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I always used to consider lighting a bit of an afterthought – the last bit of decor to be purchased after I’d finished everything else, and normally as cheaply as possible. Nowadays, I appreciate the importance of good lighting and see it as an integral part of an interior scheme. It’s definitely something I’m happy to invest in, and even when the budget’s tight I’d rather splash what I can on lighting and make savings elsewhere.
I have a particular penchant for table lamps. Not only are they the quickest and easiest way to update your lighting (no installation or electrical work required!), they also act as statement features that can pull an entire room together. What’s more, I much prefer to use lamps than glaring overhead lights as they make spaces feel so much cosier – in fact the pendant lights in most rooms of our house rarely get switched on!
One of my favourite designs is the ‘Kizu’ lamp, created by Lars Tornøe for Danish brand New Works. It combines two sculptural shapes that almost look as if they’re balancing on top of each other, with two different sizes and a choice of white or black marble for the base. I’ve wanted one for ages and I’m delighted to finally get my hands on one thanks to David Village Lighting, a UK-based specialist with more than 30 years’ experience. It stocks a fantastic array of contemporary lighting, all available online and at its Sheffield showroom, and its range includes many of my favourite Scandinavian brands. There are also iconic designs from the likes of Flos, Vitra and Louis Poulsen, along with a selection of outdoor lights and spotlights.
To show how versatile the ‘Kizu’ lamp is, I’ve styled it in two areas of my home where I’d like to add extra lighting. The first is my office, where I need a lamp to sit on the cupboard at the back and complement my existing desk lamp. Not only does it illuminate a rather dark corner of the room, it provides a lovely background glow that makes the space feel warm and inviting – very much needed, as it’s where I spend most of my day! The colour palette in this room combines soft greys and beiges with a few black and white accents, and so the lamp fits in brilliantly.
The second place is the dining room, where I need an alternative to the overhead pendant light to create a soft mood for dinner parties and meals. The ‘Kizu’ works perfectly with the monochrome scheme here, and I love the way the white marble is offset by the sleek black steel of the sideboard. To create a cohesive display, I accessorised it with a few minimalist grey ceramics, a By Lassen storage box, an ‘Aura’ mirror (also by New Works) and some of my favourite reads.
If you’d like to update your home with a new table lamp, here are my top tips to help you find the perfect design:
- Consider what the lamp will be used for. Do you need it to provide task lighting for reading or work, or more general ambient light? Or perhaps a combination of both?
- If you want the lamp for task lighting, look for designs with adjustable heads and necks so that you can angle the light exactly where you need it.
- If you want ambient lighting, however, seek out designs that diffuse the light to create a soft glow, rather than pointing it in a specific direction – the opal white shade of the ‘Kizu’ is ideal for this. You might also want a dimmer switch so that you can easily alter the brightness and mood.
- Consider the size of any potential lamp carefully. You not only need to make sure that it will fit on the surface it’s intended for, but also that it’s the right height to avoid the bulb shining straight into your eyes.
- Bear in mind the temperature of the light a lamp emits, as this can have a big impact on the feel of a space. It’s largely decided by the type of bulb and is measured in Kelvins, but the colour of the shade or glass can play a role too. In general, cooler light (3,100K-4,500K on the Kelvin scale) is more energising, whereas warmer light (2,000K-3,000K on the Kelvin scale) is more relaxing. If you want a lamp for tasks where you need to see true colours (for example painting, make-up or knitting), choose a daylight bulb of 4,600K or above. And always try to avoid very cool, bluish light in bedrooms, as it disrupts our natural circadian rhythms and makes falling asleep much trickier.
- If you intend to have more than one lamp in any given room, remember that they don’t have to match each other perfectly – in fact they tend to look better when they don’t. Instead, choose designs with similar colours, materials or shapes so that they complement each other without looking twee.
If you’re still struggling, David Village offers a bespoke lighting design service for both residential and commercial properties – you can find out more here. And I’d love to know which of the two looks above you like the most, to help me decide where the ‘Kizu’ should stay permanently!
All photography by Abi Dare