Having obtained her Master’s in Fine and Decorative Art from Sotheby’s Institute of Art and spent 5 years as the design director at Lin-Weinberg Gallery in NYC, it stands to reason that art and design are powerful influences throughout Amy Lau’s interior design work. Scanning Amy’s prolific portfolio, the viewer can discern consistently modern and chic designs which always incorporate their own unique ingredients.
A second element which remains consistent in Amy’s work is her powerful use of color palette. Amy states nature and her hobby of scuba diving as a major source of inspiration for the shades she utilizes in her work. Her apparent aptitude for selecting colors ensures her designs are always distinctive and self-assured but never gaudy or overpowering. Amy seeks to highlight a client’s individual tastes and utilize furnishings both modern and antique, as well as custom design pieces to create a space which feels specific to the client and offers a sanctuary they can retreat to. Discover more about our LUXList Designer’s inspiration and aesthetic! See her favorite pieces from RubyLUX.com.
Amy’s LUXList Picks
Describe your design aesthetic in a few words?
Artistic, bespoke, nature-inspired.
The ultimate luxury is individualism and personalization. The most luxurious space you could deliver to a client is a space that is specific to their needs and wants and also captures what really moves them aesthetically and embellishes that to its utmost potential. Working with highly creative, highly skilled artists and artisans to achieve custom pieces leads to environments that leave my clients feeling like their home is a sanctuary; a space created to completely enhance their way of life through beauty and function.
What do you love about using antiques in your designs?
In designing a space, I love to embrace both art and design, dynamically mixing contemporary, vintage, and antique pieces with site-specific commissions because the mix enlivens and personalizes a space and ensures individuality and warmth.
I’ve always admired iconic designers and artists from the past periods. Mid-century design is exciting in its juxtapositions – artistic, sculptural, and expressive, yet clean and simple. I find that furniture from this time period tends to be of high quality, made with rich and sturdy materials, and intelligently created. I also have great admiration for and have found inspiration in the Art Nouveau style. From architecture to fine art and decorative details, the organic beauty of nature comes alive.
Finding the right formula can be challenging, yet so rewarding when a sense of balance is achieved with seemingly disparate furnishings, fixtures, and accessories. I love to create a well-curated atmosphere.
What inspires you?
Primarily, I look to nature for inspiration – I find incredible color palettes by observing the subtle change from blue to green on a bird’s wing, or the intricate and detailed pattern on a butterfly. I am an avid scuba-diver so I also love the unexpected color combinations found in schools of fish, coral reefs and sandy beach towns I visit to pursue this hobby. Diverse cultures inspire me – from Japan to Turkey, Mexico to Saudi Arabia – each has a story to tell, and a wealth of history, tradition, and artistic technique to explore and incorporate in my work.
When designing a space, I will spend time getting to know the surroundings of the environment so I can understand the foliage, light, skylines and other natural elements that will provide the visual foundation for the project.
What can you never have too much of?
Scuba diving, nice and appreciative clients, adventure travel, my family, and friends love….did I mention chips and salsa and Tequila.
If you could design for a fictional character who would it be and why?
Carnegie was very avant-garde and envisioned creating a museum consisting of the “Old Masters” of tomorrow. His museum became arguably the first museum of modern art in the country.
With his love of contemporary artwork coupled with his interests in new technology, I think he would be the most amazing client to design interiors for and he would be limitless.
Founded in 2001, Amy Lau Design creates interiors known for their warmth, expressiveness and impeccable attention to detail. Amy has a reverence for the inherent beauty of natural materials and landscapes and thoughtfully incorporates elements of each into every project. Embracing both art and design, each personalized space is enlivened with dynamic mixes of vintage and contemporary pieces, and site-specific commissions.
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.
The Arizona native developed a deep passion for design and honed her curatorial eye studying eminent historians. She received her master’s in fine and decorative art from the prestigious Sotheby’s Institute of Art. She then served as a director at Thomas O’Brien’s Aero and spent five years as the design director of noted mid-century specialist Lin-Weinberg Gallery in New York City. Amy is proud to serve as a co-chair of Van Alen Institute’s Program Leadership Council.
Amy Lau Design published a monograph in 2011, and Amy accepted an honorary doctorate from New York School of Interior Design the following year. She served as a spokesperson for Benjamin Moore’s 2010-2011 campaign “Paint with the Very Best.” She has designed spaces for renowned show houses like Kips Bay in New York and has created distinctive interior installations for Kohler, Bergdorf Goodman, Lladró, Baccarat, and the Showtime television network. The firm completed an exclusive boutique for Elie Tahari in East Hampton, New York, and is creating the home furnishings showroom Maviar in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Amy Lau Design recently collaborated with Architectural Digest designing the inaugural AD Design Studio for the Architectural Digest Design Show in New York.
In 2005, Amy co-created Design.05, which later went on to become the Design Miami fair, to showcase the most significant purveyors of vintage and contemporary furnishings internationally. She has also designed an array of patterned cowhide rugs and pillows for Kyle Bunting, unique Heath Ceramics mosaic tiles, colorful wool-and-silk rugs for Doris Leslie Blau, tie-dye wall coverings for Maya Romanoff, and a vibrant fabric collection of contemporary prints, embroideries, and wovens exclusively for S. Harris. Amy’s unique expertise makes her a sought-after speaker and panelist at conferences and forums around the world.