Associate Designer Sian Parsons talks us through our latest project to complete - lighting for a stunning mid-century townhouse in the heart of Kensington.
Sophie Paterson's Lighting Renovation
We’ve had an interesting year working with London and Surrey based Interior Designer Sophie Paterson on the lighting design in her home. She spoke to us about how working with John Cullen has transformed the lighting, and shared with us her new favourite features.
Watch the full video to see the full transformation, from pinpointing the art in the kitchen, to highlighting her showstopper staircase.
Sophie Paterson set up her company, Sophie Paterson Interiors, twelve years ago, and today has a team of 10 designers working on projects all over the world. Often using John Cullen Lighting on her projects, Sophie has seen first-hand the difference lighting can make on the end result. She had always wanted to change the lighting in her own home, so in April 2019 she got in touch with us to redesign her lighting schemes. She had struggled to get the balance of lighting she wanted and felt that the lighting was letting down the interiors of her home.
The Project Challenges
The interiors of Sophie’s stunning house were already completed in most areas and she wanted to prevent damage to the walls as much as possible. Retrofitting is always a challenge for a lighting designer because if you want to add more circuits into a room this usually results in damage in order to get the cabling in. Our Senior Lighting Designer, Hazel Park, worked with Sophie to discover what lighting effects she wanted to achieve in her home and the atmosphere she wanted to create, and how this could then be designed whilst creating as little upheaval as possible.
Sophie had an existing and slightly outdated control system for her original halogen lights. When she swapped the halogens over to LED retrofits, she consequently experienced flickering due to the incompatibility. The first thing Hazel advised Sophie to do was to swap the retrofit LEDs over to dedicated LEDs which have a much smoother dimming performance. Hazel also advised upgrading elements of her old control system to ensure that everything was compatible. Sophie was keen to not to replace the entire system, so our helpful in-house technical support team did a site survey of her existing system and advised on the exact equipment required to upgrade.
Some of Sophie’s switches had lots of buttons which made controlling the lights confusing, so a simpler plate was specified and Hazel designed a lighting scheme based around scene setting to make it more user-friendly for her and her family.
Sophie’s previous downlights were non-directional. Despite being positioned around the edge of the room, most of her artwork was not illuminated. Using the existing wiring, these were changed these over to low-glare directional alternatives (Polespring 50). Using different beam widths for different sizes of artwork this brought focus of light onto her key pieces. When our Lighting Designer Hazel returned to commission the project at the end, she added lenses and angled all of the lights onto the artwork which made all the difference.
One of Sophie’s favourite features in her home was her showstopper staircase, which forms the focal point upon entering the house. The natural daylight from the skylight above brightened the space and also highlighted where the staircase floated off the wall. At night, however, the room was very dark with no lighting underneath the stairs, making the space feel much smaller.
The scheme was redesigned to replace the daylight falling behind the stairs with a warm, ambient backlight, as day changes to night, using 2400K LED strips (ContourHD24). As there was no power under the stairs, Hazel implemented a wireless control equipment to add an additional lighting circuit here.
To hear more about the other areas lighting was transformed, from the dressing room to the children’s bedroom, watch the full case study video above and make sure to follow our Instagram for more updates.
Photography: Ray Main