Interieur Kortrijk finest lighting stand: Catellani & Smith

Catellani & Smith PostKrisi installation pendant light It is true what they say: the biennial Interieur Kortrijk is in many ways the best interiors trade fair there is. But a word of warning to anyone yet to go, navigation this year is difficult, made worse by the blue carpets set diagonally, crossing between halls.

But it is worth it for the quality of stands, &c.

So, which was the finest stand -- for lighting, anyway?

Well, as is so often the case (unless Melogranoblu are exhibiting) , it was Catellani & Smith. And not just because of the new items. Above is a PostKrisi composition that would be an excellent arrangement down a stairwell.  Catellani & Smith will make up bespoke arrangements for you: see the projects page of their website.

The excitement his work generates comes from the thrilling things that he can do with light and shadow. A Postkrisi applique looks lovely, but then you notice that there are not one, but two sets of shadows around it -- softening it, and helping it to blend into the wall:

postkrisi applique Catellani & Smith

postkrisi-led-parete catellani & smith

The introduction of LEDs has transformed his designs, so many of which depend upon light being cast onto a surface by a light source that is between that surface and the viewer. He can do things he could never do before, creating very tightly focused light, like this WA terra:

wa-terra-catellani & Smith floor light spot light

that can be used like this:

wa floor light spot light Catellani & Smith

Because the light and its structure are so minimal, they can be located in front of the picture (which is a much more efficient location than the traditional placing of picture lights on the wall, above the picture).

These tiny light sources make so many other of his designs so powerful. There was a mesmerizing display of recessed silver Ametista:

ametista recessed wall light silver

This image does not even begin to do the piece justice: the light shines off the rough polished nickel-plated surface with an astonishing intensity.

Then there was the fabulous, clean, minimal Sorry Giotto:

Catellani & Smith Sorry Giotto floor light

"Enzo Catellani took his cue from the perfection of Giotto's circle, whose blind side, made of hand-painted copper, is lit by a multitude of high-powered LEDs, the beauty of which will leave you breathless."

Sorry Giotto 3 won Best Floor Light at the Wallpaper* Design Awards 2012.

So you can see that it was a fascinating stand where the impact of the pieces takes over, replacing the cool, calm assessments  that Fine Lighting News is carrying out on other stands for you, dear reader!

As the man said, it left us breathless.



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Interieur Kortrijk finest lighting product: Dot Show by Gonnette Smits for Muurbloem

Dot Show chandelier Muurbloem What a find this was!

Angelo Mangiarotti's Giogali system for Vistosi is one of the most iconic 20th century chandelier designs. A hook attaches to an identical hook above it, making possible long chains of glass with no metal involved, except for the frame at the top from which the chains hang. A huge range of shapes and sizes of chandelier is possible, depending upon the design of the frame.

So good is the Giogali system that there are, as you will know, many fakes on the market. On the good side, however, reputable glassworks have produced other shapes that hang from each other in the same way.

However, so far as Fine Lighting News knows, no-one has ever before had the idea of making glass bubbles with hooks at the top and bottom which can similarly create metal-free structures in a wide variety of shapes.

Dot Show from MuurbloemIt is the creation of Gonnette Smits for the Dutch design house, Muurbloem, run by her partner, the tall and charming Bart van de Kerhof. The one on display at Kortrijk was rectangular, which would be perfect for hanging over a rectangular dining table.The bubbles are made from borosilicate glass, so they are clear and strong. They come in a range of sizes. Muurbloem are professional enough to have realized that they must put a small hole in each one if it is not to explode when you take a chandelier home with you in your private jet. Or whatever.

There are several standard round configurations:

Dot Show chandelier Muurbloem

Dot Show chandelier Gonnette Smits

There are long bubbles:

Long Dot Show chandelier Muurbloem

Amongst the special projects they have done is this very long piece for the Crowne Plaza in the Hague, which really excited us because it is so good for stairwells:

Muurbloem Dot Show chandelier in a stairwell


And it is not just we who are excited! Standing near one can make you go all fuzzy. Then you could very well start taking your trousers off:

Muurbloem Dot Show setHave a party under a Dot Show and it will go with such a swing that the chandelier will be the only wallflower in the room!

Click here to download the Dot Show brochure.


By the way, Muurbloem does not just do fine lighting.  See their web site for other unusual, yet very practical products, particularly their wallpapers, which have their own web site:

Muurbloem Curves & Stripes wallpaper


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Stunning melogranoblu programmed dislay in Milan

melogranoblu hydra installation Milan 2012 1 Very few of our partners are as close to our hearts as Massimo and Ermanno of melogranoblu. We have been working with them since we started Cameron Peters Fine Lighting, and for all that time they have produced the most beautiful, most original lights -- usually pendants which, in groups, provide the finest arrangements for long drops (e.g. down a stairwell).

They understand how light and glass can work together, and how other materials -- silk tassels, coloured wire mesh rope, coral, bone -- can be added to provide flawless luminaires.

melogranoblu hydra pendant lights

Pictures like these can only give an inkling of how wonderful the melogranoblu arrangements can be. You have to see them for yourself, opportunities for which are created by their amazing, drop-dead gorgeous stands at Maison et Objet and other fairs.

At Superstudio Più in Milan during Design Week 2012, they added a new dimension, programmed control of the lighting, in a display of models from their Hydra series. Fortunately, we can get an idea of what could be achieved by watching this video:

Here are some stills:

melogranoblu Hydra pendant light Milan 2012 1

The white frosted discs below are a new design for 2012, Lhasa:

melogranoblu hydra pendant light installation Milan 2012

The Perfume series is also represented:

melogranoblu perfume pendant lights



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The Finest Lighting: artists -- #1 Niamh Barry

Niamh Barry chandelier fouette II shoot july 2011 016rev Occasionally, you may have a client who deserves, will appreciate -- and will wait and pay for -- the very finest. This is one of a series of profiles of the Very Finest lighting makers.

Dublin-based Niamh Barry is presenting new work this week at Design Miami/Basel, in collaboration with New York's Todd Merrill gallery. This is Fouetté II, one of the works being included (that also featured in the Lux Craft lighting pavilion, part of the Origin Craft Fair at last year's London Design week).

It is a sculpture, but also a light -- a chandelier. There are light sources running continuously behind the opalized sides:

Niamh Barry Fouette II detail

The result is not just beautiful, but also technically clever -- power has to be transferred invisibly from link to link.

Fouetté II is therefore a great example of why Niamh is so special. It exemplifies Ovid's ars est celare artem. True art conceals the skills (in this case, engineering, electronic, mechanical) that have to be applied if it is to exist.

Other works in this series (which is, by the way, ideally suited to stair wells -- just ask Candy and Candy!) have a different character. Whereas the Fouetté evokes the feminine turns of a ballet dancer, this one is quite different -- jagged, aggressive (masculine?):

Niamh Barry chain light set

Niamh says of her work that " blurs the line between design and sculture, whilst always heavily imbued with the craft-based skills honed during a degree in ceramics." She has also worked as an art director and designer in the Irish film industry. Pieces created during the last 20 years feature in numerous international private collections in London, Moscow, New York and Dublin.

Besides her chandeliers, she's also designing table lights:

Niamh Barry table light 1

and wall lights:

Niamh Barry wall light 1

And not just lights! Here is a super desk that is also at Design Miami Basel:

Niamh Barry desk

Niamh is an artist: she will create something that is not just site-specific but also client-specific. In other words, if it is a residence, she will get to know not just the space into which her art work will go, and how it is used, but also the clients. By getting to know them, the right concept for them will emerge. I know, because I've seen it happen, that the client will love the experience. Not only are they pleased to be patrons, and to have something created specifically for and about them, but Niamh is as charming as she is competent. As a specifier, you can rely on her not just to create a rapport with the client, but then to create the light extremely efficiently. It will arrive on time, on budget, it will work and it will be beautifully finished. To be one of our Very Finest, these are essential criteria -- it is not enough just to be able to draw a pretty light....

Niamh Barry chandelier

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Why is Sofie Refer's Ice chandelier so good?

Why is the Ice chandelier by Sofie Refer for Refer+Staer (the company that she runs with Jacob Staer) so good? Well...

1. The design of the basic component is excellent. The balls are the right size and the detailing of the metal structure is elegant.

2. By producing a gold special edition...

Refer & Staer Ice chandelier gold

...and the Ice Black Star (for which the glass ball is made out of crystal, with a star engraved into it)...

Refer & Staer Ice-Black-Star chandelier

...Ice is also appropriate for projects where a bit more bling (rather than Scandinavian restraint) is required.

3. It is particularly suitable for stairwells:

4. The wide range of ways in which they can be grouped as standard, now that there are six different arrangements with their own top plate, as well as their willingness to create custom arrangements. For example, here at Saks Fifth Avenue:

Refer & Staer Ice in Saks Fifth Avenue NYC

and at Villa Moda, Dubai

Refer & Staer Ice at Villa Moda, Dubai

or the Topaz restaurant in Istanbul:

Refer & Staer Ice Topaz Restaurant, Istanbul

They can be spaced further apart, as here:

Refer & Staer Ice SGP Lux Lightor complement a more edgy interior, as in this installation for Danish Silver:

Refer & Staer Ice Chandelier Danish Silver

5. The prices are very competitive.

6. Both interior designers, and the public, like Ice chandeliers! Maybe because...

7. ...they are easy designs to understand. They have a clarity (which is not easy to achieve) that means people "get it" immediately. As a result, Ice chandeliers work very well at pitches.

They can be hung as individual pendants, of course, and they come in clear, blue and grey:

Refer & Staer Ice Pendants

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