Illuminated passementerie: hotel-proof elegance from frauMaier

fraumaier pascha pendant light black Here is an elegant, simple idea: Pascha -- a pendant light in the form of a large tassel from frauMaier.

It could be used in a traditional scheme where tassels are being used elsewhere -- in tie-backs, for example. Or it could be used in a contemporary scheme, to offer a small surprise -- something soft and pretty.

They can also add a spot of colour. The standard collection includes red...

fraumaier pascha pendant light red

...and other colours are available upon request.

For more subdued colour palettes, there is also a grey:

fraumaier pascha pendant light greyThey are quite large -- Ø12cm H29cm...

fraumaier pascha pendant light  red set

...and take any E27 lamp of 40W or less.

So they are a gently witty idea that is very easy, very straightforward.

Oh, and the "hotel-proof" bit? Well, frauMaier is very helpfully adding a symbol...

frauMaier hotel-proof symbol the catalogue to indicate models that will stand up to way guests and staff treat things in hotels.

And since frauMaier herself is not included in any of the images of Pascha currently available, here she is anyway (Holly insisted):

fraumaier 1


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Custom Aqua Creations in Melbourne


When thinking of a custom installation for a large space, always consider Aqua Creations. Their signature pieces are particularly suited to large spaces -- they understand large spaces. Here is an installation in Valencia, for example:

Aqua Creations in Valencia

Aqua creations Sunsa

They have the creative skills (thanks to the inspiration behind Aqua creations, Ayala Serfaty), they have the design and engineering skills (because they develop all their pieces themselves) and they have the skilled artisans to make bespoke lights (because everything they sell is handmade by their own team). But maybe most importantly, they relish the opportunity to work on bespoke installations (an enthusiasm not demonstrated by all producers...),  so they set about them in the right frame of mind.

Here is a case in point. The location is an office block in Melbourne (321 Exhibition Street). Aqua creations worked with their local partners ECC Lighting + Furniture (in whose Sydney showrooms, many years ago now, we first saw and were knocked out by, Aqua Creations lights).

You see in the image at the top of this post a Standby incorporated into the basket surround.  Here's a clearer image of a Standby:

Aqua Creations Standby pendant light

but a smaller one -- the one in Melbourne is Ø2400mm!

Further along the lobby, Aqua Creations created a square installation for a square basket...

Aqua Creations melbourne  ceiling lights 3

...OK, they're not baskets, but you can see what I mean -- I don't know what else to call them.

Aqua Creations ceiling light Melbourne 2

They look quite small from a distance!

Aqua Creations Melbourne 03



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Gorgeous new Fortuny chandeliers from Venetia Studium in Venice

venetia studium ceiling 9 cesendello Venetia Studium are sending us all off on our hols with a spring in our step by announcing this very useful ceiling-mounted composition of nine of their Fortuny Cesendelli. 

It is Ø80cm H160cm, i.e. it is bigger than it may look! It will certainly make an amazing an impact: glass (because it is more robust) versions of the gorgeous silk shades, hand-painted in Venice, with silk tassels, fine metalwork and beads.

There are also smaller seven and five light versions.

But if that's not big enough, how about this 33 light version -- Ø140cm H210cm?!

Venetia studium 33 light Fortuny cesendello chandelier

Don't expect to read a book by the light that these give out: there should only be a 25W lamp in each cesendello. Their purpose is to add to the total light in a space (lights were not brighter at the turn of the last century, when Fortuny was creating his lighting), and to act as a beautiful illuminated sculpture. You could put 60W lamps in, but that would look wrong.

See Venetia Studium at Decorex -- stand D142.


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Orientalist and Chinoiserie lights by Venetia Studium

marble house exterior European Orientalism, as it developed in the mid to late eighteenth century, was an exhilarating hotch-potch of Japanese, Chinese, Indian and north African motifs. But maybe what makes it so attractive to us today is the underlying delicacy, playfulness and lightness of touch -- shared with other contemporary, and closely related, Rococo and Gothick structures and detailing.

Though there are famous Oriental buildings and interiors in the grand houses throughout Europe -- the Chinese tea house at Sans Souci, for example -- the main enthusiasm for this style was in England. But the other great European centre for Orientalism is Venice. This is not surprising, given that its wealth was based on trade between east and west. The influence of the east on Venetian architecture is covered in Deborah Howard's excellent  Venice and the East.

It is fitting therefore that the best source of Orientalist lights and interior accessories is based in Venice -- Venetia Studium. The company was formed in order to create to the very highest standards authentic re-editions of the designs of Fortuny who, though Spanish/French, lived in Venice at the end of the nineteenth century because he was allergic to horses (another FLN factoid...!). It is a collection of Fortuny's Concubine, made from wood and silk (hand-painted in Venice)  that decorate  this pavilion (Nan McEvoy's Marble House in Marin, Calif.):

Marble2 House Venetia StudiumHere is Loto from the collection:

Loto Concubina silk pendant light from Venetia StudiumYou can see that it is beautiful. But it is even more impressive, luxurious, indulgent, a little wicked, when you experience the details: a tassel...

Venetia Studium Concubina tassel ...a corner:

Venetia Studium Concubina silk pendant light corner

There are six Concubine designs in all. Here is Tempio:

Venetia Studium Tempio Concubina Fortuny silk pendant light

They have a new relevance today as more and more designers are working on projects in the middle east. Many of the finest interiors in the region would have been hung with sensuous hangings and other fittings that were portable, the main structure often being a tent. So it is very exciting that Venetia Studium do not only make lights but also exquisite cushions and hangings. There are door curtains...

Silk embroidered Door Curtain Venetia Studium


Embroidered Silk cushion from  Venetia Studium

...and wall hangings...

embroidered silk walll hanging from Venetia Studium

...for which even the bars from which they hang are gorgeous...

shinto bar for wall hanging detail Venetia Studium

All these components can be combined for a complete interior:

Venetia Studium Fortuny Concubine inteior

Here's another look at the Concubine in the pavilion:

marble house Venetia Studium chinoiserie

And maybe there will soon be Chinese clients who would like a European chinoiserie room. In which case, you'll want to read Dawn Jacobson's Chinoiserie.

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The Mino Collection from Aqua Creations -- illuminated screens and room dividers

Mino floor light by Albi Serfaty with Benad Dar for Aqua Creations.01As usual, a stunning stand by Aqua Creations at Light+Building. We were delighted to see the new Mino Collection by Albi Serfaty (founder, with his wife Ayala, of Aqua Creations in 1994) with Benad Dar. This was partly because it marks a return to the pleated silk for which Aqua Creations are still best known.

And partly because such structures will be very useful. Yes, they are lights, but they also function as screens, as room divders. Yes, they look soft (you see pleated silk), but that silk is covering a strong vacuum-formed shell made from a specially developed polycarbonate.

The standard versions above are 160x115x25cm, 160x45x22cm and 104x70x22cm. But Albi was at pains to point out to us that they will do custom versions -- in fact, the full range of skills that they have in-house is available for new custom designs, as well as for special versions of their own designs. Take note!

There are many more colours available now. As befits these recessionary times, the new colours are more subdued. For example, here is a Nara:

Aqua Creations Nara Ayala Serfaty wall light silkThe full range of colours is (deep breath): coal, curry, dark, flame, gold, grass, orange, red, redwood, rust, sand, shell, silver, smoke, stone.see below for what they look like. There are two images of each. The upper one is of the silk with the light off, and the one below is the silk with the light on. Remember that the lamps are all "low energy" -- fluorescents.

Aqua Creations silk colours 1of 3Aqua creations silk colours 2 of 3

Aqua Creations silk colours 3 of 3

Oh, and it gets better still: you can also specify any two colours on one screen!

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