Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Designers With Their Eyes On Lighting

Maybe it's easy to take everyday design for granted because so much of it is accessible. Lighting is a good example. It's abundant enough that most of us ignore it, even if there are designers behind each and every piece — and even if their designs make all the difference in how we see a room.

The retro-modern Thomas Edison collection designed by Nova is one example. The look takes advantage of the classic Edison light bulb with clean, modern design, making it both a throwback and contemporary at the same time.

The collection itself includes several designs, including a pendant, table lamp and floor lamp with a three-acr bulbs. All of them include some similar features such as oil rubbed bronze finish and charcoal glass. Although all of the lamps would perfectly accent  low watt Edison bulbs, newer energy efficient bulbs would work well too.

Nova explores retro-contemporary lighting. 

The Thomas Edison collection is cool example, even if it isn't exclusive. Nova has a history of blending the past and future. The Fizz floor lamp is another example. With a smooth minimalist base of brown and brushed nickel tones but a vibrantly bright bulbs, it feels like the past looking forward.

It might very well be. Originally founded in 1923, Nova has always attempted to leap forward to capture what different eras considered contemporary. At the time, electricity was still a novel concept. This might explain how the company consistently captures a retro-contemporary sensibility.

Currently, the company includes four exceptional designers: Jon Gilmore, Kelly Johnston, Javier Palomares, and Juliana Silbermins. Although it is sometimes difficult to know which designs belong to which designers (although Nova knows), all stand out.

Two other design teams with a flair for retro-contemporary lighting. 

Although some don't see as much retro design in the contemporary Icicle Table lamp by Lumisource, the long-time furniture manufacturer seems to have been inspired by the 1940s. There is a fortress of solitude look to an otherwise subtle contemporary design.

Specifically, the cylindrical frosted sconces create a soft glow, which accent the tubular chrome arms of the lamp. It also exemplifies the idea of everyday design in that it is striking and subtle at the same time. It also uses energy efficient 40 watt halogen bulbs. The company makes a floor version too.

Equally creative are two lighting designs offered from Inhabit. Both represent sustainability in design, with reclaimed materials at their core. One of them is made with cardboard cutouts that have a repetitive silhouette shape.

The lamp itself comes with hardwire hardware and a standard braided cord, with a brushed nickel canopy. But the beauty of the design is really made possible by the silhouette, which is made from 70 percent recycled material and then treated with a non-toxic fire retardant. There are several dozen shapes offered by the company.

The second design is also made with recycled material. Not completely dissimilar to the Thomas Edison minimalism, Inhabit has created a pendant collection that is handmade of out of reclaimed wine bottles and manufactured in the United States. These simple but striking lights use 26 watt compact fluorescent bulbs (not included).

Inhabit, in particular, has always been one of my favorite everyday designers. It was founded in 2002 by accident when designers Mike Tuttle and Jennifer Smith Tuttle turned a commercial design client's distaste for three graphic patterns into a fabric prototype as a personal favor. When the client was thrilled with the result, the duo started applying their commercial design skills across several residential ideas too. And while I don't personally own their lighting solutions, I do love their bedding innovations.

The Thomas Edison Collection By Nova Light Up 5.2 On The Liquid Hip Richter Scale. 

Although Lumisource and Inhabit both have incredible lighting designs, the newest offering by Nova really stands out. The simplistic marriage between modern and vintage makes for memorable lighting effects, especially when you put several in the same room, creating a completely unique mood.

Still, any of these designs can make an equally compelling statement. You can find both the Nova Thomas Edison collection and Lumisource Icicle lamps at iFurn. Inhabit, which manages its own storefront, carries both the sculptural and reclaimed bottle pendants. Some of the reclaimed bottle pendants also carry sayings that are etched into the glass.
blog comments powered by Disqus