The Insider: New-Construction Townhouse in Boerum Hill

THAT’S SOME SUPER-MODERN townhouse among the brownstones, above, but to my surprise, the often snarky commenters on Brownstoner seem to like it. Most of them anyway. I was afraid the architects, Ben and Christine Hansen, might be raked over the coals.

You’re looking at the rear view, by the way — there’s a kitchen in that zinc-clad cantilevered extension. Go here to read the whole thing.

Happy Yard Sale Days Are Here Again

I’M CONVINCED EAST HAMPTON IS THE BEST, bar none, in at least one important department: yard sales. In these arty precincts, it’s not unusual for yard sales to be art directed like something out of Mad Men. Sometimes that also means prices are unreasonably high, and you might as well shop on Madison Avenue. But sometimes not.

Yesterday there was such a plethora of flea markets and yard sales I didn’t even try to get to all of them.

I planned out a strategy that included being early to the East Hampton Trustees’ Flea Market in the backyard of the 18th century Osborne-Little House on Main Street, above, as well as to a new weekly flea market starting up for the season on Three Mile Harbor Road, below.

Both were selling genuine antiques more than pure junk, and I bought nothing at either of them. I’ve gotten quite good at sticking to just what I need, and I don’t need any more blue-and-white china or brass candlesticks. But there’s plenty of entertainment value in the looking.

What I did need, desperately, were some vintage (as vintage as styrofoam can get) buoys for my outdoor shower, top. I found these at a sale in Amagansett for $5 apiece and snapped up four. What is summer in East Hampton without boating ornaments for the outdoor shower?

I also got a window box and large clay pot for my son’s deck in Philadelphia. And that was the total bounty of yesterday morning. However, I’ve scored a couple of other things recently that fall into my “I need” category, and so are allowable. One, a bamboo-base table lamp, left, replaces another on my desk that shorted out one day for no good reason. That was $25 at LVIS, and I was pleased.

And in another problem-solving stroke, I found a rattan plant stand, above, a couple of weeks back that not only holds the houseplants that have been released from indoor captivity and now reside on my front deck, but also serves to hide the ugly electric meter. Styling is everything!

To read about my previous forays in the yard-sale capital of the world, look here and here (or search “yard sales East Hampton” in the Search box at upper left; I’ve done about a dozen of them).

The Outsider: Outdoor Living Room in Fort Greene

HIGH STYLE, LOW MAINTENANCE. Twin bluestone patios — one for living, one for dining. That’s what you’ll see today on The Outsider, my Sunday garden column for Brownstoner, designed by James Stephenson of The Artist Garden.

Go here to read all about it.

The Outsider: Attic ‘Cabin’ in Fort Greene

NORWEGIAN ARCHITECT Ole Sondresen‘s take on a Brooklyn brownstone is the subject of my column today on There’s an unpretentious IKEA-based kitchen, above, and a showstopping wood-wrapped attic loft, below. To see and read more about it, click right here.

BOOK REVIEW: Rooms to Inspire by the Sea

THIS IS A BOOK to dream on, full of effortlessly (or so it looks) chic interiors from coastal locations the world over.

Rooms to Inspire by the Sea is the newest entry in Rizzoli’s Rooms to Inspire series (…in the City, …in the Country). Its author is Annie Kelly of the exquisite taste, with photographs by her husband, the well-known Tim Street-Porter, who captures the light, pure and clear, that is the essence of seaside living.

For this book, they jetted around to dream spots from the Hamptons to Hawaii, Mexico to the Bahamas. Everything is impeccable, never cookie-cutter or cliché: the furnishings, the collections, the styling, the mix of unusual accessories, the cheering color. It’s a book so luscious you want to lick the pages, envy-inducing yet not so over-the-top as to be off-putting.

18th century saltbox in Sagaponack, Long Island

1880s mansion on Shelter Island, N.Y.

Home of designer India Hicks on Harbour Island, Bahamas, right

Mediterranean-style courtyard in Malibu, California, below

Was there ever a more perfect gift for a new beach-house owner…or aspirant?