Rules for choosing lights, with Sotto Luce’s insider tips

For more than 10 years, Sotto Luce lights have been celebrated all over Europe for their style, geometric proportions and modern look. Renowned for their hand-blown glass shades and handmade textile lights, and as one of the first lighting brands to launch a 100% customisable lighting collection, Sotto Luce stands at the cutting-edge of home décor trends. We spoke to Magdalena Sporniak-Czerkas for some insider info into lighting design.

“In our view, decorative lights are an extremely powerful device which enables us to freely convert our living spaces into any kind of scene we want,” says Magdelena. “They allow us to create moods and make our home as functional and flexible as possible.

"In order to achieve that, one always need to combine a few types of fittings – pendants, ceiling and wall lights, as well as floor and table ones. You should also focus on adequate light bulbs, diffusers and shades. Each scene you want to create needs its own configuration of lamps in a room. Only then will it be possible to create the desired look, converting ­a dining room into a cosy restaurant or a living room in a theatre or cinema hall. One should never stick to ceiling or pendant lights only.”

As well as creating an ambiance, and the importance of using a variety of light fittings, Magdelena asserts the importance of understanding how each fitting will light the room on a practical level.

“In our view, there are two important factors: function and aesthetics,” she says. “To choose the right light fitting for a room, you must know what it is going to illuminate as well as how much light and what colour is needed. As soon as you know the type and number of light sources required, you can start selecting the fittings. Their size will usually depend on dimensions of a room. And colours, well... on the preferences of the person in charge of decorating it.”

"Personally, I always choose well-designed products made of high-quality durable materials. And, obviously, 100% made in Europe," she says.

Regarding current trends in the lighting world, Magdelena says that her favourite is “the great comeback of gold finish.”

“Gold has been used for dressing up buildings since time immemorial, but recently it has taken centre-stage in interior decoration. Thanks to gold detailing, modern rooms can receive a delicately stylish touch. Gold is an absolute must-have element in home décor these days. And brass in all its finishes (from glossy to brushed surfaces) is one the noblest materials that have ever been used in furniture or lighting manufacturing."

“Another great trend is the clean Scandinavian design. I love minimalist modern light fittings whose lamp shades are made of mouth-blown glass, powder-coated metal or natural wood veneer. Their colour palette usually includes a preponderance of white, often paired with black, as well as some light pastel tones and, obviously, colours of natural wood. Wooden shades add warmth to any room and work particularly well with Nordic furniture and natural fabrics.”

From within the Sotto Luce collection, Magdelena is, of course, fond of many of their designs, but singles out Momo as an important item.

59024296148591_1The Momo Pendant Light

“It’s our absolute best-seller,” she says. “It was designed in 2005. It’s very simple but elegant and in one of its numerous finishes can decorate almost any kind of space: a single or double Momo pendant in black matte glass decorated inside with gold or silver looks astonishing above the dining table, and equally, a single Momo light in one of its four vibrant colours such as yellow, light blue, bright green or orange looks great in a children’s bedroom.

“Its shade is made of mouth-blown glass manufactured in one of the very few European glass factories which have survived the recent crisis.”

Browse Sotto Luce's collections at ACHICA 27 - 30 January.

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Annabel Sheen

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