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.
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.