Nikki guides us through the lighting design of an award winning project.
Lighting design is about so much more than selecting some beautiful fixtures. It’s about creating a mood. The aim is not to have someone walk in and think “the lighting is great”. In fact, if this is the case, then we haven’t done our job well at all. Our goal is that you walk in and think this place looks and feels amazing, but you don’t quite know why… It’s about subtlety, and the space as a whole. That is successful design. Clever light planning enables us to play with how we perceive the dimensions of a room. The eye is always drawn to the brightest point in a space so by placing the chandelier in the back corner, we increase the sense of space.
These custom planters screen the unsightly view of the nearby buildings and by fitting each one with an internal light source, we draw the eye beyond the boundary of the room-visually extending its perimeter to include the balcony and so making the whole space feel so much larger. Notice that this space has few down lights. Actually, down lights are a pet peeve of mine. To me, they are like acne on the face of a beautiful girl. Our ceilings are such a key feature of the design, so why ruin them with pimples! My view is that architectural light fittings should not be seen –Instead, keep the ceilings unblemished and let the other design elements shine.
In addition to the planter boxes, we have wired the entry console, desk and coffee table. They effectively function as over-sized lamps, bringing low level lighting to the room. By combining different layers of light, we have created depth and infused the room with a gentle sense of romance. The light sources are set at different angles. In addition to light from above, we have light at eye-level as well as below eye level. The coffee table functions as one giant uplighter and the architrave around the kitchen light has been fitted with concealed LED strips to turn the arch to the kitchen into one giant wall light.
Lighting design is about creating drama. It is about the contrast between light and shade. Add lighting with a restrained hand: What you leave unlit is just as important as what you highlight. In this master bedroom, we eschewed the use of down lights both to avoid glare when looking up from the bed and not to mar the special effects ceiling, which is a key design feature. Coordinating wall sconces complement the bedside pendants. They add another layer of light at medium height at the opposite side of the room, enabling us to leave our decorative ceiling finish uninterrupted and balancing the light from the pendants. A recessed spot with a narrow beam sheds a focused light on the inset vanity table. The table has a mother of pearl surface which has a reflective quality and the light bounces off the surface filling the entire niche. A second light source has been installed under the table to give it a floating effect. We have set another LED light strip into the curtain pelmet, drawing the eye to the very edge of the room and maximising the sense of space in the room. The light strip continues above the feature column, highlighting the pattern beautifully.
Good lighting, is like fairy dust- if you sprinkle it the right way and just the right amount– you can create magic and give a room a whole new dimension.