Real Estate Roundtable: Hamptons Architectural Appeal Defined

1285 Flying Point Road, Water Mill
1285 Flying Point Road, Water Mill, Photo: Courtesy Douglas Elliman

Modern, Traditional, Mediterranean? What are our experts’ favorite kinds of architecture in a home—whether it’s one they’re listing or one in which they live? What styles of architecture are particularly attractive to buyers here on the East End?​ Our panel of real estate brokers and industry insiders weigh in.

RELATED: Five Hamptons Architecture Styles Explained

I love the classic shingled cottage style home that is so prevalent on the East End. I also love the modern barn look which has become so popular in the last few years. Buyers love modern, open interiors and clean, simple lines in homes regardless of the exterior style. —Mary Slattery, Corcoran Group

I adore Mediterraneans, so when our home was designed, this was the direction we took. I gravitate to them because of my years of travel to France & Spain’s Mediterranean coasts.

On the East End, the enduring style is Shingle style, highlighted by gables, Palladian windows, wrap around porches and columns. More and more though, the fashion forward are asking for modern homes. The sleek, open spaces with minimal (visible) details and dramatic lines are dotting the landscape from Westhampton to Montauk. —Marcia Altman, Brown Harris Stevens

Modern is what I love and also what seems to be the rage now here in the Hamptons. Everyone—including myself—loves wide open spaces with a lot of glass to let the light in. These houses feature sleek, seamless, clean lines on both the exterior and interior. —Carol Nobbs, Douglas Elliman Real Estate

I love all kinds: good architecture is so inspirational. I love modern because it lets in the natural light. I love also traditional Sshingle style and the integrity of some of the historic homes that have been preserved out here. (I grew up in a house built in 1710!). One of my favorite homes I have listed today is by the architect Bobby McAlpine and designer/ owner James Michael Howard on 70 Mathews Lane in Bridgehampton. —Martha Gundersen, Brown Harris Stevens

Personally, I’m partial to the true Hamptons cottage style homes. I have built several homes, from Nantucket cottage style (in which I live on Gardiner’s Bay) to steel and glass ultra-modern contemporaries.

Today’s buyers are all over the map with home styles—from flat roof contemporaries to traditional style homes. The glaring winner though is the home that resembles a classic traditional home from the outside with a clean modern feel on the inside. —Judi Desiderio, Town & Country Real Estate

My favorite architectural style in a home that I live in or like to list is traditional, with a dash of modern, especially in the kitchen. Open floor plans that flow into the living and outdoor spaces are perfect for second as well as primary Hamptons residences. 75 percent of the first-floor living space can be kitchen, living, dining’ the other 25 percent is a first-floor master bedroom. The entire length of the back of the house has large sliding glass doors that open up to outdoor dining, entertaining, and pool. Hamptons architect James D’Auria is a master of this type of design. —Bill Williams, Compass

For me, it’s modern, whether mid-century modern or today’s ultra modern. —Ann Ciadullo, Sotheby’s International Realty

Many East End buyers I work with are attracted to homes that marry traditional architectural elegance with modern amenities. They want that “wow” factor when you walk into a house. Luxurious traditional materials in the form of stone fireplaces and cedar ceilings paired with ultra-modern walls of glass to take in water and lush views are appealing, as are open kitchens and living areas and screened porches for informal entertaining. The hardscape architecture outside is almost as important as what’s inside, including multi-tiered decks, infinity pools, pool houses with fully equipped kitchens, and outdoor fireplaces and fire pits. It’s all about lifestyle. As for me, I stay awake at night designing my own dream home—and then I get my next listing and fall in love with that house. One thing my dream architectural style includes is storage, storage, storage! —Aimee Martin, Saunders

Currently, we have been seeing buyers starting to move away from the traditional Hamptons gambrel and are looking for something that is more distinctive. Buyers are moving more towards modern barns and modern contemporary houses that allow them to have that Hamptons look while not looking like every other house in the area. My favorite design is a modern house that incorporates indoor and outdoor living seamlessly, as long as the house is not just a giant block. Douglas Sabo, Nest Seekers International

I personally love history and character. Some of my favorite structures are those that have been repurposed or reinvented in some way: an old house that now has new life with old charm or something converted from a church, lighthouse, barn, school or commercial space.

I had never been a big fan of modern architecture, but I am gaining much greater appreciation for it recently. I think with most people’s lives being increasingly hectic there is something very calming about the simplicity and clean lines. What seems to be a favorite among buyers is the marriage of the old and new. More texture but less color. An old farmhouse, with a bright open floor plan and simple neutral color scheme throughout (shades of white/gray). Or a more contemporary structure with interior elements of iron and reclaimed wood and other materials. —Donielle Cardinale, Daniel Gale Sotheby’s International Realty

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