|Down, up, wall and floor lights are the herbs and spices of lighting design. You can never have enough, so overdose if you can as they will transform the mood swings of any room.
Up and Down lights; the idea was to focus on the beauty of my favorite objects of desire, enhancing the details and textures of paintings, walls, pillars, mirrors, windows, halls, and sculptures.
Wall and floor lights; I call them the ‘mood heavens’. They generate layers of lights that are soft, focused and relaxing. Be absolutely sure to instruct your electrician to add 5-amp circuits next to sofas, side tables and bedside tables. Trust me you won't regret it!
|To add another layer of lighting either horizontally or vertically, LED's strips are essential. I call them architectural lighting. They illuminate and highlight suspended kitchen islands, TV units, shadow gaps, walk-in wardrobes or floating shelves. It is a modern look but it functions well especially when blended with vintage or industrial lights.
The 'magic' light; the powerful natural sun light surprises you at different levels and times of the day. Skylights can beat any artificial light so think about adding them if you are planning an extension and of course if you can afford it. It's result is priceless and moving!! Phil Waind, from Waind Gohil Architects came up with the idea of two sheets of glass panel to add additional light and drama to our extension. The result added value, additional light and completed the room.
|Filament bulbs are a beauty and can transform a room from drab to fabulous. When dimmed, they are utterly sexy. One thing to consider is they are very warm and heat the room easily. Buster and Punch have developed them in LED and they look super cool.
For maximum flexibility and control, allow for sufficient budget for a system where you can control the lights on retractable switches and or I-phone/I-pad. It is like playing the latest digital games at home or off site with your lights. Laurent loves technology, so he took full control of this part. We used a cool and efficient system called Loxone, which controls not only lighting but also the under-floor heating, cameras, music, front door lock and electric blinds. I can even open the front door for you while on holidays in the Maldives; how cool is that!! We loved working with the Loxone team and prices were much more affordable than any other systems in the market.
The finishing touch; Candles and fire places are mysterious and soothing. They enhance rooms with mystical feelings infusing your surroundings with deep and restful calm. I cannot live without them! To add more glomour we added a fabulous Louis XV fire place in our master en-suite. Was it needed? no of course not but it looks DIVINE!!
It is vital you plan the furniture and wall hangings before you design your rooms and make sure you have a good budget to cover lighting as they are the stars of your home and can be very expensive. Count how many you need then double it! And if you are planning to hang heavy chandeliers ask your builders to reinforce the celing for extra support.
Is symmetry important? When possible I would say YES! It demonstrates you are in control, exudes style and shows your attention to detail. I am honestly crazy about it so everything I create has to be symmetrical. Don’t get hung up on odd numbers, even numbers are just as fab. I adore clusters of ceiling pendants and I have plenty around the house. The height of your lighting can create a lively rhythm. There are NO rules!
People ask me what I would do differently now that our house is finished. I always say I would add more lights, especially up lights. Are you surprised?
Lighting is fun, exciting and energising. The more layers, spices and herbs you add the more unique, moving, magical and mysterious lighting becomes. The transformation is limitless and I cannot recommend it enough.
The journey continues...