With over 25 years experience in the industry, Rob is one of London’s leading lighting consultants. Rob has worked on some of the best properties in London and around the world, including having worked closely with Kelly on many projects.
“Lighting for me is a passion; it’s about balance and creating a ‘feel good’ factor for a particular setting. I see myself as painting with light when I work on a project and I’m always looking for ways to create different effects that work for all budgets.”
With winter firmly on our doorsteps, what would be your lighting tips for keeping your home feeling warm and comfortable this winter?
Everyone wants to feel warm and cosy for winter so dimmers are a must so you can set your lighting scheme to a nice warm welcoming level. Dimmers on lamps are a great idea so if your system doesn’t have dimmable 5 amp circuits you can simply wire inline (in the flex) mini slide type dimmers to enable you to set the mood for a nice cosy feel.
Festive lighting is a big part of the upcoming Christmas season, how would you use lighting to best set the mood for the festive season?
Lighting at Christmas can be fun and with a bit of imagination you can create different effects with regular fairy lights. Simply having a glass bowl or vase filled with Christmas baubles and mixing some fairy lights amongst them can give a nice effect. Or if you have a non-working fireplace buy some red fairy lights (LED type) and place some cones or Charcoal coals over them and you get a nice warm glow. Also a tip, if you have regular 230v fairy lights that tend to be bright, you can put an inline dimmer on them and slightly under run them so you have a more golden glow “candle like” plus it helps to save the life of them as we all know how they “defunk” on Christmas eve! Also candles always give a fab light to get you all festive.
What would be your favourite iconic Christmas lighting arrangements this year in London?
Where shall I start, there are the obvious places like Oxford Street and Regent Street. The windows in Selfridges and Harvey Nicks always put on a good display. Even as you drive around now lots of houses have fab Christmas lights. As a tip if you’re decorating exterior Christmas trees, try to buy professional exterior fairy “pee” lights as they tend to last for years and are purposely made for exterior use. I light lots of celebrities Christmas trees and there’s a bit of a knack to them, rather than just throwing sets of lights on to the trees, the secret is to start in the centre and in a “start” formation, run the lights to each branch and just tie them in place with “floristry wire”, it’s time consuming but gives a real wow effect. Consult your local qualified electricians when installing exterior fairy lights.
Looking ahead, many of us like to refurbish for a fresh look in the new year, what would be your top lighting tips to aid the reinvention of the main rooms in your home?
Maybe take advantage of the January sales and replace your lamp shades on table and floor lamps. Floor canister up lighters just placed in corners or, says each side of the fireplace can add a bit of drama and create a nice effect, especially if you have them on dimmers. If you want to freshen up your recess spots you can replace the lamps as they will be a lot more “crisp” when new and will give that extra bit of light on a dull day and you can dim them down in the evening for a more warm welcoming effect. You may want to go a bit more “Eco” for 2013 and replace your regular 12v lamps with “retro fit” Led lamps which tend to be a lot whiter, always try to purchase warm white as there a bit more pleasing to the eye, some are dimmable but maybe best to speak to your local supplier as its not always that straight forward to dim them, still conserving energy never is But hey it is a good cause!
Kelly’s recently released her new signature kitchen collection with Smallbone, how important would you say the right lighting is for creating ambience in your kitchen?
Lighting for kitchen is really important as the kitchen is the main hub of the house. You need good accent lighting for working areas and an ambient light to add some balance. Regular lights for kitchen we would normally use recess lights and maybe have some feature pendant over the island or dining table, a low level circuit for the evening also works well with, say floor washers or some warm white LED strip to your kick back. You can introduce some wall lights or up lighters so you can vary the effect. I always allow for a minimum number of 4 circuits for a kitchen if you can so you can have “loadsa light” if you need it and create a comfortable scene for evening when you are dining or having friends around. Dimmers are a must in the kitchen.