Author: Styled by Barbara L. Dixon

The evolution of designer Melanie Roy's Manhattan home began in 2003.

When Frances Katzen and her husband purchased a three-bedroom Central Park West apartment last spring, she kept things in the family and hired her brother Mark Zeff, a Manhattan-based interior and furniture designer, to take on the decor, furnishings, and reconfiguration of the floor plan.

When Frances Katzen and her husband purchased a three-bedroom Central Park West apartment last spring, she kept things in the family and hired her brother Mark Zeff, a Manhattan-based interior and furniture designer, to take on the decor, furnishings, and reconfiguration of the floor plan.

"When it came to designing the interiors," writes Jeff Lincoln of his Southampton cottage, "I decided to embrace the cottage-y style of my house, rather than try to make it into something it’s not. While I am very decisive about what’s best for my clients, I am less so when it comes to my own place. It’s a fairly common conundrum for interior decorators: Confronted with so much choice for themselves, they often don’t do much in the end.

"When it came to designing the interiors," writes Jeff Lincoln of his Southampton cottage, "I decided to embrace the cottage-y style of my house, rather than try to make it into something it’s not. While I am very decisive about what’s best for my clients, I am less so when it comes to my own place. It’s a fairly common conundrum for interior decorators: Confronted with so much choice for themselves, they often don’t do much in the end. Therefore, I declare my house to be “eclectic,” that convenient design-speak catchall, though it is a thorough representation of the great decorative items to be found in some of my favorite local Hamptons antiques and home accessories shops. As Hillary Clinton says, it takes a village, and one of the rewarding aspects of being an interior designer in the Hamptons is working with so many talented and wonderful people.

It’s an especially rare kind of kismet: clients who click with their architects right off the bat, who come to the table knowing exactly what they want their dream house to be. But it happened for Vicki Kaplan and her family when they hired the Manhattan design firm Workshop/apd to create a new home in Water Mill, overlooking a pristine reserve a stone’s throw from Mecox Bay.

Summertime in the Hamptons means days at the beach, starry (and sometimes star-filled) nights, and events galore, including Holiday House Hamptons, a showhouse presented by HC&G that benefits the Breast Cancer Research Foundation®. After a smashing debut last summer, Holiday House Hamptons has switched things up a bit this season, challenging 18 outstanding designers to reimagine the interiors and outdoor spaces of the newly renovated 19th-century Watchcase factory in Sag Harbor. The team has transformed a factory loft, a bungalow, and a freestanding townhouse in the 64-unit luxury condo complex, conceived as a “village within a village” by developers Cape Advisors and architectural firm Beyer Blinder Belle. Indeed, this year’s showhouse proves that “it takes a village” to put great minds and great design to work, all for a good cause.

Bucks calls it a “spiffing-up,” rather than a renovation. “We didn’t move a single wall,” she says, nor did they need to raise the peaked ceilings in the combined entryway/living room or the two en suite bedrooms. As many families do, the Buckses spend most of their time in the large kitchen/dining area and the inviting brick patio and swimming pool just outside, both of which were in place when they bought the house.

David Howell had been living in a Union Square loft with his wife, interior designer Steffani Aarons, and their twin daughters and wanted to overcome the somewhat ironic limitations of so much vast, open space. So what’s an architect to do? Find the perfect location, then build a condo to suit his needs.