Lighting Up Time
By Linda Parker
As the lovely Spring sunshine shows up all the nooks and crannies that need a good dusting and Spring clean, I’m reminded that fabulous lighting is one of the key things that turns a good kitchen into a great kitchen. The trend for sets of three, four or even five pendants above an island, breakfast bar unit or dining table continues unabated … it can work out costly, but there are some fabulous pendants in the under-£100 bracket, so don’t be too apprehensive.
This is the Mala kitchen, one of four new designs from LochAnna, known as the FORM collection, which comprises Easington, Elswick, Strata and Malo, as shown here. All the designs are handleless, and available in lots of matt and gloss colours – Gloss Porcelain and Strato Buff are shown here. But we want you to look at the lighting as well as the cabinetry! Look at the discreet inset spotlights and under-cabinet lighting, which, along with the gorgeous glass skylight, ensures this kitchen is never going to be dark and gloomy!
Adding lighting details can upscale a simply-designed kitchen, we love the ways this LED Strip Light by Benchmarx is used to highlight this cupboard, from the Sherwood French White kitchen by Benchmarx. It’s essential to plan all lighting requirements at the very beginning of the kitchen design process, to make sure that all the necessary sockets and connections are installed at the correct stage and consequently, are designed ‘into’ the project.
If you want to add striking lighting to an existing kitchen or dining room scheme, swapping from fancy or ornate table lights to a sleek and simple floor-standing lamp will emphasise a new look. We’re rather keen on this stunning No. 168 Arched Black Floor Lamp from John Lewis. It has a heavy marble base, so can sit comfortably under an armchair or next to a dining table without causing disruption. It stands 2m tall and has a black linen shade. Simply perfect!
These three lights are just a very small selection from an incredible range by Dar Lighting, it’s a must-look-at if you’re on the trail of lighting suites for a new kitchen, dining, living space. Mix and match wall lights with pendants for a co-ordinated or contrasting look. Again, it’s really important to plan wall-lights well ahead of installation day, especially in a new kitchen extension with conservatory or orangery aspects. Wall lights can often look good if positioned in the gaps between wall cabinets, or to provide ambient light in a sociable family space. From left; Frederick wall light in black and copper, also available in grey/copper and white/chrome. Centre; the Onza Easy Fit pendant comes as a pair, and can be attached to existing ceiling lamp holders if you’re changing from one type of ‘shade’ to another. Right; For a more traditional atmosphere, take a look at the Dynamo suite, which has lots of options, including pendants, triple pendants, wall lights and table-lamp versions. Definitely something to suit all traditional or period-style requirements!
This is the Plate Dining Table, designed by Jasper Morrison for Vitra, and available from Nest. It’s simply streamlined design means that it won’t look out of place in twenty years’ time, and of course, can be accessorised with different chairs, rugs and pendant lights. Yes, it’s a bit of an investment, but just think – you’ll never have to go searching for a dining table again. Shown here in white, also available in oak, smoked oak and grey or chocolate powder-coated aluminium bases. In four sizes, too. And whilst you’re looking at the tables, hop over to the pendants available from Nest. Spoilt for choice doesn’t cover it!!
Ok, so here we are imagining a super-simple kitchen with a gorgeous dining table. Which needs a super-striking pendant light to add the finishing touch. So here are three of our top suggestions … From left; Pink Cage Pendant from Dowsing & Reynolds, other variations are available too. Centre; Arc Plywood Pendant from Urban Coo. It’s plywood pieces slotted together, which throw interesting shapes and shadows upwards to the ceiling. Right; We are very impressed with collection from The Light Yard, which includes a good choice of IP44-rated lights – which are, of course, suitable for bathroom use. This is a pendant from the Alchemist range, which is perfect for a slightly industrial feel, or which could simply add a quirky look to any style of kitchen.
One last burst of lighting inspiration for you … this is the glorious Asteroid pendant in satin finish glass and aluminium – it’s also available in Copper and Matt White. Consider installing perimeter lighting in the ceiling to add structural and architectural interest. Christopher Wray offer an architectural and interior design service.
And Finally … Some Easter Happyness
I’ll try not to dwell on how quickly Easter seems to have come around again, but this year I am very glad to see lots of gorgeous accessories and fripperies available in the shops (especially the little local gift shops I try and support!). Easter decorations and inspirations by Gisela Graham are widely available up and down the UK, take a look here for your nearest stockist. And try not to eat tooooo much chocolate!