So much of the ambience of an interior is shaped by the interaction of its elements. Mostly, these are obvious - the tangible structures of furniture and art finding harmony and resonance with each other. However, just as negative space provides the tension and scale required to balance
solid objects in situ, lighting provides an important opportunity to explore composition and create beauty in ways that are both active and passive, ornate and atmospheric. From a room flooded with natural light to the soft impact of sconces
used for emphasis, the way we implement and invite light into our homes communicates a fluency of design played out in the flourish of form and the function of effect.
Just as negative space provides the tension and scale required to balance solid objects in situ, lighting provides an important opportunity to explore composition and create beauty in ways that are both active and passive, ornate and atmospheric. Image via Rachel Donath
For the most part, lighting is placed above eye level. Functionally, it must illuminate, though we find decorative ways to direct and diffuse light so as to amplify its reach or shield it to protect the eye. In this respect, the greatest element of design exists in lighting as an instrument - a vessel informed by purpose and placement but beautified for visual appeal, warmth, intimacy and ambience.
Task lighting, therefore, tends to be bolder, brighter and bigger. The scale and detail of pendant lighting in hallways, above dining tables and in living areas is meant to feature. It is lighting at its grandest in the context of a residential interior - sometimes whimsical and embellished, sometimes refined and subtly textured but always an opportunity to weave an aesthetic into our homes through the charm and character of its presence.
via @flackstudio, the scale of overhead lighting gives us an opportunity to weave an aesthetic into our homes through the charm and character of its presence.
Beautiful hall pendant lighting in a Rachel Donath interior, shapes the emotional environment of the space with its subtle texture and serene palette.
As a component of design, it is defined and deliberate - injecting texture, tone and warmth into the composition of a room’s constituents. The fluidity of a Murano glass chandelier has an inherently different feel to that of raffia, metal or even cloth where the material differences of shape and shade add to a space’s sense of balance, but also, emotional environment.
The same, of course, is true of floor lamps and sconces though their task is performed through more subdued, intimate lighting. Here, we depart from the overhead to create smaller areas of spotlight at different heights and as needed. We read, for example, in the comfort of a cushioned area, gravitating towards the private enclave created from the bloom of lamplight. Emphasis may be established through wall lights to add drama - framing mirrors, mantelpieces, artwork and windows - a stage set for narrative and mood forged from the quiet juxtaposition of dark against the animation of light.
Intimacy created with the soft emphasis and bloom of wall lights - a quiet juxtaposition of dark against the animation of light.
The shadowplay of passive light is its own poetry in motion in a Rachel Donath Interior.
In many ways, how we engage light becomes its own architectural highlight. In the form of fixtures and décor, lighting takes on an active role whereas natural light is passive but equal in its ability to accentuate. As it streams in an open window, it interacts with time and place to flood and shadow: opening up or closing in as it dances around objects throughout, and at thresholds, of the day. Moments are created from this: a chair is set aglow as the sun dissolves to dusk or rises in the morning to create beauty through the silhouettes it casts across the kitchen. Like poetry in motion, light, however used, is alive: a tool to express a higher love of art and our own dexterity in design.
Natural light interacts with time and place to flood and shadow: opening up or closing in as it dances around objects throughout, and at thresholds, of the day.
From the Inventory:
Exploring art in objects and history in antiques, Rachel Donath is a purveyor of designer and antique furniture, Australia. Discover The Inventory here.