10 Decorating Ideas for Your Hamptons Summer Home
Whether you’re a new Hamptons homeowner looking to customize your own living space or a longtime resident wanting a fresh start, there’s a lot you can do to achieve a light, breezy aesthetic. Using a blend of classic furniture pieces, neutral palettes, and ocean-inspired design, you can arrive at some timeless creations that really set you and your guests’ minds at ease during any time of year. Here are some tips to help you work toward these goals.
1. Keep it natural.
Warm, natural light is not something that can really be replicated with lamps or track lighting, no matter how gentle the bulbs. Keep your window spaces as uncluttered and unencumbered as possible — no heavy drapes or bulky blinds. Some sheer, gauzy curtains or translucent shades can direct and structure the light you want.
When you’re working with hanging lights or floor lamps, surrounding the bulb with wicker structures, or finding some basket shades, is another good way to soften the light and add a new tone to the room. And pairing different shades of brown here can add variety.
Incorporating driftwood or old timbers can lend the house a rustic feel. If you spend some time online looking for scrap overstock from woodshops, or vendors who deal in recycled timber, you can customize pieces for mantles, flooring, or benches.
4. Blue and white
With all the natural light, your best bet for complimentary themes can come from simply looking out the window. The ocean’s colors – blue, white, sand — will create the softest, most welcoming aesthetic in living rooms and bedrooms, so choose upholstery, bedding, pillows, and ceramics with those tones.
Jute or sisal rugs are some understated options that can, well, really tie a room together. They’re woven, so they’ll complement any basket or wicker elements. They’re neutral colors, so they’ll work with cream, sand, stone, and timber palettes. And they’ve got plenty of texture, which can make a room stand out without being too flashy. Persian rugs are always a good choice as well, but they can be pretty loud — you need to make them match the room, not the other way around.
6. Neutral colors
As stated above, working with the colors of the beach can lead to a calming environment. If you incorporate anything too dark, the airy, breezy feel of the Hamptons can get lost. White or cream walls give you a good canvas to work with as far as room accessories, and those deep blues that match the sky and the water will really pop (as will any fresh flowers you add to a room).
Think about the pieces in your collections that will work best with the mood you are trying to create. Busy photographs and abstract pieces can be the center of the room if you’ve arranged them around a still series of tones and colors. But if you want natural light to be the star of a particular area, use black-and-white photos in tight frames, or lighter paintings.
8. A mix of old and new
You can’t really go wrong by incorporating vintage furniture pieces into common areas. Iron benches or rustic wooden chairs can be great for outdoor cocktail seating, especially with new cushions or pillows that draw in colors from your lawn or garden. That driftwood we talked about earlier can be reconstituted into a jaw-dropping dining table or coffee table; even an old door from a vintage shop can work for this. If you’re handy, that just takes some sanding and staining and drilling; if you’re not, there are plenty of creative artisans who can take an old piece and make it shine.
A kitchen with white cabinets is the perfect canvas for granite, slate or marble countertops. Granite is the most diverse substance, with eye-popping colors and rich veins of crystal in each slab; like a snowflake, no slab is the same, and if you work closely with a fabricator, you can get incredible center island pieces. Marble is a bit more fragile and porous but has incredible striated color schemes. Slate can be fabulous as shower walls, especially deeper greys and blues that extend the ocean themes.
10. Fireplace tones
The chilly spring and fall evenings are perfect times for a good fire. But with all the neutrality and rustic browns and blues listed above, a red brick fireplace may not be the ideal complement. Some stonemasons may be able to customize these areas with neutral colors that are less garish and can lend the feel of the English countryside.