Always lit: design pros share their finds

Just in time for Diwali, architects, interior designers and editors share their pick of lights to brighten up the home

Minimalism is a big draw. As is modern luxury. When it comes to lights in 2021, it is all about clean lines and maximum impact. Some of the country’s top architects, interior designers and editors weigh in on what they’d pick up for their homes and projects. Plus a website that is making shopping for iconic lights simple.

Rooshad Shroff

“The only Indian lights that I absolutely love are the ones from Paul Matter. They are well finished and have a clean aesthetic. I am using their Satellite lights in an ongoing project in Delhi, and I will be including three others, including the Tango Light, in Mumbai. Internationally, I love Studio Drift. They have crazy price points, but I am finally using one of their chandeliers, the Dandelion, in one of my projects in Mumbai. I also like the Ralph Pucci Gallery.

“I used lights by Lianne Gold in Sonam Kapoor Ahuja’s London house. But lights can be tricky. When there are three to four really good companies you source from, almost all projects, be it Indian or global, start looking a certain way. So, of late, I have also been buying lights from antique markets in London [like Alfies Market and Kensington Church Street] and Paris.

“For Sonam’s home we found these beautiful silver-plated Italian elephant tusk lights, which I used with a custom-made hand-painted shade [adding a bespoke element to our find] against an India-inspired wallpaper from de Gournay. It worked perfectly.”

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Manju Sara Rajan

“The biggest problem with great lighting in India is access. Earlier, if you wanted to buy an original light by Flos or Anglepoise, you had to source it while on a trip abroad. Now, there is a new website, lightandyou.com, that I think is interesting — as it is giving people easy access to designer lights. You can add an Ingo Maurer light or a Rooshad Shroff design to cart and buy. I have my eye on Maurer’s Lucellino Table Lamp. The German designer passed away in 2019. I met him once in Milan a few years ago, at the Salone Del mobile, and he was this interesting, whimsical and fun designer, who brought that whimsy into his work. The winged bulb light is one of his iconic designs. It’s a piece that I would like to buy for my children because it shows you the whimsy and humour that you can have in a utilitarian piece.”

Ashiesh Shah

“I like brands that give you a peak into a specific world. Apparatus is extremely interesting because of what they do and how they interpret culture. They interpret the 20s era, with the swing and the shimmy, and create modernist, luxurious lights that almost seem jewel like. You feel you could wear them around your neck! I’ve used their Lariat lights extensively. Roll and Hill — a conglomerate of different designers working together — is another favourite. Their designs are modern, but still is art.

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“I’ve used Lindsey Adelman’s creations [like the sculptural lights made of hand-blown glass and bound together with knotted rope, inspired by Japanese packaging, buoys, and shibari] in several projects. I also enjoy the work from young British designer, Lee Broom. He works with glass, marble, steel, and the like. I love his crystal bulbs.”

Esha Gupta

“With lighting, I would say I’m automatically drawn to eccentric, eclectic, and one-of-a-kind pieces. One such piece has to be Shailesh Rajput’s ‘Nothing to Eternity’ and ‘The Fish to Bird’ installation that he did for Hemant Oberoi’s restaurant, which literally says ‘talk about me’. It’s striking and memorable. Even Pascal Lys and Isabelle Thevenet’s Atelier Lumys has been creating beautiful fabric-based lighting, all handcrafted in Pondicherry! Everything is sourced locally, with a keen eye on their environmental impact.”

Vinu Daniel

“In my projects, I use a lot of natural light. So, the light fixtures that I use are usually quite simple. For example, in a recent project, built on a hill in Peerumedu, I’ve used the ubiquitous tube light in interesting ways. I strung it with casuarina scaffolding to give the facade a night light effect. It is simple but dramatic. Among designer who make lights in Kerala, I like the works by Jayadev Kesavankutty from Kochi. It’s a very clean, minimalist look, using materials like wood and steel. Then there is Thought Parallels by Nikhil and Shabna. They’ve used repurposed rafters, wooden pillars and metal to create suspension lights and sconces. The designs are very geometric.”

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