All Lit Up

Hello all – apologies for the slightly messy look on the blog. The site was looking so out of date that I had to do something. It feels better, but isn’t the way I want it just yet. Consider it a work in progress, like the house. One day I might actually pay someone to do it properly, but for now I’m making do with free WordPress templates (which all definitely have their limitations – but more on that another time).

Onto a much more fun topic – lights! For me, wall colour can come and go, but lighting is a very fundamental part of a room’s decor. Spend loads of money on furniture, but hang a cheapie light shade and I guarantee that it will ruin the room. However – a bit like a good pair of shoes or a bag – you invest in your lighting and it will completely elevate the space (and everything in it). And if you choose wisely, it should accommodate a colour change without much issue. We considered a few things this time around when we started our hunt.

  1. The dimensions of the room
    This might seem pretty basic (big room, big light), but our initial instinct was to ‘go big and impactful’ like we did in our flat. The thing is, we lucked out and the open space we had totally suited the oversized pendants we purchased on a whim. While these rooms are a generous size, they are laid out differently and don’t give off the warehouse vibe. There are also ceiling roses to consider this time around. So we got out the measuring tape and have set ourselves an ideal size for each. It’s not small, but also not massive.
  2. The shape of the room
    A lot of the rooms in this house are rectangular – long and skinny. So hanging a ‘tall’ light in these spaces feels like sticking a knife upright into a steak. In the end, we agreed that in most cases, a circular or wide and flat shape would suit the spaces much better.
  3. The height of the ceiling
    If you have low ceilings, trying to cram a pendant into them is probably not a good idea. Our ceilings downstairs are pretty tall and can suit a lower-hanging option if we want it. Likewise, our hallway will definitely lend itself to something chandelier-inspired. But in the bedrooms, we have a little less height and so need to find shapes that are ok a bit closer to the ceiling.
  4. The desired ambience
    These lights need to actually serve a purpose and light the room properly. After our IKEA pendants at the last flat (loved the look, but the light was way too dim for the space) I spent a lot of time looking at technical specs and voltage this time around. There’s also something called ‘lumens’ to take into account (yep for those of you rolling your eyes, I’m that much of an amateur when it comes to lighting), which tells you the total amount of visible light that will be emitted. (This website is pretty simple to understand, and gives some good benchmarks)
  5. LASTLY – the style. We still need to love whatever we choose because in reality, it will outlast the paint colours and maybe even some of the furniture. Not an easy task, as a lot of the lighting out there that is on budget AND looks cool falls down on the technical side. (Sigh).

Those of you who actually made it through that long ramble, it’s finally time for the fun bit – our final selections.

Reception Rooms:

Screen Shot 2015-08-27 at 22.08.59

The Ronde Pendant by Oliver Schick in Pigeon Gray or Matte White (source: Haus London). We think these capture the same industrial pendant vibe we love, but in a more grown up and sophisticated way. They also feel sympathetic to the ceiling rose we have in one of our two reception rooms. With the rich blue walls, we are opting for either white or light grey but I’m leaning towards white now, having seen our grey sofa next to the walls.

Hallway (upstairs and entryway):

Screen Shot 2015-08-27 at 22.24.01House Doctor Glass Pendant (source: Decorum which is an amazing online shop with a little pop-up in Shoreditch) We wanted something that felt like a modern take on the chandelier, but would accommodate a very tall and skinny hallway. The walls will be quite light but with very dark accents (Off Black doors and banister railing) so we needed to balance this out as well. Plus, as it’s the first thing you see when you walk, we wanted them to be welcoming and impactful but without being over the top. These lights are amazing as they’re reflective when the lights are off, but turn into a soft glowing ball of smoked glass when illuminated. Very excited to see these up, and I’ll definitely be doing a feature on House Doctor soon, as I’m absolutely loving everything about them.

Guest Room and Master Bedroom:

Screen Shot 2015-08-27 at 22.34.02

Cohen Pendant (source: Heal’s) We didn’t want a different light in every room, as we wanted to maintain some flow in the house. Our bedroom and the guest room will be grey, but ours will be quite dark and the guest room quite soft. We loved the copper detailing and the softness of the shape, which will definitely (hopefully!) suit both rooms. And they don’t feel too out of kilter with our other selections.

Freja’s Room:

Screen Shot 2015-08-27 at 22.39.22

MHY Light by Norway Says for Muuto (source: Haus) Freja’s room is the most square in the house, so can suit a slightly ‘taller’ shape. We also wanted something a bit more playful for her – especially as the walls are going to be a really pale grey – the same colour as the hallway. The shape of this feels quite youthful, and we’re leaning towards yellow as it picks up the accent colour in her rug and feels quite whimsical. You’ll find out in a few weeks whether we chicken out and go more neutral.

We’re leaving the kitchen and bathroom for now – no sense in picking lights when we’ll eventually completely gut and re-think those rooms. So that’s it (1,000 words later). What do you think? Anything else you’ve considered when choosing lighting? Drop me a note!

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6 comments

  1. First, remember that anything can be changed, so if in a few years you think a different light would look absolutely smashing, change it! There is nothing worse than putting up with something. Every time you walk by you think about how something else would be so much better, and that is a lot of wasted energy and thought.
    Second, the lovely yellow light for Freja’s room will be like having a bit of sunshine hanging there even in your darkest winter days! It is a happy choice for a child’s room.
    A decorator we have known a long time (Carolyn) insists that rooms have main light coming from three points, and there should be no dark corners. We visited their house one evening during a gathering there and she had little lamps every where, in corners, on the floors, on shelves and tables and counters, and it was magical. Everyone looked great because there were no shadows under the eyes, and yet it wasn’t blaring bright, just lit. It felt very comfortable and warm and inviting. It feels nice if lighting can come from above and spread out over a room and using strings of lights to backlight or underlight is also kind of magical because of the soft glow that emits from the area.

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