Up with the birds, 5.37 am and they are chirping away at way at full throttle, nice! I’ve been tossing and turning all night with thoughts of my new collection I keep adding to it, second guessing, eliminating  going back to the drawing board, revisiting etc etc. January sounds like ages away (we launch in Paris early Jan) but if I haven’t nailed the whole thing by August I’m stuffed! I shall not bore you any more with it plus  if  I don’t stop adding I reckon I might need  a store  as large ast Ikea to display it all – OK I’m exaggerating a bit!

Lets talk lights. FACT. When you get the lighting right no one ever notices. Beautiful little glowing pockets of light balanced throughout a room and nobody notices – ever! I have to stop myself saying ‘don’t you think the lighting is darn amazing in here? Put your drink down for a second and just look AT IT'”. Obviously I don’t say such things when guests arrive (internally I might but lets keep that quiet) . Actually it’s a good thing no one notices, they will though if the space is overly lit or poorly lit but when it feels relaxed, comfy and just right nobody shouts out about it, and I need to get over it!

I am a lighting freak when I give you this next piece of information you’ll shout bonkers so loudly I’ll here it from Australia I reckon,  so I’m closing my ears when I say I have 16 (OK OK let’s be truthful here 18) lights on the lower ground floor of my house!

Say what!

They’re not all on at the same time and none during the day as we’re seldom down there; as for what goes on when and what time even G hasn’t figured that out after 20 odd years! I know to the second obviously – I am a lighting geek!

Lighting is one of the most transformative things you can do to space. Before you repaint or re furnish examine your lighting scheme. How does it make you feel?  If it’s not working out follow these simple tips:

Think local

By this I mean the best lighting schemes are ones that literally localize the light. Overly lit rooms are my idea of hell; I’m not the biggest recessed lighting fan. I have them but not in rooms like living rooms and bedrooms because you don’t get that multiple light, little pockets of glow feeling. With recessed I think we’ve become lazy, put them on dimmers shove one if you’ll lucky two table lamps in a room and Bob’s your uncle. Not enough in my book not nearly enough. I’ve got lamps everywhere on side tables, consoles, on central islands, on the floor, on benches on a pouf even. Everywhere and it’s beautiful. Oh and before anyone shouts  are they all low energy the answer is no. I barely eat meat in the week and I cycle and compost so I’ve double counteracted!


Think about functionality it will help you determine which way to go. What is the room used for; TV, cooking, sleeping what’s the deal? If you’re using recessed make sure they are on dimmers and for kitchens set up pockets of light everywhere.  I’ve lit under cabinets, put table and task on counter tops and created interesting pools.

In bathrooms it’s far harder. Do you go clinical and bright or a softer glow from dimmable sconces. I kind of think both. With bedrooms I’m all about reading lights either side of the bed, task lights everywhere else and a supersized chandelier.  For living rooms it’s the combo that matters, table with floor, pendants and chandeliers, task, sconces – everything and anything!


The best lighting schemes have different levels of lighting to create ambience but they’re practical as well. The trick is the blend, mesh together and harmonise both so you get this enchantingly lit beautifully glowing spaces. Spaces that you’ll want to snuggle up in but the very next minute won’t have a problem when you walk through your beautifully lit open plan floor to go sauté some mushrooms!


I don’t want to talk bulbs and get into a fight but I feel like I should. I hate low energy I can spot them a mile off no matter what anybody says. The only time I can use them is when the shade is silk or taffeta or velvet so the harshness is diffused big time, but I prefer not.. Why do they make everything feel fatigued almost off colour somehow. I guess I need to be getting into LED’s but I’m not sure what actually replaces the good old incandescent. Any ideas do let me know.

Back later for the Biz Column it’s a good one this week – how to market your brand without spending a fortune!