Recent Stories: Habitat

Baylis Greene
May 24, 2018
Jason Norris said goodbye to chasing swordfish and tuna, hello to a different kind of green scene, toxin-free landscaping.

Jason Norris may have a landscaping crew at his command, but that doesn’t mean he sits behind some particleboard desk, plastic hunk of phone pressed to his ear, staring into the half-distance as he lines up the next property for his Norris Organics guys to attack with spinning blades, shovels, rakes, and enough bags of mulch to dam a small river.

Jennifer Landes
April 3, 2018
At the recent Architectural Digest Design Show, a panel about daring design evolved into a discussion of trends, clients, art, backgrounds, and big budgets, much to the delight of the audience.

At the recent Architectural Digest Design Show in Manhattan, a panel about daring design turned into a more free-form discussion of trends, clients, art, backgrounds, and big budgets, much to the delight of the crowd of practicing and aspiring designers assembled in the fair’s auditorium on Pier 94.

The participants were three designers who are no strangers to the South Fork, and Fern Mallis, the force behind New York’s Fashion Week for many years and a sought-after interviewer and author with a popular series at the 92nd Street Y, who also has a bungalow retreat on Big Fresh Pond in Southampton. 

Jamie Bufalino
February 13, 2018
When Paul Masi and his colleagues at Bates Masi and Architects in Sag Harbor design a house, they focus first on its key elements. “We try to understand what the essence of it is,” Mr. Masi said. “We know that it’s going to be a pretty house, but it needs to be more than that. It needs to be meaningful to the occupants and also in its relationship to the landscape.”

When Paul Masi and his colleagues at Bates Masi and Architects in Sag Harbor design a house, they focus first on its key elements. “We try to understand what the essence of it is,” Mr. Masi said. “We know that it’s going to be a pretty house, but it needs to be more than that. It needs to be meaningful to the occupants and also in its relationship to the landscape.”

For this house of more than 4,000 square-feet in Promised Land, Amagansett, the key element turned out to be the wind. 

Durell Godfrey
Photos by Durell Godfrey
February 13, 2018
The 1970s, when I lived in a rent-controlled Columbia University apartment, were a cool time. Macrame and tie-dyed T-shirts were in, and we all seemed to gravitate toward avocado plants.

The 1970s, when I lived in a rent-controlled Columbia University apartment, were a cool time. Macrame and tie-dyed T-shirts were in, and we all seemed to gravitate toward avocado plants.

A few charming books came out at that time, which must have inspired us, and we embraced the concept: free trees. They never bore fruit, and they never would. Instead, it was all the rage to see who could get their guacamole to turn into a taller plant than the neighbor’s. At one time I had about 10 avocado plants in pots, which I gave away after about 10 years when I decamped. Maybe they’re still somewhere above 105th Street, being passed from apartment to apartment in the same building.

Isabel Carmichael
February 13, 2018
Erling Hope is a woodworker who has built exquisite cabinets and furniture for many years, and who has also built a specialized career creating liturgical altars and fixtures. About five years ago, he started tinkering with wood from a stand of trees on his property on the Bridgehampton-Sag Harbor Turnpike, making fascinating little boxes with it.

Erling Hope is a woodworker who has built exquisite cabinets and furniture for many years, and who has also built a specialized career creating liturgical altars and fixtures. About five years ago, he started tinkering with wood from a stand of trees on his property on the Bridgehampton-Sag Harbor Turnpike, making fascinating little boxes with it. 

He uses as much scrap wood as possible in his work — locust, white oak, and sassafras — because he believes in being a responsible steward. “Today we must speak of form, function, and fairness,” he said recently. “How we make things expresses our values.”

Mark Segal
November 22, 2017
Joe Nahem of Fox-Nahem Associates and Jeff Fields, his partner in life as well as work, welcomed a visitor to their modest house on Further Lane, Amagansett, recently and said they had gone from living in “a crappy little nothing house, which we were fine with at the time” to one with unique personality in keeping with the firm, which is on Elle Décor’s A List and is one of Architectural Digest’s “AD 100.”

Joe Nahem of Fox-Nahem Associates and Jeff Fields, his partner in life as well as work, welcomed a visitor to their modest house on Further Lane, Amagansett, recently and said they had gone from living in “a crappy little nothing house, which we were fine with at the time” to one with unique personality in keeping with the firm, which is on Elle Décor’s A List and is one of Architectural Digest’s “AD 100.”   

Joanne Pilgrim
November 20, 2017
With a husband who is a chef, Patty Sales cannot generally be found cooking. But baking is a different story.

With a husband who is a chef, Patty Sales cannot generally be found cooking. But baking is a different story.

The namesake of a grassroots East Hampton business, Cousin Patty’s Cookies, she grew up with a wooden spoon and mixing bowl at hand. “It’s very relaxing,” she said on a recent rainy day, perfect for baking. 

Carissa Katz
November 17, 2017
People began to line up at 8 Friday morning to be among the first admitted to an estate sale at Grey Gardens.

People began to line up at 8 Friday morning to be among the first admitted to an estate sale at Grey Gardens, the house made famous by Jaqueline Kennedy Onassis's eccentric aunt and cousin, Edith Ewing Bouvier Beale and her daughter, Edith Bouvier Beale, known as Big and Little Edie.

Star Staff
November 16, 2017
The East Hampton Historical Society’s 2017 House and Garden Tour will feature five houses ranging in style from traditional to modern on Nov. 25 from 1 to 4 p.m. A cocktail party to benefit the historical society will take place at the Maidstone Club on Friday, Nov. 24, from 6 to 8:30 p.m.

The East Hampton Historical Society’s 2017 House and Garden Tour will feature five houses ranging in style from traditional to modern on Nov. 25 from 1 to 4 p.m. A cocktail party to benefit the historical society will take place at the Maidstone Club on Friday, Nov. 24, from 6 to 8:30 p.m.

One highlight of the tour is Kilkare, an estate within the Georgia Association that was built in 1877 by shipbuilders on 330 feet of Atlantic Ocean beachfront. Its 85 windows and screened double doors afford sweeping views of the ocean and Georgica Pond.

Taylor K. Vecsey
October 9, 2017
If you have traveled on Montauk Highway, going in and out of Bridgehampton during the last six months, you may have noticed and wondered about white posts standing off to the side of the property just east of the Bridgehampton Inn.

If you have traveled on Montauk Highway, going in and out of Bridgehampton during the last six months, you may have noticed and wondered about white posts standing off to the side of the property just east of the Bridgehampton Inn. 

Punit Chugh and Anjali Gupta, a husband-and-wife team who own Aman Developers, have recently won approval from Southampton Town to build what they say is a minimalistic structure that will showcase the type of construction technology they offer. The posts outline the space on which they plan to start building this month.

Photos by Durell Godfrey
October 5, 2017
Around 30 years ago, I designed an exhibition titled “Long Island Modern” at East Hampton’s Guild Hall. Curated by Alastair Gordon, the architecture critic and historian who at the time was a columnist for The East Hampton Star, the show was a celebration of the early modernist houses built on the East End in the post-World War II period, principally in the 1950s and beyond.

Around 30 years ago, I designed an exhibition titled “Long Island Modern” at East Hampton’s Guild Hall. Curated by Alastair Gordon, the architecture critic and historian who at the time was a columnist for The East Hampton Star, the show was a celebration of the early modernist houses built on the East End in the post-World War II period, principally in the 1950s and beyond. These houses were experimental in design but also modest and lightweight, employing conventional building technologies.

Laura Donnelly
August 31, 2017
“Signs and Seasons” is an astrology cookbook by Amy Zerner, Monte Farber, and the chef John Okas.

“Signs and Seasons” is an astrology cookbook by Amy Zerner, Monte Farber, and the chef John Okas. The book teaches you about the various foods that “feed your sign,” and describes the various ways we entertain, cook, and eat, according to our signs. For instance, Leos do not like to be seated next to someone who won’t listen to their stories, and they really like corn, peaches, mozzarella, and saffron.

Taylor K. Vecsey
August 31, 2017
In the 1950s and ’60s, pressing a button on an intercom to talk to someone in a different part of your house was considered a technological score. Now, nearly every imaginable household device can be controlled remotely, whether you don’t feel like getting off the couch or are halfway around the world. The average homeowner is in control, thanks to the advent of smart home technology.

In the 1950s and ’60s, pressing a button on an intercom to talk to someone in a different part of your house was considered a technological score. Now, nearly every imaginable household device can be controlled remotely, whether you don’t feel like getting off the couch or are halfway around the world. The average homeowner is in control, thanks to the advent of smart home technology. 

Temperature, lighting, window blinds, audio/visual equipment, and security systems can all be controlled and customized. And smart home technology is practically a given in new, high-end houses on the South Fork, where many are second homes and owners want to be, and sometimes need to be, in control from afar. 

Irene Silverman
July 27, 2017
“I am one of the only people in town who can do almost anything,” Bob Linker said the other day. “You bring me your brass, bronze, your grandfather’s knickknack, and I’ll fix it.”

“I am one of the only people in town who can do almost anything,” Bob Linker said the other day. “You bring me your brass, bronze, your grandfather’s knickknack, and I’ll fix it.”

Bryley Williams
July 11, 2017
The grounds of the historic Mulford Farm on Main Street in East Hampton Village will be jammed with antiques and art from 50 dealers — and with shoppers hoping to find objects they just cannot do without — starting July 21 at the 11th annual East Hampton Antiques Show sponsored by the East Hampton Historical Society.

The grounds of the historic Mulford Farm on Main Street in East Hampton Village will be jammed with antiques and art from 50 dealers — and with shoppers hoping to find objects they just cannot do without — next weekend at the 11th annual East Hampton Antiques Show sponsored by the East Hampton Historical Society. 

Everything from Ikat textiles to vintage sunglasses will be available among the rattan, bamboo, Art Deco, Moderne, and country-decorated furniture, light fixtures, garden ornaments, wrought-iron accessories, paintings, vintage jewelry, weathervanes, and mirrors. 

Isabel Carmichael
June 29, 2017
Fireplace Farm, where Paul Hamilton grows produce and flowers and keeps bees and chickens, is a rural place right near Gardiner’s Bay, with hardly any houses to be seen.

Fireplace Farm, where Paul Hamilton grows produce and flowers and keeps bees and chickens, is a rural place right near Gardiner’s Bay, with hardly any houses to be seen. On two acres off Hog Creek Lane at the northern end of Springs-Fireplace Road, he plants enough vegetables, berries, and lettuces to sell at a farm stand and at the Springs Farmers Market, which he runs. In early June, he told a visitor that strawberries, which were beginning to ripen, thrive in the farm’s sandy, dry soil but that as a result of the cool, wet spring, were coming in later than usual.

Jennifer Landes
June 1, 2017
There are plenty of garden tours to enliven the summer and provide sneak peeks behind the hedges, but few allow participants past the front door.

There are plenty of garden tours to enliven the summer and provide sneak peeks behind the hedges, but few allow participants past the front door.

Each June, the Southampton Historical Museum gives its supporters that unique opportunity by offering a mix of historical and contemporary structures whose residents open their doors and floors to the curious eyes of their next-door and regional neighbors.

Now in its eighth year, the Southampton House Tour Insider’s View will offer sprawling oceanfront mansions and quaint village cottages, some on properties that date back to the 17th century and the early colonial days of the South Fork. Each residence can be relied upon to demonstrate the best in design and architecture from colonial chic to beach house modern.

Judy D’Mello
May 25, 2017
Andrew Geller’s uninhibited, angular houses of the 1950s and 1960s were cut from a playful mold. He was known as “the architect of happiness,” having designed the prefabricated Leisurama houses marketed for middle-income families by Macy’s, which came fully furnished.

Andrew Geller’s uninhibited, angular houses of the 1950s and 1960s were cut from a playful mold. He was known as “the architect of happiness,” having designed the prefabricated Leisurama houses marketed for middle-income families by Macy’s, which came fully furnished. For as little as $590 down and $73 a month — or somewhat more if you splurged — you could take your toothbrush, buy groceries, and enjoy the summer, even at Montauk, where some 200 were built. To his detractors, Geller was an outsider, but it was a concept he relished.

Mark Segal
May 25, 2017
From Kips Bay to Pasadena, designer show houses across the country afford opportunities for interior designers to display their talents while at the same time raising money for a wide range of charitable causes.

From Kips Bay to Pasadena, designer show houses across the country afford opportunities for interior designers to display their talents while at the same time raising money for a wide range of charitable causes.

Star Staff
May 25, 2017
The 1894 oil painting above, by Mary Nimmo Moran, is an imaginative rendering of a long garden she planted along the south border of the Moran House property on East Hampton’s Main Street, where she and her husband, the painter Thomas Moran, lived in the late 19th century.

The 1894 oil painting right, by Mary Nimmo Moran, is an imaginative rendering of a long garden she planted along the south border of the Moran House property on East Hampton’s Main Street, where she and her husband, the painter Thomas Moran, lived in the late 19th century. 

April 13, 2017
Passover, like all Jewish holidays, floats around on the calendar. It’s never early or late, but always the same time on the Hebrew calendar, which follows a more lunar trajectory. Passover always occurs in the Hebrew month of Nissan, on the 14th. This year that will be the evening of April 10. It takes me over a month to prepare my house for Passover.

By Cantor/Rabbi Debra Stein

Carissa Katz
February 16, 2017
From playhouses and knitting to a well-stocked pantry and the perfect crafts room, Durell Godfrey’s second coloring book, “Color Your Happy Home” (Harlequin, $15.99), written with Barbara Ann Kipfer, is a celebration of all things cozy, comforting, and . . . well, homey. Things like coloring on a cold winter afternoon while your daughter is home sick from school, or pulling out the markers at the coffee table while a blizzard rages outside.

From playhouses and knitting to a well-stocked pantry and the perfect crafts room, Durell Godfrey’s second coloring book, “Color Your Happy Home” (Harlequin, $15.99), written with Barbara Ann Kipfer, is a celebration of all things cozy, comforting, and . . . well, homey.

Christine Sampson
Durell Godfrey
November 23, 2016
Maria Matthiessen of Sag Harbor found herself in a pickle that will probably be familiar to many grandparents: She had not planned to adopt pets, but her granddaughter, Ava, finagled her into it. Two cats, to be precise, from the Animal Rescue Fund of the Hamptons. And that is when the trouble started.

Maria Matthiessen of Sag Harbor found herself in a pickle that will probably be familiar to many grandparents: She had not planned to adopt pets, but her granddaughter, Ava, finagled her into it. Two cats, to be precise, from the Animal Rescue Fund of the Hamptons.

Christine Sampson
October 6, 2016
Tom Dakin considers himself an ordinary gardener, but for more than 30 years the part-time North Haven resident has cultivated an extraordinary tropical flower — the canna lily.

Tom Dakin considers himself an ordinary gardener, but for more than 30 years the part-time North Haven resident has cultivated an extraordinary tropical flower — the canna lily.