New York based Designer Laura Michaels has a distinct approach to design which she describes as an amalgamation of 'the sea and the city'. A theme discovered along her journeys from the bucolic coastline of Eastern Long Island to the iconic New York City. Montauk where she now calls home, continues to inspire her with lush landscapes, raw sea life, incredible light and rich textures.

Laura has extensive knowledge of the design and construction process and can help clients navigate an often exciting but overwhelming process.

 

Photography courtesy of Hudson Wright and Dalton Portella

 

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Homes

I am motivated by the art of living. The process of making and creating in my studio, in my life and the lives of others are a continual pursuit. 

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Furniture

When I cannot source items, I create them. A space inspires me and I love to play with scale and proportion working with my hands to create furniture and hardware. 

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Jewelry

I've been designing jewelry and buckles for the last 15 years. My pieces are inspired by my love of vintage and ornate details.

1960s Cottage on Fort Pond

A small, ramshackle cottage is reimagined as a modern waterfront beach house. 

This extensive renovation on Fort Pond incorporates the latest in green and sustainable design principles: geothermal heating, cellulose insulation, concrete and reclaimed wood floors with radiant heating, and solar panels. Recycled building materials, non-toxic finishes and natural fibers drove the design. As the lead designers, we were responsible for the concept to completion; selecting and sourcing all exterior and interior materials and finishes, designing custom furniture, and project managing. We worked closely with Sean Tyrell —he has an amazing team and is extremely knowledgeable and detail oriented. It was a wonderful collaboration! And the client was beyond happy.

 

Interior/exterior Design/project management: Laura Michaels
Contractor: Sean Tyrell
Energy Consulting/Mechanical Design: Zeroenergy.com
Drafting: Susan Brierley
Permitting: LPS

Photography by Dalton Portella

Cottage on Fort Pond

Perfect Sunsets anytime of year —this waterfront cottage is as close as it gets to perfection. An old Navy barrack that was moved from the original town and transformed to a peaceful retreat. 

The house was taken down to the bare foundation and reimagined—keeping the original 900 sqft—20 feet from the bluff. The landscaping pairs beach grasses with seasonal flowering gardens to ensure a bouquet on the table from May - September. The client had furniture to work with but the pieces needed an overhaul.  A dining table that was once maple was lacquered white. Chairs which were random colors were reupholstered. A white linen Ligne Roset sleeper sofa was transformed into the silver surfer—all for easy beach living.  A gas enclosed ribbon fireplace replaced a wood one. There is a state of the art compact kitchen with high-end appliances and honed Calcutta Gold marble. A large glass enclosed shower has access to the outdoor shower from inside. The interior is intentionally painted white to absorb the outrageous sunset colors. The chandelier was strategically place to capture the refraction of thousands of rainbows as the sun sets. 

Interior/exterior Design/drafting/project management: Laura Michaels
Contractor: Sean Tyrell
Permitting: LPS

A Surfer's Paradise

Two blocks from the world-renown Ditch Plains Beach a restricted building lot dictated the size and shape of this house. 

As the lead designer on the project I was not only responsible for the interior but all construction management and material sourcing. The project was designed for a family of surfers and their ever-present tribe of friends. A vertical design that accommodates 4 bedrooms a den, an office and a finished basement. A loft-like first floor flows out to a large outdoor deck. With no garage or ability to build a shed the outside area has a 15+ surf board station to hold, short, long and anything in between. The outdoor shower allows you to exit/enter the house from the bathroom it is the most used space in the house—especially handy during the cold water surf season. A dry under deck is used to park the handful of beach cruisers. The concrete floor hides dirt and sand. The upstairs sleeping areas have engineered walnut to better handle the radiant heat system throughout the house. Each bathroom has state of the art faucets and toilets (some with bidets) and Carrara subway tile with pebble and stone floors. I had a difficult time finding beautiful vanities commercially, so I designed them myself and had them custom made locally. The cantilevered walnut riser staircase was fabricated in Europe. All windows have hurricane shutters. The house is decorated with vintage period pieces (some reproductions) and an eclectic mix of Yard sale finds along with a collection of vintage glass. The kitchen has high-end appliances and top-of-the line marble.

 

Interior/exterior Design/project management: Laura Michaels
Contractor: DSM
Drafting/Permitting: Daniel Aimetti

 

A 1980s Florida style stucco home transforms into a beautiful modern beach house with a traditional twist for Summer 2017—work in progress

Interior Design/Project Management: Laura Michaels
Contractor: Abraham Development Corp

 

Photos to come

A historical barn gets a new coat of paint and then some

 

This Amagansett barn was built in 1960 for the artist Perle Fine. Fine, Pollack and Krasner were all great friends. The studio has so much charm and history. 

 

 

The renovation was in preparation for a well-known writer to spend the fall and winter working on a commission. Tasked with a blank canvas and economics to make it livable, the project came in on-time and on-budget.

Fort Pond Beach House

My first collaboration and with Architect Stelle and Co in Bridgehampton—wow!. A highly restricted building envelope determined the size and shape of the house. 

 

The "upside-down" configuration placed bedrooms on the ground floor. Living and dining were elevated to the second floor to gain water views over Fort Pond and beyond to the ocean. The pared-down aesthetic evokes the vocabulary of a classic mid-century beach house but one that incorporates the latest in green and sustainable design principles: geo-thermal heating, cellulose insulation, concrete floors with radiant heating, and photovoltaic panels on the roof. Recycled building materials, non-toxic finishes, and natural fibers are the rule for all interior spaces.