Not just another ground floor extension

 

The client was planning a renovation of the ground floor and garden, with a brief to produce a lighting scheme which would complement his incorporation of both traditional elements and raw architecture, such as exposed brick. Taking this, we aimed to conceal as many of the light fittings as possible, using plaster in fittings or incorporating them into the joinery. Where wall lights and pendants were added we went through an exhaustive review process with the client to find precisely the right items to complement the materials they were to be mounted on or next to.

 

The space has a beautiful entrance hall with patterned tile, and the lighting was kept simple with decorative fittings and a few discrete plaster in downlights. Then you enter into a formal living room with feature fireplace. This is complemented by two decorative wall lights and matching pendant, to frame the fireplace and highlight the patterned wallpaper. Recessed uplights were used to accent the fireplace, while LED strip was incorporated into the bookcases and fitted with an anti glare baffle, silhouetting the books and picking it out as the feature it is.

 

You then progress into the open plan space, consisting of TV snug area, dining area and kitchen area. Within the snug a reading light was fitted, and joinery lighting was used to create soft ambient light. The dining and kitchen areas flow into one another and are tied together by the exposed brick walls. The varying height of the ceilings was added by the architect to define the space and ensure that it didn’t turn into a giant, empty box. Suspended lighting was added as a feature over the dining table and kitchen, while also providing task lighting for these areas. Wall lights were added to the brick in the dining area as a visual feature and to frame the clock, while uplights are used again to frame the doorways and tie the space together. Small starlights were added to the skylights to stop them turning into black holes at night and add some soft ambient light.

 

 

Photography by Franklin and Frankin

Creating a home out of a large house

 

The project was a complete refurbishment of the house, with a new basement added. The client has lived there for a few years but the interior predated them and was not their own. They wanted to create something with a mix of traditional and contemporary in the existing house, but in the extension and basement, they wanted something more modern, with cleaner lines and iconic style pieces. Luckily we were blessed to have such receptive clients, who embraced our design, along with a contractor, BTL Property, who was on board with making the vision of the project a reality.

 

We tailored the lighting to the design, enhancing the architectural elements, such as the skylights door openings, and the decorative elements, such as curtains and the fireplace. We aimed to conceal the light fittings as much as possible so as to not detract from the overall design aesthetic. This was done by using, where possible, concealed LED strip, plaster in downlights, low level lights and channel. They were carefully positioned to ensure the right elements were illuminated.

 

We wanted to be able to choose between a more general setting and a lower, more atmospheric level, with the feel of a private members club. Part of this was to ensure that we had both high and low level lighting positioned in the room, with the low level used alongside dramatic contrast lighting, such as the uplights, to create that club look. Luckily the AV supplier incorporated a Rako lighting control system which enabled us to set scenes and ensure the client always experiences the best lighting possible.

 

 

Photography by Franklin and Frankin

 The Falcon Restaurant, Buntingford

The Falcon in the historic market town of Buntingford, Hertfordshire is a family-run restaurant. Offering classic British flavours, while championing seasonality and provenance, it is easy to see why the Falcon receives rave reviews from critics and customers alike. Deliberately moving away from overcomplicated haute cuisine, The Falcon works closely with local farmers and producers. The restaurant is housed in a Grade II listed building, which has been loving restored with the help of old photographs. With 28 covers, the space features wooden floorboards, textured lime-washed walls, and upcycled antique chairs. Upstairs in the restaurant, two stunning private dining rooms can be found, each seating 8-10 guests.

 To deliver the fit-out of the restaurant, MS Lighting Design were brought into the project through interior designer Joanne Eastham. MS Lighting Design joined part of the design team assembled by Swan London, who were designing the space for owners Kieren and Natasha Steinborn-Busse. Keiren and Natasha are also the chef and front of house manager respectively. Due to the age and heritage of the building, the ceilings are very low, particularly on the ground floor. This meant recessed fittings into the ceiling were not possible, so the MS Lighting Design team needed to create a design which would fulfil the vision of the interior designer by offering discreet lighting, whilst working around the architecture.

 The building has a Tudor look and feel, with wooden columns, exposed beams and large fireplaces. To work seamlessly with this, rather than against it, the MS Lighting Design team create a scheme which was traditional in its style. Starting on the ground floor, the entrance to the restaurant space is framed by the original wooden columns, which are a major historical feature and by lighting these, they have become even more noticeable and arresting. The area also features a stained-glass panel chosen by the interior designer. By using uplights, a striking, almost-medieval feel has been created, which sets the tone for the rest of the concept.

With the inability to use recessed lights, small surface mounted downlights with a narrow beam have been fitted, washing light onto the tables. Elsewhere in the restaurant space, a number of classic swan neck glass wall lights create an intimate and cosy dining experience. The fireplaces are not in use, but the MS Lighting Design team did not want to eliminate these stunning features. They have been lit with hidden LED strip, providing the warm feeling that comes from a glowing fire. Throughout the project gentle and warm lights have been used to avoid stark, glaring light which can ruin the ambience for diners. In some areas, gold leaf covered wall lights have been fitted to achieve a warm glow.

Moving up to the first floor, the interior designer’s concept makes a feature out of the glassware and wine bottles. To complement this, LED strip has been incorporated into the joinery to let the transparency and the shapes of bottles and glasses become the centre of attention, rather than the lighting.

The smaller of the two private dining rooms deliberately has the feel of a Gentleman’s Club, with a striking glass pendant chosen by the interior designer. The classic wall lights illuminate the artwork. Turning to the bigger private dining room, the exposed wooden structure could simply not be ignored. With a high-pitched roof, the room felt reminiscent of a medieval banquet where knights would gather. This conjured up images of candlelight, and MS Lighting Design sourced an attention-grabbing chandelier which looks like an array of candles. The chandelier is such a striking centre piece that the décor has been created around the light fitting.

Throughout the restaurant, to deliver extra warmth and reduce any darkness creeping out from the empty eves and mezzanines, LED strip uplighting has been installed into each eve.


Turning something small into something beautiful

 

This small one bedroom flat was a challenging site to work with. the ceilings were low and solid, and we had to make it feel light and airy. The client requested a boutique hotel feel and really wanted to do something different with the space, much to our delight.

Due to the solid ceiling, throughout most of the flat we had to work with surface mounted lighting, while minimizing any drops due to the low height. We decided to include linear LED strip concealed by pelmets, providing soft washes of light into the space when dimmed, but can be turned up to give bright light when required. Integrated lighting into the furniture and specific decorative table and floor lamps helped provide the task lighting for the space. 

The bathroom was the one area with a suspended ceiling, so we created a wash of light along one wall, while keeping all light fittings as discrete as possible to provide a sense of serenity and peace for a home in the bustling city.

 

Lighting for the family

 

The client for this project was building a home for their family of 4, and the goal was to have something which was different from the usual extension. They employed three|eleven design who produced a stunning extension, and we went to work on designing a lighting scheme to match. The client was heavily involved and it was a fantastic, collaborative project, really producing an amazing design at the end.

 

Key elements were to avoid a "sea" of spotlights on the ceiling, so we used them sparingly and where they were needed, plaster in downlights were used, to minimize the visual impact. linear lighting was incorporated to highlight the architectural features and provide general light, with recessed uplights to emphasize structural columns. 

 

A minimalist, modern home.

 

The glasshouse is a home in a minimalist, modern style, with clean lines and angular shapes. The key was to have the lighting highlight these forms and pick out the features, while concealing as much as possible. Concealed LED strip and use of blue helped add light and character while not detracting from the architectural highlights.

 

 

An inspiring renovation

 

Marham was a rework of a ground floor with extension to the rear. The brief was to keep it clean and uncluttered, while adding some drama for the homeowners and their guests to enjoy. The outdoor lighting was also very important to tie it in with the internal space.

 

Lighting taken to the next level

 

This project has an extremely challenging brief: why do I need a switch? In addition to creating a home without the need to turn the lights on and off, it also needed to delight when a room was entered.