THEMES FROM GRAND DESIGNS LIVE, MAY 2010
Anyone who works within the world of interior design knows how quickly fashions change. As a retailer of domestic lighting, it is particularly important for me to keep abreast of these changes so I can change my stock accordingly. It is one thing to attend the various lighting exhibitions in the UK or perhaps the german lighting shows or the Italian lighting shows, but these do not give you a sense of the bigger picture. Lighting is just one aspect of the interior design package and I think it is important to examine the other interior design elements to make sure we are all working together. A great way of getting to see the bigger picture is by attending design shows such as Grand Designs Live, where you’ll find everything from stunning Italian lighting to simple waste paper bins or shower heads. This is where I have just been. So what did I learn? Well, there seemed to be fewer examples of the very minimalist room settings that have been popular in recent years, instead more of the shaker style and country cottage designs were on display, using wood rather than polished metals and plastics. Perhaps this is a continuation of the popularity of eco building and low energy, sustainable living. The low energy theme is still very strong. Philips Lighting had a large stand displaying all of their new LED lamps, which are fantastic. I also noticed a number of examples of Italian lighting. One exhibitor in particular stood out. He runs a family business manufacturing Italian lighting from his base in Venice. You could really tell that his lighting was Italian, the painted finish, the flowing natural lines and the beautifully woven glass are all very distinctive examples of Italian lighting and in particular Northern Italian lighting. I also noticed a strong presence of crystal lighting designs. Both modern and traditional. One design in particular was particularly impressive, featuring a dark metal framework with heavy chunky crystal drops. This was another example of Italian lighting. The chunky crystal look is very popular in Italian lighting design. To view a range of Italian lighting or crystal chandeliers please go to www.lightingcentre.co.uk or visit The Lighting Centre in Guildford, Surrey.