Design-builder Jeffrey Colle is so meticulous about the luxury homes he builds in the Hamptons, that even a single bathtub, in a single master bedroom, has a story.

“I had it hand-carved in Italy,” Colle said of a 3,000-pound limestone tub in his Pond House. “I went to Verona, to the quarries, and I found these huge blocks of stone.” From there, it was off to the studio of a master carver, whose day job involved carving statuary for a rehabilitated church in Venice, and then, here.

Colle has made a name in the Hamptons for craftsmanship, and is quick to share his disdain for cookie-cutter mansions, saying, with a laugh, “You know when you go to dinner parties, you’re going to walk into a very similar house to yours.” He estimates that, in 35 years, he’s built between 150 and 200 homes.

If there were a place for the luxury home market to suffer the recession’s ripple effects, the Hamptons, which attract some of Wall Street’s top earners, might seem to be it

via As luxury housing market rebounds, new mansions are more modest |