Guide: What is Hamptons Style Decor

Inspired by the luxurious homes on the affluent coast of Long Island, this interior design style is New York high society meets stunning coastal chic. So, what is Hamptons style decor? We’re here to find out.

6 February 2024

It’s been called Hollywood East for its celebrity connections and it’s where wealthy New Yorkers escape the summer heat. The Hamptons in Long Island, New York, has become synonymous with luxury and wealth. And, just like the owners of the decadent summer homes in this beachy locale, Hamptons interior design is where opulent grandeur lets its hair down.

Combining coastal charm with traditional, contemporary and even farmhouse design elements, it treads a delicate balance between casual and elegant, relaxed and opulent. So, what is Hamptons style decor? We’ve got the inside scoop.

A history of Hamptons Style Decor

Hampton style living room interior. (Credit: Gokcemim via Getty Images)

The history of Hamptons style decor is inextricably linked with the towns and villages of Southampton, Bridge Hampton, East Hampton, and their surroundings. On the very eastern edge of Long Island, some 90 miles from New York City, the Hamptons used to be a collection of farming and fishing communities. But, with its beautiful beaches, a 19th century train line and proximity to the Big Apple, it soon became a popular summer destination for New York’s high society.

This change began in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and the homes built during this period were grand and luxurious, yet designed to offer a sense of relaxation and escape. The architecture was influenced by a variety of styles, including Colonial, Victorian, and later, the Arts and Crafts movement, which emphasised simplicity and craftsmanship.

Then, in the 1980’s, the area experienced a generous dusting of celebrity glitz. Hollywood directors, actors, and the super wealthy all flocked there. And, with them, Hamptons interior decor took a leap into luxury, becoming the style it is today.

What is Hamptons Style Decor?

A living room featuring Hampton style and decor. (Credit: Gokcemim via Getty Images)

Hamptons style decor takes its cue from its locale. Just as the Hamptons are where high society goes to relax, so this style is a more laid back version of high end design. This style of interior decor is characterised by its use of natural light, soft colour palettes, and a blend of contemporary and traditional elements. The goal is to create a space that feels both inviting and stylish, reminiscent of the breezy, sunlit homes found in the Hamptons.

Light and Airy Colour Palette

A hallmark of Hamptons interior design is the use of light, neutral colours that evoke a sense of calm and serenity. Shades of white, cream, and soft blues are predominant, often complemented by subtle accents of navy, grey, or pastel hues. This colour scheme helps to create a bright and airy space that echoes its coastal surroundings.

Natural Materials

Incorporating natural materials is a key aspect of Hamptons style house interior. Elements such as timber, linen, and rattan add texture and warmth to the space. Wooden flooring, often in lighter tones, is a common choice, along with furniture pieces made of weathered wood or wicker. Textiles like cotton and linen in soft, muted colours are used for upholstery, curtains, and throw pillows.

Comfortable and Elegant Furnishings

Furniture in Hamptons interior decor strikes a balance between comfort and elegance. Plush sofas and armchairs, often slipcovered in white or neutral fabrics, invite relaxation. Traditional elements like tufted backs, rolled arms, and decorative mouldings add a touch of sophistication. The furniture arrangement typically encourages conversation and socialising, creating a cosy and inviting atmosphere.

Architectural Details

An integral aspect of Hamptons style decor is the attention to architectural details, particularly through the use of panelling, wainscoting, and coffered ceilings. These features add depth, character, and a sense of craftsmanship to the interiors, further enhancing the luxurious yet homey feel of the Hamptons aesthetic.

Coffered Ceilings

Coffered ceilings are a distinctive architectural feature often found in Hamptons style interiors. These ceilings are divided into a grid of recessed panels, creating a pattern of indentations or coffers. This design not only adds a sense of grandeur and sophistication but also helps to visually heighten the room. The use of coffered ceilings in Hamptons decor is a nod to the style’s roots in traditional and classic design, adding an element of architectural interest and elegance.

Artwork and Accessories

Artwork and accessories in Hamptons interior design are chosen for their ability to complement the overall aesthetic. Pieces often feature landscapes, seascapes, or abstract designs in soft colours that blend seamlessly with the decor. Decorative items like vases, candles, and books are arranged tastefully, adding personality and character to the space.

Light Touch Coastal Accents

Decorative coastal items like seashells and coral can be used sparingly to add a beachy touch, but always erring on the side of ensuring the overall look remains refined and uncluttered.

Layered Lighting

In Hamptons style decor, lighting is used strategically to enhance the ambiance of the room. A combination of natural light, overhead fixtures, and accent lamps creates a warm and inviting glow. Statement lighting fixtures, such as chandeliers or pendant lights, often feature in dining or living areas, adding an element of luxury to the space.

Open and Spacious Layout

The layout of a Hamptons style house interior is typically open and spacious, with an emphasis on flow and functionality. Large windows and glass doors allow natural light to flood the space, further enhancing the airy feel. The decor is arranged to maximise space and ease of movement, making the home feel both grand and welcoming.

Summarising Hamptons Interior Decor

Hampton style living room interior. (Credit: Artjafara via Getty Images)

Overall, Hamptons style house interior is a blend of coastal charm and relaxed elegance, with light colour palettes, natural materials, and comfortable furnishings sitting alongside coastal accents. Its proponents see it as a timeless and versatile style that can be adapted to various settings. Its ability to balance casual comfort with an upscale feel makes it a sought-after design choice for homeowners and interior designers alike.


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