Michael Burns: The Maestro Of Luxury At Burns Real Estate Development

Hamptons Real Estate | Hamptons Builder

For Michael Burns, founder of a renowned Hamptons-based construction company, Burns Real Estate Development, the journey to creating iconic homes is synonymous with the region’s hybridized classic and modern vibe that began long before his ventures in the luxury real estate market. In a recent sit down on his new build on Brennan’s Moore — one of the most secluded waterfront locations in Water Mill — Burns shared insights into his architectural journey and the vision behind his acclaimed projects.

Hamptons Real Estate | Hamptons Builder
Michael Burns. Photo: Ty Wenzel

His smile is arresting — wide and grateful for being able to do what he loves. Sitting down on a post-rainy day, he gave a tour of the somewhat outdated manor he will demo the following day to make room for another Burns Real Estate Development masterpiece.

“From the time I was in high school, in my architecture class, I always thought about modern design,” Burns reflected on his early inspirations. “When I started my company, my first houses were modern homes in Chappaqua and Briarcliff, but that market was focused on primary homes. When I came to the Hamptons, I wanted to build ‘luxury vacation homes.’”

Seeking expanses of open sky and vast land for pools and tennis courts, Burns envisioned what he termed a “Dream Vacation Home” and set out to bring it to life in the Hamptons.

His homes, hailed for their distinctive style, capture the region’s essence, blending modern aesthetics with timeless elegance. “I have always strived to evolve with the times, incorporating the latest and best features of the moment, but always building homes with a great flow — I believe, the key to success. Lots of sizzle and steak!” Burns remarked on his design philosophy.

Hamptons Real Estate | Hamptons Builder
Michael Burns. Photo: Ty Wenzel

“The first major residence I built in the Hamptons was in Wainscott. I had an idea to make it the first ‘Hamptons Designer Showhouse’ in a newly built home, with all the bells and whistles,” Burns recounted, highlighting his commitment to innovation. “It was a spectacular traditional home with a modern upscale interior. We created a successful charity event, and during that time, a buyer came in, and the rest is history.”

When asked about his favorite towns to build in, Burns expressed a fondness for Bridgehampton and Sagaponack, citing the allure of open skies and the quintessential Hamptons ambiance. Burns is immersed in two ambitious projects, including a “Modern Barn Style” home in Water Mill and an 8000-square-foot estate in Sagaponack, each exuding extravagance and showstopping water views.

Reflecting on the pandemic’s impact, Burns acknowledges its challenges while emphasizing the importance of staying attuned to evolving buyer needs.

“It was a very difficult time for everyone, trying to sustain my business and keep all my subcontractors working. Also, reevaluating what home buyers changing needs were, all while not getting sick,” Burns reflected on navigating the challenges of the pandemic.

As trends evolve, Burns remains committed to incorporating smarter home technologies without compromising design aesthetics. “I think the major direction is ‘smarter homes’ simultaneously keeping in mind that homebuyers are not computer tech wizards!” he quipped.

Incorporating green technologies is also a priority for Burns, who emphasizes the importance of energy-efficient, well-insulated homes to reduce carbon footprints.

When not building luxury homes, what does Burns do for fun? “My wife and I love to travel! We also love the arts and are consummate theater, music, and art lovers — being lifelong New Yorkers, we have no trouble fulfilling our desires,” he shared, offering a glimpse into his life beyond construction.

As Michael Burns continues to shape the landscape of Hamptons luxury real estate, his commitment to innovation, sustainability, and timeless design sets him apart as a maestro of home construction in the region.

To learn more, visit burnsrealtydevelopmentcorp.com.

Ty Wenzel

Co-Publisher & Contributor

Ty Wenzel started her career as a fashion coordinator for Bloomingdale’s followed by fashion editor for Cosmopolitan Magazine. She was also a writer for countless publications, including having published a memoir and written features for The New York Times. She is an award-winning writer and designer who covers lifestyle, real estate, architecture and interiors for James Lane Post. Wenzel is also a co-founder of the meditation app for kids, DreamyKid, and the social media agency, TWM Hamptons Social Media.

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