Bright ideas

Kya de­longchamps says that when it comes to shining a light on your home, you should in­vest in the best qual­ity you can af­ford

Irish Examiner - Property & Interiors - - Diy -

AWHOLE house, new land­scap­ing, a sin­gle room — never un­der­es­ti­mate the trans­for­ma­tional power of light­ing. The market is full of bright beau­ties and hard work­ing won­ders, and the de­sign bar has never been higher.

Fo­cus on light’s vi­tal dec­o­ra­tive and prac­ti­cal im­por­tance in your build or ren­o­va­tion ad­ven­ture. Sur­round­ing ma­te­ri­als, in­clud­ing the walls, ceil­ing, floor and your cho­sen sur­face colours, will bounce, scat­ter or swal­low the il­lu­mi­na­tion from your light­ing. Colour is es­pe­cially de­pen­dent on the qual­ity and tone of the colour fall­ing on it.

There are ar­eas at home where gen­eral, at­mo­spheric, ac­cent or ded­i­cated task light­ing will hold sway. These roles and pri­mary in­flu­ences may marry and shift over the course of a day.

Many light fit­tings have a mea­sure of ver­sa­til­ity, and re­cessed ceil­ing lights matched to dim­mers, to­gether with ad­justable spots and lamps are the un­sung heroes of many gor­geous and well lived-in rooms from kitchens to cor­ri­dors.

The en­ergy sav­ing won­ders of LED has stim­u­lated rather than frus­trated de­sign. Lay­ered to­gether for bland duty, safe pas­sage and sheer sen­sual feel, highly present ceil­ing hung, table and poised floor mounted pen­dants, densely pat­tered shades, and softly dif­fus­ing ma­te­ri­als, can show off their at­trac­tive lines lit and un­lit, day or night.

There will be chances in ev­ery home for show stop­pers, glow­ing sculp­tures in­hab­it­ing the air at eye level. A shade can pool, rake and gen­tle the work of one or mul­ti­ple bulbs. The market is also in­flu­enced by the work of designers old and new — re­cent lu­mi­nar­ies in­clude the self taught OBE, Tom Dixon and the Span­ish mas­ter, Ar­turo Al­varez and his close cre­ative col­leagues in La Coruña (where if they can­not make a ma­te­rial work for their sea­sonal opus, they sim­ply cre­ate a brand new one).

Four fig­ure ex­am­ples of stu­dio light­ing win­now down to the high street and to online out­lets in a mat­ter of months with a click of dif­fer­ence — largely to the price. Better Chi­nese made ex­am­ples of retro in­spired light­ing from rep­utable sup­pli­ers of­fer su­perb value. If there’s no maker name, but a re­tailer’s num­ber, this of­ten in­di­cates a prod­uct from the Far East.

Ex­am­ine the light­ing per­form­ing on a show­room floor, with the di­men­sions, as­pect, decor, and de­mands of your own rooms in mind.

AS WITH ev­ery fix­ture in your home, in­vest in the best qual­ity you can af­ford with proven brands. The right level of light and a vis­ual rhythm will give enor­mous im­pact as the space comes to­gether.

Light­ing con­sul­tants work in­de­pen­dently and in­creas­ingly in-house as an ex­ten­sion of the ser­vices pro­vided by good light­ing re­tail­ers. Their ex­per­tise is money very well spent and an ab­so­lute ne­ces­sity if this is your first try at large scale light work at home.

Light­ing de­signer Shane O’byrne, owner of ‘Light’ in Dou­glas vil­lage, is a spe­cial­ist in Euro­pean light­ing. He ar­gues that the light that ac­tu­ally suits best, doesn’t al­ways come from a cat­a­logue.

‘The use of coloured tex­tured ca­bles opens up a whole new trend en­abling you to cre­ate your own piece that works specif­i­cally in your house the way you want it to.

“To­gether with the vast choice of ca­ble colours and weaves, clients can com­plete the light con­cept with a wide range of ac­ces­sories — from ceil­ing roses, lamp hold­ers and var­i­ous shades, cages and lamps.

“I love this per­son­ally as you can re­ally cre­ate some­thing unique to that space.” As for Shane’s iconic favourites? “‘I’ve used the MOOOI Ran­dom light on a lot of very dif­fer­ent in­te­ri­ors and it works beau­ti­fully in all.

“A time­less shape and a sim­ple lamp in the mid­dle — it can fill a space yet not take over — beau­ti­ful when on as well as off.

“An­other is the range of flat-pack lights from Vita— es­pe­cially the EOS goose feather shades. These lights are well priced and each shade can be used as a pen­dant / floor or table lamp.”

What does a con­sul­tant bring to the table? “If I’m do­ing a project for some­one — be it a com­plete house or just one room — I al­ways try and get as much in­for­ma­tion as pos­si­ble di­rectly from the clients.

“It’s use­ful if they can col­lect mul­ti­ple images from mag­a­zines, Pin­ter­est and other sources show­ing their kitchen type for ex­am­ple, colours and ideas they love — it is their house af­ter all.

“It’s easy to do a ba­sic light­ing lay­out

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