Gotham - - Hamptons Magazines -

Build­ing your own home, hand in hand with a small ar­chi­tec­tural firm, changes the way you live. It’s not just about the small choices—the thought­ful con­sid­er­a­tion of where your gaze will fall when fold­ing laun­dry. It’s the very act of mak­ing those choices that leads you to in­vest in a house in a dif­fer­ent way.

“A home isn’t just some­thing you pur­chase,” says James Mer­rell, whose epony­mous ar­chi­tec­ture firm is lo­cated in Sag Har­bor (66 Main St., Sag Har­bor, 631-725-9842; james­mer­rel­lar­chi­ “When you’re talk­ing about cus­tom houses, it’s about some­thing you’ve been dream­ing about, imag­in­ing, re­al­iz­ing.”

Blaze Makoid, who has 12 ar­chi­tects and de­sign­ers on staff at his Bridge­hamp­ton of­fice (7 Trades­mans Path, Bridge­hamp­ton, 631-537-7277; blaze makoid-ar­chi­tec­, sees his clients’ in­vest­ment of time and at­ten­tion (as well as money) trans­lat­ing into a sense of per­sonal pride. “The house isn’t just a trans­ac­tion, but some­thing they helped cre­ate,” says Makoid. “They’ve been an in­te­gral voice in the project since the first sketches, seen con- struc­tion through dif­fer­ent stages, and ex­pe­ri­enced the ups and downs of a com­pli­cated process.”

Makoid is cur­rently work­ing on a project in Jack­son Hole, Wy­oming, for San Fran­cisco-based clients, but he is still able to keep in close con­tact with them. “We do a lot of Go­tomeet­ings, where we hold vir­tual meet­ings and both the clients and our­selves

can con­trol the screen,” he ex­plains. “Be­tween email, text, and the phone, we’re in con­stant con­tact with our clients.”

Mer­rell knows when he’s work­ing with clients who have artis­tic or cre­ative ex­pe­ri­ence, be­cause the col­lab­o­ra­tion ends up be­ing all the more in­ter­ac­tive, feed­ing ev­ery­one in­volved. “Clients who have an artis­tic back­ground are com­fort­able hav­ing a di­a­logue about ideas,” he says. “They un­der­stand there’s a process. They in­spire other ideas, be­cause it’s some­thing we’re shar­ing in an open con­ver­sa­tion.” The most in­spir­ing as­pect of the process, Mer­rell finds, is when a client comes with a set of ideas, and his firm has a set of ideas, and in the process of col­lab­o­rat­ing, new ideas are formed.

He com­pares build­ing a home to go­ing on an ad­ven­ture: It’s not just about the fi­nal prod­uct— the pho­tos and sou­venirs—it’s about the jour­ney it­self. “No ad­ven­ture is mem­o­rable if you don’t end up in a place you didn’t ex­pect from the be­gin­ning,” Mer­rell muses. “Once you’re liv­ing in your house, you look around and see ev­i­dence of the ad­ven­ture. The house it­self dis­solves in your mind, and you see this record of the cre­ative process.”— e.j.w.

In this North Haven project, Blaze Makoid Ar­chi­tec­tureds de­sign was driven by the clientds de­sire for a re­treat for them­selves and their fam­ily and friends and for a home con­ducive to week­ends that re­volve around so­cial­iz­ing.

CLOCK­WISE FROM TOƩ LEFT: $ promeft in East Hamp­ton by Bla]e Manoid $rfhitef­ture; the views through this Foun­try villa by -ames Mer­rell re­veal sun­light and lands­fape; a mod­ern aes­thetif guided Mer­rel­lōs re­design oi this

9 0s prop­erty.

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