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How to light your home as we make our way into the cooler months


The elusive promise of the heat of high summer has slipped through our fingers like August drizzle down a storm drain. We feel cheated, resentful, and chillier than we expected. To add insult to injury, dusk has begun to press in at the windows with her glaucous wash at earlier hours, plunging us into a daily, jarring, autumnal haze. The remedy? Quite literally, day-brightening lighting.

This week, I spoke to some illuminated experts in the field about how to light your home as we make our way into the cooler months, earlier, but better prepared, than usual.

Simon Terry, MD, Anglepoise

First up is Simon Terry, the managing director of Anglepoise, a lighting design company famed for its balanced-arm lamp designed in 1932 by British designer George Carwardine. He says: “Lighting in the home is so important and in the winter months, even more so. Add the pandemic dynamic into the mix and no one can blame us for wanting cosy, inviting homes. Clever lighting can enhance spaces of all sizes and can also be used to demarcate different spaces – and uses – within your home. Many of us are still working from home and seem to be struggling with creating a shut off between work and personal lives. If you are living and working in the same space, using light to change and enhance the mood will make it easier to switch off from work or create focus when you need to.”

Rohan Blacker, founder, Pooky

(Pooky)

Rohan Blacker, the founder of lighting company Pooky, echoes the cosy sentiment and suggests using lots of different, quirky shades instead of one light source to set the mood. “A cosy atmosphere is usually achieved by breaking up a space and creating smaller, more intimate, independently lit areas,” he says. “Rather than strong overhead lights, try using more localised lamps, or a floor lamp to highlight a particular part of the room.  Colour and intensity are also vital – try using a soft warm yellow or white light, rather than a stark white, and use a dimmer to find the right intensity.”

Matthew Williamson, interior designer

(Matthew Williamson X Pooky)

Interior designer and recent Pooky collaborator, Matthew Williamson, suggests treating the way you light a space in the same way you might accessorise an outfit. He says, “all of my rooms at home are filled with interesting lights. I use them to create little pockets of warmth to give a sense of intrigue to every corner. When it comes to lighting your home, choosing lamps should be like selecting accessories to complement an outfit. Setting the mood rests entirely on the lighting you choose. Forget about using one main lighting source in favour of illuminating a few lamps around the room for a more interesting, flattering lighting scheme. This way, you can be more flexible with what you intend to light. For example, a reading corner would benefit from an elegant swan-neck wall light, while a piece of art would look spectacular on the wall between two table lamps on a credenza or sideboard.” And dotting lights around the house has never been easier, thanks to Williamson’s recent partnership with Pooky, the result of which is the Phileas Lamp, a rechargeable, portable lamp, no wires required.

Lucy Barlow, co-founder, Barlow & Barlow

(Barlow and Barlow)

According to Lucy Barlow, the co-founder of her eponymous interior design firm, Barlow & Barlow, lighting is an interior designer’s secret weapon. She says, “it’s a clever tool which can draw attention to or away from elements and gives you the ability to create several different moods in the same space. Lighting is the best way to create instant warmth and ambience in a room and secondary lighting such as wall lights above a bed or a bookcase for example is a great way to do this.“

Camilla Clarke, creative director, Albion Nord

(Albion Nord)

In Albion Nord’s projects, lighting takes centre stage as artworks in their own right. For Camilla Clarke, one of the design studio’s creative directors, lighting should be kept “as soft and warm as possible”. She advises using wall or table lamps where possible “to avoid too many spotlights, which can make a room feel start an imposing”. The studio often uses warm, inviting materials within its lighting schemes such as linen lampshades. Clarke says, “this use of materials provides a feeling of calmness and serenity.”

Steve Hughes, co-founder, Arcform

(Arcform)

Alternative materials for lighting schemes go a long way to impress, according to Steve Hughes, the co-founder of lighting company Arcform. “Most interior lighting spends at least as much time off as it does on and are often positioned as the focal point of a room, over a dining table, or the centre of a living area. So for us, the material, beauty and form of the light are so much more than just how it looks when lit.” Arcform’s pendant lights begin life as rectangular sheets of metal that are rolled into their expressive, sculptural shape using the company’s trademark process of slip rolling. New from the studio is the Arc 25 chandelier, comprising 25 individually hand-slip rolled pendant lights that hang on tendrils of golden twisted braid from an oval ceiling rose.

Martin Waller, founder, Andrew Martin

(Andrew Martin)

Although Andrew Martin may be best known for its extensive wallpaper, fabric and furniture collections, its lighting range is just as varied and stylish with over 500 lighting options, including those from design houses like Visual Comfort and Kelly Wearstler. Martin Waller, founder, suggests “using different heights of floor lamps, scattered ceiling lights, wall lights and table lamps to create a discourse between the sources of light. Why limit yourself to a single dimmer switch when you can be surrounded with warmth? Good lighting is imperative to creating an ambience, a cove of cosiness and intimacy.”

Eva Menz, founder and creative director, Atelier 001

(Atelier001)

“Avoid overuse of spotlights,” says Eva Menz, founder and creative director of Atelier 001, a lighting company specialising in traditional artisanship. “Spotlights are functional and play an equally important role in a space as decorative lights, however overusing them could cause indoor light pollution, making your space less desirable a place to and wind down after a busy day,” she tells me. Instead, she suggested investing in dimmers for all your lamps and pendants. “Dimmers will give you the flexibility to adjust your lighting for the mood your want to set, whether you’re working from home, having a dinner party or catching up on your favourite TV series.”

Jonny Brierley, CEO, Moda Furnishings

(Moda Furnishings)

Finally, when it comes to braving the outdoors, garden lighting can make your outside space instantly more accessible as the nights draw in. “People want to give their gardens a cosy feel,” says Jonny Brierley, the CEO of garden furniture company Moda Furnishings. “Set the mood with lighting, be it from a fire pit, a string of fairy lights or a cluster of lanterns. Not only will this ensure you can continue to use your garden as the days get shorter, but it will create a gorgeous, glowing centrepiece on your terrace or balcony.”

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