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Outdoor entertaining area with deck, pool and hanging festoon lights.
Relocate to the Hamptons without leaving home, with these tips to capture the Long Island look.

Get classic American East Coast style, indoors and out

Born on the beach, Hamptons style is a look that we've increasingly adopted and adapted to our Kiwi way of life. If your home is far from the coastal sanctuary you crave, don't despair. Here are our 17 pointers to effortless seaside style.

1. Choose coastal colours

Rachel Lacy, chief coloursmith at PPG Paints ANZ, explains, “The Hamptons style exudes a relaxed and effortless elegance that has timeless appeal. Create this look at home by starting with a refined coastal palette of crisp whites, deep, dark and duck-egg blues, and pale blue-greys.”

A green bike leaning up against a white weatherboard house.

2. Go large outdoors

An expansive outdoor area is the most practical of Hamptons-style additions. Choose a light-coloured deck option, such as Ekologix Decking in Silver Ash, for a clean look. This composite flooring is perfect for New Zealand's weather conditions and doesn't require the maintenance timber does.

3. Give your garden a manicured feel

Try box hedging or buxus balls, choose pavers in a pale, sandstone hue and keep colour subtle with white flowers or classic choices like hydrangeas.

4. Clad it

“Adding weatherboards screams Hamptons home,” says Natalee Bowen, designer and James Hardie ambassador. “Linea” weatherboards from James Hardie can even be used to clad brick, so virtually any home can get an East Coast-inspired makeover.

5. Aim for classic in the kitchen

“A neutral, soft colour palette with Shaker-style doors paired with marble-look benchtops lends itself perfectly to this elegant look,” says Briony Mikrou, marketing communications manager at Kaboodle Kitchen.

A white kitchen with some cushions by a window.

6. Pick timeless hardware

“Cup pull handles in a brushed stainless steel finish, or even gold handles with clean lines will complement the aesthetic,” says Briony.

7. Favour timber for the floor

If you're not blessed with boards already, try vinyl planks, which give the look of solid timber boards for less. Plus the peel and stick installation is achievable for even home improvement novices.

A white freestanding bath in a bathroom with timber floors.

8. Select subways

This is the go-to wall tile for the look: classic, understated but visually striking. Try a marble tile for extra luxury, a coloured tile within a muted palette, or stick with classic white.

9. Panel the walls

Panelling can elevate plain flat walls and give rooms the requisite layered texture. Products like James Hardie “HardieGroove” wall linings are designed to retrofit, are a relatively straightforward D.I.Y. fix and will completely change the look and feel of a room.

10. Compose a relaxed palette

“Hamptons-style homes are often natural and light in scheme,” says Davina Harper, Dulux colour specialist. “Soft, neutral colours and tones such as grey-blues and subtle greens, and greiges [beige plus grey] paired with whites – warm and cool – can be used to help achieve this look.”

11. Dress the windows

The aim is to enhance light – shutters are the ultimate Hamptons window covering, bouncing light off the blades and epitomising coastal style. For larger windows or where you need an unimpeded view, look for simple and unobtrusive roller blinds.

12. Introduce plants

Enhance that outdoor connection with potted plants, especially palms and other plants with striking statement foliage. 

A white couch in a living room.

13. Think comfort

Aim for deep sofas, large occasional chairs with arm rests, and side tables everywhere, so you never have to reach far for your cup of tea. Look at easy-care, coastal-style natural materials, like linen and rattan.

14. Find a theme

“If you're heading for a coastal, beachy vibe, look at layering coral, jute rugs, a blue and white theme and seaweed or shell prints,” says Natalee. “If you are doing more of a modern take, stick to a theme of black and white – think wrought iron light features, cream or soft grey lounges and pops of black furniture.”

15. Layer with rugs

Create intimate zones and add luxurious warmth underfoot with rugs. Draw on the look's beach holiday origins with natural textures like jute, coir and sisal, or lightweight cotton rugs in seaside shades of blue and golden sand.

16. Look at lighting

Try an eye-catching pendant over a table or kitchen island. Lantern-style pendants in wrought iron or shiny chrome strike the perfect balance of eye-catching elegance.

17. Create talking points

Have fun styling up shelves or creating little tray collections you can pick up and move when needed. “The Hamptons is a very eclectic look, so adding vignettes through the house with collated items you love works wonders and sparks conversation,” says Natalee.

Get the Hamptons look with DIY adjustable shutters

Take a look at our step-by-step instructions on how to mount plantation shutters.


Photo credit: Dulux Australia/Lisa Cohen, Sue Stubbs, Getty Images

Health & Safety

Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following the advice in these D.I.Y. videos. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions that came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert Bunnings Team Member.

Grave health hazards are linked to asbestos, which may be in homes built up to 1990. Health hazards may result from exposure to lead-based paints in older materials and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer. You can also use a simple test kit from Bunnings to indicate the presence of lead-based paint.