Splash Of Light – Case Study
Victorian House, Hampton
Weaving the Old with the New
The Brief and the Concept
It was important for the client that the period house’s history was respected but the property also needed to work as a comfortable 21st century family home. Each room had a unique design which was explored and the various options discussed so that, in the end, all the rooms had a spatial arrangement that would flow through the building and tied together seamlessly. The architectural and decorative lighting used were key elements that weaved the old with the new part of the building.
Like many old Victorian houses in London, extensions over time had incorporated rooms with various ceiling heights, with many rooms at half landings and at different levels. The clients wanted to preserve and restore as much of the original period features of the house as possible such as detailed ceilings, wooden shutters, archways, stained glass windows and a beautiful original staircase. Architectural lighting in the ceiling was restricted, as many of the ceilings in the key rooms could not be altered.
“Not only did Virginie encompass all of our challenging requests but she added great depth of character and flexibility to the designs with lighting moods.”
The challenges encouraged Virginie to be creative with the lighting design, incorporating dramatic focal points and much needed layers of lights to create a warm and inviting feel to the house. Using a combination of table lamps, wall lamps, feature pendants/ chandeliers, joinery lighting, floor recessed uplights and a few well placed LED downlights was essential to allow the various atmospheres that the family wanted to achieve.
The ceiling’s detail is gently highlighted from the reflected light of the chandelier whilst table lamps bring pools of light at eye level creating a more intimate atmosphere in the drawing room.
– where light is used to view what is special – reveal the house’s architectural features giving it depth and dimension.
- Discreet floor recessed uplights, with a narrow beam of warm light, now grazes elegant archways and wooden shutters and reflects light back from the ceiling. These add a magical touch and a contemporary feel to the rooms.
- Chandeliers dominate the hallway and the stairs adding a touch of glamour to these stunning architectural spaces whilst some beautiful art, are highlighted. Lighting inserted into an old cabinet means that one always notices it when passing by.
Choosing specific lighting fixtures
For the rooms with a contemporary feel, careful considerations was given to the type of light fittings used in the ceiling, specially the quality of the LED downlights as it was vital that not only they gave the right amount and colour of light in the rooms but also that they would produce minimal glare when one was entering the room from a different level.
“As a result of her work, we realised how valuable it was to have professional help with lighting and subsequently asked Virginie to help us with the lighting designs for the rest of the rooms of our house”
Layers of light
The various layers of light used bring out the richness of the finishes and create interest within the space. The ability to alter the light level of each layer of light means that a variety of moods can be achieved. Each room feels inviting, lived in and warm.
Precisely positioned downlights illuminate the work surfaces for food preparation and cooking whilst decorative lighting create a softer atmosphere when relaxing within the open plan area.
The combination of both decorative and architectural lighting was the key element to the overall success of the lighting design. It is the careful adjustment of these various layers of light, the contrast of light and shade that they created and how they are controlled that give the rooms the variety of moods that can be used at different times of the day and night.
“From start to finish, Virginie was thorough, insightful and intuitively came up with great designs and was very professional and timely throughout the whole build and installation. We cannot recommend her more highly.”
Each area had a different lighting requirement and style, ranging from modern and practical (kitchen, landing area and dining room) to traditional and subtle (hall, study and drawing room).
We asked for many of the house’s traditional features to be accentuated (these included arches, ceiling details and original window shutters) in the design. It was not easy with many changes in ceiling height and the lighting of artwork to also be accommodated.
Not only did Virginie encompass all of our challenging requests but she added great depth of character and flexibility to the designs with lighting moods.
As a result of her work, we realised how valuable it was to have professional help with lighting and subsequently asked Virginie to help us with designs for the rest of the rooms of our house.
From start to finish, Virginie was thorough, insightful and intuitively came up with great designs and was very professional and timely throughout the whole build and installation. We cannot recommend her more highly.”
If you would like to discuss your project further, please get in touch