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The book is divided by what homeowners need to know to design a home that's functional, beautiful and one-of-a-kind. Chapters on color and pattern, function and flair, and craft and soul encourage homeowners to take risks but also stay true to what they love. At the end, Lau includes a list of her design muses and mentors — design ingenues from the past and present who have influenced her stunning work.
This is a shot from Lau's room in the Kips Bay Decorator Showhouse in 2007. Lau customized almost every piece in this room. The bold and abstract palette was inspired by the sea, sand and sky, and a painting by Josef Albers.
This living room is part of a 2,500-square-foot apartment in Manhattan. The homeowners had a beautiful abstract painting by Rex Ray, and Lau found a stunning Tibetan rug that was done in one of the artist's graphics. The rug and hand-embroidered pattern on the pillows inspired the room's color scheme. The sculptural pieces on the wall are enameled Boi lamps by David Weeks. The heads of each lamp turn to light different bits of the room at night.
Q: What do you find most rewarding about your work?
A: Creating timeless interiors for my clients and designing “bespoke” one-of-a-kind pieces is the most rewarding part of what I do. I tend to think about the lifespan the pieces will carry and how they will become family heirlooms that can be passed down from generation to generation.
This soothing bedroom is part of the same Manhattan apartment from the living room in the previous shot. Textiles designed by artist Judy Ross blend beautifully with hand-blown glass pieces in the bed frame. An elegant custom pendant lamp designed by Michael Anchin reflects the same peaceful palette.
Q: What do you hope people will get out of this book?
A: I hope the readers will understand the importance of personalizing their own space. It can be as simple as painting a wall in a color they are drawn to, showcasing a vase they’ve picked up on their travels, using vintage furniture they’ve collected throughout the years, displaying artwork from the country of their ancestors, or a pile of their favorite books on a coffee table.
The bedroom in this Miami Townhouse is restrained in color and style. To keep the space open and clean, Lau replaced the usual bench with two Charlotte Perriand stools at the foot of the bed. A graphic but soothing duvet echoes the same colors and patterns as the floor rug from Niba.
For this home, Lau wanted to combine the husband and wife's different styles — she wanted a contemporary loft feel; he wanted a more cabin-like look. Lau based the color scheme off of the beautiful foliage outside, and chose timeless furniture in soft and curvy mid-century pieces to offset the hard angles of the home's construction.
Lau decided that the windows in the living room of this Greenwich Village apartment needed color and drama, so she added these long floor-to-ceiling curtains. The graceful and simple curtains quickly transformed the look of this warm room. Working again with Judy Ross, Lau had the textiles custom designed on simple wool panels. The result is a simple but graphic accent.