Interior design duo Anne Sage and Caroline Lee are the faces behind Light Lab, a creative studio and event space available for rentals and collaborations. See how they incorporated pieces from Sotheby’s Home into the redesign of their space.
Liking what Anne and Caroline did with the place? Get inspired for your own home or office, with Light Lab’s personally selected picks from Sotheby’s Home.
What are your biggest sources of inspiration in your design process?
Anne: I get very inspired by furnishings themselves. I’ll become enamored with the curve of a sofa, the nap of a fabric, and start to picture an entire room built around the feeling evoked by that single detail!
Caroline: An era! That may sound very broad, but a decade or time in history will get me started on a vibe and then the ball is rolling…fast!
What are your tips for mixing design styles when you’re decorating a space? Do you tend to mix styles in one space, or do you like to focus on one design style per room?
Anne: I love a good mix! My own personal decorating taste veers towards a neutral hue, which means I can go crazy with different styles. I love to mix eras, silhouettes and textures, and still have them feel unified by a tightly edited palette of whites, blacks and browns.
Caroline: My favorite thing to mix is texture! I love when there’s something rattan and something jute and something velvet and something metal in the same space…the textural complexity really does it for me.
When looking for vintage furniture and accessories, what are the biggest qualities you keep an eye out for?
Anne: The appeal of vintage for me is that one-of-a-kind score that truly makes a space unique. So I’m always on the lookout for finds that have major personality—from unusual shapes and proportions to eye-catching materials and finishes.
Caroline: The uniqueness or quirk of a piece really draws me in! So many vintage pieces have been replicated in mass production, so the weird stuff that stands out gets my attention.
Do you have any do’s or don’ts of decorating that you live by?
Anne: Patience, patience, patience! The best spaces come together over time. It’s tempting to settle for what you can find in the moment just to have it “done,” but in the long run, it’s always worth waiting to find that perfect piece. And in reality, is a space ever truly “done” anyway?!
Caroline: Mock everything up in a Google doc to see how it looks together before you order it, don’t be afraid for it to take a long time—and—triple check your measurements first. I’m SO not saying this from learning the hard way. 😉
What were your design inspirations and goals for the re-design of Light Lab?
Anne: Our aesthetic sensibilities have evolved a ton in the four years since we first opened Light Lab, and we wanted the new design to reflect an updated, more sophisticated viewpoint. We paid a lot more attention to the details, ensuring that all elements in the space harmonized with each other. And we definitely pushed the envelope a little more in terms of mixing prints and proportions!
Caroline: We wanted to update what was, with a bit of an evolved spin. Chunky ’80s with the layers of screens and multiple textures, we are so in love with the way it turned out!
Is your design style for Light Lab similar or different to your design style at home? If so, how?
Anne: I definitely gave myself permission to be more bold and playful for the design at Light Lab than in my space at home. My home is like the quiet, introverted version of my style—while Light Lab is the extroverted, adventurous version!
Caroline: Light Lab is more toned down than my home is, but it is also for a larger audience and needs to be something suitable for daily use. (My home looks like the set from an ’80s film, I think…)
Why did you choose these pieces from Sotheby’s Home? What piqued your interest in them and how do they fit into your space?
Accent tables are a great opportunity to have fun in a space, and we definitely used these pieces to inject a sense of variety and drama! Each has an element that we’re especially loving in design right now—a statement-making base on the cocktail table, a nested look for the Acacia side tables and a sculptural presence for the Vondom table—so we were able to engage in some current trends while also maintaining the overall sense of sophisticated whimsy for which we were striving.