An Interview with Al Giaqunito of Plum Builders in Water MillBy Al Giaquinto President, Plum Builders Inc
What are clients asking for?
AG: We sit with new clients asking dozens of questions to get a sense of what our clients need. What we continuously hear is that they want a home that fits their family and then a home that reflects their lifestyle and summer! They want bright, light and comfortable living which is clean and uncluttered. Many shingle style homes still have a formal dining room, and most families want to reallocate that space differently. They want to open the kitchen, take down the walls and push the boundaries of socializing to accommodate the greater need for space. They ask us for The Modern Barn® room. This room is normally an oversized space that can accommodate at least two eating areas. Today those spaces are normally anchored by popular long tables that serve many functions besides a place for sharing meals. So, clients today are looking for multifunctional useful spaces that can fit a crowd of family and friends. In keeping with light and bright spaces, clients want light colored wood floors and countertops that don’t stain and neutral colors as a backdrop in showcasing the natural world outside. And clients want just enough wall to show off an oversized painting or photograph or a collection of their choosing. To us, this is recognition of the yearning for human nature to live in meaningful spaces which are comfortable, light, bright, and functional.
So, what is trending?
AG: One most important trend is the growing use of glass. We see glass being used everywhere today and not just in windows! It meets a growing need; a hunger to fit in more of life. Glass is being used in railings, handrails, showers, interior doors, and walls. Plum Homes offer large format over-sized windows which allow natural light to illuminate and fill the home with warmth and a connection to nature. Simultaneously we utilize interior finishes which help reflect, transmit, and transpose light with the use of metallics and glass.
A word on flooring…! At Plum Builders we prefer long length, wide hardwood plank flooring. Use of this feature helps to draw the eyes along the continuum of length and minimizes the voids between the planks to create a smooth and consistent sense of space. We finish these floors by bleaching them first and then staining them a proprietary mix of pale color to cast back the light in the room. Reflecting the light makes the room feel large and bright.
Another trend is the organic use of color and texture. We aim to develop a visual and kinesthetic appeal by curating a mix of color, texture, and shape. Our clients ask for a Hamptons home, this often translates into a white and beachy feel. However, painting everything the same white shade creates a blank; it becomes boring. Plum intermingles several the most popular shades of white playing them off against one another to devise a modern calm appeal. Mixing unique painted wood paneling, stone, and accent colors add interest to the home. Right now, our accent color of choice is blue! Blue is the color of the sky and the sea; a naturally calming influence. Ocean, bay and harbor waters surround us; they’re neutral. Using blue in the home is a neutral choice that communicates a great deal. It transmits trustworthiness, creativity, and intelligence. It is one of my favorite colors next to Plum, of course!