Designer GenesAlexa Hampton's Aesthetic Is A Family Tradition
Local decor buffs are getting a treat this summer: the annual Designer Showhouse is being co-chaired by the acclaimed, and aptly-named, Alexa Hampton. Though Hampton’s firm, named for her father Mark Hampton from whom she inherited the company, is based in New York City, she has completed projects from the boroughs through the East End and all the way to Hangzhou, China.
Hampton’s list of accomplishments is equally expansive. She serves on the board of trustees for the New York School of Interior Design, along with the New York Landmarks Conservancy and the Institute for Classical Architecture. Her accolades include Cosmopolitan magazine’s Fun Fearless Female Award and the Hyland Award for Interior Design, and she received an honorary PhD from Moore College of Art and Design. She’s also authored two books, “The Language of Interior Design,” and “Decorating in Detail,” worked on projects with furnishing companies like Stark Carpets, and has been on TV shows such as “This Old House” and PBS’ “Find.” A perennial member of Architectural Digest’s AD100 and House Beautiful’s Top Designer list as well as a member of Elle Décor’s A-list.
In the midst of all this, Hampton still finds time to spend with her husband and three children — and there, in the intimacy of family life, lies the fuel for her success. “My father was a natural teacher and a perpetual student and his expertise was interior design, architecture and art,” Hampton says. “This focused interest of my father’s dictated many elements of our family life.”
Her sources of inspiration include travel, unlimited access to art on social media and her clients’ visions for their living spaces. “My technique is pretty standard,” Hampton explains. For example, recalling recent clients in the Hamptons, “we started with [layout] plans and inspiration ideas and then moved into the fun stuff with fabric schemes and furniture.”
But Hampton’s passion for design is embedded in her genes, as her father’s legacy is ingrained in American history. He worked on several U.S. landmarks, including Gracie Mansion in Manhattan, and for U.S. presidents Jimmy Carter, for whom he designed Christmas ornaments, George Bush Sr. and Bill Clinton. He was inducted into the national Interior Design Hall of Fame in 1986 and, after passing away in 1998, was posthumously named one of Architectural Digest’s top 20 designers of all time in 2010.
Not surprisingly, “because of this unique exposure, I can’t imagine a time in my life when I wasn’t interested in design,” Hampton adds. In addition to the Designer Showhouse, which is located this year at 66 Rosko Lane in Southampton and runs through September 2nd, another local project Hampton holds close to her heart is a private home at 944 Mecox Road in Bridgehampton. Though she completed the space in 2012, she became close friends with its owners and has since worked with them in two more houses. “It’s such a great, classic Hamptons house,” Hampton says of 944 Mecox. The 10,200-square-foot eight-bed, eight-bath home is currently listed for $17.5 million with Beate Moore of Sotheby’s International Realty.
Though she describes her own aesthetic as traditional and logical, but also eclectic, for this job she incorporated its owners’ love of the blue and white color combination. “They are both highly enthusiastic about design and like to take a very hands on approach,” she says of the clients. “It was all about finding the right blues and making everything super comfortable while maintaining a gorgeous layered look.”
When they moved, the couple took their furnishings from 944 Mecox with them and fit the pieces seamlessly into their next residence, Hampton adds. “If the design is well thought out the pieces are versatile then they can work in a new setting and look fabulous,” she says.