Nikki Hunt of Design Intervention discusses the importance of lighting design and how it can influence our mood

I often say that lighting is like fairy dust—sprinkle it right and you can create magic. The aim is not to have someone walk into a home and think that the lighting is great. In fact, if this is the case, then we haven’t done our job well at all; it’s all about subtlety and the design of the space as a whole.

See also: How Nikki Hunt and Andrea Savage of Design Intervention Create Beautiful Interiors

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Above Nikki Hunt, founder and co-CEO of Singapore-based firm Design Intervention

Most people are aware of the importance of good task lighting to help improve our concentration. But strategic lighting choices can also help us relax and even sleep better, thereby improving our health.

Lighting that works with our bodies’ sleep cycles can influence how we feel and behave. Understanding how and when you will use a space is therefore the first step to good lighting design.

See also: Why A Digital Detox Can Benefit Your Mental and Physical Health

1. Consider multi-functional pieces

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Flos Haeru table and lamp collection by Nendo, from Space Furniture
Above Flos Haeru table and lamp collection by Nendo, from Space Furniture
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Lema LT40 storage system by David Lopez Quincoces, from W. Atelier
Above Lema LT40 storage system by David Lopez Quincoces, from W. Atelier

Instead of introducing additional pieces that could clutter the room, consider having multi-functional furniture pieces that incorporate lighting elements. We have wired custom-made pieces such as a console, desk and coffee table, so that they effectively function as oversized lamps, bringing low-level lighting to the room.

The light sources are set at different angles so that in addition to light from above, we have light at eye level as well as below eye level.

2. Size it up

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Above This living room features bespoke furniture by Design Intervention, a Serip chandelier, and a Mahatma Gandhi artwork

The right lighting can affect the feeling of space and change our perception of dimensions. The eye is always drawn to the brightest point in the room, so we can play with how we perceive the size of a room through strategic light planning.

For instance, when we place a chandelier in a corner, we draw the eye to the back of the room, thereby increasing the sense of space.

See also: Home Tour: An Apartment With A Glamorous Mix Of Art And Gold Accents

3. Play hide and seek—keep architectural lighting elements discreet

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Above A bathroom crafted by Design Intervention

Downlights are a pet peeve of mine; they are like acne on the face of a beautiful girl. Our ceilings are such a key feature of the design, so why ruin them with downlights? My view is that architectural light fittings should not be seen. Instead, I keep the ceilings as unblemished as possible and let the other design elements shine.

See also: Home Tour: Design Intervention’s Nikki Hunt Celebrates Tropical Style In Her Maximalist House In Singapore

4. Try it before you buy it when shopping for ambient lighting pieces

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Molteni&C Grid system by Vincent Van Duysen, from P5
Above Molteni&C Grid system by Vincent Van Duysen, from P5
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Bocci 38.11V lamps by Omer Arbel, from Space Furniture
Above Bocci 38.11V lamps by Omer Arbel, from Space Furniture

Another common mistake I see all the time is homeowners choosing fixtures because of how they look without ever turning them on. Good lighting shouldn’t be glaring.

I always recommend that lighting should be incorporated at the onset of any project so that wiring can allow for multiple circuits, and switches incorporated for maximum flexibility.

See also: 12 Creative Lighting Pieces With Science Fiction Influences


The June-July 2020 issue of Tatler Homes Singapore is available with our compliments on Magzter

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