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Lighten Up!

Posted on December 18 2013

I saw the coolest play last night with two of my favourite boys at the National Theater called Emil and the Detectives. It’s a play for children and its magical.  Set in Berlin in 1929 the staging I thought was fabulous. Lots of black and white projections and video clips, circles advancing towards you at a rapid pace but speeded up so it felt dangerous and a little scary. The lighting I loved especially in a scene where Emil descended into the Berlin sewers in pursuit of the evil Mr Snow who had robbed him earlier of 140 marks.  There were unexpected moments of fun like money falling out the air and a pursuit of the evil Mr Snow zooming through the stalls treading on the audiences toes as Emil and the detectives gave chase. Tickets are a bit like gold dust but it runs until Feb so I would thoroughly recommend.  Plus it’s on the South Bank suddenly you get transported away from Berlin to a beautiful London at night with the lights glimmering and the Thames looking lovely.

So talking of lighting I wanted to spend a little time on it this morning. After colour it’s the second most important thing you can do to any room EVER. I am a little (under statement) obsessed with it! If the lighting is wrong rooms can feel unwelcoming and dated and who my I ask would want to spend time in those! As I’ve mentioned and banged on about  lighting before this morning is just a few more pointers really.

Down lights get a bad wrap by some designers but I happen to love them. In the evening on dimmers it helps to create a soft overall glow that adds oodles of ambience as it does during the day when you notch up the levels a bit. The best thing we did was to have different circuits so I can have the recessed above the dining table on but the ones over the island off should I so wish. Also if you happen to have dark ceilings do as we did and paint over the little plastic covers with emulsion so they instantly go away!

Another thing to mention is with lots of different lights going on say table, floor, maybe even wall its important to have some sort of consistency with the lampshades. You don’t want to look like a lampshade shop. They don’t need to all be the same size or colour or anything like that but they will need to sort of harmoniously blend or at least the majority should. So in my studio here for example I’ve got a couple of fringed vintage taupe ones sitting atop my poodle lamps, a couple of taffeta ones on the pelicans a big old vintage 70’s crazy one which acts like an exclamation mark and then all other lights have no shades.  There are vintage angle pose lamps in various sizes all over and thus little conflict.

Some lighting eg’s in my pad:

e1In my studio we go from an oversized 70’s inspired bronze lamp to an anglepoise. To a battered old thing I found at a flea but love:

eSee what I mean about none of them conflicting. The palette is more or less quite neutral they don’t really fight for attention they just do their job (sounds like the perfect assistant no)? Talking of assistants we have a new one, meet our Quality Controller. Products come in, get tested, sniffed, slept on all under the watchful eyes of Mungy.  His particular area of expertise -  textiles. I have to say he does not show the same enthusiasm for vases!

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