Friday, December 20, 2013

Let there be Light!

I love these bowls from Design within Reach! Here's some info about them: 
“I am excited about shapes and structures,” says Danish designer Herbert Krenchel. “The surface on a design object is important because it makes people want to reach out for it.”
His hand-finished Krenit Bowl (1950s), with a bold colored interior that pops against a matte black exterior, serves as an inviting vessel for all sorts of items. Its utility and form are purposeful: “I also believe that there has to be a balance between function and aesthetics,” continues Krenchel. “A good design must therefore contain more than one aspect to make the perfect overall impression.” Krenchel’s now-iconic Krenit (a combination of his name and Eternit, the name of a fiber cement he used in his work) was the recipient of the gold medal at the 1954 Milan Triennial. Introduced in the early ’50s, the bowl was produced until 1966 and reintroduced by Normann Copenhagen in 2008. The Danish design company has stayed true to Krenchel’s specifications, finishing each piece by hand, but has updated the interior material from hard-to-maintain enamel to durable and lightweight melamine. “
Lately I have been very interested in the mid century modern style as it is the style I grew up with and I am working on a house of a similar era. I love the classic but fun elements of that period and it is so fun to see revival of the same pieces that I have loved for many years. 
As a new designer 10 years ago I never would have believed that lighting in kitchens, baths and other rooms is so integral in functional design. Since I work in a lot of old homes in South Minneapolis I have to look for lighting that will work in traditional settings but has installations that do not disturb the current ceilings and walls. Lighting in kitchens is so important that it is usually one of my first 5 questions to clients. Particularly as we age, we not only need adequate lighting to see where we are working but we also need surfaces that reflect good light. Black counters are particularly difficult for aging eyes and almost all surfaces should have lighter colors and possibly not an abundance of very distinct color contrasts. We still want to keep the space interesting by introducing some contrasts in a pleasing manner.
I am very familiar with the furniture featured from Design Within Reach, however, when I received the current catalog I was enamored with the traditional mid century fixtures and how versatile they are that they can be used in many different settings.
The photo at right is the famous globe light used in threes over an island in a kitchen. Also notice the stainless globe that is suspended over the table from a curved bar will be shown more and described later in the blog.
“An innovative take on a hanging glass globe, Jasper Morrison created his Glo-Ball series of lamps for Flos (1998) to provide a range of blown-glass globes for almost every imaginable situation. Featuring a clean, geometric appearance, the Glo-Ball S1 Suspension Lamp is crafted with hand-blown opaline glass that’s externally acid etched and flashed for a pristine surface that evenly diffuses warm glowing light.”from Design Within Reach

Here is that same basic globe shape placed outside near the front entry way. I am pretty sure this is California or another state when these lights would be o.k. with the warmer temperatures. However, there is probably available the same globes for outdoor use. Please check with a reputable lighting store for the proper lights for outdoor use.
I love the trio of globes (right) with different shapes placed in a living room for ambiance and a great design element.
The same oval shaped globe (below) can be used over a dining room or kitchen table. At my home in the 50's my parents used the very inexpensive white rice paper globes over the table which are still available in multiple sizes and colors. These fixtures in the DWR line are called Nelson Bubble Lights after the original designer George Nelson.

This is from Design within Reach: “Architect George Nelson, who was Herman Miller’s design director from 1946 to 1972, said: “Every truly original idea seems to find its most important expression in a chair.” And then he blew the doors off lighting design. When Nelson was outfitting his office, he coveted a silk-covered Swedish hanging lamp but found it prohibitively expensive. He then recalled seeing a photo in the paper of Liberty ships being mothballed “by having the decks covered with netting and then being sprayed with a self-webbing plastic,” said Nelson. “And then, Whammo!” Inspiration struck, and by the next night, Nelson had designed his first Bubble Lamp® (1947), using a spray coating of translucent plastic polymer over a skeleton of steel wire. “When you put a light in it, it glowed.” A wide range of shapes and sizes are now available. “

These classic floor lamps (above) are called Arco Floor Lamp, originally designed by Pier and Achille Castiglioni in the 1980’s. Achille would implore his students to “start from scratch. Stick to common sense. Know your goals and means.” The lamp was inspired by a street light. The lamp provides overhead lighting without requiring ceiling suspension. Again this is a great modern option for the older home which adding more holes to an old ceiling is not an option. 
Of course this lamp looks great and is functional in living rooms, kitchens (first photo)  and bedrooms!
I love the “fantasy feel” of a combinations of the globes and the Arco below. It is fun to see the reflections of the globes on the floor. I hope that all of these lights have dimmers which are another must for ceiling lights.

I love the overhead lamp below because it can provide illumination in and entire room with just one hole in the ceiling. This could also be used in a kitchen instead of recessed lighting.

Here's Product Information From Design Within Reach:
“Serge Mouille designed his angular, insect-like lights as "a reaction to the Italian models that were beginning to invade the market in 1950," which he criticized for being "too complicated." The Three-Arm Ceiling Lamp (1958) is a hanging interpretation of his original Three-Arm Floor Lamp, and maintains the original's kinetic, sculptural aesthetic. All of his lighting solutions feature Mouille's hallmark signatures as a designer: the way the arms are joined to the diffusers, the washer and six-sided screw hardware, the form of the reflectors, and the refined lines of the steel tubing. Bulb (not included): 75W/E26. Made in France.
  • Three arms rotates in various directions.
  • Shades are produced using the original molds, proportions, materials and techniques.
  • Each lamp is stamped and numbered. “

So as we enter these shorter days of light think about illuminating your spaces with warm glowing lights!