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  • “Since the 1950s, American families have gotten smaller while homes have nearly doubled in size.”    —Yale University Architectural Team

    With no apparent slowdown in the making of megamansions, a book has just come out that tempts us back to the days when small really was beautiful. It is “Alfred A. Scheffer’s Beach Hampton Houses, 1941 to 1965,” written by Robert Hefner, the East Hampton Village director of historic services.

  • A sandcastle, cruise ship, discotheque, and whitewashed house on a Greek island all come to mind, although the vernacular is mid-20th century modern. Without question, the owners have spent this summer in one of the most remarkable oceanfront houses on the South Fork. They call its design timeless. 

  • Why do people put frames around art? Aestheticians probably have Freudian answers, but obviously it has something to do with heightening the effect. Now the local architects Robert Barnes and Christopher Coy have done just that to one of the finest views in Amagansett, the vista from the top of the ridge that rises just as Route 27 leaves Amagansett for Montauk.

  • Two little girls, seemingly about 6 and adorable in sheer white dresses and black slippers, lean against two trees on the lawn of the old Parsons Blacksmith Shop near Ashawagh Hall in Springs. An audience, limited to eight people, stands nearby. The girls start to play tag, join in a circle dance, and collapse onto a blanket, gazing at the sky, until one runs away, her friend chasing and calling after her.

  • “I want visitors to go further and further down the rabbit hole.” So said the artist Dianne Blell as she introduced a visitor to the evocative mixture of objects, colors, passions, and practicality in both the garden and interior of her house in Bridgehampton. Her second-home world reflects the aesthetic of her art — meticulous photographs that comment on grown-up fairy tales ranging from classic myths to haute couture.

  • The architect of this house in Springs, Michael Haverland, is delighted to have recreated some of the “drama” of American master Frank Lloyd Wright, but he also has deftly integrated touches from other boldface names in modern architecture.