Ta-daaaa, it's here! The final episode of our 'Meet The Expert' series, in partnership with sofa.com. We're chatting to Rohan Blacker, founder of Pooky, about the importance of lighting in any room and how to make sure you don't make any dreaded lighting mistakes!
Lighting is transformative (and imperative) when designing a room, yet it is so often left as an afterthought; it is so much more than a practical element as it adds style, character and ambience to your home.
My Bespoke Room's Co-Founder, Laura, caught up with Rohan in the sofa.com showroom, (sat on a sofa named after his daughter!), to ask the lighting questions that are on everyone's lips.
We love it when someone's passion truly makes them shine and Rohan certainly lit up the room whilst he told us all about choosing the right shade for your lamp, layering lighting and why you should consider lighting first and foremost when you're giving your room a glow up. Lights, camera, action...
Q&A with Pooky
Is there a general rule when choosing the right size lampshade?
Yes, there is a general rule but it's there to be broken, much like all rules. Ordinarily, for a regular sized lamp the width of the shade should be the same as the length of the base. For example, the distance between the bottom of the shade and the bottom of the base should be roughly 45cm if the lamp boasts a 45cm shade. However, that works well with a drum shade, because they are much more voluminous than tapered shades, and when the lamp has a reasonably wide base. If the lamp has a thinner spindle base, then we break all the rules as you would have a much taller height with a smaller shade.
Why is lighting so important?
When designing a room, lighting should be thought about first, and I'm not just saying that because I'm a lighting retailer and designer! I think lighting is the single most important thing to create ambience in a room. If you forget this, you are at risk of not giving the room the finish that you want.
What is layering light all about?
There are lots of sources of light and they all have their own role in any lighting design. Layering of light is building up all the different sources of light, like painting a grand piece of artwork. For example, think of a church. You have light coming in through the clear glass windows, stained glass windows, maybe large chandeliers up high, and you are building up this thick, rich tapestry of lighting.
We love the artichoke light! What is the inspiration behind this lamp?
My daughter, Bluebell, after whom this sofa.com sofa is named after, is obsessed with artichokes, so I always wanted to create a light in the shape of one.
What are the most common lighting mistakes?
I think customers, occasionally, think lighting to be an afterthought, and that's very dangerous. I believe lighting is the single most important part of any room. If you get the lighting right, you're well on your way to completing a beautiful room. The atmosphere that lighting creates can completely change the look, feel and ambience of a room. I believe people sometimes forget that.
And finally, do you have a light named after you?
No! No I don't, and there isn't one in production. I don't think there will ever be a me light!
1. What are the basic principles of lighting that you feel everyone needs to know?
Think about how you use your space and what you need to get out of your lighting. It is important to have different "levels" of lighting in a room, whilst spot lights or pendants for day time are important, table lamps and floor lamps can be a really good way to soften a room in the evening and create a more intimate, cosy atmosphere.
2. What should we think about when choosing the right lightbulb?
Lightbulbs are getting more and more sophisticated, which can seem complicated but there is so much variety now in the colour temperature that you don't have to worry so much about going for the highest wattage anymore. Try and use an LED bulb, for longevity, but find one in a warmer white that doesn't give off a too blue colour that leaves rooms looking cold. Amber coated LED bulbs have a lovely glow to them but still give you the brightness you need. Pearl bulbs are best if you're using with a shade as the light is diffused, and you therefore avoid any shadows from the shade frame.
3. In your opinion, what is the hardest room to get lighting right?
The most important room in any home is wherever they gamily spends the most time so we would say a Kitchen or Family Room. Most other rooms in a house are used at very clear times of the day but the family area needs to work from sunrise to sunset so the lighting needs to be versatile enough to work throughout.
4. Where should people consider using wall lights and what are they best for?
Hallways and corridors can be tricky to light effectively due to space. Wall lights are brilliant to use in these areas as you don't have to worry about narrow surface spaces for table lamps and lampshades, which can be awkward and not necessarily family friendly! Wall lights are out of the way plus you can use lovely little lampshades to bring in some much needed colour and pattern to what can usually be a pretty bare space.
5. Where do you find inspiration for your range of beautiful lamps and lights?
Everywhere! Our design team travel all over the world for inspiration for our products and take inspiration not only from latest trends but also classic design. Always looking to offer something with a little Pooky twist!
In our previous episodes, we have spoken to Secret Linen Store, Bloom & Wild and Farrow & Ball, all interviews are recorded on our blog so if you have questions on bedding, flowers or paint, you know where to go!
Rohan was interviewed on Sofa.com's Bluebell Sofa. Sofa.com’s Bluebell is an undisputed classic. A key part of the collection from the very beginning, the Bluebell offers supreme comfort with beautiful detail such as its elegant turned legs and soft pleated arms. The Bluebell sofa is a real pleasure to live with, whether in a classic or modern setting.