Amy Lau. Photograph by Mark Seliger.

Designed By Amy Lau Design

Photography by Josh McHugh

Designer Amy Lau went for a walk one fall day in upstate New York, and found her vision for this Kent Lakes house. Inspired by the autumn hues and woodland setting, she instinctively reached down to collect a bouquet of fallen leaves and let her imagination take hold. The result is a home that is soothingly comfortable and serene, and yet stimulates and delights the senses, with superb modernist design pieces whose earthy wood grains and organic shapes are complemented by warm tones of sepia, russet and amber. The homeowners initially had differing visions of their lakeside haven – she favored a contemporary loft feel, he leaned towards a country cabin theme. Extracting the best qualities of each concept, Amy devised an open and airy loft-like flow, emphasizing the breadth of the space with minimal window coverings and low profile furnishings. That same emphasis on minimal window coverings and unobstructed sightlines also served to bring the outdoors in, taking full advantage of the spectacular scenery, and satisfied the desire for a country retreat that celebrates the beauty of the natural world to its fullest.   

The curated collection of vintage furnishings in the living room includes an Edward Wormley for Dunbar sectional sofa and Vladimir Kagan chair, combined with a T.H. Robsjohn-Gibbings amoeba-shaped coffee table and a classic Arredoluce Triennale floor lamp. The steel fireplace screen, crafted to resemble a swath of twigs, was a custom commission from SK Studios in collaboration with Amy Lau Design, and the chimney breast is clad in riveted panels of patinated steel, creating a dramatic focal point. A pair of vintage Harvey Probber barrel-back swivel lounge chairs is situated to rotate towards the fireplace or back to the seating group. The round cigarette table features a chartreuse enamel top and was a design from Amy Lau’s Four Seasons Collection.

Diminutive in size but monumental in presence, a sculpture by Henry Moore is set against a view of the lake and hills. 

A mirror from Amy Lau’s Four Seasons Collection with enameled petals in autumn tones is placed over a walnut Florence Knoll hanging wall cabinet circa 1947, which serves as a bar. A pair of vintage Edward Wormley for Dunbar bentwood benches is positioned beneath. Scandinavian Modern ceramics, brass candlesticks and a natural finish wood carving accessorize the top of the cabinet, their warm tones and organic shapes enhancing the design story. The wall is done in the same treatment as the chimney breast, with panels of riveted patinated steel. 


The dining table is vintage Jens Risom and is paired with a set of Hans Wegner for Carl Hansen & Son Wishbone armchairs, designed in 1949. The bud vases are vintage Finnish blown glass candlesticks by Timo Sarpeneva. A wall of cleverly concealed maple storage cabinets includes a built-in wine rack.

A view from the dining area across the living room. The shape, form and color of the 1960s enameled metal chandelier forms a visual link to the painting over the fireplace and helps unite the two spaces into a harmonious whole. 


The kitchen, with an expanse of windows that opens the space to the outdoor view, creating an atmosphere akin to being in a treehouse. A collection of Scandinavian Modern glass in tones of amber and green sparkles in the sunlight filtering through the trees. More classic Scandinavian Modern design elements: Erik Buch stools and a pair of iconic Jens Quistgaard for Dansk teak ice buckets.

A telescope is positioned for bird watching and admiring the view. The desk is Danish 1960s, the desk chair is by Hans Wegner and the desk lamp is by Gilbert Waltrous for Heifetz, circa 1955. 

A bedroom with Paul McCobb Planner Group headboards, chest of drawers, nightstand and stools, and a Sori Yanagi Butterfly Stool visible through the doorway. The table lamp is by under-the-radar designer Muriel Coleman, who was a member of the 1940s–50s design cadre that came to be called the Pacific Design Group, and also included Luther Conover and Van Keppel-Green. She designed almost exclusively in wood and wrought iron, and her aesthetic was one of spare simplicity. 

A Paul McCobb Planner Group nightstand in black lacquer and birch with gracefully splayed legs. Designed for and manufactured by the Winchendon Furniture Company, the Planner Group line was introduced in 1950. The wall light is by David Weeks Studio.

Another bedroom features a sinuous 1960s classic Pretzel Chair by Norman Cherner

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