7 Questions with Top Hamptons Architects About the Future of Residential Design
How has your definition of home changed over the last few months?
Blaze Makoid: For those of us who are lucky enough to work remotely, home has evolved into a 24-hour experience. In the past, clients have asked, “How do we bring everyone together?” Now we’re creating separate zones for work, school, and quiet time.
Kathrine (Kitty) McCoy: Flexible, multifunctional spaces have become more important than ever. Even when homeowners have an open-plan design, they want to be able to close off certain areas.
New construction versus renovation: Has the demand changed?
Viola Rouhani: The demand is high for both. More folks want to spend time out East no matter what, so the main concern is accommodating requests for leisure, work, and learning spaces.
James Merrell: I find that most people are wanting new, but there will always be those who prefer a romantic historic property, such as a Sag Harbor captain’s house.
Which amenities are clients requesting most right now?
KM: Outdoor entertaining areas are critical. And many clients are asking for cool, dry storage for nonperishable food and household supplies, as well as additional refrigerator and freezer capacity.
VR: Cold plunge pools, home theaters, and hammam-style bathrooms are at the top of the list. Home gyms or meditation areas are also popular, and saunas, especially infrared, are making a big comeback.
How are you approaching climate change in your work?
VR: We take solar orientation into account, mitigate solar heat gain, and implement solar panels and geothermal systems to offset energy consumption. Outside, we’re always thinking about dune restoration and natural revegetation.
BM: Our firm works with energy consultants on nearly every project, so that efficiency is baked into the design process from the get-go.
What should homeowners consider before building a new house?
JM: The more fashionable a house is today, the less likely it will be 20 years from now. The goal: Create a place that is so meaningful to you, you’ll never want to leave.
BM: Try to separate how you live now versus how you’d like to live in a new home.
Is there an architectural style that might be on its way out?
JM: Developers have latched onto minimalism without detail. But a home can look simple, yet still be narratively rich.
What trends are you seeing in terms of materials?
VR: People are opting for porcelain tile and solid-surface materials for flooring, countertops, and wall cladding. And we’ve been using more outdoor fabrics on interior furnishings. Durability and easy maintenance are really important.