Have you ever walked into a lighting store and thought OMG?
The overwhelm makes you walk straight out again! There’s so many lights crammed together. Where do you start?
How do you find the perfect light with your name on it?
You could browse for hours on the net. With enough time you can find almost anything. But how do you know if you’ll like it from a picture on your phone? There’s no substitute for seeing it in real life.
So where do you go, other than an 'Aladdins cave' lighting store?
Hands down, the best place to view lighting is Milan Design Week (Salone del Mobile). Every brand creates a huge installation with no expense spared. Each light’s beautifully showcased in acres of space. Allowing you to immerse yourself in these works of art.
Don’t worry, there’s no need to jump on a plane to Milan, we’ve been for you.
2019 was a landmark year for lighting design. So to inspire you, we’ve curated the 5 best feature lights for your modern minimal interior.
The Danish designer Tom Rossau, makes elegantly smooth, organically shaped lamps. Resembling delicate seed pods or shells, they float like traditional Japanese paper lanterns.
There are many beautiful designs but I particularly love the simplicity of the TR28 pendant. Its low dome shape is created by layering strips of natural birch veneer or white polycarbonate (pictured). It’s large at 50cm diameter but would hover perfectly above an expansive dining table. This version works beautifully with a light wood, and the birch would look striking combined with black metal. If space is tight, opt for the smaller table lamp, perched on three fine legs.
Handmade in their Copenhagen workshop, these lamps continue the legacy of great Danish mid-century design. They also do commissions.
Vibia make outstanding minimal lighting and their new Flat design is no exception. Launched during Milan design week in 2019 it’s not yet in production, so you’re seeing it here first!
In complete contrast to the smooth shapes of Tom Rossau, Flat is all clean right angles. Crafted from metal, it rises like a geometric snake to finish in a small flat circular hood. Casting a soft pool of light, it would sit perfectly on a low wood side table. In Milan it was shown in black and terracotta but the full colour range is yet to be announced. It also comes in a lower table version, a floor lamp and pendant. In my opinion, a very versatile light.
If you can’t wait for Flat to be released then look at Pin, another beautiful table lamp by Ichiro Iwasaki.
Moy, the ultimate in minimal simplicity. A white opaque glass diffuser with a simple metal base and matching cap. A masterpiece in restrained design by the Spanish design duo Nahtrang.
The diffuser design creates gentle light with no harsh shadows. Its water resistance makes it perfect for a bathroom and at 14cm diameter it could fit just about anywhere. Beautiful in a hallway or living room, it can also be fitted as a ceiling light. Metal finishes include gold, silver and bronze (pictured).
The key to the success of this light is its balanced proportions and the subtle brushed metal. A perfect example of less in more.
The Spanish brand Marset, presented a redesigned metal version of their iconic Ginger light in 2019. A small lower dish conceals the light source which is reflected by the large upper dish. The effect is a wide pool of glare-free soft light.
Ginger also comes in three wall mounted options, two floor lamps, a table lamp and even a cordless mini-lamp for ultimate clutter-free living. Combine this with the contrasting metal options of burnished gold, white or matte black (pictured) and there’s a version to suit any space.
My favourite is the small 32cm diameter pendant. It’s the perfect centre-piece to any restrained minimal interior, either singly or in a small group. It reminds me of the classic mid-century Danish lighting produced by Louis Poulsen, but with a modern twist.
I love this unusual wall light. It appears to float away from the wall, but look closely. It’s actually a dimpled ceramic dome mounted onto an almost invisible glass back.
The light source is hidden behind the dome, which bounces it through the glass back and onto the wall. This creates a wonderfully diffuse illumination. At 22cm diameter it’s large enough to light a whole room but small enough to be discrete. It can also be used as a ceiling light. Colours include azure blue, terracotta, green, and my favourite, grey (pictured).
The perfect light for a pared-back utilitarian interior.
Just like a theatrical production, lighting is an art form. Done properly, it creates sophisticated ambience, and works so well you hardly notice it.
This is our edit of the very best from Milan Design Week.
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