Homes & Gardens
LIGHTING is crucial to how a room looks and feels. It accounts for about 30% of the scheme, and yet, it’s one of the hardest parts to get right. The advantage of antique lighting is that it was made to a higher standard than lots of modern mass-produced designs. There’s a level of craft that is harder to get today, with more refined detailing.
■ Antique chandeliers in particular bring a really gorgeous glow to a room; the age and quality of the glass reflects the light in a better way than modern pieces. They are often hand-blown and bevelled and create a really special quality of light.
■ I tend to use more table lights than wall or ceiling lights. I have them at different heights to create movement through the room. If you want a homogeneous-looking room, with everything matching, then antique lighting isn’t for you. But if you’re looking to add depth, a good way is by using antique lighting.
■ For table lights I use a lot of antique ceramics, from Chinese delftware, even up to mid-century modern because I love that human touch that you get from ceramics. There’s a glow that I really like when you see light bouncing off ceramics.
■ In terms of bulbs, I think 40 watts is ideal, but that’s old school now; you probably need an extra reading light. Chandeliers were traditionally made for use with candles, and so I use long tapering bulbs in them.
SHOPPING FOR LAMPSHADES
Most of the lampshades we use are made to order but I can’t resist including a Robert Kime papyrus shade or two. And Instagram has introduced me to fantastic artists whose canvases are lampshades, such as Atelier Elizabeth Rose and Alvaro Picardo.