Naturally Inspired Design Trends
By Dawn Watson
Want to know the latest about Hamptons design? Look no further, as The Express has eight of the most in-demand tastemakers of the East End right here. Those weighing in on what’s hot, haute and happening right now include Austin Handler of Mabley Handler Interior Design, Vanessa Rome of Vanessa Rome Interiors, Melanie Roy of Melanie Roy Design, Alex Papachristidis of Alex Papachristidis Interiors, Scott Sanders of Scott Sanders LLC, Marshall Watson of Marshall Watson Interiors, Elsa Soyers of Elsa Soyers Interiors and Betty Wasserman of Betty Wasserman Art & Interiors.
According to the experts, the most au courant Hamptons style is all about three things: drawing inspiration from the beauty of our natural surroundings, focusing on refined elegance and integrating vibrant color into the modern palette.
Natural inspiration is derived from the tones of the beach, as well as in the textures at play in the furnishings, they say.
“Hamptons style this year is glamorous and organic with colors from nature and lots of textures,” says Ms. Roy.
“Functional while being warm and comfortable and always maintaining a low key elegance,” Ms. Wasserman adds.
According to Mr. Handler, “the biggest impact we’re seeing in Hamptons design is the use of organic wood tones in home furnishings,” he says. “People are embracing the more natural range of wood tones, but at a refined level. High gloss lacquered finishes are out, and driftwood tones are in.”
Ms. Soyars agrees. “More than ever clients ask for a relaxed natured-influenced and a home designed with light colors and clean lines,” she says.
The best way to accomplish the Hamptons look, says Mr. Handler, is to “gravitate towards grey-blue hues, mixed with soft sand and grey tones,” he reports, adding, “and speaking of which, grey has cemented itself as the go-to neutral in the Hamptons.”
But then there’s the growing desire to incorporate the influence of bold colors into those more sedate organic tones, says Mr. Papachristidis.
“I think color is back. Bright colors … shades of blue and green are both practical and highly stylish,” he says. “They bring the outdoors inside.”
Mr. Sanders says that he couldn’t agree more.
“What I am seeing as the biggest impact this season from my clients is that they want color again,” he enthuses. “I love color and design with color and so this trend is right up my alley!”
Pantone got it right when it named “greenery” its Color of the Year in December, say Ms. Roy and Ms. Rome.
“It reinforces the 2017 Hamptons style, which is all about getting back to nature,” reports Ms. Roy.
“The hot color right now is emerald green and jewel tone colors in general,” says Ms. Rome. “Especially when paired with gray, which is very bold and chic.”
And for those with large collections to display, she adds that “bright white is still my favorite color for interiors in the Hamptons. It’s crisp, modern and classic and can be mixed with any pop of color,” she says. “It’s the perfect backdrop for clients who like to collect art.”
But of course, it’s nature’s art that calls people out East, so it’s no surprise that most try to achieve that perfect balance of bringing the outdoors inside while expanding their interiors as far out into the classic Hamptons scenery as they can.
Mr. Watson says that his clients are so in favor of their surroundings, that they are looking more and more for ways to embrace them and incorporate them into their overall design scheme.
“The world of outdoor living rooms has exploded,” he says.
And the newest technology has made fibers resilient to all weather conditions, which means that it’s actually possible to create true functioning living spaces out of doors and into nature. He’s seeing demand especially grow for outdoor rugs and weather-resistant sofas.
“Soft, vibrant, exciting new area rugs in large sizes are just finding their couture way onto the outdoor stage,” says Mr. Watson. “Chenilles, velvets and rich woven textiles fabricated from weather resistant fibers are hitting the Hamptons market strong.”