A fabulous light is a bold statement. This weekend, put your clocks back in style, says Barbara Chandler
AS CLOCKS go back and the nights draw in, all your home’s a stage for the latest in lovely lighting. London’s stores have designer fittings galore, with special displays and promotions all over the capital.
Materials add substance and richness: marble, glass, wood and metals, from simple sculptural shapes to fantasies of flowers and even animals. Built-in strips of LEDs have spawned a new breed of skinny linear shapes.
Head for Heal’s in Tottenham Court Road for a full-on “festival of light”. Find exclusives from the big brands and newbies (all at 10 per cent off ). Check out a huge steam-bent wood “tree light” by Tom Raffield and Czech glass pendants by Lasvit. Pride of place goes to Tala, a burgeoning British brand, with large blown-glass bulbs with glowing LED filaments.
Nearby, at Republic of Fritz Hansen in Margaret Street, an audacious display shows off award-winning String lights by London-based designer Michael Anastassiades. This is ultimate minimalism, where super-long black flexes, conveniently plugged into skirting
Northern Lighting Dokka steel ceiling pendants, £160, at Heal’s (as before) boards, are stretched and/or looped to support simple shades, making a giant light sculpture of black lines.
Designers today love lighting as much as ever. London’s edgier brands regularly commission the avant- garde — they include Innermost, ensconced in Oxo Tower Wharf, and Decode, with a gorgeous simple glowing globe by Daniel Schofield, and on-trend jaunty metallic aluminium shades by John Tree (decode.london). There’s a strong craft element in lighting, too, such as the handmade modernist models by Simon Day (nocturneworkshop.com). Techies will love the new wireless-controlled “smart” lighting. Ikea now has superclever kits that radically reduce prices. A standard hand-held dimmer kit at £15 can control a normal-shaped LED light bulb with a large screw head, to use with a large choice of fittings. Ikea’s new “light panels” are thin, flat wireless white boxes costing £100, square or rectangular, that emit an all-over even light — fit them on the wall as artificial “windows”.
Contrast is the way to create mood, says leading London lighting expert Sally Storey of John Cullen Lighting, whose showroom in the King’s Road has seven room sets and a lighting “pod” to demonstrate different fittings/ effects. “Balance light with shade,” she says. “Uplight the corners of your room, or your fireplace. Silhouette treasures on a shelf by adding a strip of LEDs at the back, or backlight a freestanding sculpture.”
Lasvit Lollypop pendant by Boris Klimek, from £1,987, at Heal’s (heals. com)
Above: Left: brass elephant table lamp, £895, at Jonathan Adler (as before)
Above: a selection of table lamps from Oka (Fulham Road and New King’s Road), priced from £186 to £545 (oka.com)