The New York Times Home & Garden section barrels into otherwise unsuspecting households this morning, screeching into the megaphone about lumpy squash, "post-divorce" families, and shoddy flooring. In stark contrast, other stories slam the lead foot down on modernism—a house in Beirut, a series of boxy vacation homes, the showroom of sleek Italian kitchen firm Scavolini, and a new collection of furniture by architect Jean-Michel Wilmotte for Holly Hunt. Call it what you will—old meets new, country meets city, DIY meets insane luxury brands—the fact is, today's section, with its many, many ways of living, was ripe for the indexing. Here's the breakdown:
· Most unbecoming: Winter Squash, Warts and All
· Runner-up: Amy Goldman, a 56-year-old garden writer and chairwoman of the nonprofit Seed Savers Exchange, describes unappetizing gourds as “spitters” and “projectile spitters” in her encyclopedic book, “The Compleat Squash.”
· Most dramatic photo of household products: See photo above.
· Best '70s reference: Theirs is a family model at the midpoint between Woody and Mia and Carol and Mike (as in Brady).
· Best descript. of plates: “When I feel the Heath plates, I feel there’s soul in them, it’s not a factory-made plate,” Mr. Shook said.
· Sickest rooftop pool: See photo above.
· Best high-low moment: “It was a pile of rubble,” Ms. Shammaa, 50, a jewelry designer, said recently while sipping espresso in the soaring white living room of her 10,000-square-foot stone house.
· Runner-up: But to design aficionados, Mr. Libeskind, a Warsaw-born son of Holocaust survivors, is a veritable rock star, responsible for a variety of high-profile projects, from the Jewish Museum in Berlin to the extension of the Denver Art Museum.
· Best Hanukkah descript: And here I thought the appeal was a week’s worth of presents.
· Torn from the pages of Dwell: The Balancing Barn, a gleaming aluminum structure with a mostly plywood interior, designed by the Dutch architecture firm MVRDV, is the antithesis of Victorian architecture with its enclosed, stuffy rooms.
· Most egregious price point: $29,925 for a dresser
· Most lively succession of proper names: Flux, above, by Giugiaro Design, which will be used for cooking demonstrations. The showroom will also carry countertops and appliances from Miele, Wolf, Gaggenau, Smeg, Faber and Elica.
· Most yuppified: Jeanine Hays, who has a day job as a policy associate for the Family Violence Prevention Fund, a California nonprofit group, created AphroChic, a design blog and online home-goods emporium, as a vehicle for what she calls “soulful style.”
· Runner-up: For the Brooklyn Renaissance Collection (her second), that means pillows, wallpaper and shower curtains in sharp African kuba prints, as well as pillows, above, printed with the winsome watercolors of Samantha Hahn, a Brooklyn artist.
· Er, scratch that: Ms. Hahn imagined four style icons: women from Fort Greene, Park Slope, Boerum Hill and Clinton Hill ($105 each). Rather than aiming for a microcultural stereotype, she was after a certain aesthetic, she said.