The Light Fantastic

by theartofbespoke in Bespoke stories

Bespoke lighting expert Dominic Phillips talks us through the new lighting styles.

’People are looking for 1950s, 1960s and 1970s designs. That’s where we are in the fashion cycle at the moment – 10 to 15 years ago they wanted very ornate, 18th-century lights, but now they want a change from that.’

Lighting trends might not change particularly quickly, but they move on nonetheless. And Dominic Phillips, of bespoke lighting firm Phillips & Wood, is seeing a shift in what his upscale clients are looking for.

‘We’ve definitely got some trends going on,’ he says. ‘Nickel has been really popular for the last few years – that shiny, silver look – but that’s lessening off now and we’re seeing a move towards golds, polished brass, antiqued brass and bronze.’

And it’s not just any old gold his clients are looking for, either.

‘People are asking for almond gold, which is a slightly paler gold, and for rose gold, which has a pinkish tinge.’

As far as styles are concerned, Phillips is seeing the mid-century shapes enjoy a renaissance.

’People are looking for 1950s, 1960s and 1970s designs,’ he says. ‘That’s where we are in the fashion cycle at the moment – 10 to 15 years ago they wanted very ornate, 18th-century lights, but now they want a change from that. After all, you don’t want what your parents had.’

He mentions the French architect and designer Jean Royère, whose work is becoming increasingly collectable.

‘His were very simple, clean designs – he’d use a lot of bent tubes of metal to produce chandeliers and lampshades,’ says Phillips. ‘Some clients recently said they saw a Jean Royère and it was £150,000,’ he says. ‘They would have bought it but it was too small for the room. So we said, “We can do you an exact copy and we’ll do it for a tenth of the price.’

Firms like Phillips & Wood are able to copy Royère’s pieces because they’re more like art installations and were never mass-produced. So clients can – and do – come in with pictures of the lights they want, and Phillips & Wood can re-create them. ‘As long as it isn’t a current design and there aren’t design rights on it, then we can do that, yes,’ he says.

But if your budget doesn’t stretch to a Royère, either real or copied, it’s still possible to stylishly light your home.

‘Get yourself round to a boot sale or antique fairs and find yourself a dilapidated or damaged light and get it repaired. You can find some real gems,’ says Phillips.

Many people steer clear of second-hand lighting, assuming that it’s more hassle than it’s worth. But it isn’t hard to find someone to fix it.

‘We’d do it – we started out in antiques restoration,’ says Phillips. ‘Or you can ask your local antiques dealer to refer you to a restorer. Most people feel daunted by it, but there are all these people who can put it right for you.’

And, financially, it can be worth your while.

‘Always imagine that what you’re looking at can be fully refurbished. You could end up with something they’d sell on Pimlico Road for £500 that you’ve picked up for £30 and had fixed up for £100.’

Phillips & Wood – www.phillipsandwood.co.uk


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