Though many of Amy Lau’s clients live in or just outside the city, the Manhattan-based designer has designed several, often second homes for clients in the Hamptons. So when one of her clients tasked her with installing an upscale beach aesthetic in his Bridgehampton manse, Lau’s mind was already spinning with ideas. But it wasn’t until she saw the large, unobstructed views from the 1,700-square-foot home, which sits adjacent to the Bridgehampton Polo Club, that she knew where to draw inspiration. “When you’re looking out these great windows, you’re seeing so much color—like the citron of the flowers outside the windows. So we really wanted to bring the outside in,” says Lau of the dining room’s color palette.
The dining room, though, had to work seamlessly with the other downstairs spaces such as the adjacent living room, where the homeowner often entertains. “I try to have a dialogue with each room so that you know they’re together as one but very different,” explains Lau. “They always relate.” To keep with the established modern beach aesthetic, Lau chose to add pops of white in the trim, ceiling, and natural stone flooring complemented by natural fabrics and textures. A dramatic Stark grasscloth wallcovering appears to boast a celadon hue, which stems from the wall’s paint color underneath. The grasscloth wall emphasizes the focal point of the dining room where a driftwood lamp sits atop a coveted Harvey Probber sideboard, which Lau had refinished in a modern white lacquer. “I decided to lacquer it and lighten it up,” she explains of her decision to alter the classic piece. “I wanted to give it a light appearance like it was floating.”
Hung above the sideboard is the pièce de résistance of the dining room: an installation titled “Aggregation” by artist Masami Tsuchikawa, which Lau spotted while at the Palm Springs Modernism show. “Her work is just to die for,” says Lau. “[When I saw it] it stopped me in my tracks. I knew the second I walked into the dining room [that] it would be perfect in there.” For Lau, it was the central piece to the room, though the installation was the biggest challenge of the entire home design. “It reminds me of seashells; the preciousness of nature,” she explains. “It draws your eyes in. I love when you look at something at first glance and the more you look at it the more it becomes interesting.”
Continuing with the upscale beach aesthetic, Lau added a vintage Vistosi glass chandelier—that reminded her of iridescent shells—which hangs above a natural walnut dining room table to anchor the space and “give the room a sense of earthiness.” Extra doses of color were then added via the dining room chairs, which are swathed in a textured chartreuse fabric. A relatively seamless transition paid off: Lau’s client is elated, and not only with the dining room’s upscale beach aesthetic but the work in the entire home. The result of Lau’s installation is that the room is now the picture-perfect space of “casual elegance,” she says. “I was lucky—my client has incredible taste and a great eye.”
For more information check out this article in Kim Marie's Home by Design!