When Mark Mariani got his start in construction, homes looked more than a little different than they do today. That was 45 years ago when he was learning construction trades as a preteen and teenager in Armonk, New York. The bulk of what Mariani learned was that of skilled tradesmen and still applies today even as home design trends change. He is adept at building a structurally sound home in any style.
After founding Mark Mariani, Inc. as a young man, Mariani got to work building elaborate estates in Greenwich, Connecticut, where residents have very high standards and expectations and can afford to be more than a little bit picky. In order to succeed in Greenwich, Mariani had to understand design, build with the highest quality materials, and work fast. He was up to the challenge.
In the decades since, Mark Mariani has continued to work his magic in one of the wealthiest regions of the country, building homes and developing properties that most people can only dream of. He has watched trends come and go, but his approach to building and design is that of timeless elegance. With a primary focus on functionality for his specific clients, and a secondary focus on engaging the natural world, Mariani now incorporates many sustainable elements into his projects.
This measured approach to design means that Mariani has stayed abreast of many trends, which currently lean towards emphasizing natural, clean, and open spaces. Deeply passionate about his work, he is always excited to discuss what is happening in his industry.
Current Design Trends
Gone are the days of many small rooms filled with numerous ornate details. Today’s client is looking at “the relationship between elements, rather than a collection of things that exist together, with an emphasis on spaces having a soul and being in harmony,” Mariani explains.
“Uninterrupted views and site lines, both within the home and with the outside, create a seamless buffer between the inside and outside world… and shades of a color rather than many colors are being used in home design,” he elaborates. One impactful statement piece is being selected to define each space, telling a story about the client or where they have been.
Describing today’s design as “intentional,” Mariani recognizes the divergence from traditionally formulaic or previously used ideas. The non-use of color, such as many shades of beige, is providing strength and spirit to design without overwhelming a space. Young professionals and families are gravitating heavily toward monochromatic palettes.
All spaces flow into one another, rather than existing as an individualized compartment. Complementary designs are selected for both the home design and its surrounding landscape, with attention to scale; spaces are “cozy but airy, bright but moody, specific but relaxed.”
Size and scale are used to create drama and inspire clients. Mariani often uses an oversized staircase to draw the eye but uses natural colors and organic materials to help open the space rather than clutter or overpower it. Each element of the design is chosen to reflect the emotional and daily life of the home’s inhabitants, calling for a more organic, fluid, and soulful approach.
The use of natural light and bringing the outdoors in is a constant theme that Mark Mariani strives to achieve at each property. This plays into the ongoing trend of sustainability, with Mariani detailing how “walls can be and are engineered in relation to the movement of the sun so that direct sunlight will penetrate the space at times most efficient to inhabitants and our environment.”
Energy Efficiency & Sustainability are Here to Stay
Energy efficiency is woven through each home through a combination of engineering and architectural design. Aesthetics are not the only driving force, with more attention than ever being given to perspective and implementation of each element.
Mariani is now accustomed to the “use of solar panels encouraging fully sustainable energy, ventilation systems that funnel air in and out of homes, and sensors that maintain specific temperatures.”
Even in the gardens that he takes such pride in, “trees are not chosen merely for how they will look, but based on if they are harmonious with climate conditions as a water saving decision.”
The environmental impact on both interior and exterior spaces is considered in a way that it never was before. For Mariani, who feels a special connection to nature, this is a welcome change that he embraces wholeheartedly.
With structure and rigidity by the wayside, fluid and spatially informed designs that involve and respect the natural world are here to stay – at least for now.