Since the turn of the millennium – within interior design’s upper echelons – there’s ongoing evidence of the increasing appreciation of lighting innovation. In 2017 leading minds are involved in the invention and engineering of new light sources, or luminaires, and with R&D in lighting design. This, while considering how to plan and use it to best effect in lieu of the ecological footprint. 

Interior lighting is a vital and central aspect in any home regardless of size. Ambiance can be manipulated merely through how the lighting is arranged and by the kind of fixtures installed. Lighting design changes from room to room – what works in the living room will not necessarily work in the kitchen or bedroom. So the lighting plan should reflect the various functions and feel of each space and, as with any other element of interior decoration, its design evolves continually; technology being a major reason for this. As manufacturers launch advanced fixtures and light sources, architects and interior designers incorporate these into built structure. Tastes and preferences also change with generations, which is why we have vintage lighting, Art Deco, Mid-Century Modern, Industrial – and so on. While 2017 will likely not bring any radical changes in lighting design, there are several notable trends emerging.

When specified through an architect or interior designer high-echelon contemporary light fittings manifest as carefully considered fixtures; part of lighting plans that are not only integral to the electrical handwriting but also regarded as creative structures. For such design professionals, the planning and positioning of luminaires are key in achieving the best result.

These are of various shapes and sizes, material content and light source. And their selection from those available in SA today reveals a wide variety of designs. Such options aid in evoking different interior signatures, from classical to eclectic and contemporary.

So what is on trend for 2017 in fittings, fixtures and materials?

Marc Machtelinckx from lighting specialist ELDC visited Euroluce in Milan this year and noted: ‘Minimalistic chic was manifest and there was focus on original ‘less is more’ design, but further on the finishing and quality of materials. These included metal finishes such as brass, copper and anodised aluminium matched up to mouth-blown glass.’

Eli Kalmi of importer K. Light was also in Milan. He says: ‘For me it was confirmed that a popular trend remains evident in crystal and glass pendants of varying style, with a niche market for Art Deco designs. Euroluce is renowned for design per se, so therefore the LED inclusion was rather limited. This, compared to the Far East, which has many new LED fittings from double volume luminaires to furniture pieces. A perfect example is the Apple pendant collection, which is available with traditional E27 light fittings and now in energy-saving LED.’

Darren Postan of high-end Sandton-based Casarredo agrees: ‘The industrial and steampunk trend has engendered a nostalgic view to past eras, seen in Art Deco style lamps updated with modern technology and materials. Oluce has used their famous Atollo lamp made from Murano glass (1977) and updated it to present aluminium, gloss black and satin gold versions with energy-efficient LED compatibility. And Kundalini has launched the Toot lamp, by Karim Rashid. He plays with different materials, colours and textures to create staggered tubes with varying light quality and intensity. A true theatrical experience that changes from every viewing angle.’

‘The Art Deco interiors that originated in the 1920s were minimalist for the time, and we’re seeing this reflected in lighting trends today,’ so says Kelly Klopper of importers Eurolux / Euronouveau. ‘From highly lacquered black shades to white frosted glass, this movement in the decorative arts has gained traction again in 2017. Warm metals have been evident in interior design for a while now, especially in illumination. Rose gold, copper and bronze continue to be high on the list for 2017, but we’re also seeing pristine hues of blue glass, more specifically aquamarine, being used in everything from ceiling lights to reading lamps.’

For the full article see Habitat #260 July / August 2017 | Subscribe now