Ruth Bashinsky

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Eclectic Estate: Glen Cove Home Revels In Old-World Charm

On a sweltering summer day with temperatures soaring well into the 90s and local weather reports of a heat wave, Jovon Tomaselli sits in his library enjoying the views of his majestic gardens. On days like this, he does not mind very much at all that he doesn’t have central air-conditioning.

“The house is made from brick and plaster, they didn’t use sheetrock back then,” laughs Tomaselli. “We have window units. The house keeps everything cool.”

An old-fashioned way of living for some, but for Tomaselli and his wife, Sanam, that’s all part of the charm when you are living in a historic mansion that dates back to 1888.

The home that was once the estate of John Coles Tappan, a prominent business leader has been a labor of love for the couple, who share an appreciation for old-world style. For the last few years, they have spent time restoring the home’s integrity while adding their own personal touches along the way.

“I love that time that takes us way back,” says Sanam. “We have preserved the whole look of the house because you cannot find houses like this anymore. We really wanted to make this house a home.”

And so they did.

Each level of the four-story Victorian Colonial set on 1.5 acres features a different aesthetic with ceilings that soar 12 feet high and architectural details that for many homes on Long Island are now a thing of the past. The main floor boasts a formal living room, gourmet-style kitchen with the original pantry, a billiards room, library and dining room, aka the “tea room,” or “the ladies parlor,” as Sanam calls it.

There’s also an outdoor patio and music room filled with antiques, including an original telephone booth and birdcage. Three bedrooms and a master suite are located on the upper level. The third story features an attic with three additional rooms used for storage and a full basement that Jovon explains “is as long as the house, 100 feet.”

Most of the renovations were done on the home’s interior, says Jovon. That included securing the foundation, restoring the outdoor porches, replacing some of the windows and updating the kitchen with modern amenities.

The gardens are so spectacular that Jovon, a professional photographer, remembers the days when they were often used as a backdrop for photo shoots.

“In 2004, we took more than 300 family portraits here,” he says. “It was before the digital era.”

It is still a tranquil place that brings great enjoyment to the couple.

“It’s really a beautiful haven for us,” says Jovon. “We like to sit outside on the patio and listen to music and look at the pond. It’s our meditation.”

Sanam, who works as a banker, describes her style as eclectic. An admirer of Mexican artist Frida Kahlo and post-impressionist painter Vincent van Gogh, she draws inspiration from them and the beauty that surrounds her.

“I love the color yellow,” she says. “I love butterflies. I love rabbits, and I love sunflowers.”

A collector too — she and Jovon enjoy collecting teacups and picking up souvenirs from their travels to display — doesn’t take herself too seriously.

“I don’t follow the rules,” she points out. “I break the rules nicely.”

Novelist Jodi Picoult Brings ‘A Spark Of Light’ to Long Island

Best-selling author Jodi Picoult will be at the Landmark on Main in Port Washington, sharing her latest book, A Spark of Light. Long Island LitFest is presenting this October event.

Interviewed by phone at her New Hampshire home, Picoult, admitted she can be a workaholic and laughed when asked if she gets cranky when she doesn’t write for a few days. She talked about how much she adores her fans, how she can sometimes be brought to tears while writing her novels, and how you will never see her in a Starbucks typing on a laptop.

At the Landmark event, Picoult will be signing copies of her 25th book and will give her fans an opportunity to take a photo with her. Long Island native and critically acclaimed author Meg Wolitzer, whose latest novel is called The Female Persuasion, will be part of the festivities too.

The Press spoke with the widely popular author as she was gearing up for the book tour that kicks off this month and will take her all over the United States, Canada and the UK.

Did you ever imagine reaching this level of success? No. No one did. I would have been delighted to write books and have my mother and her friends read my books. I never expected to be successful this way.

I need to ask about your fans. You have such a huge following. My fans are awesome and they are devoted. They will pick up a book with my name on the cover without even knowing what it is about. A lot of writers don’t have that freedom. My books are about really tough topics. My readers are really willing to go wherever my brain is going at that particular moment and that is a freedom that is a delight that I never lose sight of.

Your novels address some difficult issues: teen suicide, gun violence, race. Can you tell us about that? A lot of people don’t want to talk about tough topics. It is uncomfortable. Fiction is a terrific vehicle for a contentious issue because when you pick up a book of fiction … you think you are reading about made-up characters and made-up situations and you are — but if I did my job right, by the time you finish the book you are asking yourself a lot of really hard questions and hopefully you are willing to have a conversation with someone about that difficult topic. That is really all I can hope for when I am writing a book.

Are you drawing from any of your own experiences? Where do you get your inspiration and ideas? I don’t really draw from my life. I have a really charmed and wonderful life. I am grateful I don’t live the life of my characters. I draw my inspiration from things I don’t understand and questions I am not able to answer. The act of writing the book for me should be the act of reading the book for the reader.

Is there any particular book you wrote that was more difficult to write than others? Small Great Things was hard for me on a personal level because I was learning a lot of things about myself that I did not find very complimentary. I thought I was a really good person. I thought I was not racist and I definitely had not acknowledged my privilege as a white person until I began to do the research for that book. I live my life very differently now because of the way that book really opened my eyes. On a professional level, A Spark of Light nearly killed me (she laughs). It was my idea to write the book backwards, but oh, my god, was that hard.

How was it growing up in Nesconset? Do you ever visit? I had a great time in suburbia and a great childhood and I’m very grateful for that. I don’t come back very often because my parents moved. If I come back it is usually for a book tour.

Landmark on Main Street, 232 Main St., Port Washington, landmarkonmainstreet.org or longislandlitfest.org. $35. 7:30 p.m. Oct. 2.

Spectrum Designs: Business On A Mission

Seventy-one percent of the company's employees are on the autism spectrum.

One mother’s mission to ensure her son with autism would have a promising future has been accomplished beyond anyone’s wildest expectations.

After the loss of her husband in 2010, Stella Spanakos wondered, “Should I wallow in self pity, or should I find the strength to make my husband’s life, and our struggle raising a child with autism, mean something?” She founded Spectrum Designs, a custom apparel business where her son Nicholas works with other young people facing similar challenges. The company is now a model social enterprise offering authentic vocational experiences to individuals on the autism spectrum.

“Stella’s story is very inspiring,” says Lee Anne Vetrone, development manager at Spectrum Designs Foundation. “Along with her cofounders, Nicole Sugrue and Patrick Bardsley, she created a business model that will positively impact the lives of individuals with autism and their families for years.”

The need is great. In the U.S., only 14 percent of adults with autism held paid jobs in their communities, according to a 2017 Drexel University Autism Institute report. Each year, 50,000 teens with autism age out of school-based services.

Spectrum’s work environment is designed to help employees excel. Seventy-five percent of its workforce is on the autism spectrum. There are 35 people on staff, 21 of whom have developmental disabilities.

The company generated more than $2 million in sales this year. Clients include Google, Facebook, and Uber.

“Providing meaningful work opportunities leads to greater independence, an improved quality of life and a future filled with hope,” says Vetrone.

The business, which started with one machine in a barn on Spanakos’ Plandome Manor property, is now located in a new 7,500-square-foot facility in Port Washington that houses its custom screen printing, embroidery, and digital printing services. It also houses Spectrum Suds, a boutique laundromat offering 48-hour turnaround, and Spectrum Bakes, creating gourmet, small-batch granola treats for corporate events, party favors and personalized gifts.

Joe Penzel, 26, has worked at Spectrum Designs since 2013.

“I like to clean the screens,” says Penzel. “I also like to sort the shirts.”

Last year, Spectrum completed its largest order: more than 5,000 two-in-one jackets for Metro-North Railroad, imprinted with the agency’s logo.

In turn, the company became a go-to source for large municipal contracts in both imprinting and logistics.

“We receive inquiries every day from around the country and the world,” says Vetrone.

For more information visit spectrumdesigns.org

Long Island Fashion Expo: Fall Fashion Frenzy

Models strut down the runway at the Long Island Fashion Expo 2017. (Photo by Smiley Guirand Photography)

Now that summer has come to a screeching halt, New York City is buzzing again preparing for New York Fashion Week.

Here on Long Island, the fashion buzz has caught on about the September 15 Long Island Fashion Expo, curated by Fashion 4 Purpose, with a guest appearance by Jonathan Fernandez from the VH1 reality series Love & Hip Hop NY. Carmen Colon, the organization’s founder, started Fashion 4 Purpose as a platform for aspiring designers, models, makeup artists, hair stylists and boutique owners to showcase their talent.

“Our Fashion Expo is where designers and business owners meet,” says Colon, who started her organization in 2011. “Each year we are growing, and Long Island has been very supportive. We have an audience of more than 200 and it’s all by word of mouth, social media and our supporters.”

Going into its fifth year, the event will take place at Simplay in Hauppauge featuring designers CJackson Long Island (formal wear); Kro Sha (crocheted designs); Tameless Moons (organic clothing); Reel2Reel Kustoms (custom apparel); Xclusive (boutique) and Mishu Designs NY (wearable couture).

Cofounder Rashad Lawson of Reel2Reel Kustoms, who hand-designs fashion-forward clothing and accessories that he sells at his Riverhead store, will be showcasing his new luggage and backpack collection for Fall 2018.

“These bags are military grade and made of high-grade special canvas material. They are decorative and multipurpose,” says Lawson, who aspires to be the next J. Crew. “We have something for everyone. It doesn’t matter race, color, creed.”

Cynthia Jackson, the woman behind C. Jackson Long Island, will also be making her debut. Jackson, who has worked as a med tech for nearly 20 years, wanted to carry on her mother’s legacy after her passing.

“My mother was a seamstress,” she says. “I took what she taught me and tried to see if I could start my own business.”

It worked.

Jackson will be showing her designs at Long Island Fashion Expo and will also be a featured designer at New York Fashion Week.

“Carmen and Fashion 4 Purpose have paved the way for me so people can see what I do. I never believed something like this could happen to me. I am nervous but excited.”

Aside from all the glamour and glitz, the show will have a second purpose: raising awareness of mental illness at a critical time, when suicide rates are skyrocketing, as with the recent deaths of fashion icon Kate Spade and celebrity chef/television personality Anthony Bourdain. A portion of the proceeds will go towards The Association for Mental Health and Wellness.

Tickets start at $30. To purchase visit LIFashionExpo.eventbrite.com.

A model at the Long Island Fashion Expo poses in one of the hottest looks for the season. (Photo by Smiley Guirand Photography)

Shana Tova: Jewish High Holidays Are Upon Us

A Yemenite Jew blowing the shofar to signal the start of Rosh Hashanah.

The month of September marks the High Holidays, a very meaningful period for the Jewish people.

Rosh Hashanah, meaning “beginning of the year,” starts at sundown on Sunday, September 9 and ends at sundown on September 11. One of the main observances of the holiday is hearing the sounds of the shofar (a ram’s horn). The piercing sound of the shofar has been described as an alarm, a call to repentance, a time to look back at the mistakes of the past year and make changes in the new year.

“Rosh Hashana is not just the Jewish New Year, but we believe the turning point in the year for the entire world,” says Rabbi Charles Klein, the head rabbi and spiritual leader of the Merrick Jewish Centre, a conservative synagogue, and former president of the New York Board of Rabbis. “On Rosh Hashana we really understand that we are citizens of a world and have a responsibility that we are in this together.”

Rosh Hashanah is also a time that commemorates the creation of the world and marks the beginning of the Days of Awe, a 10-day period of introspection and repentance that culminates in the Yom Kippur holiday.

On Sept. 18 at sundown begins Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the year for the Jewish people; it ends on the eve of September 19 and is referred to as “The Day of Atonement.” This solemn religious day is a time of prayer, reflection, and fasting. Rabbi Klein, who has delivered hundreds of sermons spanning four decades, explains that on Yom Kippur “the focus is on us.”

“We turn the spotlight on our own lives,” says Klein, who has more than 2,500 worshippers who fill his synagogue during the High Holidays. “I know it is very popular to take selfies. I spoke last year about Yom Kippur and about taking a SOUL-fie, a picture of our soul and asking ourselves if we are fulfilling what our souls could do.

“Are we acting morally and ethically as we should in our human relations in what we say and what we do?” he asks. “Are we being honest in our self-evaluation? Are we really facing up to our wrongdoings and our faults or are we just camouflaging them and looking away from things we have done wrong that really need to be done differently and better?”

Other religious holidays this month are Sukkot (Sept. 23) and Simchat Torah (Oct. 1)

Starr Boggs: Legendary Hamptons Chef

Chef-Owner Starr Boggs in the kitchen, left, and one of his popular desserts, the Black Bottom Pecan Pie with Vanilla Ice Cream and Caramel Sauce.

For Starr Boggs, the chef/proprietor of his popular, eponymous Westhampton restaurant, love is all he needs to keep going after more than 40 years in the business.

“It’s like the Kevin Costner film, For Love of the Game,” he says. “You really have to love it to do this business and to do it well.”

His passion stems from his childhood growing up on a 1,000-acre working farm in Chesapeake, Virginia.

“When I was a kid, everything we ate was raised in the gardens or on the farm,” says Boggs. “The chickens, cows, hogs. We ate well.”

He learned at a young age how to make sausage, scrapple, and the different cuts of meats his family cured.

“I loved the gathering of people and eating food,” he says. “I think that is when my love of food started.”

Now, at age 67, Boggs draws on that experience.

“You don’t want to be in this business if you don’t have a passion for it,” he says. “Everyone sees the glamour, but it is tough work and hard to be successful.”

Success is something Boggs has worked tirelessly to attain. Since he opened his restaurant 15 years ago on Parlato Drive, it’s been a Hamptons destination. The menu changes daily with the season and accommodates a variety of palates and budgets — gluten-free, vegetarian, and prix-fixe.

Executive Chef Frank Lucas, who has been working with Boggs for the last 30 years, describes him as “the force behind everything.”

Fresh ingredients, personal service, and a team that goes the extra step are what Starr Boggs delivers daily to its patrons.

“We go out of our way to get the best products,” says Lucas. “We source our fish and fruits and vegetables. We don’t take shortcuts.”

And people notice. Out of the 42 restaurants in Westhampton Beach, Starr Boggs was rated number one by Trip Advisor. Saturday night easily draws up to 400 patrons, says Lucas.

Their Monday Lobster Bake — a Starr Boggs tradition that’s been going on for more than two decades — is downright festive. Regulars and newcomers alike gather to listen to live music and eat a buffet feast of seafood, salads, duck, steaks, and sausages to their heart’s content. The restaurant is also known for its annual Kentucky Derby Parties.

One of the biggest sellers for the past 35 years that’s still going strong is the almond-crusted flounder with sweet potatoes, a banana, and a green vegetable.

“Right now, the fish is unbelievable,” says Boggs. “We have striped bass, blackfish. They closed the fluke season down for a couple of weeks, so we are getting it from the surrounding states. And, the soft-shell crabs are coming up from my home in the Chesapeake.”

The restaurant features two bars, a dining area, and landscaped patio with waterfall. It is Boggs’ sixth location.

“It is my favorite one, and it will be my last one,” says Boggs, who joked that his “dance card has been pretty much punched.”

Boggs’ culinary career on Long Island started in 1981, when he landed at The Inn at Quogue, and The Patio Restaurant, which he co-owned. After running a few other establishments, in 1986 he launched Starr Boggs, a small restaurant that grew when he moved it to the beach and then to its current location.

Boggs gets choked up reflecting on his success.

“Right now I am as proud as my staff as I have ever been,” he says. “They work hard. If you don’t love serving and making people happy, then you don’t need to be in this business. All my kids, the busboy to the chef, they all love making people happy, and I love that about them.

“I have one of the best managers [Joshua Benedict] I’ve ever had,” he continues. “A great line chef. A great sous chef. Between Joshua and Frank, you have to have a lot of right arms in this business.”

He stops for a moment to collect himself.

“Right now it’s a happy place,” he says. “Next year, if something happens, if someone can’t get back, then we have to start all over again.”

Starr Boggs is located at 6 Parlato Drive in Westhampton Beach. They can be reached at 631-288-3500.

East/West Industries: Top-Flight Manufacturer

Joe Spinosa, VP of Business Development at East/West Industries inspects a CH-47 helicopter Crashworthy Crew Chief seat.

Countless Long Islanders have seen the U.S. Navy’s elite flying squadron, the Blue Angels, perform aerobatic stunts at the annual Bethpage Air Show at Jones Beach State Park.

But most spectators are likely unaware that those F/A-18 Hornets are equipped with emergency oxygen systems made on Long Island. Ronkonkoma-based East/West Industries is an award-winning designer and manufacturer of aircraft seats, ground support equipment, and other lifesaving products.

“I love what I do,” says Teresa Ferraro, president of East/West Industries. “Saving aircrew lives is our first concern.”

Ferraro runs the company with her brother, Joe Spinosa, vice president of business development. The family business, which started as a small store in Bellmore in 1968, has grown to become one of the leading providers of high-performance products for the military and commercial customers in the aerospace industry today, serving Sikorsky Aircraft, Boeing, Northrop Grumman, Lockheed, Bell Helicopter and all branches of the U,S, Department of Defense.

The woman-owned company is celebrating its 50th year in business. Ferraro says its founders, her father Dom Spinosa, a mechanical engineer in the aerospace industry, and mother, Mary Spinosa, whose background was in finance, were “true visionaries and entrepreneurs.”

The company has more than 28 patents and has manufactured more than 3,500 types of seats for helicopter and fixed-wing aircraft since its inception.

Over the last 16 months, East/West Industries has gone through a growth spurt, moving its operations to a 50,000-square-foot building, nearly twice the size of their prior facility.

“We have long-term employees and very low turnover because we have created those values of being a family business,” says Ferraro.

Mentoring young people and supporting veterans is also important to the company. Fifteen percent of its workforce are veterans. The company has 82 employees, up from 55 three years ago.

The Industrial Development Agency featured it as a model manufacturing company. Earlier this year, The Boeing Company recognized East/West Industries as Supplier of the Year in the Global Supplier Diversity category.

“Our quick response to our clients’ needs, our performance, quality of products, on-time delivery, affordable price and product diversity keep our customers coming back,” says Ferraro.

Roslyn Retreat: Ex-CIA Director’s Compound On The Market

The exterior of the Grand Manor-style estate built in the 1850s features 8.2 acres of land with a statue garden, pool and three guest cottages. (Photo by Matthew Kropp)

The Tudor-style mansion known as Mayknoll that was owned by a former director of the Central Intelligence Agency is on the market with bids now being accepted on the entire compound or a portion.

The private Glenwood Road estate, set on 8.2 acres with views of Hempstead Bay, was built in the 1850s by a steamship captain. The property includes three guest cottages, a statue garden, and pool. Bernadette Casey Smith, the daughter of the late William J. Casey, who served as CIA director during the administration of Ronald Reagan, has fond memories of the home that has been in the family for 70 years.

“It’s a wonderful place to grow up,” says Smith. “I was an only child, but I never felt like I was an only child because I had all these people around.”

The manor, which was initially a Victorian, had five different owners before the Caseys acquired it. In 1919, the current occupants redesigned it and turned the home into a Renaissance-esque Tudor-style design. Some of the original features are the etched glass pocket doors and tile flooring located in the main foyer.

“The story was that the steamship captain hand selected the tile when he was in Italy,” says Smith. “He told his wife he was sending her the floor. There’s also a secret passage that would make a great wine cellar.”

Treasures from overseas and personal mementos fill the house. In the foyer hangs an Asian wall panel from Japan, a Cuzco school oil painting of the Madonna purchased in Peru, and a sculpture of Alexander the Great conquering the world. In the living room are two paintings by John Sloan, an influential turn-of-the-century realist.

“It is a very formal house and a house that is great for entertaining,” says Smith. “We used to have parties at Christmas with 250 people, and it never felt crowded.”

In the adjacent room is the Casey Cold War library, once an enclosed porch, which holds a vast collection of books on espionage, photos, and maps. The area was also used by the CIA security team.

“That was Dad’s desk from the SEC [Securities and Exchange Commission] and that was his cabinet chair,” she recalls.

In the formal dining area hangs a chandelier, ornate in design and massive in size.

“Mom and a friend went to an auction at Columbia Theater and purchased the smallest chandelier,” she recalls. “It took five people to get it up.”

The family updated the home in 2000 with modern amenities that include central air conditioning, plumbing and electricity. Additional standout features are a solarium, a spa with an endless swim pool and an elevator.

“It’s been lovingly kept up,” says Smith while walking the grounds.

Pointing to a mighty tree in the distance, she says, “We even have an eagle that stays on the property. You can see the nest from my office.”

During the private tour, James Connelly, director of government relations and the principal for Washington D.C.- based Summit Commercial Real Estate, and representative of the sale of the estate as administered by Hollywood Real Estate Services LLC and Helmsley Spear LLC, explains that the residence can be subdivided and developed with proper approvals.

“The home is one of the larger waterfront assemblages in the county,” he says. “The asking price has not been set, and the property will be sold in a sealed bid format on the full compound or portions of the property.

“It may not be a family,” he continues. “It could be a sovereign nation, or it could be a foundation.”

For more information text James Connelly, Summit Commercial Real Estate, LLC; 202-491-5300 or jconnelly@summitcre.com. Tours are by appointment only.

 

Impish Lee: Inspiring Women Designers

Left to right are Kali Ventresca Owner/CCO and Noelle Ventresca Owner/CEO.

Meet the Ventresca sisters of Sea Cliff. Noelle is the visionary. Kali is the perfectionist. And  their intimate apparel brand, Impish Lee, is taking lingerie and loungewear to a whole new level.

Their online customization tool that is user-friendly, convenient and fun to use, enables women of all shapes and sizes to design lingerie based on their body measurements to reflect their individualized style and taste. Sizes range from size 0 to 30 and bra sizes are 28A up to 44J with custom sizing available, all at a ready-to-wear price point.

“We offer the largest size range of a single brand in our industry,” says Kali. “We have trillions of possible designs that can be created, with 50-plus fabrics to customize so you can be true to your own aesthetic. No other brands are allowing you to do the same thing, in a store or otherwise.”

In addition to getting a perfect fit, women can choose from an assortment of different lining colors to match their skin tone and luxurious fabrics, trims, and finishes.

“We believe that since our customers know themselves better than we do, it is imperative to include them in the design process,” says Noelle.

The sisters, who enjoy working together so much that have been described as “inseparable,” stay on the pulse of the ever-changing industry. Two to three times a year they release a new collection that features unique designs, color combinations, and fabrics.

“While every design is customizable, we like to inspire so that the process of designing their own apparel is easier,” says Kali. “We hope to encourage women to design garments they will love forever.”

Being environmentally conscious is very important to the duo. Their company focuses on sustainability and ethical practices. They support the local economy by having their manufacturing facility in Sea Cliff.

Currently, the pair is gearing up for their next venture, a custom swimwear line that will launch in 2019 — not too shabby for a company that grew organically in 2012, when they started building their boutique lingerie brand on Etsy.

Their handmade designs caught the attention of retailer Urban Outfitters. In 2015, they moved from Etsy to their own site that later evolved into a fully customizable intimate apparel brand.

Their initial investment was $45,000, including a $15,000 Kick- starter campaign that included investments from family and friends that went toward the purchase of equipment and software development tools. Today, Impish Lee continues to thrive.

For the last year, they have been working with Consortium, a specialized retailer for customer fashion brands for men and women featuring bespoke shirts, accessories, shoes, watches, fragrance, jewelry and more. Impish Lee has been participating in their 12-city pop-up tour.

Their first stops were Las Vegas and Chicago and now they are in New York with a pop-up store in Soho that is open through Sept. 1.

“Bringing fashion and accessory brands together to showcase a different way of shopping that is sustainable, ethical, with each product made exclusively for the consumer, is a huge feat, and so greatly needed in our current world of fashion,” says Kali. “We had to be involved.”

Currently, Impish Lee is sold exclusively on their website at ImpishLee.com or with Custom Consortium, with no plans of opening up a retail location just yet.

“We want to remain lean in our early growth,” says Kali, “though we are certainly not opposed to a physical location at some point down the line.”

The Amara Long Slip in wine mesh.
The Lena Long Robe (peach mesh) with the Aïssata Jumper (coral mesh)
From left to right: The Claudia Long Slip (black bohemian lace), Antoinette Strappy Sweetheart Bralette (white bohemian lace) with Antoinette Thong Panty (white bohemian lace), Svana Triangle Bralette (black bohemian lace) with Svana Highwaist Garter Belt (black bohemian lace) and Svana Highwaist Panty (coral mesh).

Posh Pools: Dive Into These Modern Designs

Geronimo!

Swimming pools are as popular as ever with more homeowners adding them to their outdoor living spaces. Compared to years ago, there are many more options available for the in-ground pool of your dreams: gunite, fiberglass, and vinyl-lined concrete are offered in a variety of unique designs, shapes, and sizes.

And it doesn’t end there. With today’s technology, you can enjoy your pool with just the push of a button on your mobile device, from setting the temperature so the water is just right when you are ready for a swim to turning the underwater lights on to create the perfect ambiance for a night swim.

Many pool owners are even extending the use of their pools by selecting a heater for early and late-season swimming so they can take an off-season dip.SPORTS POOL

The family in this East Islip home wanted a pool for entertaining that was built to last. Giuseppe Abbrancati, owner/designer of Smithtown-based Gappsi, Inc., suggested a gunite salt-water pool in a sports pool-style design where both sides of the pool are shallow and the deep end is in the middle.

“Gunite pools make a statement,” he says. “They are a very customizable pool. That is why you see a sundeck, round steps, free falls, spas inside the pool. You can shape the cement any way you want it and apply any finish. They are also highly durable.”

Abbrancati should know: He has been building pools for the last 30 years.

“The deepest part of this pool is six feet,” he says. “It’s built like that so you can play volleyball in the pool and it’s fair ground.”

Abbrancati designed a classic rectangular-shaped pool that is 16-by-32 feet in size and has that sleek modern look.

“Everyone in the Hamptons has the gunite rectangular shape,” he says. “It is the most elegant.”

The pool, he explains, is a cobalt blue diamond bright with quartz finish. Before the installation, the house, which is close to 100 years old, had a simple concrete patio. In order to keep the character of the home, Abrrancati chose a brick-looking veneer that would blend in with the existing bricks to make it look like the pool was always there.

“I didn’t want the pool to look like it was an addition,” he says. “I wanted it to look like it was built with the house 100 years ago.”

Travertine pavers were added throughout. Additional features of the property that Abbrancati built were a sunken natural firepit made from rocks and lava and an L-shaped bench for seating.THE MOUNTAIN LAKE POOL

The homeowners of this Miller Place home chose the Mountain Lake Pool, also called a Free-Form Pool, for its beauty.

Their home sits on a little more than an acre and features a gazebo, firepit, a patio and plenty of additional space for entertaining. Their property size allowed the homeowners to get a little more creative with their options when it came to the pool’s shape and size.

“Geometric pools have more room for swimming, but may not suit the landscape and clients’ design expectations,” says Swim King Pools Marketing Director Beth Pranzo. “When you build a Mountain Lake Pool you want the pool to be as big as it can be so there is swimming room.”

The salt-water pool that is 24 feet by 42 feet was an ideal size for the property.

“Some people want something artistic in their yard while others prefer the classic rectangular shape,” she says. “The client liked the shape and thought it was a beautiful feature to enhance her landscaping.”

Swim King Pools, located in Rocky Point, has built thousands of in-ground pools since opening in 1974.

“We build as soon as the ground thaws, often February, and our last just before Thanksgiving,” says Pranzo.

This pool is a poured concrete vinyl-lined pool which is very durable, explains Pranzo, adding that her company offers a lifetime guarantee on its concrete walls.

“Pools can also be built with steel walls, composite walls or a one-piece fiberglass wall pool,” she says.

Typically, fiberglass pools are delivered as one unit and not built onsite. They are just as durable, explains Pranzo, but more expensive and there are usually limits on where they can be built due to delivery access.