A good lighting scheme can really define a house and its interior design. Getting it right is all about planning at the early stages of a project. Whilst ‘first fix’ services are being planned, walk around your property and consider the uses of each room.
Ascertain where and how much natural light you have coming in, then compensate with your light fittings where you need more light. At what time of day will the room be used most? Where are you putting furniture? Consider your sofas, dining tables, desks and so on.
Focusing here on living rooms and dining areas, those spaces we tend to cosy up in most during the winter months. Consider the three key roles you need your lighting to deliver: ambient light, accent light and task light.
Living Rooms: This is where flexible lighting design is required, to fit in with the multiple ways in which this room is used; from socialising to relaxing to entertaining.
Light fitting combinations are the key to a cosier, multi-layered lighting effect. Living rooms can have a central focus or feature light, or recessed ceiling down lighters arranged around the perimeters of the space if it’s a sizeable room, as well as table and floor lamps for accent and task lighting.
Looking for vintage glamour and elegance? Art Deco styling in metallic light fittings is a popular style. Portuguese company www.delightfull.eu have an enormous range of bold, striking pieces.
These lights are both contemporary and evoke a bygone era, named after some of the jazz greats; the brass of the ‘Brubeck’ wall sconces and the black of the Ike fittings create strong silhouettes, casting an indirect, warm glow over your walls.
How about their selection of Graphic letter lights, reminiscent of vintage cinema signage, placed upon a bureau or console table; instant glamour and a quirky touch.
Floor lamps for task lighting next to your favourite reading chair are a great addition to a room scheme. This retro-glam Evans floor light can be adjusted to shine in multiple directions and bounce light off other surfaces.
Side tables and desks are the perfect placement for your task lighting. Buy table top lamps and globe lights but nothing too bright, causing glare or ‘bulb-blindness’ if you are working at the table.
This neat little fella, the Birdy Table Light in grey by Norwegian company www.northernlighting.no, is great to illuminate your paperwork and desktop musings.
Based in Oslo, the team at Northern Lighting are purveyors of Scandinavian cool throughout their designs. Being expert mood-makers for your interior scheme, they are guided and inspired by the ever-changing character of the natural Nordic lightscape.
If you prefer more of an ambient background glow whilst working, glass bowl lamps are an effective way to emit coloured light. The Say My Name bowl light (also by Northern Lighting) does the job beautifully. The plum coloured glass adds a warm tonal filter to the white light of the bulb.
Cluster Lighting is a stylists’ favourite trick, which evolved from wanting to use your favourite pendant lights all together, while wanting to both mix-n-match styles and increase light output, where one single pendant just isn’t enough.
Randomly hung at different heights, allowing the shape of each one to mould effortlessly with the one adjacent to it, it’s a very cool way to create a Luxe-boho look.
Try these stunning glass ones by Danish Designers Ebb & Flow. The recently launched Lute pendant is available in a myriad of warm shades of mouth-blown glass and metallic accent options. www.ebbandflow.dk
Dining areas are the perfect places to make a statement and showcase some gorgeous feature pendant lights. A singular large design hung centrally or offset to one end of your table will punctuate the space and give a directional light over the main area.
The Acorn pendant by Northern Lighting, in cream ceramic with a wood detail, is simple and fresh. Or the design classic, Caravaggio in matt grey ceramic, from lifestyle store Skandium (www.skandium.com).
The go-to hub for all things Nordic to emulate that lifestyle Skani-cool, its creative director, Christina Schmidt, describes her store as the ‘United Nations of Scandinavian Design‘.
Group and cluster those smaller pendants for dramatic effect. Ebb & Flow show you how with their inspirational look-books and luscious product images. Try this party table if you always end up socialising in the kitchen.
A LIGHTER TOUCH
The new wave of designers labelling themselves as a ‘craftsperson’ is an emerging social trend in the interiors field, and was huge at the September design shows. A growing band of artisan makers, who are focusing their skills on lighting, and eschewing mass production, were a pleasure to see.
Trailblazing her way, established designer and maker Naomi Paul (www.naomipaul.co.uk), who originally hails from Sussex, was one of the movements’ original key players.
Working with the ‘constructed textile’ made of handcrafted crochet loops over bespoke metal frames, she creates sensual hanging forms. Her latest collection, entitled ‘Simple Shade/British Wool Collection‘ uses 100% natural Shetland and Aran British wools.
Vintage light bulbs are another fashionable market trend. The pared down simplicity and functionality of form makes these a great choice for an urban environment or warehouse–style apartment.
William and Watson, based in London’s East End, are purveyors of the Edison style light bulb, with every shape of filament and bulb you could wish for! Hung in a random cluster, again over a table or perhaps above a kitchen island, they evoke an edgy, masculine cool.
Can’t decide which ones to have? Then again go for the cluster arrangement for maximum impact. www.williamandwatson.com
Each room has its own role to play in daily life so take this into account when planning lighting. Life is all about the light and shade so create some drama with bold, beautiful light fittings to help set the scene.
DelightFULL – www.delightfull.eu
Northern Lighting – www.northernlighting.no
Ebb & Flow – www.ebbandflow.dk
Skandium – www.skandium.com
Naomi Paul – www.naomipaul.co.uk
William & Watson – www.williamandwatson.com