When people think of a Hamptons style house, they think of a luxurious estate home on the coast with beautiful views of the ocean. Would it be possible to transform a small, old farmhouse from the 1860s into a Hamptons style home? Award-winning designer Natalee Bowen took up this challenge and proved it was possible.
In Toodyay, Western Australia, Bowen transformed a 150-year-old farm estate property into a rural Hamptons delight. Five generations of Bowen’s family had lived in the farmhouse previously, and she felt it was time for an upgrade. She drew inspiration from the design style of the Hamptons homes in Long Island, New York of the United States.
Now she calls her farmhouse the “Australian Hamptons.” It doesn’t just copy everything about a Hamptons home, though. Bowen kept the traditional weatherboard and hues of the farmhouse while adding coastal colours and accents to it.
It was vital for her to maintain the rustic appearance of Western Australia when transforming the farmhouse. That way, it would still look like a traditional rural Aussie home, but one that was more robust and extravagant. When you look at the outside of the renovated farmhouse, you can see the Hamptons influence very clearly.
The home has a corrugated iron roof with an upgraded roofline and gables, along with two new wings added. The weatherboard around the house ensures that the classic Aussie design is still there. It creates the kind of texture and shadow lines that you would expect to find in a rural home. Meanwhile, Bowen used the complicated pattern of American shingles to create a faded light grey appearance on the roof.
Bowen wanted to make sure that constant maintenance was not required. For this reason, she used something other than timber material for her weatherboard. The material that she settled on was Linea Weatherboard because it consists of thick boards filled with high-quality fibre cement. It is much more resistant to fire, moisture, damage, warping, and flaking than traditional timber. It also creates deep shadow lines for that rustic appearance as well.
The farmhouse is not on the coastline, though. A barren landscape surrounds this rural area of Western Australia. It is hardly the beachside town resort setting that you would see in the real Hamptons. That is why Bowen chose to use grey paint and white paint because it is a traditional look for Hamptons homes. Each colour is in contrast to the other, which gives it a timeless appearance.
As for the interior of the property, Bowen focused on it first. She started with the furniture, sofas, and decorations on the walls. Since the Australian Hamptons is not on the beach, she thought it would be better to cover the walls with Akubra hats instead of beach decorations.
Chippendale Bedhead – The bedroom now has a Chippendale bedhead that was designed in orient lands. It includes a frame made of solid cedar wood and crafted by the best artisans possible. Since this is supposed to resemble a coastal home, the Chippendale bedhead is the perfect design to accommodate it.
Stradbroke Bobbin Bedside Table – Every bedroom needs a bedside table. This one, in particular, is designed for coastal bedrooms, so it helps sustain the Hamptons style appearance. It features four bobbin legs that have been carved in a bobbin frame and a brass knob for the small drawer in the table.
Chippendale Dining Chair – She wanted to incorporate the Chinese Chippendale style into the interior décor of the house as much as possible. The Chippendale dining chair certainly does that. It was artisan crafted with wood and bamboo-inspired turnings, making it an excellent coastal dining chair to sit on as you eat.
Chippendale Armchair – Here is an armchair that uses the Chinese Chippendale style. It is an artisan-crafted armchair with solid mahogany wood for its frame and traditional fretwork and bamboo-inspired turnings.
Chippendale Counter Stool – One final piece of furniture that uses the Chippendale style. She put this next to the kitchen counter for seating & style purposes. It features the solid mahogany wood frame, traditional fretwork, and bamboo-inspired turnings. A sure modern coastal design for elite kitchens.
Newport Coffee Table – A beautiful coffee table with a solid white cedar frame and weathered oak finish. It has natural wood material, so it is susceptible to damage from abrasives and cleaning products.
Stradbroke Bobbin Coffee Table – The perfect looking coffee table with a herringbone style design on top of it. The entire table is made from white cedar and contains eight cared out bobbin legs on the bottom.
Newport Console Table – The Newport console table was used in conjunction with the Newport coffee table. They contain the same solid white cedar material and weathered oak finish. The table is durable enough to last you for several decades if standard maintenance is performed.
Cayman Console Table – The professional craftsmanship of this table is easily noticeable when you look at it. The durable rattan frame with woven rattan peeling creates a unique look for this Hampton-style house that enhances its style and appeal.
White Pagoda Mirror – The inspiration for this mirror came from traditional chinoiserie and pagoda-style designs. Each part of the timber was handcrafted, resulting in faux bamboo fretwork with semi-gloss lacquer finish.
La Mer Mirror – This is the perfect mirror for any seaside or coastal-style home. Each mirror frame was hand-carved out of solid mahogany timber to resemble faux bamboo. White semi-gloss lacquer was applied to the outside.
As she started decorating the interior, she focused on the furniture, sofas, and decorations on the walls. Since the Australian Hamptons is not on the beach, she thought it would be better to cover the walls with Akubra hats instead of beach decorations.
The entertainment spaces contain a lot of areas to sit, including light wood furniture that stays consistent with the rural interior style. The gardens have six areas for seats, and there is Axon cladding aligned underneath the veranda in case bad weather strikes.
The colour palette of the home was probably the most crucial part of creating the ultimate Australian Hamptons home. A lot of these colours were kept in the Aussie tradition. Rich caramel and smooth blue colours were used for the downstairs rooms, as a way to reflect the colours of the sky and wheat fields on the outside. The upstairs rooms were given green colours to signify the gorgeous native treetops of Western Australia.
It can get very hot during the sunny summer months in Australia. For a classic farmhouse, it was a real challenge turning it into an environment where the temperature could be controlled. That is where the Linea Weatherboard came in handy. Its high-quality fibre cement serves wonderfully as insulation to prevent heat from getting inside the house.
A Hardie Break thermal strip was also used to assist with the insulation. Bowen hired a team of local builders from The Carport Company to perform this insulation installation for her.
The outcome speaks for itself. You will never see another home in Australia quite like the Australian Hamptons.