Accessories white/natural version:  Sofa, Lantern (on coffee table), Armchair, Grey striped cushions (on rattan chairs), Finch square grey cushion (on sofa), Stripe rectangle grey cushion (on sofa), Pewter lamp base and shade from Johnston Imports/Ji Home; Tray table, Rug from Freedom; Seagull and lighthouse decoration, White cushion with grey mixed sized stripes (on sofa), Grey and white cushion (on sofa) with mixed stripes from Bed Bath & Beyond; Mirror from Spotlight (painted in Resene Cloudy); Small grey and white striped cushion (on sofa) from The French Villa; Picture frame from Kmart, Glasshouse candle and all books are stylist’s own.

How to make a coral artwork

How to make a coral painted artwork

You will need:

Step-by-step instructions:

  1. Find an image of a piece of coral you like online to use as a guide.

  2. Paint your art paper in your background colour in two thin coats, allowing the first to dry fully before applying the second. We used Resene Blue Night as our background. To help keep your paper flat while you are painting, you can tape the edges down to your painting surface using a high quality painter’s masking tape that’s suitable for delicate surfaces (such as Sellotape Washi Advanced, available at Resene ColorShops). To speed up the drying process, use a hair dryer on a low heat setting.

  3. Once the background colour is dry draw the coral shape onto the blue background with a pencil or chalk (something that will show up on your background colour).

  4. Using a small, flat artist’s paintbrush, paint your coral design in a colour that contrasts with your background – we used Resene Merino. Leave to dry fully.

  5. Once dry, mount your artwork in your frame and hang it using the appropriate hardware for your wall type.

Resene Colorwood Light Greywash

Resene Halcyon

Styling by Vanessa Nouwens. Photography by Wendy Fenwick. 2022

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