See the light

BRIGHT IDEAS FOR DESIGNING A WELL-LIT SPACE.

Imagine you are kicking back in the most luxurious hotel room you have ever stayed in. Most likely, the room will have a ceiling light, bedside lamps, a freestanding tall lamp and lights directly above the bed.

Some of those lights will be on a dimmer switch, allowing you to customise the lighting so that you can relax with a drink, read before bed or work at a desk.

According to Marie Botsis from the newly launched Montauk Lighting Co, one of the most important factors in creating ambience in a room is lighting.

“In terms of style, lighting can make a huge statement and create the wow factor in any interior,” Marie says. “And if you have more sources of light, you’re better able to control the ambience.

“The Americans use lighting very cleverly and are not afraid to use wall sconces, lamps and stunning statement lights. It is really the case that lighting can be used to add a little or a lot of style to any space and the options are endless.” 

Marie and her husband, Gino Premici, established the company - named after a town in the Hamptons - after identifying a gap in the Perth market for distinctive, high-quality lighting.

“When we built our own home, we were very focused on getting the fine details right,” she says. “We thought the style and quality of the lighting would be a key part of the overall look and feel of our home.

“We were researching interiors by googling homes for sale in the Hamptons and we found the lights that now sit above our benchtop in a photo and we knew we had to have them.

“We checked local lighting stores and couldn’t find them or anything similar so we sourced them ourselves. We were thrilled with the quality and variety available and now we are excited to bring that offering to Perth for both residential and commercial projects.”

As well as selling product, the Montauk Lighting Co also provides a consultancy service.

“We aim to take the work out of finding the perfect lights and designing well-lit spaces,” Marie says.

“We work with clients individually to understand the look and feel they want to achieve. We have access to almost 1000 lights by internationally acclaimed lighting designers, so we can narrow the search down to a selection that is very manageable. We also help work through lighting plans and suggest edits and revisions as required.”

Marie says one of the most obvious questions to ask when planning lighting for a new home or renovation is whether there is enough light available.

“Work with your designer or architect to understand the role that natural light will play in your home and be sure to understand the impact of summer and winter sun and the orientation of your home,” she says.

“From here, you can begin to plan out the key areas where you might need to bolster some lighting or go easy in others.

“Clearly, you will always need lighting at night, so look at your key rooms with both day and night in mind.”

TASK VS MOOD: WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE?

Task lighting will illuminate the areas where you need a good light source. Think kitchen, bathroom or office.

Mood or feature lighting adds style and helps to create a pleasant atmosphere.

“A great example is in the kitchen, where these days we see more and more use of feature and functional lighting in the one space,” Marie says.

“Feature lights over the island bench and maybe in some flush downlights in glass display cabinets in the overhead cupboards. But these aren’t enough on their own in a kitchen space – overhead downlights around your prep and cooking space are paramount, and you just can’t beat recessed lighting underneath your overhead cupboards to light up the benchtop space.”

Marie says creating a balance between task and mood lighting is vital.

"Lighting can play a really big part in creating a beautiful home instantly,” she says. “A stunning chandelier or unique pendant has the potential to completely transform a room in your home – taking it from zero to hero in no time at all.

“A show-stopping lighting fixture is only part of the lighting plan puzzle. You can design and decorate the most beautiful room but if your feature lighting is totally overwhelming the space, then what’s the point?”

Marie says feature lighting is increasingly playing a role in creating more cosy spaces.

She says it’s possible to use lighting to create different zones within open-plan layouts and assign different characters to each zone.

“For example, typically you can have a kitchen, dining and living area all in one big open space,” she says. “Other than using furniture to separate these space, it’s great to see so many homes now using lighting to really bring these spaces to life.

“Why not create a zone in the kitchen with stunning island bench lighting? You can then focus on the dining space by hanging a pendant over the dining table or perhaps install some statement wall sconces. Then move into the living space and create little nooks for reading using floor lamps alongside beautiful armchairs and even consider a statement pendant over the coffee table.

“Just be mindful of bringing the looks together and being conscious that your choices all work together. They don’t have to be ‘matchy matchy’ – as long as they tell a coherent story, then you’re set.”

CHOOSING A GREAT GLOBE

Consistency is key when it comes to fitting your lights with the appropriate globes. Nothing is worse than walking into a home where different colour temperature globes are used. Always stick to one temperature where you can - warm white or cool white.

Colour temperature is a measurement that indicates the hue of the light source. It’s measured in degrees Kelvin (K). Generally, warmer tones are in the 2000-3000K range and emit a yellowish-white through to red colour. As you go higher on the scale, the colour becomes cooler with a more blueish tinge – you generally see this at the 4000K-plus range.

The colour you choose is a personal preference, just be consistent with your choices.

ARE DIMMERS WORTHWHILE?

Dimmers are a great feature for any areas where you’d like to control the mood, says Marie. “For us, they’re non-negotiable in living and dining areas. We also recommend dimmers for wall sconces in hallways and rooms that have fewer sources of light because it allows you to control the mood and amount of light in that room.”

Dimmers are less important in rooms where you have a combination of overhead or feature lights, wall sconces and lamps – you can decide what is turned on or off to create the perfect ambience.

THINGS TO CONSIDER

  • Is the room a work space or is it for play?
  • Do you need lighting to evenly flood a space or is ambient light what you need?
  • What about lighting on your stairs?

Article taken from Home Base Magazine, Spring | Summer 2016/17 Edition

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