Whether you’re looking to entirely overhaul the design of your home or just take on a smaller project, Graziani encourages you to utilize the creative talents in your own community. “Working with local vendors is very rewarding because it creates a relationship with the area that feels organic,” said Graziani. “If I’m using antique wood beams, I’d source them locally, knowing the nearby ocean and seasons created the weathered look. It feels tied with the local environment.”
The Hamptons in particular has a strong summer economy and then teeters off after Labor Day, which is why it’s so important to utilize local business year-round through renovation and decoration efforts. “Additionally, renovation and development do have a strong economic influence on the local community. Improving your property can have either positive or negative effects on those around you, depending on the area. Buying locally shows respect for those there before you that have helped make your town or city a place you love. You benefit from them and they benefit from you,” said Graziani.
I spoke with Amalia to learn more about her business and why she places such an importance on locally sourced materials.
COVID-19 has drastically impacted the spring and early summer months for local Hamptons businesses. While visitors and locals are now able to shop and dine to some capacity, how did you help to support them during the quieter months?
AG: I build and live in the Hamptons, so the local community is very important to me. I’ve utilized local businesses to help build my career, and I continued to use local artisans, material suppliers and labor throughout my renovation this summer. I’ve always done this, but I’ve found that working with local providers made for a much more reliable building experience during COVID. I knew that deliveries would make it and that people would show up.
Can you speak to the style of your work and what you consider your “bread and butter?”
AG: I build and renovate spaces with the intention to create environments that inspire a sense of calm. I develop in The Hamptons, Manhattan, San Francisco, and Upstate, but my base and my favorite place to build is in Amagansett.
How has your business evolved in lieu of the pandemic and how has it changed for the better?
AG: The pandemic has impacted the way I approach future projects. New uncertainty around securing labor, reliable deliveries and overall project timing has led me towards larger multi-phase projects. For example, instead of embarking on a single-family development (which is binary-it’s either done or it’s not), I’ve taken on more complex projects that involve commercial, residential and land development elements. Different people working on different facets of the project offers diversification.
I primarily build outside of the city, and these markets have been receiving an incredible surge in interest and investment. It’s of course wonderful to see enthusiasm about the markets I believe in and have invested in.
What are some of your favorite completed projects in the Hamptons?
AG: My renovation in the Amagansett Lanes here is my favorite to date, primarily because it was in such a sorry state when we started. When the existing project is so far from the home you envision, it’s always a risk
What is a misconception that people often have when it comes to designing a home?
AG: That if you can’t see obvious potential then it’s not worth embarking on a renovation. Bring on a great architect-there’s always beauty that can be brought out of even the most unsavory spaces.
What’s next for you? Anything exciting coming up?
AG: I’m excited about a renovation wrapping up on the bay in Amagansett. I’ve also just started work on a project that’s a bit outside of my comfort zone-adapting a retired dairy farm for commercial and residential use.
Sydney Braat is a Hamptons-raised and NYC-living journalist. She enjoys splitting her time between the bustling city life and relaxing atmosphere of the Hamptons. When she’s not writing, Sydney is traveling. She thrives off of new experiences, cultures, cuisine, and languages. Sydney writes about the arts, philanthropy, food & wine, and shopping.