OK, let’s get the formalities out of the way. This is an opinion piece. It’s a tongue-in-cheek musing at interior décor and design topics that I feel compelled to voice an opinion on.
If ‘Hamptons Style’ bashing offends you, do not read any further.
Caveats to the side, let’s begin with the first ‘Unfold Opinion’ piece.
*rubs hands together feverishly*
This may well sound incredibly radical, given where I live (there being an abundance of ‘Hamptons’ style homes) – but, enough with the Hamptons look in interiors. Please.
Yes, I know it’s ‘classic’. Yes, I know it’s ‘classy’. It’s also rather boring, old-fashioned and not even remotely like anything you find in the actual Hamptons. I have a lovely American neighbour, from the north east coast of the US, and even she scratches her head at the Australian fascination with all things ‘Hamptons’.
Can we at least re-name it. Perhaps something like ‘basic baby boomer design’ or maybe ‘random wooden panelling style’?
There are those who may decry that it suits our Australian coastal sensibilities. That it’s timeless. I just don’t agree. Here’s why.
Australia and all related Australiana is as unique as it gets. Deadly arachnids and reptiles aside, we have a pretty specific identity in this country. We live and breathe our ‘great southern land’. We take inspiration and strength from our natural surrounds. We have some of the most inimitable and forward-thinking architects and designers in the world.
Why must we hark over a ‘style’ that is somewhat fake and really not very Australian at all?
There are perfectly stunning Australian styles that trump the Hamptons look any day (pun, actually, unexpected). If you want to harness a more ‘traditional’ design scheme in your home, look to our architecture. The Queenslander specifically. Iconic Australian style doesn’t date and it’s very much, well, Australian. The simplicity of our early buildings offers a wealth of inspiration that blend beautifully in our interiors.
We do share the openness and airiness that is the quintessential look of homes in the Hampton’s. But our neutrals are earthier, our furniture more honest and hardworking, our coastlines and landscapes are reflected with more vibrancy within our homes.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not anti-cane furniture either. In fact, I am incredibly enamoured with modern rattan. But I’m pretty sure my Mum had a cane set of seating back in the 1980’s. It matched the blue and white soft furnishings and ‘Willow’ crockery of the time.
My main concern with the Hampton’s look is that it’s diluting our Australian design potential. It’s adding fuel to an already raging fire about who we are and where we come from.
Let’s not be a nation of interior décor knock-offs. Let’s do what we do naturally, take direction from our own surrounds and create more genuine styles of our own.