Integrating the lighting into the building itself not only creates a streamlined, uncluttered look, but emphasises the architectural details. Godrich calls it “creating a theatre set with lighting.”
Built-in fittings can turn underappreciated areas such as staircases into show-stoppers, by highlighting their shape and structure. “Flush-fit lighting beneath each of the stair treads is chic and alluring, not to mention ultimately practical in a space that can often suffer from a lack of natural light,” says Bernerd.
For a recent London extension, Coffey Architects made extensive use of recessed, hidden LED strips, tracing an inviting line across the ceiling and down a channel in a brick wall. Lights under the kitchen units make them appear to hover in space.
If strict architectural minimalism is your thing but you don’t want to intervene in the fabric of your home, try Habitat’s Strip pendant, a skinny, suspended straight line of light.
Steps: an illuminated staircase by Tara Bernerd, above; buy vintage signs and neon art at God’s Own Junkyard, left