Habitat

A beach house inspired by breaking waves
Breaking waves, not falling water, inspired this 1986 beach house.
The original owners asked for a breezeway from the front of the house to the beach.
The master bathtub nestles in one of the bays.
The living room and deck command a 180-degree vista.
A hanging beam contains the kitchen lights and echoes the curve of the counter.
The Gavalases revel in the white decor, which reminds them of Greece.
Towels hang on the wall of an outdoor shower tucked into the breezeway.
Even the kitchen work areas are black and white.
The round glass table, with a tree-trunk base, matches the huge kitchen porthole.

Robert A.M. Stern finds Bonac to his liking
The architect is seen on the stadium steps at the back of the house, which looks out on the garden.
Wavy shingles around the oculus on the gable, at right, are a Stern trademark, as is the tower.

From the top of a ridge to the wide Atlantic
The frame has an almost imperceptible glass railing. Paul Domzal
The entrance is up a flight of steps and through a nearly invisible glass box. The limestone wall conceals the bedroom wing.Paul Domzal
Paul Domzal
The living room brings cedar and limestone indoors.Paul Domzal
The master suite is behind the balcony, which curves over the dining area, and then heads outside for dining al fresco.Paul Domzal
The open skylight is reflected in the omnipresent glass.Paul Domzal

Evocations of Other Cultures
Through a gate from an old Chinese castle on a 20-acre wooded property in East Hampton, a marsh boat can be seen on the shore of a koi pond. The homeowner likes to let structures age and develop a patina.
A metal sculpture by Leon Allemon can be seen through the trees.
Mountain laurel squiggles up through some of the five acres of moss.
A suspended fish drum from southern China can boom loud enough when struck to bring a neighbor’s complaint.
A stone temple lantern from Japan became the centerpiece of one of the 31 gardens. And a Wollemi pine is a species dating back to the dinosaurs.
A foundation stone from a Connecticut barn rises like an obelisk.
A Japanese bamboo gate separates the inner and outer gardens.
Ancient columns from Carthage (what is now Tunisia) decorate a lawn near the main house, which is seen framed by trees. Steps from the house, a secret garden features an antique Italian statue.
Sun splashes a log bench in another garden.
A Japanese urn pitted with age collects water on top of smooth river stones. A mushroom is one of 80 different types throughout the grounds. A wheelbarrow and water wheel powering a small gristmill are in a garden with a farmhouse a la Provence.

To say the undertaking is even one-third finished would probably be stretching it
An electrician was busy last week installing wiring for a chandelier in the Studio. The upside-down transom is back from repair, still upside-down. Durell Godfrey Photos
The front of the house should be shingled by fall, in time for a big fund-raiser.

Purple works well on a small scale or in a large park-like setting

An eclectic house and garden have classic echoes
The roofline angles that lured Diane Blell, and the turret she added, overlook the all-green garden. Below, from left: An ormolu-framed mirror adds sparkle to a niche, and Planet the cat guards the entrance to the living room. Photos by Durell Godfrey
Dianne Blell shows a visitor a Horus-eyed chair and painted diamonds on the walls that evoke Picasso.
The culture of some of the countries she’s been to is evident.
Above, from left: A Keith Sonnier neon sculpture commands attention. The stairs, right, are original to the house; the railing came from Home Depot.
Chairs and decorative items await a photo shoot, with one of Ms. Blell’s artworks propped against the wall.
The studio is at the foot of the garden.
Left, one of her tableau photographs is hung over a Venetian desk. Center, the second floor of the turret is sometimes used as a sleeping porch. Right,the fireplace surround is antiqued mirror; the seat in front of it is from India.Photos by Durell Godfrey

The tour will take in five private gardens
Fred Stelle will open up his North Haven garden on Guild Hall’s Garden as Art tour Saturday. Durell Godfrey

Every Merrell House Tells A Story
The house offers long views toward the ocean from the second floor living areas and the third floor office and roof deck. Below, James Merrell pauses during a recent visit. Durell Godfrey Photos
Crepe myrtles flank a 20-step staircase made of dry-stack granite blocks.
A steep staircase leads to the ground floor. Right, recliners face the ocean in the master suite.
Rolling mahogany shutters help modulate sunlight at the rear of the house.
The family room, adjoining the kitchen, looks out over wetlands.
A fire pit can be lighted for outdoor comfort on chilly nights.
In the kitchen, gold-leaf glass tiles reflect sunlight throughout the day.
Durell Godfrey Photos

Five Years in the Making, the Gardens and Buildings Have Distinctive Personality
The main house, with cues from Japanese architecture and Frank Lloyd Wright, is large but nestled into the landscape. It faces part of the water garden. Photographs by Durell Godfrey
A house original to the property is now a comfortable guesthouse.
A new barn, with a fireplace and screening room, is perfect for parties.
This screened-in porch is Monica Graham’s favorite room. She also loves the kilim-covered cubes.
The gym, above, has equipment of every possible kind. It can be seen from the indoor pool, below, which boasts two underwater treadmills.
A corner of Ms. Graham’s bathroom.
Clerestory windows, horizontal stone-work, and light fixtures reflect Frank Lloyd Wright, and custom-made patio umbrellas replicate some of the house’s roof lines.
A freestanding, wood spindle-work screen, left, separates the living and dining rooms. Right, an antique Chinese gong makes a statement in the hall even when not struck.
Folding doors have custom-painted panels with an Asian motif and open onto the office. Photographs by Durell Godfrey