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Hi!

Welcome to my blog. As an interior designer, design is in my blood. Design affects how we live, how we function. It can have a profound effect on our happiness and productivity.  I wish to inspire you with my stories about great, good and not so good design. About exteriors and interiors. About colours and art. In short, the things that we surround ourselves with. 

The Dark Days before The Holidays - 2019 Trends in Pendants and Chandeliers

The Dark Days before The Holidays - 2019 Trends in Pendants and Chandeliers

Cover Image: Twiggy Pendant. Designed by Marc Sadler. Fabricated by Foscarini.

I like this time of the year. I like that it gets darker sooner. I like that I need to turn the lights on much earlier. I like it because it makes being home, indoors, so cozy. In Dutch we would say ‘gezellig’. There is something special about coming in from the cold, dark outdoors and switching on the table lamps, creating pools of lighting with that warm glow. It makes me want to make hot chocolate and eat cookies, an indulgence to be sure. It makes me want to play my favourite piece of music and read my books. It makes me want to sit and think, do nothing. Hardly unusual, right? Lots of people feel this way. Don’t we call it nesting?

Soon we will see the shortest day of the year after which there will be at least three more months of winter here in Canada. This means that we spend nearly 6 months of the year with days where we need to turn the lights on early. And that nesting feeling? We have lots of time for that.

 Sleek, modern chandelier in gold tones. Source: Dwell

Sleek, modern chandelier in gold tones. Source: Dwell

Nesting requires some serious lighting and great lamps though, in my view as a designer. Finding just that perfect light fixture or great table lamps is not that simple though. It depends where you live, your budget, your preferences, your decor. If you live in a large metropolitan area you can find better product than if you were to live somewhere rural. If you live in Europe access to great lighting is so much better than in North America (with the exception of New York and Los Angeles).

Lately I have found there to be a fresh wind blowing through North America’s lighting industry. For the longest time I have been utterly bored with this industry here. For decades there was little available that was of any interest to me as a designer. The most exciting and beautiful light fixtures almost invariably came from Europe and in particular from Italy. Innovation in the design and decorating world still seem lacking. Young and upcoming industrial and interior designers on average hail from Europe. 

 Hubbardton Forge Lily Chandelier. Source: Norburn Lighting. Metal disks looking like leaves are playfully hanging from a linear suspended light bar.

Hubbardton Forge Lily Chandelier. Source: Norburn Lighting. Metal disks looking like leaves are playfully hanging from a linear suspended light bar.

Just recently though I have seen some light fixture designs from North America manufacturers that are worth taking a closer look at. With the changes taking place in kitchen and bathroom design in particular, changes in lighting are keeping better pace. I have listed some examples of light fixtures which are pretty, functional and different. Some are a modern interpretation of a classic design, others are as cheeky as they are functional and definitely bring a smile to your face. 

General 2019 Trends in Lighting

  1. Large scale fixtures

  2. More organic materials such as wood, twigs, wicker, paper

  3. Gold and antiqued brass tones

  4. Funky and playful styles

  5. Sleek and modern styles with bendable features

 Design by Adrienne Elizabeth. Note the large scale of the fixtures and the wood detail where the glass shade is mounted to the fixture.

Design by Adrienne Elizabeth. Note the large scale of the fixtures and the wood detail where the glass shade is mounted to the fixture.

Pendants & Chandeliers

There is a kitchen trend emerging, which sees more painted cabinets than solid wood. The paint colours are leaning toward deeper and darker colours. While white and ivory coloured kitchen cabinets will remain popular, the grey tones are finding their way to the back burner. We see navy and emerald green emerging as cabinet colours. Black is becoming one of the top choices for cabinets.

 Royce Chain Pendant. Source: Schoolhouse. Rather than small pendants the homeowner choose two larger gold tone ones. This pendant is also gold toned on the inside. The brass barstools pick up on the gold tones. I probably would have chosen a more interesting fabric for the barstools. The, what looks like faux leather in black does not do it for me. This would have been a great opportunity to introduce an interesting floral or geometric fabric design. The white subway tile is perfect and works well with the countertops. The black faucets are great. A brass toned faucet set would work equally well here.

Royce Chain Pendant. Source: Schoolhouse. Rather than small pendants the homeowner choose two larger gold tone ones. This pendant is also gold toned on the inside. The brass barstools pick up on the gold tones. I probably would have chosen a more interesting fabric for the barstools. The, what looks like faux leather in black does not do it for me. This would have been a great opportunity to introduce an interesting floral or geometric fabric design. The white subway tile is perfect and works well with the countertops. The black faucets are great. A brass toned faucet set would work equally well here.

With this change, different pendants than we are used to, will play off the richness of the new cabinet colours. Antiqued brass and golden tones will show brilliantly against a backdrop of rich black or navy blue. Hah, this industry will keep you spending money, for sure! One look is out, the next one comes in, and people are lining up to play part in this game of economics.

While chrome light fixtures are still used frequently, the brass fixture is coming back. As with any designs that have found their way back into the fray, the colour and finish of these brass fixtures is different from the cheap looking brass tones from decades ago. There is a richness to the colour as well as the designs.

Serena & Lily Brass Pendant.jpg

In the image on the left I like how the gold tones of the pendant are prominently displayed against the navy wall panelling. I would have liked to see the service station in an antiqued brass tone to reflect the pendant finish. As it is the blue wicker cart disappears into the wall. Source: Serena & Lily (US).

Antique and vintage fixtures are also finding new homes. If you have or if you can find a nice size one treasure it! They will be very fashionable the coming year. Here are a couple of examples that look great.

The fixture in the left image below is an antique tole pendant and can be found in fashion designer Victoria Swanson Beard’s home. A tole pendant is a painted metal or wood pendant. The technique of tole painting is an old folk-art way of decorating common household objects and furniture, such as utensils and coffeepots. Or footstools and chairs. The word comes from the French tôle peinte, which means painted sheet metal. It was popular in Europe in the 18th century and found its way to North America with migrants in that century. I like how the fixture’s line and colouration plays with the animal print toss pillow and the framed art on the wall. The two pendants in the right side image are from an ammunitions factory. They look robust and strong. Both styles are eye catchers.

Organic fixtures such as wicker or twig pendants have been around for a while. Paper ones have been around for a long time. They typically have been less costly fixtures and in certain parts of the world are very easy to make. I am seeing them used more and more over kitchen islands, casual dining areas or as wall sconces. There is definitely a market for such fixtures. The lend warmth and a relaxed feeling to a space.

The second image above shows a Bodilson chandelier. Bodilson is a Dutch brand with combines the old with the new. This chandelier is made from wood beads. While the overall style is reflective of more conventional chandeliers, the size of it together with the wood beads make it a unique contemporary piece. Doesn’t it look great over the modern style dining table and chairs? The last two images show the same piece. The first of the two photos is not very inspiring in my view, however when you see the fixture on its own, it looks interesting. It is made of metal, not wood twigs.

 Source: Elle Decor.

Source: Elle Decor.

While there is a trend to larger scale fixtures over kitchen islands, a similar effect of scale can be achieved by lining up more than just two or three fixtures. The six fixtures in this images show well, provide lots of lighting and the gold finish is nicely repeated in the yellow stool cushion upholstery.

Another example of multiple fixtures hung together to create visual effect and scale is shown in this fresh looking sun room. With any snow coming down outside this room might want to be warmed up with some deeper colours. I love though how the different shapes and sizes coordinate to give the illusion of one large fixture.

 Source: Serena & Lily (US)

Source: Serena & Lily (US)

Don’t miss the next chapter on lighting. I will be reviewing floor and table lamps. Those oh so difficult to find fixtures in great styles.

A Good Lamp is Hard to Find

A Good Lamp is Hard to Find

Blending In

Blending In