Amy Lau Outfits a Family's Bridgehampton Home in a Bright, Summery Style



The living room features a Gio Ponti armchair, a circa-1950s Paolo Buffa sofa, and a pair of Ezio Longhi armchairs. The rug is from Tai Pint.In the decorating profession, as in most industries, the best sign of success is repeat business, and interior designer Amy Lau has never been short on regular customers. Among her favorites: a family who commissioned her to design their Upper West Side apartment overlooking Central Park. It displays all her favorite colors and textiles: energized pastels, museum-worthy mid-20th-century upholstery, and handmade rugs. In the ultimate testament to that project, the living room ended up on the cover of her 2011 book Expressive Modern: The Interiors of Amy Lau. “You develop a level of trust,” she says of the collaboration. So when the clients invited her to take a look at their home in Bridgehampton, she went right back to work for them.

The residence, which they had owned for years, was huge—with a rambling addition in the planning stages. But Lau felt it needed to telegraph a bold, bighearted welcome to visitors, while simultaneously embracing its grand scale in the public areas: “I envisioned a powerful entrance that says, ‘This is going to be fun!’”

And fun it is, with a relaxed vibe that practically forces visitors to unwind. In this dazzling new space, slate floors, a partition of slatted wood, and high-gloss turquoise walls form a backdrop for a stunning color-field composition by the late Sagaponack-based painter Sydney Butchkes and an ombré stair runner that progresses from sea foam to teal. Lau’s clients “totally embrace color, and I already knew which ones they would be into,” she says. “Compared with their apartment in the city, it’s obviously more beachy.”

Drapery panels fabricated in Black Edition's Mirella in Aegean envelope the sunroom, where Christophe Delcourt-designed Muc7 tables are positioned between B&B Italia Bend sofas covered in Kvadrat wool. The ceiling is painted Benjamin Moore's Thunderbird.The former living room was surprisingly modest, with a poky fireplace, so Lau suggested starting over, architecturally speaking. (“It was so cramped, I talked them into it!”) A rear wall was bumped out and a new fireplace installed, built in collaboration with Glenn Leitch of Highland Associates. The tall chimney breast now rises all the way up to the expanded room’s soaring ceiling, its elevated hearth doubling as a low bench that also incorporates a niche for firewood. The entire structure comprises broad marble slabs, each personally chosen by the designer for their subtle gray veining and nary a whisper of red or brown.

The living room’s Ezio Longhi chairs, which Lau refinished in a hand-rubbed lacquer (color name: sea pearl, natch), match a pair of custom ottomans that she commissioned from Dune. They form a heady set piece with a vintage Gio Ponti armchair, underscoring Lau’s belief in the lasting value of high-end furniture by mid-20th-century masters, a viewpoint she shares with her clients. “I put the money wherever I thought we needed a wow factor,” she says, even though she was under pressure from the family’s non-negotiable deadline of a Memorial Day move-in. “They wanted good design delivered in a timely fashion.” Mission accomplished: the ultimate smart business model.

A version of this article appeared in the July 15 2017 issue of HC&G (Hamptons Cottages & Gardens) with the headline: Summer Color.

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module
Christian Rae Studio
Christian Rae Studio, LLC is a multi-disciplinary design firm located in Southport, CT. Since 2010, we have delivered projects representing a broad range of type, scale, and budget considerations. Our combined technical and creative skills enable us to complete each design challenge from conception to final installation. The collaboration between architecture, interiors and lighting design is an approach that results in a holistic and integrated project that is thoughtfully tailored to each site and client.


Edit ModuleShow Tags

Architect Spotlight

Nautilus Architects
Christopher Arelt’s practice, Nautilus Architects, involves collaboration and interpretation, with each design evolving in its own way in response to the site, context and client. Chris’ work is seen as a continuation of but also a response to Modernism; or, more specifically, a return to regionalism and artistry, where clients’ projects are developed with the “head, hearts and hands” of all those involved. All of our buildings explore the use of natural light, reveal the inherent beauty of the materials being used, and bring the outdoors in.


Edit ModuleShow Tags

Architect Spotlight

Jason Thomas Architects
Jason Thomas has a commitment to craft and detail, aesthetics with function, with personal service in the office and in the field which allows for the construction of our client's projects to exceed their expectations within the constraints of limited budgets, complex sites, and technological limitations. Jason leans strongly toward innovation in his architecture and implementation of custom design and detailing.

Jason Thomas Architect

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Architect Spotlight

Haver and Skolnick Architects
Haver & Skolnick Architects creates award-winning homes of timeless design, providing personal service & impeccable attention to detail. For 22 years, Charles Haver, AIA and Stewart Skolnick, AIA have offered a single source for architecture, interior design and landscape architecture, creating seamless environments which are a reflection of their clients’ personalities. The firm has been nationally recognized for comfortable, classic country homes and elegant apartments which reflect history while responding to a contemporary lifestyle.


Edit ModuleShow Tags

Builder Spotlight

Davenport Contracting
The team at Davenport Contracting has over 35 years of experience building and renovating homes. Our business model has always been based on building/renovating for a specific customer. A collaborative environment includes the client, architect, interior designer and Davenport crew. Davenport maneuvers effortlessly between custom homes, smaller renovations and property management. The team’s project management skills transfer seamlessly and the goal is to deliver your vision!


Edit ModuleShow Tags

Designer Spotlight

Fiona Leonard Interiors
Fiona Leonard Interiors, LLC is a full service design firm that specializes in making a client’s home unique and custom tailored to the owners taste and lifestyle. Projects are personally supervised from initial consultation to installation. Strong relationships with carefully selected creative artisans, highly skilled craftsmen and subcontractors ensures that your project will be in good hands. With over 20 years experience working alongside well established design professionals in Connecticut and Manhattan, Fiona Leonard Interiors, LLC was established.Fiona designs interiors with a casual elegance and timeless approach. Inherent in all her work is Fiona’s passion to combine clean lines and an artistic use of color that is comfortable for the client and reflects their personal lifestyle.

Fiona Leonard Interiors
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit Module
 
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module