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Posts Tagged ‘lights’

Cate Burren of Angel and Blume Interior Design discusses the beauty and usefulness of lamps in our homes – an article in Velvet Magazine May 2021

I was completely seduced by a table lamp this week. It was displayed in the ‘new in’ section on one of my favourite lighting company’s website and as soon as I saw it’s beautiful emerald green ribbed base and the wicker shade it was paired with, I knew without even considering where I would put it that I had to have both it and its shade. It arrived the next day (yes, really) and immediately made itself comfortable on a side table next to an armchair in the kitchen. I am delighted with it but much more than that, it has transformed the corner of the room. The pool of light that it throws on to the table and chair really does change the feel of the whole kitchen and makes the chair more inviting to sit in, not to mention being able to actually see what you are reading, even if you are using a back lit device. I should be more embarrassed that I didn’t identify the need for a light there before but I am so pleased with the result that I think we need say no more about that.

Lighting is one of the most powerful elements of an interior scheme and has the ability to completely alter the functionality and the feel of a space. When planning a lighting scheme, it is crucial to have a pretty good idea of how the space will be used because the best lighting lights things – artwork, furniture, decorative features, a dining table, a desk and so on – rather than just randomly providing light. That is why when you see a really well lit space, there tends to be pools of light that draw your eye and provide contrast with other less well lit spaces.

If you are at the stage of planning your lighting scheme from scratch, you will have the luxury of using different types of light – ceiling lights, wall lights, concealed lighting and so on. But if you are not, lamps are your best friend because they can provide a lot of these effects if used cleverly. Depending on the type of lamp you use, they can provide very focused light directed onto a piece of furniture or an accessory for example, but they can also provide quite widespread up-lighting if your room is lacking light higher up in a space. The height of the floor or table lamp makes a difference but more important is the direction that the lamp projects the light. You can get some lights that really do only throw the light upwards onto a ceiling, with very little light, if any, falling down onto the space below.

The brand new Boster light with wicker shade from Pooky.com

If you are planning a brand new lighting scheme, or willing to make adjustments to location of sockets in a room, think about where you would want your lamps in relation to furniture you have and allow for sockets accordingly. Better still, think about installing a 5 amp lamp circuit which all your lamps can be plugged in to allowing you to control them from one (dimmable) switch on the wall. If you have a particularly big room, you might also want to think about floor sockets so that you can place a lamp next to a chair or sofa without having a wire trailing across the floor from the wall. (A word to the wise here, just to avoid confusion with your contractor – when you discuss lamps with your electrician, (s)he will assume you are taking about bulbs which they call lamps – bulbs apparently are for planting in the ground.)

The style of your lamp depends on your own interior taste and there are plenty to choose from. Not all your lamps need to make a statement, some of them can just provide light in the background, but some lamps are so beautiful that they are artwork pieces in themselves. Consider where you want to make a statement and where you just need light and pick your fittings accordingly. As well as there being a huge selection of new lamps ranging from the very traditional to the ultra modern, there are also some fantastic antique lights available with iconic collectors pieces being in very high demand. ‘1000 Lights’ published by Taschen is a great guide and contains something for every taste.

Some lamps are there just to bring joy. There is a lovely lamp originally from Porta Romana that has a highly feathered shade with a base made in the style of a long pair of birds legs and webbed feet which really never fails to get a smile. It has been copied by others but not executed quite as well or humourously as this version.

It sounds a very obvious thing to say but you need to see a lamp when it is lit, as well as when it is not, as they are often sold both online and in the flesh without the ability to see the lamp illuminated. A shade also makes a big difference to this effect – a colourful shade will affect the colour of the light that is emitted, as indeed a very dense shade will reduce the amount of light given off. My new wicker shade gives a lovely broken-up light, and from most angles you can see the bulb so an attractive bulb also had to be acquired.

An elegant tripod lamp from Chaplins is a stylish statement and provides useful task lighting

The amount of light that you want in a room will change during the day, at dusk and at night so it is worth thinking this through when you are selecting the position and style of your lighting. During the day you may need no lights on, or just a couple to light darker spaces. You will probably want a few more lit when it is dusk or during the winter months of gloomy weather. At night, all lamps might be on, but it will depend on what you are using the room for at the time. Also, I am sad to say having experienced this first hand, you do tend to want and need more light as you get older.

The number of lamps that you have in a room, and their positioning, will affect the amount of light in a room, but also the bulb that you use will too. Selecting a good bulb does make a difference and at the very least, think about the amount of light that a bulb emits and the colour of light (warm, cool, daylight etc.) when selecting your fitting.

The good news is that huge changes can be made to the feel of a room and the way that it works for you just by changing some light fittings. An overlit room is as bad as an underlit room, and a poorly thought out arrangement of lamps and light fittings will also mean that you are not doing justice to your interior. I have quite literally had a light bulb moment this week and I can highly recommend it.

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Lighting is an integral part of any design scheme, it’s not only about getting the right form of lighting for a room (ambient, task, accent) but also choosing a fitting that will work perfectly with the look and style of your chosen scheme. There are so many options available when it comes to light fittings, from small and minimal to big and dramatic, that it can all seem a little overwhelming at times. But you don’t have to settle for the ordinary or the expected, instead choose to make your lighting the talking point of your home, no matter what your style. I’ve pulled together some ideas in six different styles to inspire you and your lighting needs.

‘Brompton Size 3 Anthracite Glass Pendant’ from Original BTC

If you have a minimal scheme running through your house, it’s unlikely that you’ll want to interrupt this look by adding in some flamboyant lighting pieces. Going for simple pendants doesn’t mean you need to settle for plain. This pendant like from Original BTC is just stunning, it’s a simple design but the use of the black instead of a typical glass pendant gives it an edge over other similar pieces. Featured against a crisp white wall will create a strong, but low-key statement in your home.

‘Atto Pendant’ from Benchmark

These pendants from Benchmark have a modern Scandinavian feel about them. The slits in the shade give the wooden structure a light feel, making it ideal for a minimally dressed room, and depending on the colour scheme, you can use the natural, white or black finish. They’ll make a great addition to a light, airy, modern space.

The industrial trend has been a popular choice in the interior design world over the past few years, with the style showing up in furniture, accessories and lighting. It’s a strong look and with the right building and attitude, can be pulled off to perfection, but it’s important to make sure the trend doesn’t engulf you. To add hints of the style into your lighting, opting for designs that are less obviously industrial will make any future transitions easier to accommodate, you can also apply subtle industrial features to a scheme without completely changing it. I really like this Anglepoise original lamp that’s been given a cosmetic lift with some industrial style additions. The brass accents and the black shade gives the contemporary lamp an industrial undertone.

‘Original 1227 Brass Desk Lamp’ from Anglepoise

For an industrial style pendant that will stay in style for years to come, blending it with some contemporary elements is a failsafe option. This Edison bulb is caged by some modern wiring and along with the addition of some coppery tones, it gives the pendant a well-rounded contemporary look, which would give an industrial scheme a breath of fresh air and a contemporary scheme a hint of that vintage vibe.

‘Juba Caged Pendant Light’ from Clippings

When opting for a contemporary style of lighting, it’s your chance to get a bit creative and turn traditional ideas on their head. A chandelier for example might be considered a traditional style, but today there are many modern designs that adopt its look. This cluster chandelier from Fritz Fryer gives the term a whole new meaning, the translucent shades and the bright red cables name together wonderfully to create a sharp, sophisticated look. It’s a design that would look amazing in a high-ceilinged hallway, making a strong feature to any house.

‘Upton Ceramic Multi Pendant Cluster Chandelier’ from Fritz Fryer

’90° Home’ from Artemide

A floor lamp is not only a great way to light up a dark corner, but can also make its own style statement. It contemporary piece from Artemide oozes with confidence, with a futuristic element to finish off the look. The streamline design could be paired with a sharp, masculine interior to really show it off.

Lighting in a traditionally styled space can be utilised to give the area a clean, fresh and punchy impact. Table lamps in a traditional setting can be the perfect way to add some detailing to a room, the patterned vase from the Abbeywood design from Vaughan has a lovely traditional feel to it, and it kept fresh with a crisp white shade. The elegant piece would look great as a pair on two end tables in a living room.

‘Abbeywood Vase Table Lamp’ from Vaughan

If you have a period property, or want to add some traditional glamour, a dramatic ceiling light can add character and really cement a room’s style. This chandelier from Bella Figura has a classic style and refined nature to it, giving a room a sense of understated grandness. A hallway could be an ideal spot for this piece, making sure you have something eye-catching when you first walk in to the house.

‘Leonardo Ball Chandelier’ from Bella Figura

With a bohemian, eclectic style there is always the challenge of making sure a room isn’t so overloaded with patterns, styles and things that it loses its stylish essence. Incorporating a vibrant lamp into the mix can be a good way to incorporate colour and pattern in a small way instead of large pieces everywhere. Pooky is a fantastic lighting company that has some lovely, bohemian style lamps to hand. They’re the perfect colourful finishing touches to really make a room pop. I love this hand-blown Iris base with a fun shade to go with it, creating a great blend of sophisticated colours in a playful nature.

‘Iris Table Lamp in Turquoise’ from Pooky

‘Decofabulous Pedant Shade’ from Rockett St George

A tasselled lampshade might have once been something you found in your grandma’s house, the shade an unsightly floral pattern and the tassels old and frayed. But these pendants are reinventing the style and giving something fun and wacky back. The luxurious gold tassels contrasted against the abstract shade design gives you a perfect Boho chic shade to add into your home.

When done well, a glamorous style home can look breath-taking, but it’s a theme that needs the right confidence to pull off. Lighting is a great way to add in some beautiful finishing touches for a glamorous setting. A glamorous interior usually consists of dark hues and metallics, so add in a hint of luxurious colours with something like this Amelia table lamp from Heathfield. The wonderful glass base is framed with gold accents giving it a rich, elegant feel.

‘Amelia Table Lamp’ from Heathfield

‘Manor Wall Sconce’ from Graham & Green

I love this beaded wall sconce from Graham & Green, it’s a really original way to use wall lights as a strong design feature, making a smart, elegant and glamorous light fixtures for your scheme.

Finding the right lighting that suits your home, style and yourself can not only create a beautiful atmosphere in your home, but give your style a little lift, making everything just that little bit brighter.

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I’ve rather fallen in love with Pooky.com lighting. I found their website first (which is really good) and as I browsed through their many lovely lamps, I impulsed purchased two of their Oralee light bases for our office meeting room, which turned up almost instantly and which I love. I finally visited them last week at their showroom in Chelsea and was incredibly impressed with the design and quality of their products. I (of course) made further purchases and can see us using these lamps for our projects, particularly as there are exciting new design coming soon, so I’m told!

Pooky 2 Pooky 3 Pooky 4 Pooky 5

Pooky 6    Pooky 1

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Accessories are a great way to bring pattern, colour and interest into an interior and whilst I am in no way discounting the classic ivory silk lampshade which I love, I would draw your attention to some of the marvelous ways to bring a bit of character to your home just by updating a lampshade or two – from some of our favourite suppliers, of course!

Thornback and Peel

Thornback and Peel‘s designs are beautiful and eye-catching and work brilliantly on a lampshade where you can see all the lovely detail.

Graham and Green

This charming lamp and base is from Graham and Green and uses an Osborne and Little wallpaper (design by Nina Campbell) for the shade. You can buy the lamp and the shade separately but I think they look great together.

Kate Forman

Doing French country style as only Kate Forman can, this lampshade is made from her Red Josephine fabric.

pooky

I was recently introduced to the brilliant Pooky selling a wonderful range of bases and shades. I purchased two of the Oralee (yellow base in the middle) for our office meeting room  and I am delighted with them. Look out for the lights on and off feature on their website which shows the huge difference between how the shades look when the light is on or off.

Rapture and Wright

Rapture and Wright‘s fabrics which are all so beautiful, look wonderful on a lampshade and especially teamed with the delicious burnt orange interior.

St Judes

I love this dear little lamp from St Judes featuring Angie Lewin’s Hedgerow fabric.

Digital Moth

And finally, the image doesn’t really do it justice but Timorous Beasties clever lampshades (mostly) feature plain exteriors with their enchanting designs on the inside which when the lamp is switched on glow through the shade so you see the patterns in their full illuminated glory.

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