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Light-hearted lighting. Whimsical forms without losing function

February 22, 2018 4:00 pm Published by

There are many ways to add visual interest to a room. One can go the safe route, let’s say a fanciful wallpaper on an accent wall, an oversized piece of furniture or an oversized piece of art, creating symmetry… Any of these solutions will obviously make a statement in any room and add the character that any design looks for. But there are other routes if you think outside the box. By this, we could mean adding a whimsical touch, a playful style that will give a room that happy feel. It is as much about the whimsical as about the unpredictable.

The use of objects for unintended uses is a staple, like the iconic bathtub sofa in Breakfast at Tiffany’s or using pages from old books as wallpaper as seen in decoupage artist John Derian’s interiors. The element of surprise and the unpredictability are guaranteed with these ideas, but how about adding our whimsical visual interest with a lighting fixture?

Light is essential to any interior space as it is the means by which we perceive our surroundings. So we need to tackle the lighting of any room with care. Let’s pair its essential utility with an artful style and, why not, a hint of humor. Using a whimsical yet sophisticated light fixture can infuse an otherwise dull room with personality. Obviously, any statement lighting fixture has to be treated as a piece of furniture on its own and more so if we are thinking about making an impact with its size as well as its design. Our life size lamps are the perfect fit for that purpose.

Created by Lzf Lab under the direction of Mariví Calvo, our Fish and Elephant lamps were developed from Isidro Ferrer’s Funny Farm wood figurines collection. A set of 18 wooden mini-sculptures half animal half human that reflect the complex world of humor and visual poetry that award-winning designer and illustrator Isidro Ferrer always brings to his work. Mariví Calvo took on the challenge to transform these solid wood figurines into life size lamps. A friendly fish with legs and a funny face, and a two-legged elephant with round ears, both with a human-like aura, are outstanding fixtures that can also be seen as sculptures and will transform any area whether they are on or off. The luminous heart of Elephant, at the centre of the sculpture, is diffused through a natural wood veneer internal lining; and the carefully studied layout of the fish bones produces a captivating effect, as if a small universe of luminous orbs lived inside Fish. What is the ideal habitat for these creatures? Lobbies, relax areas, children hospitals, it is clear that their size is not suitable for every household, however other environments can benefit from its beauty and light-hearted character.

A tall floor lamp paired with a long pendant lamp make for a balanced design.

But we must still bear in mind that our statement lamps are lamps after all, and they have a function inside a room. When trying to implement this kind of fixture in an area we must know how the space will be used, how much room it is needed; it is a good idea to map the traffic routes around the room and always allow for a good flow. If using floor lamps, like the ones we just showed, we have to allow at least three feet of “walking room” between pieces. But we can also, for instance, take advantage of ultra high ceilings and opt for pendant lamps. Whatever we choose, we must avoid jumbling different elements and make sure our design is cohesive. It is important to keep the focus on the statement piece: not every room needs an eye-catching lighting fixture, but if it has, we must make sure that it shows and we keep the view clear.

A light-hearted lighting fixture is not just a good conversation starter but a way to incorporate art, beauty and cheer into any atmosphere.

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