Lighting is “one of the most important elements of interior design. It can completely transform the look and feel of a room,” says Martin Waller, who founded the influential British brand Andrew Martin four decades ago.
The importance of good, versatile lighting is as true today as it was then, although we have vastly more choice.
For lighting inspiration, this week’s London Design Festival, on until Sunday (londondesignfestival.com), has heaps to offer. Although Andrew Martin’s sumptuous interiors installation at the Chelsea Design Centre ends today, the company recently launched an Aladdin’s cave of lighting products at its destination showroom on Walton Street in Chelsea.
Year-round, it showcases more than 450 lighting products from the world’s most renowned designers. The gallery has curated a collection of sculptural and atmospheric lighting to touch and compare in-store. Designers such as Kelly Wearstler, Alexa Hampton and EF Chapman show styles ranging from European mid-century to neo-Victorian to contemporary (also available to buy online at andrewmartin.co.uk).
All the most successful interiors have layered lighting – task, mood and decorative. “This layering of multiple light sources makes a room versatile,” Waller says. “Opt for dramatic pendants as your main source of light and pair with statement table lamps to create an atmospheric mood.”
Table lamps make a focal point, creating soft playful shadows when lit, but also pulling the eye as sculptural ornaments during the daytime. “Adding a table lamp to your interior design can completely transform the look and feel of a room,” Waller continues. “Choose bold pieces with sculptural shapes, interesting texture or coloured glass to make a statement. Think of your lamp as a design-led finishing touch.”
Also at LDF this year, the lighting and product designer Lee Broom has transformed his Shoreditch showroom to present Kaleidoscopia, using reflection to immerse the viewer in light and sound (continuing this weekend at 95 Rivington Street, leebroom.com). The installation (pictured top) showcases Broom’s of-the-moment Orion lights in polished gold, which can be hung horizontally and vertically to create bespoke adaptations at home.
In addition, a raft of lighting designers will be showing new ranges at the trends show Decorex, which is aimed at interior designers but open to everyone for one day. The show has moved to Olympia and is now held in October.
My stand-outs for this year are Bert Frank, which opened in Farringdon in April and has a stunning take on the pendant bulb called Rift; CTO Lighting’s new must-have incarnations of the mushroom and globe lamps in its London Townhouse Collection; Iluka’s sculptural blue resin lamp; Pooky’s perennially popular patterned pleated shades, which now come in dip-dye; Sylive’s centrepiece ceiling lights using hardwoods and veneers; and Vaughn’s Art Pottery and Sculptural Collection, featuring the leaf as a central motif.
Just one of this list of beauties is guaranteed to light up your life this autumn.
Decorex is open to the public on Tuesday 8 October at Olympia (decorex.com)