Written by Jake Brady

Coastal vs Hamptons. What’s the Difference?

If you’ve been flicking through home design magazines of late, you may have noticed a big shift towards coastal and Hamptons-style homes. Both design trends have become increasingly popular in Australian home design, especially in coastal regions such as the Illawarra. 

Although both design styles are inspired by the beach lifestyle, there are subtle nuances between the two that speak to different tastes. Hamptons style marries elegance and luxury with understated nods towards the seaside theme, whereas coastal style is raw and bohemian, bringing elements of the outdoors in.  

Read on to discover which style would suit you best.

The coastal trend: rustic chic that brings the outside in

Strolling barefoot from the sand and straight into your dream beach house… This is the relaxed vibe that coastal style brings to your home. This design trend is very popular along the South Coast and Illawarra region, where laidback beachside living is fully embraced.

A feeling of lightness and airiness is key to the coastal look, with a flowing layout used as a way to bring the outdoors in. Those who enjoy colour may prefer this style over the muted tones of the Hamptons. Look to the outside landscape for your colour palette – take your lead from the sea with a variety of blue hues and seafoam greens or add gold and yellow accents as a nod to sun-kissed sands. 

Native elements such as seashells, pebbles and reclaimed timber all work beautifully for the coastal look. When selecting fabrics and rugs, lean towards more natural textures such as raffia and linen, which will complement the raw wood and outdoorsy elements.

The Hamptons trend: luxe living inspired by the beach

Any New York A-lister worth their salt has a summer home in the Hamptons. A two-hour drive from Manhattan, this upscale seaside location is the birthplace of this timeless design trend. 

Marrying the seaside vibe with a dash of luxury, Hamptons style offers a much more polished finish than coastal style. A blank canvas of tasteful neutrals and lots of white space sets the scene, with accents of blue, steel grey or taupe used sparingly. Think glossy rather than rustic: polished floors and dark timber paired with crisp shaker-style cabinetry. Perhaps most iconic of the Hamptons style is exterior weatherboard cladding, which gives a subtle and tasteful nod to its coastal origins.

The finishing touches bring this sophisticated look together. Luxe cashmere throws, paisley silks, botanical artwork and fresh flowers are all typically ‘Hamptons’.  

Enjoy the best of both worlds

Creating your own home is about ensuring everything is to your taste, so why not tear up the rule book and cherry-pick aspects of both styles that you like? This Werri Beach home seamlessly integrates the two themes for the ultimate in relaxed coastal elegance.   

Looking to create a design that blends perfectly with the coastal lifestyle? Get in touch with the expert team at Smartbuild South Coast today and let’s chat about your dream home