When it comes to East End living, the exterior is almost as important as what you’ve got going on inside. East End exteriors certainly have a reputation, one that’s been molded by classic Hamptons staples like cedar shingle gambrels and hydrangea plantings leading to in-ground pools punctuated by Adirondack chairs.
That’s the archetypal Long Island exterior we East Enders have come to know and love. And while those archetypes always have room to change and grow as time goes on, these are the top outdoor décor trends most popular in the East End this summer.
Indoor/outdoor living spaces. Living spaces that can co-exist both indoors and out are in right now. Why keep things separate when you can marry two aspects of your lifestyle and make multi-faceted, multi-purpose living spaces? You can easily achieve this trend with porcelain pavers, which can be used for indoor and outdoor areas, a multi-functional outdoor kitchen, pergolas, pavilions and more.
Pavilions. The appeal of pavilions is two-fold: The roofed, though not-sided, structures provide shelter from all kinds of weather, good and bad. A backyard pavilion can be refuge from a burning, unforgiving sun or a light summer rain. But unlike a screened-in or sided structure, pavilions offer views of your backyard surroundings. With no view of the yard obscured, pavilions make the ideal space for outdoor kitchens while not restricting a parent’s view of playing children, pets and other goings-on in the yard.
Outdoor fireplaces. Speaking of pavilions, they offer the perfect opportunity to showcase your outdoor fireplace. In recent years, fire pits—a less structured, less designed alternative to outdoor fireplaces—have been on the decline, mostly due to a sense of architectural pragmatism. With fire pits, smoke blows and billows with only the wind to guide it. Hence, you get a lot of smoke in your face when dealing with a fire pit, but with an outdoor fireplace, things (like smoke) are much more controlled and ultimately more enjoyable.
Mixing weather-friendly materials. The more materials and the more textures in 2018, the better. Mixing weatherboard cladding with other materials adds a bit of excitement and warmth to a trend that previously skewed a bit turgid. Whether it’s the amalgamation of stone, steel, limestone and cladding, the mish-mashing of exteriors gives a customizable, personable quality to your outdoor oasis.
Deep blue mixed with steel. Mixing two materials isn’t the only outdoor décor trend on the East End that involves two trends mingling. Consider mixing hue and materials as well, as juxtaposing deep blue shades with the contrasting metallic sheen of steel. The combination makes for an eclectic, very industrial-feeling mix, but it doesn’t lose any warmth with the integration of the steel, thanks to the coziness the dark blue offers.
Subtle stripes. What’s the way to Hamptonize anything, at least from a design perspective? Add some subtle stripes to unexpected areas. Think: a striped pattern on a chaise or lounge chair, outdoor pillows, pool towels, planters. Stripes have been a fundamental design element associated with East End living since the beginnings of Hamptons culture.
Metal bar carts. Both metal and bar carts are having their own design moments separately, but why not combine them? You may think that the bar cart is an indoor staple—there’s no rule that says you can’t roll that cart right onto the patio. Park it under the pavilion, adjacent to the pergola, on the porch—wherever you want. The bar cart is both attractive and functional. It offers the gift of breaking things up against the natural green hues of the outdoors—especially when metal is incorporated into the structure—not to mention the gift of booze.
Stock your bar cart with the essentials, the all-time favorites and the classics; when guests arrive, as they often do on the East End, they will have no problem finding a drink they genuinely enjoy. Drinks poolside in the Hamptons? No one in his or her right mind is saying no to that!