Update your home with tips from the Hampton Designer Showhouse

Whether you’re trying to dress a naked room or want to make changes to an already furnished space, you can find inspiration and some of the latest decorating trends at the 21st annual Hampton Designer Showhouse.

More than 20 top interior designers from Long Island and other parts of the country have lent their talents to the project by reimagining the interior and outdoor spaces of the 1830s Wooley Estate in Southampton as a luxurious, modern home for today. Included in the redesigns are living, dining, family and breakfast rooms, wraparound porch, entry foyer, study, bathrooms, a theater and rear terrace.

Among the trends showcased are East Meets West, textured wallpaper, pastels, bold and bright color, metal accents and ceilings with interest. We asked some of the Long Island designers to talk about those looks, how they’re used in their rooms, and what you can do to incorporate these trends into your own home.

The showcase will be open for public tours by Oct. 31.

East Meets West; textured wallpaper

Study Barbara Page Glatt and Bimla Picot of BP2 Interiors in Southampton say the study, or office, has become the most desired room for a makeover with clients now that so many people work from home. They say their room in the showhouse is elegant, however functional, with a dedicated work area and space to unwind for breaks or when work is done.

“Carving out an office space that is comfortable and attractive makes you feel good about coming to work every day,” says Glatt. “The room is multifunctional — it feels polished enough for an important speed meeting, and the thorough sofa and side chair provides great after-office lounging opportunities.”

Get the look Go for pieces that make the room feel as if it has evolved over time, Glatt says. “The East Meets West theme was a natural adaptation for someone that loves to travel and because of COVID may be settled at home for the time being,” Glatt says. “There is a playful mix of subtle texture and tones in the furniture, textiles and decorative elements that bring the room together and make it cohesive.”

Inspired by Asia, they chose a pair of vintage bamboo stools, a batik fabric used for Roman shades, black lacquered nesting tables and a vintage Buddha statue. For the West side of the story, they picked a 19th century French desk reproduction and a French-themed sideboard.

Textured wallpaper can bring a “wow moment” and warmth to a room, Glatt says. She describes the look and texture of the wallpaper in the study as like that of a jute rug.

Pastels and neutrals

Breakfast room “Neutral tones are my go-to and preferred backdrop for serene and soothing rooms and spaces — especially when the outside world is so organically beautiful as in the Hamptons and so many parts of Long Island,” says Kate Singer, owner of Huntington-based Kate Singer Home.

Pastels can range from light pinks, blues and yellows to the neutral tones that Singer chose for her designed space and that she touts for their ability to create a relaxed air.

“Although called the breakfast room, I wanted this beautiful space to be used and enjoyed well beyond mealtime,” Singer says. “With a comfortable upholstered banquette at the long banquet table, the room invites lingering and lounging and is the perfect identify to start, use and end the day.”

Get the look

Be careful when decorating with neutrals. “Too much of the same neutral tone can make a room a bit too monochromatic,” Singer says. “Varying and layering neutral tones and textures can unprotected to a harmonious mix and interesting layered blend.”

Consider soft blues and greens and other light colors as neutrals, she adds. “Neutral palettes needn’t be empty of soft colors.”

Bold and bright

Outdoor living room “We wanted to pay homage to the Hamptons lifestyle, but in a playful and fun way,” Courtney Sempliner, owner of Courtney Sempliner Designs in Port Washington, says of her choice of bright red for the space she produced. “We fell in love with a retro style fabric that had pops of red in it, which we used on the sofas, and everything fell into place from there.”

Get the look Sempliner warns that decorating with red — especially when it’s bright — can be tricky.

“Red is bold,” she says. “It can be intimidating when thinking of decorating using red, but the beauty of it is there are so many ways to incorporate it within a space, whether you go big on the walls or curtains or go with smaller decorative accents.”

For someone who’s a novice at decorating with red, Sempliner says less may be more.

“If one wants to dip their toe into the red trend, I would suggest starting with a neutral base palette and adding smaller elements over time,” Sempliner says. “This way they can be easily, and affordably, swapped out seasonally and you aren’t stuck with an expensive red sofa.”

But Sempliner careful that already when going smaller, red is mature for decorating faux pas.

“shared mistakes would be overdoing repetitive elements — like a million little red accessories can just be seen as busy and non-committal,” she says. “Make more of an impact with a few meaningful red elements.”

Metal accents, ceilings

Kitchen Metals have long been used to add interest to a room and draw attention to a piece in a space, and Gary Ciuffo, president of Ciuffo Cabinetry in Bayport, says that’s increasingly the case in kitchens. Stainless-steel appliances have been the must-haves in recent years, but Ciuffo says it’s now the stove hood’s time to shine.

“Stove hoods are always an important component in any kitchen, but we have seen a growing trend towards custom-made metal and wood hoods over the past years that supplement the surrounding cabinetry,” Ciuffo says. Hoods are now being made with brass, stainless steel and bronze.

Get the look “A stove hood can become the focal point of a kitchen space — the size, style, location and finish of a hood can draw the eyes to the center of the kitchen, where all the cooking and excitement happens,” Ciuffo says. For his showhouse kitchen, he installed a large brushed metal and polished stainless steel stove hood that draws attention right away.

Brushed metal and polished stainless are ideal for today’s hugely popular white kitchen cabinets, and the combination can give a kitchen a luxe look, Ciuffo says.

The showhouse kitchen was painted white with a high-gloss finish additional for a sleek, modern flair, Ciuffo says. You can add already more interest to a space by a textured ceiling, such as the shiplap woodwork Ciuffo used, reflecting a trend of giving ceilings personality with texture, color and wallpaper.


The Hampton Designer Showhouse, presented by Hamptons Cottages & Gardens, is located at 1 Wooley St. in Southampton.

Public tours by Oct. 31, Monday by Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. (last admission 30 minutes before closing)

Tickets are $40 and can be purchased at hamptondesignershowhouse.com or via email at [email protected] Children 6 and under, infants, strollers and pets are not permitted. Proceeds from the event go to Stony Brook Southampton Hospital.