Make Room: Vibrancy in White with Amy Lau Design

By Jessica Helen Weinberg
Rago

When light is the inspiration for a living room the slightest cast shadow can define dramatic corners like a theater of white space. Recessed walls perform minimalistic movement for shelved objects that rest in their purposeful positions. Bright furnishings open complex monologues - there are no small roles here.

With several Modern Design sales coming up at Rago Auctions this month, we called upon renowned NYC based interior designer and mid-century modern specialist, Amy Lau of Amy Lau Design to hear how she perfectly cast objects in her East Hampton Retreat project. 

"A harmonious living space is as beneficial to our health as good food and exercise," Lau explains, "In creating spirited and meaningful environments, I draw upon the inherent beauty of natural materials and landscapes. I spend time getting to know the surroundings so I can understand the foliage, light, skylines and other natural elements that will provide the visual foundation for the space. In designing the space I embrace both art and design, enlivening each personalized space with dynamic mixes of antique, vintage, contemporary pieces, and site-specific commissions. This mix ensures individuality and warmth."

Amy Lau Design, East Hampton Retreat; www.amylaudesign.com

"For a pair of avid collectors, we transformed their summer and weekend residence in East Hampton into a relaxing contemporary retreat with exceptional furnishing pieces. Knowledge of and sensitivity to mid-century design was essential in the process of creating this light-filled space. We kept a neutral base palette to make the rooms appear larger and emphasize their modernist furnishings. These astonishing collectors' pieces from Prouvé, Kagan, Borsani, to Paulin and Nakashima fill each room with quintessential post-war and modern design. Precisely selected fabric colors, detailed accessory groupings and an exquisite art collection harmonize in a vibrantly curated overall design."

If you are looking to build a vibrant space atop a palette of whites, check out these selctions of upcoming items to add to your Bidsquare Watchlist:

Lot 804, Hans Wegner, Lounge Chair, Denmark, 1960; Estimate $1,500 - $2,000

Looking to be adventurous with color? A beautifully crafted chair and bright color will certainly stand out and start filling up your blank canvas. Browse our upcoming chair selection to find a mid-century modern option that speaks to confidence and quality. 

Lot 1172, Modern Lighting, Glass, and Design Books; Estimate $100 - $200

Did you know that Bidsquare sells groups of art + design books? Lots like this come up often and consist of beautifully bound publishings that stack up new ideas and offer a curated assortment of knowledge in influential art movements, materials, artists and more! 

Lot 1183, George Nakashima; Nakashima Studio, Special chest, New Hope, PA, 1969; Estimate $17,500 - $22,500

Once you've familiarized yourself with the iconic pandanus cloth, sliding doors set into the masterfully built wood furniture by George Nakashima, you'll start gasping the way we do when examples like Lot 1183 come up for auction. A staggering 40 lots by George Nakashima and Mira Nakashima are up for grabs this month - tables, chests, lamps, benches and more!

Lot 686, Marcel Breuer; Thonet, Three tables, Austria, Early 20th-century; Estimate $1,500 - $2,000

In Amy Lau's design, we see that she placed graphic blacks in aerated places to create a sense of linear organization without taking over the pristine mood. These classic nesting tables would be a great way to expand or contract a dash of dark. 

Lot 1156, Salvatore Fiume, Two sculptural vessels, Italy, Mid-20th century; Estimate $800 - $1,200

Working with positive and negative space can inspire abstract sculptures to sprout up on uninhabited surfaces. With an entire catalog of Modern Ceramics + Glass (09/24) coming up your likely to find similar items to cheer up your shelves. 

Lot 700, Jindrich Halabala; Thonet, Two lounge chairs, Czechoslovakia, 1940s; Estimate $2,500 - $3,500

Do these chairs look over 70 years old? Thonet, the manufacturer of these lounge chairs, was founded by master craftsman Michael Thonet (1796-1871) in early 20th-century Vienna. His pioneering of the 'bentwood' furniture technique is put to dramatic use for designer Jindrich Halabala - sweeping arches that romance the surrounding white space.

Lot 1408, Angelo Lelii; Arredoluce, Three-arm adjustable floor lamp, Italy, 1950s; Estimate $6,000 - $8,000

Owning a floor lamp is essential to the functionality and comfort of a large space as seen in Lau's East Hampton Retreat. Adjustable necks and arms can shift the lighting from being a cozy spotlight to read under to a three prong source that bounces off all your walls. If you have the ceiling height to house these vintage beauties, get registered to bid! Browse similar floor lamps in Rago Auctions, Modern Design (09/24) sale. 

Browse Rago Auctions upcoming catalogs: Early 20th C. Design (09/23); The Danziger Collection of Early 20th C. Design (09/23); Mid-Mod (09/23) The Hudson Years: The Collection of Mark McDonald (09/24); Modern Design (09/24)

Founded in 2001, Amy Lau Design creates interiors known for their warmth, expressiveness and impeccable attention to detail. Amy’s portfolio of luxurious residential interiors includes an array of artistic and sophisticated homes throughout the world. The firm’s work has been featured in such publications as Architectural Digest, Elle Décor, House Beautiful, NY Cottages & Gardens, Martha Stewart Living, and Luxe Interiors + Design.